The Human Condition: Media Art from the Kramlich Collection, 1

Shannon Jackson


How does art respond to contemporary social questions? How, especially, does moving-image art address the themes that move us most?

Drawn on works from the Kramlich Collection of time-based media art, The Human Condition comments on a range of complex political issues such as civil war, psychological isolation, human rights, gender relations, nuclear catastrophe, and planetary degradation. Along the way, the featured artists innovate in their hybrid use of sound, image, performance, sculpture, and screen technology.

Since their first acquisition in 1987, pioneering collectors Pamela and Richard Kramlich have established one of the foremost international collections of media, video, film, slide, photography, and performance art. In the first of four volumes devoted to the collection, The Human Condition presents signature works by internationally recognized artists such as Marina Abramovic é, Doug Aitken, Dara Birnbaum, James Coleman, Pierre Huyghe, William Kentridge, Christian Marclay, Steve McQueen, Richard Mosse, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, and Nam June Paik.

Edited by Professor Shannon Jackson of the University of California, Berkeley, The Human Condition features newly commissioned essays from leading curators and scholars specializing in time-based media art, including Erika Balsom, Bill Brown, Adrienne Edwards, Chrissie Iles, Isaac Julien, Barbara London, Mark Nash, Catherine Wood, and others. This book engages both newcomers and experts in the field with captivating imagery and rigorous reflection on some of the most influential contemporary art practices of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Shannon Jackson


Shannon Jackson is the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.