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Cultural Studies

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Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967–2017

Wanderlust highlights artists as voyagers who leave their studios to make art. This book (and the exhibition it accompanies) is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s need to roam and the work that emerges from this need. Wanderlust presents the work of under-recognized yet pioneering artists alongside their well-known counterparts, and represents works that vary in process, with some artists working as solitary figures implanting themselves physically on the landscape while others perform and create movements in a collaborative manner or in public.

From Ancestors to Algorithms

From our hunter-gatherer days, we humans evolved to be excellent throwers, chewers, and long-distance runners. We are highly social, crave Paleolithic snacks, and display some gendered difference resulting from mate selection. But we now find ourselves binge-viewing, texting while driving, and playing Minecraft. Only the collective acceleration of cultural and technological evolution explains this development.

A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud

The peculiar arrangement of the psychoanalyst’s office for an analytic session seems inexplicable. The analyst sits in a chair out of sight while the patient lies on a couch facing away. It has been this way since Freud, although, as Nathan Kravis points out in On the Couch, this practice is grounded more in the cultural history of reclining posture than in empirical research.

The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose

“I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!”

During the mid-1930s, British and overseas newspapers were full of incredible stories about Gef, a “talking mongoose” or “man-weasel” who had allegedly appeared in the home of the Irvings, a farming family in a remote district of the Isle of Man. The creature was said to speak in several languages, to sing, to steal objects from nearby farms, and to eavesdrop on local people.

A Serendipitous Guide

All working architects leave behind a string of monuments to themselves in the form of buildings they have designed. But what about the final spaces that architects themselves will occupy? Are architects’ gravesites more monumental—more architectural—than others? This unique book provides an illustrated guide to more than 200 gravesites of famous architects, almost all of them in the United States.

Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff
Edited by Bill Maurer and Lana Swartz

Museums are full of the coins, notes, beads, shells, stones, and other objects people have exchanged for millennia. But what about the debris, the things that allow a transaction to take place and are left its wake? How would a museum go about curating our scrawls on electronic keypads, the receipts wadded in our wallets, that vast information infrastructure that runs the card networks?

Whether by accidental keystroke or deliberate tinkering, technology is often used in ways that are unintended and unimagined by its designers and inventors. In this book, Jessa Lingel offers an account of digital technology use that looks beyond Silicon Valley and college dropouts-turned-entrepreneurs. Instead, Lingel tells stories from the margins of countercultural communities that have made the Internet meet their needs, subverting established norms of how digital technologies should be used.

Digital Prospects

The shitstorm represents an authentic phenomenon of digital communication.
—from In the Swarm

Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism. Offering relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics, it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children’s story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.

Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream

The Las Vegas Strip has impersonated the Wild West, with saloon doors and wagon wheels; it has decked itself out in midcentury modern sleekness. It has illuminated itself with twenty-story-high neon signs, then junked them. After that came Disney-like theme parks featuring castles and pirates, followed by replicas of Venetian canals, New York skyscrapers, and the Eiffel Tower.

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