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Trash Culture

Objects and Obsolescence in Cultural Perspective

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Edited By Gillian Pye

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, concerns about the environment and the future of global capitalism have dominated political and social agendas worldwide. The culture of excess underlying these concerns is particularly evident in the issue of trash, which for environmentalists has been a negative category, heavily implicated in the destruction of the natural world. However, in the context of the arts, trash has long been seen as a rich aesthetic resource and, more recently, particularly under the influence of anthropology and archaeology, it has been explored as a form of material culture that articulates modes of identity construction.
In the context of such shifting, often ambiguous attitudes to the obsolete and the discarded, this book offers a timely insight into their significance for representations of social and personal identity. The essays in the book build on scholarship in cultural theory, sociology and anthropology that suggests that social and personal experience is embedded in material culture, but they also focus on the significance of trash as an aesthetic resource. The volume illuminates some of the ways in which our relationship to trash has influenced and is influenced by cultural products including art, architecture, literature, film and museum culture.

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Index 243

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acoustic trash, 144–145 Adorno, Theodor, 119 Agamben, Giorgio, 2, 155 agency, of things, 131, 133–136 alienation, 18f f Allen, Barry, 6 Assmann, Aleida, 5, 39 Bandolin, Gunilla, 43–44 Baroque, the, 4, 24, 136, 137 and White Noise, 138–139 Bataille, Georges, 3, 9, 113, 120–124, 125 Baudelaire, Charles, 17, 114–115, 121–122 Baudrillard, Jean, 3, 9, 49–50, 95, 98–99, 142 Bauman, Zygmunt, 2, 147–148, 149, 150, 157, 160 Becher, Bernd and Hilla, 82 Benjamin, Walter, 2, 7, 9, 11, 16, 17 The Arcades Project, 118, 125–126 on collecting, 118–119 dialectics at a standstill, 22–28 and emblematics, 139–140, 144 on Surrealism, 17, 202 Braque, Georges, 183–184 branding, 102–106 Calvino, Italo: La Poubelle Agréée, 147, 150 cliché, 165–182 collage, 101, 184–185 collecting, 33, 49, 53, 98–99, 118–119, 148–149 commodity, 4, 95–96, 102–103, 135 cubism, 184 DeLillo, Don, 10 White Noise, 138–145 Derrida, Jacques, 173–174 Dewdney, Christopher, 165–182 disgust, 6, 8, 99, 130, 192 Douglas, Mary, 1, 3, 185–186 Duchamp, Marcel, 5, 101, 106 emblematics, 136, 139–140 emptiness, 187–189 exchange value, 105, 119, 135–136 fascism, 122–123 fetish, 16, 19, 23, 25–26 f lânerie, 16f f Flusser, Vilem, 6 found object, 16, 17, 18, 100–101 Freud, Sigmund, 3, 28, 74, 99–100 Fritzsche, Peter, 5 ghosts, 18, 60, 69, 66, 71 Gora, Monika, 43–44 Greenberg, Clement, 183–184 Grill, Evelyn:...

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