Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances

Four Corners Books

Critical Art Ensemble is a collective of  tactical media practitioners exploring the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism. Disturbances was the first book to assess the group’s 25-year history, examining the environmental, political and bio-technological themes of their various initiatives.

Published by independent art publisher Four Corners Books, Disturbances assesses the work of Critical Art Ensemble, formed in 1987. CAE operate in a number of fields including computer graphics, web design, film/video, photography, text art, book art and performance.

Drawing inspiration from the ensemble’s scientific performance art, the slip-case masquerades the book as a scientific/academic journal whilst drawing on the aesthetic of pharmaceutical packaging, biohazard waste and disposal products. The book cover itself features an image of CAE performing Radiation Burn: A Temporary Monument to Public Safety, a perfect metaphor for the ensemble’s spectacularly subversive practice. Each project in the book is presented by the group itself, covering everything from their early live multimedia productions; to their development of models of electronic civil disobedience, digital resistance, and contestational biology and ecology; to their most recent tactical media projects.