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Publishers WeeklyThis expansive collection of Frampton's critical writing is long overdue, replacing the out-of-print (and less comprehensive) Circles of Confusion from 1983. In addition to in-depth deconstructions of photography and film, this volume includes previously unpublished letters, lecture transcriptions and Frampton's own notes for the production of his films. Divided into four sections, the book first covers essays about photography, then essays on film, on Video and Digital Arts, and finally on the "Other Arts," mainly painting and sculpture. Though somewhat dense, the material is rewarding for its eloquence, humor and flair. In "Some Propositions on Photography," Frampton discusses the ambiguity of the form as an art, a science, and (to the artist's horror) a hobby ("conceived in the belly of the Muse, but later plucked from her ashes and nurtured in the thigh of Commerce"). His "Notes on Composing a Film" reads like a manifesto: "the whole history of art is no more than a massive footnote to the history of film." Even obscure writings, like a letter to the editor of Artforum, showcase Frampton at his best: an articulate, meticulous and thorough defender of his aesthetic principles. 18 color and 16 b/w illus.
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