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Air

Out of Print

Edited By: John Knechtel

275 pages, Col illus

MIT Press

Hardback | Nov 2010 | #187522 | ISBN-13: 9780262014663
Out of Print Details

About this book

The thin layer of atmosphere that clings to the surface of our planet is a fragile and corrupted brew. Air is in constant, restless migration around the globe, connecting us in the most intimate fashion. From the dust storms that sweep into Beijing from faraway deserts to the smog from Chinese factories that shrouds Los Angeles, our air, the ultimate commons, is tragically defenseless. Breathing air is an involuntary physical function, but keeping the air breathable requires acts of political imagination and will.

'Air' considers the condition of this basic component of life on earth from a range of perspectives. It reveals the thick materiality of air, air as stinky, clotted, corrupted matter--in a word, dirty. We see the stuff of air in the form of molecules from disintegrating artworks, or as the material for building forms; as the bearer of scents and germs and as the substrate for communications both digital and pneumatic. Here, an asthmatic strains to inhale the air that bears the cause of her distress; a philosopher muses on the intelligibility of air; an artist dreams of being the accountant of dust; and city construction sheds are replaced by a floating "urbanCLOUD."


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Biography

John Knechtel is Director of Alphabet City Media in Toronto.

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