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Machine Art in the Twentieth Century$
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Andreas Broeckmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035064

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035064.001.0001

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Introduction: The Phantom of “Machine Art”

Introduction: The Phantom of “Machine Art”

(p.9) 1 Introduction: The Phantom of “Machine Art”
Machine Art in the Twentieth Century

Andreas Broeckmann

The MIT Press

This introductory chapter maps the conceptual context for the treatment of machine art that follows in the other chapters of the book. The chapter first presents the most important, partly conflicting definitions of the term “machine art” that have been deployed by different authors in the twentieth century, including Vladimir Tatlin, Alfred Barr, Bruno Munari, and the Berlin Dadaists. The chapter then outlines the most important concepts of the “machine”, a notion that has been used to denote technical, sociopolitical as well as psychological phenomena. The author proposes a general conception of the “machine” as a particular type of relation between individuals and the structures, or apparatuses, that bring about human subjectivities. The introduction concludes with a section on the gender aspect of human relations with technology, using the myths of the bachelor machine and the cyborg to describe supposedly gender-specific forms of access to the construction and usage of technical systems.

Keywords:   machine art, machine, apparatus, machine love, bachelor machine, cyborg, mega-machine, desiring-machine, feminism

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