The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: March 2014

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Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose (wearing a Gandhi cap) in 1938 Thanks to Mimi Thi Nguyen, I got to read Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India (University of Chicago Press, 1996) by anthropologist Emma Tarlo. This book focuses on five distinct and successive clothing paradigms that India has experienced in the last century and half. There is so much to write about them that I would like to only focus… Read More

Stowage of the British slave ship Brookes under the regulated slave trade act of 1788. (Library of US Congress) In the previous article, I was evoking the architecture of the holocaust’s gas chambers to address the role of design in industrialized death; today’s article will describe another atrocious historical example of how architecture can no only serve the most violent ideologies, but also often makes itself indispensable for them to be implemented…. Read More

Dr. Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University who wrote several books about autism and animal science. Her autism allowed her to a detailed perception of the animal behavior and the factors that influence it. Grandin’s architectural inventions were created in reaction to particularly brutal and insensitive means of bringing the cattle to their ultimate slaughter. Her designs provide a multitude of material and spatial apparatuses based on a deep… Read More

Map of the five New York City boroughs represented by a dot per person living there / Dot Map / (blue: white / green: black / red: asian / yellow: hispanic / brown: other) In a city like New York, gentrification is one of the main social and racialized violence that is currently at work. Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Bushwick, Green Point, Bed Stuy or Park Slope are experiencing it at speeds that… Read More

Comme des Garçons AW 2010/2011 Today’s Funambulist Paper complements well yesterday’s launch of the eighth volume of the Funambulist Pamphlets dedicated to the work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins since my guest, Erin Manning (see my interpretations of her books 1 and 2) examines in her extensive text their shared interpretation of design and the body with Comme des Garçons‘s founder and designer Rei Kawakubo. An anecdote is always a good way introduction, so I will say that… Read More

The eighth volume of The Funambulist Pamphlets that gathers and edits past articles (as well as additional illustrations) of the blog about the philosophical-poetic-artistic-architectural work of Arakawa, Madeline Gins and their Reversible Destiny Foundation is now officially published by Punctum Books in collaboration with the Center for Transformative Media at Parsons The New School. You can either download the book as a PDF for free or order it online for the price of $17.00 or €15.00. This price is higher… Read More

Platonic Love by Hannah Höch (1930) Here comes the fiftieth Funambulist Paper! This gives me the opportunity to say a huge thank you to the fifty-two contributors who greatly enriched the content of the Funambulist that would otherwise be suffocate from my only writing. Today’s contributor is law and political theorist Elena Loizidou who continues the series of texts about the body by inviting us to look at the way dreams of… Read More

Two months ago, London mayor Boris Johnson declared its support to the water cannon as a potential anti-riot weapon for the London police. This comes as an additional step toward the universal militarization of the police (see past article) conveniently combined to a capitalist arm market in which too many have too much to loose not to encourage the conditions that require their use. In an article entitled “White-washing the water cannon:… Read More

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie shown as a piece of evidence by the prosecution at George Zimmerman’s trial (July 2013) It has now been a few articles that I attempt to describe how clothing has such an important role in the social interactions of bodies and their positioning toward the norm in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation etc. It is correct to assume that the various interpretations that are made of the public… Read More