In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all. Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."
Singing the Body Electric explores the relationship between the human voice and technology, offering startling insights into the ways in which technological mediation affects our understanding of the voice, and more generally, the human body. From the phonautograph to magnetic tape and now to digital sampling, Miriama Young visits particular musical and literary works that define a century-and-a-half of recorded sound. She discusses the way in which the human voice is captured, transformed or synthesised through technology. This includes the sampled voice, the mechanical voice, the technologically modified voice, the pliable voice of the digital era, and the phenomenon by which humans mimic the sounding traits of the machine. The book draws from key electro-vocal works spanning a range of genres - from Luciano Berio's Thema: Omaggio a Joyce to Radiohead, from Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room, to Björk, and from Pierre Henry's Variations on a Door and a Sigh to Christian Marclay's Maria Callas. In essence, this book transcends time and musical style to reflect on the way in which the machine transforms our experience of the voice. The chapters are interpolated by conversations with five composers who work creatively with the voice and technology: Trevor Wishart, Katharine Norman, Paul Lansky, Eduardo Miranda and Bora Yoon. This book is an interdisciplinary enterprise that combines music aesthetics and musical analysis with literature and philosophy.
The recent resurgence of experimental music has given rise to a more divergent range of practices than has previously been the case. The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music reflects these recent developments by providing examples of current thinking and presenting detailed case studies that document the work of contemporary figures. The book examines fourteen current practitioners by interrogating their artistic practices through annotated interviews, contextualized by nine authored chapters which explore central issues that emerge from and inform these discussions. Whilst focusing on composition, the book also encompasses related aspects of performance, improvisation and sonic art. The interviews all explore how the selected artists work, focusing on the processes involved in developing their recent projects, set against more general aesthetic concerns. They aim to shed light on the disparate nature of current work whilst seeking to find possible points of contact. Many of the practitioners are active in areas that span disciplines, such as composition and improvisation, and the book explores the interaction of these activities in the context of their work. The other chapters consider a range of issues pertinent to recent developments in the genre, including: definitions of experimentalism and its relationship with a broader avant garde; experimentalism and cultural change; notation and its effect on composition; realising open scores; issues of notation and interpretation in live electronic music; performing experimental music; improvisation and technology; improvisation and social meaning; instrumentalizing objects; visual artists' relationships to experimental music; working across interdisciplinary boundaries; listening and the soundscape; working methods, techniques and aesthetics of recent experimental music.
This book complements the growing body of literature exploring the relationships between arts and cartography . It is distinct from the previous ones by its main focus: The multiple ways of representing a database. In the context of the exponential increase of the volume of geospatial data available, addressing this issue becomes critical and has not yet received much attention. Furthermore, the content of the database – environmental issues in the city – gives a strong social and political texture to the project. The expected audience for this book are academic as well as students interested in the relationships between art and cartography, place and technology, power and representations. This book could serve as an inspiration for local groups and communities dealing with environmental injustice all over the world. Finally, at a local scale, this book could become a major reference for individuals, communities and institutions interested in environmental issues in the city of Montreal.
'James Hamilton-Paterson's excoriating book would be unbearably painful were it not so beautifully written. The clarity of his vision and the lucid elegance of his prose - lightened by flashes of gallows humour - make this one of the most extraordinary and powerful novels I have read for years.' Literary Review Ghosts of Manila (first published in 1994) begins in a wasteland near Manila Airport where a small family business works at boiling down the cadavers of police death squad victims and re-assembling them as skeletons for sale to medical students. The novel's urban drama then opens out to bring in burned-out British journalist John Prideaux, archaeologist and diplomat's daughter Ysabella Bastiaan streetwise but rueful policeman Rio Dingca, and Epifania Tigos, who struggles to run a sewing co-operative from within a shantytown. 'It is the author's remarkable achievement that the city, in all its ragged splendour, continues to haunt the mind even after the last page of the book is finished.' Sunday Telegraph
Since the development of British Aestheticism in the 1870s, the concept of irony has focused a series of anxieties which are integral to modern literary practice. Examining some of the most important debates in post-Romantic aesthetics through highly focused textual readings of authors from Walter Pater and Henry James to Samuel Beckett and Alan Hollinghurst, this study investigates the dialectical position of irony in Aestheticism and its twentieth-century afterlives. Aesthetic Afterlives constructs a far-reaching theoretical narrative by positioning Victorian Aestheticism as the basis of Literary Modernity. Aestheticism's cultivation of irony and reflexive detachment was central to this legacy, but it was also the focus of its own self-critique. Anxieties about the concept and practice of irony persisted through Modernism, and have recently been positioned in Hollinghurst's work as a symptom of the political stasis within post-modern culture. Referring to the recent debates about the 'new aestheticism' and the politics of aesthetics, Eastham asks how a utopian Aestheticism can be reconstructed from the problematics of irony and aesthetic autonomy that haunted writers from Pater to Adorno.
Musicians, Technology, and the Perception of Performance
Author: Paul Sanden
This study investigates the idea and practice of liveness in modern music. Understanding what makes music live in an ever-changing musical and technological terrain is one of the more complex and timely challenges facing scholars of current music, where liveness is typically understood to represent performance and to stand in opposition to recording, amplification, and other methods of electronically mediating music. The book argues that liveness itself emerges from dynamic tensions inherent in mediated musical contexts—tensions between music as an acoustic human utterance, and musical sound as something produced or altered by machines. Sanden analyzes liveness in mediatized music (music for which electronic mediation plays an intrinsically defining role), exploring the role this concept plays in defining musical meaning. In discussions of music from both popular and classical traditions, Sanden demonstrates how liveness is performed by acts of human expression in productive tension with the electronic machines involved in making this music, whether on stage or on recording. Liveness is not a fixed ontological state that exists in the absence of electronic mediation, but rather a dynamically performed assertion of human presence within a technological network of communication. This book provides new insights into how the ideas of performance and liveness continue to permeate the perception and reception of even highly mediatized music within a society so deeply invested, on every level, with the use of electronic technologies.
This book explores the impact of African American culture on modernist poetic language by placing black literature and culture at the center of an inquiry into the genealogy of avant-garde poetics. Geoffrey Jacques looks at how blackface minstrelsy, ragtime, vernacular languages, advertising copy, Freud's idea of the Uncanny, vaudeville, the cliché, and Tin Pan Alley-style song all influenced modernist poetry. In a key insight, Jacques points out that the black urban community in the United States did not live in ghettos during the years before World War I, but in smaller enclaves spread out among the general population. This circumstance helped catalyze African American culture's dramatic and surprising impact on the emergent avant-garde. By using a wide range of theoretical tools, Jacques poses new questions about literary, cultural, and social history, the history and structure of modernist poetic language, canon formation, and the history of criticism.This contribution to the ongoing debate over early twentieth-century culture presents modernism as an interracial, cross-cultural project, arguing for a new appreciation of the central role black culture played within it. Writers and artists whose works are discussed include Marianne Moore, Charles Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, Wallace Stevens, James A. Bland, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Gertrude Stein, Bert Williams, Zora Neale Hurston, Samuel Beckett, W. C. Handy, Hart Crane, and Clement Greenberg.
After returning from Europe, Robin finds her hard-working mother transformed into a film star with an invented past, and attempts to restore her Victorian dream house only to have the house itself mysteriously turn on her.