» Past Issues
AandO2Issue #22: “Art and Objecthood” at Fifty

For fifty years, Michael Fried’s “Art and Objecthood” has set the terms for the discussion of minimalism, or as he prefers to call it, literalism.  More than just a commentary on a controversial set of works that challenged and largely eclipsed high modernism, “Art and Objecthood” has itself remained the subject of intense debate since it was first published in Artforum.  It raises questions about the nature of art, of experience, of criticism, and of the relation of history to all of the above.  For some of us, partisans as well as opponents of Fried’s views, “Art and Objecthood” is inevitable–a challenge that cannot be avoided.  The essays and appreciations gathered in this issue offer variety.  They are by “Art and Objecthood”‘s admirers, if not partisans, and suggest the breadth of ways its challenge can be felt and met.  Fried’s battle with minimalism may be a topic for art historical study, but we are not finished reading “Art and Objecthood” yet.  The discussion continues here.

AO50Issue #21: “Art and Objecthood” at Fifty

For fifty years, Michael Fried’s “Art and Objecthood” has set the terms for the discussion of minimalism, or as he prefers to call it, literalism.  More than just a commentary on a controversial set of works that challenged and largely eclipsed high modernism, “Art and Objecthood” has itself remained the subject of intense debate since it was first published in Artforum.  It raises questions about the nature of art, of experience, of criticism, and of the relation of history to all of the above.  For some of us, partisans as well as opponents of Fried’s views, “Art and Objecthood” is inevitable–a challenge that cannot be avoided.  The essays and appreciations gathered in this issue offer variety.  They are by “Art and Objecthood”‘s admirers, if not partisans, and suggest the breadth of ways its challenge can be felt and met.  Fried’s battle with minimalism may be a topic for art historical study, but we are not finished reading “Art and Objecthood” yet.  Our next issue will continue the discussion.

3.Corderie-Arsenale_Opening-room-Photo-by-Andrea-Avezzu-Courtesy-of-La-Biennale-di-VeneziaIssue #20: Political and Aesthetic Post-Mortem

In this issue we offer reflections on “white working class” ideology and neoliberal history; on the ideology of craft at the Venice Biennale; on the contested meanings of formalism; three unpublished pieces by Allen Grossman; Michael Fried on “Encountering ‘September Sky’”; new poetry; and reviews of Lisa Florman on Kandinsky and Jill Cassid on the Enlightenment Subject.

Robert Adams, In a New Subdivision, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1969Issue #19: Photography and Philosophy II

In the spring of 2015 nonsite.org in collaboration with the Los Angeles Museum of Art hosted a two-day conference on Photography and Philosophy. For our 19th issue nonsite.org presents essays related to that event. These essays engage with what we take to be central issues in the history and practice of photography today including the autonomy of the photographic image, automatism, temporality, politics, and meaning.

hypnotistIssue #18: The Subject in Culture

The subject of trained artistic gesture or of the ganzfeld chamber; understanding itself within liberal ideology or within a crisis of man.  This issue considers the relation of the subject to various cultures—psychological, political, historical.    

guernica3Issue #17: The Moynihan Report and the Crescent City

The essays in this issue take the 10th and 50th anniversaries of Hurricane Katrina and the Moynihan Report as an opportunity to examine the implications of culturalist understandings of poverty — and, in particular, Black poverty — advanced by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and widely reiterated for the City of New Orleans.

Issue 16 bannerIssue #16: Situation

The essays in this issue consider various ways we–our problems and works–emerge from and in our situation and the ways this fact can be figured in our poems and our paintings, and in our responses to them.

b-side modernism bannerIssue #15: B-Side Modernism

In June of 2014, nonsite.org, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, sponsored four fellows to do research in the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University. Danowski’s synoptic ambition—to collect literally all poetry in English published in the 20th century, including the independent journals, short-run chapbooks and broadsides that gave modernism its distinctive energy—has created an opportunity to examine the materials out of which our accounts of the century have been made, without the influence of a shaping hand.

The work of our B-Side Fellows, presented here, takes the shapelessness of “everything” as a provocation to investigate the divergences between canonical accounts of modernism in poetry; to explore the many roads not taken, whether they manifest in the unedited arc of a career, in the one-off achievement, or the unclassified ephemera of a moment. What else might modernism have been? And how do such reconsiderations of modernism bear on what happens on the flip side of the mid-century divide? Edited by Jennifer Ashton and Oren Izenberg.

