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Bruce Robbins, "John Berger’s Life Between Art and Politics," The Nation
"In these early years, Berger grabbed the spotlight not as a theorist but as a polemicist, picking fights with the establishment, happy to take on whatever it happened to be saying and whoever personified it in his mind. (Kenneth Clark was a particular bête noire.) According to Sperling, Berger needed an opponent in order to get himself going."

"Like others of his generation, Berger certainly suffered from a dashing of his revolutionary hopes. And yet he was never tempted by a depoliticized aestheticism. Throughout the various stages of his long and astonishing career, beauty and commitment were always intimates."

"By the middle of the ’70s, Berger was publicly triumphant. Yet it was at this very moment that he chose to retreat from public life and move to a mountain village above Geneva."

"But Sperling seems right that if demystification was indeed the keynote of Berger’s earlier writing on art, then his later writing marked a reversal—which does leave one wondering if Berger, now tapping his scythe in the foothills of the Alps, had decided to cut loose from history even while history kept chugging along."

"Peasants, like the world’s indigenous peoples, function today as repositories of knowledge that will increasingly be needed as a poisoned, overdeveloped world tries to model sustainable ways of life. "

"The attractions of small-scale but realized alternatives to actually existing social life were, of course, already a part of the 1960s counterculture. In this sense Berger’s move to the Alps was neither all that peculiar nor really a withdrawal at all. He was, like many veterans of the New Left, compromising on long-term goals in order to invest in community, in whatever form and on whatever scale it could be found."
2020  2020-01  BruceRobbins  JoshuaSperling  JohnBerger  biography  BookReview  art  criticism  Marxism  capitalism  peasants 
10 minutes ago by briansholis
Jacob Lindgren, "Graphic Design's Factory Settings," The Gradient
"Design education not only teaches its technical and historical canon, or how to design, but more importantly teaches students how to be designers in society and in relation to capital. A school becomes a factory producing designers, one that, in keeping with the principles of “good design,” turns them into efficient and interchangeable parts ready to hit the market."

"That the the marriage of design and business in the pursuit of profit and progress be labeled as something as ubiquitous as “thinking” is telling as to what extent design is entrenched in industry."

"… the “Bauhaus model,” regardless of how close it actually adheres to the school’s ideology or actions, is the primary model in which contemporary programs are rooted."

"Even more encompassing than the Bauhaus’s model, but certainly as a result of it, design education and history are completely dominated by western principles and hegemony."

"What would it look like to identify and replace the current power structures and ideologies embedded in contemporary design practice and pedagogy? What tools are available to do so and who gets to decide how they are used?"

"Self-organized educational initiatives move closer to alternative pedagogies for graphic design while also serving as sites for rethinking the practice as one closer to a mode of inquiry then an effect of industry."

"With regards to graphic design—now largely immaterial labor—the proliferation of adjunct teaching positions, precarious (freelance) work, and a general culture of commodification of the self as entrepreneur (or entreprecariat) make the structures and apparatus through which power manifests ones no longer limited to existing within the “factory walls.”"

"Self-organized forms of education can reaffirm the very same neoliberal tendencies in education they intend to critique by relieving the institution of its responsibility to provide for its students and faculty. For this reason it’s important for these initiatives to be speculative and world-building in nature, but also to be rooted in and cognizant of the conditions that structure their range of possibilities."

"… we need to leave the factory, potentially by building our own school-as-exit."
2020  2020-01  JacobLindgren  TheGradient  WalkerArtCenter  GraphicDesign  capitalism  Bauhaus  education  AlternativeEducation 
13 minutes ago by briansholis
Christopher Bollen, "Who Was Carlo Scarpa?" The New York Times
"In the decades after his death in 1978, Scarpa largely had come to be regarded as an ingenious but inessential roadside attraction on the superhighway of organic Modernism, eclipsed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. That may have been because he produced so few original structures; most of his work consisted of interventions in pre-existing public buildings. It didn’t help that he worked largely in Venice, a city which, unlike Milan, has never been known for nurturing the new."

"BORN IN THE city in 1906 and raised largely in Vicenza, an hour away, Scarpa, who studied architecture at Venice’s Academy of Fine Arts but never became a licensed architect because he refused to take the government exam, idolized the work of the Vienna Secessionist Josef Hoffmann and Wright (who returned the admiration) and drew inspiration from abstract painters including Piet Mondrian and Mark Rothko. He traveled extensively in Japan, which helped inform his appreciation of humble materials like reclaimed timber and rusted metal, as well as his obsession with tiny details like hardware and nails."
2020  2020-02  ChristopherBollen  NYT  CarloScarpa  architecture  ModernArchitecture  Italy  geometry  renovation  ResidentialArchitecture 
16 minutes ago by briansholis
Ingrid Burrington, "A Tour of Some Logistics Landscapes," Urban Omnibus
"But just as neoliberalism is more than a set of economic policies, logistics is more than an abstract term for ordering things: It’s a form of management, a security imperative, a world-making process unto itself. Not all systems are logistical, but to assume a logistics lens on the world tends to systematize it — making it mappable, standardized, subject to control, and predicated on perpetual growth almost always in need of optimization."

"The language of logistics tends toward comparisons to nature — a product does not have a timeline but a “life cycle,” supply chains run “downstream” and “upstream,” and logistics itself has a “flow.” In this framing, the movement of commodities is part of the natural order of things, and that natural order requires the utmost protection. In both state and federal treatment of American pipelines, the commerce and security imperatives of logistics become painfully evident."

"But this is what the logistics lens does: It prioritizes continuous flow, presumes infrastructural necessity, and can’t really imagine anything outside itself rendering it unnecessary."

"Ultimately, the greatest source of friction in logistics systems is simply the imprecision and uncertainty of the reality they seek to precisely contain. The earth doesn’t rotate with the precision of an atomic clock. Human beings are unpredictable and stubborn and defiant. Old buildings with old, slow elevators will still be old and slow even with a new routing algorithm. In this respect, the logistically seamless ideal of the smart city is and probably always has been more horizon than destination. And while the presumed rewards at that horizon of infinite order and control may appeal to some, it’s not clear that the journey toward it is worth the cruelties and destruction left in its wake."
2020  2020-01  UrbanOmnibus  IngridBurrington  technology  infrastructure  logistics  cities  urbanism  UrbanPlanning  capitalism 
25 minutes ago by briansholis
Nicole Fenton, Tiny Content Framework
This is a tiny content strategy framework focused on goals, messages, and branding. This is not a checklist. Use what you need and scrap the rest. Rewrite it or add to it. These topics should help you get to the bottom of things with clients and other people you work with.
NicoleFenton  ContentStrategy  consuting  branding  writing  2020-02  2020 
1 hour ago by briansholis
SMMRY - Summarize articles, text, websites, essays and documents
Paste an article, text or essay in this box and hit summarize; we'll return a shortened copy for you to read.
You can also summarize PDF and TXT documents by uploading a file or summarize online articles and webpages by pasting the URL below...
writing  summary  2020  tools 
3 hours ago by dlb

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