by Isollari

Salmon: A Red Herring
Cooking Sections
Isollari - 20.00€ -

Salmon: A Red Herring questions what colours we expect in our "natural" environment. It asks us to examine how our perception of colour is changing as much as we are changing the planet. Adapted into the eponymous Turner Prize-nominated exhibition at Tate Britain, this book launched an international campaign against salmon farming.

In 2018, the artist/activist duo Cooking Sections heard of a sparrow that had turned bright pink on the Isle of Skye. So began an odyssey-like investigation into where it went, who was responsible, and what it signalled about its surrounding ecology. The pair spoke to fishermen in Mexico, where shrimp are turning grey, interviewed beekeepers in Brooklyn, who reported red-coloured honey, and investigated the Nornickel factory in Norilsk, Russia, where blue fog and black snow are industrial byproducts. Their findings are presented as a detective story for the era of environmentalism: a wildly inventive book and an exhibition at Tate Britain.

The book, Salmon: A Red Herring, shows how design can address the fragility of our food systems and how colour configures our economies. It is a visceral and visual examination of aesthetic manipulation, industrial farming, and environmental degradation, a seminal intervention in colour theory. In turn, Cooking Sections—the recently announced winners of the Harvard Wheelwright Prize—use it to launch a new global campaign against fish farming.

As COVID makes visible the fragility of our food systems and the need for an overhaul of environmental regulations, this work is now more relevant than ever. The publishers describe it as "Michael Pollan meets Gilbert and George" and Cooking Sections say it is "intended as a Ways of Seeing for the era of environmental reassessment".

Cooking Sections examines the systems that organise the world through food. Using site-responsive installation, performance and video, they explore the overlapping boundaries between art, architecture, ecology and geopolitics. Established in London in 2013 by Daniel Fernández Pascual (born in 1984) and Alon Schwabe (born in 1984), their practice uses food as a lens and a tool to observe landscapes in transformation.

Forewords by Bruno Latour, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hannah Landecker, David Zilber.

Ever Gaia
James Lovelock, Hans Ulrich Obrist (ed.)
Isollari - 20.00€ -

The most accessible introduction to the life and work of James Lovelock, and a guide to address today's "polycrisis."

There is no creation of the future if we do not sustain, at root, an intuition for invention. No one understood this better than James Lovelock, the most significant scientific thinker since Charles Darwin.

Over the course of his career, Lovelock set the terms by which we've come to understand life—biologically, societally, poetically—in the twenty-first century. He helped NASA complete missions to Mars and the moon; he invented devices that revealed the presence of harmful chemicals in the Earth's atmosphere, inspiring Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring; and he formulated the Gaia hypothesis, the deceptively simple idea that our planet could be viewed as a single self-regulating organism—everything entangled, everything acting upon everything else.

In September 2015, Hans Ulrich Obrist traveled to Dorset to visit Lovelock at his seaside cottage, where they spent nine hours discussing garden cities, frozen hamsters, rising temperatures, tiny widgets, the Space Age, the birth of modern science, the agonies of institutions, and the future of humanity. Ever Gaia presents this conversation as a celebration of Lovelock, who died in 2022 at 103, alongside contributions from two future pioneers of Gaia: Daisy Hildyard and Precious Okoyomon. As another of Lovelock's heirs, Tim Lenton, writes in his afterword, this encounter was pivotal in Lovelock's late intellectual life and, at the start of 2023, provides a guide—by way of Lovelock's Gaian approach—to address today's "polycrisis."

Ever Gaia opens the second season of isolarii as a tribute not just to Lovelock but to the late Bruno Latour, who introduced the series when we launched it two years ago. The second volume of a trilogy that started with the release of The Archipelago Conversations in 2021, Ever Gaia is the most accessible introduction to the life and work of Lovelock, whose way of seeing—"perhaps his greatest legacy," Obrist writes—will continue to shape our world and our place within it for decades to come.

Under the Wings of the Valkyrie
Isollari - 20.00€ -

An exploration of eroticism in extremism.

Published in Icelandic in 1994, Under the Wings of the Valkyrie is the work that established Sjón's literary career. Short and intense, the story unfolds through a letter from Icelandic architect Fridjón B. Fridriksson to his wife, revealing his lifelong obsession with German militant Gudrun Ensslin, of the Baader-Meinhof gang. He first glimpsed her on TV as a child and now Ensslin lingers in his dreams and has become the defining fixture of his psyche. To break free from Ensslin, and salvage his marriage, Fridjón resorts to drastic measures. Disturbing yet captivating, Under the Wings of the Valkyrie blurs the lines between passion and madness, fantasy and reality.

Sjón (Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, born 1962 in Reykjavik) is a celebrated novelist, poet, and lyricist, who has become a central figure in Icelandic culture. Junot Diaz hailed him as "the trickster who makes the world" and the late, great A.S. Byatt regarded him as "a Magus of the North." He is known also for his collaborations with singer Björk, receiving an Oscar nomination for lyrics to Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, and his screenplays for critically acclaimed films The Northman and Lamb. His works have been translated into 30 languages.

Translated from the Icelandic by Brian Fitzgibbon.

Charismatic Spirals
Will Alexander
Isollari - 20.00€ -

Charismatic Spirals is for an America circa 2024, where poetry—the art of developing new means of speaking—has never been of such artistic, technological and political consequences.

An archetypal outsider, Will Alexander released his first poetry collection aged forty-four while working at the Los Angeles Lakers' ticket office. Three decades on, he has ascended to the legendary status of the city's great living surrealist, existing, as Eliot Weinberger wrote, in a state of "imaginal hyperdrive," with forty such collections to his name.

Operating at the edge of language, Alexander deploys words in a way that feels prophetic—human psyches synthesize with technological artifacts; atoms and archetypes collide; bodies are vacated, voices are newly incarnated. His America—like Glissant's—is multinational and—like Coover and Spiegelman's—multivalent and symbolically unstable. That is to say, he belongs to an America circa 2024, where poetry—the art of developing new means of speaking—has never been of such artistic, technological, and political consequence.

In doing so, Alexander draws from a vast array of influences, from luminaries like Aimé Césaire, Bob Kaufman, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Philip Lamantia, to holistic visions such as Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, the Mayan numerical system, and Cheikh Anta Diop's perspectives on ancient Egypt. In a preview of Charismatic Spirals in the New York Times, Anne Boyer captured the essence of his work: "visionary poetry [that] achieves its effect through sound, not image...Cadence [that] can shatter us, set the world ablaze."
Read it syllabically, surf it quickly—there is no single way to approach this work.

Will Alexander (born 1948 in Los Angeles) is an African-American artist, philosopher, poet, novelist, essayist and pianist.

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