BY JOANNA ZYLINSKA The apocalypse is back—with a vengeance! Cue the visually intriguing Altered Carbon on Netflix, the conceptually teasing yet disappointingly humanist Humans on Channel 4 in the UK, and the just plain terrible Blade Runner 2049 (surely a crime against cinema, if not against humanity). But let me make what might seem like … More The End of Man, One More Time.
CHRISTOPHER A. PAULAssociate Professor, Seattle University The core argument in my book is that video games are an actualized meritocracy, a realm in which the values of hard work and skill have been pushed to their extremes and the result is a toxic community that focuses more on the celebration of individual glory than on … More On gaming, athletes, and individual glory . . . oh, Mercy!
Image: Jenny Anger, First German Autumn Salon Reconstruction Project. BY JENNY ANGERProfessor of art history, Grinnell College A trio of international exhibitions defined the parameters of modern art ca. 1912-13: the Sonderbund (Cologne 1912), the Armory Show (New York 1913), and the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (First German Autumn Salon, Berlin 1913). The Armory Show is … More A lesson in managing uncertainty: digitizing the First German Autumn Salon
Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (HBO, 2016). Westworld reconceptualizes lived experience by asking what “counts” as humanand what counts as death. ERIN E. EDWARDS Bring her back online. Westworld opens with a disembodied voice commanding the robotic “host,” Dolores Abernathy, to emerge from “sleep mode.” Dolores awakens into … More Posthumous posthumanism: Subverting the relationship between living and dead matter.
BY CLARE BIRCHALLKing’s College London The words “Trump” and “transparency” don’t often appear together. Administrative transparency isn’t something Trump promised during his campaign, and it hasn’t been on the agenda in the last eight months. Yet the term has turned up in communications from the Trump camp. In July, referring to the Commission on Election … More Trumping transparency.
BY NICHOLAS DE VILLIERS I have just returned from a lovely experience filming an interview segment for Juliana Piccillo’s documentary Whores on Film (forthcoming 2018), which she has conceived as The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1995) for sex workers: primarily sex workers discussing tropes in representations of sex workers in Hollywood movies, … More Sexlexia: Reading Sex Work and Genre
BY MICHAEL CRAMERAssistant professor of film history at Sarah Lawrence College The term “utopia” is most often used to refer to a place (most frequently an imaginary one) as it was in Sir Thomas More’s book of the same name. More’s Utopia (1516), of course, was followed by plenty of other representations of “perfect” societies. … More Imagining Another Television.
BY RICK SHEFCHIK We knew Alzheimer’s would take Bobby Vee from us eventually, but it still seems too soon, too much, too unfair. Wasn’t he just 15? Didn’t he just step confidently onto that stage in Moorhead and make his first public appearance in place of Buddy Holly? Didn’t he just reel off a string … More On Bobby Vee, a great man to the core.
BY ANDREW CULPVisiting assistant professor of emerging media and communication at the University of Texas at Dallas French philosopher Gilles Deleuze is usually characterized as a thinker of positivity. Consider two of his major contributions: the rhizome as an image for the tangled connections of networks, and the molecular revolution as transform spurred by unexpected … More Aliens, monsters, and revolution in the Dark Deleuze
BY CURTIS MAREZProfessor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego Even before Donald Trump promised to build one, U.S. popular culture was preoccupied with walls—most famously the Wall in Game of Thrones that protects the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings. Contemporary depictions of zombies are set amid fences and fortifications that recall … More Of walls and robots: The future of immigration