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The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

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The power of remote vision

This book investigates drone technology from a humanities point of view by exploring how civilian and military drones are represented in visual arts and literature. It opens up a new aesthetic ‘drone imaginary’, a prism of cultural and critical knowledge, through which the complex interplay between drone technology and human communities is explored, and from which its historical, cultural and political dimensions can be assessed. The contributors to this volume offer diverse approaches to this interdisciplinary field of aesthetic drone imaginaries. Sprouting from art history, literature, photography, feminism, postcolonialism and cultural studies, the chapters provide new insights to the rapidly evolving field of drone studies. They include historical perspectives on early unmanned aviation and aerial modes of vision; they explore aesthetic configurations of drone swarming, robotics and automation; and they engage in current debates on how drone technology alters the human body, upsets available categories, and creates new political imaginaries.

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Andreas Immanuel Graae
Kathrin Maurer

Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, a work that does indeed span the breadth of humanities disciplines to include historical, colonial, gendered and networked perceptions of drones. While the contributions to Parks’s and Kaplan’s volume engage with non-Western representations of drone war, this perspective is even more thoroughly unfolded in Ronak K. Kapadia’s recent book Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (2019), which conceptualises the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Middle East. There is no

in Drone imaginaries
Photography and the post­Celtic Tiger landscape
Justin Carville

7 Topographies of terror: photography and the post-­Celtic Tiger landscape Justin Carville The title of this chapter is a sort of homage to Luke Gibbons’s examination of eighteenth-­century landscape aesthetics and Romanticism in Ireland (Gibbons 1996). In the essay from which the title is borrowed, and in several other subsequent publications, Gibbons has examined those moments when the collision of cultures brought about by the violence of colonialism has stimulated the complex intersection of aesthetics and politics in philosophical thought, literature and the

in From prosperity to austerity
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Jan Mieszkowski

turning the aesthetic gaze back on the medium of representation and its means of production, drones betray a modernist rather than a postmodernist aesthetic. 15 Crucial in this regard is the foregrounding of the grid, the ultimate modernist schema, which, as Rosalind E. Krauss argues, ‘states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricised, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal’. 16 In a tribute to Kracauer’s aesthetics or the planar networks of de Stijl, Mondrian, or Malevich, the American news weekly Time commemorated its 11 June, 2018

in Drone imaginaries
Objects, affects, mimesis
Simon Mussell

realism’ (SR). In this chapter, I want to show how the contemporary (re)turn to objects initially serves as a useful corrective to social or political theories that fail to properly engage with the object world (this includes forms of traditional Marxism that often presume ‘reification’ to be a perennial evil, rather than a particular social relation). I take this as an opportunity for a timely reconstruction of early 82 Critical theory and feeling critical theory’s own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis. This is most evident in Siegfried

in Critical theory and feeling
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A techno-bestiary of drones in art and war
Claudette Lauzon

, ‘Necropolitics’, 40. 63 L. Parks, ‘Vertical mediation and the US drone war in the Horn of Africa’, in Parks and Kaplan (eds), Life in the Age of Drone Warfare , 145. 64 Mbembe, ‘Necropolitics’, 21. 65 J. Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (London: Verso, 2004) , 91. 66 Stubblefield, Drone Art , 33. 67 P. Adey, ‘Making the drone strange: The politics, aesthetics and surrealism of levitation’, Geographica Helvetica 71 (2016) : 320. 68 Adey, ‘Making the drone strange’, 321. 69 Haraway, ‘Promises of monsters’, 300. 70

in Drone imaginaries
Open Access (free)
The autonomous life?
Nazima Kadir

networks; Scholl ( 2010 ) examines tactical interactions between protesters and authorities in summits in Europe; and Avery Natale ( 2010 ) considers how participants in black blocs conceptualize themselves as “queer.” These scholars have chosen to highlight decision-making processes, interactions, networks, and symbolic aesthetics rather than portraits and analysis of social movement communities and the people who comprise them. They neglect to answer basic questions such as: who are these people? where are they

in The autonomous life?
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Living, working, and thinking in a melting world
Sverker Sörlin
Klaus Dodds

Engineering Problems . Strategic engineering study, Special Report #62. Ann Arbor : US Army Corp of Engineers . Nicholson , M. ( 1958 , reprinted 1997) Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite . Seattle, WA : University of Washington Press . Nielsen , H. and J. Martin

in Ice humanities
Rasmus Degnbol
Andreas Immanuel Graae

beings and their sad belongings, the photos thus uncover a changed Europe and address an inconvenient truth about how we as Europeans protect our Western communities against immigration. Through its clean aesthetics and distanced gaze, the drone captures this tension by mirroring the governmental view from above, which sees no individuals, only faceless numbers. Andreas Immanuel Graae and Rasmus Degnbol first became acquainted in 2016 when they both spoke at a drone conference at the H. C. Andersen Airport in Odense, Denmark. Since then they have developed a

in Drone imaginaries