• Photography & photographs
      November 2018

      The Blind Man

      A Phantasmography

      by Desjarlais, Robert

      The Blind Man: A Phantasmography examines the complicated forces of perception, imagination, and phantasms of encounter in the contemporary world. In considering photographs he took while he was traveling in France, anthropologist and writer Robert Desjarlais reflects on a few pictures that show the features of a man, apparently blind, who begs for money at a religious site in Paris. In perceiving this stranger and the images his appearance projects, he begins to imagine what this man’s life is like and how he perceives the world around him. Written in journal form, the book narrates Desjarlais’s pursuit of the man portrayed in the photographs. He travels to Paris and tries to meet with him. Eventually, Desjarlais becomes unsure as to what he sees, hears, or remembers. Through these interpretive dilemmas he senses the complexities of perception, where all is multiple, shifting, spectral, a surge of phantasms in which the actual and the imagined are endlessly blurred and intertwined. His own vision is affected in a troubling way. Composed of an intricate weave of text and image, The Blind Man attends to pressing issues in contemporary life: the fraught dimensions of photographic capture, encounters with others and alterity, the politics of looking, media images of violence and abjection, and the nature of fantasy and imaginative construal. Through a wide-ranging inquiry into histories of imagination, Desjarlais inscribes the need for a “phantasmography”—a writing of phantasms, a graphic inscription of the flows and currents of fantasy and fabulation.

    • Photographs: collections
      October 2018

      In the Shadow of Genius

      The Brooklyn Bridge and Its Creators

      by Mensch, Barbara G.

      In the Shadow of Genius is the newest book by photographer and author Barbara Mensch. The author combines her striking photographs with a powerful first-person narrative. She takes the reader on a unique journey by recalling her experiences living alongside the bridge for more than 30 years, and then by tracing her own curious path to understand the brilliant minds and remarkable lives of those who built it: John, Washington, and Emily Roebling. Many of Mensch’s photographs were inspired by her visits to the Roebling archives housed at Rutgers University, where she pieced together through notebooks, diaries, letters, and drawings the seminal locations and events that affected their lives. Following in their footsteps, Mensch traveled to Mühlhausen, Germany, the birthplace of John Roebling; to Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, where Roebling established a utopian community in 1831; to Roebling aqueducts and bridges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York; and to the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where Washington Roebling, the son of the famous engineer, valiantly served as a Union soldier. The book begins and ends with Mensch’s unique photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge, including never-before-seen images captured deep within the structure. The book creatively fuses contemporary photography with the historical record, giving the reader a new perspective on contemplating the masterwork. Fernanda Perrone, Curator of Special Collections and the Roebling Family Archive at Rutgers University, has contributed a Foreword.

    • Film, TV & radio
      March 2020

      Expanded Cinema

      Fiftieth Anniversary Edition

      by Gene Youngblood, R. Buckminster Fuller

      Includes a substantial new Introduciton by the author that shows how the book continues to resonate with today’s leading-edge reality technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality

    • Music
      March 2020

      Peculiar Attunements

      How Affect Theory Turned Musical

      by Roger Mathew Grant

      Explains musical concepts in clear, accessible language without relying on technical jargon or notated musical examples.

    • Theory of Art
      June 2018

      Portrait

      by Nancy, Jean-Luc

      This book examines the practice of portraits as a way in to grasping the paradoxes of subjectivity. To Nancy, the portrait is suspended between likeness and strangeness, identity and distance, representation and presentation, exactitude and forcefulness. It can identify an individual, but it can also express the dynamics by means of which its subject advances and withdraws. The book consists of two extended essays written a decade apart but in close conversation, in which Nancy considers the range of aspirations articulated by the portrait. Heavily illustrated, it includes a newly written preface bringing the two essays together and a substantial Introduction by Jeffrey Librett, which places Nancy’s work within the range of thinking of aesthetics and the subject, from religion, to aesthetics, to psychoanalysis. Though undergirded by a powerful grasp of the philosophical and psychoanalytic tradition that has rendered our sense of the subject so problematic, Nancy’s book is at heart a delightful, unpretentious reading of three dozen portraits, from ancient drinking mugs to recent experimental or parodic pieces in which the artistic representation of a sitter is made from their blood, germ cultures, or DNA. The contemporary world of ubiquitous photos, Nancy argues, in no way makes the portrait a thing of the past. On the contrary, the forms of appearing that mark the portrait continue to challenge how we see the bodies and representations that dominate our world.