Degas, Portraits at the Stock Exchange, pastel, Met, 1878-79Issue #14: Nineteenth-Century France Now

In this issue, nonsite features new work on 19th-century French art and visual culture, from telegraphy to lithography, Orientalists to Post-Impressionists, Manet to Degas. Edited by Bridget Alsdorf.

Banner, Issue 13Issue #13: The Latin American Issue

In nonsite’s thirteenth issue, we turn to the contemporary relationship between literature and politics in Latin America today. Edited by Eugenio Di Stefano and Emilio Sauri.

Courbet_LAtelier_du_peintreIssue #12: Contemporary Politics and Historical Representation

In nonsite’s 12th issue, a collection of views on the meaning and uses of postcolonial theory in and around modern Poland, plus photography and ’sixties Paris and a feature essay on Thomas Piketty’s celebrated Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Joseph Nicephore, view  from the window at le grasIssue #11: Photography and Philosophy

The following six essays are intended as three exchanges around three topics—the autonomy of the photographic image, automatism, and time and meaning—that will be the themes of three panels in a two-day conference at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 13 and 14, 2015.

The conference is sponsored by the museum and by the Mellon Foundation and is being organized by nonsite.org.  We are looking for creative approaches to these themes that will engage with works in the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection at LACMA.  Send proposals for session papers to nonsite@nonsite.org.  Proposals must be submitted by November 15, 2014.

Brecht illustrationIssue #10: Affect, Effect, Bertolt Brecht

In nonsite’s tenth issue, we revisit the work of Bertolt Brecht and assess its relevance for today.

Jeff Wall, The Well, 1989, transparency in lightbox, 229 x 179 cm. Courtesy of the artist.Issue #9: The Labor Issue

Nonsite’s 9th issue focuses on working conditions in higher education. Edited by Victoria H.F. Scott.

ontario-eastIssue #8: The Music Issue

In this issue, nonsite turns its attention to music.

Fig. 3, Bearden, The Dove, 1945Issue #7: Formalism/Post-Formalism

New accounts of Picasso, Léger, Beckmann, Pollock, Bearden and we ask: What are the stakes of formalism today?

humptyWCFieldsIssue #6: Intention and Interpretation

This issue is loosely the result of a double session on Intention and Interpretation at the College Art Association meeting of February 2010.  (The original call for papers appears below.)  The line-up of speakers was somewhat different from the authors of this special issue, but these remarks describe the developments to which both sets of papers address themselves.  Thierry de Duve, Michael Garral, Stephen Melville, and Walter Benn Michaels were all participants in the sessions and contributed arguments substantially like those they present here.  David Summers was scheduled to take part, but was unable to attend the gathering in 2010.  Samuel Wheeler contributes an entirely new piece on the topic.

Also in this issue, Molly Warnock on the pliages of Simon Hantaï.

Intention and Interpretation

Session chairs: Charles Palermo and Todd Cronan

Is the meaning of a work of art just exactly the intention of its maker or makers? Does anyone (still) believe that? Yes. In fact, it has been argued that everyone does, but no one wants to admit it. Further, since the question will determine not just how you go about interpreting works of art, but what you think a work of art is and what you think an interpretation is, this question is fundamental to the practice of all art historians. So, if you don’t know how you’d answer the question, you don’t know what an art historian does. This session invites strong statements and arguments for and against intentionalism, and will look for their consequences. Papers should articulate a stance on intentionalism and defend it with a challenging example or an argument.

in-a-lonely-place_stillIssue #5: Agency and Experience

In this issue Michael Fried, Ruth Leys, and Robert Pippin look at aspects of the relation between our agency–our actions, or emotions, our character–and our experience–of the world, of ourselves, of each other.

Two special features consider writing on cubism–Kevin Chua on Christopher Green and Lisa Florman on Clement Greenberg, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, and T.J. Clark.

Erica Baum, Dog Ear (2010)Issue #4: No Quarrel (Part 2)

This issue of nonsite presents the continuation of a conversation between literary scholars and philosophers, revisiting the ancient quarrel between literature and philosophy in a modern disciplinary context.  These essays are revised and extended versions of papers originally delivered at “No Quarrel: Literature and Philosophy Today,” a conference organized at Boston University in April, 2011 by Robert Chodat and Oren Izenberg, and sponsored by the BU Humanities Foundation. The first five essays may be viewed here.

