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Readings & Artworks

Writings and Interviews, 1964-2004
Foreword by Hans Haacke

Overview

Jack Burnham is one of the few critics and theorists alive today who can claim to have radically altered the way we think about works of art. Burnham’s use of the term “system” (borrowed from theoretical biology) in his 1968 essay “System Aesthetics” announced the relational character of conceptual art and newer research-based projects. Trained as an art historian, Burnham was also a sculptor. His first book,Beyond Modern Sculpture (1968), established him as a leading commentator on art and technology. A postformalist pioneer, an influential figure in new media art history, an early champion of conceptual and ecological art, and the curator of the first exhibition of digital art, Burnham is long overdue for reevaluation. This book offers that opportunity by collecting a substantial and varied selection of his hard-to-find texts, some published here for the first time. 

Although Burnham left the art world abruptly in the 1990s, his visionary theoretical ideas have only become more relevant in recent years. This collection seeks to restore Burnham to his rightful place in art criticism and theory, reestablishing his voice as crucial to critical conversations of the period. It gathers his early writing on sculpture, his essays on systems art and conceptualism, his views of the New York art world, and his later occult work—including an unorthodox interpretation of Marcel Duchamp’s work that draws on the Kabbalah.

About the Author

Jack Burnham is an artist, art critic, and theorist known for his application of systems theory to art history and theory. On the faculty of Northwestern University from 1962 to 1982 and later at the University of Maryland and an inaugural fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies in 1968–1969, Burnham is the author of three books of criticism.

About the Editor

Melissa Ragain is Assistant Professor of Art History at Montana State University.

Endorsements

“This valuable collection of Jack Burnham’s writing presents a long-overdue opportunity to reconsider the breadth and significance of his work. Here we encounter the ambition and energy of Burnham’s syncretic intellectual approach alongside its uneven and mercurial aspects. Burnham was the first to attempt a substantive theoretical critique of formalist orthodoxy in the US context, and his pioneering project to account for post-object art in the expanded field repays renewed consideration.”
Luke Skrebowski, University Lecturer, Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge
“In recent years, Burnham’s star has risen among scholars and art professionals who have come of age with the Internet. This timely and fascinating collection of essays collates Burnham’s prescient articulations of how art can be created and explored outside of entrenched modernist categories and media, whether it is dispersed in systems, converges with machines, or is mystically intuited.”
Lars Bang Larsen, art historian and international curator; editor of Networks
“Burnham was a fighter on the front lines of massive shifts in art and life in the postwar period. By bringing together both his famed and esoteric writings, this volume reveals the startling range and diversity of Burnham’s thought. His watershed introduction of the concept of ‘systems’ into the sphere of aesthetics—an attempt to understand the transformation of the discrete art object in a universe of vast new interconnections between people, machines, and capital—still reads like a salvo. And yet Burnham’s texts are not naïve paeans to technology. They are filled with doubt—anxious meditations on subjects and objects, networks and artworks, functionalism and formalism, synergy and breakdown. He saw not only the flexibility and intelligence of systems but their fragility, our ‘technological house of cards.’ In heralding the rise of information technologies in an art world preternaturally suspicious of such epochal changes, Burnham’s investigations of materiality, anthropomorphism, catastrophe, and critique in another historical moment are so prescient as to continue to shape our own.”

Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum International


The Real of Reality

International Conference on Philosophy and Film

Wed, 02.11.2016 – Sun, 06.11.2016, ZKM_Media TheaterZKM_Lecture Hall,ZKM_Media LoungeZKM_CubeZKM_Seminar Room, Cost: Please note the registration fees.

Registration

Description

Photography and film in particular paved the way for complex philosophical questions regarding the nature of reality and its mechanical reproduction. Despite their image-based character, photography and film are not simply copies of reality but have the ability to shape reality itself. This shaping happens through pictures as well as through narrations. By means of their presence, these apparatus-based images of reality tend to replace reality. This is an inconspicuous process that already affects our everyday life profoundly. What does film show? Do we have access to reality that is not based on images or narrations? And what can film and its analysis contribute to philosophical debates on the real?

These are questions we are asking to engage in a dialogue between philosophy and film. For five days, more than one hundred philosophers, media scholars, and filmmakers will connect philosophical theory with cinematic practice and open up new ideas and concepts. To accompany the program, there will be film screenings of documentaries of the invited filmmakers.

Participation in the Conference is also possible without the presentation of a paper.

The conference will be held in English.

Invited Keynotes

 

Credits
Project team

Christine Reeh, Stefan Schmidt

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe
Partners

HfG | ZKM Filminstitut

  • This page shows the recommended books or articles worth to read. Anyone who has MAAT account can post his/her own recommendation. If can not see the post button, go to the bottom of this page and sign in with the "sign-in" link.

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    Posted Apr 21, 2010, 10:14 PM by 방승애
  • Up There; a short documentary film on hand-painted wall pictures A short documentary film on city wall paintings in NYC.You can watch the film in hi-res. or http://uptherefilm.com/
    Posted Apr 30, 2010, 9:22 PM by Yonggeun Kim
  • The Pop Art Era [New York Times] Today, I have read an interesting article related the Pop Art and America.source URL : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/books/review/Solomon-t.html?_r=1[My underlines]Is it possible for an artist to make a painting that is not informed by his own life? The Pop artists were initially both reviled and celebrated for refusing to make art about their "feelings."Pop Art was initially described as ironic, impersonal, emotionally cool ─ pick your favorite synonym for "refrigerated."The Pop artists were prophetic because they saw a new kind of America coming, a country where you are what you buy.[Related Book]
    Posted Dec 16, 2009, 1:08 AM by kh7777@maat.kr
  • Vermeer's Family Secrets [MAAT has this book] Vermeer's Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown ApprenticeBy Benjamin BinstockBook overviewJohannes Vermeer, one of the greatest Dutch painters and for some the single greatest painter of all, produced a remarkably small corpus of work. In Vermeer's Family Secrets, Benjamin Binstock revolutionizes how we think about Vermeer's work and life. Vermeer, The Sphinx of Delft, is famously a mystery in art: despite the common claim that little is known of his biography, there is actually an abundance of fascinating information about Vermeer's life that Binstock brings to bear on Vermeer's art for the first time; he also offers new interpretations of several key documents pertaining to Vermeer that have been misunderstood. Lavishly ...
    Posted Dec 15, 2009, 11:40 PM by maat admin
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 4. View more »