    • Renaissance art
      December 2018

      Saint Marks

      Words, Images, and What Persists

      by Goldberg, Jonathan

      Saint Marks invokes and pluralizes the figure of Mark in order to explore relations between painting and writing. Emphasizing that the saint is not a singular biographical individual in the various biblical and hagiographic texts that involve someone so named, the book takes as its ultimate concern the kinds of material life that outlive the human subject. From the incommensurate, anachronic instances in which Saint Mark can be located—among them, as evangelist or as patron saint of Venice—the book traces Mark’s afterlives within art, sacred texts, and literature in conversation with such art historians and philosophers as Aby Warburg, Giorgio Agamben, Georges Didi-Huberman, T. J. Clark, Adrian Stokes, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Goldberg begins in sixteenth-century Venice, with a series of paintings by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, Tintoretto, and others, that have virtually nothing to do with biblical texts. He turns then to the legacy of John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice and through it to questions about what painting does as painting. A final chapter turns to ancient texts, considering the Gospel of St. Mark together with its double, the so-called Secret Gospel that has occasioned controversy for its homoerotic implications. The posthumous persistence of a life is what the gospel named Mark calls the Kingdom of God. Saints have posthumous lives; but so too do paintings and texts. This major interdisciplinary study by one of our most astute cultural critics extends what might have been a purely theological subject to embrace questions central to cultural practice from the ancient world to the present.

    • Photography & photographs
      November 2018

      The Blind Man

      A Phantasmography

      by Desjarlais, Robert

      The Blind Man: A Phantasmography examines the complicated forces of perception, imagination, and phantasms of encounter in the contemporary world. In considering photographs he took while he was traveling in France, anthropologist and writer Robert Desjarlais reflects on a few pictures that show the features of a man, apparently blind, who begs for money at a religious site in Paris. In perceiving this stranger and the images his appearance projects, he begins to imagine what this man’s life is like and how he perceives the world around him. Written in journal form, the book narrates Desjarlais’s pursuit of the man portrayed in the photographs. He travels to Paris and tries to meet with him. Eventually, Desjarlais becomes unsure as to what he sees, hears, or remembers. Through these interpretive dilemmas he senses the complexities of perception, where all is multiple, shifting, spectral, a surge of phantasms in which the actual and the imagined are endlessly blurred and intertwined. His own vision is affected in a troubling way. Composed of an intricate weave of text and image, The Blind Man attends to pressing issues in contemporary life: the fraught dimensions of photographic capture, encounters with others and alterity, the politics of looking, media images of violence and abjection, and the nature of fantasy and imaginative construal. Through a wide-ranging inquiry into histories of imagination, Desjarlais inscribes the need for a “phantasmography”—a writing of phantasms, a graphic inscription of the flows and currents of fantasy and fabulation.

    • Photography & photographs
      October 2017

      A Call to Vision

      A Jesuits Perspective on the World

      by Doll, Don

      Fifty years of award-winning photography is celebrated in A Call to Vision: A Jesuit’s Perspective on the World, the final book in the Vision series by Jesuit photographer Don Doll, S.J. The book covers 50 years of Fr. Doll’s work and details the story of his ‘vocation within a vocation’ as a Jesuit photographer, including his early work with Native Americans, a series on hospice care, and recent photographs of Jesuits working around the world. This latest book is the final in the series that began with Crying for a Vision and Vision Quest: Men, Women and Sacred sites of the Sioux Nation.

    • History of architecture
      September 2018

      Classical New York

      Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham

      by Macaulay-Lewis, Elizabeth

      During the rise of New York from the capital of an upstart nation to a global metropolis, the visual language of Greek and Roman antiquity played a formative role in the development of the city’s art and architecture. This compilation of essays offers a survey of diverse reinterpretations of classical forms in some of New York’s most iconic buildings, public monuments, and civic spaces. Classical New York examines the influence of Greco-Roman thought and design from the Greek Revival of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries through the late-nineteenth-century American Renaissance and Beaux Arts period and into the twentieth century’s Art Deco. At every juncture, New Yorkers looked to the classical past for knowledge and inspiration in seeking out new ways to cultivate a civic identity, to design their buildings and monuments, and to structure their public and private spaces. Specialists from a range of disciplines—archaeology, architectural history, art history, classics, and history— focus on how classical art and architecture are repurposed to help shape many of New York City’s most evocative buildings and works of art. Federal Hall evoked the Parthenon as an architectural and democratic model; the Pantheon served as a model for the creation of Libraries at New York University and Columbia University; Pennsylvania Station derived its form from the Baths of Caracalla; and Atlas and Prometheus of Rockefeller Center recast ancient myths in a new light during the Great Depression. Designed to add breadth and depth to the exchange of ideas about the place and meaning of ancient Greece and Rome in our experience of New York City today, this examination of post-Revolutionary art, politics, and philosophy enriches the conversation about how we shape space—be it civic, religious, academic, theatrical, or domestic—and how we make use of that space and the objects in it.

