New Books Network

I interview authors of new books in art, critical theory, creative industry studies, and philosophy.

You can listen to the shows here, in your podcast app, or find them alongside thousands of conversations covering a wide range of new academic writing in many disciplines on the New Books Network.

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David Swift: The Identity Myth

David Swift: The Identity Myth

"It’s not about race, it’s about class" is the fastest way to shut down a conversation on the progressive values. David Swift considers how the boundaries of identities are policed and how diverse versions of the same identity can be deployed to different ends.
Mike Watson: The Memeing of Mark Fisher

Mike Watson: The Memeing of Mark Fisher

Capitalism breeds depression, suggested Mark Fisher. Mike Watson picks this prognosis when the locked-down pandemic world is mired in a depression that is economic and psychological, and no doubt exacerbated by the transfer of culture and life online.
Georgina Adam, Nizan Shaked: The problem with museums

Georgina Adam, Nizan Shaked: The problem with museums

Are contemporary art museums purely public affairs? How do private collections serve the greater good? What happens when these missions become confused? How should we account for the cost (in tax revenue, no least) of the philanthropist's gesture?
David Maroto: The Artist’s Novel

David Maroto: The Artist’s Novel

Why do visual artists write novels? How should such a novel be experienced? How do artist's novels compare or compete with literary fiction as we know it?
Abigail Susik: Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work

Abigail Susik: Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work

Surrealism produces images and artefacts that are rooted outside the real. For many artists, however, Surrealism took on an explicitly political and practical dimensions. Abigail Susik argues that many artists tried to transform the work of art into a form of unmanageable anti-work.
Julian Stallabrass: Killing for Show

Julian Stallabrass: Killing for Show

Since the Vietnam War the way we see conflict – through film, photographs, and pixels – has had a powerful impact on the political fortunes of the campaign, and the way that war has been conducted.
Keller Easterling: Medium Design

Keller Easterling: Medium Design

How do we think in a world where 'nothing works'? How do we formulate alternative approaches to the world’s unresponsive or intractable dilemmas, from climate change, to inequality, to concentrations of authoritarian power?
Nina Power: What Do Men Want?

Nina Power: What Do Men Want?

How can men and women live together well in a world where capitalism has replaced the values – family, religion, service, and honour – that used to give our lives meaning?
Michael Newall: A Philosophy of the Art School

Michael Newall: A Philosophy of the Art School

Many contemporary art schools have not abandoned the principal tools of the masterclass or the crit that stem from some stubborn 18th-century ideas and the belief that creativity is the preserve of the artistic genius.
Anna Watkins Fisher: The Play in the System

Anna Watkins Fisher: The Play in the System

What does artistic resistance look like in the twenty-first century, when disruption and dissent have been co-opted and commodified in ways that reinforce dominant systems?
Kim Charnley: Sociopolitical Aesthetics

Kim Charnley: Sociopolitical Aesthetics

Sociopolitical Aesthetics argues for a new interpretation of the relationship between socially-engaged art and neoliberalism. Kim Charnley explores the possibility that neoliberalism has destabilized the art system so that it is no longer able to absorb and neutralize dissent. As a result, the relationship between aesthetics and politics is experienced with fresh urgency and militancy.
Adam Lehrer: Communions

Adam Lehrer: Communions

Artists from Kurt Cobain to Amy Winehouse command fascination not only for their work but also foe their drug addictions and the manner of their death. Communions is an attempt to understand the role that opiates play in the artistic lives of those who are gripped by addiction.  
Alana Jelinek: Between Discipline and a Hard Place

Alana Jelinek: Between Discipline and a Hard Place

“History is the study of past events.” “Biology is the study of living organisms.” But art? Is art a discipline? Is it a practice? Who gets to answer this most fundamental of questions, and why do we prefer not to try?
Hannah Wohl: Bound by Creativity

Hannah Wohl: Bound by Creativity

What is creativity? While our traditional view of creative work might lead us to think of artists as solitary visionaries, the creative process is profoundly influenced by social interactions even when artists work alone.
Gayle Rogers: Speculation

