Among new books just published is an interesting study on Stewart Brand, publisher of the amazing Last Whole Earth Catalogue and Synergy and author of How Buildings Learn. Written by Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism is published by the University of Chicago Press. There is also a study of a neglected group of artists. Douglas Hall's Art in Exile: Polish Painters in Post-War Britain discusses the life of work of 10 Polish artists - including Jankel Adler and Josef Herman - and the problems they encountered in the west. Published by Sansom and Company. In a feature article "Call of the wild: Britain's nature writers", the Independent's Boyd Tonkin explores the revival of nature writing: "every author after John Ruskin has grasped that to celebrate nature means to register a protest, to pursue an ideal, to embody a dream or to struggle against loss."
...also been meaning to mention "A Scandal in New Bohemia" - Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt's overview of the banning of free paper Variant from Glasgow's Tramway, which was posted on the Mute website.
Glasgow Radical Independent Bookfair (RIB)The Glasgow Radical Independent Bookfair will be held on Saturday 23rd August at the CCA, SuachieHall Street, Glasgow. In addition to the wide range of books, magazines, DVDs and pamphlets that you won't find in chain stores there will also be a programme of events themed around the title 'Learning From 1968... to the Present', which looks at changes in education since '68 (alongside analysis of the events and 'myth' of '68).
Geert Mak: The BridgeI missed Jeremy Seal's review of Geert Mak's anti-travelogue The Bridge when it appeared in the Telegraph in March, and in fact I only discovered Mak in April, when visiting Amsterdam where he is one of the most popular authors - the sort of writer who inspires people to carry his books in their pocket, or bag, so they can spend every spare moment reading. In this "stark and brooding account" of Istanbul's Galata Bridge "Mak has" as Jeremy Seal explains "reinvented the city's iconic bridge as the focal point for all the frustrations and humiliations endured by Turkey's urban dispossessed." www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/03/09/bomak109.xml
The Last Post - Annalee NewitzMy favourite weekly read for the last couple of years has been Annalee Newitz's column for Techsploitation, which has been featured on Alternet. Her weekly posts have covered everything from obscenity law to genetic engineering, and she has managed to stretch the column's "techie mandate to include meditations on electronic music and sexology."Perceptive and informative, Annalee's posts have been underpinned by humour, and a real belief in the issues that she has written about- so I was sorry to read that she has written her last technology piece for Techsploitation. There is some good news to this post, however, as Annalee has become the editor of Science Fiction blog io9 - a blog I can only describe as at the confluence of science and science-fiction - putting the science into science fiction: http://io9.comRead Annlee's last post on alternet:http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/90285/
Art is Going ElsewhereKrisis, the online philosophy magazine from the Netherlands publishes an interview with French philosopher Jacques Ranciere. The interview conducted by Sudeep Dasgupta, is in English, and ranges across issues of "sensory experience, the play of art, and politics as a form of disturbance".PDF download:http://www.krisis.eu/#or available in HTML on the collectively produced blog: Jacques Ranciere