    • Renaissance art
      November 2017

      Georges de La Tour and the Enigma of the Visible

      by Judovitz, Dalia

      Not rediscovered until the twentieth century, the works of Georges de La Tour retain an aura of mystery. At first sight, his paintings suggest a veritable celebration of light and the visible world, but this is deceptive. The familiarity of visual experience blinds the beholder to a deeper understanding of the meanings associated with vision and the visible in the early modern period. By exploring the representations of light, vision, and the visible in La Tour’s works, this interdisciplinary study examines the nature of painting and its artistic, religious, and philosophical implications. In the wake of iconoclastic outbreaks and consequent Catholic call for the revitalization of religious imagery, La Tour paints familiar objects of visible reality that also serve as emblems of an invisible, spiritual reality. Like the books in his paintings, asking to be read, La Tour’s paintings ask not just to be seen as visual depictions but to be deciphered as instruments of insight. In figuring faith as spiritual passion and illumination, La Tour’s paintings test the bounds of the pictorial image, attempting to depict what painting cannot ultimately show: words, hearing, time, movement, changes of heart. La Tour’s emphasis on spiritual insight opens up broader artistic, philosophical, and conceptual reflections on the conditions of possibility of the pictorial medium. By scrutinizing what is seen and how, and by questioning the position of the beholder, his works revitalize critical discussion of the nature of painting and its engagements with the visible world.

    • Theory of music & musicology
      March 2008

      Musically Sublime

      Indeterminacy, Infinity, Irresolvability

      by Kiene Brillenburg Wurth

    • Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups
      August 2007

      Victor Herbert

      A Theatrical Life

      by Neil Gould

    • Theory of music & musicology
      March 2005

      Musically Sublime

      Indeterminacy, Infinity, Irresolvability

      by Kiene Brillenburg Wurth

    • Rock & Pop music
      April 2008

      Hits

      Philosophy in the Jukebox

      by Peter Szendy, Translated by Will Bishop

    • Film: styles & genres

      Apocalypse-Cinema

      2012 and Other Ends of the World

      by Peter Szendy, Translated by Will Bishop

      Apocalypse-cinema is not only the end of time that has so often been staged as spectacle in films like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Terminator. By looking at blockbusters that play with general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, this book suggests that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit. Apocalypse-cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film. It is the consummation and the (self-)consumption of cinema, in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy. The innumerable countdowns, dazzling radiations, freeze-overs, and seismic cracks and crevices are but other names and pretexts for staging film itself, with its economy of time and its rewinds, its overexposed images and fades to white, its freeze-frames and digital touch-ups. The apocalyptic genre is not just one genre among others: It plays with the very conditions of possibility of cinema. And it bears witness to the fact that, every time, in each and every film, what Jean-Luc Nancy called the cine-world is exposed on the verge of disappearing. In a Postface specially written for the English edition, Szendy extends his argument into a debate with speculative materialism. Apocalypse-cinema, he argues, announces itself as cinders that question the “ultratestimonial” structure of the filmic gaze. The cine-eye, he argues, eludes the correlationism and anthropomorphic structure that speculative materialists have placed under critique, allowing only the ashes it bears to be heard.

    • Film: styles & genres

      Apocalypse-Cinema

      2012 and Other Ends of the World

      by Peter Szendy, Translated by Will Bishop

      Apocalypse-cinema is not only the end of time that has so often been staged as spectacle in films like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Terminator. By looking at blockbusters that play with general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, this book suggests that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit. Apocalypse-cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film. It is the consummation and the (self-)consumption of cinema, in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy. The innumerable countdowns, dazzling radiations, freeze-overs, and seismic cracks and crevices are but other names and pretexts for staging film itself, with its economy of time and its rewinds, its overexposed images and fades to white, its freeze-frames and digital touch-ups. The apocalyptic genre is not just one genre among others: It plays with the very conditions of possibility of cinema. And it bears witness to the fact that, every time, in each and every film, what Jean-Luc Nancy called the cine-world is exposed on the verge of disappearing. In a Postface specially written for the English edition, Szendy extends his argument into a debate with speculative materialism. Apocalypse-cinema, he argues, announces itself as cinders that question the “ultratestimonial” structure of the filmic gaze. The cine-eye, he argues, eludes the correlationism and anthropomorphic structure that speculative materialists have placed under critique, allowing only the ashes it bears to be heard.

