Environmental Humanities, 9(2): Familiarizing the Extraterrestrial / Making Our Planet Alien (2017)

26 April 2018, dusan

“A growing number of researchers in the social sciences and the environmental humanities have begun to focus on the wider universe and how it is apprehended by modern cosmology. Today the extraterrestrial has become part of the remit of anthropologists, philosophers, historians, geographers, scholars in science and technology studies, and artistic researchers, among others. And there is an emerging consensus that astronomers and other natural scientists—contrary to a common prejudice—are never simply depicting or describing the cosmos “just as it is.” Their research is always characterized by a specific aesthetic style and by a particular “cosmic imagination,” as some have called it. Scientific knowledge of the universe is based on skilled judgments rather than on direct, unmediated perception. It is science, but it is also an art. This special section focuses on two at first sight contradictory aspects of this cosmic imagination. On the one hand, there is a distinctive move toward viewing the extraterrestrial in familiar terms and comprehending it by means of conceptual frameworks that we, earthlings, are accustomed to. On the other hand, there is a tendency to understand our own planet in unfamiliar terms, especially in astrobiology, where so-called analog sites and “extreme environments” provide clues about alien planets.”

Special section edited by Istvan Praet and Juan Francisco Salazar
Publisher Duke University Press, November 2017
Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
ISSN 2201‐1919
pages 300-455

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Christof Migone: Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body (2012)

22 January 2018, dusan

“This book delineates a territory of investigation for sound art and its various manifestations through historical, theoretical, polemical and critical analyses of artistic, musical and literary works. In doing so, Migone gives radical definition to an auditory study that includes the complexity of silence and mutism, identity and abjecthood, and language and its stutterances. The recurring site of these stagings is the somatic under all its forms: embodied and disembodied, fragmented and amplified, vocal and mute.

Concrete sites that are investigated include: Antonin Artaud’s writings, Alvin Lucier’s recording I am sitting in a room, Erik Satie’s composition Vexations, Marina Abramovic’s performance “Rhythm 0”, Adrian Piper’s Untitled Performance for Max’s Kansas City, Melville’s short story Bartleby, the Scrivener, Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson’s documentary film First Contact, and John Cage’s 4’33.”

Publisher Errant Bodies Press, Los Angeles & Berlin, 2012
Audio Issues series, 5
ISBN 9780982743942, 0982743947
296 pages
via author

Reviews: Daniela Cascella (The Wire, 2012), Alessandro Ludovico (Neural, 2013), Chris Kennedy (MusicWorks, 2013), Silvana Fiorese (Domus, 2013).

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Caren Kaplan: Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above (2018)

16 January 2018, dusan

“From the first vistas provided by flight in balloons in the eighteenth century to the most recent sensing operations performed by military drones, the history of aerial imagery has marked the transformation of how people perceived their world, better understood their past, and imagined their future. In Aerial Aftermaths Caren Kaplan traces this cultural history, showing how aerial views operate as a form of world-making tied to the times and places of war. Kaplan’s investigation of the aerial arts of war—painting, photography, and digital imaging—range from England’s surveys of Scotland following the defeat of the 1746 Jacobite rebellion and early twentieth-century photographic mapping of Iraq to images taken in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Throughout, Kaplan foregrounds aerial imagery’s importance to modern visual culture and its ability to enforce colonial power, demonstrating both the destructive force and the potential for political connection that come with viewing from above.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, 2018
Next Wave: New Directions in Women’s Studies series
ISBN 9780822370086, 0822370085
xiv+298 pages
via André

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