Seeing Power: Art And Activism In The Age Of Cultural Production

by Nato Thompson

Melville House | October 7, 2014 | Trade Paperback |

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A significant meditation on political art and the politics of art by the country's most celebrated young curator

A fog of information and images has flooded the world: from advertising, television, radio, and film to the information glut produced by the new economy. With the rise of social networking, even our contemporaries, peers, and friends are all suddenly selling us the ultimate product: themselves.

Here curator and critic Nato Thompson interrogates the implications of these developments for those dedicated to socially engaged art and activism. How can anyone find a voice and make change when the world is flooded with images and information? And what is one to make of the endless machine of consumer capitalism, which has appropriated much from the history of art and, in recent years, the methods of grassroots political organizing and social networking?

Highlighting the work of some of the most innovative and interesting artists and activists working today, Thompson reads and praises sites and institutions that empower their communities to see power and re-imagine it. From cooperative housing to anarchist infoshops to alternative art venues, Thompson shows that many of today's most innovative spaces operate as sites of dramatic personal transformation.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 176 Pages, 6.3 × 8.66 × 0.39 in

Published: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Melville House

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1612190448

ISBN - 13: 9781612190440

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– More About This Product –

Seeing Power: Art And Activism In The Age Of Cultural Production

by Nato Thompson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 176 Pages, 6.3 × 8.66 × 0.39 in

Published: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Melville House

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1612190448

ISBN - 13: 9781612190440

From the Publisher

A significant meditation on political art and the politics of art by the country's most celebrated young curator

A fog of information and images has flooded the world: from advertising, television, radio, and film to the information glut produced by the new economy. With the rise of social networking, even our contemporaries, peers, and friends are all suddenly selling us the ultimate product: themselves.

Here curator and critic Nato Thompson interrogates the implications of these developments for those dedicated to socially engaged art and activism. How can anyone find a voice and make change when the world is flooded with images and information? And what is one to make of the endless machine of consumer capitalism, which has appropriated much from the history of art and, in recent years, the methods of grassroots political organizing and social networking?

Highlighting the work of some of the most innovative and interesting artists and activists working today, Thompson reads and praises sites and institutions that empower their communities to see power and re-imagine it. From cooperative housing to anarchist infoshops to alternative art venues, Thompson shows that many of today's most innovative spaces operate as sites of dramatic personal transformation.

About the Author

Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time, one of New York's most prestigious art organizations. He is the editor of The Interventionists: A Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life and author of Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism, and Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History. He produced Paul Chan's acclaimed "Waiting for Godot in New Orleans," which included free public performances of Samuel Beckett's play, theater workshops, educational seminars, and more. Other recent projects include Democracy in America and "Key to the City," which gave out 35,000 free keys that unlocked a host of mysterious events including small exhibitions and provided access to little-known, otherwise off-limits spaces in New York.

Editorial Reviews

Praise For Experimental Geography

"Living in cities, we need a new way to think about how we move and what we notice... This strange, exciting book offers just that-a new way to notice public space. It is the brainchild of Nato Thompson: the results of his fascinations with urban planning post-Katrina, abandoned or unnoticed urban landscapes and public art."
-Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

"What could be more delightful-and unsettling-than turning loose a group of contemporary surrealists, disguised as vagabonds and artists, in the ripe fields of the hyperreal? Experimental Geography isn't about space; it is about terminal strangeness."
-Mike Davis, author of Ecology of Fear and City of Quartz

"Another step in the ongoing quest for social energies not yet recognized as art... exploring the politics and infrastructures that can either change or stall the world."
-Lucy Lippard, author of The Lure of the Local
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