Critical Inquiry Critical Inquiry


    • Carol J. Adams
    • My specific caregiving focus is the decision to give care to elderly relatives and the complex world into which one is delivered after making that decision. I seek to present the nuance and complexity of care through describing very concrete experiences and the thoughts they provoked. I am not looking at the macro level of caregiving; others have done this work and done it well.  

      Caregivers struggle with philosophical questions: What is care? To whom do I owe care? What are the obligations of compassion? What is doing good? What is in a name? What is love? When is enough? What is a good life? What is a good death? We become philosophers on the go. In this essay, I offer an experiential and practical set of materials illustrating this claim and providing in these experiential materials a way to challenge or complicate philosophies and theories of care.

    • James J. Hodge
    • Why do so many digital media artworks employ Psycho only to undo its spine-tingling sensationalism? This question requires attending to another, more recent shift in the atmosphere of the ordinary: the saturation of contemporary life by digital media. This story has at least two popular and overlapping phases: the emergence of the web in the 1990s and early 2000s and the subsequent rise of social media, smartphones, and “always on” computing. During the first phase, between 1993 and 2005, Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic figures prominently in a large number of digital artworks by Douglas Gordon, Lev Manovich, Vuk Cosic, Victor Liu, Jim Campbell, and Gregg Biermann among others. While it is common for new-media artworks to reimagine cinematic source material, artists working with digital media during this period return to Psycho with uncommon frequency. These artists share little in common except a striking preoccupation with expressing the aesthetic singularity of digital media via Psycho. The digital interest in Psycho stops in 2005, the same year YouTube appears online as one of the more famous social media or web 2.0 sites that continue to rule networked life today. The historical alignment of so many digital Psychos alongside the proliferation of digital media (what might be called web 1.0) suggests that artists found Psycho uniquely suited for working through the historical event of digital media’s popular emergence.

    • Andrew Moisey
    • It is one thing to profess a theory of precognitive affect but quite another to put one into practice. An object that triggers the same emotion in all humans sounds like science fiction. But testing hydrogen bombs in the desert has given us the need for such an object. What shall we make to keep humans from digging up our radioactive waste long after our present languages and memories are dead?