    • Architecture
      July 2015

      Beyond the Supersquare

      Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism

      by Antonio Sergio Bessa

      Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism, which developed from a symposium presented by the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2011, showcases original essays by distinguished Latin American architects, historians, and curators whose research examines architecture and urban design practices in the region during a significant period of the twentieth century. Drawing from the exuberant architectural projects of the 1940s to the 1960s, as well as from critically engaged artistic practices of the present day, the essays in this collection reveal how the heroic visions and utopian ideals popular in architectural discourse during the modernist era bore complicated legacies for Latin America—the consequences of which are evident in the vastly uneven economic conditions and socially disparate societies found throughout the region today. The innovative contributions in this volume address how the modernist movement came into being in Latin America and compellingly explore how it continues to resonate in today’s cultural discourse. Beyond the Supersquare takes themes traditionally examined within the strict field of urbanism and architecture and explores them against a broader range of disciplines, including the global economy, political science, gender, visual arts, philosophy, and urban planning. Containing a breadth of scholarship, this book offers a compelling and distinctive view of contemporary life in Latin America. Among the topics explored are the circulation of national cultural identities through architectural media, the intersection of contemporary art and urban social politics, and the recovery of canonically overlooked figures in art and architectural histories, such as Lina Bo Bardi and Joao Filgueiras Lima (“Lele”) from Brazil, Juan Legarreta of Mexico, and Henry Klumb in Puerto Rico.

    • Theory of Art

      Breaking Resemblance

      The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art

      by Alena Alexandrova

      In recent decades curators and artists have shown a distinct interest in religion, its different traditions, manifestations in public life, gestures and images. Breaking Resemblance explores the complex relationship between contemporary art and religion by focusing on the ways artists re-work religious motifs as a means to reflect critically on our desire to believe in images, on the history of seeing them, and on their double power— iconic and political. It discusses a number of exhibitions that take religion as their central theme, and a selection of works by Bill Viola, Lawrence Malstaf, Victoria Reynolds, and Berlinde de Bruyckere—all of whom, in their respective ways and media, recycle religious motifs and iconography and whose works resonate with, or problematize the motif of, the true image.

    • Films, cinema

      The Techne of Giving

      Cinema and the Generous Form of Life

      by Timothy C. Campbell

      In a neoliberal milieu of charitable gift-giving, nearly everything given and received becomes the subject of a calculus. Is there another way to conceive of generosity? What would giving and receiving without gifts look like? Bringing political philosophy together with classical Italian cinema, Timothy Campbell opens up the possibility of a generous form of life irreducible to contemporary biopower.

    • Film theory & criticism

      War Pictures

      Cinema, Violence, and Style in Britain, 1939-1945

      by Kent Puckett

      In this original and engaging work, author Kent Puckett looks at how British filmmakers imagined, saw, and sought to represent its war during wartime through film. The Second World War posed unique representational challenges to Britain’s filmmakers. Because of its logistical enormity, the unprecedented scope of its destruction, its conceptual status as total, and the way it affected everyday life through aerial bombing, blackouts, rationing, and the demands of total mobilization, World War II created new, critical opportunities for cinematic representation._x000B__x000B_Beginning with a close and critical analysis of Britain’s cultural scene, War Pictures examines where the historiography of war, the philosophy of violence, and aesthetics come together. Focusing on three films made in Britain during the second half of the Second World War—Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), Lawrence Olivier’s Henry V (1944), and David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945)—Puckett treats these movies as objects of considerable historical interest but also as works that exploit the full resources of cinematic technique to engage with the idea, experience, and political complexity of war. By examining how cinema functioned as propaganda, criticism, and a form of self-analysis, War Pictures reveals how British filmmakers, writers, critics, and politicians understood the nature and consequence of total war as it related to ideas about freedom and security, national character, and the daunting persistence of human violence. While Powell and Pressburger, Olivier, and Lean developed deeply self-conscious wartime films, their specific and strategic use of cinematic eccentricity was an aesthetic response to broader contradictions that characterized the homefront in Britain between 1939 and 1945. This stylistic eccentricity shaped British thinking about war, violence, and commitment as well as both an answer to and an expression of a more general violence._x000B__x000B_Although War Pictures focuses on a particularly intense moment in time, Puckett uses that particularity to make a larger argument about the pressure that war puts on aesthetic representation, past and present. Through cinema, Britain grappled with the paradoxical notion that, in order to preserve its character, it had not only to fight and to win but also to abandon exactly those old decencies, those “sporting-club rules,” that it sought also to protect.

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