Masters of Reality

Steve Rushton, Masters of Reality

Publication details

Further contributors

Vanessa Ohlraun (editor)

2012, English
12×18 cm, 192 pages, 20 b/w ill., hardcover
ISBN 978-3-943365-22-1
Published by Sternberg Press in collaboration with Piet Zwart Institute and the WdKA lectoraten.

Masters of Reality brings together the first collection of texts by Steve Rushton. Central to Rushton’s research is an investigation into the conception of feedback, social control, and the culture of “self-performance.” Through his writings and collaborative work with artists, he has developed and articulated a thorough analysis of the techniques and processes of information management and subjectivization in Western society since the second half of the twentieth century.

The structure of this book articulates a clear relationship between diverse subjects and sources, drawing from archival materials produced within a broad range of discursive fields and practices: military experiments in social psychology, press statements by various politicians and governments, anthropological research data, theories of cybernetics, writings by thinkers such as Henri Bergson and Gregory Bateson, television culture, and work by artists and writers such as Ant Farm and Don DeLillo. These investigations take structural form through three strands: the first comprises texts on art and media linked to theories of cybernetics, the second thread shows texts that emerge from Rushton’s collaborative projects with Rod Dickinson and Thomson & Craighead, and the third is a collection of fictional and allegorical texts, giving narrative form to the thinking, observations, and analysis found throughout the book.