Air Conditioning

Hsu, Hsuan L. | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Air Conditioning. Cover.

Hsu, Hsuan L. Air Conditioning. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2024.

Air conditioning aspires to be unnoticed. Yet, by manipulating the air around us, it quietly conditions the baseline conditions of our physical, mental, and emotional experience. From offices and libraries to contemporary art museums and shopping malls, climate control systems shore up the fantasy of a comfortable, self-contained body that does not have to reckon with temperature. At the same time that air conditioning makes temperature a non-issue in (some) people’s daily lives, thermoception—or the sensory perception of temperature—is being carefully studied and exploited as a tool of marketing, social control, and labor management. Yet air conditioning isn’t for everybody: its reliance on carbon fuels divides the world into habitable, climate-controlled bubbles and increasingly uninhabitable environments where AC is unavailable. Hsuan Hsu’s Air Conditioning explores questions about culture, ethics, ecology, and social justice raised by the history and uneven distribution of climate controlling technologies. (Source: Bloomsbury)

© 2024 Hsuan L. Hsu and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. All rights reserved.

This article has been excerpted from Hsuan L. Hsu’s new book, Air Conditioning, part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. Air Conditioning is available to buy from Bloomsbury.