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Art & Energy: How Culture Changes Paperback – May 1 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: American Alliance Of Museums (May 1 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933253916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933253916
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 1.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 762 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

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Format: Paperback
Barry Lord, a world-renowned museum planner and cultural observer has written a provocative book definitively linking the cultural effect of energy and technology on seismic cultural change. Art & Energy: How Culture changes is based on Barry Lord's unique vantage point gleaned from many years of world-wide travel and study as an advisor and strategic catalyst for hundreds of museums and artistic institutions. His impeccable and highly-detailed scholarly analysis is linked with first-hand contact with institutions who study and create programs and installations that help explain cultural change , especially those that explore energy and technology linkages. He makes an eloquent plea for sustainability essential for the present and future of global civilization.
No less than an eminent social critic and novelist than Margaret Atwood has boldly declared Barry Lord's thinking is on a par with other noted Canadian cultural icons such as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. Hopefully, his message will receive attention as well as coherent action.

Max Weissengruber" Lecturer in University of Toronto Continuing Education Programs and former Director of Marketing f Wilson Learning , a Division of John Wiley Publishers.
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Fantastic overview of our cultural relationship to energy throughout history
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CULTURE SHOCK!! Oct. 12 2014
By COSMIC TRAVELER - Published on
Format: Paperback
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 sun--in 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?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Art Reflects the Evolution of Energy Aug. 16 2015
By Robert Lebling - Published on
Format: Paperback
This unusual book explores the evolution of human energy sources over the centuries and how the societal and cultural changes that accompanied these shifts were expressed in art.

The transition from one dominant form of energy to another is an opportunity for great cultural change and creativity, according to the author, a noted museum planner. He traces the course of energy use from the introduction of fire about a million and a half years ago to the 21st century development of renewable, sustainable energy sources.

In between these two historical poles, he explores the introduction of agriculture and the use of farm animals, the development of forced human labor or slavery, the introduction of coal energy and steam power, the 20th century shift to an economy based on oil and gas, and the push toward nuclear power begun during the “age of anxiety,” those decades we know as the Cold War.

With well-chosen illustrations, the author sets forth the varied cultural conditions that produced some of the world’s great art, from hunter-gatherer times until today.

Barry Lord notes how hydrocarbon energy production has driven the development of art centers in the Arabian Gulf region, notably the cultural district on the Emirates’ Saadiyat Island featuring the Louvre and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, now under construction in Dhahran, in which the author’s firm has played a major planning role.

(A version of this review appeared in Aramco World Magazine, Mar/Apr 2015.)