the artwork destroyed was a multiple. Other,
unmolested copies of the same series by Goya still exist; hence,
they destroyed an instance of Goya's work, but they did not
eliminate all of its instances. Aside from the ethical question of
whether the Chapman brothers were justified in destroying the Goya
prints, this case also raises some ontological questions: did the
related trajectories are already too large, diverse and dynamically expanding to attempt anything other than a selective exercise. It is one, though, that might suggest some of the most productive methodological and ontological routes for an ecocritical art history to come.
There are many prehistories to new materialism to be found in Eastern and Western philosophies (from Lucretius, Epicurus, Spinoza and Zen Buddhism) that cannot be adequately described here but certainly form a bedrock of intellectual formations that are often drawn on by contemporary writers
educational manuals to ostensibly critical texts,
have amply covered this territory.
My reflections on the what of print will
entail an ontological and material consideration of what can be
construed as the medium specificity of this already multiple set of
media, while my contemplation of the why of print will
address the possible sets of reasons behind one's adoption of
’s ‘unfulfilled promises and unacknowledged brutality’ and its roots in hegemony, teleology, rationalism, Eurocentrism and violence. 5 If the foundational terms of liberal humanism have been guiding art history so far, how might we read Braidotti’s assertion that ‘[n]ot all of us can say, with any degree of certainty, that we have always been human, or that we are only that’? 6 This is ontologically disorientating and also opens up much wider possibilities of identity. Art history should engage with Braidotti’s challenge, despite or because of the fact that the nature
) have been among the most clearly energetic expressions of the ecological eye and it would be impossible to do justice to all their complexity and richness. What I claim, however, is that, despite their diversity, they collectively form an expression of a wider tendency towards ‘flat ontologies’. They embrace the further erosion of hierarchical structures and thought patterns, and by troubling the easy boundaries that have existed in Western thought in relation to animal representation, ethics, rituals and domestic practice they have great power and future potential
drones and helicopter gunships (Holert, this volume; Christensen, this volume). This sustains a relationship
between ‘the image of world politics’ and actual visual images of world politics;
between metaphorical, conceptual understandings of the ontology and mechanics
of international relations and the horrific news and events witnessed every day.
The critical task then is not simply to come up with new theoretical images and
concepts, but to get these to take hold in the public sphere, on the ‘public screen’
(cf. DeLuca and Peeples 2002) of international politics.
-Western] regions of the planet, humans and nonhumans are not conceived as developing in incommunicable worlds or according to quite separate principles. The environment is not regarded objectively as an autonomous sphere. Plants and animals, rivers and rocks, meteors and seasons do not exist all together in an ontological niche defined by the absence of human beings.’ 1
There are clear political links here too to nonhierarchical ontologies that can migrate from anarchist and social ecology theory, which is more or less engaged with in new materialism, for example. But
Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.