Edward A. Shanken

Edward A. Shanken is Visiting Associate Professor, DXARTS, University of Washington. He is the editor of Roy Ascott's collected writings, Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness and the author of Art and Electronic Media.

  • Systems

    Systems

    Edward A. Shanken

    Writings survey system-based art, from its origins in works from the 1950s to the 1970s to its twenty-first century resurgence in works that draw on cutting-edge science.

    In the late 1950s, experiments such as the cybernetic sculptures of Nicolas Schöffer or the programmatic music compositions of John Cage and Iannis Xenakis transposed systems theory from the sciences to the arts. By the 1960s, artists as diverse as Roy Ascott, Hans Haacke, Robert Morris, Sonia Sheridan, and Stephen Willats were breaking with accepted aesthetics to embrace open systems that emphasized organism over mechanism, dynamic processes of interaction among elements, and the observer's role as an inextricable part of the system. Jack Burnham's 1968 Artforum essay “Systems Aesthetics” and his 1970 “Software” exhibition marked the high point of systems-based art until its resurgence in the changed conditions of the twenty-first century.

    Systems traces this radical shift in aesthetics from its roots in mid twentieth-century general systems theory, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence to the cutting-edge science of the present. The collected texts examine the connections between advanced technological systems, our bodies and minds; the relation of musical to spatial and architectural structures; and the ways in which systems-based art projects can create self-generating entities and networks, alter our experience of time, change the configurations of social relations, cross cultural borders, and interact with threatened ecosystems.

    Artists surveyed include Roy Ascott, Driessens and Verstappen, David Dunn, Brian Eno, Frank Gillette, Michael Joaquin Grey, Hans Haacke, Helen Mayer Harrison, Newton Harrison, Joan Littlewood, Richard Paul Lohse, Laurent Mignonneau, Manfred Mohr, Nam June Paik, Cedric Price, Casey Reas, Ken Rinaldo, Tomás Saraceno, Sonia Sheridan, Christa Sommerer, Ubermorgen, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Peter Weibel, Mitchell Whitelaw, John Whitney, James Whitney, Stephen Willats, Iannis Xenakis

    Writers include Gregory Bateson, Mary Catherine Bateson, Pierre Bourdieu, R. Buckminster Fuller, Jack Burnham, Fritjof Capra, Geoff Cox, James P. Crutchfield, Boris Groys, Francis Halsall, Usman Haque, N. Katherine Hayles, Caroline Jones, Stephen Jones, Christian Katti, Bruno Latour, Mary Louise Lobsinger, James Lovelock, Niklas Luhmann, Humberto Maturana, Donella H. Meadows, William J. Mitchell, Gordon Pask, Nick Prior, Francisco Varela, Heinz von Foerster, Michael Weinstock, Norbert Wiener

    • Paperback $24.95

Contributor

  • Relive

    Relive

    Media Art Histories

    Sean Cubitt and Paul Thomas

    Leading historians of the media arts define a new materialist media art history, discussing temporality, geography, ephemerality, and the future.

    In Relive, leading historians of the media arts grapple with this dilemma: how can we speak of “new media” and at the same time write the histories of these arts? These scholars and practitioners redefine the nature of the field, focusing on the materials of history—the materials through which the past is mediated. Drawing on the tools of media archaeology and the history and philosophy of media, they propose a new materialist media art history.

    The contributors consider the idea of history and the artwork's moment in time; the intersection of geography and history in regional practice, illustrated by examples from eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; the contradictory scales of evolution, life cycles, and bodily rhythms in bio art; and the history of the future—how the future has been imagined, planned for, and established as a vector throughout the history of new media arts.

    These essays, written from widely diverse critical perspectives, capture a dynamic field at a moment of productive ferment.

    Contributors Susan Ballard, Brogan Bunt, Andrés Burbano, Jon Cates, John Conomos, Martin Constable, Sean Cubitt, Francesca Franco, Darko Fritz, Zhang Ga, Monika Gorska-Olesinska, Ross Harley, Jens Hauser, Stephen Jones, Douglas Kahn, Ryszard W. Kluszczynski, Caroline Seck Langill, Leon Marvell, Rudy Rucker, Edward A. Shanken, Stelarc, Adele Tan, Paul Thomas, Darren Tofts, Joanna Walewska

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • MediaArtHistories

    MediaArtHistories

    Oliver Grau

    Leading scholars take a wider view of new media, placing it in the context of art history and acknowledging the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach in new media art studies and practice.

    Digital art has become a major contemporary art form, but it has yet to achieve acceptance from mainstream cultural institutions; it is rarely collected, and seldom included in the study of art history or other academic disciplines. In MediaArtHistories, leading scholars seek to change this. They take a wider view of media art, placing it against the backdrop of art history. Their essays demonstrate that today's media art cannot be understood by technological details alone; it cannot be understood without its history, and it must be understood in proximity to other disciplines—film, cultural and media studies, computer science, philosophy, and sciences dealing with images.

    Contributors trace the evolution of digital art, from thirteenth-century Islamic mechanical devices and eighteenth-century phantasmagoria, magic lanterns, and other multimedia illusions, to Marcel Duchamp's inventions and 1960s kinetic and op art. They reexamine and redefine key media art theory terms—machine, media, exhibition—and consider the blurred dividing lines between art products and consumer products and between art images and science images. Finally, MediaArtHistories offers an approach for an interdisciplinary, expanded image science, which needs the "trained eye" of art history.

    Contributors Rudlof Arnheim, Andreas Broeckmann, Ron Burnett, Edmond Couchot, Sean Cubitt, Dieter Daniels, Felice Frankel, Oliver Grau, Erkki Huhtamo, Douglas Kahn, Ryszard W. Kluszczynski, Machiko Kusahara, Timothy Lenoir, Lev Manovich, W.J.T. Mitchell, Gunalan Nadarajan, Christiane Paul, Louise Poissant, Edward A. Shanken, Barbara Maria Stafford, and Peter Weibel

    • Hardcover $43.00 £35.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00