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by land. London Andrew Cross Recollecting the slaughterhouse Dorothee Brantz The mouse’s tale Karen Rader And 128 The lion in the Swedish winter Mats Bigert Postcard Project Vadim Fishkin . Ebbesmeyer Main 19 21 22 26 30 31 33 36 40 47 50 53 56 60 64 65 69 71 73 79 81 85 Scenic wallpaper Francesco Simeti Stealth towers Kristen Dodge Hidden talents: The camouflage paintings of Abbott Handerson Thayer Emily Gephart Hieroglyphs of the future: Jacques Rancière and the æsthetics of equality Brian Holmes By sea. Anthony Hartle Jay Worthington The paper sculpture show Matt Freedman Instant replay Eve Sussman Door Paul Ramirez Jonas Flame Pablo Vargas-Lugo Coffee cup Sarah Sze Folding chairs Allan Wexler I tried! Jonathan Ames Cover versions: The Communist Manifesto Geoff Cox Animals 90 95 97 102 104 105 108 112 116 118 124 Where the wild things are: An interview with Steve Baker Gregory Williams Fifteen theses on the cute Frances Richard Bee Modern: An interview with Juan Antonio Ramirez Eric Bunge Mapping behavior Tomas Matza Bunny Rising Angela Wyman Audition for a pair of koalas Kathy Temin Animals on Trial Jeffrey Kastner Beastly agendas: An interview with Kathleen Kete Sina Najafi Central Meat Market. Weiss Leftovers Curtis C.Contents Columns 10 13 14 17 The clean room David Serlin Colors Darren Wershler-Henry Ingestion Allen S. by air: Studio photographs from 1950s Lebanon The traveling interview Dean MacCannell and Lucy Lippard Hispaniola David Hawkes Airport disease Matthew Rose A fevered dream of Maya: Robert Stacy-Judd Jesse Lerner Warhol’s dream Saul Anton Warhol’s aura and the language of writing Tan Lin Guggenheimlichkeit Carl Skelton Marketing the prison experience in Tehran Golmohammad Rahati Towards a military ethics at West Point: An interview with Col.

Angela Wyman is an artist based in New York. Tomas Matza is a writer based in San Francisco. long explanations. Gregory Williams is an art critic and writer living in New York. teacher. New Mexico. Jay Worthington is an editor-at-large at Cabinet. Dorothee Brantz is writing a doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago on the history of slaughterhouses in nineteenth-century Berlin and Paris. Germany. Allen S. Saul Anton is an editor at Cabinet. a writer. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery and teaches in the Department of Architecture at Pratt Institute. What's Not to Love? David Hawkes is associate professor of English at Lehigh University and the author of Ideology. SFMOMA mounted a retrospective of his work in 2001. Carl Skelton. Juan Antonio Ramirez is Professor of Art History at Madrid’s Universidad Autónoma. and Society at Sarah Lawrence College. He shares a love of minutiæ with several of the editors of Cabinet magazine. Pablo Vargas-Lugo is an artist based in Mexico City. where she edits the community newsletter. including Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America and The Lure of the Local. video.Century Paris. Col. installation. Andrew Cross is an artist based in London. Jeffrey Kastner is a New York-based writer and an editor of Cabinet Kathleen Kete is the author of The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth. at MIT. She lives and works in Brooklyn. Mats Bigert is one half of the Stockholmbased art duo Bigert & Bergström. lives in Toronto. She is currently completing a book on the development of the laboratory mouse.D. Technology. Sina Najafi is editor-in-chief of Cabinet. where he writes. He is the author of many books. Oliver Bernt is a professional architecture photographer in Berlin. critic and the editor of Coach House Books. and is a contributing editor and columnist for Cabinet. New York: sculpture. the tapeworm foundry andor the dangerous prevalence of imagination. Matt Freedman is an artist based in New York. Weiss is an editor-at-large at Cabinet. David Serlin is an assistant professor of History and American Studies at Albright College. Geoff Cox is an artist. He lives in London and works at the University of Plymouth where he is also part of CAiiA-STAR (Science Technology Art Research). . Steve Baker is Senior Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in England. She is a recent graduate of Brown University. Sarah Sze is an artist based in New York. Curtis Ebbesmeyer publishes the quarterly non-profit newsletter Beachcombers’ Alert concerning all things afloat.Contributors Jonathan Ames is the author of the novels. He is a contributing editor at Cabinet. Emily Gephart writes on American art and culture at the turn of the century. Jesse Lerner lives in Los Angeles. His second book of poetry. Weiss teaches at the Performance Studies and Cinema Studies Departments at New York University. Kristen Dodge is Cabinet’s office manager. Darren Wershler-Henry. including Phantasmic Radio. Matthew Rose is a writer based in Paris. He is a principal of nARCHITECTS and a visiting professor at Barnard College. Karen Rader teaches Science. Britta Jaschinski is an artist based in London. She is at work on a cultural history of ambition in post-revolutionary France. Brian Holmes is a writer and translator based in Paris. and makes documentary films. He is Cabinet’s editor-at-large in Sweden. Eric Bunge is an architect practicing in New York. He is Professor of Environmental Design and Chair of Landscape Architecture at University of California Davis. and projects organizer. Allan Wexler is an artist based in New York City. Paul Ramirez Jonas is an artist based in New York. Tan Lin is a poet and cultural critic based in New York. Eve Sussman is an artist who shoots film and video and writes very short stories. and beginning a new project on changing modes of displaying biological science in museums. and the memoir. He is also an editor of Cabinet. Frances Richard is a writer who lives in Brooklyn. He is an editor-at-large at Cabinet. She is currently pursuing a Ph. He is also a founding member of the New York-based non-profit theater company Clubbed Thumb. Bunge is a contributing editor at Cabinet. She lives in Galisteo. was shortlisted for the 2001 Trillium Prize. Golmohammad Rahati is a journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Tehran. Vadim Fishkin is a Russian artist based in Ljubljana. Lucy Lippard has written 20 books on contemporary art and cultural criticism. Dean MacCannell is recognized as the founder of the field of tourism studies with his books The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class and Empty Meeting Grounds. Antony Hartle is deputy head of the Department of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point. teaches. Kathy Temin is an Australian artist based in New York. She is the non-fiction editor of the journal Fence and an editor at Cabinet. I Pass Like Night and The Extra Man.


html Hardcover. or call 800. $19. www. www.4703 The University of Illinois Press .545.” — Andrew available from your bookseller. Environmental Values From Mickey Mouse to the use of “jackass” as an all-purpose insult.uillinois. $24. images of animals are integral to Western culture.Beasty Books “A pleasure to read as well as being a substantial work of scholarship. Baker examines how these distorted images affect how real animals are perceived and Regan responds thought-fully to his critics while dismantling the conception that “all and only” human beings are worthy of the moral status that is the basis of baker.html Paperback.

curators and scholars for research and licensed usage.BEIRUT NEW YORK arab image foundation www. The foundation (or AIF) aims to contribute to the study and understanding of the region and its cultures. . and to the public primarily through publication and exhibition projects. as well as to support contemporary Arab visual production and preserve. Our database is available to artists. interpret and present the photographic heritage and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa from the early 19th century to the present. The Arab Image Foundation was established in Beirut in 1997 to locate. The collection provides insight into a period of crucial transformation in Arab history and Arab lands.fai.


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is custom-made.A. Despite his mysterious disappearance. Rural and suburban consumers seeking these modern products of industrial efficiency and a more genteel sensibility could order made-to-measure arms and legs from manufacturers such as A. “I talked to him a couple of times but mainly remember one evening we sat on the bus-stop bench and looked out at the skyline. Photo Raman Srinivasan 10 an artificial leg can be a marker of economic status or national identity—especially for the national of a country often associated with a developing or impoverished economy— is deeply intertwined with histories of prosthetic devices. which Christian keeps in his studio. In 19th-century United States. Ingestion is a column by Allen S. mirroring the delicate wooden hammers inside the piano case. for example. and philosophy. Marks on the same day that they ordered home- . tells a story about a homeless Indian man he knew years ago who wore a prosthetic leg. Colors is a column in which a guest writer is asked to respond to a specific color assigned by the editors of Cabinet. Weiss on cuisine. however submerged such a notion may be. painted leather. men or women of privilege commissioned artisans to supply prostheses made of carved wood. And then one day Christian spotted the lone prosthetic leg standing all by itself in a nearby vacant lot. a Minneapolis-based artist. The plastic. an elegant carved mechanical hand made for a Victorian concert pianist has circular patches of green felt attached to its fingertips. dangerous machinery. The Clean Room. and transportation-related accidents gave rise to another industrial trade as a burgeoning middle-class demanded mass-produced. articulated limbs to replace homemade peg legs and roughhewn hooks. the Indian was probably someone from a middle-class—or perhaps even aristocratic—background who had fallen on hard times. appears in each issue of Cabinet. and costs thousands of dollars. another of the nameless acquaintances one accumulates when living in an urban downtown area. Indeed. the regular amputation of limbs by battlefield assaults. we know more about the man’s leg than about his life.Columns The Clean Room Making the Jaipur foot David Serlin Allen Christian. In fact. Christian recalls how he met the man one summer outside his former storefront studio.” says Christian. as if it had been left behind in desperate haste. Several weeks passed before he caught another glimpse of the man. the notion that Jaipur foot decorated with rings and nail polish. In the collections of London’s Science Museum. Leftovers is a column in which Cabinet invites a guest to discuss leftovers or detritus from a cultural perspective. designed and crafted by a Western-trained professional prosthetist. In early modern Europe. David Serlin’s column on science and technology. padded leg. What happened to Christian’s friend remains something of a mystery. This was not a hand made for digging ditches. æsthetics. and even precious metals to replace body parts lost to injury or illness.

a weatherproof shoe. By contrast. Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: NYU Press. calling upon them to become self-sufficient in the face of adversity.” in Katherine Ott et al. the history of the Jaipur Foot is intimately intertwined with India’s history under British rule. the amputee has no choice but to remain forever dependent on an intricate web of medical-industrial products and services defined by multibillion dollar. This is the triumph of the Jaipur Foot over not only the legacies of 19th-century British colonialism. scrap metal. “the technology for making this prosthetic device requires little in the way of start-up capital or cumbersome machinery. Once it is slipped over the ankle stump. The ultimate proof of a successful prosthetic.building kits from the Montgomery Ward catalogue. As a consequence. Sir Clemens Markham sponsored the first shipments of caoutchouc (rubber) seeds to Ceylon in 1876. Without some form of agency. not ones that rely on external resources or expertise. “Technology Sits Cross-Legged: A History of the Jaipur Foot. Sethi’s invention has become known internationally as the “Jaipur Foot. This attitude has been compounded by postmodernism’s continuing romance with prosthetic tech-nologies. the first myoelectric arm—one which uses electrical signals to stimulate and amplify residual nerves in an above-theelbow amputee’s stump—became widely known in the US as the “Boston arm” because of its inventor. silicon. patients retain complete control of the material as well as the method of their rehabilitation rather than succumbing passively to the top-heavy Western medical model. The National Museum of American History in Washington. rather than to the patients themselves. in an extensive history of the Jaipur Foot to be published later this year. These are self-sustaining technologies. the donors claim. . or outgrows his or her foot. it is not protected by intellectual property regimes. As Srinivasan has described. molded plastics.” Over the past three decades. Many active in the disability community argue that the discourse surrounding assistive technologies such as prostheses gives too much authority to prosthetists and engineers. Giving a prosthesis a local identity seems to be a recurring motif. Artificial Parts. imperial power brokers and policy makers in European capitals like London encouraged their subjects to resist the temptation of paternalistic aid.000 carbon-graphite legs.”1 One powerful photograph taken by Srinivasan in 1986 depicts an Indian woman who has customized her Jaipur Foot with ornamental rings. he or she can simply make a new one. ensuring that access to such technologies remains a singularly First-World option. the worlds of medical commodification and sexual fetishism collided when British designer Alexander McQueen featured model and celebrity paraplegic Aimee Mullins on the highfashion runway with a pair of $30. It is we who accept medical authority (and its attendant expenses) in direct proportion to our physical vulnerability. Such vernacular legs may have been unsightly but. Over the past half-century. With the Jaipur Foot.” since it uses materials and production methods that are sensitive to immediate economic and environmental contexts. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World (New York: Verso. the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. DC. MIT mathematics professor Norbert Wiener. In his recent opus Late Victorian Holocausts. The Jaipur Foot is also a beautiful example of the ways in which vernacular technologies can be used to challenge the legacies of colonialism in order to promote both physical and cultural autonomy. succored at the breast of free-market economics. In 1997. the Jaipur Foot is a self-sustaining technology made from local materials that is crafted and maintained by the individual once he or she has been given proper guidance. Ironically. This is precisely what Sethi found so liberating in rubber: it was a domestic product that could be re-appropriated for a completely different use. In the mid-1960s.. developing nations have been drawn to the Jaipur Foot as a viable alternative to costly prosthetics. who have been forced to accept a paternalistic health care model that puts control and expertise in the hands of powerful HMOs and other bureaucratic medical organizations. it is the citizens of Western countries.. Mike Davis shows how European powers in India and Asia created the conditions for vast starvation by forcing their colonies to grow agricultural products for global distribution rather than local use. which Western historians and theorists tend to treat as symbolic or metaphorical objects rather than as everyday material tools used by individuals who have read not a whit of Donna Haraway. uses locally available materials such as rubber and wood. 2001). Sethi helped to develop a new kind of prosthesis made from discarded rubber tires and other industrial detritus available in abundance in Jaipur and across India. for example. if the patient damages. loses. 1 See Raman Srinivasan. For his invention and his vision. For this reason. Our dependence on the medicalindustrial complex is proof enough that we have absorbed the legacies of colonialism to the degree that we are incapable of retaining control over our own bodies. the Jaipur Foot provides a fitting conclusion to the exploits of 19th-century European imperialism. contains many ingenious examples of legs fashioned out of wood. forthcoming).2 Davis argues that while tens of millions of Asians died in the droughts and famines of the 1880s and 1890s. it is a mere fraction of the price of a Western prosthesis. Within a decade. and wire donated to their collections as late as the 1970s. thus making it widely available. At a cost of about $5. In a sense. 2 See Mike Davis. but over 20th-century Western medicine in general. It is paradigmatic of what many green activists call an “appropriate technology. Best of all. India. the will to circumvent medical expertise and improvise with homemade technologies runs high among the mechanically inclined as well as the uninsured. and fiberglass has resulted in state-of-the-art prosthetics that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Dr. In the 1960s. rubber remained a compelling symbol of the former imperial power’s transformation of the country’s physical landscape. they were infinitely more hardy than the realistically rendered but often painful plastic variety. for-profit health-care providers. Unlike sophisticated Western prosthetics. it can serve as a cosmetic foot replacement. Even after India gained independence in 1947. Sethi received in 1981 the Magsaysay Award. resides not in space-age products using DuPont chemicals or in customized designs using CAD software but in the amputee’s ability to become autonomous. rags. however. Markham had established rubber as a significant export product within the global distribution system of the British Empire. India’s development of a late 19th-century rubber monoculture for global use enabled a late 20th-century rehabilitation model that emphasizes local materials and local artisans and supports local environments. and even traditional designs etched in henna. and provides ample scope for the expression of artistic skills and artisanship. Pramod Karan Sethi established a rehabilitation center for belowthe-ankle amputees in Jaipur. His center trains recent amputees—from street beggars to middle-class housewives—how to make 11 new feet. or both. nail polish. for instance. after all. the use of industrial products such as stainless steel. for example. to redress some of the basic inequities inherent in prosthetic design and accessibility. As Raman Srinivasan has written.

