The Reading List

24.01.2012, 15:38
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The fusion of art and science, virtual spaces, invisible cities and the changing artistic environment after the fall of communism are just a few topics the students are reading up on to get inspired and extract useful information for their research. Here are their own comments on what the books are about and what they found interesting.


Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation by David Edwards

“The author presents a handful of examples of scientists who became artists for a while to develop new theories, as well as artists who stepped into science in order to develop new techniques. These artscientists, despite experiencing loneliness, institutional discouragement and even fear, have overcome the resistance and explored new fields between arts and science. Through the combination of aesthetic and scientific methods the author drives us into the creativity in business, culture, education, while struggling with the institutions aversion to change and lack of encouragement.

Artscience, creativity in the post-Google generation is not trying to find the key to creativity, but certainly takes the reader out of his comfort zone, to new analogies that promote the idea translation, which ushers in new idea generation.”

Ricardo Pinho, Megacity


City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn by William J. Mitchell

“William J. Mitchell was fundamentally an architect and urban designer, who was concerned with how information technology intersects with the way we think about buildings and urban space. City of Bits is the first book of the trilogy among E-topia and Me++, which explores a largely invisible, but increasingly important system of virtual spaces interconnected by the emerging information superhighway.

I found that many of the core concepts of a digital world relate to architecture and could potentially be implemented in today’s city. In different contexts you can see that just about everything has a potential intelligence embedded in it and a capability to be a part of a network. Particularly important was the architect’s view on emerging technologies and his aspirations about it.  Interestingly, it’s possible to see now, which of his predictions came true and which didn’t.”

Tatyana Mamaeva, Senseable City


Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

“Italo Calvino’s Invisible cities is a not a linear metatext; it narrates what we dream about as we live in the harsh urban reality though little tales based on Marco Polo’s travels in the Mongol Empire. The descriptions of the cities are reshaped through a dialog between Marco Polo and the Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan.

The book prompts us to re-think the question about the relation between what’s “virtual” and today’s everyday “real” dynamics under that concept. The world offered by telecommunication and technology is now part of the invisible cities where we are living in.”

Carlos Medellin, Senseable city


The Manifesta Decade
Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe
 by Barbara Vanderlinden and Elena Filipovic

“Manifesta, the first itinerant European Biennial for Contemporary Art, emerged in a post-wall, globalizing Europe in 1993. The Manifesta Decade marks Manifesta’s ten years of exhibits with essays and texts that not only document the different Manifesta exhibits but also examine the cultural, curatorial, and political terrain of the Europe from which they sprang.

The book looks like an atlas: at the beginning a comprehensive time-line illustrates the main events in the arts from 1989 until 2007. It is followed by a collage of different ideas and visions on the project of «Europe»: Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Le Goff, Okwui Enwezor, Boris Groys, and Hans Ulrich Obrist reflect on the effect of communism’s collapse on Eastern Europe and on the role of Biennials in the context of globalization. Have those trends affected Moscow and its artistic and institutional development after the fall of the USSR? The Manifesta Decade suggests some interesting questions that could become the starting point for a larger investigation about the position of Moscow in the international geographies of contemporary art.”

Silvia Franceschini, Urban Culture