Aesthetic Politics

Sean Cubitt


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The problem with Neo-Nazis is not that they don't trust the media but that they trust them too much. White supremacists are absolutely convinced by their supremacy. They distrust technologies and climate change as much as the global poor because, as white Europeans, they believe they are exempt from exploitation. This book argues that the only truths possible in the 21st century are mobile, inventive practices involving everything European models of communication exclude: technologies, nature, and leftover humanity. Tracing histories of their separation, Truth analyzes the struggle between the new dominance of information systems and the sensory worlds it excludes, not least the ancestral wisdom that the West has imprisoned in its technologies. The emergent cybernetics of the 1940s has become the dominant ideology of the 21st century. Truth opposes its division of the world between subjects and objects, signals and noise, emphasizing that there can be no return to some primal Eden of unfettered exchange. Instead, these divisions, which have fundamentally reorganized the commodity form that they inherited, are the historical conditions we must confront. Drawing on a wide range of aesthetic practices, from literature, film, art, music, workplace media, scientific instruments, and animal displays, Truth seeks out ways to create a new commons and a new politics grounded in aesthetic properties of creativity, senses and perception that can no longer be restricted to humans alone.


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Index for truth


Sean Cubitt

Sean Cubitt is Professor of Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne. His publications include The Cinema Effect (MIT Press), EcoMedia, The Practice of Light, (MIT Press), Finite Media: Environmental Implications of Digital Technologies, and Anecdotal Evidence: Ecocritique from Hollywood to the Mass Image. He is co-editor of The Ecocinema Reader: Theory and Practice and Ecomedia: Key Issues, and is series editor for Leonardo Books at the MIT Press.