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Book Cover for: Organic Modernism: From the British Bauhaus to Cybernetics, Charissa N. Terranova

Organic Modernism: From the British Bauhaus to Cybernetics

Charissa N. Terranova

When artists, scientists, and designers unite they create new ways of thinking and alternative paths to problem solving.

The first book to trace the story of British "organic modernism", this ground-breaking open access study tells the story of a collective culture of artists, scientists, and designers in the early 1900s united by a holistic understanding of the organic world and devoted to collaboration, cooperation, and cross-pollination of the arts and biological sciences.

Tracing how artists, scientists, and designers cooperated in various capacities from the Great Depression to postwar cybernetics, this book follows the evolution of philosophical organicism from the British Bauhaus, modern architecture, and surrealism; through to post-war socialism, the welfare state, epigenetics, biology-based art exhibitions; robotic art and design, cybernetics and ecology in art. Reacting against blunt reductionism, organic modernists implemented organicist and emergentist philosophies in scientific labs, design studios, and art ateliers, embracing complexity to solve problems in various scales and arenas, from cells to socialism. Their actions offer a template for finding meaningful agency and problem solving in today's world fraught by global climate disaster, ever-expanding economic inequalities, and backsliding democracy

A sequel to Terranova's Art as Organism: Biology and the Evolution of the Digital Image (2016), Organic Modernism reveals the biological roots of cybernetics in the British context.

The ebook editions of this book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on Open access was funded by the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Visual Arts
  • Publish Date: Sep 19th, 2024
  • Pages: 320
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.21in - 6.14in - 1.00in - 1.00lb
  • EAN: 9781350227538
  • Categories: History - Modern (Late 19th Century to 1945)Subjects & Themes - Human FigureEurope - Great Britain - 20th Century

About the Author

Terranova, Charissa N.: - Charissa N. Terranova is Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies and Professor of Art and Architectural History at the University of Texas at Dallas, USA. She researches the relationship between culture and science, focusing on the history of evolutionary theory and biology in art and architecture. She is author of Art as Organism: Biology and the Evolution of the Digital Image (2016) and Automotive Prosthetic: Technological Mediation and the Car in Conceptual Art (2014), and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016), and the Biotechne series with Meredith Tromble.
Tromble, Meredith: - Meredith Tromble is an intermedia artist and writer based in California. Her books, artworks, and performances give form to the links between imagination and knowledge. She is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/Art & Technology Emeritus, San Francisco Art Institute, USA.