Thomas Y. Levin

Thomas Y. Levin is Associate Professor of German at Princeton University where he teaches media and cultural theory. His most recent book CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother (MIT Press, 2002) is the catalogue of a major exhibition which he curated at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany).

  • CTRL [SPACE]

    CTRL [SPACE]

    Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

    Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne, and Peter Weibel

    The unknown history of surveillance in relation to changing systems of representation and visual arts practice.

    This book investigates the state of panoptic art at a time when issues of security and civil liberties are on many people's minds. Traditional imaging and tracking systems have given way to infinitely more powerful "dataveillance" technologies, as an evolving arsenal of surrogate eyes and ears in our society shifts its focus from military to domestic space. Taking as its point of departure an architectural drawing by Jeremy Bentham that became the model for an entire social regime, CTRL [SPACE] looks at the shifting relationships between design and power, imaging and oppression, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. From the photographs taken with hidden cameras by Walker Evans and Paul Strand in the early twentieth century to the appropriation of military satellite technology by Marko Peljhan a hundred years later, the works of a wide range of artists have explored the dynamics of watching and being watched. The artists whose panoptical preoccupations are featured include, among others, Sophie Calle, Diller + Scofidio, Dan Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Michael Klier, Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ruff, Julia Scher, Andy Warhol, and Peter Weibel. This book, along with the exhibition it accompanies, is the first state-of-the-art survey of panopticism—in digital culture, architecture, television, video, cinema, painting, photography, conceptual art, installation work, robotics, and satellite imaging.

    • Hardcover $45.00

Contributor

  • VOICE

    VOICE

    Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media

    Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson, and Theo van Leeuwen

    Perspectives on the voice and technology, from discussions of voice mail and podcasts to reflections on dance and sound poetry.

    Voice has returned to both theoretical and artistic agendas. In the digital era, techniques and technologies of voice have provoked insistent questioning of the distinction between the human voice and the voice of the machine, between genuine and synthetic affect, between the uniqueness of an individual voice and the social and cultural forces that shape it. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on these topics from history, philosophy, cultural theory, film, dance, poetry, media arts, and computer games. Many chapters demonstrate Lewis Mumford's idea of the “cultural preparation” that precedes technological innovation—that socially important new technologies are foreshadowed in philosophy, the arts, and everyday pastimes. Chapters cover such technologies as voice mail, podcasting, and digital approximations of the human voice. A number of authors explore the performance, performativity, and authenticity [(or 'authenticity effect') of voice in dance, poetry, film, and media arts]; while others examine more immaterial concerns—the voice's often-invoked magical powers, the ghostliness of disembodied voices, and posthuman vocalization. [The chapters evoke an often paradoxical reassertion of the human in the use of voice in mainstream media including recorded music, films, and computer games.

    Contributors Mark Amerika, Isabelle Arvers, Giselle Beiguelman, Philip Brophy, Ross Gibson, Brandon LaBelle, Thomas Levin, Helen Macallan, Virginia Madsen, Meredith Morse, Norie Neumark, Andrew Plain, John Potts, Theresa M. Senft, Nermin Saybasili, Amanda Stewart, Axel Stockburger, Michael Taussig, Martin Thomas, Theo van Leeuwen, Mark Wood

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • Sensorium

    Sensorium

    Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art

    Caroline A. Jones

    Artists and writers reconsider the relationship between the body and electronic technology in the twenty-first century through essays, artworks, and an encyclopedic "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium."

    The relationship between the body and electronic technology, extensively theorized through the 1980s and 1990s, has reached a new technosensual comfort zone in the early twenty-first century. In Sensorium, contemporary artists and writers explore the implications of the techno-human interface. Ten artists, chosen by an international team of curators, offer their own edgy investigations of embodied technology and the technologized body. These range from Matthieu Briand's experiment in "controlled schizophrenia" and Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller's uneasy psychological soundscapes to Bruce Nauman's uncanny night visions and François Roche's destabilized architecture. The art in Sensorium—which accompanies an exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center—captures the aesthetic attitude of this hybrid moment, when modernist segmentation of the senses is giving way to dramatic multisensory mixes or transpositions. Artwork by each artist appears with an analytical essay by a curator, all of it prefaced by an anchoring essay on "The Mediated Sensorium" by Caroline Jones. In the second half of Sensorium, scholars, scientists, and writers contribute entries to an "Abecedarius of the New Sensorium." These short, playful pieces include Bruno Latour on "Air," Barbara Maria Stafford on "Hedonics," Michel Foucault (from a little-known 1966 radio lecture) on the "Utopian Body," Donna Haraway on "Compoundings," and Neal Stephenson on the "Viral." Sensorium is both forensic and diagnostic, viewing the culture of the technologized body from the inside, by means of contemporary artists' provocations, and from a distance, in essays that situate it historically and intellectually. Copublished with The MIT List Visual Arts Center.

    • Hardcover $46.95 £38.00