Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226104942 Published June 2014
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226114835 Published June 2014

Surface

Matters of Aesthetics, Materiality, and Media

Giuliana Bruno

Giuliana Bruno

288 pages | 80 color plates, 6 halftones | 9 x 9 3/4 | © 2014
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226104942 Published June 2014
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226114835 Published June 2014
What is the place of materiality—the expression or condition of physical substance—in our visual age of rapidly changing materials and media? How is it fashioned in the arts or manifested in virtual forms? In Surface, cultural critic and theorist Giuliana Bruno deftly explores these questions, seeking to understand materiality in the contemporary world.
 
Arguing that materiality is not a question of the materials themselves but rather the substance of material relations, Bruno investigates the space of those relations, examining how they appear on the surface of different media—on film and video screens, in gallery installations, or on the skins of buildings and people. The object of visual studies, she contends, goes well beyond the image and engages the surface as a place of contact between people and art objects. As Bruno threads through these surface encounters, she unveils the fabrics of the visual—the textural qualities of works of art, whether manifested on canvas, wall, or screen. Illuminating the modern surface condition, she notes how façades are becoming virtual screens and the art of projection is reinvented on gallery walls. She traverses the light spaces of artists Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Tacita Dean, and Anthony McCall; touches on the textured surfaces of Isaac Julien’s and Wong Kar-wai’s filmic screens; and travels across the surface materiality in the architectural practices of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Herzog & de Meuron to the art of Doris Salcedo and Rachel Whiteread, where the surface tension of media becomes concrete. In performing these critical operations on the surface, she articulates it as a site in which different forms of mediation, memory, and transformation can take place.
 
Surveying object relations across art, architecture, fashion, design, film, and new media, Surface is a magisterial account of contemporary visual culture.
Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University
“In this finely crafted and evocative book, Bruno weaves a deep archaeology of the screen. Architecture, art, fashion, film, and philosophy find themselves embedded in the folds of a single sensuous fabric. Vision itself becomes tactile, and we begin to grasp the digital.”
George Baker, University of California, Los Angeles
“This is a unique book, in both form and content. Ranging from essay to diary to the epistolary, and from the work of Wong Kar-Wai to Walead Beshty, architects Herzog & de Meuron, Sally Potter, and Issey Miyake, Bruno traces a cultural about-face regarding our tendency to denigrate surfaces as superficial. Surfaces here are instead meeting-places, zones of encounter and admixture—the precise site that painting, cinema, architecture, fashion, or even the body all share, and where increasingly today they are transformed.”
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction 
Fabrics of the Visual

1                      A Matter of Fabric: Pleats of Matter, Folds of the Soul
2                      Surface, Texture, Weave: The Fashioned World of Wong Kar-wai

Surfaces of Light

3                      Light Spaces, Screen Surfaces: On the Fabric of Projection
4                      The Surface Tension of Media: Texture, Canvas, Screen 
5                      Depth of Surface, Screen Fabrics: Stains, Coatings, and “Films”

Screens of Projection

6                      Sites of Screening: Cinema, Museum, and the Art of Projection
7                      The Architect’s Museum: Isaac Julien’s Double-Screen Projections

Matters of the Imagination

8                      Projections: The Architectural Imaginary in Art 
9                      Textures in Havana: Memoirs of Material Culture
10                    On Dust, Blur, and the Stains of Time: A “Virtual” Letter to Sally Potter

Notes             
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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