Category Archives: theory
By Rudy VanderLans (2009)
During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, graphic design was experiencing one of its most exciting and transformative periods. The Apple Macintosh computer had been introduced, design schools were exploring French linguistic theory, the vernacular had become a serious source of study and inspiration, the design and manufacture of typefaces was suddenly opened up to everyone who could use a computer, and for the first time in the United States, New York City was no longer the place to look for the latest developments in graphic design. And in Berkeley, California, across the bay from Silicon Valley, Emigre magazine, like no other, recognized the significance of the events, and became both a leading participant and a keen observer of this innovative international design scene, generating a body of work and ideas that still resonate today.
Innovations in Art and Design series from Routledge:
Network Art: Practices and Positions (2005)
Invisible Connections: Dance, Choreography and Internet Communities (2005)
Thinking Through Art: Reflections on Art as Research (2005)
New Practices – New Pedagogies: A Reader (2005)
New Visions In Performance (2004)
Digital Creativity: A Reader (2002)
By Siegfried Zielinski (2006)
Drawing on original source materials, Zielinski explores the technology of devices for hearing and seeing through two thousand years of cultural and technological history. He discovers the contributions of “dreamers and modelers” of media worlds, from the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles and natural philosophers of the Renaissance and Baroque periods to Russian avant-gardists of the early twentieth century. “Media are spaces of action for constructed attempts to connect what is separated,” Zielinski writes. He describes models and machines that make this conncection: including a theater of mirrors in sixteenth-century Naples, an automaton for musical composition created by the seventeenth-century Jesuit Athanasius Kircher, and the eighteenth-century electrical tele-writing machine of Joseph Mazzolari, among others. Uncovering these moments in the media-archaeological record, Zielinski says, brings us into a new relationship with present-day moments; these discoveries in the “deep time” media history shed light on today’s media landscape and may help us map our expedition to the media future.
Edited by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Thomas W. Keenan (2005)
A comprehensive anthology of original and classic essays that explore the tensions of old and new in digital culture. Leading international media scholars and cultural theorists interrogate new media like the Internet, digital video, and MP3s against the backdrop of earlier media such as television, film, photography, and print. The essays provide new benchmarks for evaluating all those claims–political, social, ethical–made about the digital age. Committed to historical research and to theoretical innovation, they suggest that in the light of digital programmability, seemingly forgotten moments in the history of the media we glibly call old can be rediscovered and transformed. The many topics explored in provocative volume include websites, webcams, the rise and fall of dotcom mania, Internet journalism, the open source movement, and computer viruses.
Edited by Russell Ferguson, Martha Gever, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Cornel West (1990)
Out There addresses the question of cultural marginalization – the process through which various groups are excluded from access to and participation in the dominant culture. It is a wide-ranging anthology that juxtaposes diverse points of view on issues of gender, race, sexual preference, and class. It takes up the fundamental issues raised when we attempt to define concepts such as “mainstream” and “minority,” and it opens up new ways of thinking about culture and representation in our society.
By Rosalind Krauss (1985)
In this challenging collection of fifteen essays, most of which originally appeared in October, Krauss explores the ways in which the break in style that produced postmodernism has forced a change in our various understandings of twentieth-century art, beginning with the almost mythic idea of the avant-garde. Krauss uses the analytical tools of semiology, structuralism, and poststructuralism to reveal new meanings in the visual arts and to critique the way other prominent practitioners of art and literary history write about art. In two sections, “Modernist Myths” and “Toward Postmodernism,” her essays range from the problem of the grid in painting and the unity of Giacometti’s sculpture to the works of Jackson Pollock, Sol Lewitt, and Richard Serra, and observations about major trends in contemporary literary criticism.
By John Corbett (1994)
Using obscure and familiar figures from around the world as touchstones for portraits, interviews, and essays, Corbett roams an incredible breadth of musical territory: blues and jazz, contemporary classical, funk and rap, free improvisation, rock, and reggae. His true talent becomes clear as he exits surface terrain to guide the reader through a labyrinth of philosophical and intellectual thought amid the musical landscape. His interview techniques (particularly with Cage), breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, and use of words in a way that imparts wisdom and provokes deep thought all shine. This work shows Corbett to be an important writer of our time; recommended for serious musicians and all others who enjoy the “outside.”
By Lucy Lippard (1990)
In America today there is a little-known explosion of creative art by women and men from many different ethnic backgrounds. Mixed Blessings is the first book to discuss the crosscultural process taking place in the work of Latino, Native-, African-, and Asian-American artists. Rich with illustrations of artworks in many different mediums, and filled with incisive quotes and unsettling reports, it is more than a book about art, it is a complex meditation on the relationships of people to their cultures.
By Katherine and Michael McCoy (1990)
A book that documents Cranbrook’s Design Department faculty, student, and alumni work from 1980-1990. Although not defined by a style, the Cranbrook design philosophy has been influential in product, graphic and furniture design. Products have been treated as sensual objects to be interpreted. “We’ve tried to recognize that products carry the mythology of the culture,” said Michael McCoy, chairman of the design department with his wife, Katherine.
By Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson (1996)
Contemporary ads are a symbol of competition as much as a bid for new customers: that’s the contention of authors who suggest that the “sign wars” represent a consequence of a disjoined media culture. Insights on media, advertising strategy, and business blend in a strong consideration which uses signs and symbols from recent campaigns to provide a critical view of ad culture results.