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Truth, Trump, and the Poetics of Professional Wrestling

Key terms. Work: 1) An event meant to perpetuate a story line.     2) To make someone believe something. Shoot: An event that presents a truth that seems to challenge or […]

Apr, 29 · Theory

Chernobyl, the place and the word

Following a brief delay due to the Soviet cover-up, Chernobyl has become —overnight and the world over—a symbol of tragedy, a disaster all the more fearsome because of its imperceptible and yet […]

Apr, 26 · New Ecologies

An Unsolicited Donation to the Chernobyl Herbarium or: The Ruderal Poetics of Artemisia californica

The explosions that Michael Marder draws our attention to in Fragment 16 of The Chernobyl Herbarium (“Chernobyl, the place and the word”) are manifold. The site of a pogrom before it was […]

Apr, 26 · New Ecologies

The Veil and the Jasmine Revolution

On a visit to New Orleans in 2012, I was amused to see on the restaurant menu of the hotel where I was staying, the name of a famous pastry called “Millefeuille.” […]

Apr, 15 · Film & TV

The Pharmacy of Plants

Janet Laurence’s artworks express her hopes for a life in union with nature. She cares for plants, and cures with plants, as they provide sustenance, shade and oxygen for other species. Laurence […]

Mar, 21 · New Ecologies

An Anthropocene Observatory

I. The Geology of San Francisco During the summer of 2015 NASA made a startling announcement: Pluto has geology. Images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft indicated the presence of active geological processes […]

Mar, 04 · New Ecologies

Algeria’s New Normal

Rare are Algerian filmmakers who have made it to the world stage without the issue of anti-colonial struggle as a background to their movie. Among this clique the names of novelist Assia […]

Feb, 18 · Film & TV

The Art of the Consummate Cruise and the Essential Risk of the Common (1/2)

Part I – Ethics of Pleasure  In conceiving of the ethics and erotics of queer pornographic life, we need to rid ourselves of the notions and structures of self-other, subject-object, self-alterity. For […]

Feb, 04 · Sexualities

The Art of the Consummate Cruise and the Essential Risk of the Common (2/2)

  Part II – Cruising as Aesthetic Intuition of the Common  As I briefly noted in Part I of this essay, in the chapter of his book, Unlimited Intimacy: Notes on the […]

Feb, 04 · Sexualities

News from Home: Remembering Chantal Akerman

As a recent but devoted convert to her work, the news that filmmaker Chantal Akerman had died by her own hand hit me with an unexpected force, triggering a recognition that I […]

The Force of Fiction

How do you relax at the end of a long day? Chances are you do something so commonplace to many of us that we seldom pause to think how strange it is. […]

Jan, 22 · Theory

“Son of Saul”: Holocaust 2015

With the inconceivable role played by the German concentration camp Sonderkommando as its premise, this current feature, winner of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’or, leads us squarely into the contemporary […]

Jan, 19 · Film & TV

“Much Loved”: Souk of Pornography

Nabil Ayouch’s latest film, Much Loved (Zine Liffik 2015), is like no other movie the Arab world has ever seen. A semi-pornographic account of the lives of three prostitutes in the city […]

Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”: Journey to the End of a Regime

Jafar Panahi’s current “Taxi” begins and ends with exquisitely composed still-shots. The first is a street-scene in contemporary Teheran. This is a thoroughly up-to-date, bustling city. We face a busy intersection. There […]

Dec, 01 · Film & TV

Precarity, Bulgarian Style: Grozeva & Valchanov’s “The Lesson” (“Urok”–2014)

It’s completely in keeping with her character that Nadezhde Daskalova (Margita Gosheva) responds to a wanton act of petty thievery in her middle-school English class with repugnance and moral outrage. She is […]

Nov, 17 · Film & TV

The Fragility of Celebrity: “The Muppets” (ABC, 2015-)

The Muppets, ABC’s recent attempt to bring Jim Henson’s beloved puppets back to prime time, has been greeted by a surprising amount of critical hostility. Atlantic Magazine asks whether “audiences really want […]

Oct, 09 · Film & TV

Unpacking my Kindle™

The packaging is unassuming—a low black box with a single beveled facet. But the promise encoded in the tablet inside is prodigious! Up to 1100 books stored and on demand in the […]

Numeracy and the Survival of Worlds

My post today includes the writing of two guests: Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin, whose long-awaited Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies went live today. Scroll down for […]

Ecologies of Waste

Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the existence of an artist in residence program at the San Francisco dump is the fact that this program has existed for decades and will […]

The Ferguson/Ayotzinapa Dictionary (Encyclopedia of Oppression)

NOTE I started writing the attached FERGUSON AYOTZINAPA DICTIONARY while on de facto paternity leave, in lieu of being able to work on larger projects, often writing with my right hand while holding […]

Reading at the Roche Limit: A Review of “Fantasies of the Library”

In commemoration of National Library Week I want to share a remarkable new book, a book that gathers many libraries between its cerulean covers, a book whose bibliographic imaginary is not national but planetary. […]

Aleksei Balabanov, “The Castle” (1994): MacKay/Sussman Double-Feature

The Castle (Zamok, 1994) Cast Nikolai Stotsky – K., the surveyor Svetlana Pismichenko – Frieda (dubbed by Anzhelika Nevolina) Viktor Sukhorukov – Surveyor’s assistant Anvar Libabov – Surveyor’s assistant Igor Shibanov – […]

Apr, 15 · Film & TV

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