Saturday, December 21, 2013

Craig Dworkin on Against Ambience

Against Ambience is like one of those bombs the anarchists dreamed of back at the birth of modernism: exploding whole worlds with a single throw. In their case, some wood panelling was splintered, tuxedoes were spoiled, and a few (usually the wrong) people injured. But Kim-Cohen here, once again, pulls off the more utopian dream--and with aplomb.” 

- Craig Dworkin
Author of
No MediumProfessor of English, University of Utah

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Against Ambience out December 5th as an ebook from Bloomsbury

My new book, Against Ambience, is out this Thursday, December 5th. It'll be published as an ebook by Bloomsbury.

Here's a quick primer to help you decide if it's for you (or someone you love) this holiday season. 

1. Against Ambience is about the preponderance of exhibitions dedicated to sound and light in New York this past summer (2013), asking "why ambience? why now?"

2. The book suggests that ambience is a modality routinely associated with sound. The book then dismantles this association. 

3. Ambience is interrogated in three overlapping employments: 
- Brian Eno's invention of ambient music
- The exhibition, ambient, curated by Tim Griffin at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Chelsea 
- Timothy Morton's notion of "ambient poetics"

4. Against Ambience, as the title suggests, takes issue with some aspects of ambient aesthetics and offers dub aesthetics as a kind of flip side metaphor. 

5. Given that Seth Siegelaub died this past summer in the midst of all this immersive, anti-discursive work, the book wonders if ambience signals the end of conceptualism. 

6. A quick list of artists discussed:
- James Turrell
- Olafur Eliasson 

- Johannes Kreidler
- Sherrie Levine
- Brian Eno
- Lee "Scratch" Perry
- Miles Davis
- Tristan Perich
- Jacob Kirkegaard
- Susan Goldman
- Christof Migone
- C. Spencer Yeh

7. A quick list of critics and theorists discussed:
- Jonathan Sterne
- Immanuel Kant

- Timothy Morton
- Christoph Cox
- Lytle Shaw
- Rosalind Krauss
- Craig Dworkin
- Lucy Lippard
- Miwon Kwon