The Contemporary Condition Books
The Contemporary Condition book series offers a sustained inquiry into the contemporary condition from a range of perspectives by key commentators who investigate contemporaneity as a defining condition of our historical present. Contemporaneity refers to the temporal complexity that follows from the coming together in the same cultural space of heterogeneous clusters generated along different historical trajectories, across different scales, and in different localities. With the overall aim of questioning the formation of subjectivity in time and the concept of temporality in the world now, it is a basic assumption that art can operate as an advanced laboratory for investigating processes of meaning-making and for understanding wider developments within culture and society. The series identifies three broad lines of inquiry for investigation: the issue of temporality, the role of contemporary media and computational technologies, and how artistic practice makes epistemic claims.
Book title: The Contemporary Condition (The Contemporary Condition series 01)
What do we mean when we say that something is contemporary? And what should the designator “contemporary art” refer to? An immediate response would be that contemporary art is an art of the present, that it somehow addresses and expresses the present. But what is this present? What constitutes the present present or the contemporary contemporary? This first book in the Contemporary Condition series introduces some of the key issues concerning contemporaneity as a defining condition of our historical present. It thus acts as an extended preface to the series as a whole calling for a rethinking of the deep structures of temporalization that render our present the way it is.
Book title: The Contemporary Composition (The Contemporary Condition series 02)
Can we speak, now, of contemporary composition, when art being made today seems so diverse in all of its aspects as to defy coherent categorization, when the world situation presents itself, day after day, as spinning into confused chaos, structural disintegration, and violent disorder—that is, a state of unfathomable decomposition? Revising his well-known histories of contemporary art, Terry Smith argues that we must respond to the compelling need for coeval composition at a time defined above all by the contemporaneity of divisive difference. This book traces how—despite many obstacles—visual artists throughout the world are rising to this challenge.
Book title: A Slow, Contemporary Violence (The Contemporary Condition series 03)
The contemporary moment is comprised of many overlapping speeds, rhythms and periods of time. A central theme of Jussi Parikka’s book concerns slowness instead of acceleration: a different sort of a temporal horizon in order to understand some of the environmental temporalities that media and technological arts are involved in. This is approached through art and design practices that unfold this multiplicity of time, closely entwined with contemporary concerns in aesthetic theory, to understand and engage with the planetary time scales of slow environmental violence.