The Future of the Festival?

Something feels extremely afoul with Further Future (FF002), a self-proclaimed Music and Lifestyle Festival taking place about 40 miles from the Las Vegas strip the last weekend of April. Perhaps anticipating the potential confusion a phrase like ‘lifestyle festival’ might create in a potential goer, FF002’s website offers clarification. “Close your eyes. Imagine yourself surrounded … Continue reading

The Gloved Era of Urban Chaos

Paris may have been the capital of 19th century modernity, but it was Berlin that gave birth to the gloved era of urban chaos. Unlike Paris, London, or even New York, Berlin at the turn of the 20th century was not just about the radical transformation of the city, but the birth of the city … Continue reading

Performing the Rehearsal: The Strip Tease of Modernity

Hegel changed the course of modern philosophy when he asserted that history, driven by changes in the ideals and values of a given people, is  contradictory by nature. Yet modernity for Hegel was characterized by a sense of universality, thus lending itself to a certain idealism which was soon shattered by Marx, who used Hegelian … Continue reading

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

The title of this post is borrowed from Zizek’s 2010 book, a title that accurately describes the irony of a recent ad in the New York Times. Under the guise of tragedy, Eton Corporation’s “Help Japan by donating an Emergency Radio” illustrates the farce of contemporary consumption and its cultivation of an ‘authentic’ self by … Continue reading

In the Domain of Body Culture

The image of the crowd belongs to the domain of body culture. It’s unquestionable powerful lies in momentum, where the body—as mass—replaces the singular mind. Last month, as crowds proliferated across the Middle East, there was a brief interlude here in the US in form of the Super bowl and its halftime show. The extreme … Continue reading

Some Shitty Wine at the Thing

A friend and I use to joke that Thursday nights in New York might as well be dubbed some shitty wine at the thing because of the numerous opportunities to partake in free alcohol and visual culture. Also known as exhibition openings, these alternative happy hours draw a wide range of people: underemployed students and … Continue reading

Photogenic Factory Reproduction

Let me state the obvious: modern technologies instigated new forms of consumption in the early 20th century. This is well documented in the visual arts–particularly in photography. Right now New York is home to a number of good exhibitions showcasing photography as the medium that truly  represented the changing social and physical landscape of a … Continue reading

Totalitarian Zoning for Public Health

  The relationship between city zoning and public health has historical origins in the slums of 19th century industrial cities. Although planning’s preoccupation with physical health was dormant for much of the later part of the 20th century, recent  discussions surrounding food security, supermarket deserts, and access to better food has caused many planners to … Continue reading

Flirting with Capitalism: Shopping at Trader Joes

I’m pretty sure I was just flirting at Trader Joe’s. It happened in the dried fruit and nut section. I was on my tip toes trying to see if they’d stocked more medjool dates. They hadn’t. Never again would I assume that because I loved  something, Trader Joe’s would have it. My disappointment was immeasurable. … Continue reading

The (Vulgar) Global Subject

“Imperialist expansion is not just differentiated but differentiating; the calculation of “difference” is part and parcel of the strategies of imperial expansion.” In his chapter on “Toward a Vulgar Theory of Imperialism,” architectural historian Arindam Dutta examines the various spokes that comprised Britain’s wheel of imperialism. His argument: nothing is inconsequential. Even the simple act … Continue reading