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L. the Tin Woodman (an industrial worker and the epitome of alienated labor. scholars have suggested. Baum editorialized against the Independent movement that evolved into the Populists. the year of the election that would mark what has been called “the Climax of Populism.’”). and how the reading of a key cultural text shifts dramatically because of the seemingly innocuous decision made by one Noel Langley. Littlefield in his article “The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism. Winkies represent the people of the Philippines (under US control after the SpanishAmerican War). living happily in the great forest. the most immediately identifiable North American cultural icon associated with the color ruby since the making of the film The Wizard of Oz in 1939. leaving the government of the land of Oz in the hands of the enlightened triumvirate of Scarecrow. not a Populist. Baum editorialized in support of the Republican candidates. Job 28:18 According to the Optical Society of America. but was known to have marched in several torchlight parades promoting Bryan’s presidential campaign. is made of. that the Flying Monkeys represent the First Nations (“‘Once. and gold as signifiers of financial exchange. “taken in themselves. Dorothy (everywoman from the Midwest) inadvertently slays the Wicked Witch of the East (the bankers). Which brings us to the Ruby Slippers.” Baum published the following anti-silverite poem in the Chicago Times Herald: When McKinley gets the chair. easing their debt burden. Dorothy drowns the Wicked Witch of the West (wiping out the drought) and the Wizard flies away in a balloon full of his own hot air. Maerz and R. There’ll be a jollification Throughout our happy nation Ruby Road. The Woodman was originally a human being. “Oz” is the abbreviation for “ounce. The first is that in 1890. Parker’s article “The Rise and Fall of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a ‘Parable on Populism.” the official unit of measure for gold and silver. In the Farnsworth-Munsell test. The Wizard (President) turns out to be a carpetbagging opportunist. with diminishing credibility. silver. “Ruby” is presumably one of them. a committed pacifist and anti-imperialist). the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. and Lion. So then: Is reading Oz as a pro-Bryan allegory dabbling in economic conspiracy theory pseudo-criticism worthy of Ezra Pound? Let’s weigh the evidence. a screenwriter for MGM. Parker remarks that “the Pioneer was obviously a Republican paper. “Allegory is a very corrupt figure. and even that Toto represents the teetotaling Prohibitionists. After pointing out that the majority of the Farnsworth-Munsell test subjects lack the linguistic means to identify even the hundred colors in the test. which involves categorizing 100 different hues. 68% of the test subjects (colorblind people excluded) make between 20 and 100 errors. yellow bricks.”2 “The names of colours. linguistic. to substitute one of these hues for another. The allegorical reading of Oz was first suggested by historian Henry M. have no precise chromatic content: they must be viewed within the general context of many interacting semiotic systems. The flip side of the coin. then heads down the golden road in her new silver shoes (means of circulation) to free the “little people.Colors Ruby (and beyond) Darren Wershler-Henry The price of wisdom is beyond rubies.7 Tenuous associations aside.4 This disjunction leads to an examination of the semiotic values of ruby. L. which he hoped would break the Eastern banks’ monopoly on gold-based currency. educated by his recent experiences. Frank Baum was not a particularly political animal.” Dorothy accomplishes her task with the help of the Scarecrow (an uneducated farmer). only 16% of subjects make fewer than 16 errors.1 Even if we could agree on a particular shade like “ruby” (a dubious proposition. carny. A. but how would we agree on which one it is? In his essay “How Culture Conditions the Colours We See.” Umberto Eco notes that the majority of attempts to discriminate between colors fail dramatically. and the burning question of whether or not there were more than seven pairs of slippers made for the movie for just long enough to compare the film to the source text. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. problems with reading Oz as a pro-Bryan allegory arise when scrutinizing Baum’s actual politics. the seat of fiscal and political power. During the municipal elections that spring. there’s a serious argument to be made for reading Baum’s Oz as a complex symbolic allegory describing William Jennings Bryan and the Free Silver Movement of the 1890s. and philosophical observations). Bryan advocated the coinage of silver at a fixed ratio with gold (16 ounces of silver coin for every ounce of gold reserve). As with all allegorical interpretations.”5 Littlefield argues that the characters also lend themselves to allegorical interpretation. But if we can bracket Judy Garland and camp. flying from tree to tree. something much more interesting becomes apparent: the ruby slippers were originally silver. his flesh was gradually entirely replaced by metal prosthetics that rusted and failed—as did the factories themselves in the 1893 depression) and the Cowardly Lion (Bryan himself. Eco observes that the largest collection of color designations in English. not ruby.”3 So any useful discussions involving the status of “ruby” must immediately move over (the pun is irresistible) the rainbow and into the realm of systems of cultural meaning and exchange. is detailed in David B. William Jennings Bryan believed it was unnecessary for the government to maintain gold reserves equal in value to all the paper currency in circulation. assigns names to only 3000 hues. and doing just as we pleased without calling anybody master.5 and 10 million distinct colors. um. and that of these 3000 names.” concludes Eco (from these and other scientific. and master of illusions who is eventually debunked by the scarecrow. The second piece of evidence Parker provides is that on 12 July 1896. In other words. “average chromatic competence is better represented by the seven colors of the rainbow. During his presidential campaign. after they won.’” Later that same year.6 Over the years.’ began the leader. and simultaneously inflate the meager prices that farmers received for their crops. You’re beginning to get the idea. it is possible to identify somewhere between 7. evidently) odds are that we wouldn’t be able to discuss it. it’s difficult to know where to draw the line with Oz (as David Antin notes. boys. he wrote that ‘Aberdeen has redeemed herself… [a]fter suffering for nearly a year from the incompetence of a democratic administration. Tin Woodman. Photo Elena Grossman 13 w . a figure notably incapable of supporting fact”). Baum bought a small newspaper. This isn’t just quibbling over details. though. ‘we were a free people. The road to the Emerald City.’”8 Parker provides two pieces of evidence that suggest that Baum was actually a Republican. eating nuts and fruit. 1953). but the Wicked Witch of the East cast a spell on him that caused him to chop off part of his body every time he swung his axe. Paul’s A Dictionary of Color (New York: Crowell. only eight occur in common usage. and it all hinges on the fact that Dorothy’s slippers are silver.

edu/carrie/kancoll/books/baum/ Athens/Parthenon/6641/ozpopul. The claw is nothing compared to the sucker. Pieuvre (c. “The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism. or pushing the whole argument into a kind of De Manian treatise on allegory and unknowability.htm. 167. 14 w .htm. A bite is formidable. used only in the Channel Islands. Frank Baum’s Theosophical Utopia. boys. a black. 3 Ibid. 173. This animal is a monster. Ingestion The epic of the cephalopod Allen S. arguing that there is “no evidence that Baum’s story is in any way a Populist allegory” and that Littlefield’s allegory “has no basis in fact. in Les travailleurs de la mer (1866). Gilliat.And contentment everywhere! Great will be our satisfaction When the “honest-money” faction Seats McKinley in the chair! No more the ample crops of grain That in our granaries have lain Will seek a purchaser in vain Or be at mercy of the “bull” or “bear”. www. talking at the boundaries (New York: New Directions. One can. The claw. p. in fact. doesn’t lie in Parker’s partial deconstruction of Littlefield’s allegory. One should remember that in French. pp. 7 See www.geocities.” A month later. the octopus borders on the chimerical— “a medusa served by eight snakes”— as if coming from a world other than our rubyslip. 149. 7 February 1992). Parker’s “Oz: L.” American Quarterly no. htm and www. an icon of the horrors of death: It was the moment when Victor Hugo.html. writing that “there is no basis in fact to consider Baum a supporter of turn-of-thecentury Populist ideology. 5 Henry M.’” Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians. 6641/ ozpopul. Parker turns around and contends that Oz is. 167–68. 8 David B. evoking worldly fears and unconscious anguish.geocities.geocities. p. described by Hugo: “One would say a beast made of ash that inhabits the water.html. 1976). Littlefield himself recanted and agreed with Hearn. Its attack is pure terror: It is a pneumatic machine that attacks you. 1985). Pieuvre. fleshless creature with a unique orifice equivocally and disquietingly serving as both mouth and anus. 1866). 1866. Parker. the man Victor Hugo. in the most horrendous of manners. It is spider-like in form and chameleon-like in coloration. 49-63. The beast is superimposed upon you by its thousand vile mouths. Marshall Blonsky (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hugo’s differentiation between poulpe and pieuvre takes this transformative logic one step further. Weiss Consider the cephalopod represented in Victor Hugo’s ink-and-wash drawing of an octopus. that’s you yourself who enters into the beast. Littlefield.9 Don’cha love academics?= 1 Umberto Eco. in Les travailleurs de la mer the opposite is true. www.htm.”1 As is the case for the most extreme examples of zoological and botanical classes. The real irony. localize the source of the octopus as monster par excellence.geocities. pp. your blood spurts and frightfully mixes with the mollusk’s lymph. The entire text is available online at www. in actuality. though. 47-58. Your muscles swell. a Theosophist allegory.” “a viscosity with a will. p. for while normally man eats oz. 16 (1964). substituted the local word pieuvre.” in On Signs. bloodless. This moment of inestimable horror occurs when the protagonist. You are dealing with a footed void. We will gain the world’s respect When it knows our coin’s “correct” And McKinley’s in the chair! Prominent Baum scholar Michael Patrick Hearn quoted this poem in a 1991 letter to the New York Times (20 December 1991). but less so than such rubyslip. ed. the sucker.” a boneless.” (New York Times. is caught in the grip of a giant octopus. such animals touch on the limits of monstrosity.htm. 2 Ibid. lugubrious aspect of this animal.html.. The magic word “protection” Will banish all dejection And free the workingman from every Parthenon/6641/oztheos.” available at www. as pieuvre threatens to eat man. as a creature of nightmares and terror.ukans. in the process of exploring rock formations on the coast.geocities. the very “enigma of evil. vol. “How Culture Conditions the Colours We See. the word for the living animal is usually different from that of the carcass to be transformed into food-stuff. for the more common term oz14. 15 (1994). your fibers twist. 4 For information on this history. Our merchants won’t be trembling At the silverites’ dissembling When McKinley gets the chair! When McKinley gets the chair. your skin bursts beneath this unworldly force. It lies in the fact that rather than recontextualizing Oz as an ironic or parodic allegory. The complete text is available at www. nearly formless stain that evokes the morbid. “The Rise and Fall of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a ‘Parable on Populism. Endowed with eight powerful tentacles covered with hundreds of blood-sucking suction cups. that’s the beast that enters your flesh. 6 David Antin. Neither claw thrusts nor tooth bites.ukans. visit the following websites: www. the hydra is incorporated in the man. 9 See David B. but an unspeakable scarification.

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no color. for example. Orpheus. God made the Octopus. c’est moi. whose silver-white bark made it the most attractive of all trees. breathes you in! It draws you toward itself and into itself. and a zoological iconography. whiter than snow. was also inscribed in her culinary destiny. The octopus represents a zoological manifestation of the temptation of the void. and more precisely the recipe for stuffed squid. When God wishes. vacillating between childhood and adulthood. the interior fiber of desire and pain. In Les chants de Maldoror. “But for the moment I only want the squid for the fragility of its doubtful whiteness. the intensity of the terror inspired by Moby Dick. all the while marking the variegated trajectory from reality to fiction through numerous digressions. Beyond the terror of being eaten alive is the ineffability of being drunk alive.” . whence the duality of the iconography of La Seiche: both a chromatic (or rather achromatic) iconography of whiteness. in a more purely psychological manner. the recipe for stuffed squid divides the book into twelve chapters. The narrator explains. a species referred to as Sepia microcosmos. In La Seiche. the simple experience of seeing a pissaladière (a Niçoise onion tart) emerge from an oven was enough to make of that stove. magnets that attract its lineaments. This dream is upon you. Hugo described the creative logic behind this perversion of creation: At certain moments. The entire beast fell. he excels in the execrable. ripped off the head like one pulls out a tooth. when we reach the point of the recipe where the narrator ex-plains that.”5 But it is perhaps Jules Michelet who best summed up. stuck. occasionally grows to giant proportions. this onomastic whiteness. powerless. with its changing name and fluctuating morphology. in terms of the poetics of unfigurability.”15 the squid has already taken on an excessive and incommensurable symbolism.”8 an animal curiously whiter than milk. Hugo’s protagonist.”11 This whiteness triumphed once again in the squid. with such cephalopods: “You are more mask than being. equally linked (not directly. inspiration comes from aromas. but the very texture of existence.2 Here. with a gyrating movement like the twist of a whiplash. a rice and a sauce that could not but evoke the horizon of her childhood.”6 In La Seiche (The Squid. life and death. self. but through a botanical intermediary) to the color white: “But I was even furthermore convinced that whiteness was not as dreary as I had thought when I learned that my name. Eros and Thanatos. and a narrative enriched by subtle allusions and complex correspondences. petrifying squid that the narrator saw as a child in the oceanographic museum in Monaco is made the symbol of both life and death. Blood-Suckers— continued to excite the popular imagination. the “eternal snow above the fir trees. death —is founded on a confusion of names. Homer and Hesiod only managed to make the Chimera. that “delicate and nacreous hyphen”10 connecting her family’s Italian origins and her own birth in Savoie.” as analyzed by Laurent Jenny in La terreur et les signes. a book traversed by a constant and disquieting slippage from white to whitishness. Jenny explains: “Hugo’s octopus is not satisfied being merely the gravedigger of the living: the entire sensible world comes to be buried within it piece by piece. vanquished the giant octopus: “Gilliat plunged the point of his knife into the flat viscosity and. bound. that. the kitchen. The intelligence has no more blood. a tale in which white is neither color nor light. A dish is a symbol. each solid lash of which could easily have embraced the circumference of a planet. at one point. tastes. The sucking pump destroyed. and that beings emerge from these obscure fixations of the dream. This disquieting strangeness suggests the necessity of establishing an iconology of La Seiche. the void was undone. in the literal sense 16 of the term. meat oblivious to the cut of the knife.4 While Hugo criticizes God for creating the octopus. “La seiche. and. and the certain premonition of death. But despite the monochromatic aspect of this creative matrix. the octopus. to describe the giant amalgamated with the hydra.”9 And this name. abstract state. in the realm of the possible. the continual source of fascination. the autobiographical novel by Maryline Desbiolles. The narrative of La Seiche is polymorphous. whence. that masterpiece of fright. The narrator could indeed claim that. a meditation on the question of suicide: “But this death is much more refined. moving against his body his eight monstrous arms. in La Mer (1861). from a place most often unnamable and unattainable. and not the octopus. Indeed. this death multiplied by myself exists through a sort of rarefaction of my flesh. This “indescribable horror” inexorably leads to the “horror of the indescribable. in all its terror. but meaning derives from elsewhere. “the doors of the unknown”7. This emigration was marked by the passage from her grandmother’s risotto to riz à la béchamel. to plunge us into confusion from the very beginning. gastronomy and psychology. Weiss—whiteness in its pure. by 1861 the first demonstrable evidence of giant cephalopods was offered. Desbiolles. it is blood emptied from the veins. murky waters have always inspired writers and artists. It resembled a fallen piece of laundry. a disquieting name for a writer— I cannot be indifferent to the figural play derived from the author’s name. who emigrated from the mountains of Savoie to the back country of Nice. For this child. making a circle around the two eyes. the ambivalent phantom—squid. Lautréamont turns this terror against its own creator. The squid of nightmares spurts all its ink to obstruct the outlets of the spirit. and it makes use of them to compose monsters.”3 In fact. by definition. a strange and foreign whiteness. Gilliat. The tiger can only devour you. in the first edition of his Systema Naturæ. The Unknown disposes of marvels. he imagines a creature to torment God: “Maldoror changed into an octopus. The seductive. that monster. The unknown has. the horror of ungraspable monstrosity. macrocosm and microcosm. or The Cuttlefish). the reduction of anatomy to an absolute orifice. for the adult author. Devil-fish. Given my own family name. the equivocation of the formless.”12 Milky. The psychic source of this cephalopodic symbol of death is expressed. one would be tempted to think that the ineffable which floats in our dreams encounters. Linnaeus even included. for the subtleness of its white coat. signified by rice. came from the birch tree. techniques. a rich polychromaticism paradoxically existing within the confines of whiteness. by Artaud in “Correspondance de la momie” (1927).”14 As for Desbiolles. you slowly feel yourself emptied out within that horrendous sack.”13 While Artaud never conquered the inner squid of his torments. The two make one. “now we must stuff the phantom. the squid symbolizes a complex existence: “It was really in the nature of this animal. It was over. though the squid took its revenge otherwise. symbol of the strangeness that the South would always remain for her. it is zoologically the case that the squid. wayward residues with which its monstrosity is nourished. from whiteness to whitening. continues to offer the basis for a meditation about her predilection for exploring both the unknown and death itself. and such giant creatures—referred to as Kraken. that of my father. what horror. her accurate knifework—taking care not to tear the beast’s flesh—assured the success of the dish. monstrosity gains a new dimension. This recipe articulates both the narrative and the symbolic structure of the book.

