This is the definitive analysis of art as a social and perceptual system by Germany's leading social theorist of the late 20th century. It combines three decades of research in the social sciences, phenomenology, evolutionary biology, cybernetics, and information theory with an intimate knowledge of art history, literature, aesthetics, and contemporary literary theory.
"The poems of Wallace Stevens teem with birds: grackles, warblers, doves, swans, robins, nightingales, jays, owls, peacocks, the "bird with the coppery, keen claws," a "parakeet of parakeets," a "widow's bird," and one famous blackbird who summons thirteen ways of looking. What do Stevens's evocations of birds, and his poems more generally, tell us about the distance between human and non-human? In what ways can we read him as an ecological poet, and how would reading him this way change our idea of ecopoetics? In this book, the noted theorist of posthumanism Cary Wolfe reconceptualizes ecopoetics through a poet not often associated with the terms "ecology" and "environment." Stevens, Wolfe argues, is an ecological poet in a sense that reaches well beyond his poems' imagery. Stevens's poetry is well known for embodying the tension between a desire for "things as they are," without human mediation, and the supreme value of the imagination. Noting Stevens's refusal to resolve this tension, Wolfe shows how the poems reward study alongside theories of system and observation derived from a multitude of sources, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Niklas Luhmann. Stevens is ecopoetic in the sense that his places, worlds, and environments are generated by the life forms that inhabit them"--
Barber constructs a provisional, generalized, substantive theory of the social system, which he uses as the starting point and focus of his specialized researches. In this collection of his major writings in social system theory, Barber shows how he has used and developed such a framework over the last fifty years and demonstrates the application o
According to Arnold J. Toynbee, ‘India is a world in itself; it is a society of the same immensity and importance as is our Western society’. In global perspective, the immensity, diversity, and unique importance of Indian society and culture can hardly be underestimated. This reference volume, first published in 1975, encompasses studies that reflect both the unity and diversity of India’s culture and social system.
However, unlike conventional legal theory, this volume seeks to provide an answer in terms of a general social theory: a methodology that answers this question in a manner applicable not only to law, but also to all the other complex and highly differentiated systems within modern society, such as politics, the economy, religion, the media, and education. This truly sociological approach offers profound insights into the relationships between law and all of these other social systems.
What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanities—posthumanities—respond to the redefinition of humanity’s place in the world by both the technological and the biological or “green” continuum in which the “human” is but one life form among many? Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe—one of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theory—ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandin’s writings, Wallace Stevens’s poetry, Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture. For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.
This book brings together, in systematic and generalized form, the main outlines of a conceptual scheme for the analysis of the structure and processes of social systems. It carries out Pareto's intention by using the "structural-functional" level of analysis.
This book explores the ways in which artists use technology to create different perceptions of time in art in order to reflect on contemporary relationships to technology. By considering the links between technology, movement and contemporary art, the book explores changing relationship between temporality in art, art history, media art theory, modernity, contemporary art, and digital art. This book challenges the dominant view that kinetic art is an antiquated artistic experiment and considers the changing perception of kinetic art by focusing on exhibitions and institutions that have recently challenged the notion of kinetic art as a marginalised and forgotten artistic experiment with mechanical media. This is achieved by deconstructing Frank Popper’s argument that kinetic art is a precursor to subsequent explorations in the intersections between art, science and technology. Rather than pandering to the prevailing art historical assumption that kinetic sculpture is merely a precursor to art in a digital culture, the book proposes that perhaps kineticism succeeded too well, where movement has become a ubiquitous element of the aesthetic of contemporary art. If, as Boris Groys has recently suggested, installation has become the dominant mode of art in the contemporary age, then movement in real time with the viewer is used to aestheticise and explore the facets of our peculiar time.
The contributors to Nervous Systems reassess contemporary artists' and critics' engagement with social, political, biological, and other systems as a set of complex and relational parts: an approach commonly known as systems thinking. Demonstrating the continuing relevance of systems aesthetics within contemporary art, the contributors highlight the ways that artists adopt systems thinking to address political, social, and ecological anxieties. They cover a wide range of artists and topics, from the performances of the Argentinian collective the Rosario Group and the grid drawings of Charles Gaines to the video art of Singaporean artist Charles Lim and the mapping of global logistics infrastructures by contemporary artists like Hito Steyerl and Christoph Büchel. Together, the essays offer an expanded understanding of systems aesthetics in ways that affirm its importance beyond technological applications detached from cultural contexts. Contributors. Cristina Albu, Amanda Boetzkes, Brianne Cohen, Kris Cohen, Jaimey Hamilton Faris, Christine Filippone, Johanna Gosse, Francis Halsall, Judith Rodenbeck, Dawna Schuld, Luke Skrebowski, Timothy Stott, John Tyson
From currency and maps to heavily censored newspapers and television programming, Art Systems explores visual forms of critique and subversion during the height of Brazilian dictatorship, drawing sometimes surprising connections between artistic production and broader processes of social exchange during a period of authoritarian modernization. Positioning the works beyond the prism of politics, Elena Shtromberg reveals subtle forms of subversion and critique that reinvented the artists’ political terrain. Analyzing key examples from Cildo Meireles, Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, Anna Bella Geiger, Sonia Andrade, Geraldo Mello, and others, the book offers a new framework for theorizing artistic practice. By focusing on the core economic, media, technological, and geographic conditions that circumscribed artistic production during this pivotal era, Shtromberg excavates an array of art systems that played a role in the everyday lives of Brazilians. An examination of the specific historical details of the social systems that were integrated into artistic production, this unique study showcases works that were accessed by audiences far outside the confines of artistic institutions. Proliferating during one of Brazil’s most socially and politically fraught decades, the works—spanning cartography to video art—do not conform to an easily identifiable style, form, material use, or medium. As a result of this breadth, Art Systems gives voice to the multifaceted forces at play in a unique chapter of Latin American cultural history.
This 11-volume set reissues a host of classic titles on Continental Philosophy. Written by leading scholars in the field, they form an essential reference resource that tackles philosophers and subjects such as Deleuze, Derrida, hermeneutics and phenomenology.