NEW BOOKS BLOG

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Recommended New Books
Jeanne Gerrity: Where Are The Tiny Revolts?

Driven by the central question "What are we learning from artists today?" the first volume of the new series edited by Anthony Huberman and Jeanne Gerrity at the CCA Wattis, A Series of Open Questions, is informed by themes found in the work of Dodie Bellamy, such as contemporary forms of feminism and sexuality, the rebirth of the author, and ways in which vulnerability, perversion, vulgarity, and self-exposure can be forms of empowerment. Where are the tiny revolts? comprises a broad array of contributions, including memoir, theoretical essay, art-historical analysis, poetry, and fiction, as well as diverse visual elements, ranging from photographs by Anne McGuire and Mike Kuchar, among others, collages by Mary Beth Edelson, and drawings by Rosemarie Trockel.

Texts by SARA AHMED, NICOLE ARCHER, GEORGES BATAILLE, DODIE BELLAMY, MICHELE CARLSON, THOMAS CLERC, COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE, BOB FLANAGAN, URSULA K. LE GUIN, JOHANNA HEDVA, GLEN HELFAND, JULIANA HUXTABLE, ALEX KITNICK, JULIA KRISTEVA, AUDRE LORDE, LISA ROBERTSON
Contributions by MARCELA PARDO ARIZA, JUSTIN G. BINEK, KAUCYILA BROOKE, TAMMY RAE CARLAND, MARY BETH EDELSON, MIKE KUCHAR, ANNE MCGUIRE, PATRICK STAFF, FRANCES STARK, ROSEMARIE TROCKEL

Aversive Adhesives

No matter where we look, we are surrounded by beautiful images. Yet, with this excess in beauty all around, why should we bother to remember any of it? Aversive Adhesives looks into the other direction and explores the unpleasant, the disturbing, the unsettling, or in some way 'aversive' images that repel upon sight.

However, because of their repulsive nature, even when looking away these images become adhesive to you. Aversive Adhesives shines a light on a number of individuals who approach photography in new and unusual ways, who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty to create images that will stick with you.


2 September 2020
Merlin Sheldrake: Entangled Life : How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures

'A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer' Robert Macfarlane, author of UnderlandThe more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.

Neither plant nor animal, they are found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. They can be microscopic, yet also account for the largest organisms ever recorded. They enabled the first life on land, can survive unprotected in space and thrive amidst nuclear radiation.

In fact, nearly all life relies in some way on fungi. These endlessly surprising organisms have no brain but can solve problems and manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses.

Their ability to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the 'Wood Wide Web', is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented. Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into a spectacular and neglected world, and shows that fungi provide a key to understanding both the planet on which we live, and life itself.

'One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you. Astounding' Helen MacDonald, author of H Is for Hawk


26 August 2020
Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels: Highly Uncomfortable Photo Books

Paul Kooiker’s and Erik Kessels’s fascination for pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books. It’s only in this area that it’s possible to find images with an uncontrived quality. Books like this are rarely available in regular shops and have to be found, like a treasure, in thrift stores and from antiquaries.

Highly Uncomfortable Photo Books is the third publication in a sequel of Kooiker’s and Kessels’s collection of unconventional photo books. After ‘Terribly Awesome Photo Books’ and ‘Incredibly Small Photo Books’, this publication focusses on books that are barely watchable because of its controversial nature. Shown are books about sex, war, propaganda, medicine and balloons.

Edition of 1000

Rem Koolhaas: Countryside Report

The rural, remote, and wild territories we call "countryside", or the 98% of the earth's surface not occupied by cities, make up the front line where today's most powerful forces-climate and ecological devastation, migration, tech, demographic lurches-are playing out. Increasingly under a 'Cartesian' regime-gridded, mechanized, and optimized for maximal production-these sites are changing beyond recognition.

In his latest publication, Rem Koolhaas explores the rapid and often hidden transformations underway across the Earth's vast non-urban areas. Countryside, A Report gathers travelogue essays exploring territories marked by global forces and experimentation at the edge of our consciousness: a test site near Fukushima, where the robots that will maintain Japan's infrastructure and agriculture are tested; a greenhouse city in the Netherlands that may be the origin for the cosmology of today's countryside; the rapidly thawing permafrost of Central Siberia, a region wrestling with the possibility of relocation; refugees populating dying villages in the German countryside and intersecting with climate change activists; habituated mountain gorillas confronting humans on 'their' territory in Uganda; the American Midwest, where industrial-scale farming operations are coming to grips with regenerative agriculture; and Chinese villages transformed into all-in-one factory, e-commerce stores, and fulfillment centers.


