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In Search Of The Third Bird

Exemplary Essays from The Proceedings of ESTAR(SER), 2001–2021

Edited by D. Graham Burnett, Catherine L. Hansen and Justin E.H. Smith

155mm x 235mm
HB/PB, 768pp
45 b/w Illustrations
16pp colour plates
ISBN: 9781913689360

Paperback: £25
Hardback: £35
(limited to 200 copies, exclusive to SAP)

Available from mid-October

A very strange book
Hal Foster

A great deal of uncertainty—and even some genuine confusion—surrounds the origin, evolution, and activities of the so-called Avis Tertia or Order of the Third Bird. Sensational accounts of this “attentional cult” emphasise histrionic rituals, tragic trance-addictions, and the covert dissemination of obscurantist ontologies of the art object. Hieratic, ecstatic, and endlessly evasive, the Order attracts sensual misfits and cabalistic aesthetes—both to its ranks, and to its scholarship.

In recent years, however, the revisionist work of the research collective ESTAR(SER) has done much to clear the air, bringing archival precision to the history of this covey of attention-artists who call themselves The Birds. Gathering the best articles of the last twenty years of The Proceedings of ESTAR(SER), this volume represents a landmark in the history of aesthetic practices, and will be a point of departure for future work wading the muddy marshes at the limits of historicism.