Radical Disco: Recommended Reading

Inspired by our Radical Disco show? Delve further into the topics explored with these great reading recommendations.

Andree Latham

8 Jan 2016

Inspired by our exhibition Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965-1975? Delve further into the topics explored in the show with this great reading list, compiled by the ICA Bookshop's Andree Latham.

Giovanna Silva, Chiara Carpenterm
“Nowadays discotheques are hardly ever spaces designed by architects," proposes Bedford Press, "they are rather temporary occupations of spaces dedicated to other functions.” Featuring new essays by Max Dax, Pol Esteve and Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Nightswimming presents the architectural and anthropological history of discotheque spaces, from custom architectural designs of the 1960s to the more temporary spaces of contemporary club culture.

The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968–1976
Alex Coles, Catharine Rossi (eds.)
Marking the first in a series of publications dedicated to the Italian Avant-Garde, this volume studies the influential years between 1968 and 1967 and features interviews and essays from the likes of Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paola Antonelli, Martino Gamper and Antonio Negri. Exploring the correspondence between the prolific groups Arte Povera, Superstudio and Archizoom, The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968–1976 goes further to reveal those more obscure art works and performances by groups including Zoo and Gruppo 9999.

The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects
Marshall McLuhan
The late author, philosopher and communications theorist Marshall McLuhan has been credited for predicting the boom of the modern mass media. His classic work, The Medium is the Massage forms a unique study of human communication in the twentieth century, surveying technology’s role in the unequivocal reshaping of society, individuals and sensory perceptions.

Architecture or Techno-utopia
Felicity D. Scott
Tracing the evolution of postmodernism in American architecture from the 1930s onwards, Architecture or Techno-Utopia explores how political ideologies shaped the template for modern architectural theory. Within her extensive discourse, Felicity Scott examines the eminent Marxist criticism of Meyer Schapiro, Italian radicalism at MoMA, the counterculture's embrace of Buckminster Fuller's domes, the curatorial work of Arthur Drexler and the early experimental practices of Rem Koolhaas.

Beyond Environment
Emanuele Piccardo
With contributions and works from the likes of Allan Kaprow, Peter Cook, Gordon Matta Clark and Robert Smithson, Beyond Environment accounts the ground breaking interchange between architecture, Land Art and Performance Art by focusing on Italian architect Gianni Pettena’s collaboration with American artists in the 1970s.

States of Emergency: Cultures of Revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978
Robert Lumley
Drawing on the work of theorists including Umberto Eco, Alberto Melucci, Norberto Bobbio and Antonio Negri, States of Emergency accounts the volatile decade in which militant social movements arose with revolutionary aspirations which centred on protagonists such as women, young people and the unemployed.

Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development
Manfredo Tafuri
Prominent Italian architectural historian, Manfredo Tafuri delivers an expansive study on the relationship between architecture to society and the architect to the workforce and the marketplace. Written from a neo-Marxist viewpoint, the book discusses the prospects of socialist alternatives by critiquing seismological approaches to architecture, the Garden Cities movement, the German-Russian architectural experiments of the 1920s and the avant-garde in the plastic arts.

Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965-1975 runs 8 December 2015 - 10 January 2016

All titles are available online or in our bookshop on The Mall.