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Automotive Prosthetic

Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art

By Charissa Terranova

Publication Year: 2014

An in-depth examination of the use of the car, the driver, and the road in a variety of forms of creative expression, ranging from works by Robert Rauschenberg and Martha Rosler to those of Dan Graham, John Cage, and Dennis Hopper.

Published by: University of Texas Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

In writing about the genesis of this book, I might look deep into my past for the sources of influence and inspiration: to the wry collision of distinct forces that was growing up as part of a family of classical musicians in the capital of country music, Nashville, Tennessee; to being, like so many Americans, an automotive citizen for as far back as I can remember; or to my early gradu-...

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pp. xi-xiv

The spatial remoteness of Dallas and Forth Worth coupled with their rich and singular contemporary art cultures created a perfect storm for creativity: a sense of being far away and up close at once, disconnected while absolutely connected in. I gratefully recognize the journalism venues seeded here with tendrils spreading outward?for which I eagerly wrote upon arrival and I ...

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pp. 1-25

...looking- at versus looking- through: the Car and art as the semiotic There are several recognized uses of the car in art originating from a variety of aesthetic and taste- making cultures, such as the vernacular, film, customi-zation, and industrial design. There are cars bedecked with odds and ends?buttons, plastic toys, and longhorns?which are the basis of the craft- cum- ...

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1. Conceptual Car Art: Rethinking Conceptualism through Technology

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pp. 27-56

Conceptualism and car art: there could be no two categories of form and aes-thetics so seemingly separate and far apart. A simple set of binaries reinforces the breach between them. Conceptualism is academic, critical- minded, seri-ous, and politically engaged, while car art is intuitive, indifferent, fun, and politically passive. A theme of institutional iconoclasm interconnects the ...

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2. Mobile Perception and the Automotive Prosthetic: Photoconceptualism, the Car, and Urban Space

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pp. 57-113

There has been little in the way of theory or philosophy about the car in its more than century of existence.1 Similarly, there has been little deep, philosophical analysis of the car within art, as it functions to critically reframe individual and collective perceptual mores. In pairing the phrases “mobile perception” and “automotive prosthetic,” I bring the functional to bear on

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3. The Nows of the Automotive Prosthetic: Moving Images, Time, and the Car

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pp. 115-149

...i often show the car in my work as it represents being in between, neither cars are extensions of our body and our ego . . . when we see an automo-bile destroyed, in a way we are looking at our own inevitable death. this moment is, because of its inherent speed, almost invisible. we have slowed the event via film and video but only from a camera?s perspective. . . . this ...

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4. Communication Space: Automotive Urbanism in Dan Graham’s Work

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pp. 151-186

...the spread of suburbia after world war ii correlated with [the] automo-bile?s alteration of American life. the new, middle- class, suburban family was more transient than ever before, more willing to pack up and move quickly to another location. corporations spread and decentralized, shift-ing their staffs from branch to branch throughout the country. the suburban ...

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5. Hummer: The Cultural Militarism of Art Based on the SUV

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pp. 187-226

Jonathon Rosen?s epitaphic illustration of a red Hummer appeared in the New York Times on Sunday, February 28, 2010 (Figure 5.1). Part prehistoric creature and part machine, it wallows in a tar pit, with its four antediluvian skeletal appendages grasping for the embankment. Its windshield broken, this once- beacon of cultural militarism flounders in a muddy crater, bring-...

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6. Richard Prince: The Fetish and Automotive Maleficium

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pp. 227-263

The role of the automobile in the art of Richard Prince appears, upon first glimpse, simple and basic, its semiotic function merely a matter of caricatur-ing the putative ?American love affair with the car.?1 Because much of his in-vestment in the car, artistic and otherwise, has coalesced around the banali-ties of car culture, including speed and the freedom of the open road, 1970s ...

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Conclusion: The “Freedom” of Automotive Existence

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pp. 265-277

It is a rule of thumb that the more new technological tools one has, the greater the enhancement of life. But, as this study of conceptual car has shown, that idea of enrichment is qualified by definition, that is, by human use. In its attachment to the fleshy, changeful biomorphic form of human life, the car, for example, humanizes while its user mechanizes. The goal ...


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pp. 279-305


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pp. 307-321


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pp. 323-331

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pp. G1-G16

Figures 0.2?0.4. Jonathan Schipper, Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle: Slow Motion Car Crash, 2008. Courtesy of Jonathan Schipper and Pierogi Gallery, New York.Figure 1.1. Julian Opie Imagine You Are Driving installation, Hayward Gallery, London, 1994. Includes (on the floor) sculptures (1993); (on the side walls) paintings (1994); and (on the far wall) computer film (1993). Courtesy of Julian Opie Studio, Artists Rights Society, and Lisson Gallery, London....

E-ISBN-13: 9780292754508
E-ISBN-10: 0292754507
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292754041
Print-ISBN-10: 0292754043

Page Count: 361
Illustrations: 110 B&W in text, 20 color in a section
Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Automobiles in art.
  • Conceptual art -- Themes, motives.
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