1985). Rot is nourishment. 285. 9 Ibid. in Oeuvres complètes. An earlier version of this text appeared in Critique #618. Weiss. to make it one’s own. I first began following spills from cargo containers in 1990 when a ship spilled 80. 25–26. La Seiche (Paris: Le Seuil. Taste.020 references to “water” (665) and “the sea” (355). 2 Ibid. is also a burier. 48. p. 6 Cited in La pieuvre. 279. Might this not be precisely the structure of culinary sublimation?7 This article is part of a forthcoming book. and not surreal. 2001). 89. 107. childhood culinary experiences provide the paradigms that guide adult culinary pleasure and discomfort. as is proven by the eating of the gods. p. 105. Many of these beachcombers search for the fabled message in the bottle but few find them. see Chantal Thomas. 12 Ibid. 58. a preacher in Lowestoft. 10 Ibid. the displacement of a previous influence on a subsequent response. p. The hint of the abyss that spices up the squid’s welcoming void is a subtle manifestation of the sublime in cuisine. p. 57. La pieuvre : Essai sur la logique de l’imaginaire (Paris: La Table Ronde... it is also true that the culinary exists in a symbolic matrix far more complex than that which uses food alone as its metaphors: “.” in Allen S. like that of most complex narratives.. six girls on a Mormon cruise. and an ex-boxer “who saw the light” in Kent. All translations are by the author. in Oeuvres complètes. Man. Ebbesmeyer I’m an oceanographer specializing in currents and what they transport. and 1997 saw five million Lego pieces spilled off Land’s End. we grasp it and tear it apart with our teeth. Kruiswijk hauled home 435 bottled notes.”18 We cook dead flesh. p.. Walking on water. As Hugo reminds us in Les travailleurs de la mer. 1982). For another reading of white foods of childhood. I have never found one but a Dutch beachcomber. In 1996 I established the Beachcombers’ Alert newsletter and I now receive reports about all manner of washed-up debris from beachcombers from all over the world..000 bathtub toys (including yellow duckies) kept me busy in 1992. p. We are tombs. p. to lick one’s lips after it. 75. and the psychological structure of existence. 3 Laurent Jenny. 52. trans. 278. England.. Our lives are made of death. p. Roman III (Paris: Laffont / Bouquins. “Blancmange with Almond Milk. before finally abandoning our own life to it in turn. p.I bit into the sheet to keep me from already sliding into the infinitely open pit.. is one of hysteresis. Yet these stages of life are not chronological. Voices on the water. La terreur et les signes : Poétiques de rupture (Paris: Gallimard. p. pp. France. All references here are to the French edition.. England. Paths in the seas. 12.”16 The shudder caused by an unexpected juxtaposition— that of the Pascalian theological black hole of the open pit of hell revealed to the child during catechism. The frightful cleansing of the globe. 17– 19. 11 Ibid. By night I track flotsam. 7 Maryline Desbiolles. While searching for 19 years (1980-1998) along the coast bordering the southern North Sea. p.”17 Nothing is exempt from this law. 18 La Seiche. Such is the terrifying law. and the white holes constituted by the squids aligned on the kitchen table many years after—is existential. quite stuffed. 4 Les travailleurs de la mer. 1976). an anachronistic lagging of effects on a body behind the cause. 16 Ibid. taste it. p. Read the Bible often enough and certain phrases virtually tell the devout to spread religious tracts far and wide across the ocean: 17 w . 283. as Proust showed so well. p. 1998). Kruiswijk divided them into thirteen types: # of bottles Reason: 157 109 56 Seeking pen pal Address only Request for postcard of finder’s hometown Jokes Religion Love note Class project Daddy’s kids1 Drawings Pornographic Help requested Advertisement Pollution protest 36 27 12 10 9 9 4 3 2 1 Six percent of Kruiswijk’s finds carried religious messages. 1997). Feast and Folly. Mara Bertelsen (New York: Herodias.000 Nike sneakers in the Pacific Ocean. 1998. and the disquietude caused by recognition of one’s own mortality. 5 Cited in Roger Caillois. 7. At the moment 2000 17-inch computer monitors that spilled in the Pacific last year are washing up on shore. quite swelled. 281. was allegorized by the squid. Vol. 13 Antonin Artaud. p. to slowly masticate it. These bottles were from a “get-a-free-bible” institution in Evreux.. p. we cook death itself (“well spiced”). 14 Les travailleurs de la mer.If. The little bellies were quite taut. Les travailleurs de la mer (1866). Looking for patterns. Part II (Paris: Gallimard. 8 Ibid. ed. Wim Kruiswijk. Indeed. “Correpondance de la momie” (1927). An English translation of this work has appeared as The Cuttlefish. “All beings enter into one another. ranks as the all-time best. 1973).. 1 Victor Hugo. p. 17 Les travailleurs de la mer. that violent and scatological sublime that establishes the metaphysical piquancy of gastronomy. 48. while not appeased by the cathartic effects of the white host. p. England.. 15 La Seiche. 45. pp. A spill of 29. The Bible contains no less than 1.. I. Leftovers Evangelical currents Curtis C. the carnivore. Nostalgia (New York: Lusitania Press. for Maryline Desbiolles the essence of cuisine is “to eat death. By day I earn a living by tracking things like sewage for a company whose reports are sold to agencies.

In addition to George Phillips and Captain Bindt.” My great grandfather was an early missionary from the United States to the Hawaiian Islands and I was born in Honolulu.” Leaving behind the real estate and the used car businesses. The year 1903 had seen the first machine-produced glass bottles. garbage cans. streets.000 scripture-filled bottles.k 1 “Daddy’s kids” are children who accompany their high- ranking father on holiday aboard a cargo vessel. I started going to sea in 1922 and for over twenty-five years I have been plying the ocean lanes of the Pacific. the practice has largely died out. Phillips said. On learning of the remarkable blessing from distributing the Gospel in Tide Bottles. A thousand pledged to stop drinking and hundreds more vowed to return to the church. I realized immediately that I was to have a part in this ministry. 2001. “I owe it all. a dozen or so other ocean evangelists have since released an estimated 300. and Australia. “I was down on the beach one day in April 1940. Mexico.2 Of late. his piety bottles turning up on the Pacific Coast.” Jolted by the sea’s delivery of pointed advice. I have known the Lord as my personal Savior for many years but since 1942.The Lord is upon many waters. Since then. New Guinea. 2 This estimate is based on my interviews of the evangelists and their relatives and acquaintances. not far from our home. Beachcombing near Acapulco. it has been my privilege to toss many thousands of bottled Gospel Bombs in the oceans.000 miles in the six years since being launched in July 1951. and literacy had increased by the 1930s to the point that many of the world’s poor could read or find someone who could. for thou shalt find it after many days.000 gospel epistles. when I joined the First Baptist Church in San Francisco. paid off his creditors. In 1947 the Lord brought Brother George Phillips of Tacoma. taking his 7-year-old son. The only other case that rivals the scale of these evangelists’ efforts was by Guinness beer in the 1950s when the company threw 200. I have felt a definite call to serve Him more aggressively. the boy discovered one of Phillips’s bottles containing a sermonette ending with: “Be sure your sins will find you out. Hawaii. “to that bottle that came out of the sea.500 on a single voyage. In 1997 a beachcomber discovered an old bottle at the mouth of the Situk River in Alaska.” he wrote Phillips. Returns have come from many foreign shores and from the United States. searchers discovered two of Phillips’s missionary bottles unbroken amongst the wrecked homes and corpses at Holly Beach and Johnson’s Bayou. Scenic Wallpaper. 18 . After Hurricane Audrey devastated Louisiana. An alcoholic. and I saw the tide carrying driftwood. Ecclesiastes 11:1 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle. They had drifted some 10.000 specially designed bottles with messages into the ocean as part of an advertisement campaign. one of these bottles still washes up on shore every year. Psalms 29:3 Cast thy bread upon the waters. Why couldn’t I spread the gospel in the same way?” By 1940 the currents of history had converged to make this idea feasible. virtually a planetary postmistress. yielded 1. pamphlets from a colleague of George Phillips’s named Captain Walter E. preached salvation: opposite and overleaf Francesco Simeti. The first to my knowledge to spread scriptures in floating bottles. but some drift on. Phillips began in 1941 to redeem bottles full-time from city dumps. and reunited with his wife. Psalms 56:8 Shortly before World War II.500 replies to Phillips’s 40. sometimes 1. and myself together. rebuilt his business. I attended grammar school and on completion I went to work. the businessman returned home. and alleys for his Worldwide Missionary Effort. Phillips knew firsthand about “spirits in a bottle. Bindt. The ocean currents. On average. the biblical injunction struck 49-year-old George Phillips on Puget Sound. Washington. Another story involves a Chicago businessman—his business bankrupt and wife estranged—who fled to Mexico in 1951. Washington. Inside. Captain Bindt’s Gospel Bomb had drifted or laid buried for some 40 years.


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flagpole. Even before telecommunication towers.K . telecommunication companies have assembled distinct and noticeable structures. Consider the stealth palm trees with metal rectangles integrated awkwardly into the false sway of faux palm leaves.Stealth towers Kristen Dodge If you have ever noticed an unusually stifflooking tree with an abnormally thick trunk. for example. and stiffness. These structures are in fact what they appear to be. Rather than creating unseen towers. flagpoles were stiff and steeples were tall. be con- Above Stealth cactus and palm telecommunication towers. Whether disguised as a tree. These requirements restrict the potential for effective camouflage. In order to be functional. frugally spaced branches. and an unchanging appearance through all seasons. you have unwittingly identified a stealth telecommunication tower. and towers that imitate nature. a stealth tower has certain non-negotiable structural requirements. lending the fake vegetation a certain charm. width. A stealth tower must accommodate up to three carriers to match the minimum capability of traditional towers. Each particular location requires a customized stealth tower to best suit the æsthetic demands of that environment. Nature is less accommodating. Stealth flagpoles and church steeples. a stealth tower is the solution offered by tower companies to local jurisdictions that refuse the construction of tall metal structures in the town square. the less threatening stealth towers become. Stealth design falls into two categories: towers that imitate man-made structures. or a local church. Towers that mimic man-made structures are more deft at achieving invisibility. the structural requirements of these towers and their adopted frames are not in conflict. a high-school field. albeit with a hidden infrastructure. Unlike the stealth towers that imitate nature. maintain their visible identities while disguising their intended function. or church steeple. Perhaps the true stealth maneuver made by tower companies has been achieved not through camouflage. In the end. however. Even stealth cacti outdo their prickly neighbors with their unprecedented height. failed camouflage functions like a poorly designed costume. but through winning the affections of unenthusiastic Americans. and be wide enough to house wires and other internal equipment. The greater the gap between their hightech interiors and their low-tech exteriors. Tower companies do not build palm trees in New Hampshire. Courtesy of Larson Camouflage 21 structed to a certain height in order to provide adequate signal strength.

