Cities

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Four Poems by Greg Nissan
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Overcast cobalt, tile unbolted, pictures / On loan require empty space / Like an expletive. Grisaille pigeons, / Endemic to our swamp of / Commission.

Nebulous Geography: On Renee Gladman’s Houses of Ravicka by J.W. McCormack
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The imagined city from Gladman’s Ravicka series is as elusive as human self-hood. 

Postcommodity by Rob Goyanes
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“Moving bodies generate this system. They create, supposedly, some justification to play this market out.”

Wolf Vostell and Dick Higgins’s Fantastic Architecture by Eva Díaz
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Buildings are big, expensive, and they have a tendency to stick around a long time. So what’s an artist who wants to disturb “the repressive architecture of bureaucracy and luxury” to do?

Margaret Morton’s Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan by Claudia Steinberg
Margaret Morton

Margaret Morton reports that on her first long drive through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan she was delighted when a skyline of minarets and domes appeared out of the silvery-blue, thin, stone-dry air, like a mirage.

Valeria Luiselli by Jennifer Kabat
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Cities haunted by ghosts, ghosts that are a metaphor for language in their haunting doubling and mistranslations, language that’s full of holes, while the holes themselves are suggestive of abandoned places and writing that fails to describe anything accurately enough—this is Valeria Luiselli’s terrain.

Teju Cole by Aleksandar Hemon
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“Yes, I believe in life online, the way a person in 1910 might believe in aviation, or a person in 1455 might believe in movable type: with excitement and apprehension.”

Francis Alÿs by Carla Faesler
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After a lunch consisting of meatballs, rice, and lemonade, Francis Alÿs coordinates the afternoon plans for his son Elliot. The main activity is soccer practice, but Alÿs determines it’d be best to get to homework right away.

Sergio Fajardo and Giancarlo Mazzanti
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One of my greatest motivations has always been to make those doors not depend on social conditions; to make them not a privilege but a right in a just society.

Sergio Fajardo y Giancarlo Mazzanti (spanish)
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En los últimos años Medellín se ha vuelto visita obligada de los arquitectos que vistan Colombia y América del Sur. 

Version Fest by Melissa Potter
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Having just celebrated its eighth incarnation last April and May, Chicago’s Version Fest is a 10-day mash-up of curatorial projects, public interventions, musical events, and academic forums.

Kristin Palm’s The Straits by Mónica de la Torre​
The Straits

“Vocal Executive Chides Critics of Detroit” reads a recent New York Times headline, confirming a synecdoche firmly engrained in the American imagination substituting industry for place. 

Vanessa Place’s La Medusa by Stefanie Sobelle
Vanessa Place

Los Angeles is distinctive for its magic hour; that time of day when the sun is teasing the horizon.

My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec

Only a few days are left before another birthday, and if I’ve decided to begin this way it’s because two friends, through their books, have made me realize that these days can be a cause to reflect, to make excuses, or to justify the years lived.

Alberto Kalach by Jose Castillo
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Urban planning and the Edenic garden, from Cicero to Borges; and universal knowledge and the public library, from Boulee to Kalach’s own soaring Vasconcelos Library.

Ben Katchor by Alexander Theroux
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Ben Katchor is a recorder of vanished and vanishing places, a poet of the vast metropolis of New York. He notices, crucially, what others walk by, fail to see and generally disregard—a man living in the mosaic while seeing its details. 

City Without a Ghetto, Center for Urban Pedagogy by Carlos Brillembourg
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The shortcomings of New York’s Housing Act of 1949 are examined in City without a Ghetto, an exhibition at the Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Jesús Tenreiro-Degwitz by Carlos Brillembourg
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Jesús Tenreiro-Degwitz and I “spoke” via email from fall 2001 to late summer 2002. I have known Jesús most of my life; we became close in 1979 when we and 15 other architects founded the Instituto de Architectura Urbana (IAU) in Caracas.

Carlo Rotella’s Good with Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt by Lawrence Chua
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Meet psych major and boxer Liz McGonigal, bluesman and entrepreneur Buddy Guy, and cops-turned-muses Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso in Carlo Rotella’s anthology of blue-collar life stories Good with Their Hands.

Michel Negroponte’s WISOR by Charlie Ahearn
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In his new film, Michel Negroponte turns an engineer’s struggle to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles into a playfully hip little movie starring a robot named WISOR with witty one-liners.

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