Gayle Rogers: Speculation

From the mirror and the watch tower, the scientific revolution, Jane Austen, to the shape of contemporary capitalism – with booms, manias, busts, and bubbles along the way.
Caroline Seymour-Jorn: Creating Spaces of Hope

Caroline Seymour-Jorn: Creating Spaces of Hope

It is now just over a decade since protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square started Egypt's chapter in the events of the Arab Spring. How have artists responded personally and artistically to the political transformation?
Gemma Commane: Bad Girls, Dirty Bodies

Gemma Commane: Bad Girls, Dirty Bodies

What makes a woman 'bad' is commonly linked to certain 'qualities' or behaviours seen as morally or socially corrosive, dirty and disgusting. Gemma Commane speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about her study of neo-burlesque, queer performances, and explicit entertainment as sites of power, possibility, and success.
François Matarasso: A Restless Art

François Matarasso: A Restless Art

It is almost twenty years since contemporary art took a ‘participation turn’. How can we reconcile the somewhat forgotten history – and ongoing practice – of the community arts with the recent rise of participatory art, social practice, or outreach and engagement?
Jennifer Ponce de León: Another Aesthetics Is Possible

Jennifer Ponce de León: Another Aesthetics Is Possible

The activist performances of Grupo de Arte Callejero, Etcétera, and International Errorista rooted in the political histories of Latin America show how experimental practices in the visual arts have been influenced by and articulated with leftist movements and popular uprisings.
Anthony Downey: Research/Practice

Anthony Downey: Research/Practice

What forms of knowledge do artists produce in their often speculative and yet purposeful approach to generating research? Research/Practice focuses on artistic research and how it contributes to the formation of experimental knowledge systems.
Danielle Child: Working Aesthetics

Danielle Child: Working Aesthetics

Labour used to be regarded as an unattractive subject for art, the proximity of work to everyday life has subsequently narrowed the gap between work and art. The artist is no longer considered apart from the economic but is heralded as an example of how to work in neoliberal management textbooks.
Armstrong, Hughes: The Art of Experiment

Armstrong, Hughes: The Art of Experiment

In search of new knowledge practices that can help us make the world livable again, this book takes the reader on a journey across time—from the deep past to the unfolding future. Hughes and Armstrong search beyond human knowledge to establish negotiated partnerships with forms of knowledge within the planet itself.
Shannan Clark: The Making of the American Creative Class

Shannan Clark: The Making of the American Creative Class

In the middle of the twentieth century, the production of America's consumer culture was centralised in New York. Every day tens of thousands of writers, editors, artists, performers, and technicians made the culture that shaped the consumer economy. But this was far from a smoothly running machine.
Forkert, Oliveri, Bhattacharyya, Graham: How media and conflicts make migrants

Forkert, Oliveri, Bhattacharyya, Graham: How media and conflicts make migrants

Has ‘migrant’ become an unshakeable identity for some people? How does this happen and what role does the media play in classifying individuals as ‘migrants’ rather than people? How Media and Conflicts Make Migrants challenges the idea of the ‘migrant’, pointing instead to the array of systems and processes that force this identity on individuals.
Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century

Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century

How to understand propaganda art in the post-truth era — and how to create a new kind of emancipatory propaganda art. Propaganda art—whether a depiction of joyous workers in the style of socialist realism or a film directed by Steve Bannon — delivers a message.
Leigh Claire La Berge: Wages Against Artwork

Leigh Claire La Berge: Wages Against Artwork

The last twenty years have seen a rise of new forms of socially engaged art aimed. Leigh Claire La Berge's Wages Against Artwork addresses what she calls decommodified labor – the slow diminishment of wages – and the increasing presence of animals and children in contemporary art.
Tom Holert: Knowledge Beside Itself

Tom Holert: Knowledge Beside Itself

What is the role and function of contemporary art in economic and political systems that increasingly manage data and affect? Tom Holert's Knowledge Beside Itself delves into the peculiar emphasis placed in recent years, curatorially and institutionally, on notions such as “research” and “knowledge production.”