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From time to time there are some editorial kinships which remain – it can’t be said otherwise – unbeatable! Such is the series ‘Documents of Contemporary Art‘, a thriving publishing alliance between MIT Press and London’s Whitechapel Gallery. For over 13 years now their common maxime is to publish comprehensive anthologies, for a little money, appealing design and, no less important, significant content. While each volume is a concrete exploration through one major theme at the time, the series offers a plurality of tongues, discussing various aspects of everything contemporary art can possibly offer. The fact that every book is edited by one scholar, artist, curator or critic guarantees exactly that: an ever-changing, new angel on one specific subject. And, as the constantly increasing  number of titles such as ‘Ethics‘, ‘Exhibition‘, ‘The Rural‘ and ‘Queer‘ shows: there is a lot more to explore. Thus, never change a winning team! Buy

'Art and Design' edited by Alex Coles is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. The first anthology to address the rise of the "design-art" phenomenon—the breakdown of boundaries between art and architectural, graphic, or product design begun in the Pop and Minimalist eras.[expand title="more"]This reader in Whitechapel's Documents of Contemporary Art series investigates the interchange between art and design. Since the the Pop and Minimalist eras—as the work of artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Dan Graham demonstrates—the traditional boundaries between art and architectural, graphic, and product design have dissolved in critically significant ways. Design and Art traces the rise of the "design-art" phenomenon through the writings of critics and practitioners active in both fields.The texts include writings by Paul Rand, Hal Foster, Miwon Kwon, and others that set the parameters of the debate; utopian visions, including those of architect Peter Cook and writer Douglas Coupland; project descriptions by artists (among them Tobias Rehberger and Jorge Pardo) juxtaposed with theoretical writings; surveys of group practices by such collectives as N55 and Superflex; and views of the artist as mediator—a role assumed in the past to be the province of the designer—as seen in work by Frederick Kiesler, Ed Ruscha, and others. Finally, a book that doesn't privilege either the art world or the design world but puts them in dialogue with each other.[/expand]

Tiergarten is Berlin's oldest park, with more than five hundred acres of woodland in the heart of the city. Before it was absorbed by the city, the area that became Tiergarten was a naturally occurring forest. Throughout its history, it was used as royal hunting grounds and as a landscaped public park, and in the years of hardship following World War II an area where trees were felled for firewood, before changing social and political circumstances and the growing ecological movement led to measures to restore and replant the vast public space. Thus, the Tiergarten has become not only a very popular place of recreation but as well a biotope of extraordinarily high biodiversity. [expand title="more"] Generously illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs, Tiergarten, Landscape of Transgression takes readers through the history of the park, with an eye toward exploring it as a radical spatial expression—a space where humans and wild species and conflicting histories coexist in close proximity, and as a model for future environments in areas of intense urbanization. Born of a recent symposium staged by Technische Universität Berlin, the book brings together twelve essays with a range of archival documents, including newspaper articles, maps, reports, plans, and photographs.  With contributions by Fahim Amir, Michael Baers, Sandra Bartoli, Eva Simone Hayward, Gunnar Klack, Stefano Mancuso, Sandra Parvu and Piero Zanini, Alessandra Ponte, Karin Reisinger, Luise Rellensmann, Jörg Stollmann, and Chris Wilbert. Photo essays by Elisabeth Felicella and Christopher Roth.[/expand]

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design offers a comprehensive overview of the work of the designer, author, and activist Victor J. Papanek. His main work, the instructive guide Design for the Real World published in 1971, is as much in focus as his designs and his commitment to social minorities, the so-called Third World, and the considerate use of natural resources. [expand title="more"] This book documents countless photographs, artistic works and designs, objects, drawings, letters, and other materials, some of which are published here for the first time. Papanek’s close exchange with contemporaries such as Richard Buckminster Fuller, George Nelson, and Marshall McLuhan is also examined. Contemporary work by Tomás Saraceno, Catherine Sarah Young, Gabriel Ann Maher, Thomas Thwaites, and Forensic Architecture, as well as Flui Coletivo and Questtonó, among others, rounds off the publication and demonstrates that Papanek’s interpretation of design as a tool for social transformation is as relevant as ever and continues to shape debate on social design, critical design, and design thinking. [/expand]