A firm proponent of Darwinism. He boldly proclaimed. himself an amateur naturalist and world traveler. An Exposition of the Laws of Disguise Through Color and Pattern: Being a Summary of Abbott H. making his own bid for validity as an expert on natural history.” Thayer wrote. However. rendering an animal’s coloration darkest where it receives the greatest illumination. at this stage Thayer willingly acknowledged that other scientists had reached similar conclusions and he retained an open mind about alternative forms of animal coloration. written primarily by Gerald. Thayer and his son Gerald published the book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom with illustrations provided by Thayer in collaboration with Gerald. Thayer followed this essay with others. These remarkable images illustrate Thayer’s belief that all animal coloration. his second wife Emma. This is the reason why Thayer created such apparently ludicrous. acting as an artist.4 The stakes in the war of words over animal camouflage were enormously high for both Roosevelt and Thayer. 1907. Thayer equated Art and Nature as agents in the processes that had brought about evolutionary change.” The eye of the observer. This counteracts the effects of sunlight and shadow. vigorously attacked Thayer’s beliefs in his own account of his African safaris. These markings disguise an animal’s contours by making its contiguous parts seem unrelated to one another. 22 w . Moreover. and lightest on the shadowy regions of its underside. explained precisely why many animals seem to blend in with their surroundings. serve to conceal even the most vivid animal. Using the language of art and optics. As a result of this optical illusion. paintings as Peacock in the Woods and Red Flamingos. Thayer had been a leader of the American Renaissance. Thayer was indifferent to the opposite Abbott Handerson Thayer. Thayer believed that the animal coloration he observed was the result of fundamental aspects of evolutionary development. he had. The resultant reduction of the appearance of contour makes the animal seem to lose its volume and dimension. whether predator or prey.”2 Thayer’s first scientific article received widespread and justified praise. which lasted for several years and generated shrilly written defenses published in a number of magazines.” Perhaps this degree of hubris was what led him to subsequently take his ideas to utterly absurd limits. Despite the evident fallacy of this belief. Thayer submitted these images in his book as evidence that “ruptive” coloration could. The Skies They Simulate. “Nature has evolved actual art on the bodies of animals. The book. But the introduction written by Abbott professed a new level of arrogance. although beautiful. and students Rockwell Kent and Richard Meryman. such as that of a fluorescent flamingo or iridescent peacock. stuffed animals. However. skips over the patterns and fails to see the hidden animal. Thrilled by his success. regardless of its apparent visibility. He commenced lecture-demonstrations. whereby animals were made to appear “flat” by the use of graduated colors and tones of feathers. in his groundbreaking article “The Law Which Underlies Protective Coloration. a knowledge of optics. for perhaps the first time. which was not only fascinated by the scientific discourse but by the personalities of the individuals in contention. it therefore must be fact. Thayer’s Disclosures. Nature was. In 1903. Roosevelt. served only to conceal the animal from detection. birds. reptiles. Thayer made a significant contribution to the study of camouflage by describing and differentiating the ways in which animals conceal themselves. and in a series of subsequent articles. even the most flamboyant. “seems to see right through the space really occupied by an opaque animal. scales or fur. virtually any kind of coloring and patterning could be argued to be “ruptive” under certain circumstances. He believed that his position as an accomplished artist and an observer of natural history made him uniquely qualified to understand and identify the principles of animal coloration. Thayer’s reputation as a scientist suffered because of this heated debate. From Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom. using illuminated shadowboxes containing sculptures. and insects. a request which the audience of ornithologists warily refused. In 1909. Former President Teddy Roosevelt. by “destroying the apparent continuity of surface. His enthusiasm frequently overwhelmed his audience: He vigorously encouraged observers at a 1910 lecture at the Smithsonian Institution to approximate the viewpoint of a predator by lying facedown on their stomachs. African Game Trails. was the result of the natural-selection process that allowed animals to go unnoticed by predators or prey.” The brightest coloration and patterning on an animal. the disruptive (he used the term “ruptive”) effects of patterned markings such as stripes or spots. both dating from around 1909. He wrote in 1903. Peacock in the Woods. he extended his powers of observation to elucidate another principle of camouflage. Thayer was by no means the first to observe that animals used their coloration to hide themselves in nature. This principle of concealment proved to be temptingly and dangerously elastic. The Skies They Simulate. disrupts the animal’s form. he believed that in the matter of animal camouflage. The scientific world reacted to Thayer’s now preposterous assertions with predictable skepticism and criticism. and only an artist can read it.” written in 1896 for the American Ornithologists’ Union journal The Auk. and a love of natural history.3 A popular society artist and renowned figure painter in the 1880s and 1890s. and decoys to orchestrate elaborate performances of the principle of counter-shading. both in America and abroad. using color and light intentionally to create optical effects. Black-and-white photographs were exhibited alongside paintings (repro- duced in color) to demonstrate concealing camouflage in mammals. “the spectator. provided an exhaustive and valuable compendium of examples describing and demonstrating animal concealment.Hidden talents: The camouflage paintings of Abbott Handerson Thayer Emily Gephart Combining a talent for observation. it also secured the attention of the general reading public. Despite his increasingly pompous attitude. Thayer elucidated the principles of counter-shading. “All patterns and colors whatsoever of all animals that ever prey or are preyed upon are under certain normal circumstances obliterative. These are two of the many images demonstrating animal coloration Thayer created with the assistance of his students and colleagues for publication in his book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom. ridiculed Thayer’s apparent belief that because an event could be imagined and subsequently depicted in art.1 Consider the paintings Peacock in the Woods and Red Flamingos. under particular circumstances. Thayer now claimed that all animal coloration. in effect. the American painter and amateur naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849–1921) carved out a unique niche for himself in the space between the discourses of art and science. increasingly supercilious in tone.



located a flock of flamingos at dusk. they became a receptive audience. The group included several of Thayer’s colleagues. Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom: An Exposition of the Laws of Disguise through Color and Pattern: Being a Summary of Abbott H. Thayer was carried away by his own willful need to be right. Art historian Alexander Nemerov presents an interesting view of Thayer’s obsession with camouflage in “Vanishing Americans: Abbott Thayer. . 24. 1982). “Red Wings in the Sunset. Thayer had taken the risky step of following his passions. 12–24. but will stand out as a dark shadow against the sky. ama-teur and professional. Thayer. Ia. From Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom. Red Flamingos: The Skies They Simulate. He merely needed to show that sometimes. p. 1981). A special group of artists. a flamingo will not appear to blend in with it. Painter and Naturalist (Hartford. Thayer’s Discoveries (New York: Macmillan. Abbott H.” p. Thayer’s method of “thinking outside the box” seems both courageous and admirable. What else would one be willing to claim of a man who. 1909 (detail). Moreover. and feed primarily on sightless organisms. determined to vindicate himself.: North American Review. and friends. seen against the light of the sunset. pp. 1909). he did not need to prove that every instance of animal coloration worked against any background.© 1 For more on the artistic career of Thayer. Art and Camouflage: Concealment and Deception in Nature. He maintained that because an animal could be shown to disappear. when in fact. Thus. despite these investigations. White Flamingos. are not preyed upon by alligators in saline ponds. his ideas did. (Syracuse. as his career as an artist waned. exh. and ultimately is remembered as a truly original thinker. Nemerov suggests that Thayer’s preoccupation with invisibility was not limited to the natural world. 25 Engineers was enlisted as the “Camouflage Corps” to study and implement the principles of concealing coloration. By this point. work.” Natural History. 4 Nemerov presents a fascinating examination of the social circumstances underlying the correspondence between Roosevelt and Thayer in “Vanishing Americans. I am indebted for these and other insights on the methodological implications of Thayer’s work to Stephen Jay Gould.” Thayer felt resistance to his ideas stemmed only from his status as an outsider. and lay down in the swamp to see whether they would “disappear” against the background of the setting sun from the perspective of a hungry alligator? Yet. Thayer’s beliefs about disruptive optics found both staunch support and pragmatic use. Thayer overstepped the bounds of his professional identity. Ct. The artist dismissed his increasingly vociferous critics and was regarded by many as a crackpot.charges that art could not be used as scientific proof. he thought. gentleman amateur— was out of favor. Thayer’s style of personality—the restlessly inquisitive. Art and War (Cedar Falls. However. pp. Theodore Roosevelt and the Attraction of Camouflage. attempting to be simultaneously an artist and scientist. Taylorized corporation men. For his argument about concealing coloration and natural selection to be correct. his kind was increasingly replaced by specialized. 11:2 (Summer. but Roosevelt refused. Behrens. 50–81. who found their niche in society and remained there life-long. 1985). In the early twentieth century. Thayer. In American culture. and Abbot H. in fact.: Connecticut Printers. 5 No expert on the behavior or habitat of flamingos myself. see Nelson C. 1951). Yet. traveled to the West Indies. Toward the end of his life. Abbott Handerson Thayer. this therefore indicated that at one evolutionarily crucial point it did. While the US government had been resistant at the turn of the century to Thayer’s exhortations that “ruptive” or “dazzle” camouflage could be useful in wartime. Thayer felt that he and his fellow artists were uniquely capable of seeing beyond the limitations of scientific thought. 2 Gerald H. by the advent of World War I. 79. did not allow him to see the fallacies in some of his best ideas. He argues that Roosevelt felt the very practice of camouflage was dishonest and cowardly. chastising Roosevelt and other non-believers because they did not put his ideas to the test.5 Thayer seems to have been stubbornly resistant to questioning and to contradictory evidence. Thayer’s beliefs about disruptive patterning and coloration finally did find considerable practical use in the development of military camouflage. students.” American Art. his example nevertheless reminds us about the dangers inherent in disciplinary “boundary crossing. designers. In today’s corporate climate. Indeed. and scientific profession-alization increasingly discouraged the kinds of serious dabbling that Thayer felt was his greatest asset. although not himself an active member of the team who developed military camouflage. America’s artistic tastes had irrev-ocably changed. he failed to notice that flamingos are active during the whole day. against certain backgrounds and in certain conditions. and his stubborn pride in his accomplishments. Thayer repeatedly invited Roosevelt to visit his home for debate over the points of dispute. 94:5 (May. with so much of his fervent belief in the value of art to the pursuit of science on the line. boundary-crossing. White. but also reflected issues involving social ostentation and display prevalent in late-nineteenth-century American genteel culture. Thayer’s last article on the principles of camouflage was dedicated to elaborating the ways in which optical effects could be used by the Allied forces to confuse enemies on both land and sea. cat. and carpenters designated Company A of the 40th Abbott Handerson Thayer. 3 Roy R. his fierce determination to succeed as both a scientist and an artist. NY: Everson Museum. 1997). and Ross Anderson.

To be “a surplus” (laid off. sketched out in a few pages of Disagreement.” which meant taking a quasi-familial. publicly verified. It anticipated the general strike of French state workers in December 1995. But it also offered a key that could reopen the airlocks between the æsthetic and the political. on banners. to claim both a share in society and another name. The slogan appeared at the demonstrations of the French jobless movement in the mid-90s in journals.” they said. Until they finally came together to turn the tables. subjective figure of political commitment. quasilegal responsibility for an undocumented individual. in opposition to a national institution that excluded certain citizens (those of the former colonies) and included others (those of the metropole). but its reality is the police. like the poetics of the ‘68 slogan.”2 This impossible identification suggests a new.1 Government fulfills an ideal of order when it administers. he confronted the philosophy of government with the scandal of the political. often performed in theaters. apportions out the shares in society. inconceivable except as a statistic under a negative sign. and on tracts printed by the political art group. intruding through the TV cameras into the country’s living rooms. the paperless— the mouvement des sans—who rose up to demand a new division and sharing of the social whole. of parrainage or “god-parenting. redundant) was to be reduced to silence in a society that subtracted the jobless from the public accounts. It happens when outcasts stand up to say that the calculations are wrong. it requires an impossible identification with “the cause of the other. This theatrical fiction. while their fellows were completing a revolution in Algeria— but to live on in their place. we’re a plus. “We are all German Jews. and the mobile presence of a crowd against the fixed frames of an institution. It only becomes universal each time it is proven. Rancière begins by opposing Habermas’s view that the surprise of æsthetic experience. Which also meant. The people with nothing erupted onto the public scene. and it accompanied the later revolts of the homeless. and claim a new name on a stage they had created. Equality is the groundless claim of a minority to have the rights of any other group. This is why the political always takes the form of a demonstration: a logical proof against all prevailing logic. It knitted the critical force and the subjective claims of the movement into a single phrase. To identify with the murdered Algerians was not to speak for them—an absurd idea.” And then again in the specific legal and political context of the late 90s. transhistorical assertion of the students in May 1968. by occupying unemployment offices in a nation-wide protest during the winter of 1997-98. At the same time. and it is rare. points to the specifically artistic aspect of political engagement. Excluded. Its paradigm in France is the identification of an entire generation on the left with the Algerian demonstrators thrown brutally into the Seine by the police in 1961. Rancière explained that the political always involves a disidentification with some aspect of the existing community—for example. with the police state that expels the jobless or the paperless. The political is an opposite process.Hieroglyphs of the future: Jacques Rancière and the æsthetics of equality Brian Holmes We’re not a surplus. reverse the signs. beyond the accounting systems of the industrial state. that made them into a kind of residue—invisible. This is because the equality of one speaking being with any other—the fundamental presupposition of democracy—does not exist in the abstract. But it is a claim 26 whose naked truth does not suffice. “We’ll drink champagne on Christmas eve. “We’re a plus. when they refuse the names and the places they’ve been given (we’re not a surplus). In Disagreement (published originally in 1995). the . the people. Rancière’s description was in synch with its time. with the public act. it has to be put to the test.” A way to grasp the æsthetic language of the French social movements in the 90s— and of the transnational movements now emerging—is through the work of Jacques Rancière and his writings on the politics of equality. That impossible identification would return in the transnational. in a new language and on a newly visible stage. Ne pas plier. which will signify their particular addition to universal equality (we’re a plus). imposes the calculations of value. and tries to totally account for a population. manages. massively supported by the public. in short: cut out of a system based on the status of the salaried employee. to be the demos. The police keeps everyone in their place. In an essay written just after Disagreement. the jobless.

which turned the questions of flexible work and unemployment back on an entire system.”4 But what the leftist commentators forget—one wonders why?—is that the simplest net application of them all.” As large parts of the former working classes gained education. Wealth of the Possible). its subjects). enterprising individuals. When the group Ne pas plier. carried on a wooden picket. I think we had better start with something much closer to home: the language machine that knits the transnational system together. even as the figure of the shareholder emerged as the only one with a right to participate politically in the new economy. In lieu of an answer. l’information et la solidarité). and the kind of labor that is done with it. each bound by their own beliefs. Yet the threat of the flexible. eliminating the disruptive claims of equality. has offered an extraordinary chance to what Rancière calls “the literary animal. Yet even as the dominance of the Internet by the commercial and financial spheres became clear. they became “immaterial laborers” facing the new predicament of flexibilized conditions5—but they also found themselves in possession of a new writing tool. email. refused industrial discipline. richesses du possible (Poverty of the Present.” intertwined with a political argument bearing on proper or improper names. everyone is equal. Brazilian autoworker. only desiring. Since 1993. in an attempt to meet their adversaries on another stage: the stage set by the transnational corporations. A visual uncertainty. The Internet has widely (and rightly) been seen on the left as providing the infrastructure for what is called “digital capitalism. really represented identifiable jobless people. businesses. to call for a general reconfiguration of society. to explore the reasons for maintaining a politics of scarcity in a society of automated production. must be distinguished from the norms of communicative action.” In the late 20th century it took the usual form of the expropriation of a popular language. the French socialist party has now found an original mix of the first two forms of consensus: They intensify the neo-liberal program of flexible transnational labor relations. Balkanized communities. the shift or transport of meaning that defines metaphor. He claims instead that the uncertain reality of art. æsthetic dimension split from any practical manipulation of usable objects: an unpredictable. And as they taught themselves to use it and invented more applications every day. There is the welfare-state conception of society as an interplay of “partners” (unions. That breach seems to have closed today. proliferating. between those who possess or who do not possess the property of intelligence. against all prevailing logic? That here. whether each anonymous face was potentially the face of the unemployed peuple reclaiming its right to speak. political activism took a new twist. The virtual realities of the 1990s saw the return of a utopia whose emergence Rancière has chronicled in his accounts of the selfeducation of the artisan classes in the early nineteenth century: “Thus one can dream of a society of emancipated individuals that would be a society of artists. is an inherent part of every political dispute. marked in political economy by the work of André Gorz. Disagreement had already shown how cer-tain forms of political consensus act to freeze social identities. All exclude the political conflict formerly brought by the subject called “proletariat”—the most recent name of the antique demos or the revolutionary peuple. raised Marc Pataut’s anonymous portraits above the crowd in 1994—singular faces above a sea of demonstrating humanity— the question was not whether these meterhigh photographs. of roles. networked regime—the so-called “economic horror”—sparked original forms of protest and debate. who speak of their actions and thereby transform all their works into ways of signaling the humanity within themselves and everyone. It would recognize only active minds: humans who act. among the existing divisions of the world. the neo-liberal idea that society does not exist. The place-changing action of metaphor—one thing or person for another— is what allows the creation or extension of a community of speaking subjects. This is why the modern forms of political group-formation. the multicultural vision of separate. 27 A Change of Regime Rancière’s thinking of the political was formulated during the long French slide into recession and racism. a metaphoric possibility of “onefor-another. and split away from their former position in the social hierarchy. its object. infinitely extensible realm defining “a world of virtual community— of community demanded—superimposed on the world of commands and lots that give everything a use. and this potential extension of a community is needed for any argument about equality. A breach was re-opened. by an argumentative logic knit together with an artistic metaphor. This proliferation involves an identification with the cause of an impossibly distant other—Mayan peasant. when immigrants were being outlawed in the name of union jobs and the unemployed were being proclaimed the impossible political subject. and whether the gesticulating debates on Republic Square could compare to the ones in the National Assembly. But what is happening now is that similar movements are expanding. the demand for an unheard-of community. Indian farmer… But to explore the role of art in these movements. where the argument itself bears first of all on the legitimacy or even the reality of one of the fundamental elements that configure the disagreement (its place. transnational. The question was whether a social issue could be extended beyond individual cases.”3 Metaphors are the hieroglyphs of an unknown language. on the proper or improper division and sharing of resources. or subjectivization. and disruptions began appearing in the fabric of corporate and governmental speech. in collaboration with the jobless association l’APEIS (l’Association pour l’emploi. Nigerian tribesman. public services). the question itself gestured toward a possible future that could only be opened up. in hopes of returning to the salaried employment on which the postwar social contract of the nationstate was based! As though the challenges raised by the “mouvement des sans” never even existed.”6 That dream was bound to run up against what Rancière has called “the society of disdain. when the status of salaried labor was falling into tatters along with welfare-state guarantees. the anonymously run ®™ark group has been launching parodies into the w . and its replacement by manipulated simulacra. what did they claim. of sensuous reality. are historically linked to the emergence of an autonomous. Misère du présent.opening to the world effected by metaphor. After integrating much of the National Front’s racism. Such a society would repudiate the divide between those who know and those who do not know.

