Category Archives: history

Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s

By Pamela Lee (2004)
Despite its pervasiveness, the subject of time and 1960s art has gone largely unexamined in historical accounts of the period. Chronophobia is the first critical attempt to define this obsession and analyze it in relation to art and technology.Lee discusses the chronophobia of art relative to the emergence of the Information Age in postwar culture. The accompanying rapid technological transformations, including the advent of computers and automation processes, produced for many an acute sense of historical unknowing; the seemingly accelerated pace of life began to outstrip any attempts to make sense of the present. Lee sees the attitude of 1960s art to time as a historical prelude to our current fixation on time and speed within digital culture.

Posted in art, culture, history, media, philosophy, technology, theory

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

By Steven Johnson (2011)
How do we generate the groundbreaking ideas that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson’s answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out applicable approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality. What he finds gives us both an important new understanding of the roots of innovation and a set of useful strategies for cultivating our own creative breakthroughs.

Posted in culture, history, theory

Art and Electronic Media

By Edward Shanken (2009)
Art and Electronic Media is the latest installment in the THEMES AND MOVEMENTS series, a collection of groundbreaking sourcebooks on the prevailing art tendencies of our times. This is the first book to explore mechanics, light, graphics, robotics, networks, virtual reality and the possibilities afforded by the web from an international perspective. It outlines the importance of figures previously neglected by art history, including engineers, technicians, and collaborators. Included are works by over 150 artists, both familiar – Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, Mario Merz – as well as emerging and recent pioneers, such as Robert Lazzarini, Blast Theory, Granular Synthesis, Simon Penny, Marcel.li Antunez Roca, Mikami Seiko, and Jonah Bruckner-Cohen. The book is divided into seven thematic sections arranged chronologically. Art and Electronic Media is a lucid, accessible, and authoritative evaluation of continually developing media.

Posted in art, history, media, science, technology

Craft in America

By Jo Lauria and Steve Fenton (2007)
The companion book to the PBS series of the same name, Craft in America highlights the work of America’s most interesting craft artists past and present. Illustrated with more than 200 commanding images and signature objects from furniture, wood, ceramics, and glass to fiber, quilts, jewelry, metal, and basketry, this definitive work shows how crafts, long admired for their marriage of functionality and creativity, also reflect our nation’s history and the remarkable people who passed on their traditions.

Posted in art, design, history

Makers: A History of American Studio Craft

By Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf (2010)
Here is the first comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States. The book follows the development of studio craft–objects in fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal–from its roots in 19th-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the 20th century. Keeping as their main focus the objects and the makers, Koplos and Metcalf offer a detailed analysis of seminal works and discussions of education, institutional support, and the philosophical underpinnings of craft.

Posted in art, biography, design, history

Innovations in Art and Design Series

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)

Posted in art, culture, design, education, history, media, theory

Paths to the Press: Printmaking and American Women Artists, 1910-1960

Edited by Elizabeth Seaton (2006)
In 1910 Bertha Jaques co-founded the Chicago Society of Etchers and helped launch a revival of American fine art printmaking. In the decades following, women artists produced some of the most compelling images in U.S. printmaking history and helped advance the medium technically and stylistically. Paths to the Press examines American women artists’ contributions to printmaking in the U.S. during the early to mid twentieth century.

Posted in art, biography, exhibition, feminism, history, printmaking

Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means

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.

Posted in art, culture, history, media, technology, theory

New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader

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.

Posted in art, education, history, media, technology, theory

Modern Threads: Fashion and Art by Mariska Karasz

By Ashley Callahan (2007)
This fully illustrated book on fashion designer and fiber artist Mariska Karasz (1898-1960) accompanies the exhibition of the same name at the Georgia Museum of Art from January 20 to April 15, 2007. It is divided into three major sections, one focusing on her fashion design for women, one on her fashion design for children, and one on her embroidered wall hangings. With many full-color images representing all three of these categories, it is the most comprehensive work published on Karasz.

Posted in art, biography, design, exhibition, history