Art & Energy: How Culture Changes

Art & Energy: How Culture Changes

by Barry Lord

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In Art & Energy, Barry Lord argues that human creativity is deeply linked to the resources available on Earth for our survival. From our ancient mastery of fire through our exploitation of coal, oil, and gas, to the development of today's renewable energy sources, each new source of energy fundamentally transforms our art and culture—how we interact with the world, organize our communities, communicate and conceive of and assign value to art. By analyzing art, artists, and museums across eras and continents, Lord demonstrates how our cultural values and artistic expression are formed by our efforts to access and control the energy sources that make these cultures possible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933253947
Publisher: American Alliance Of Museums
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 38 MB
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About the Author

Barry Lord is a leading international figure in cultural planning and management and the author or coauthor of seven books, including Artists, Patrons, and the Public: Why Culture Changes. He is co-president of Lord Cultural Resources.

Table of Contents

1. What’s Energy Got to Do with It?
2. Basics: Sexual and Kinetic Energy
3. Fire: Culture of the Hearth
4. Cooperation and Control: Collective Identity
5. Animal Power: Domestication and Domesticity
6. The Energy of Slaves and the Culture of Domination
7. Waterpower: Irrigation and Urbanism
8. Wind in Our Sails: Investment and Individuality
9. Firewood and Charcoal: The World’s First Energy Crisis
10. Coal: The Culture of Production
11. Electrification: Transforming the World
12. Oil and Gas: The Culture of Consumption
13. Nuclear Energy and the Culture of Anxiety
14. Renewable Energy: The Culture of Stewardship
15. How Culture Changes

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Art & Energy: How Culture Changes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Are you a cultural anthropologist and technology aficionado? If you are, then this book is for you. Author Barry Lord, has written an outstanding book that discusses humanity’s discovery of the fundamental sources of energy and the values and meanings that emerge from them. The author begins by exploring physical and material culture, which are the two basic kinds of culture, both of which depend on an energy strategy sustained by a primary source of energy. Next, he covers how our material culture was initially dependent on each individual’s kinetic energy. Then, the author discusses the mastering of fire, which means controlling combustion: A process of energy conversion, by turning the energy stored by photosynthesis, in what is technically called phytomass into heat and light by means of a flame. In addition, he examines the development of cooperation among men, as a means to becoming more successful hunters, was a way to avoid open sexual competition for women, since hunting together required a certain degree of male bonding. Also, the author discusses archeologist Ian Hoddler’s claim: that before men and women could successfully domesticate animals, they had to domesticate themselves. He continues, by exploring how most of the world’s ancient and many later civilizations depended on a renewable energy source that everyone understood to be indispensable: The energy of slaves. Next, the author covers the culture of urbanism, where trade is at the heart of the city, and marketplaces are central to all urban plans. Then, he discusses wind: Like all energy sources, wind power is ultimately due to the sun­in this case, differential heating of the earth’s surface that causes global air movement in patterns that meteorologists call prevailing winds. In addition, the author looks at everybody, in all levels of society, in all ages, has had to be aware of where their energy comes from, and what must be done to get it and keep it coming. He also discusses how from the days of the Roman Britain and throughout the Middle Ages, coal had been used for domestic heating in the homes of poorer people who had little access to firewood. Next, the author examines how the coal culture stimulated research in the natural sciences, which in turn, caused electrification to inspire a greater interest in the physical sciences. He continues, by looking at the difference between oil and coal. Then, the author considers an emerging energy source that offers some measure of hope for our future: Renewable energy and its culture of stewardship. In addition, he examines how solar and wind energy makes it possible to have a new kind of energy industry; one that is not based on fuel of any kind, but utilizes technology created by human ingenuity for the production, distribution and storage of energy. Finally, the author discusses how culture changes when a new generation takes up the cultural values that an emerging source of energy makes possible. This excellent book helped the author answer the following two questions: What difference does understanding cultural change and its sources in energy transition make, economically? Second: Does this theory have any predictive value?