Lisa Lowe: The Intimacies of Four Continents (2015)

21 March 2021, dusan

“In this uniquely interdisciplinary work, Lisa Lowe examines the relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism. Reading across archives, canons, and continents, Lowe connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that abstract promises of freedom often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions. Race and social difference, Lowe contends, are enduring remainders of colonial processes through which “the human” is universalized and “freed” by liberal forms, while the peoples who create the conditions of possibility for that freedom are assimilated or forgotten. Analyzing the archive of liberalism alongside the colonial state archives from which it has been separated, Lowe offers new methods for interpreting the past, examining events well documented in archives, and those matters absent, whether actively suppressed or merely deemed insignificant. Lowe invents a mode of reading intimately, which defies accepted national boundaries and disrupts given chronologies, complicating our conceptions of history, politics, economics, and culture, and ultimately, knowledge itself.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, June 2015
ISBN 9780822358633, 0822358638
319 pages

Discussion: Gayatri Gopinath, Alyosha Goldstein, Moon-Ho Jung, Stephanie Smallwood (book roundtable at ASA Conference, Toronto, 2015, video).
Reviews: John Holmwood (Theory, Culture & Society, 2016), Betty Joseph (American Historical Review, 2016), Hossein Ayazi (Qui Parle, 2016), Michael Gaffney (Journal of American Studies, 2016), Adam Nemmers (Women’s Studies, 2016), Marion C. Rohrleitner (Pacific Historical Review, 2016), Lance Bertelsen (Modern Philology, 2017), Harrod J Suarez (Melus: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S., 2017), Jesse van Amelsvoort (Nexus Instituut, n.d.), Hadley Howes (Antipode, 2020).



Susan Jahoda, Caroline Woolard: Making and Being: Embodiment, Collaboration, and Circulation in the Visual Arts, a Workbook (2019)

7 February 2021, dusan

Making and Being offers a framework for teaching art that emphasizes contemplation, collaboration, and political economy. Authors Susan Jahoda and Caroline Woolard, two visual arts educators and members of the collective BFAMFAPhD, share ideas and teaching strategies that they have adapted to spaces of learning which range widely, from self-organized workshops for professional artists to Foundations BFA and MFA thesis classes. This hands-on guide includes activities, worksheets, and assignments and is a critical resource for artists and art educators today. Making and Being is a book, a series of videos, a deck of cards, and an interactive website with freely downloadable content.”

Publisher Pioneer Works Press, Brooklyn, NY, October 2019
Creative Commons BY-SA License
ISBN 9781945711077, 1945711078
688 pages

Book website
Project website

PDF, PDF (13 MB)

D. Fox Harrell: Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (2013)

13 May 2018, dusan

“An argument that great expressive power of computational media arises from the construction of phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination.

In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell considers the expressive power of computational media. He argues, forcefully and persuasively, that the great expressive potential of computational media comes from the ability to construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. These ubiquitous and often-unseen phantasms—cognitive phenomena that include sense of self, metaphors, social categories, narrative, and poetic thinking—influence almost all our everyday experiences. Harrell offers an approach for understanding and designing computational systems that have the power to evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to the exposure of oppressive phantasms and the creation of empowering ones. He argues for the importance of cultural content, diverse worldviews, and social values in computing. The expressive power of phantasms is not purely aesthetic, he contends; phantasmal media can express and construct the types of meaning central to the human condition.

Harrell discusses, among other topics, the phantasm as an orienting perspective for developers; expressive epistemologies, or data structures based on subjective human worldviews; morphic semiotics (building on the computer scientist Joseph Goguen’s theory of algebraic semiotics); cultural phantasms that influence consensus and reveal other perspectives; computing systems based on cultural models; interaction and expression; and the ways that real-world information is mapped onto, and instantiated by, computational data structures.

The concept of phantasmal media, Harrell argues, offers new possibilities for using the computer to understand and improve the human condition through the human capacity to imagine.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 9780262019330, 0262019337
xix+420 pages

Reviews: John Harwood (Artforum, 2014), Brian Reffin Smith (Leonardo, 2015).