On Slowness: Toward an Aesthetic of the Contemporary [EPUB]
10 December 2014, 18:52
2014 | EPUB | 26.48MB
Speed is an obvious facet of contemporary society, whereas slowness has often been dismissed as conservative and antimodern. Challenging a long tradition of thought, Lutz Koepnick instead proposes we understand slowness as a strategy of the contemporary--a decidedly modern practice that gazes firmly at and into the present's velocity.
As he engages with late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century art, photography, video, film, and literature, Koepnick explores slowness as a critical medium to intensify our temporal and spatial experiences. Slowness helps us register the multiple layers of time, history, and motion that constitute our present. It offers a timely (and untimely) mode of aesthetic perception and representation that emphasizes the openness of the future and undermines any conception of the present as a mere replay of the past. Discussing the photography and art of Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Michael Wesely; the films of Peter Weir and Tom Tykwer; the video installations of Douglas Gordon, Willie Doherty, and Bill Viola; and the fiction of Don DeLillo, Koepnick shows how slowness can carve out spaces within processes of acceleration that allow us to reflect on alternate temporalities and durations.
Epigenetics in the Age of Twitter [EPUB]
10 December 2014, 18:34
2012 | EPUB | 0.7MB
Pop culture meets cutting-edge science in this one-volume introduction to the history of science and modern biology.
Epigenetics, which attempts to explain how our genes respond to our environment, is the latest twist on the historic nature vs. nurture debate. In addressing this and other controversies in contemporary science, Gerald Weissmann taps what he calls “the social network of Western Civilization,” including the many neglected women of science: from the martyred Hypatia of Alexandria, the first woman scientist, to the Nobel laureates Marie Curie, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Elizabeth Blackburn, among other luminaries in the field. Always instructive and often hilarious, this is a one-volume introduction to modern biology, viewed through the lens of today’s mass media and the longer historical tradition of the Scientific Revolution. Whether engaging in the healthcare debate or imagining the future prose styling of the scientific research paper in the age of Twitter, Weissmann proves to be one of our most incisive cultural critics and satirists.
Poetic Force: Poetry after Kant [EPUB]
10 December 2014, 18:29
2014 | EPUB | 2.14MB
This book argues that the theory of force elaborated in Immanuel Kant's aesthetics (and in particular, his theorization of the dynamic sublime) is of decisive importance to poetry in the nineteenth century and to the connection between poetry and philosophy over the last two centuries. Inspired by his deep engagement with the critical theory of Walter Benjamin, who especially developed this Kantian strain of thinking, Kevin McLaughlin uses this theory of force to illuminate the work of three of the most influential nineteenth-century writers in their respective national traditions: Friedrich Hölderlin, Charles Baudelaire, and Matthew Arnold. The result is a fine elucidation of Kantian theory and a fresh account of poetic language and its aesthetic, ethical, and political possibilities.