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Art and the Contemporary after 1989

What has become of the so-called West after the Cold War? Why hasn’t the West simply become “former,” as has its supposed counterpart, the “former East”? In this book, artists, thinkers, and activists explore the repercussions of the political, cultural, and economic events of 1989 on both art and the contemporary. The culmination of an eight-year curatorial research experiment, Former West imagines a world beyond our immediate condition.

Sound as a Medium of Art
Edited by Peter Weibel

This milestone volume maps fifty years of artists’ engagement with sound. Since the beginning of the new millennium, numerous historical and critical works have established Sound Art as an artistic genre in its own right, with an accepted genealogy that begins with Futurism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as disciplinary classifications that effectively restrict artistic practice to particular tools and venues.

In the middle of the night between the 25th and 26th of November, Vincent fell from the third floor playing parachute with a bathrobe. He drank a liter of tequila, smoked Congolese grass, snorted cocaine...
—from Crazy for Vincent

In the 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union raced to develop space-based intelligence gathering capability. The Soviets succeeded first, with SPUTNIK I in 1957. The United States began to monitor the growing Soviet space presence by developing technology for the detection and tracking of man-made resident space objects (RSOs) in near-Earth orbit. In 1972, the Soviet Union launched a satellite into deep space orbit, and the U.S. government called on MIT Lincoln Laboratory to develop deep space surveillance technology.

In Money, Payments, and Liquidity,  Guillaume Rocheteau and Ed Nosal provide a comprehensive investigation into the economics of money, liquidity, and payments by explicitly modeling the mechanics of trade and its various frictions (including search, private information, and limited commitment).

Knowledge and Control in the Genomics Revolution

The rise of genomics engendered intense struggle over the control of knowledge. In Reordering Life, Stephen Hilgartner examines the “genomics revolution” and develops a novel approach to studying the dynamics of change in knowledge and control. Hilgartner focuses on the Human Genome Project (HGP)—the symbolic and scientific centerpiece of the emerging field—showing how problems of governance arose in concert with new knowledge and technology.

Latin America is richly endowed with natural resources, fertile land, and vibrant cultures. Yet the region remains much poorer than its neighbors to the north. Most Latin American countries have not achieved standards of living and stable institutions comparable to those found in developed countries, have experienced repeated boom-bust cycles, and emain heavily reliant on primary commodities.

Tony Duvert’s novel Atlantic Island (originally published in French in 1979) takes place in the soul-crushing suburbs of a remote island off the coast of France. It is told through the shifting perspectives of a group of pubescent and prepubescent boys, ages seven to fourteen, who gather together at night in secret to carry out a series of burglaries throughout their neighborhood. The boys vandalize living rooms and kitchens and make off with, for the most part, petty objects of no value.

MATLAB is one of the most popular programming languages for neuroscience and psychology research. Its balance of usability, visualization, and widespread use makes it one of the most powerful tools in a scientist’s toolbox. In this book, Mike Cohen teaches brain scientists how to program in MATLAB, with a focus on applications most commonly used in neuroscience and psychology.

A Computer-Based Approach

Proof is the primary vehicle for knowledge generation in mathematics. In computer science, proof has found an additional use: verifying that a particular system (or component, or algorithm) has certain desirable properties. This book teaches students to read and write proofs using Athena, a freely downloadable computer language. Athena proofs are machine-checkable and written in an intuitive natural-deduction style.

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