Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.
How can art — as a site of creative construction, of the imaginative building of alternative worlds and potential futures — contribute to a great transformation toward a radically different form of life, one beyond the environmental violence and social destructiveness of advanced capitalism? To grow requires a healthy medium. Take soil. Damage, we know, is the result of industrial agriculture, leading to a crisis of food provisions. Conventional farming’s use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides destroys soil’s health, diminishing its fertility. The situation is dire: the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation informs us that farmers have only sixty more years of growing crops, owing to soil depletion and erosion—in other words, only about a hundred harvests left, even as world population is expected to grow substantially. Farming becomes mining, a mode of extraction, when it withdraws value from the earth and transforms it into commercial profit, rather than replenishing it as a creative ecology with long-term benefits. How can this latter sense of environmental health be legitimised and dignified within the arts? With the current cultural turn toward investigating multi species and post anthropocentric ways of knowing and being, propelled further by the threat of catastrophic climate change in the age of the Anthropocene, these questions could not be more urgent, nor solutions more readily available.
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Falling In Love (Again): India's Weaves Story
India’s love affair with handwoven cloth shows no signs of abating. Open any fashion magazine or newspaper and weaves get ample play. Designers up and down the country extol the virtues of weaves, proudly brandishing their innovative work with weavers to contemporise motifs and palettes. This is laudable but hardly surprising.
Regal Renaissance: The Royal Opera House Re-opens
The Royal Opera House Mumbai is widely touted as ‘Mumbai’s cultural crown jewel’ and India’s only surviving opera house. The original idea for the space was conceived of in 1908. It was inaugurated in 1911 by King George V, and eventually completed in 1916. The design incorporated a blend of European and Indian detailing.
Technologies Of Elegance
As soon as you enter the exhibition space in Bikaner House, the display ahead sort of takes your breath away. It’s a carefully crafted mise-enscène, filled with dangling screens, suspended sequins, overflowing jewellery boxes, glass displays, and more. And yet, in spite of the exquisite setting, and the props that inhabit it, your focus never wavers from the clothes, which form the essence of the exhibition.
Fictioning The Landscape: Robert Smithson And Ruins In Reverse
That zero panorama seemed to contain ruins in reverse, that is – all the new construction that would eventually be built. This is the opposite of the ‘romantic ruin’ because the buildings don’t fall into ruin after they are built but rather rise into ruin before they are built. –Robert Smithson, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”
The Kerala boy stands alone, facing the sea or what looks like the sea. Water is never far from his feet. His eyes are dark and his hair is blacker than the best Tellicherry pepper. He is an inch taller than most and a little long in the tooth. He likes the language of protest. He likes the flavour of a season called ‘Left’.
Ghosts Of Ghan-Town
Landing gracefully on a rock, the camel tucked in its wings And wondered if this was perhaps Miryam Springs? This parched and desolate landscape was not what he hoped to find What of the flourishing settlement he had once left behind?
The humidity is sabotage and my skin is undone. I’ve always had a preference for dryness. While other women fear wrinkles, I never mind the beginnings of a crease. They seem cleaner, those intersecting lines. But then I’ve never been afraid of getting older, of being an abstraction.
The Smuggler: A Mural By Sadequain
The story goes that Sadequain (1930 – 1987), living in Karachi, was exhausted and in poor health. He was offered a stay at a government rest house at Gadani in 1958, so that he could recover. Gadani is located in the province of Balochistan on the Arabian Sea, a few kilometers west of Karachi. It must have felt quite remote from the city back then. The western coastline of Pakistan has long been infamous for underdevelopment and for unregulated trade activities with West Asia.
It’s 2011, late summer. All over Europe, young people are occupying central public squares to demonstrate for more social justice. In Berlin, their agenda is different. The completists gathered at Alexanderplatz aspire for justice primarily on an intimate level. They believe that only when the redistribution of material wealth includes equal chances of finding sex and love — no matter how elderly, disabled, or ugly you are — communism will become real.
A Writer's Discourse
There are two moments in Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus that I come back to often. The first is an epitaph that Socrates uses to explain bad writing, which he recites (and I will now quote) in full:
Hands Off My Football Team!
The European Super League followed a model shaped in the U.S. Opposition from fans scuttled the idea
It's Not Just the Confetti
How Robinhood made stock trading easy, approachable— and maybe too hard to resist
Not-So-Great Green Jobs
Clean energy isn’t a wellspring of the better-paying union jobs Biden has been touting
THE COLLAPSE OF COPERNICUS
The implosion of Curt Schilling’s video game empire was a $150 million reminder that the industry’s workers are always on the verge of disaster
THE NEW iMAC 24”: A NEW ERA FOR DESKTOP COMPUTING BEGINS
It was perhaps one of Apple’s most anticipated product refreshes of all time, and at its Spring Loaded event, the Cupertino company did not disappoint. Apple’s iconic all-in-one desktop computer has been overhauled from the ground up, sparking a new era for the Mac.
UNENDING PANDEMIC. GLOBAL ANXIETY. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS. Perfect Time to Start an Airline!
DAVID NEELEMAN, AIRLINE SAVANT (THINK JETBLUE) AND PERPETUAL OPTIMIST, IS AT IT AGAIN WITH A NEW BUDGET CARRIER CALLED BREEZE
MERCEDES ROLLS OUT LUXURY ELECTRIC CAR IN DUEL WITH TESLA
Daimler AG unveiled a battery-powered counterpart to its top Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan as German carmakers ramp up their challenge to electric upstart Tesla.
○ Riders are flocking back to ride-hailing, but drivers need more nudging
DEMS PUSH $25B TO ELECTRIFY SCHOOL BUSES
Democratic lawmakers are unveiling legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles, aiming at a component of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan to improve children’s health.
Making That Money
For music executives like Kevin Liles, of the hip-hop label 300 Entertainment, the pandemic has mostly made a good life better. A lot of musicians, however, are experiencing something different