In Adbusters December "Big Ideas of 2012" issue Simon Critchley, author of Infinitely Demanding and the forthcoming Faith of the Faithless, teases out the demands called forth by the masses who participated in the Arab Spring. Namely: no to empty variations of Western liberal democracy and yes to the sovereignty of the people
The various movements in North Africa and the Middle East...aim at one thing: autonomy. They demand collective ownership of the places where one lives, works, thinks and plays. Let's be clear: it is not just democracy that is being demanded all across the Arab world; it is socialism. And the tactics that have been developed to bring it about are anarchist.
Laura Oldfield Ford's Savage Messiah is reviewed for domus by Owen Hatherley. Hatherley describes it as a "self-published montage of fragmentary memoir, revolutionary fantasy and startlingly raw architectural draughtsmanship." In Hatherley's eyes, Ford's artworks are
pervaded alternately with ghostly, overgrown renderings of the harsh, sublime social architecture of the 1960s, especially well represented in Oldfield Ford's native West Yorkshire and adoptive East London.
Two giants of French philosophy discuss psychology, Western culture and the Kantian turn in the history of philosophy in this hidden gem of a video. Michel Foucault is interviewed by Alain Badiou, the acclaimed author of many books including Pocket Pantheon, and the forthcoming The Adventure of French Philosophy (2012), which both engage with Foucault's thought.
As chosen by Anthony Vidler, a Professor of Architecture and the Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Cooper Union, New York
A witty, incisive, critical, and brilliantly written invitation to see contemporary architecture and urbanism as a complex result of economic, political, and ideological forces that are hardly masked by the formal expressions of architects. This is criticism as we rarely read it, of the sort that Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford provided in an earlier era. These essays demonstrate that Sorkin goes well beyond his own advice, and that he adds something else for good measure: a deep and broad knowledge of architecture and cities, a love of both, and a profound belief in the role of architecture in constructing a just city.
Praise from Elizabeth Taylor, the Chicago Tribune's Literary Editor
Famed naturalist and writer John Muir (a founder of the Sierra Club) once observed that if it ever came down to a war between the races, he would side with the bears. That remark inspired the title of this compelling collection of short fiction concerned with climate change.
This collection is a jolt out of our armchairs, a call to arms, because scientific evidence has its limitations. The all-star array of fiction writers who have contributed to this book helps us feel what it would be like to live in a very different landscape. T.C. Boyle's disturbing story involves early eco-activists; David Mitchell imagines a world dramatically changed by oil prices; Nathaniel Rich has a darkly comic story about a crab and a marine biologist.
Together, these stories inspire both fear and hope about our environmental future. Of course, the other reason this little volume is so terrific is that the stories are written with verve and style. Feel good about the purchase: Royalties go to 350.org, a group working to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.