where fact is inseparable from fiction.” that “contribute to the formation of collective speakers who throw into question the distribution of roles. which is also called democracy. direct e-mail campaigns promoting subversion.”10 The understanding of activist art begins right”9 Before and beyond any “modernist” or “post-modernist” program. it is because they involve a disagreement. deadpan graphics. and dozens if not hundreds of other organizations—the newest way into a much older configuration of the æsthetic and the political. displaying signs. They create another stage for politics: like the protesters in London opening a fire hydrant to symbolically return a long-buried river to the surface of the street. then tailspin into scandalous denunciation by an excess of liberal truth. of territories. The æsthetic regime of the arts ruins the historically prior regime of representation. But if they are æsthetic. super-activist mileage programs… all opportunities for Lufthansa’s stockholders to find out just how much it could cost them to go on deporting illegal immigrants for the police. the new world police). images. but sent two substitutes—later revealed to be the “Yes Men”—who stood before the unwitting lawyers to explain a vast but rather shocking program for the extension of free trade. and strict separation of genres. decorum.7 Masquerading beneath a corporate-bureaucratic veneer—lackluster logos. groups like ®™ark create a short-circuit between the anonymous. accidental hist-ory. or gatt. and places of the debate. the “disorganization” of Reclaim the Streets and the Peoples’ Global Action network had mapped out a new kind of world. “Mike Moore” declined. information kits. Art achieves this by means of fictions: arrangements of signs that inhere to reality. knitting its mobile music and language into urban reality—weaving another world in order to tangle with the one managed by finance capital (and to tangle directly with the police). not of stifling unity but of dissensus: The mimic transmits “blocks of speech circulating without a legitimate father. But this “common stage” is a scene. Prague. which emerged.” staged by the 10. where the lowest can become the highest and vice versa. at the end of the ancien règime. By tracts. with its hierarchies. it is because they bring a blur of indistinction to the proper subjects. Wearing masks of four different colors. not coincidentally. voteauction. the æsthetic regime “makes art into an autonomous form of life. They are also vectors of a new kind of transnational collaboration or reciprocity. photography or cinema—the new regime determines the paradoxical beauty of the anonymous subject. and word of mouth. with collaboration from ®™ark and many others. and well-constructed. under vastly different local conditions but on the same day. yet at the same time make it legible to the person moving through it— as though history were an unfinished film. the Deportation-Alliance emerged.000 actors of Reclaim the Streets in the City of London on 18 June 1999. abstract equality of immaterial labor and the subjective exceptionalism of art. It reaches back to what Rancière calls the æsthetic regime of the arts. thus simultaneously positing both the autonomy of art and its identification with a moment in a process of life’s selfformation. Meanwhile. in a parody of the Oneworld™ airline alliance. They make visible the “invisible government” of the financial institutions (i. Working initially through mimetic or testi-monial techniques—realist literature or painting. Art and Revolution. a poster contest.e. The æsthetic “plus” of the demonstrations must find a way to return . a group of slow-thinking Austrian lawyers stumbled on the gatt. turning the agenda and the very seasons of capitalist globalization upside down. more Did the “film” of Seattle. to reclaim that stream from the layered abstractions of capital.”8 ®™ark or Deportation-Class 28 are ways for immaterial laborers to claim a voice. Kein Mensch ist Illegal. Through mimicry and imagination. by collaboration and spontaneous reinvention. but also its Aristotelian distinction between chaotic. with the notion of life’s self-formation. Fictionable Futures The originality of Rancière’s work on the æsthetic regime is to clearly show how art can be historically effective and directly political. They offer a way to rejoin the direct action movements. more explicit. It is certain that such confrontations must become more precise. the crowd wove converging paths through the City. of languages—in Another movement. a non-economic share. and so on begin right here. against the stock-market rules of a shareholder’s society. Attac. The 18 June event taught us to read a new story at the center of finance capitalism. a direct confrontation with the existing divisions or shares of sensuous reality. with this “artistic” event? But where was “here”? And what did the “event” really consist of? If anarchic. a documentary fiction. Aesthetics is the name of an indistinction. creating images. political subjects who upset an established sharing and division of the sensible. like the Call-in Sick Day to celebrate the non-holiday (in Anglo-Saxon lands) of 1 May. The duplicity of art/work hardly began with Internet. gather the whole of this “artwork” into a totality and reduce its contradictions—because the idea had already crisscrossed not just Britain but the earth. That would be one way to describe an event like the “Carnival against Capital. of whoever or whatever: “The ordinary becomes beautiful as a trace of the true… when it is torn away from the obvious and made into mythological or phantasmagorical hieroglyph.” literary and political statements that “grab hold of bodies and divert them from their destination. artistic demonstrations like 18 June are site and wanted Mike Moore of the WTO to come pep up their meeting in Salzburg. Internet. more recently took up the same kind of strategy with its Deportation-Class campaign: web sites. of which we are both cameramen and actors.” writes Rancière in Le partage du sensible. “The mimic gives the ‘private’ principle of work a public stage. objects. pseudo-official sites like gwbush. spreading and dividing like the wildfire of equality. But no privileged viewpoint could wrap up the film. in which collectives in over 70 different countries could protest against the same abstract processes of neo-liberal capitalism.” as the activist Jordi Claramonte likes to say). waver in mid-flight. plausible fiction. He constitutes a common stage with what ought to determine the confinement of each to his place. Then. pompous speech—the ®™ark web sites start off believable. The whole incident was documented on video (“tactical embarassment. following the actions of the infamous Barbie Liberation Organization. Or like the social forces in Porto Alegre displacing the wintry Davos economic forum to the summer weather of the South.ideological mix: consultancy and funding for consumer-product sabotage. if the new claim to equality is to have any effect on the existing divisions of the world.

along with the other ®™ark projects. p. 68. .to each local environment.rtmark.” in Aux bords du politique (Paris: La Fabrique-Editions. 6 Jacques Rancière. Empire (Cambridge. Le maître ignorant (Paris: Fayard. But to be explicit is not to speak the opponent’s language (neoclassical economics)—which would always be to play an unequal hand in a losing game. 29 1 Jacques Rancière. 52. All translations from this book are my own. new pathways through the world. see the arguments and references in Michael Hardt and Toni Negri. Instead. Disagreement (Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press: 1999). Dan Schiller.4. 1. are my responsibility alone. (Paris: La Fabrique-éditions.` A version of this text appeared in German in the Austrian magazine Springerin.3 and 3. new political subjectivities. Throughout this text I will quote and summarize ideas by Jacques Rancière.: MIT Press. pp. 1999). to the specific frameworks that govern the homeless. Le partage du sensible: esthétique et politique. the unemployed. 3 Disagreement. This is the risky gambit that the far left is now making. and the conclusions drawn from 8 Jacques Rancière. 1998). 2000). 1987). 5 On the refusal of industrial discipline and the emergence of the immaterial. but the contemporary examples of political and æsthetic practice. 2000)... it is to engage in an unstable mimicry that seeks to prove its claim to equality on a public stage. 2 Jacques Rancière. no. 9 Ibid. “La cause de l’autre. VII. on a world scale. 4 Cf. p. chapters 3. My translation. 57. Mass.: Harvard University Press. the paperless. Mass. 7 The first two sites were forced to change names and can now be found at www. Digital Capitalism (Cambridge. 120-121. while inventing new signs. 63-64. 37. 10 Ibid. p. March-May 2001. pp. vol.


If I’m shy and reserved. I’m an Amurrican and I need to be entertained. But if somebody had come along they would never have believed me. and the ballpoint-pen collection in the museum of the Pinto Bean Capital of the World in Moriarty. being contrary. I can be seen as aloof and superior. I find travel is as much driving as stopping. inaccurate historical markers. which is often overrated and constructed as “high” mainly in opposition to the “low”— which. are often unfamiliar and therefore more intriguing. so much as basic courtesy. Lebanon.) In some cases. But haven’t yet made it to the Cockroach Hall of Fame in Plano.. any place is a surprise package. several of whose books also address the question of tourism and travel. and I’m often all too aware that even if I think I’m being ethical. Dean MacCannell: Your approach to contemporary art in The Lure of the Local and On the Beaten Track appears to valorize regionally-based and place-specific art over the great centers which purport to produce art that is timeless and universal in its appeal. I go to museums and “monuments” when I’m in a big city. about a topic of his or her choice. His choice for B was art historian and cultural critic Lucy Lippard. I’m equally fond of the funky little local museums that miserably misrepresent their history but have their own charm. an either/or approach isn’t necessary. © Arab Image Foundation 31 Would you be willing to give some examples from your collection of clippings of the offbeat “attractions” that you may want to visit someday? Well. as do local cafes. If it’s a professional visit I might look someone up I’ve heard about or a friend has directed me to or I’ve hoped to meet. Usually it’s pretty random. to have a conversation with someone. I’m just more interested at this point in my life in the conventionally less valorized. or the Museum of Bathroom Tissue in Madison. Texas. Zahleh. Lebanon. for the issue after. I’m not a shopper (except in visitorcenter bookstores). whose book The Tourist from 1976 established the parameters for the serious study of tourism as a cultural practice. I’ve heard the stories of the famous stuff for most of my life. asking for permission works. All tourists are intruders on one level or another. When you are about to travel someplace you have not been before. but the stories of the anonymous. I have visited the Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque. Michel Saad Collection/FAI. I look at maps rather than tour books. to visit. That can go for their homes and landscapes too. general stores. Once fell for a two-headed calf (deceased) on a bluevelvet pillow in such a place in Nicaragua years ago. The fantasy of tourism in all its troubling dimensions is at the heart of such an idea. Lebanon. Can you comment? Lucy Lippard: To begin with. the de-valorized. The participants have full decision over whom they will choose and what topic they will discuss. The people come with the place. most of us try to look cool and somewhat knowledgeable. and Nina Chahinian. the local. etc. I can be seen as matronizing and rude. etc. Wisconsin. I’ve often espoused. w . though I admit to having a basket of torn-out (and torn-up) newspaper clippings about places off rather than on the beaten track that I might want to see if I ever go in that direction. in a small town we try to look like “down-home” folks.. or the Funeral Services Museum in Houston. of course. If I’m chatty and friendly.The traveling interview: The first leg Dean MacCannell & Lucy Lippard This is the first installment of Cabinet’s “traveling interview. archæological sites. And that. 1955. Zahleh. but not necessarily those that They want me to stop at. 1958.© Arab Image Foundation Basic courtesy may be at the heart of ethics. Add a camera and the ante is upped. Tourists just have to take their chances. 1958. Where’s a good place to walk the dog? Dairy Queens often figure high on the list. who to meet? Top Farid Najjar. let’s call that person A. which killed the cat. museums. that we will become the ultimate tourists taken on a strange exotic journey. (Last week on the Navajo Nation I took a picture of a sign saying not to take pictures and made sure I didn’t get the hogan behind the sign. if they have opted for their privacy. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a very long trip to one place. B’s sole promise was to in turn have a conversation with someone else. so I seek out other things. (Hey. It’s gotten Middle "Baron Alinanan" Zahleh. Living in the West. exploitation. Let’s stop here. Is it possible to discern in your analysis of tourist attractions and regionally based art the foundation for an ethics of sightseeing? Tourism is about curiosity. Reverse snobbism. It’s downright evil to take pictures of people unless you are invited to. B. That is why our choice for A was Dean MacCannell. Chadia Najjar Collection/FAI. Our hope is that we will travel into the most astonishing nooks and crannies of culture and society. having OD’ed to some extent on high art. in a truly “foreign” context (like a New Mexico pueblo).” The idea for this regular feature was simple. is also the problem with the idea of a traveling interview. ©Arab Image Foundation Bottom Antoine and Nebil Sehnaoui. In the city. All of this doesn’t amount to an ethic.-M. I just try to be inconspicuous. Lippard’s interview with C will appear in issue 5 of Cabinet. how do you go about deciding what to see. but often that’s a power move. Wonder what’s down that road. I’m big on views. N. But that’s less and less now. C. We were to ask some-one. tiny towns. Chadia Najjar.) And the things I like may sound offbeat. Otherwise. I haven’t worked out an ethics of sight-seeing. but are in fact the stuff of really cosmopolitan travel. Sehnaoui Ziadé Collection/FAI. I need The New. trading posts. the funky. those being seen have no way to know I’m not just as amoral as anyone else who’s staring at their places.

