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Urbanomic / Redactions Series

Found in Art
Speculative Aesthetics by edited by Robin Mackay, James Trafford, and Luke Pendrell
Hydroplutonic Kernow by edited by Robin Mackay; foreword by Caitlin DeSilvey
Secrets of Creation by edited by Robin Mackay

Urbanomic / Redactions Series : Titles in Order

Book 8
An artist and a mathematician debate, find common ground, and jointly create an assemblage that is neither (or both) an artwork and a mathematical model.A week-long residency project brought together artist Conrad Shawcross and mathematician Matthew Watkins to reflect on the ways in which artists use (or misuse) scientific and mathematical concepts. Secrets of Creation documents this fascinating meeting of worlds, presenting both the week’s discussions and debates, and the project upon which Shawcross and Watkins subsequently embarked.Navigating a route that tacked between formalism and natural language, experts and laymen, quantity and quality, poetics and mechanics, Shawcross and Watkins gradually forged a shared discourse in which the concerns of the artist and those of the mathematician could find a common ground. The project ended with their joint creation of an assemblage that was neither (or both) an artwork and a mathematical model.
Book 7
A geophilosophical odyssey through the remains of Cornwall’s industrial past offers a historical portrait of geotrauma in action.This unique document provides a pioneering case study in post-“site-specific” geophilosophy. Based on a weird field trip into Cornwall’s mining heartlands with geologists, philosophers, and ecologists as guides, Hydroplutonic Kernow drills down through nature, industry, and cultural capital to site the local within the global, unfolding the telluric plots that manipulated populations and devastated the landscape during the industrial age. In doing so, it provides a historical portrait of geotrauma in action.This geophilosophical odyssey takes us through the remains of the region’s industrial past, reading them through the twisted prism of the geocosmic theory of trauma espoused by legendary “cryptographer” Dr. Daniel Barker and further developed by Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani, and uncovering the deep plot of the Hydroplutonic Conspiracy, the collusion between water and the depths of the earth.Along with full documentation of the trip, the book also contains exegetical materials including an essay by Reza Negarestani, a poem by Jake Chapman, a preface by Caitlin DeSilvey, and an in-depth interview with Mining Engineer Steve Tarrant.
Book 6
Collection of interventions on the status of the moving image in an age of advanced simulation, exploring the contemporary links between power, simulation, and warfare.This collection of wide-ranging interventions and discussions on the status of the moving image in an age of advanced simulation explores the contemporary links between power, simulation, and warfare.Today, technological simulation has become an integral part of military training and operations; and at the same time, media spectacle—often enabled by the same technologies—has become integrated with military power. Trained in virtual environments, army personnel are increasingly enhanced by augmented reality technologies that bring combat into conformity with its simulation. Equally, the seductions of media and entertainment have become crucial weapons for “information dominance.” At the same time as the infosphere demands that war takes on the properties of a game, hyper-realistic videogames evolved from military technology become a kind of virtual distributed training camp, as the lines between simulation and action, combatant and civilian, become blurred.Based on a round table discussion prompted by the work of artist John Gerrard, Simulation, Exercise, Operations assembles thinkers from philosophy, media, and military theory to examine the powers of simulation in the contemporary world.
Book 5
This collection charts some of the ways in which site continues to be a concern for contemporary practice, and introduces the concept of “plot” as an alternative.The critical concept of site-specificity once seemed to harbour the potential for disruption. But site-specific work has become increasingly assimilated into the capitalist logic of regeneration and value creation. The materialist critique of the art object has been shortcircuited by the franchised idiosyncrasies of international nomad flâneurs. And on a planet whose entire surface is mapped and apped, the concept of “site” itself becomes ever more problematic.How can we do justice to the particularity of local sites while unearthing their material conditions? What do a contemporary “geo-philosophy” and the historical legacy of site-specific art have to offer each other? Can we develop methods for the controlled unpacking of the local into the global, avoiding trivial reconciliations between local sites and their global conditions? When Site Lost the Plot charts some of the ways in which site continues to be a concern for contemporary practice; and introduces the concept of “plot” as an alternative approach.Alongside artists discussing their practice and their approach to site and plot, contributors from various disciplines introduce concepts from cartography, mathematics, film, fiction, design, and philosophy.
Book 4
An examination of the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the planetary media network and of the aesthetic as an enabler of new modes of knowledge.This series of interventions on the ramifications of Speculative Realism for aesthetics ranges from contemporary art’s relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design.From varied perspectives of philosophy, art, and design, participants examine the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the massive planetary media network within which it now exists and consider how the aesthetic enables new modes of knowledge by processing sensory data through symbolic formalisms and technological devices.Speculative Aesthetics anticipates the possibility of a theory and practice no longer invested in the otherworldly promise of the aesthetic, but acknowledging the real force and traction of images in the world today, experimentally employing techniques of modelling, formalisation, and presentation so as to simultaneously engineer new domains of experience and map them through a reconfigured aesthetics that is inseparable from its sociotechnical conditions.
Book 3
An unprecedented meeting of philosophical thought, financial markets, and the art world.Why has the concept of contingency taken on a marked importance both in contemporary philosophy and in contemporary art practice? And if this simultaneity derives from parallel problems met within the two different fields, what are their common roots?Beyond acknowledging the contingent nature of tradition, institutions, and practices, recent speculative philosophies of “absolute contingency” demand a radical revision of the ways in which we conceive of our interaction with unknowable materialities, and pose a challenge to both probabilistic management and process-driven affirmation of contingency.In an unprecedented meeting of philosophical thought, financial markets, and the art world, The Medium of Contingency explores how works of art write contingency into the present, and are in turn written by the contingency of their materials, and how these exchanges interact with other markets.From the mathematical instruments used to value financial derivatives to the nature of literary creation, from the market-making role of the curator to the “chemistry of openness,” the contributors to this lively discussion draw out the startling consequences of a new figure of thought.

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