Surfaces: A History

Front Cover
University of California Press, May 8, 2013 - History - 289 pages
0 Reviews
Human beings are surrounded by surfaces: from our skin to faces, to the walls and streets of our homes and cities, to the images, books, and screens of our cultures and civilizations, to the natural world and what we imagine beyond. In this thought-provoking and richly textured book, Joseph A. Amato traces the human relationship with surfaces from the deep history of human evolution, which unfolded across millennia, up to the contemporary world. Fusing his work on Dust and On Foot, he shows how, in the last two centuries, our understanding, creation, control, and manipulation of surfaces has become truly revolutionary—in both scale and volume. With the sweep of grand history matched to existential concerns for the present, he suggests that we have become the surfaces we have made, mastered, and now control, invent, design, and encapsulate our lives. This deeply informed and original narrative, which joins history and anthropology and suggests new routes for epistemology and aesthetics, argues that surfaces are far more than superficial façades of deep inner worlds.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

We Are Surfaces and Surfaces Are Us
17
Housefly by Abigail Rorer
25
Beneath the Earth by Abigail Rorer
32
Bufo the First by Abigail Rorer
42
Hand and a Steering Wheel by James Dahl 2005
48
The Ins and Outs of Life
62
Roads Walls and Homes by James Dahl 2012
67
An Egyptian Ship on the Red Sea about 1250 b c
75
Seeing and Being Seen
136
Typhoon in Macao 1857
137
Metz and the remnant of its walls circa eighteenth or nineteenth century
148
Under the Aegis of the Great Stage Muse by Abigail Rorer
157
From the Ground Floor Up
163
Ballon de 1670 Le Magasin pittoresque Paris 1837
169
The Thomson RoadSteamer circa 1876
175
Downriver Detroit and new railroad station and yards postCivil War era
179

Londinium Augusta map by William Stukeley 1766
80
Jerash the city of a thousand columns northwestern highlands of Jordan
81
Decoration and Representation
88
Two North American Plains Indians by Abigail Rorer
93
The Mind and Science of Surfaces
109
Burgos Cathedral Spain circa eighteenth or nineteenth century
113
Study of Hands Leonardo da Vinci 1474
122
Mites between the Scales of a Flea by Abigail Rorer
129
Suction Pump circa 1561 as drawn by Abigail Rorer
130
Descartess Theory of Perception 1677
132
Window display Minneapolis 1940
187
Downtown Minneapolis circa 1940
193
Engineering the Small Designing the Invisible
197
First flight of an airplane in Montana September 26 1910 in Montana State Fair booklet
199
Honeywell technician making wiring check on inertial guidance system for a Centaur space vehicle 1965
203
A Grain of Pollen by Abigail Rorer
214
Notes
241
Figure Credits
289
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Joseph A. Amato is Emeritus Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University. He is the author of Dust (UC Press), On Foot: A History of Walking, Victims and Values: A History and Philosophy of Suffering, Rethinking Home: A Case for Local History (UC Press), and Jacob's Well: A Case for Family History.

Bibliographic information