I’d probably wish them the best but decline to participate. i. Artists might be just as bad as anyone else at presenting a place they didn’t know from the inside (and insiders are all too aware of the pitfalls. and towns done in by tourism. and send him/her off accordingly. given my own snobbism.” It’s almost always static. or is there another way of doing it? (And I don’t just mean “tasteful” exploitation.) But none of this makes much sense unless we’re talking about a specific site. a little knowledge. I’d recommend a random approach. an open mind.) This is what’s interesting (and frustrating) about Native American lands. Even so-called “participatory” shows tend to be hard to customize. What if every “destination” were able to determine its own “symbolic capital” (David Harvey). talking.” so on second thought that’s kind of a nice term if followed to the letter.. I live in a lovely. curating means “caring for. A “custom tour” might take into consideration how good or bad the tourist is at walking. Ideally. Then again. having paid a high price for the privilege. But artists do tend to see obliquely. The balance would be hard to maintain unless there were a remarkably sensitive tourist bureau involved. of course. But quirky local people would also be good. since it’s my current love and home. However. Then anything goes. A few years ago I suggested that performance artists be the tour guides around Santa Fe’s still unrealized Railyard area. especially if they want to keep on living there). In the Southwest you can go really far out.) Actually “curating” is an odd term for this activity because the result of curating is a “show” or an “exhibition. to draw their own boundaries like the Indian pueblos. quiet. authority problem. what is off bounds and on. listening. even sometimes to see through. its own rules. what a community is proud of. so there wouldn’t be obvious “destinations” and a route cast in stone. the promoters were irresistibly wacky or innovative. I’m likely better off without them much of the time. I guess local people would be better. a willingness to risk discomfort or even (gasp) boredom.y . There is an implied vision in On the Beaten Track that the grid of tourist attractions in any given place could benefit from the intervention of artists. Can you elaborate on this and mention how an artistic-tourist vision of place may differ from a corporate-tourist vision. who are rarely consulted about how they want their place presented. and much as I love photographs. They know what they want and they usually let you know in no uncertain terms. Anyone who both respects the place in question and has a sense of humor and outrage.e. and so forth. “picturesque” village (with both trailers and old adobe houses) and I have my own tour that no guest of mine escapes. everybody gets the same initial experience. and artists should work with local people if they’re going to pretend to give the inside story instead of a bunch of condescending clichés. and variations thereupon. If you speak Spanish or Navajo or Tewa you can go even further. People living in ghettos and barrios have perhaps unintentionally scared tourists off and figure if you’re wandering around their hood you must be either dumber or hipper than you look. what region would you chose? How about local peoples who. its own inhabitants. The missing link in most tourist planning is those who are being toured. etc. decide what should be listed for the “tour” and how it should be marked. are “selling” their distinctive way of life as a tourist attraction? Would you still feel as scrupulous about photographing them? I’d love to curate the Southwest.. the point where we don’t seem to remember without some kind of record. in which case they become artists. with lots of maps. seeing.. I probably overstated my case for artists to be involved in the tourist business. One thing leads to another and who knows what’s in store—working toward something like William Least Heat Moon’s “deep map. a sense of humor. misplaced tourist pride. Does becoming a tourist site mean you have to sell your soul. But I think that instead of telling people to go here and go there. when the place is crawling with very welcome souls who are going to buy local art and food.” That constitutes an “invitation” as such. but of course it might be counterproductive vis-à-vis commercial tourism. either on their own or with the help of promoters. My favorite kind of artist will present a marvelously cranky and critical viewpoint that can open other eyes. You can only go so far. 32 Ideally. Unless. I’d think twice about “curating” it into my list unless it were the weekend of our Studio Tour. (They could also provide a totally ignorant and entertaining view. because each site comes with its own set of premises (so to speak).. no two people would do the same thing. (Of course I probably wouldn’t agree with half my neighbors if we all spoke our minds. If you could “curate” an entire region of the United States.

he makes it possible for the master to achieve full humanity. he claims. that its characters are obscure to our myopic vision. what has he or she really sold in exchange for his or her wages? The answer to this question lays bare the true nature of all wage-labor. Each crime had been perpetrated by someone ex-changing. This is true of everyone who works for a salary. No physical product is exchanged. the nature of the transaction is more overt.” In fact. The proletarian continents of the postmodern economy are ten times more Hogarthian than the workingclass districts of industrial London. Tzvetan Todorov finds the root of the genocidal European reaction to the new world in Classical Greek philosophy where. festooned with voguish trumpery. But the concept of the Other will not be altogether repressed. so that virtually everyone in the world today is a proletarian. it is impossible to live a fully human life without an Other. the precise reverse is the case.” Despite my discomfort.” “race. is not generally conceived as being necessary. I could take. And everything suggests that this is no barbaric doctrine now relegated to primeval history. try as they might. The opposition between bourgeoisie and proletariat is not always or necessarily an opposition between classes. and he therefore does not meet the Greek definition of a human being. According to a certain species of vulgar materialism. is one who does not live “for himself” but for an Other. The “service economy” is frequently presented as a postmodern phenomenon. but rather the constitutive principle on which the postmodern global economy operates. And once. Hegel’s great advance on Aristotle was to point out that the humanity of the master is actually dependent on the labor of the slave. and in the 1990s. but today the privileged partner in this dichotomy finds it easy to turn its back on the Other. Labor and capital confront each other as starkly as ever. to the “third world. The objectification of labor in the form of capital is Aristotle’s master/slave dialectic writ large–so large. however. but is merely objectified labor.” Unbeknownst to most theorists. The status of workers in the ancient service economy was servile. a selfstyled “guide” concluded our tour with a classic example of extortion by threat of violence. Here we have the origin of the postmodern commonplaces that the self is defined by the Other. their labor for my capital. those who lived by capital could not escape regular contact with those who lived by labor. that existence precedes essence. They do not sell the product of their labor. I was robbed three times: a personal record. It returns. In one such work. more emphatically.” and “sexuality”. quite rightly. they sell their capacity for labor during a given period of time. For if there is no visible endproduct to a worker’s labor. a crumb of consolation from the thought that my predicament was the expression in miniature of the economic Zeitgeist. The Conquest of America: the Question of the Other. or offering to exchange. Neo-liberal propaganda and IMF statistics notwithstanding. the most cursory stroll down the street in a city such as Santo Domingo or. in fact. Proletarians are people who sell their labor-power for money. that identity depends upon difference. however. None of my assailants was hawking or producing anything material–each of them purported to be selling a service. In Dickensian London. But in the service sector. For obvious reasons. or in other words. The master/slave polarity is the historical and philosophical ancestor of the contradiction between capital and labor.” and this is an experience which many Westerners assiduously avoid. thinkers of Left and Right alike were reluctant to consider the provi-sion of “services” as truly proletarian labor. between slave and master. a proletarian must be engaged in the production of material things. and it therefore becomes clear that the worker is actually selling his or her time: his or her life and self. But the only way to come into significant contact with the real proletariat of the 21st century is to travel. the Other is absolutely necessary. the slave serves the ends of the master: By performing physical labor. and so on. so that the identity of the dichotomy’s privileged term depends upon that of the other term. that their chances of being robbed are very high. What Todorov probably means is that the humanity of the Self is predicated on the non-humanity— on the objectification—of the Other. in the various outlandish forms of what Americans call “theory. the philosophical heritage of the Other is found in Aristotle’s dialectic of master and slave. This development also entails a mystification of those relations. Once. Port-au-Prince confirms that globalization has been an utter disaster for the southern hemisphere. independently.Hispaniola David Hawkes In ten days in Santo Domingo. legally defining them as such by class and gender. Instead. Once. a time-honored distracting technique of pickpockets whose efficacy is not reduced by familiarity. I found. so that the 21st-century inhabitants of the northern hemisphere stand in relation to those of the south as 19th-century capitalists stood in relation to 19th-century proletarians. the common factor between these outrages forced itself upon me. Western theorists usually do their best to forget the basis of this idea and scamper off in happy pursuit of its ramifications for what they call “gender. In Aristotle. “the fact of living with others. This contradiction operates within the psyche of the individual as much as w . the quincentennial anniversary of Colón’s arrival in the West Indies unleashed a flood of postmodernist reflections on the economic significance of the Other. a passing hooker grabbed my testicles. It is commonplace to say that the class relations of early capitalism have become globalized. which is to say they were slaves. It is one external manifestation of the fundamental contradiction between labor and capital. but the services offered by these bandits were all very ancient. and in each case the trick consisted in an unexpected violation of the normal terms of that exchange. this breakthrough is refracted into the recognition that capital does not have an independent existence. In Marx. They avoid it largely because they suspect. What the proletarian sells is subjective activity itself. And until late in the 20th century. for Aristotle. rather than vice versa. The slave does not pursue his own proper ends. Occasionally. which is understood as the pursuit of a spiritual or intellectual telos. This blatant display of object- 33 ification led most societies to relegate those whose labor is servile and non-productive to the ranks of the un-free. circumstances press upon them the importance of more significant matters. the hotel maid treated me to a demonstration of the traditional local trompe l’oeil known as the “vanishing travelers’ check. especially when those services were provid-ed by women. A slave.

and the women are prostitutes. it is frequently shouted at bemused UN troops who would indubitably be regarded as black in their homelands. they are uncivilized. Of course. the blind tyrant who ruled the Dominican Republic for over thirty years until 1996. illegitimate and illegal presence the very recognition of which seems to demand its immediate expulsion. this psychological homology has been expressed in the fact that many Haitians in the DR are quite literally slaves. everything that Haitians are not. except through periodic campaigns to expel the thousands of Haitians who fuel Santo Domingo’s 34 economy with their labor on the sugar plantations. For Hegel there is reciprocity. But it is still disorienting to visit an island where black is white and white is black. by no means the first but arguably the most influential. Haitians living in the Dominican Republic are doing one of two things: The men are working in the sugar cane fields. The book’s crude implications can be inferred from its title. was the reading preferred by Joaquin Balaguer.between classes. For one hundred and fifty years. Such ironies would be comic were they not so sanguinary. they spread AIDS. But the river did not take its name from the massacre: It was already called that. In fact. Throughout their history. Enquiries about the latter will be met with the reply that such people are “Haitian. which was that they were black. just as the mutual antipathy between Haitians and Dominicans would be laughable if its practical consequences were not so pronounced. The major political conflict between the two governments concerns the plight of the Haitian sugar cane workers. sometimes imprisoned.” then Haiti plays much the same role in relation to the Dominican Republic. The history and cultures of Hispaniola provide a microcosmic lens through which such global and cosmic polarities can be reduced to legible size. the two nations’ understanding of the relation between themselves and their Other structures every aspect of life on the island. In this version. What he wants from the slave is not recognition but work. it also mediates the relationships between Northern and Southern hemispheres.” but the word refers to skin color rather than nationality. which is called the River Massacre. who are often coerced. here the master laughs at the consciousness of the slave. and many of them are as dark as any Ibo or Yoruba. Conversely. Listening to a Dominican discussing Haitians is exactly like listening to an aging white resident of Washington Heights discussing Dominicans. of this thinking is Jose Rodo’s Ariel (1900). It has done so throughout history. is itself the form of recognition demanded by the master. performed by proletarian or prostitute. White Masks. with the Dominicans playing the part of the intellectual. This situation would be impossible without the underlying ideology by which Haitians are understood to fit the characteristics of Aristotle’s “natural” slaves. In his epochal study of race consciousness. the statement perfectly captured the predominant Dominican view of Haiti as a hideous. Black Skins. between men and women.000 people he considered “Haitian. As with all such dichotomies. Capital is objectified labor.” which in this context means alienated labor. That truth may or may not be empirical. unnatural Other. grafted onto an otherwise healthy body by some cruel quirk of Nature. and the Haitians cast in the role of the physical. mulatto DR has consciously and openly constructed its Kreyol-speaking black neighbor as the Other in relation to which its own identity is formed. the binary opposition between the two nations is unequal.1 According to the mythology. between life and death. Direct mail service between the two nations was established only in 1998. If the postmodern “West” relates to the “third world” as Marx’s “bourgeoisie” relates to his “proletariat. spiritual Ariel. which responds to this overwhelming impact by refusing to acknowledge it. the Dominican Republic has turned its back on Haiti. this one contains a kernel of truth. often with appalling consequences. From the Dominican perspective. either after a previous massacre or for more obscure reasons that no one on either side of the border wants to explain. however. Balaguer’s views undeniably tapped a deep vein in the Dominican consciousness. For over a hundred years. but w . in which he suggests that Dominicans are. Although he was hated by many of his subjects for his dictatorial rule. they are Other: a deeply foreign. in Haiti the term “blanc” means “foreigner” rather than “white”.” Presumably intended as conciliatory. This. Fanon evidently does not understand that “work. Like all such myths. Rodo takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. as both Dominicans and Haitians quickly discover when they move to New York. and is used for people whose families have been in the DR for generations. the young Joaquin Balaguer— engaged in one of history’s more blatant attempts to purge the constitutive Other by murdering 40. and still today. and frequently unpaid. what Haitians represent is the carnal.” although virtually all of them would have been seated firmly at the back of the bus in 1950s Mississippi. Although it is clearly unsustainable outside Hispaniola. it is hardly news that race is a social construction. To take only one example. They are black. the Spanish-speaking. by definition. Above all. It is doubtful that many residents of Hispaniola take advantage of it. In 1996. the ninety-year-old Balaguer announced that Haiti and the Dominican Republic ought to “live like Siamese twins. the global culture-clash is re-invented as taking place within the island of Hispaniola.” Whether or not they were actually Haitian citizens is debatable and in any case beside the point. Balaguer’s most famous book is The Island in Reverse. Their bodies were thrown into the river that marks the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. A typical example. Franz Fanon argues that Hegel’s version of the master/ slave polarity does not apply to the enslavement of Africans by Europeans: I hope I have shown that here the master differs basically from the master described by Hegel. they sell drugs. For example. turning it into the geopolitical equivalent of the Elephant in the Drawing Room. it is the labor of the slave that brings the master into being. in 1937 the Dominican dictator Trujillo— possibly with the connivance of his foreign minister. Physical labor. but it is certainly ideological. few Dominicans consider themselves “black. which is the central myth through which the West has imagined its encounter with the third world. the bodily. is intimately identified by Dominicans with Haitians. they are prostitutes. bestial Caliban. The fact of Haiti’s existence obviously determines every aspect of life and culture in the Dominican Republic. at least.

and could not. for instance. either economically or psychologically. Narcissus and Echo were unable to distinguish between Self and Other. But what is unusual. It is perhaps a defining characteristic of postmodernity that the opposition between capital and labor is internalized. As Michele Wucker’s recent study of Hispaniola. and of his love for Echo. the English and the Scotch. any more than the master could exist without the slave. “The truth of the independent consciousness is accordingly the consciousness of the slave. and are otherwise closely related. Freud remarks on “the peculiar fact that peoples whose territories are adjacent. The revolutionary breakthrough in human consciousness will arrive when Prospero’s final comment on Caliban—“This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine”—ceases to signify a claim to possession and becomes a recognition of the Other’s constitutive role within the Self. The concept of the zombie underlies all Haitian popular culture. as. This is because there is a constitutive imbalance in their relationship. a sense in which the Dominican Republic would not. A zombie is brought into existence in order to work. about Hispaniola is the fact that this process of identity-formation is carried out deliberately and consciously. which is founded not on similarity but on difference.” Life could not exist without death. dead human activity. dead life—in other words. The myth of Narcissus. so they prompt discordant ideas within the psyches of individuals who. is indeed inadequate to describe the form of identity. because it expresses a profound truth about Haitian identity. then. I gave it the name of ‘narcissism in respect of minor differences. They also structure encounters between individuals. Labor objectified in the form of capital is dead labor. all identity is predicated upon an Other. Death itself. and instructive. As Hegel puts it. But we can still discern the tentacles of capitalism in the fingers of a pickpocket. In turn. and so on. as Georg Lukacs has said. Just as capital and labor are accompanied by distinct ideologies when they are embodied in social classes. This process is hardly mysterious.” Freud is quite correct in his evaluation of his own theory here. In Civilization and Its Discontents.’ which does not do much to explain it. or Santo Domingo could exist without Port-au-Prince. reminds us.labor is not subjectified capital: Without labor. like most individuals in the Western world. exist without Haiti. which we call “death. are simultaneously proletarian and bourgeois. the North and South Germans. capital would simply not exist. are always at feud with and ridiculing each other. . Dominican identity is nothing more than the antithesis of Haiti. the Haitians have evolved a complex mythological understanding of their role in this polarity. and the figure of the zombie reveals the true nature of alienated labor. an imbalance which brings us back to the fundamental paradigm of master and slave. an “integrated civilization” that sees the destiny of the individual 35 reflected in the movements of the stars. We are no longer. We could have no concept or understanding of what we call “life” if we did not also have a notion to express the Other of life.7 1 Of course. such an expulsion would be impossible. Of course. the Spaniards and the Portuguese. Why the Cocks Fight. Haitians and Dominicans experience no such difficulty. Dominicans will readily and proudly admit that their personal and national identities are constructed through the forcible expulsion of everything Haitian.” There is.

