Andrew Patrizio

‘watch out for humans who assume that they make all the patterns’ (Wendell Berry, ‘Letter to Wes Jackson’, Home Economics , 1987) ‘the smile of oil, the gesture of fired clay, the thrust of metal’ (Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy , 1994) I want to focus in this chapter very selectively on a number of contributions broadly within the field of new materialism, and its prehistories, that bring out visual aspects most prominently and thus speak to the ecological eye in a direct way. It is surely clear that new materialism and its

in The ecological eye
Abstract only
Assembling an ecocritical art history
Author: Andrew Patrizio

The ecological eye aims to align the discipline of art history with ecology, climate change, the Anthropocene and the range of politics and theoretical positions that will help to ground such an approach. It looks both backwards and forwards in order to promote the capacities of close attention, vital materialism, nonhierarchy, care and political ecology. The book seeks to place the history of art alongside its ecocritical colleagues in other humanities disciplines. Three main directions are discussed: the diverse histories of art history itself, for evidence of exemplary work already available; the politics of social ecology, Marxist ecologies and anarchy, showing its largely untapped relevance for work in art history and visual culture; and finally, emerging work in posthumanism and new materialism, that challenges unhelpful hierarchies across the human, animal, botanical and geological spheres. The ecological eye concludes with an appeal to the discipline to respond positively to the environmental justice movement.

Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Trade, conquest and therapeutics in the eighteenth century

Medicine was transformed in the eighteenth century. Aligning the trajectories of intellectual and material wealth, this book uncovers how medicine acquired a new materialism as well as new materials in the context of global commerce and warfare. It studies the expansion of medicine as it acquired new materials and methods in an age of discovery and shows how eighteenth-century therapeutics encapsulates the intellectual and material resources of conquest. Bringing together a wide range of sources, the book argues that the intellectual developments in European medicine were inextricably linked to histories of conquest, colonisation and the establishment of colonial institutions. Medicine in the eighteenth-century colonies was shaped by the two main products of European mercantilism: minerals and spices. Forts and hospitals were often established as the first signs of British settlement in enemy territories, like the one in Navy Island. The shifting fortunes on the Coromandel Coast over the eighteenth century saw the decline of traditional ports like Masulipatnam and the emergence of Madras as the centre of British trade. The book also explores the emergence of materia medica and medical botany at confluence of the intellectual, spiritual and material quests. Three different forms of medical knowledge acquired by the British in the colonies: plants (columba roots and Swietenia febrifuga), natural objects and indigenous medical preparations (Tanjore pills). The book examines the texts, plants, minerals, colonial hospitals, dispensatories and the works of surgeons, missionaries and travellers to demonstrate that these were shaped by the material constitution of eighteenth century European colonialism.

Critical theory and the affective turn
Simon Mussell

theoretical context that informs my re-​engagement with the earlier work of the Frankfurt School. In particular, I want to chart the recent ‘affective turn’ in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, which has proven to be a fertile, if somewhat disorderly, ground for research within the broader field of ‘new materialism’. My aim is to draw on some of these theories of affect to prompt new readings of first-​generation critical theory, readings that will emphasize the latter’s often overlooked concern with feeling, in all its senses. As will become apparent throughout

in Critical theory and feeling
Andrew Patrizio

Introduction ‘Real life has beside and within its lowest manifestations its highest ones as well.’ (Peter Kropotkin, Ideals and Realities , 1905) This third part meshes together some of the varied, dissonant and complex scholarship on new materialism and posthumanism as it relates to the ecocritical humanities and art history in particular. In general, my view is that such contributions, whether they are entirely new or instead reinvigorated ecophilosophies from the past, collectively offer a liberating energy available to the history of

in The ecological eye
The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School
Author: Simon Mussell

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.

Open Access (free)
Tuur Driesser

This chapter considers the implications of recent developments around object-oriented philosophy, the ontological turn and new materialism for the study of maps. Drawing a line from critical cartography to contemporary debates of non-representational and performative mapping, it argues for an approach that goes beyond textual or representational readings to think about how maps invent, affect and perform. With regards to time, this means an examination not of its representation, but of how maps themselves produce particular temporalities. A case study of the PathoMap describes how digital visualisations in the ‘smart city’ help to produce a regime of preparedness. As ‘device’, the map establishes a rhythm with the city, from emergence, to detection, to intervention; closing down the horizon of possible futures. In contrast to this pre-emptive elimination of uncertainty, it is suggested that a critical object-oriented cartography can point to the potential of maps to prompt the speculative provocation of possibility.

in Time for mapping
Megan Cavell and Jennifer Neville

reward the application of ideas derived from studies of emotions, cognition, and humour from other disciplines. And yet, for all that the riddles lend insights into human lives, their focus most often is on the ostensibly nonhuman. Thus, the riddles provide excellent opportunities for critical readings that are engaged in the work of breaking down binaries and hierarchies between humans and the world around them. Many of the riddles describe objects or natural phenomena, and so are open to thing theory and new materialism where other types of text may resist

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.