The Latest Recommendations


Coincidence Engine One: Universal People's Republic Time

posted Apr 21, 2010, 9:20 PM by 방승애   [ updated Apr 21, 2010, 10:14 PM ]

 

Installation for 1200 battery-powered alarm clocks and CNC-cut Styrofoam structure.

Coincidence Engines is a series of works conceived in homage to the Poème Symphonique for 100 Metronomes, a work by 20th-century Hungarian composer György Ligeti who used metronomes not simply to keep musical time, but as generators of sonic events.

Coincidence Engine One consists of a precisely fabricated expanded polystyrene foam construction whose form evokes an amphitheatre. Within this structure, twelve hundred clocks of identical design are arrayed in concentric arcs. These battery-powered timekeeping devices are among the most generic mass-produced analog clocks available, purchased in wholesale quantity from their manufacturer in Fuzhou, China. A single spectator/auditor participates most fully in the work by standing at its centre, entirely surrounded by the clocks and immersed in their sound.

Installation for 1200 battery-powered alarm clocks and CNC-cut Styrofoam structure.

Coincidence Engines is a series of works conceived in homage to the Poème Symphonique for 100 Metronomes, a work by 20th-century Hungarian composer György Ligeti who used metronomes not simply to keep musical time, but as generators of sonic events.

Coincidence Engine One consists of a precisely fabricated expanded polystyrene foam construction whose form evokes an amphitheatre. Within this structure, twelve hundred clocks of identical design are arrayed in concentric arcs. These battery-powered timekeeping devices are among the most generic mass-produced analog clocks available, purchased in wholesale quantity from their manufacturer in Fuzhou, China. A single spectator/auditor participates most fully in the work by standing at its centre, entirely surrounded by the clocks and immersed in their sound.

Up There; a short documentary film on hand-painted wall pictures

posted Jan 3, 2010, 5:01 PM by Yonggeun Kim


A short documentary film on city wall paintings in NYC.
You can watch the film in hi-res. or http://uptherefilm.com/

The Pop Art Era [New York Times]

posted Dec 15, 2009, 11:50 PM by kh7777@maat.kr   [ updated Dec 16, 2009, 1:08 AM ]

Today, I have read an interesting article related the Pop Art and America.

source URL : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/books/review/Solomon-t.html?_r=1

[My underlines]
Is it possible for an artist to make a painting that is not informed by his own life? The Pop artists were initially both reviled and celebrated for refusing to make art about their "feelings."

Pop Art was initially described as ironic, impersonal, emotionally cool ─ pick your favorite synonym for "refrigerated."

The Pop artists were prophetic because they saw a new kind of America coming, a country where you are what you buy.

[Related Book]

Vermeer's Family Secrets [MAAT has this book]

posted Aug 28, 2009, 5:28 AM by maat admin   [ updated Dec 15, 2009, 11:40 PM ]

Vermeer's Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice


By Benjamin Binstock

Book overview

Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest Dutch painters and for some the single greatest painter of all, produced a remarkably small corpus of work. In Vermeer's Family Secrets, Benjamin Binstock revolutionizes how we think about Vermeer's work and life. Vermeer, The Sphinx of Delft, is famously a mystery in art: despite the common claim that little is known of his biography, there is actually an abundance of fascinating information about Vermeer's life that Binstock brings to bear on Vermeer's art for the first time; he also offers new interpretations of several key documents pertaining to Vermeer that have been misunderstood. Lavishly illustrated with more than 180 black and white images and more than sixty color plates, the book also includes a remarkable color two-page spread that presents the entirety of Vermeer's oeuvre arranged in chronological order in 1/20 scale, demonstrating his gradual formal and conceptual development. No book on Vermeer has ever done this kind of visual comparison of his complete output. Like Poe's purloined letter, Vermeer's secrets are sometimes out in the open where everyone can see them. Benjamin Binstock shows us where to look. Piecing together evidence, the tools of art history, and his own intuitive skills, he gives us for the first time a history of Vermeer's work in light of Vermeer's life.

On almost every page of Vermeer's Family Secrets, there is a perception or an adjustment that rethinks what we know about Vermeer, his oeuvre, Dutch painting, and Western Art. Perhaps the most arresting revelation of Vermeer's Family Secrets is the final one: In response to inconsistencies in technique, materials, and artistic level, Binstock posits that several of the paintings accepted as canonical works by Vermeer, are in fact not by Vermeer at all but by his eldest daughter, Maria. How he argues this is one of the book's many pleasures.


No preview available - 2008 - 428 pages

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References from web pages

Essential Vermeer
A complete overview of the life, work and artitic milieu of the 17th century Dutch Paining Master Johannes Vermeer
www.essentialvermeer.com/

More book information

TitleVermeer's Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice
AuthorBenjamin Binstock
Editionillustrated
PublisherRoutledge, 2008
ISBN0415966647, 9780415966641
Length428 pages
SubjectsArt / Criticism
Art / European
Art / History / Baroque & Rococo
Art / History / General
Art / Individual Artist
Painting, Dutch
Vermeer, Johannes - Criticism and interpretation

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