including Swedish. he bounced around Europe for a few years before receiving official refugee status from Belgium in 1981. then years. an alarm clock. said he could come back and live in Belgium. Surrounded by a decade’s worth of newspapers. In November he will mark his 13th anniversary there. which originally issued Nasseri’s refugee papers. then Danish and.Airport disease Matthew Rose “I’m waiting for my identity. French human-rights lawyer Christian Bourget took on the case and the media homed in. with all the attention focused on Nasseri. Nasseri lived as a student there and traveled to the UK and France without difficulty until 1988. touching the lesion that has erupted on his scalp as he inhales nearly half of his Dunhill in one drag.” says Merhan Karimi Nasseri. and was afraid to move for fear of arrest—a concern Bourget said was totally unfounded. Nasseri proclaimed that he was intent on living in the UK because. Finally the Belgians agreed to reissue the original Above Nasseri in photo booth at Charles de Gaulle airport. briefly. his mother was Scottish. or “Alfred” as he is known. But after spending seven years of his life in the airport. magazines. He sighs. clothes and books. looks around. Finnish). then months. none of his relatives or friends sought him out. By then Nasseri.His limbo stretched on. detained for days. Expelled from his native Iran for antigovernment activity. lives on a 1970s red plastic bench in the departure lounge of Terminal One at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport. who’d been getting along well with the food coupons and occasional gifts of money and clothes. 36 w . Oddly enough. had begun to show the strains of waiting. and at least three documentary films were made. Dozens of articles appeared in the world press. Merhan Karimi Nasseri’s story begins in 1977. opposite and overleaf Pages from Nasseri’s airport diary. when he landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport after being denied entry into Britain because his passport and United Nations refugee certificate had been stolen. and a pair of Lufthansa boxes containing his 1000 page-plus handwritten diary. 2001. he asserted. (He’s since claimed several nationalities. then weeks. a Sony Walkman. He was In 1995 the Belgian government. Nasseri. smiles.



although what it means to him is a mystery. and was still waiting to find out where he is really from. crossing their legs. “Some points each day. it would mean tacit acceptance of an identity. The airport is a city of speed. When I asked “Alfred” over a meal of Big Macs on his bench if he was Iranian. He regards the world through daily newspapers (his subscription to Time magazine was stopped by the airport post office a few years ago).documents if Nasseri would come to Brussels and sign them in person. But he has also observed the world change around him—the McDonald’s used to be a Burger King. the documents were sent from Brussels. rent-a-car desks.” he said confidently. Alfred. Fournier believes he “not only has his passport. who hasn’t seen him in more than two years. even where his parents are now. airports are the ideal places to live out the future if you had no home and wanted people to come to you. “They don’t want to try anything because immediately dozens of reporters would be there to tell the story. a paperback copy of Carl Sagan’s Is There Intelligent Life in the Universe? “I will read this. largely in the zone d’attente helping foreign nationals seeking asylum. whose closest “neighbors” are a photo booth and a copy machine. And this in effect might explain why.” “There’s nothing I can do for him anymore.” by a spokesperson. To keep himself occupied. the CD vendor moved into the push-scooter market. or for reminders not to smoke. standing. I was told. It is a ridiculous situation. maximizing the commodification of modern life: ATMs. but again Nasseri refused to sign them. proof of who they are. who he really is.” While the UNHCR does work in the airports. With Bourget’s persistence.” Nor was Iran his birthplace anymore. Its participants are forever shifting. “The United Nations High Commission on Refugees will establish my identity and my place of birth. Alfred. Alfred explained his new name to one newspaper: “The UK immigration forms offer a space for an adopted name. is eerily Warholian. stretching. finds him a pleasant man.” It’s not only ridiculous but scandalous. As a gift for his time. chief medical officer for the airport told one newspaper in 1999. delayed. who sees Alfred more often than the other principals 39 in the saga. “He is a bit mad… He has all the papers he needs. listed his name as Merhan Kamari Nasseri.” adds Bourget. give airports the quality of a restless dream. But maybe the slim balding man with the trim mustache has found his place after all— as a celebrity homeless person. So Alfred sits and waits for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. but he won’t leave. Alfred has all the papers he needs. Piped-in muzak and inaudible announcements for flights that are boarding. buying a magazine. rental carts for moving your life’s belongings. “We have to convince him to sign his legal papers with his original name. but he has plenty of money…from the films and from what people give him. If he did leave. however. Alfred does. even the US). There is little “present tense” in the airport— few dawdle there for their own pleasure. fast-food restaurants. he said that he was not. although in-flight magazines would have you believe otherwise with their promotions of duty-free shopping and upscale first class lounges. “He blames Iran for many of his problems.” says Bourget. know how to survive. they probably wouldn’t risk even a diplomatic effort to get him to go. he’s never seen the Internet although he knows he can be found on it (he showed me an article on him printed out from the New York Times web site). turning a page. symbol of anonymous global nomadism. white beaches and filled with roaming armed police. all compressed in an environment dedicated to getting you in and out as fast as possible. One day I got a letter back from them addressed to me as ‘Dear Sir. And he feels that if he goes out he will not be a media star anymore. “No.” Dr. for missing persons and lost children. staring into a stage filled with extras. He hasn’t had any contact with the UNHCR since before Christmas 2000. and nervously checking their passports. hotel services. people-movers. Indeed.”W .” he said. Bargain. He doesn’t speak French and says he does not dream. he complained. Certainly Alfred is an observer of change as well as stasis. says airport chaplain Père Fournier. The refugee no longer needs asylum. even after receiving in 1999 a special European travel visa (which permits him to voyage and live anywhere in Europe. but admits. Alfred keeps a longhand journal that details whom he has met and things he remembers about his case.” Dr. I brought Alfred a book I thought might open him up to life beyond the asphalt and concrete gardens of Charles de Gaulle. is perhaps where it is best expressed. which “is not my name.” he says. He has no friends and little contact with the airport employees although everyone knows him. thumbing through the pages. “Now he cannot face the possibility of leaving because he has a nest there. There are no other papers for him. and the contemporary international airport. intrigued. and without paying rent or taxes. But Bourget’s client protested that he couldn’t cross the border without his papers and so again he refused. Philippe Bargain.” Sir Alfred was born on an immigration form. But he doesn’t have a mobile phone and it isn’t clear he’d know how to use one. who calls Nasseri a “bel escroc” (a pretty swindler). Why? The papers. But when I called their Paris office to get an update on his case. “It’s pure folly. “Thank you. Identity is the key issue for Alfred. or cancelled.’ and so it just stuck. he refuses to leave. His story is finished. Alfred lived within throwing distance of the McDonald’s for most of the booming 1990s. Gilded with promising ads of blue skies. and I chose Alfred because I thought it sounded nice. we are not trying to locate his mother and father and give him his identity.” While the French police have no legal right to remove him. He celebrated Christmas and the new mil-lennium at the little round table he’s acquired and positioned at the center of his universe of carts and objects.

Tudor England (Elks Home. brings to mind the 19thcentury engravings used to illustrate travel writings. University of California Santa Barbara Art Museum 40 w . a pair of microcephalics billed as “descendants and specimens of the sacerdotal cast (now nearly extinct) of the Ancient Aztec founders of the ruined temples of that country. These included displays of human specimens. Unlike other more formalist and modernist appropriations of the Pre-Columbian past. Stacy-Judd’s contributions are negligible. the Globe Museum. and other structures in this particular revival style. without commissions for anything other than prosaic San Fernando Valley ranch houses. The framing rhetoric positioned Pre-Cortesian America as a heritage without living heirs and available to be claimed. they aim to naturalize a specific relationship between the present and the past. Thompson. He conjured up a number of fantastic. Having made this discovery. Edward Thompson’s archeological casts included a life-sized copy of the arch at Labna. Isle of Wight. and chronicler of the ancient Maya. and speculative literature.”4 Barnum was not the only one hoping to capitalize on the success of Incidents. which coincided with the Second World War.1 The spectacle of these Mayan Revival ruins. Earlier efforts to revive Ancient Mayan building styles in the United States coincided with and embodied the spirit of a period of hemispheric expansion. never-completed projects. their place of origin—all point to the complexities of a life which reveals much about Pan-Americanism. distant acquisitions. romantic poetry. and Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon. which achieved overwhelming popular success. 1924-1925).A fevered dream of Maya: Robert Stacy-Judd Jesse Lerner The 1994 Northridge earthquake cracked the façade of Robert Stacy-Judd’s Masonic Temple (built in 1951) in the San Fernando Valley in California. At a time when the wild armchair speculations of Victorian anthropology were fast becoming outmoded. The multiple contradictions of StacyJudd’s life and roles—an Englishman in search of an “All-American” architectural style. distinct from both the more imperial era which it followed and the “Good Neighbor” phase. CA. Standing guard by the arch was Desire Charnay’s cast of a Mayan Indian. In late 19th-century New York. exemplify this acquisitive age. The 1823 Monroe Doctrine set the tenor for an American foreign policy premised on the belief that Robert Stacy-Judd in Mayan costume. Arcadia. filmed a travelogue. P. frozen in time like a fossilized human being.3 The ancient Maya. and an importer of Mayan styles to the Yucatán. hobnobbing and frolicking with the Hollywood crowd. and earned praise in publications ranging from the New York Times to the trade magazines American Architect and the Hotel Monthly. As an archeologist. CA. He found his place in Southern California.2 Robert Stacy-Judd (1884-1975) came to learn of Mayan architecture through Catherwood’s etchings. described by John L. The structural damage that the Mayan Revival-style building suffered was so severe that the temple was deemed unsafe and the lodge was closed. But StacyJudd’s peculiar genius lay in his flare for showmanship. explorer. and represents a turning point in the history of the Mayan Revival Style in the United States.5 This designation predicted the imminent demise of the Indian. appropriation. He filtered his perceptions of the ancient Maya through esoteric ideas about the spiritual power of the ruins. and the diverse contemporary uses of architectural styles lifted from Ancient America. not in his scholarship. It was the Aztec Hotel that launched Stacy-Judd’s career as a promoter. For a time then. Store. flamboyant architecture. which had originally inspired Stacy-Judd. such as the proto-Epcot Center village of Native American reinterpretations called the “Enchanted Boundary. enlivened by royalty and pomp. Chiapas and Yucatan (1841) and Incidents of Travel in Yucatan (1843). Bette Davis turned to him to satiate her curiosity about the Maya. Stacy-Judd saw in the Maya the mawkish story of a lost Eden. and Office Building. and the Islamic Middle East (in his designs for a 1916 auto show in North Dakota). He even designed and patented the “Hul-Che Atlatl Throwing Stick. not those of the ancient Yucatecan Maya. and recorded radio broadcasts on archeological topics. The removal of archeological loot went hand in hand with the search for raw materials. as evoked by his Aztec Hotel. which he dramatized in colorful costumes. an ideologically charged turf-staking to which architecture and archæology both lend themselves particularly well. such as those by Frank Lloyd Wright. 1914-1915). Without the opportunity to produce this technicolor melodrama. recasting colonialism as preordained fate. Stacy-Judd did not confine his professional activities to architecture. the Orrin Brothers. Given the broad history of the uses of Mesoamerican antiquities and references to legitimize governments. who bought the ruins of ChichénItzá and smuggled gold and jade from its cenote (sacred well). Stacy-Judd stands out as a particularly idiosyncratic figure. He published poetry and speculative rants. His greatest triumph was the Aztec Hotel (Monrovia. 1932. he brought to the table a poorly synthesized stew of ideas borrowed from Ignatius Donnelly. Like Catherwood’s engravings. and Augustus Le Plongeon.” which he claimed was derived from ancient Mayan prototypes. to evoke worlds of ancient mysticism. In the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. the North Hollywood Masonic Lodge. but a life-long fascination. attempt to stake a claim to the distant Mayan past. such as Frederick Catherwood’s celebrated images for John Lloyd Stephens’s Incidents of Travel in Central America. and land. and plaster casts of archeological curiosities. Beni-Hasan Theater. Stacy-Judd’s buildings reveal a sensibility that is more theatrical than architectural. in the 40s and 50s Stacy-Judd’s imagination ran wild at the drafting board. and to forge hemispheric bonds.” None of his later projects ever garnered the high praise which the Aztec Hotel won for him. North Dakota. These displays embody the climate of westward expansion and Manifest Destiny that shaped early American anthropology. he abandoned his youthful flirtations with other “exotic” architectural styles: ancient Egypt (Electric Picture Palace. and other travelers. antiquities. who harnessed a dozen of his Mayan laborers to the stone Chac Mol in an aborted attempt to drag the object to Philadelphia. Barnum was apparently responsible for a hoax which toured the US and Europe. were not a phase for Stacy-Judd.. the building was an authentic NeoMayan ruin. lectured. Stephens Esq. 1923-1924). Courtesy Robert Stacy-Judd Collection. By doing so. and the Nichols Aztec Fair all exhibited “the last descendants” of this ancient race. North Americans flocked to exhibitions where they could see something of these recent. How was it that this Monrovia hostel captured the imagination of so many? The 1925 Aztec Hotel embodies the enormous vogue for things Mexican. new markets. 1910-1912.T. James Churchward. He even proposed a feature-length fiction film set at Chichén Itzá called The Scarlet Empress for which he labored in his later years on costumes and sets. Following the territorial enlargement resulting from the US-Mexican and Spanish-American Wars. Williston.



