Month: November 2017

Bill Hayes’s Insomniac City: A Beautiful Tribute to New York and Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks. Photograph: Bill Hayes.
Oliver Sacks. Photograph: Bill Hayes.

Started reading Bill Hayes‘s memoir, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me yesterday afternoon, and didn’t stop until the final page. Through a series of reflections and intimate diary entries, the book offers a revealing account of Hayes’s relationship with the late neurologist Oliver Sacks. The book is also a love letter to New York, and captures “the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected” nature of the city through brief vignettes and black and white portraits. Björk even makes an appearance. And another one. I laughed and cried at several points. Beautiful style. Wonderful photographs. Truly life affirming. To sum it up, I’m reminded of something Oliver Sacks said which Hayes recorded in his diary:

“4-22-15

O: ‘The most we can do is to write—intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively—about what it is like living in the world at this time.’”

— Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

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Tuning in to the State of the Theory Podcast

Hannah Fitzpatrick and Anindya Raychaudhuri discuss a topical podcast that covers politics, power, and pop culture

What is the State of the Theory podcast?

Hannah Fitzpatrick: Like most podcasts, State of the Theory is a manifestation of our narcissism. It began as an optimistic hope (albeit with few expectations) that our casual conversations might be of interest to, and spark debate among, our friends and colleagues. We used to commute together a few times a week, and the car became a sort of impromptu seminar venue, but without the audience. After the last research auditing exercise undertaken by the UK government in 2014, Impact and Public Engagement became quantifiable entities that might be used for or against us later in our careers, so the podcast is a sort of compromise, a way for us to demonstrate that our thoughts have value beyond the walls of the Vauxhall Astra, while still doing it on our own terms. A way of selling out without entirely selling out, if you will. Also, we missed the long drive, where all we could do was chat, and we could have these long, multi-stage conversations over the course of a week or two, so the podcast was a way for us to recreate that time.Read More

Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive 1850-1960

Free public exhibition at Cardiff University on 20 November 2017, 5.30pm

women-trousers-cardiff-university.jpg

Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive, offers a gallery of images from 1850-1960 that together tells part of the story of women in trousers as a history of women’s social, political and cultural protest and change. From Joan of Arc to George Sand, Mary Edwards Walker to Marlene Dietrich and Colette to Coco Chanel, trouser-wearing women have been associated with transgressive acts of protest and play. Linked with periods of social and political upheaval, women’s liberation, radical thought, aesthetic innovation and erotic freedom, trouser-wearing women have historically represented an illegitimate assumption of male authority and power – of ‘wearing the trousers’ – that destabilises fixed notions of sexual difference and threatens the very fabric of the social order.”

Visit the Eventbrite page to book your free ticket.

Lauren Elkin on William Forsythe’s Conceptual Art

William Forsythe
William Forsythe

“Reading Julien Offray de la Mettrie’s L’Homme machine (Man a Machine, 1748), in 1978 the philosopher Karl Popper suggested that ‘there may be no clear distinction between living matter and dead matter’; that man ‘is a computer’. William Forsythe’s ‘Choreographic Objects’ puts this thesis to the test in the vaulted space of an aircraft hangar that houses Gagosian Le Bourget. What Forsythe calls ‘choreographic objects’ are the installations, films and sculptures that he’s been creating since 1989, which lie at the intersection of dance and the visual arts. Exploring choreography, technology and space, his work brings us closer to understanding our own bodies.”

— Lauren Elkin, Frieze