Inching Towards Utopia (Some Notes)

Three ‘brief’ thoughts, leaping off from yesterday’s post: 1) The pastoral urbanism of the ‘heritage industry’ (which is but aesthetic ornamentation for speculative endeavors, motored by the vicious cyclone of finance capital) re-imagines the city in terms of a future-without-futurity—see the wonkish, green-dipped powerpoints from any current development program—while also scrambling the classic division between […]

Read More Inching Towards Utopia (Some Notes)

Empire at the End

Last night realized that I missed a golden opportunity in my last post—which began with the relationship/contrast between the delirium of the West and the imperial ecumenon as described by Deleuze and Guattari, and which ended at the weird of the 1970s—to mention Philip K. Dick and his time-scrambling suggestion that us (post)moderns are, in […]

Read More Empire at the End

Nostalgia for the End

Hypertelia: “a process of something surpassing its function or objective”. “With systems of economy, knowledge, and production, if they go too far in one direction they get carried away and over-reach their own limits, and at this moment lose themselves in reversal” — Baudrillard, Selected Interviews  Kojève’s provocative suggestion was that the US, at its mad-Fordist […]

Read More Nostalgia for the End

The Humor of Surfaces

A few stray thoughts continuing off from the last post on roadside attractions and kitsch Americana as ‘vernacular surrealism’— If America, with its complicated approach to the depths of history and focus on self-cultivation (in the face of ‘symbolic deficiency’) can be most immediately understood through the notion of the surface, then the relationship that […]

Read More The Humor of Surfaces

Everything Calls Out

The Library of Congress has just entered some 11,000 photographs of roadside attractions, gas stations, old buildings, and other obscured American novelties into the public domain. It’s a testament to the camerawork of architectural critic and photography John Margolies, whose life’s work was to criss-cross the country over the span of decades to capture these […]

Read More Everything Calls Out