new from verso


Derek Bailey And the Story of Free Improvisation Ben Watson This brilliant biography of the cult guitar player will likely cause you to abandon everything you thought you knew about jazz improvisation, post-punk and the avant-garde. Derek Bailey was at the top of his profession as a dance band and record-session guitarist when, in the early 1960s, he began playing an uncompromisingly abstract form of music. Today his anti-idiom of “Free Improvisation” has become the lingua franca of the “avant” scene, with Pat Metheny, John Zorn, David Sylvian and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore among his admirers. “I am an enthusiast for the Watson method and I’m prepared to follow him, even to places where I wouldn’t under other circumstances go ... His attack, his singularity. His indecent decency.” – Iain Sinclair Paperback, 480 pages / ISBN: 978 1 78168 105 3 / July 2013 / £16.95/$26.95

Aisthesis Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art Jacques Rancière Composed in a series of scenes, Aisthesis—Rancière’s definitive statement on the aesthetic—takes its reader from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarmé to the Folies-Bergère, attend a lecture by Emerson, visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Rancière uses these sites and events—some famous, others forgotten—to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the specificities of the different arts, as well as the borders that separated them from ordinary experience. This incisive study provides a history of artistic modernity far removed from the conventional postures of modernism. “French philosopher Jacques Rancière is a refreshing read for anyone concerned with what art has to do with politics and society.” – Art Review Hardback, 272 pages / ISBN: 978 1 78168 076 6 / April 2013 / £16.99/$26.95

The Frontman Bono (In the Name of Power) Harry Browne Celebrity philanthropy comes in many guises, but no single figure better encapsulates its delusions, pretensions and wrongheadedness than U2’s iconic frontman, Bono—a fact neither sunglasses nor leather pants can hide. More than a mere philanthropist—indeed, he lags behind many of his peers when it comes to parting with his own money—Bono is better described as an advocate, one who has become an unwitting symbol of a complacent wealthy Western elite. The Frontman reveals how Bono moved his investments to Amsterdam to avoid Irish taxes; his paternalistic and often bullying advocacy of neoliberal solutions in Africa; his multinational business interests; and his hobnobbing with Paul Wolfowitz and shock-doctrine economist Jeffrey Sachs. Carefully dissecting the rhetoric and actions of Bono the political operator, The Frontman shows him to be an ambassador for imperial exploitation, a man who has turned his attention to a world of savage injustice, inequality and exploitation—and helped make it worse. Paperback, 192 pages / ISBN: 978 1 78168 082 7 / June 2013 / £9.99/$16.95

also available

The Spectacle of Disintegration Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century McKenzie Wark Following his acclaimed history of the Situationist International up until the late sixties, The Beach Beneath the Street, McKenzie Wark returns with a companion volume which puts the late work of the Situationists in a broader and deeper context, charting their contemporary relevance and their deep critique of modernity. Wark builds on their work to map the historical stages of the society of the spectacle, from the diffuse to the integrated to what he calls the disintegrating spectacle. The Spectacle of Disintegration takes the reader through the critique of political aesthetics of former Situationist T.J. Clark, the Fourierist utopia of Raoul Vaneigem, René Vienet’s earthy situationist cinema, Gianfranco Sangunetti’s pranking of the Italian ruling class, Alice-Becker Ho’s account of the anonymous language of the Romany, Guy Debord’s late films and his surprising work as a game designer. Hardback, 256 pages / ISBN: 978 1 84467 957 7 / May 2013 / £16.99/$26.95

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