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Vol. 1 (2016) through current issue
ASAP/Journal is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that explores new developments in post-1960s visual, media, literary, and performance arts. The scholarly publication of ASAP: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, ASAP/Journal promotes intellectual exchange between artists and critics across the arts and humanities. The journal publishes methodologically cutting-edge, conceptually adventurous, and historically nuanced research about the arts of the present.
Asylum on the Hill is the story of a great American experiment in psychiatry, a revolution in care for those with mental illness, as seen through the example of the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Built in Southeast Ohio after the Civil War, the asylum embodied the nineteenth-century “gold standard” specifications of moral treatment. Stories of patients and their families, politicians, caregivers, and community illustrate how a village in the coalfields of the Hocking River Valley responded to a national impulse to provide compassionate care based on a curative landscape, exposure to the arts, outdoor exercise, useful occupation, and personal attention from a physician. Although ultimately doomed by overcrowding and overshadowed by the rise of new models of psychiatry, for twenty years the therapeutic community at Athens pursued moral treatment therapy with energy and optimism. Ziff’s fresh presentation of America’s nineteenth-century asylum movement shows how the Athens Lunatic Asylum accommodated political, economic, community, family, and individual needs and left an architectural legacy that has been uniquely renovated and repurposed.
The Hidden Landscapes of Domestic Service in Johannesburg
Despite their peaceful, bucolic appearance, the tree-lined streets of South African suburbia were no refuge from the racial tensions and indignities of apartheid’s most repressive years. In At Home with Apartheid, Rebecca Ginsburg provides an intimate examination of the cultural landscapes of Johannesburg’s middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods during the height of apartheid (c. 1960-1975) and incorporates recent scholarship on gender, the home, and family.
More subtly but no less significantly than factory floors, squatter camps, prisons, and courtrooms, the homes of white South Africans were sites of important contests between white privilege and black aspiration. Subtle negotiations within the domestic sphere between white, mostly female, householders and their black domestic workers, also primarily women, played out over and around this space. These seemingly mundane, private conflicts were part of larger contemporary struggles between whites and blacks over territory and power.
Ginsburg gives special attention to the distinct social and racial geographies produced by the workers’ detached living quarters, designed by builders and architects as landscape complements to the main houses. Ranch houses, Italianate villas, modernist cubes, and Victorian bungalows filled Johannesburg’s suburbs. What distinguished these neighborhoods from their precedents in the United States or the United Kingdom was the presence of the ubiquitous back rooms and of the African women who inhabited them in these otherwise exclusively white areas.
The author conducted more than seventy-five personal interviews for this book, an approach that sets it apart from other architectural histories. In addition to these oral accounts, Ginsburg draws from plans, drawings, and onsite analysis of the physical properties themselves. While the issues addressed span the disciplines of South African and architectural history, feminist studies, material culture studies, and psychology, the book’s strong narrative, powerful oral histories, and compelling subject matter bring the neighborhoods and residents it examines vividly to life.
The Photographs of Jean-Franois Bonhomme
Athens, Still Remains is an extended commentary on a series of photographs of contemporary Athens by the French photographer Jean-Franois Bonhomme. But in Derrida's hands commentary always has a way of unfolding or, better, developing in several unexpected and mutually illuminating directions.First published in French and Greek in 1996, Athens, Still Remains is Derrida's most sustained analysis of the photographic medium in relationship to the history of philosophy and his most personal reflection on that medium. At once photographic analysis, philosophical essay, and autobiographical narrative, Athens, Still Remains presents an original theory of photography and throws a fascinating light on Derrida's life and work.The book begins with a sort of verbal snapshot or aphorism that haunts the entire book: we owe ourselves to death.Reading this phrase through Bonhomme's photographs of both the ruins of ancient Athens and contemporary scenes of a still-living Athens that is also on its way to ruin and death, Derrida interrogates a philosophical tradition that runs from Socrates to Heidegger in which the human-and especially the philosopher-is thought to owe himself to death, to a certain thought of death or comportment with regard to death. Combining philosophical speculations on mourning and death, event and repetition, and time and difference with incisive commentary on Bonhomme's photographs and a narrative of Derrida's 1995 trip to Greece, Athens, Still Remains is one of Derrida's most accessible, personal, and moving works without being, for all that, any less philosophical. As Derrida reminds us, the word photography-an eminently Greek word-means the writing of light,and it brings together today into a single frame contemporary questions about the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction and much older questions about the relationship between light, revelation, and truth-in other words, an entire philosophical tradition that first came to light in the shadow of the Acropolis.
Enabling Sprawl through Policy and Planning
A Cultural History of West German Industrial Design
From the Werkbund to the Bauhaus to Braun, from furniture to automobiles to consumer appliances, twentieth-century industrial design is closely associated with Germany. In this pathbreaking study, Paul Betts brings to light the crucial role that design played in building a progressive West German industrial culture atop the charred remains of the past. The Authority of Everyday Objects details how the postwar period gave rise to a new design culture comprising a sprawling network of diverse interest groups—including the state and industry, architects and designers, consumer groups and museums, as well as publicists and women's organizations—who all identified industrial design as a vital means of economic recovery, social reform, and even moral regeneration. These cultural battles took on heightened importance precisely because the stakes were nothing less than the very shape and significance of West German domestic modernity. Betts tells the rich and far-reaching story of how and why commodity aesthetics became a focal point for fashioning a certain West German cultural identity. This book is situated at the very crossroads of German industry and aesthetics, Cold War politics and international modernism, institutional life and visual culture.
Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art
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.
The museum of contemporary art might be the most advanced recording device ever invented. It is a place for the storage of historical grievances and the memory of forgotten artistic experiments, social projects, or errant futures. But in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russia, this recording device was undertaken by artists and thinkers as a site for experimentation.
Arseny Zhilyaev’s Avant-Garde Museology presents essays documenting the wildly encompassing progressivism of this period by figures such as Nikolai Fedorov, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Bogdanov, and others—many which are translated from the Russian for the first time. Here the urgent question is: How might the contents of the museum be reanimated so as to transcend even the social and physical limits imposed on humankind?
Contributors: David Arkin; Vladimir Bekhterev; Alexander Bogdanov; Osip Brik; Vasiliy Chekrygin; Leonid Chetyrkin; Nikolai Druzhinin; Nikolai Fedorov; Pavel Florensky; R. N. Frumkina; M. S. Ilkovskiy; V. I. Karmilov; V. Karpov; Valentin Kholtsov; P. N. Khrapov; Yuriy Kogan; Natalya Kovalenskaya; Nadezhda Krupskaya; S. P. Lebedyansky; A. F. Levitsky; Vera Leykina (Leykina-Svirskaya); Ivan Luppol; Kazimir Malevich; Andrey Platonov; Nikolay Punin; Aleksandr Rodchenko; Yuriy Samarin; I. F. Sheremet; Andrey Shestakov; Natan Shneerson; Ivan Skulenko; M. Vorobiev; N. Vorontsovsky; Boris Zavadovsky; I. M. Zykov.