“There they rest, inert, impertinent, in gallery space—those book forms either imitated or mutilated, replicas of reading matter or its vestiges. Strange, after its long and robust career, for the book to take early retirement in a museum, not as rare manuscript but as functionless sculpture. Readymade or constructed, such book shapes are canceled as text when deposited as gallery objects, shut off from their normal reading when not, in some yet more drastic way, dismembered or reassembled.” So begins Bookwork, which follows our passion for books to its logical extreme in artists who employ found or simulated books as a sculptural medium. Investigating the conceptual labor behind this proliferating international art practice, Garrett Stewart looks at hundreds of book-like objects, alone or as part of gallery installations, in this original account of works that force attention upon a book’s material identity and cultural resonance.
Less an inquiry into the artist’s book than an exploration of the book form’s contemporary objecthood, Stewart’s interdisciplinary approach traces the lineage of these aggressive artifacts from the 1919 Unhappy Readymade of Marcel Duchamp down to the current crisis of paper-based media in the digital era. Bookwork surveys and illustrates a stunning variety of appropriated and fabricated books alike, ranging from hacksawed discards to the giant lead folios of Anselm Kiefer. The unreadable books Stewart engages with in this timely study are found, again and again, to generate graphic metaphors for the textual experience they preclude, becoming in this sense legible after all.
This book contemplates a large problem: what is a traditional Chinese painting? Wu Hung answers this question through a comprehensive analysis of the screen, a major format and a popular pictorial motif in traditional China. With a broad array of examples ranging from the early centuries C.E. to the 1800s, he explores the screen’s position in art – as an important site for artistic imagination, as an illusionary representation on a flat surface, and as an architectural device defining cultural conventions. A screen occupies a space and divides it, supplies an ideal surface for painting, and has been a favourite pictorial image in Chinese art since antiquity. With its diverse roles, the screen has provided Chinese painters with endless opportunities to reinvent their art.
The author argues that any understanding of Chinese painting must include discussion of its material forms as well as its intimate connection with cultural context and convention. Thus, The Double Screen offers a powerful non-western perspective on diverse artistic and cultural genres, from portraiture and pictorial narrative to voyeurism and masquerade, and will be invaluable to anyone interested in the history of art and Asian studies as well as to students and specialists in the field.
Over a mere three decades, the video game became the entertainment medium of choice for millions of people, who now spend more time in the interactive virtual world of games than they do in watching movies or even television. The release of new games or game-playing equipment, such as the PlayStation 2, generates great excitement and even buying frenzies. Yet, until now, this giant on the popular culture landscape has received little in-depth study or analysis.
In this book, Mark J. P. Wolf and four other scholars conduct the first thorough investigation of the video game as an artistic medium. The book begins with an attempt to define what is meant by the term "video game" and the variety of modes of production within the medium. It moves on to a brief history of the video game, then applies the tools of film studies to look at the medium in terms of the formal aspects of space, time, narrative, and genre. The book also considers the video game as a cultural entity, object of museum curation, and repository of psychological archetypes. It closes with a list of video game research resources for further study.
With historical, critical, and speculative essays by some of the leading television and media scholars, Television after TV examines both commercial and public service traditions and evaluates their dual (and some say merging) fates in our global, digital culture of convergence. The essays explore a broad range of topics, including contemporary programming and advertising strategies, the use of television and the Internet among diasporic and minority populations, the innovations of new technologies like TiVo, the rise of program forms from reality tv to lifestyle programs, television’s changing role in public places and at home, the Internet’s use as a means of social activism, and television’s role in education and the arts. In dialogue with previous media theorists and historians, the contributors collectively rethink the goals of media scholarship, pointing toward new ways of accounting for television’s past, present, and future.
Contributors. William Boddy, Charlotte Brunsdon, John T. Caldwell, Michael Curtin, Julie D’Acci, Anna Everett, Jostein Gripsrud, John Hartley, Anna McCarthy, David Morley, Jan Olsson, Priscilla Peña Ovalle, Lisa Parks, Jeffrey Sconce, Lynn Spigel, William Uricchio
Television existed for a long time before it became commonplace in American homes. Even as cars, jazz, film, and radio heralded the modern age, television haunted the modern imagination. During the 1920s and 1930s, U.S. television was a topic of conversation and speculation. Was it technically feasible? Could it be commercially viable? What would it look like? How might it serve the public interest? And what was its place in the modern future? These questions were not just asked by the American public, but also posed by the people intimately involved in television’s creation. Their answers may have been self-serving, but they were also statements of aspiration. Idealistic imaginations of the medium and its impact on social relations became a de facto plan for moving beyond film and radio into a new era.
In Television in the Age of Radio, Philip W. Sewell offers a unique account of how television came to be—not just from technical innovations or institutional struggles, but from cultural concerns that were central to the rise of industrial modernity. This book provides sustained investigations of the values of early television amateurs and enthusiasts, the fervors and worries about competing technologies, and the ambitions for programming that together helped mold the medium.
Sewell presents a major revision of the history of television, telling us about the nature of new media and how hopes for the future pull together diverse perspectives that shape technologies, industries, and audiences.
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