British Cotton Textiles: Maturity and Decline
This book examines the decline of the cotton textiles industry, which defined Britain as an industrial nation, from its peak in the late nineteenth century to the state of the industry at the end of the twentieth century. Focusing on the owners and managers of cotton businesses, the authors examine how they mobilised financial resources; their attitudes to industry structure and technology; and their responses to the challenges posed by global markets. The origins of the problems which forced the industry into decline are not found in any apparent loss of competitiveness during the long nineteenth century but rather in the disastrous reflotation after the First World War. As a consequence of these speculations, rationalisation and restructuring became more difficult at the time when they were most needed, and government intervention led to a series of partial solutions to what became a process of protracted decline. In the post-1945 period, the authors show how government policy encouraged capital withdrawal rather than encouraging the investment needed for restructuring. The examples of corporate success since the Second World War – such as David Alliance and his Viyella Group – exploited government policy, access to capital markets, and closer relationships with retailers, but were ultimately unable to respond effectively to international competition and the challenges of globalisation. The chapters in this book were originally published in Business History and Accounting, Business and Financial History.
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Trained as an art historian but viewing architecture from the perspective of a “displaced philosopher,” Hubert Damisch in these essays offers a meticulous parsing of language and structure to “think architecture in a different key,” as Anthony Vidler puts it in his introduction. Drawn to architecture because it provides “an open series of structural models,” Damisch examines the origin of architecture and then its structural development from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. He leads the reader from Jean-Francois Blondel to Eugene Viollet-le-Duc to Mies van der Rohe to Diller Scofidio, with stops along the way at the Temple of Jerusalem, Vitruvius’s De Architectura, and the Louvre. In the title essay, Damisch moves easily from Diderot’s Encylopedie to Noah’s Ark (discussing the provisioning, access, floor plan) to the Pan American Building to Le Corbusier to Ground Zero. Noah’s Ark marks the origin of construction, and thus of architecture itself. Diderot’s Encylopedie entry on architecture followed his entry on Noah’s Ark; architecture could only find its way after the Flood. In these thirteen essays, written over a span of forty years, Damisch takes on other histories and theories of architecture to trace a unique trajectory of architectural structure and thought. The essays are, as Vidler says, “a set of exercises” in thinking about architecture.
About the Author
Hubert Damisch is Emeritus Professor of the History and Theory of Art at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Over the course of a long and distinguished career, he has held posts at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Washington. He is the author of The Origin of Perspective, The Judgment of Paris, Skyline: The Narcissistic City, and A Theory of Cloud: Toward a History of Painting. Anthony Vidler is Dean and Professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, New York. He is the author of Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (2000), and The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (1992), both published by The MIT Press, and other books.
This handsome catalogue presents the Dutch artist Theo Van Doesburg (1883-1931) as a nomadic propagandist on a quest for a new aesthetic that, in conjunction with contemporary science and technology, sought to reform the world. Van Doesburg was a central figure of the De Stijl movement, characterized by a pared-down aesthetic centered in basic visual elements such as geometric shapes and primary colors, and this book highlights the artist’s collaborations with other leading members, including Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, and Georges Vantongerloo. It also traces the stylistic trajectory of the artist’s career from his Neo-Plasticist and Dadaist creations to his Elementarist and Conrete artworks and brings together art, architecture, cinema, poetry, literature, design, and typography to illuminate Van Doesburg’s enduring contributions to De Stijl.
About the Author
Gladys C. Fabre is an art historian, curator, and author specializing in 20th-century modernity and the avant-gardes.
Modernity has had so many meanings and tries to combine so many contradictory sets of attitudes and values that it has become impossible to use it to define the future. It has ended up crashing like an overloaded computer. Hence the idea is that modernity might need a sort of reset. Not a clean break, not a “tabula rasa,” not another iconoclastic gesture, but rather a restart of the complicated programs that have been accumulated, over the course of history, in what is often called the “modernist project.” This operation has become all the more urgent now that the ecological mutation is forcing us to reorient ourselves toward an experience of the material world for which we don’t seem to have good recording devices. Reset Modernity! is organized around six procedures that might induce the readers to reset some of those instruments. Once this reset has been completed, readers might be better prepared for a series of new encounters with other cultures. After having been thrown into the modernist maelstrom, those cultures have difficulties that are just as grave as ours in orienting themselves within the notion of modernity. It is not impossible that the course of those encounters might be altered after modernizers have reset their own way of recording their experience of the world. At the intersection of art, philosophy, and anthropology, Reset Modernity! has assembled close to sixty authors, most of whom have participated, in one way or another, in the Inquiry into Modes of Existence initiated by Bruno Latour. Together they try to see whether such a reset and such encounters have any practicality. Much like the two exhibitions Iconoclash and Making Things Public, this book documents and completes what could be called a “thought exhibition:” Reset Modernity! held at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe from April to August 2016. Like the two others, this book, generously illustrated, includes contributions, excerpts, and works from many authors and artists. ContributorsJamie Allen, Terence Blake, Johannes Bruder, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Philip Conway, Michael Cuntz, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Didier Debaise, Gerard de Vries, Philippe Descola, Vinciane Despret, Jean-Michel Frodon, Martin Giraudeau, Sylvain Gouraud, Lesley Green, Martin Guinard-Terrin, Clive Hamilton, Graham Harman, Antoine Hennion, Andres Jaque, Pablo Jensen, Bruno Karsenti, Sara Keel, Oleg Kharkhordin, Joseph Leo Koerner, Eduardo Kohn, Bruno Latour, Christophe Leclercq, Vincent-Antonin Lepinay, James Lovelock, Patrice Maniglier, Claudia Mareis, Claude Marzotto, Kyle McGee, Lorenza Mondada, Pierre Montebello, Stephen Muecke, Cyril Neyrat, Cormac O’Keeffe, Hans Ulrich Obrist, P3G, John Palmesino, Nicolas Prignot, Donato Ricci, Ann-Sofi Ronnskog, Maia Sambonet, Henning Schmidgen, Isabelle Stengers, Hanna Svensson, Thomas Thwaites, Nynke van Schepen, Consuelo Vasquez, Peter Weibel, Richard White, Aline Wiame, Jan Zalasiewicz Exhibition April 10, 2016–August 21, 2016ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe Copublished with ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
About the Author
Bruno Latour, a philosopher and anthropologist, is the author of Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, Our Modern Cult of the Factish Gods, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, and many other books. He curated the ZKM exhibits ICONOCLASH and Making Things Public and coedited the accompanying catalogs, both published by the MIT Press.
About the Author
Sarah Lazarovic is a writer, illustrator, and artist based in Toronto. She is the founding editor of the popular website torontoist.com.