1st Edition

Aesthetics and Anthropology

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 26, 2021
ISBN 9781350168824
November 26, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

USD $115.00

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Book Description

This book focuses on the reconfiguration of aesthetic anthropology into an anthropological problem of cogitation, opening up a fascinating new dialogue between the domains of anthropology, philosophy, and art. Tarek Elhaik embarks on an inquiry composed of a series of cogitations based on fieldwork in an ecology of artistic and scientific practices: from conceptual art exhibitions to architectural environments; from photographic montages to the videotaping of spirit seances; from artistic interventions in natural history museums to ongoing dialogues between performance artists and marine scientists. The chapters examine the image-work, ethical demands, and aesthetic struggles of interlocutors including artists Mathias Goeritz, Mounir Fatmi, Silvia Gruner, Joan Jonas, and Patricia Lagarde.

Table of Contents


Prelude: The Cogitator / Anthropology as Averroism

1 The Art of Cogitation

2 Mathias Goeritz / Concrete Abstractions

3 Silvia Gruner / Desperate Playfulness

4 Mounir Fatmi / Cerebral Compositions

5 Patricia Lagarde / A Naturalist’s Blues

6 Marine Cogitations


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Tarek Elhaik is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, USA, and the author of The Incurable Image: Curating Post-Mexican Film and Media Arts (Edinburgh U. Press, 2016). He is also the founder of AIL: Anthropology Image Lab.