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Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2014
Author(s): Sheller, M.
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Aerospace ;  Components, Circuits, Devices & Systems ;  Engineered Materials, Dielectrics & Plasmas ;  General Topics for Engineers (Math, Science & Engineering) ;  Power, Energy, & Industry Applications ;  Transportation
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Abstract

Aluminum shaped the twentieth century. It enabled high-speed travel and gravity-defying flight. It was the material of a streamlined aesthetic that came to represent modernity. And it became an essential ingredient in industrial and domestic products that ranged from airplanes and cars to designer chairs and artificial Christmas trees. It entered modern homes as packaging, foil, pots and pans and even infiltrated our bodies through food, medicine, and cosmetics. In Aluminum Dreams, Mimi Sheller describes how the materiality and meaning of aluminum transformed modern life and continues to shape the world today. Aluminum, Sheller tells us, changed mobility and mobilized modern life. It enabled air power, the space age and moon landings. Yet, as Sheller makes clear, aluminum was important not only in twentieth-century technology, innovation, architecture, and design but also in underpinning global military power, uneven development, and crucial environmental and health concerns. Sheller describes aluminum's shiny utopia but also its dark side. The unintended consequences of aluminum's widespread use include struggles for sovereignty and resource control in Africa, India, and the Caribbean; the unleashing of multinational corporations; and the pollution of the earth through mining and smelting (and the battle to save it). Using a single material as an entry point to understanding a global history of modernization and its implications for the future, Aluminum Dreams forces us to ask: How do we assemble the material culture of modernity and what are its environmental consequences? Aluminum Dreams includes a generous selection of striking images of iconic aluminum designs, many in color, drawn from advertisements by Alcoa, Bohn, Kaiser, and other major corporations, p amphlets, films, and exhibitions.

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      Front Matter

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Dedication, Contents, Acknowledgments View full abstract»

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      Introduction: Mobilizing Modernity

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Comparing Commodity Histories, A Metal for Mobility and Modernity, The Ecological Impacts of Aluminum, Human Health and Human Rights: An Environmental Poison?, Overview of the Book View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      The Bright Side

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Aluminum shaped the twentieth century. It enabled high-speed travel and gravity-defying flight. It was the material of a streamlined aesthetic that came to represent modernity. And it became an essential ingredient in industrial and domestic products that ranged from airplanes and cars to designer chairs and artificial Christmas trees. It entered modern homes as packaging, foil, pots and pans and even infiltrated our bodies through food, medicine, and cosmetics. In Aluminum Dreams, Mimi Sheller describes how the materiality and meaning of aluminum transformed modern life and continues to shape the world today. Aluminum, Sheller tells us, changed mobility and mobilized modern life. It enabled air power, the space age and moon landings. Yet, as Sheller makes clear, aluminum was important not only in twentieth-century technology, innovation, architecture, and design but also in underpinning global military power, uneven development, and crucial environmental and health concerns. Sheller describes aluminum's shiny utopia but also its dark side. The unintended consequences of aluminum's widespread use include struggles for sovereignty and resource control in Africa, India, and the Caribbean; the unleashing of multinational corporations; and the pollution of the earth through mining and smelting (and the battle to save it). Using a single material as an entry point to understanding a global history of modernization and its implications for the future, Aluminum Dreams forces us to ask: How do we assemble the material culture of modernity and what are its environmental consequences? Aluminum Dreams includes a generous selection of striking images of iconic aluminum designs, many in color, drawn from advertisements by Alcoa, Bohn, Kaiser, and other major corporations, p amphlets, films, and exhibitions. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Inventors, Investors, and Industry

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Simultaneous Invention and Fluidity of Innovation, United States v. Alcoa, Aluminum Industry and Global Inequality, Transnational Big Business Today View full abstract»

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      Metal of War, for War, and by War

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Air Power: From Science Fiction to Industrial Espionage, Bombs, Missiles, and Moon Landings, Future Military Applications View full abstract»

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      Speed Metal

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: “The Seeds of Speed”, Velocity, Luminosity, and Architecture View full abstract»

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      Mobile Homes

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Light, Lasting, Lustrous Aluminum, Experimental Homes: From Aluminaire to Aluminum City, La Maison Tropicale, The Dymaxion House, Losing its Gleam View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      The Dark Side