'Ethics' edited by Walead Beshty is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. The boundary of a contemporary art object or project is no longer thought of solely in physical terms but rather in relation to the specific social field it creates. Art is thus increasingly implicated in questions of ethics. [expand title="more"]This collection evaluates the relation of ethics to aesthetics, an encounter central to the contested space of much recent practice. It brings together theoretical foundations for an ethics of aesthetics; appraisals of art that engages with ethical issues; statements and examples of methodologies adopted by a diverse range of artists; and examination of artworks that question the ethical conditions in which contemporary art is produced and experienced. Artists surveyed include Michael Asher, Tania Bruguera, Christoph Büchel, Merlin Carpenter, Paul Chan, Lygia Clark, Dexter Sinister, Fischli & Weiss, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, David Hammons, Sharon Hayes, Thomas Hirschhorn, Khaled Hourani, Martin Kippenberger, Sharon Lockhart, Renzo Martens, Hélio Oiticica, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Ariella Azoulay, Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes, Claire Bishop, Nicolas Bourriaud, Simon Critchley, Keller Easterling, Isabelle Graw, Jean-François Lyotard, Scorched Earth, Susan Sontag, Hito Steyerl, Triple Candie, Jan Verwoert and Eyal Weizman.[/expand] read Review

Exhibition' edited by Lucy Steeds is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. This anthology provides a multivocal critique of exhibitions of contemporary art, bringing together the writings of artists, curators and theorists. [expand title="more"]Collectively these diverse perspectives are united by the notion that if the focus for modernist discussion was individual works of art, it is the exhibition that is the prime cultural carrier of contemporaneity. The texts encompass exhibition design and form; exhibitions that are object-based, live or discursive; projects that no longer rely on a physical space to be visited in person; artists’ responses to being curated, and their reflections on the potential of acting curatorially. Set against the rise of the curator as an influential force in the contemporary art world, this volume underlines the crucial role of artists in questioning and shaping the phenomenon of the exhibition.[/expand]

'The Magazine' edited by Gwen Allen is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. Intrinsically collaborative, the magazine is an inherently ‘open’ form, generating constantly evolving relationships. [expand title="more"]This anthology contextualizes the artist’s magazine, surveying the art worlds it has by turns created and superseded; the commercial media forms it has critically appropriated, intervened in or subverted; the alternative, DIY cultures it has brought into being; and the expanded fields of cultural production, exchange and distribution it continues to engender. Surveying case studies of transformational magazines from the early 1960s onwards, this book also includes a wide-ranging archive of key editorial statements, from eighteenth-century Weimar to twenty-first century Bangkok, Cape Town and Delhi.[/expand]

'Craft' edited by Tanya Harrod is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. A secret history of craft told through lost and overlooked texts that illuminate our understanding of current art practice. This anthology offers an ethnography of craft, surveying its shape-shifting identities in the context of progressive art and design through writings by artists and makers as well as poetry, fiction, anthropology, and sociology. [expand title="more"]It maps a secret history of craft through lost and overlooked texts that consider pedagogy, design, folk art, the factory, and new media in ways that illuminate our understanding of current art practice.[/expand]

'Queer' edited by David J. Getsy is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. Rather than a book of queer theory for artists, this is a book of artists' queer tactics and infectious concepts. In the first such anthology to be centred on artist's writings, numerous conversations about queer practice are brought together from diverse individual, social, cultural contexts.[expand title="more"]Together these texts describe and examine the ways in which artists have used the concept of queer as a site of political and institutional critique, as a framework to develop new families and histories, as a spur to action, and as a basis from which to declare inassimilable difference.[/expand]

'The Rural' is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. An investigation through texts, interviews, and documentation of the complex relationship between the urban, the rural, and contemporary cultural production. What, and where, is “the Rural”? From the rocks that break a farmer's plough on a field in Japan to digital infrastructures that organize geographically dispersed interests and ambitions, vast parts of our lives are still connected and dependent on resources, production, and infrastructures located within rural geographies, and the rural remains a shared cultural space.[expand title="more"]This anthology offers an urgent and diverse cross-section of rural art, thinking, and practice, with writings that consider ways in which artists respond to the socioeconomic divides between the rural and the urban—from reimagined farming practices and food systems to architecture, community projects, and transnational local networks. Edited by three artists who have been working within rural situations and communities for the last twenty years, this anthology is formed as a document, tool, and navigation device for future artistic practice in which “the rural” is filtered through a lens sharpened by an audience-based model of art that practices from within the culture it addresses.[/expand]