Let’s think about the desert. Place where not much seems to be happening. But we know there’s actually a lot going on, right? Life is hiding, blinking, doing sweet push-ups in the shade, hot sap pulling beneath slow oceans of crust.More
Emigre was initially a magazine about actual émigrés. Very few people remember it that way, but the revolutionary design publication actually was founded by immigrants — including husband-and-wife duo Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko — in order to present “the unique perspective of contemporary poets, writers, journalists, graphic designers, photographers, architects, and artists who live or have lived outside their native countries.”More
“It’s only when the heart begins to beat wildly and without pattern — when it begins to realize its boundlessness — that its newly adamant pulse bangs on the walls of its cage and is bruised by its enclosure.” — Kay LarsenMore
“The game is a machine composed of interconnected mechanistic devices. These devices facilitate bad faith interaction… A con or snow job is the site at which X preys upon the hopes, fears, and anxieties of Y for ulterior motives and/or personal gain. The machinations which vehiculate this manipulation can have wide effect—ranging from the ... More
At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, filming a soft drink ad in front of a crowd of fans, a pyrotechnic malfunction ignites the singer’s hair causing second degree burns on his scalp and face. The case is settled out of court and the settlement is donated to the Brotman Medical Center, which is rechristened in honor of their benefactor. The President invites the singer to the White House to give him an award for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse (the First Lady’s pet cause). Inspired by ... More
Hard sunlight bullies through smoke and soot. Something awful is burning all the time and a haze mutes even medium distances into old photographs. Our town is shrouded in perpetual smoke that fades red to an 1890’s sepia, and clouds any blue to a dusty gray. Muted colors make us feel like we’re in some scratchy old movie. That in turn slows everything down. Traffic lights halt movement for almost all of a Linda Ronstadt song even when there’s nothing to wait for. Birds seldom fly and when they do they don’t flap. They circle the ... More
I was invited by Corinne Silva, coordinator of a National Media Museum project on photography and humanism, to have an exchange with Julian Stallabrass, a London-based critic and curator who has taught at UC Berkeley and is the author of Memory of Fire: Images of War and the War of Images. What follows is the edited transcript of a conversation tha... More
“. . . dawn, always new, often superb, inaugurates the return of the everyday.”—Henri Levebvre
“the house protects the dreamer”—Gaston Bachelard
“. . . the non-I that protects the I.”—Gaston Bachelard
Coming into culture is also coming into discipline. It begins with trying to get newborn babies to s... More
On December 26, 2013, D-L Alvarez sat down with theater maker Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas to talk about the death and lasting influence of noted critic José Esteban Muñoz (1967–2013).
D-L: I’m not sure I can conjure up my first meeting with José. It must have been in 1996, and Nao Bustamante would have handled introductions. Was it in a gall... More
There will be both a wake and a funeral next weekend in New Jersey, where Amiri Baraka lived and worked. The wake will be important because his passing has been a cause for deep reflection among the countless poets, writers, and artists that he touched. Collaborating constantly, he was in Paris just last year performing with his old friend virtuoso pianist and composer Cecil Taylor.