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The Matter of Air : Science and Art of the Ethereal, Hardback Book

The Matter of Air : Science and Art of the Ethereal Hardback


Air - without it, life on Earth would cease to exist.

It is invisible and yet always present in one way or another, and so people have long associated air with flight, spirit, transcendence and optimism.

But as humans have progressively taken control of air through communications, warfare, travel and scientific exploration, the perception of air has changed.

No longer is air a completely reliable part of our daily life but is instead another piece of the environment that must be watched closely for quality and purity.

The Matter of Air investigates the meanings of air over the last three centuries, including our modern concern over emissions and climate change.

Our concern is clearly not unfounded: from the impact of nitrous oxide to development of gas heating and lighting, humans have undeniably had an effect on the atmosphere.

Eminent author Steven Connor looks at this effect by exploring radio atmospherics and poison gas, as well as the fear of air pollution caused by cremation, and the worry over haze.

The book also discusses our growing fascination with air and aerial process through the allure of effervescence and the development of explosives. The Matter of Air presents a cultural approach to the history of air, drawing from religion, science, art, literature and philosophy to create a comprehensive history of the human perception of air.

Thoroughly researched and written with wit and joy, the book will appeal to any reader interested in pollution, natural and human history, and the relationship between human beings and air


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9781861897664



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