Catalyst book series

Catalyst books build speculative communities, inviting a wide range of perspectives into conversations about shared artistic, political, and intellectual values while privileging the unique, distinct and personal insights that characterize any single voice of engagement. Each volume in the series provides an in-depth look at a catalyst -- a thinker or artist who is actively working -- seeking after the full relevance of their (usually relatively recent) work in the present moment. The collected essays and artistic responses of the volume speculate on the interpretive possibilities inspired by the catalyst's work, and situate it in the contingencies of the present. The series focuses in particular on voices that have not already been widely featured but who have unique and relevant perspectives to share on questions of art, theory and culture.

Series Editors: Amanda Boetzkes, David Cecchetto, Ted Hiebert.

My Computer Was a Computer—Catalyst: M. Beatrice Fazi

Catalyst Book Series. David Cecchetto, ed. (2022). With contributions by Colin Campbell, A.A. Cavia, Wolfgang Ernst, Ted Hiebert, Jennifer Rhee, and R. Joshua Scannell. Catalyst Book Series Volume 06.

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When M. Beatrice Fazi claims that "computation is computation," we know this is so precisely because computation is never simply contained within the skin of computers, but is instead singularly generative. That generativity—in the fullest sense of the term, and perhaps even a little more than that—is the premise of this book, and thinking with Fazi opens onto more-thans precisely because her analyses are so self-contained. Indeed, the thinkers in this collection demonstrate that because "computation is computation," attendant concepts of media, race, intelligence, digitality, aesthetics, and compression are troped in new ways, yielding novel trajectories.

Casual Encounters—Catalyst: Cindy Baker

Catalyst Book Series. Ted Hiebert, ed. (2021). With contributions by Théo Bignon, Richard Boulet, Blair Brennan, Michelle Lacombe, Aaron McIntosh, Mary-Anne McTrowe, Veronika Merklein, Mikiki, Christine Negus, Shanell Papp, Kristin Rodier, Zoë Schneider, and Stefanie Snider. Catalyst Book Series Volume 05.

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A mattress, conceived as a place to crash, together. A hot tub, imagined as a site to encounter the end of the world. In times of networked connectivity what's perhaps more radical than embracing virtuality is to think about the stakes of the body, community, and personal encounter. These are themes engaged by the work of performance artist Cindy Baker, whose projects speculate on the forms of intimacy and interaction that art is capable of generating. In Baker's words, her art uses the medium of "context" in order to explore questions of community engagement and social inquiry. Brought together by Baker as catalyst, the contributors to this volume share a spirit of creative community and the belief in context as an important element of transformative social practice.

Something Other Than Lifedeath—Catalyst: S.D. Chrostowska

Catalyst Book Series. David Cecchetto, ed. (2018). With contributions by Louis Bury, Anita Chari, Ted Hiebert, Anneleen Masschelein, Gerhard Richter, and Patrick Seniuk. Catalyst Book Series Volume 04.

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Consisting in historical scholarly work, art-criticism, and fiction, S.D. Chrostowska's writing exhibits a vitality that seems always on the edge of breaking differently, while also limning a solidity that suggests each trajectory has always been fated to be exactly what it is. The complementarity of these forces -- the thing that in their being together as one makes it impossible that they are the same -- makes Chrostowska's oeuvre irreducible, unabstractable, unrepeatable, and -- yes -- catalytic. In this, Chrostowska's work doesn't simply stage another freedom/fate conundrum, but also constitutes the conundrum itself in its aesthetic profile.

Naturally Postnatural—Catalyst: Jennifer Willet

Catalyst Book Series. Ted Hiebert, ed. (2017). With contributions by Warren Cariou, Louise Chance-Baxter& and IAIN BAXTER&, George Gessert, George Gessert & Beth Franks, Christian Kuras, Marta de Menezes, Natasha Myers, Kira O'Reilly, Melentie Pandilovski, Paul Vanouse, Amanda White & Alana Bartol and Robert Zwijnenberg. Catalyst Book Series Volume 03. 254 pages.

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In the 21st century, a humanly-impacted climate is the natural state of planetary affairs: a global environmental disaster but perhaps also an artwork of geological scale. Responding to this idea requires an artistic spirit with an ecological conscience--perfectly espoused by the work of artist Jennifer Willet. From speculations on the genetic future to reflections on the ways that art challenges engagement, interaction and analysis, the contributions in this book share a key concern of Willet's: a recognition of the complexities of artistic engagement in a time when the stakes of technological living have never been higher.

Phono-Fictions and Other Felt Thoughts—Catalyst: Eldritch Priest

David Cecchetto, ed. (2016). With contributions by G Douglas Barrett, Marc Couroux, Émile Fromet de Rosnay, Ted Hiebert, Nicola Masciandaro, Juliana Pivato, Gary Shipley and Amy Tang. Catalyst Book Series Volume 02. 222 pages.

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Eldritch Priest's work does not often figure sounds as waves, but instead favours earworms and egregors ... abstractions that are themselves equally figured through sound. This field is one of phono-fictions, and the contributions to this volume variously figure out (and in) Priest's work by leveraging, interrogating, and promulgating the waves of boredom, bullshit, imagination, and analysis that drive it. These contributions are thus (sometimes true) fictions of a special type: they redound in (non)sonic bodies that are never isomorphic with themselves, instead moving parasitically in modulatory resonances that aggregate and dissemble according to logics that exceed sensibility.

Plastic Blue Marble—Catalyst: Amanda Boetzkes

Ted Hiebert, ed. (2016). With contributions by Shannon Bell, David Cecchetto, Mark Cheetham, Ted Hiebert, Doug Jarvis, Serena Kataoka, Anne Pasek, Andrew Pendakis and Maria Whiteman. Catalyst Book Series Volume 01. 185 pages.

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Our earth is no longer the solitary blue marble pictured from outer space by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972. Now, scholars such as Amanda Boetzkes imagine it as a plastic blue marble, mediated as it is through the paradoxes of intersectional and elemental thinking, anthropogenic change, and the ongoing project of imagining the futures we are building together. From visions of catastrophe to poetic journeys through the urban, social and artistic imagination, the contributions in this volume redistribute the currents of Boetzkes's ecological and theoretical insights. They discover new terrains of consideration, styles of thinking and creative forms of engaging with art, philosophy and ecological speculation.

Series Editors: Amanda Boetzkes, David Cecchetto, Ted Hiebert.
To contribute to the series or to suggest a catalyst for future volumes, please contact the series editors: