Obsolescence is fundamental to the experience of modernity, not simply one dimension of an economic system. The contributors to this book investigate obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode. Because obsolescence depends upon the supersession and disappearance of what is old and outmoded, this volume sheds light on what usually remains unseen or overlooked. Calling attention to the fact that obsolescence can structure everything from the self to the skyscraper, Cultures of Obsolescence asks readers to rethink existing relationships between the old and the new.
Moreover, the essays in this volume argue for the paradoxical ways in which subjects and their concepts of the human, of newness, and of the future are constituted by a relationship to the obsolete.