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Aluminum shaped the twentieth century. It enabled high-speed travel and gravity-defying flight. It was the material of a streamlined aesthetic that came to represent modernity. And it became an essential ingredient in industrial and domestic products that ranged from airplanes and cars to designer chairs and artificial Christmas trees. It entered modern homes as packaging, foil, pots and pans and even infiltrated our bodies through food, medicine, and cosmetics. In Aluminum Dreams, Mimi Sheller describes how the materiality and meaning of aluminum transformed modern life and continues to shape the world today. Aluminum, Sheller tells us, changed mobility and mobilized modern life. It enabled air power, the space age and moon landings. Yet, as Sheller makes clear, aluminum was important not only in twentieth-century technology, innovation, architecture, and design but also in underpinning global military power, uneven development, and crucial environmental and health concerns. Sheller describes aluminum's shiny utopia but also its dark side. The unintended consequences of aluminum's widespread use include struggles for sovereignty and resource control in Africa, India, and the Caribbean; the unleashing of multinational corporations; and the pollution of the earth through mining and smelting (and the battle to save it). Using a single material as an entry point to understanding a global history of modernization and its implications for the future, Aluminum Dreams forces us to ask: How do we assemble the material culture of modernity and what are its environmental consequences? Aluminum Dreams includes a generous selection of striking images of iconic aluminum designs, many in color, drawn from advertisements by Alcoa, Bohn, Kaiser, and other major corporations, p amphlets, films, and exhibitions. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Alcoa Cruising the Caribbean

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Suriname and the Decimation of the Saamaka Maroons, Your Ship: Alcoa Clipper, Tourists, Primitives, and Modern Workers, 1948–1952, Bauxite, Folk Dance, and Vernacular Styles, 1954–1959, Caribbean Modernity in Motion, 1962–1975 View full abstract»

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      Dark Dreams: Russia, India, and Guinea

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Russia's “Aluminum Wars”, Vedanta and the Sacred Mountain, Bauxite and Poverty in Guinea, The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Frozen Electricity: Saving Iceland

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Activists Saving Iceland, Global Protest Networks: “This Smelter Ting Is All 'o Us Bizness” View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Aluminum Renaissance

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Energy Banks, Upcycling, and Urban Mining, Ethical Architecture and Design, Repurposed Aluminum and Critical Art View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Conclusion: Slow Metal

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Waking Up from the Aluminum Dream, Slow Going: Emergence by Emergency, Reenchantment View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Notes

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: 1 Introduction, 2 Inventors, Investors, and Industry, 3 Metal of War, for War, and by War, 4 Speed Metal, 6 Alcoa Cruising the Caribbean, 7 Dark Dreams, 8 Frozen Electricity, 9 Aluminum Renaissance, 10 Conclusion View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Bibliography

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Archives, Primary Sources, Seconda ry Sources View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Sheller, M.
      Aluminum Dreams:The Making of Light Modernity

      Copyright Year: 2014

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Aluminum shaped the twentieth century. It enabled high-speed travel and gravity-defying flight. It was the material of a streamlined aesthetic that came to represent modernity. And it became an essential ingredient in industrial and domestic products that ranged from airplanes and cars to designer chairs and artificial Christmas trees. It entered modern homes as packaging, foil, pots and pans and even infiltrated our bodies through food, medicine, and cosmetics. In Aluminum Dreams, Mimi Sheller describes how the materiality and meaning of aluminum transformed modern life and continues to shape the world today. Aluminum, Sheller tells us, changed mobility and mobilized modern life. It enabled air power, the space age and moon landings. Yet, as Sheller makes clear, aluminum was important not only in twentieth-century technology, innovation, architecture, and design but also in underpinning global military power, uneven development, and crucial environmental and health concerns. Sheller describes aluminum's shiny utopia but also its dark side. The unintended consequences of aluminum's widespread use include struggles for sovereignty and resource control in Africa, India, and the Caribbean; the unleashing of multinational corporations; and the pollution of the earth through mining and smelting (and the battle to save it). Using a single material as an entry point to understanding a global history of modernization and its implications for the future, Aluminum Dreams forces us to ask: How do we assemble the material culture of modernity and what are its environmental consequences? Aluminum Dreams includes a generous selection of striking images of iconic aluminum designs, many in color, drawn from advertisements by Alcoa, Bohn, Kaiser, and other major corporations, p amphlets, films, and exhibitions. View full abstract»




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