Download e-book for kindle: Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age by Sven Birkerts

By Sven Birkerts

ISBN-10: 1555979106

ISBN-13: 9781555979102

Trenchant, expansive essays at the cultural results of ongoing, all-permeating technological innovation

In 1994, Sven Birkerts released The Gutenberg Elegies, his celebrated rallying cry to withstand the oncoming electronic advances, particularly those who may perhaps impact the way in which we learn literature and event art—the very cultural actions that make us human.

After 20 years of rampant swap, Birkerts has allowed a level of daily electronic expertise into his existence. He refuses to exploit a telephone, yet communicates through email and spends a while examining on-line. In altering the topic, he examines the alterations that he observes in himself and others—the distraction while analyzing at the reveal; the lack of own company via reliance on GPS and one-stop details assets; an expanding reputation of "hive" behaviors. "An exceptional shift is underway," he argues, and "this transformation is dramatically sped up and extra psychologically formative than any prior technological innovation." He unearths solace in engagement with paintings, really literature, and he brilliantly describes the countering power to be had to us via acts of sustained cognizance, whilst he concerns that our more and more mediated existences should not conducive to creativity.

It is very unlikely to learn altering the topic with no coming away with a renewed feel of what's misplaced by means of our wholesale reputation of electronic innovation and what's regained once we immerse ourselves in a superb booklet.

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Extra resources for Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age

Sample text

Getting baptized was a prerequisite for a Jew aspiring to enter a Russian university. On 10 September 1911, he became a student of the Imperial SaintPetersburg University, at the department of Romance languages of the Historical-Philosophical Faculty. In his memoirs, Evgeny Mandelstam testifies: “. . in order to enter the university it was necessary to overcome an obstacle: the grades in his high school certificate were rather mediocre. He did not bother much about his grades, and because there was a quota for Jews, this practically ruined his chances to get accepted in a university.

The most important thing in Akhmatova’s assertion is the admission to the difference in scale between two such phenomena in the history of Russian literature, Symbolism on the one hand, and Acmeism (as well as Futurism) — on the other. In the first case, we have the “last greatest school in art,” in the other — a small literary circle. However, this does not, by any means, signify that either Mandelstam or Akhmatova were lesser poets than were Aleksandr Blok and Andrei Bely, or that Acmeism had played a lesser part in their fates than Symbolism had in the fates of either Bely or Blok.

It being a gorgeous day, we of course immediately offered to — 55 — CHAPTER TWO take him for a walk, but he of course refused, lied down on the couch and barely spoke. A little while later I got bored, and I resolutely took him to the cemetery [ . . ] The day passed in his complaints about his fate, with our consolations and praises, in food, and in literary news. By evening and night time, around midnight, he grew silent, lay down on the deerskins and became unpleasant [ . . m. we walked him almost right up to the train station.

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Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age by Sven Birkerts


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