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Anarchism and the Avant-Garde

Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective

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Edited by Carolin Kosuch

Anarchism and the Avant-Garde: Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective contributes to the continuing debate on the encounter of the classical anarchisms (1860s−1940s) and the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the same period, probing its dimensions and limits. Case studies on Dadaism, decadence, fauvism, neo-impressionism, symbolism, and various anarchisms explore the influence anarchism had on the avant-gardes and reflect on avant-garde tendencies within anarchism. This volume also explores the divergence of anarchism and the avant-gardes. It offers a rich examination of politics and arts, and it complements an ongoing discourse with theoretical tools to better assess the aesthetic, social, and political cross-pollination that took place between the avant-gardes and the anarchists in Europe.

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Edited by Richard Shusterman

Cities are defined by their complex network of busy streets and the multitudes of people that animate them through physical presence and bodily actions that often differ dramatically: elegant window-shoppers and homeless beggars, protesting crowds and patrolling police. As bodies shape city life, so the city’s spaces, structures, economies, politics, rhythms, and atmospheres reciprocally shape the urban soma. This collection of original essays explores the somaesthetic qualities and challenges of city life (in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas) from a variety of perspectives ranging from philosophy, urban theory, political theory, and gender studies to visual art, criminology, and the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics. Together these essays illustrate the aesthetic, cultural, and political roles and trials of bodies in the city streets.

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Joshua Richards

In T. S. Eliot’s Ascetic Ideal, Joshua Richards charts an intellectual history of T. S. Eliot’s interaction with asceticism. This history is drawn from Eliot’s own education in the topic with the texts he read integrated into detailed textual analysis. Eliot’s early encounters with the ascetic ideal began a lifetime of interplay and reflection upon self-denial, purgation, and self-surrender. In 1909, he began a study of mysticism, likely, in George Santayana’s seminar, and thereafter showed the influence of this education. Yet, his interaction with the ascetic ideal and his background in mysticism was not a simple thing; still, his early cynicism was slowly transformed to an embrace.

Conceptualism and Materiality

Matters of Art and Politics

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Edited by Christian Berger

Conceptualism and Materiality. Matters of Art and Politics underscores the significance of materials and materiality within Conceptual art and conceptualism more broadly. It challenges the notion of conceptualism as an idea-centered, anti-materialist enterprise, and highlights the political implications thereof.
The essays focus on the importance of material considerations for artists working during the 1960s and 1970s in different parts of the world. In reconsidering conceptualism’s neglected material aspects, the authors reveal the rich range of artistic inquiries into theoretical and political notions of matter and material. Their studies revise and diversify the account of this important chapter in the history of twentieth-century art — a reassessment that carries wider implications for the study of art and materiality in general.

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- Prof Dr Thomas Dreier

Law and images are generally not regarded as having much in common, since law is based on textual and images are based on visual information. The paper demonstrates that quite to the contrary, legal norms can be understood as models of intended moral behaviour and hence as images, in the same way as images can be said to have a normative and hence regulatory effect. Following an interdisciplinary approach along the lines of cultural research, the paper explains how images “function” to lawyers and how the law “works” to those trained in the visual sciences. In addition, laying the foundations for a research field “Law and Images” in parallel to the well-established “Law and Literature”, the paper describes the main avenues for future research in this field. Also, the paper contains a brief systematization of images in law, of law and for law.

Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores

The Culture of Church Building in Stuart England through the Lens of Consecration Sermons

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Anne-Françoise Morel

In Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores, Anne-Françoise Morel offers an account of the intellectual and cultural history of places of worship in Stuart England. Official documents issued by the Church of England rarely addressed issues regarding the status, function, use, and design of churches; but consecration sermons turn time and again to the conditions and qualities befitting a place of worship in Post-Reformation England. Placing the church building directly in the midst of the heated discussions on the polity and ceremonies of the Church of England, this book recovers a vital lost area of architectural discourse. It demonstrates that the religious principles of church building were enhanced by, and contributed to, scientific developments in fields outside the realm of religion, such as epistemology, the theory of sense perception, aesthetics, rhetoric, antiquarianism, and architecture.

Ad vivum?

Visual Materials and the Vocabulary of Life-Likeness in Europe before 1800

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Edited by Thomas Balfe, Joanna Woodall and Claus Zittel

The term ad vivum and its cognates al vivo, au vif, nach dem Leben and naer het leven have been applied since the thirteenth century to depictions designated as from, to or after (the) life. This book explores the issues raised by this vocabulary and related terminology with reference to visual materials produced and used in Europe before 1800, including portraiture, botanical, zoological, medical and topographical images, images of novel and newly discovered phenomena, and likenesses created through direct contact with the object being depicted. The designation ad vivum was not restricted to depictions made directly after the living model, and was often used to advertise the claim of an image to be a faithful likeness or a bearer of reliable information. Viewed as an assertion of accuracy or truth, ad vivum raises a number of fundamental questions in the area of early modern epistemology – questions about the value and prestige of visual and/or physical contiguity between image and original, about the kinds of information which were thought important and dependably transmissible in material form, and about the roles of the artist in that transmission. The recent interest of historians of early modern art in how value and meaning are produced and reproduced by visual materials which do not conform to the definition of art as unique invention, and of historians of science and of art in the visualisation of knowledge, has placed the questions surrounding ad vivum at the centre of their common concerns. Contributors include: José Beltrán, Carla Benzan, Eleanor Chan, Robert Felfe, Mechthild Fend, Sachiko Kusukawa, Pieter Martens, Richard Mulholland, Noa Turel, and Daan Van Heesch

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Edited by Vitali I. Betaneli and Peter R. Weisensel

Audacity of the Spirit by A.F. Losev (1893-1988) dares us to think holistically, dialectically. Translated from the Russian original Дерзание духа (Politizdat Moskva, 1988) by Peter R. Weisensel and Vitali I. Betaneli, the book falls into three parts: the dialectical method; Losev’s application of dialectics to history and culture; and his personal reflections on studying philosophy. Losev’s insatiable intellectual curiosity probes a remarkable variety of areas. Positions he considers, though, are not always easily reconcilable, as with Marxism-Leninism and Orthodox Christianity. In Losev’s conception of culture, however, culture and the intrinsic unity of any given cultural order is the common element that underlies everything living, even the order’s incompatibles. The given culture cannot be reduced to any single position nor to all of them taken together. Audacity of the Spirit is an introduction to dialectics for beginners, but it is also a major philosopher’s summing-up of his reflections to a non-specialized audience.

Philosophizing Brecht

Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance

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Edited by Norman Roessler and Anthony Squiers

This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.

From Fountain to Moleskine

The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Producibility

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Maurizio Ferraris

Photography was invented in the mid-nineteenth century, and ever since that moment painters have been asking what they are there for. Everyone has their own strategy. Some say they do not paint what is there, but their impressions. Others paint things that are not seen in the world, and therefore cannot be photographed, because they are abstractions. Others yet exhibit urinals in art galleries. This may look like the end of art but, instead, it is the dawn of a new day, not only for painting but – this is the novelty – for every form of art, as well as for the social world in general and for industry, where repetitive tasks are left to machines and humans are required to behave like artists.