19 August 2020
Jerry Saltz: How To Be An Artist

“Saltz has not written a book for insiders, but for the novice enthusiast – something all of us have been at one time. Valuable insight on the creative process [with] a surprising amount of solid advice.” —Frieze

Art has the power to change our lives. For many, becoming an artist is a lifelong dream. But how to make it happen? In
How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz, one of the art world’s most celebrated and passionate voices, offers an indispensable handbook for creative people of all kinds.

From the first sparks of inspiration—and how to pursue them without giving in to self-doubt—Saltz offers invaluable insight into what really matters to emerging artists: originality, persistence, a balance between knowledge and intuition, and that most precious of qualities, self-belief. Brimming with rules, prompts, and practical tips, How to Be an Artist gives artists new ways to break through creative blocks, get the most from materials, navigate career challenges, and above all find joy in the work.

"I wish I had read these rules forty years ago and carried them around like a bible. By chance or design I've followed most of them at some point but it took me a lifetime as an artist to find what worked. They are the generous, loving, enthusiastic, bullshit-free advice of a master communicator, just reading them makes me want to charge back into the studio" - Grayson Perry

Katie Mack: The End of Everything

If things feel like they're falling apart right now this book might help put things into perspective!

With lively wit and wry humour, astrophysicist Katie Mack takes us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos' possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, Vacuum Decay, the Big Rip and the Bounce. Guiding us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory and much more, she describes how small tweaks to our incomplete understanding of reality can result in starkly different futures. Our universe could collapse in upon itself, or rip itself apart, or even - in the next five minutes - succumb to an inescapable expanding bubble of doom.

This captivating story of cosmic escapism examines a mesmerizing yet unfamiliar physics landscape while sharing the excitement a leading astrophysicist feels when thinking about the universe and our place in it. Amid stellar explosions and bouncing universes, Mack shows that even though we puny humans have no chance of changing how it all ends, we can at least begin to understand it.

The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.



12 August 2020
David Wojnarowicz: In The Shadows of Forward Motion

David Wojnarowicz’s fractured scrapbook of dream journals, political critique and collage is an ultra-rare document of 1980s New York subculture

David Wojnarowicz’s In the Shadow of Forward Motion was originally published as a photocopied zine/artist’s book to accompany an exhibition of the same name at PPOW Gallery in 1989. Despite its meagre print run of just 50 copies, the publication has garnered a legendary status, and for good reason.
In it we find, for the first time, Wojnarowicz’s writing and visual art, two mediums for which he is renowned, playing off each other in equal measure. We glimpse the artist’s now iconic mixed-media works, with motifs of ants, locomotives, money, tornados and dinosaurs, juxtaposed with journal-like texts or notes towards a frame of reference that examine historical and global mechanisms of power symbolised through the technology of their times.
Wojnarowicz uses the fractured experience of his day-to-day life (including dreams, which he recorded fastidiously) to expose these technologies as weapons of class, cultural and racial oppression. The artist’s experience living with HIV is a constant subject of the work, used to shed light on the political and social mechanisms perpetuating discrimination against not only himself, but against women and people of colour, who faced additional barriers in their efforts to receive treatment for the illness. Rooted in the maelstrom of art, politics, religion and civil rights of the 1980s, the book provides a startling glimpse into an American culture that we have not yet left behind. Felix Guattari provides an introduction.
Painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter and activist, David Wojnarowicz was born in Redbank, New Jersey, in 1954 and died of AIDS in New York in 1992. The author of five books most famously Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration Wojnarowicz attained national prominence as a writer and advocate for AIDS awareness, and for his stance against censorship.

Virginie Despentes: King Kong Theory

'I write from the realms of the ugly, for the ugly, the frigid, the unfucked and the unfuckables, all those excluded from the great meat market of female flesh, and for all those guys who don't want to be protectors, for those who would like to be but don't know how, for those who are not ambitious, competitive, or well-endowed. Because this ideal of the seductive white woman constantly being waved under our noses - well, I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist.'

Powerful, provocative and personal, KING KONG THEORY is a candid account of how the author of BAISE-MOI came to be Virginie Despentes. Drawing from personal experience, Despentes shatters received ideas about rape and prostitution, and explodes common attitudes towards sex and gender. KING KONG THEORY is a manifesto for a new punk feminism, reissued here in a brilliant new translation by Frank Wynne.
Virginie Despentes is a writer and filmmaker. She is the author of fifteen books including Apocalypse Baby (2010) and the Vernon Subutex trilogy (2013-2017). She was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for Vernon Subutex 1 in 2018. Her work is an inventory of youth marginalization; it pertains to the sexual revolution lived by Generation X and to the acclimation of pornography in public spaces through new communication techniques.