Writing on Air

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For centuries, humans have tried to master air. Sea captains rein it in with their sails, and pilots cut through it with their wings. We have machines to pump air into our lungs and computers to anticipate the movement of the winds. Air pervades everything we do and gives us life, yet it is impossible to capture. We can only evoke it through images, impressions, and feelings. This book offers a collage of such evocations expressed through prose, poetry, photography, and drawings.From aerial plankton to Navajo ...

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The MIT Press, 04/01/2003, Paperback, Brand New!

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Overview

For centuries, humans have tried to master air. Sea captains rein it in with their sails, and pilots cut through it with their wings. We have machines to pump air into our lungs and computers to anticipate the movement of the winds. Air pervades everything we do and gives us life, yet it is impossible to capture. We can only evoke it through images, impressions, and feelings. This book offers a collage of such evocations expressed through prose, poetry, photography, and drawings.From aerial plankton to Navajo wind gods, from joyful singing to painful emphysema, from gentle breezes to violent storms, Writing on Air creates a fresh way of thinking about the role of air in our everyday lives. Included in the book are prose pieces by poet Hayden Carruth, paulo da costa, Kristjana Gunnars, filmmaker Werner Herzog,
Howard Mansfield, Sarah Menin, and C. L. Rawlins; an excerpt from a play by Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann on the discovery of oxygen; poems by Lori Anderson, Tonu
Õnnepalu, Andrew Schelling, and Virgil Suárez; and art and photography by Manuel Acevedo, Stuart Allen, Marsha Cottrell, Susan Derges, the Korwa tribe of the Indian hills, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Tuula Närhinen, and the airborne dancers of Project Bandaloop.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Air is a spiritual barometer. It cannot help but inspire," writes poet John Olson of the insubstantial medium in which we move and breathe. This delightful collection brings together prose, poetry and illustrations on the subject of air. The art is particularly creative: how, after all, does one visualize the invisible? These artists manage to do so, with images of a hot-air balloon; clouds; the impact of a strong wind on a now-tilting structure; and a man lying on the ground, face up, his arms pointed above him as though he were about to dive into the sky. Scientists Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann offer a playlet in which Antoine Lavoisier, Joseph Priestley and Carl Wilhelm Scheele argue over which one of them was the first to discover oxygen; naturalist David Lukas describes air that "is far from empty," full of dust motes, fibers of spider silk and more; and philosopher David Appelbaum considers the laugh, "a bubble drive heavenward by a physics of effervescence." This rich collection will spark the imagination of anyone eager to consider one of our most essential elements. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262681599
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Series: Terra Nova Books Series
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Roger Remington considers himself primarily ateacher who has critical interests in design studies(graphic design history, theory and methods),
research,writing and graphic design practice. Since 1982 he hasbeen engaged in the research, interpretation, and preservationof the history of graphic design. He has cochairedtwo major symposia on graphic design historyand written a book, Nine Pioneers in American GraphicDesign, for The MIT Press. His second book, Lester Beall:Trailblazer of American Graphic Design was published inJuly of 1996 by W.W.
Norton. Presently he is working ona book, A New Unity: Modernism in American GraphicDesign:1930-1950forLaurenceKingPublishers in London.The Graphic Design Archive at RIT, which hedeveloped, involves preserving and interpreting theoriginal source materials of 16 design pioneers such asLester Beall, Will Burtin, Cipe Pineles, William Goldenand Alvin Lustig among others. In 1999 his designhistory course on 20th Century Information Design istargeted at on-line learners. Presently he is developing anew course on "Women Pioneers in American GraphicDesign."

Wandee J. Pryor is former Managing Editor of Terra Nova projects at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction
The Psychedelics of Pollution 3
To Build an Imperfect Cloud 11
The Birds Keep Their Secrets 20
Lenticular Clouds 32
Of Aerial Plankton and Aeolian Zones 39
The Bering Bridge 44
Aerial Imagination: The Character of Air in the Spaces of Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto 47
What Is Seen from the Air 63
Extinct Songbirds of Maine 67
Inebriate of Air 83
Clouding 95
From Oxygen 105
The Subtle Humour 114
Song of the Andoumboulou: 50 124
The Mystery of the Hills 135
From Of Walking in Ice 147
Thin Air on Mt. Audubon 159
From The Substance of Forgetting 163
Notes on Emphysema 171
The Laugh 181
Breath, Air, Voice 189
Acolyte 196
A Breath of Memory 201
Aria 211
The Atomic Nature of Ma 226
Surveillance 231
Divide Winds Charge Ultimate Price 245
There Is No Freedom Spring Air 262
Holy Wind Before Emergence 265
The Aeolian Harp: An Allegorical Dream 271
Wind. Play with Me: The Mysterious Aeolian Harp 276
The Fallacy of Safe Space 287
Wind and Breath 294
Contributors 300
Sources 307
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