Edward Bacal

I focus on two contemporary art installations in which Teresa Margolles employs water used to wash corpses during autopsies. By running this water through a fog machine or through air conditioners, these works incorporate bodily matter but refuse to depict, identify or locate anybody (or any body) within it. Rather, Margolles creates abstract works in which physical limits – whether of bodies or of art works – dissolve into a state of indeterminacy. With that pervasive distribution of corporeal matter, Margolles charts the dissolution of the social, political and spatial borders that contain death from the public sphere. In discussing these works, I consider Margolles’ practice in relation to the social and aesthetic function of the morgue. Specifically, I consider how Margolles turns the morgue inside out, opening it upon the city in order to explore the inoperative distinctions between spaces of sociality and those of death. In turn, I consider how Margolles places viewers in uneasy proximity to mortality, bodily abjection and violence in order to illustrate the social, political and aesthetic conditions by which bodies become unidentifiable. I ultimately argue that her aesthetic strategies match her ethical aspirations to reconsider relations to death, violence and loss within the social realm.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Holly Dugan

is often in foul detail.32 Elevated to allegorical abstraction or reduced to obscene fart jokes, olfaction remains an enigma within the aesthetics of early modern art. Pomanders, as decorative and scent objects, may provide some insight. Like censers, pomanders are literally defined by their olfactory use. From the French pomme d’ambre, or apple of amber, a pomander was a ball of aromatic paste, usually ambergris, musk or civet, mixed with other aromatics (floral petals, spices or animal secretions). Unlike most European renaissance censers, however, which were

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
The (un)predictability of modern consumption
Jukka Gronow

, but, at the same time, I probably wouldn’t feel at home there after all.’) The principle of abstraction This is a strategy based on optimising the outcome of consumption habits or of long-term consumption rather than of single acts. It means using some abstract criterion of selection over a wide variety of concrete objects. Typical examples are the preference to consume things sequentially, like TV or radio series, journals or books, or with common threads, such as movies with the same main actors or concerts with the same singers, or restaurants with some typical

in Qualities of food
Open Access (free)
Time-space, disciplines, margins
Author: Saurabh Dube

This book explores modernity, the disciplines, and their interplay by drawing in critical considerations of time, space, and their enmeshments. Based in anthropology and history, and drawing on social-political theory (as well as other, complementary, critical perspectives), it focuses on socio-spatial/disciplinary subjects and hierarchical-coeval tousled temporalities. The spatial/temporal templates reveal how modern enticements and antinomies, far from being analytical abstractions, intimate instead ontological attributes and experiential dimensions of the worlds in which we live, and the spaces and times that we inhabit and articulate. Then, the book considers the oppositions and enchantments, the contradictions and contentions, and the identities and ambivalences spawned under modernity. At the same time, rather than approach such antinomies, enticements, and ambiguities as analytical errors or historical lacks, which await their correction or overcoming, it attempts to critically yet cautiously unfold these elements as constitutive of modern worlds. The book draws on social theory, political philosophy, and other scholarship in the critical humanities in order to make its claims concerning the mutual binds between everyday oppositions, routine enchantments, temporal ruptures, and spatial hierarchies of a modern provenance. Then, it turns to issues of identity and modernity. Finally, the book explores the terms of modernism on the Indian subcontinent.

Open Access (free)
From wasted time to damaged goods
Kinneret Lahad

demand. Patton’s letter is a useful opening point for this chapter because it raises some of the important questions that motivate my analysis: how does the commodified language of time shape our perceptions of female singlehood? What sort of exchanges take place between single men and women, and what are their conditions? How far does the abstraction of time into a quantifiable measure control single women’s lives? And what are the discursive mechanisms through which single women become “damaged goods”? In this chapter, I argue that the naturalized, objective temporal

in A table for one
Economy, football and Istria
Alex J. Bellamy

5 The nation in social practice I Economy, football and Istria The following two chapters assess the way that the disputes about the meaning of Croatian national identity in the 1990s (discussed in the previous chapter) were manifested in a variety of social practices. This third level of abstraction is concerned with how competing conceptions of national identity (Chapter 4) that make use of abstract frames (Chapter 3) are manifested and embedded in social practice and in identifying sites of resistance to the national ‘common sense’. The six brief studies

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Open Access (free)
Alex J. Bellamy

modernity is not necessarily to argue that it is an ‘invented tradition’ that marks a sharp break from the past. Finally, there is a concern that approaches to nationalism and national identity operate at too high a level of abstraction and thus fail to account for the nation as an integral part of the local, day-to-day, material experiences of people. The pertinence of national identity in the modern social imagination can only be accounted for by locating it at the nexus of the abstract and the everyday. The approaches spawned by this disquiet reveal broader ways of

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Open Access (free)
Alex J. Bellamy

different theories with regards to Croatia. Instead, I propose a multi-layered approach to studying contemporary Croatian national identity. Adopting Paul James’ theory of ‘abstract communities’, I argue that national identity is constituted by the interaction of three levels of social abstraction. The first level is an abstract level of ‘big stories’ that distinguish the nation from other nations. In and of themselves, such stories have little meaning in contemporary contexts. Therefore the second level looks at the political and intellectual elites who attempt to make

in The formation of Croatian national identity
Joe Gerlach

cartographically, OSM is itself at risk. Second, despite the relative novelty of OSM’s digital platform, there remain strong resonances with the manner in which cartography has been traditionally conceived and practised; specifically, that the role of mapping is to survey, to abstract, to diagram, to render and to contest what is included and omitted from the map, to argue ‘what counts’; a performed typology of cartographic orthodoxy that endures its digitisation. Third, there is something to be said about experience and abstraction. OSM deals in abstractions, but it also deals

in Time for mapping
Can performance care?
Maurice Hamington

much to gain from performance philosophy and a focus on improvisation. Although I am endeavouring to comment on everyday uses of care performances, this chapter often draws from stage performance as a source of insight. Care ethics was born of women’s experience and feminist theory in the 1980s as a relational approach to morality that eschewed formulas, abstractions, generalisations and absolutes in favour of valuing particularity, context and emotion. Care ethics reframes the fundamental condition of humanity from one of atomistic agents to that of interconnected

in Performing care