• Accumulation: The Art, Architecture, and Media of Climate Change
    Nick Axel, Daniel A. Barber, NIkolaus Hirsch, and Anton Vidokle
    University of Minnesota Press, 2022
    E-Flux Architecture

Daniel A. Barber, "Images of Accumulation: Art, Architecture, and the Media of Climate Change," 2017. Digital image. Courtesy the artist

Although we can experience weather, we can only understand climate through media. This volume examines a new epistemological location for media as a site for scholarly analysis. Familiar causal assumptions, relationships between interior and exterior, and specters of instrumentality and hope inform how methods and objects are framed and become available for inquiry. The processes leading to climatic changes are slow and agglomerative, and resist familiar forms of representation. Scholars of art, architecture, and media have explored new analytic methods and historical narratives. Humanistic inquiry has, in this sense, encountered a threatened environment through embracing uncertainty, unpredictability, and risk. The cultural imaginary exploring biotic processes and social systems is in transition, and can be critically evaluated for the visions of the future it contains. Images and the mediatic propensities that they elicit, as the essays in this volume demonstrate, are caught between conditioned passivity and renewed urgency.

Nick Axel is deputy editor of e-flux Architecture and head of the architectural design department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. With e-flux Architecture, he has edited projects such as Superhumanity, Positions, Accumulation, New Silk Roads, and more. He is editor of the books Superhumanity: Design of the Self (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) and Superhumanity: Post-Labor, Psychopathology, Plasticity (Actar, 2018) with Beatriz Colomina, Nikolaus Hirsch, Anton Vidokle, and Mark Wigley; Work, Body, Leisure (Hatje Cantz, 2018) with Marina Otero Verzier; Permanent Temporariness (Art and Theory, 2018), with Maria Nadotti; The New Normal (Strelka Press, 2020) with Benjamin H. Bratton and Nicolay Boyadjiev; and Human(s) Work (Taschen, 2020), with Florian Idenburg and LeeAnn Suen.

Daniel A. Barber is an associate professor of architecture and chair of the PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches historical relationships between architecture and global environmental culture, reframing the means and ends of architectural expertise towards a more robust engagement with the climate crisis. His second book Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning, was published in 2020; his first book, A House in the Sun: Modern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War, was published in 2016. He has held fellowships at the Harvard Center for the Environment, the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Sydney Environmental Institute and through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Barber edits the Accumulation series on the e-flux Architecture online platform and is a cofounder of Current, a platform for the discussion of environmental histories of architecture. He is a member of the Higher Education Advisory Team of the American Institute of Architects.

Nikolaus Hirsch is a Frankfurt-based architect, educator, and curator. He was the dean of Städelschule and director of Portikus Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. His architectural work includes the award-winning Dresden Synagogue (2001), Bockenheimer Depot Theater (with William Forsythe), unitednationsplaza (with Anton Vidokle), European Kunsthalle, Cybermohalla Hub (Delhi, 2012), and the pavilion Do We Dream Under The Same Sky (Art Basel, 2015 and LUMA Arles, 2017). Hirsch has curated ErsatzStadt at Volksbühne Berlin (2005), Cultural Agencies (Istanbul, 2009/10), numerous exhibitions at the Portikus, the Folly project for the Gwangju Biennale (2013), Housing Question at the HKW in Berlin (2015), and the German Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale 2020 in Venice. He is the author of the books On Boundaries (2007), Institution Building (2009), Cybermohalla Hub (2012), coeditor of the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg Press,  and cofounder of e-flux Architecture.

Anton Vidokle is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. He was born in Moscow and lives in New York and Berlin. Vidokle’s work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13 and the 56th Venice Biennale. Vidokle’s films have been presented at Bergen Assembly, Shanghai Biennale, Berlinale International Film Festival, Forum Expanded, Gwangju Biennale, Center Pompidou, Tate Modern, Garage Museum, Istanbul Biennial, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Tensta Konsthall, Blaffer Art Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Lincoln Center, MMCA Seoul, the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, and others.

e-flux is a publishing platform and archive, artist project, curatorial platform, and enterprise which was founded in 1998. Its news digest, events, exhibitions, schools, journal, books, and the projects produced and/or disseminated by e-flux describe strains of critical discourse surrounding contemporary art, architecture, culture, and theory internationally. e-flux Architecture has produced essays in collaboration with leading institutions and practitioners in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and design since its founding in 2016 about cultural, political, and structural paradigms that inform contemporary architectural production.