The schism between literary study and philosophy has long been sharper in America than in Europe.  For more than a half-century, mainstream Anglo-American academic philosophy has been dominated by work that looks to science, logic, and mathematics for its models of knowledge, marginalizing questions of narrative, interpretation, and beauty.  Over the same period, American literary scholarship has invested in eclectic versions of “theory” that address questions about meaning, intention, and culture without sustained attention to contemporary work in epistemology, the philosophy of language, or the philosophy of mind.  As a result, any conversation that takes the disciplinary foundations of interdiscplinarity seriously is bound to reveal differences in assumption (about the stability of a historically variable term like “literature”; about the rigor of a vague concept like “style”).  It will also highlight differences  of method (e.g., is a discussion of Wordsworth undertaken to improve our account of Romanticism or to improve our account of the self?).

Nevertheless, the writers assembled here seek common ground, connecting high-level conceptual problems with questions of historical change and the particularities of what Wittgenstein called “the stream of our lives,” and making explicit how they understand some of the perennial questions hovering over all discussions of literature and philosophy: Can literature offer some kind of “truth”? What does a fiction have to offer a life?  Do poems mean in some special way?  We hope that “No Quarrel” might provide a model for how two different humanistic disciplines—disciplines with quite different institutional and intellectual histories—can come to understand one another more fully.

Many thanks to those who helped make that event a success: Juliet Floyd, Charles Griswold, Susan Jackson, Maurice Lee, Carrie McGrory, Michael Prince, Amelie Rorty, Allen Speight, James Winn, and everyone who attended the sessions.

wittgenstein_photoboothIssue #3: No Quarrel (Part 1)

This issue of nonsite.org presents a conversation between literary scholars and philosophers, revisiting the ancient quarrel between literature and philosophy in a modern disciplinary context. These essays are revised and extended versions of papers originally delivered at “No Quarrel: Literature and Philosophy Today,” a conference organized at Boston University in April, 2011 by Robert Chodat and Oren Izenberg, and sponsored by the BU Humanities Foundation. Half of the essays appear now; five more will appear in November, along with responses to the issues they raise.

The schism between literary study and philosophy has long been sharper in America than in Europe. For more than a half-century, mainstream Anglo-American academic philosophy has been dominated by work that looks to science, logic, and mathematics for its models of knowledge, marginalizing questions of narrative, interpretation, and beauty. Over the same period, American literary scholarship has invested in eclectic versions of “theory” that address questions about meaning, intention, and culture without sustained attention to contemporary work in epistemology, the philosophy of language, or the philosophy of mind. As a result, any conversation that takes the disciplinary foundations of interdisciplinarity seriously is bound to reveal differences in assumption (about the stability of a historically variable term like “literature”; about the rigor of a vague concept like “style”). It will also highlight differences of method (e.g., is a discussion of Wordsworth undertaken to improve our account of Romanticism or to improve our account of the self?).

Nevertheless, the writers assembled here seek common ground, connecting high-level conceptual problems with questions of historical change and the particularities of what Wittgenstein called “the stream of our lives,” and making explicit how they understand some of the perennial questions hovering over all discussions of literature and philosophy: Can literature offer some kind of “truth”? What does a fiction have to offer a life? Do poems mean in some special way? We hope that “No Quarrel” might provide a model for how two different humanistic disciplines—disciplines with quite different institutional and intellectual histories—can come to understand one another more fully.

Many thanks to those who helped make that event a success: Juliet Floyd, Charles Griswold, Susan Jackson, Maurice Lee, Carrie McGrory, Michael Prince, Amelie Rorty, Allen Speight, James Winn, and everyone who attended the sessions.

brain scanIssue #2: Evaluating Neuroaesthetics

In a special dossier, contributors present claims for and against neuro-, cognitive, and evolutionary aesthetics. Edited by Todd Cronan.

1968-29Issue #1: Author Artist Audience

We present nonsite’s inaugural issue.

nonsite.org is an online, open access, peer-reviewed quarterly journal of scholarship in the arts and humanities.
nonsite.org is affiliated with Emory College of Arts and Sciences.
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