Culture Shock and the Unlearning of Eating Your Shell

I I’ve always been tickled by the question “what do you do?” How this query usually comes during the small talk phase of interaction, sometime after weather or sports and before becoming lifelong friends, could mean “what do you like to do?” or “what do you do for a living?” Though I often try to […]

Function, Procedure, Poetics

Conscientious inhabitants of art-spaces – makers, collectors, readers, and so on – respond to an intersection between expressive position and functional affect. This is a fancy way of saying that we care about the other people involved in artistic processes. But since, according to our common senses, it’s not what you say but how you […]

Dining and Desire At the End of the World

Una Vision del Futuro, Sin Titulo by Zev Gottdiener First there is a mountain/then there is no mountain/then there is! – Donavan Man does not speak because he thinks; he thinks because he speaks. Or rather, speaking is no different than thinking: to speak is to think. -Octavio Paz You’re sitting in a restaurant with […]

The American Exodus in Light of Trayvon

by Tom Bair I I’ve decided to read the bible cover to cover, not because I am any more or less a Christian than I was at the start of the year, but because sections of this book have been read and reread for over two thousand years by three world religions, and If I […]

Contemporary American Subalternity

by lewis levenberg This essay tries to make ‘subalternity’ sensible for what Gramsci called our “special American conditions.” It traces the shifting referents of the concept for theory over the past eighty years. It tries to take the idea seriously, framing subalternity as an abstraction, an outcome of material conditions, and a mode of subjectivity. […]

On Agamben’s Concept of Sovereignty

Giorgio Agamben’s seminal works of political philosophy, Homo Sacer and State of Exception, contain problematic and undefined conceptions of sovereignty. His tergiversation demands, first, an explication of his deployment of the concept. This leads to the articulation of three dissents from his position, along historical, material, and geopolitical grounds. Those dissents recall the work of […]