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ARTS AND CRAFTS
Conrad Atkinson: Landescapes
by Conrad Atkinson (Illustrator), Richard Cork, Anthony Hudek

More than 30 years after his ground-breaking exhibition at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, Conrad Atkinson is rightly regarded as one of Britain's most important living political artists. Landscapes, the first of a complete series on Atkinson's oeuvre, reviews work relating specifically to the land, and is published in response to the inclusion of Atkinson's early masterwork, "For Wordsworth, For West Cumbria," in the Tate Gallery's recent exhibition, A Picture of Britain, where the work was given central placement. The book includes an essay by Richard Cork, chief art critic of the London Times, an interview with Antony Hudek of the Courtauld Institute, and original writings by the artist. Represented in New York by the Ronald Feldman Gallery, Atkinson is also a Professor of Art at the University of California at Davis.

Pub. Date: March 2007 Publisher: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers Format: Paperback, 104pp
097729710

Price: $29.95
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Electoral Guerrilla Theatre
by L.M. Bogad

Across the globe, in liberal democracies where the right to vote is framed as both civil right and civic duty, disillusioned creative activists run for public office on sarcastic, ironic and iconoclastic platforms. With little intention of "winning" in the conventional sense, they use drag, camp and stand-up comedy to undermine the legitimacy of their opponents and sometimes the electoral system itself.

Electoral Guerilla Theatre explores the recent phenomenon of the satirical election campaign, and questions:

• what is the purpose of such public political performances?
• what theatrical devices and aesthetic sensibilities do electoral guerrillas draw on to enhance their satire?
• how do electoral guerrillas create their public personas and platforms, and which audiences are they playing to and/or against?
• how do parodies and the "respectable" political performances that they mock interact and how can this tactic backfire?

Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research, Larry Bogad examines satirical campaigns around the world, placing his analysis in national, cultural, political and legal contexts. Electoral Guerilla Theatre will offer an entertaining, enlightening and informative read for those working across a variety of disciplines, including performance studies, social science, cultural studies and politics.

Pub. Date: August 2005 Publisher: Routledge Format: Textbook Paperback, 235pp
041533225

Price: $33.95
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Looking Past the Screen
by Jon Lewis (Editor), Eric Smoodin (Editor)

Film scholarship has long been dominated by textual interpretations of specific films. Looking Past the Screen advances a more expansive American film studies in which cinema is understood to be a social, political, and cultural phenomenon extending far beyond the screen. Presenting a model of film studies in which films themselves are only one source of information among many, this volume brings together film histories that draw on primary sources including collections of personal papers, popular and trade journalism, fan magazines, studio publications, and industry records.

Focusing on Hollywood cinema from the teens to the 1970s, these case studies show the value of this extraordinary range of historical materials in developing interdisciplinary approaches to film stardom, regulation, reception, and production. The contributors examine State Department negotiations over the content of American films shown abroad; analyze the star image of Clara Smith Hamon, who was notorious for having murdered her lover; and consider film journalists' understanding of the arrival of auteurist cinema in Hollywood as it was happening during the early 1970s. One contributor chronicles the development of film studies as a scholarly discipline; another offers a sociopolitical interpretation of the origins of film noir. Still another brings to light Depression-era film reviews and Production Code memos so sophisticated in their readings of representations of sexuality that they undermine the perception that queer interpretations of film are a recent development. Looking Past the Screen suggests methods of historical research, and it encourages further thought about the modes of inquiry that structurethe discipline of film studies.

Pub. Date: November 2007 Publisher: Duke University Press Format: Paperback, 413pp
082233821

Price: $19.98
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Matrix
by Joshua Clover

The Matrix (1999) was a true end-of-the-millennium movie, a statement of the American Zeitgeist, and a prognosis for the future of big-budget Hollywood filmmaking. Starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, a computer programmer transformed into a messianic freedom fighter, The Matrix blends science fiction with conspiracy thriller conventions and outlandish martial arts created with groundbreaking digital techniques. A box-office triumph, the film was no populist confection: its blatant allusions to highbrow contemporary philosophy added to its appeal as a mystery to be decoded.

Joshua Clover undertakes the task of decoding the film. Examining The Matrix's digital effects and how they were achieved, he shows how the film represents a melding of cinema and video games (the greatest commercial threat to have faced Hollywood since the advent of television) and achieves a hybrid kind of immersive entertainment. He also unpacks the movie's references to philosophy, showing how The Matrix ultimately expresses the crisis American culture faced at the end of the 1990s.

Pub. Date: November 2004 Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Format: Paperback, 96pp
184457045

Price: $14.95
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The Pivot of the World
by Blake Stimson

The old dream of social belonging and political sovereignty—the dream of nation—was fraught with anxiety and contradiction for many artists and intellectuals in the 1950s. On the one hand, memories of the Second World War remained vivid and the chauvinism that had enabled it threatened to return with the growing tensions of the Cold War. On the other hand, the need to bind together into a new global identity—into a world nation or "family of man"—seemed ever more pressing as a bulwark against the rapidly expanding threat of a nuclear World War III.

The Pivot of the World looks at an exceptional effort to work out that geopolitical tension by cultural means as developed in three hugely ambitious photographic projects: The Family of Man exhibition that opened in 1955 and traveled the world for the next decade; Robert Frank's influential book The Americans, photographed in 1955-1956 and first published in 1958; and Bernd and Hilla Becher's typological record of industrial architecture, begun in 1957 and continuing today. Each of these projects worked to release the dream of nation—of belonging and sovereignty—from its old civic trappings through the medium of photography's serial form, in the experience of one photograph followed by another and another and another, so that all seem at once intimately connected and at the same time autonomous and distinct. Innovations in the serial composition of photographic form could open new possibilities for social form while the modern desire for political belonging could be made cosmopolitan, could be globalized—but in the most human of ways. This epic sense ofpurpose lasted only for a moment—it had already passed by the beginning of the 1960s—but it bears particular interest for any historical understanding of the contest over globalization that continues to hold such great consequence for us now.

Pub. Date: February 2006 Publisher: MIT Press Format: Textbook Paperback, 230pp
026269333

Price: $22.95
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