and the taking of indigenous appellations. the English expatriate engaged in a venerable American tradition of “playing Indian” that dates back Robert Stacy-Judd.10 That was the decade when modernist dancer Ted Shawn toured middle America with Francisco Cornejo’s costumes and Martha Graham’s performance in Xochil. Following the direction anticipated by the “Aztec Garden” of the Pan-American Union building (Albert Kelsey and Paul P. secret rituals. by 1933 ‘the Other’ had in effect become one of ‘us. The hotel’s designation was not so much a misnomer as a concession to a North American public that may not have read Stephens’s 1841 account. Uruguay. and Mexico in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries had made Latin America suspicious and hostile to the colossus to the North. Courtesy Robert Stacy-Judd Collection. Unlike the earlier unilateral appropriations.the hemisphere belonged to the US. by the late 1930s the building of Mayan Revival structures in the US had gained an altogether different political urgency. Bride of the Rain God: Princess of Chichén Itzá and The City of the Sacred Well.”12 Turning to autochthonous sources was a frequent strategy for North Americans in search of an authentic. and Chiapas were less well known to the North American public than those of the Aztecs of the Central Valley. In 1923 the Yucatecan governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto opened a road connecting Chichén to the outside world. But of all these Jazz Age visions of the ancient Maya.9 However. Stacy-Judd’s tour-deforce coincides with the inauguration of the Carnegie Institution’s Chichén-Itzá excavations (1923-1933). San Diego’s former Federal Building (Richard Requa. His Aztec Hotel opened to a United States primed for Pre-Columbian spectacle. the exhibitions and recreations of ancient Mesoamerica in the US in the 1930s and 1940s were typically collaborative efforts in which both the US and Mexican governments participated. Yucatán. Mayan Revival architecture made public declarations of a common American heritage. As we shall see. Carrillo Puerto’s motives for championing this Revolutionary Mayan revival differed from those of the Carnegie. a bit of Uxmal in Balboa Park. poised between the expansionism of the previous century and the diplomatic necessities of the Good Neighbor era. The growing threat of fascism in Europe heightened the need for hemispheric unity. Robert Stacy-Judd displays for the camera his Mayan headdress and robes. University of California Santa Barbara Art Museum 43 w . none was more delirious than that of Stacy-Judd. and Cuba. art historian Holly Barnet-Sanchez writes that “the United States government was not only seeking a rapprochement with all of Latin America but was also pursuing this policy within a clearly defined language of shared histories and cultures. Cret. cooperation.11 Ann Axtel and Earl Morris published popular autobiographical accounts of their work with the Carnegie project. Neither diplomatic offering nor colonial proclamation of ownership. DC. The hype that developed around the Aztec Hotel (a good deal of which was instigated by Stacy-Judd himself) celebrated it as “the only building in the United States that is 100% American. but in practice their agendas coincided. The repeated US invasions of Central America. 1935). Thus. The replicas of Mayan ruins that constitute the origins of the revival style served as part of the symbolic turf-staking which buttressed this imperialist notion. 1936. Wary of this ill-will. Posing in profile. The ruins of Maya in Central America. popularized in periodicals like National Geographic. 1946) where stelæ naming the states of the Americas proclaim the shared Mayan ancestry of nations including Canada. the Good Neighbor Policy of the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations championed policies of mutual respect. and nonintervention. as in a Mayan bas-relief.7 Of this era. The Destruction of Atlantis. non-European identity.6 In contrast. all embody this phenomenon. Battery company executive and amateur Mayanist Theodore A. a Pre-Cortesian dance. the appellation “Aztec” for a building which is based on the peninsular “Mayan” style represents a conflation of two very distinct regions and cultures of Mexico. and Mérida’s Parque de las Americas (Manuel Amábilis. The 20s represents a high watermark for the North American fascination with Mexican culture. the Aztec Hotel represents a transitional moment in US NeoMayanism. that was changing. Barnum’s failure to distinguish between the Aztecs of Central Mexico and the Mayan ruins described in Stephens’s account. the Caribbean. By dressing himself as a Mayan lord. Washington. Often this search called for face paints. T.’”8 Architecture offered an ideal vehicle for this diplomatic move. 1910). Willard published his mannered archeological fiction. Like P.

and other occult confederations. He joined members of the Improved Order of the Redmen. with its Pima and Yuma cottages. 1929). today the Citadel outlet mall). however. StacyJudd found in the Maya more than simply a revival style.17 Contemporaneous Southern California structures such as the Brown Derby (1926). and the Boy Scouts’ “Order of the Arrow” in a 100% American search for authenticity and rootedness through an aboriginal disguise. Later he produced buildings like the Neil Monroe House (Sherwood Forest. the Freemasons. StacyJudd always took his appropriation of the indigenous a step further. and Tijuana’s Sombrero (1928) share a playful sense of building as symbol. articles dispel negative perceptions of the Indian as savage. D. either in the building’s function as movie palace or in references to distant locales. Manly Palmer Hall. and movie-set architecture. and Hopi styles. Often.D. Denise Scott Brown. Native Americans became arguably that group whose names. Maricopa. Especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries. bodies. embodied by the lost design of the Temple of Solomon. many of the major patrons of Mayan Revival buildings are Masonic Lodges. the reference 44 was unusual enough for him to make that claim. but also to the other whimsical references to the exotic in the colonial times. De Mille’s The Woman Who God Forgot (1917). dances. though precedents had been set by movie theaters (the Aztec Theater. 1924-1927). and Steven Izenour named “duck. Stacy-Judd’s Aztec Hotel was built in the context of a generalized taste for architectural exoticism that flourished in Southern California in the 1920s. Southern California is only one of the places where Stacy-Judd sought to promote his Mayan Revival. picturewriting and beautiful murals adorn the walls and ceilings. such as Mann’s Chinese Theater (Hollywood. sometimes on an ambitious scale. often a part of celebrations and ceremonies. Above it on the ceiling is the Mayan seal and the various clan totems […] On the west wall is a reproduction of a Mayan ruined city buried in the jungle. architecture was a subject of paramount importance. exoticized. and entertainment to citizens in a society where social roles were in flux. Though the Mayan Temple never had sufficient resources to commission their own building. At the time Stacy-Judd designed the Aztec Hotel.21 Their newsletter provides an overview of the concerns of the Brooklyn Maya. 1927) or the Samson Tire Works (1929. and Guatemala City. The Stacy-Judd archive includes proposed projects in Mexico City. Stacy-Judd’s cross-cultural transvestism was much more than a single evening’s act of symbolic rebellion. prone to practice human sacrifice. News briefs report on the Carnegie Institution excavations and the evidence of ancient Mayan use of the telegraph. If the Mayan Revival in Monrovia evoked the exoticism of distant pyramids. Encouraged by the success of the Aztec Hotel. dance. 1915). the Mission Revival was at its apex in Southern California. Eagle Pass. Within architecture.. Yet in spite of the relationships between the Aztec Hotel and these other examples of quirky. paraphrasing. the New Confederacy of the Iroquois. The Masonic quest for architectural perfection. and classes on hieroglyphic writing to its members. but a supernatural destiny made manifest. Texas. likenesses.”20 offered ritual. foods. fellowship. with eclectic blends of Mission and Mayan elements.” in recognition of a Long Island diner shaped like (and specializing in roast) duck. if not earlier. Paradoxically. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) or the Mexico-Tenochtitlan of Cecil B. and always an assertion of whiteness. StacyJudd’s own Soboba Hot Springs Hotel and Indian Village (San Jacinto. who argued the Egyptian mysteries originated with the peninsular Maya. Ixtapalapi [sic]. the Knights of Pythias. probably originates in their roots as Medieval British stone hewers. and hundreds of smaller groups offered ritual. It is linked not only to the Mission Revival in its regionalist evocation of an exalted history.14 Much like the rebellious Boston colonials. the Aztec Hotel anticipated the later Pueblo Deco style popular in the 1930s. or Native Americans in elaborate secret rites. Stacy-Judd’s was a double appropriation of alterity. Robert Stacy-Judd found a like-minded patron in the founder of the Philosophical Research Society. etc. Ph. Here the Mayan Revival style embodied not Manifest Destiny.W. in a single structure. In Mérida he was invited to the . in Mexico the style took on completely different meanings. the Tamale (1928). Stacy-Judd set off to Yucatán to see the original models and to promote his designs. the appropriation of Native American forms was unusual in 1924. Blackface and redface were old American strategies that served diverse functions. While Stacy-Judd’s Aztec Hotel was not the first architectural appropriation of Ancient Mexico. One such group was the Mayan Temple and Alliance of American Aborigines of Brooklyn. turned to Native American architecture. this practice predates the Boston Tea Party. were appropriated more often than any other ethnic group in the Americas. Stacy-Judd donned his Indian robes to cut the umbilical cord to Europe. Through the courtesy of Chief Lynx and Brother Richard Bolanz. Romans.D. Here was a natural constituency for the Mayan Revival style. æsthetics. probably represents the apogee of this short-lived architectural trend. Frequently. Mayan astrology is employed to predict the future of Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives. or violent. conviviality. subsequent to the genocide.19 This temple. CA. much of their account of the Maya is derived from the Le Plongeons. Related too is the rise of the whimsical roadside vernacular architecture that Robert Venturi. The deeper resonances of the image of Stacy-Judd in Mayan costume evoke the ritual life of those millions of middle-class American males involved in secret societies and fraternal organizations. Not surprisingly then.18 Members of these groups might impersonate Druids. a cocktail of Pueblo. Credited or not. This interest often led the Mason to paraphrase the ancient Egyptian monuments. On the frieze in Indian picturewriting is the story of the Mayan Temple. they describe their quarters: The Mayan Temple has now been completely redecorated. at World’s Fairs (the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.13 Sometimes a disguise for rebellions that protested misrule. theosophical groups. like the Babylonia of D. backward. New York. For Masons and related groups. in 1928..15 By evoking autochthonous America. founded by Harold Davis Emerson. the 1915 Panama California International Exposition in San Diego) and by a few private homes. the Odd Fellows.22 But followers of Augustus Le Plongeon.16 Appropriations of colonial Mexican architectural styles were more common. the Mexican and the Native American. “similar to Masonry. Building private houses and public buildings throughout the United States in the Neo-Mayan style. the dialogue with the emerging cinema industry is pronounced.

located in places as distant as Catalonia or the Bahamas. The “Building of the People” (La Casa del Pueblo). the Mayan ruins. Stacy-Judd came to know the Revolutionary socialist state’s version of the Mayan Revival. Though the building. Stephens had lamented “that so beautiful a country should be in such miserable hands. He it was who commenced this structure.”33 when glob-alization is often taken to mean Americanization.30 Unlike those North American visitors who came as leftist pilgrims.”24 Stacy-Judd learned that this indifference was a self-serving misperception. Today’s Mayan Revival buildings are more likely to be amusement park attractions.31 What drew him was the costume drama of the Mayan opera. was to further my efforts in creating an allAmerican architecture and its allied arts. in times of extreme drought. “Don’t forget. but also elides his own position as an importer of Mayan architecture to its place of origin.” my eye caught sight of an oil painting standing on an easel in the open foyer. No New York stage fantasy ever surpassed in costuming the beauty and striking colorfulness expressed in these cleverly-conceived and artistic creations. the now famous Sacred Well at Chichen-Itza […] The costume designs were accurate as to classical style and presented a gorgeous appearance. but the decorative Mayan trim is crumbling off the sides. Señor. As one instance. including Stephens’s own Incidents. the scene of action was. intending it to be his residence—but alas! he was murdered in 1924. he said in his cordial manner.32 In an age of NAFTA and the militarized border. the Rain God. His collision of distinct styles and geographically distant citations in unrealized projects like “The Streets of All Nations” (1938).office of the state governor. and centered around the custom of presenting a beautiful virgin as bride to Yum Chac. It was an oil painting of the late General Carrillo.” Though he rejected the wilder diffusionist theories that circulated widely at the time.23 Stacy-Judd’s assumption that the modern Yucatecans were “indifferent” to the ruins echoes the writings of other European and North American travelers. but it was under the auspices of the Revolution that it flourished.” […] Glancing back as I left the “Building of the People. accelerated by the push of Mexican domestic upheavals and the pull of labor shortages in the US.28 In the Yucatán. The Yucatecan version of the Mayan Revival arguably predated the Mexican Revolution. of course. the Governor asked to see my watercolor studies of Mayan adaptations. namely. Monuments and public buildings were an important part of their program to stir pride in the glorious Mayan past. Stacy-Judd took no notice of the radical social experiment underway. the latest opera of Señor Luis Rosado Vega. designed by the Mexican architect Angel Balchini. and the night of its premiere production in Mérida was of red-letter importance. During his stay in the Yucatán. the work of Stacy-Judd anticipates the postmodern turn in architecture. Today the visitor to the Aztec Hotel cannot help but notice its state of disrepair.29 The principal leaders. that of a repatriation. He was overwhelmed: There is plenty of evidence that the Yucatecan is awakening to an appreciation of the civilization whose extraordinary works lie buried in the jungle-growth fastness of his country. he nonetheless believed that “no remnant of this race [of architects] hangs round the ruins. Governor of Yucatan. was Mayan. was completed in 1928.25 Upon his arrival in Mérida. the Aztec Hotel only addresses an Anglo public. one which consciously used culture as a means to elevate the subaltern. primarily. Salvador Alvarado and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. These accounts consistently attempted to separate the ancient Maya and their spectacular cities from their contemporary descendants. in Mérida his project takes on an entirely different character. I was amazed to learn that. They were by far the outstanding features of the performance and more clearly exemplified the true ancient Maya than did either the music of the settings. Yucatan’s favorite composer. quite the contrary.27 As such. And when we finally parted. it was part of a larger political and social program. than monuments to inter-American understanding and cooperation.[…] The story told of the Nahuatl introduction among the Mayas of human sacrifice. he is vitally interested. I had been given to understand the Yucatecan to be indifferent to the potential wealth of his country. All things considered.26 Stacy-Judd’s strange silence here not only protects his claims as the first to revive the architecture of the ancient Maya. a Leninist vanguard intent on jump-starting a radical social movement among the indigenous majority still emerging from an oppressive system of debt-peonage bordering on slavery. In spite of the massive immigration of Mexicans to Southern California in the 1920s. the search for an “authentic American style” or for an architecture which is “100% American” seems a dated preoccupation. as he describes the visit in his travelogue: My reason for visiting the Yucatan. w . the situation was extraordinary. After I had finally answered numerous inquiries regarding my adventures in Yucatan up to that time. the ambitions of westward and southward national expansion and the ideals of PanAmerican unity that inspired these buildings are anachronistic. Richard Requa’s Federal Building in San Diego (1935) has been converted into the Sports Hall of Fame. Hindu. were in some ways like caudillos [strongmen]. while in office. is in the Mayan Revival style. Yet in spite of the perceived irrelevance or datedness of the ideas that spurred on this revival style. our country is yours. While many of the ruins that inspired these structures have been restored and found a second life as tourist attrac-tions. albeit one highly transformed. propagated by writers like Stephens. the Revolution came not as an organic uprising from below. Stacy-Judd discovered that the contemporary Yucatecans were so “vitally interested” in their past that they had arrived at their own very different Mayan Revival style independently of him. the fact that Stacy- 45 Judd mentions that the project was initiated by Carrillo Puerto (governor 1923-1924) suggests he was aware that the building was almost exactly contemporary with his Aztec Hotel. […] For one whole hour the interview lasted. the Mayan Revival buildings have all too often fallen toward ruin. where the described appointment took place. Fifty years after New York “stole the idea of modern art. If Stacy-Judd’s use of ancient Mayan motifs in Monrovia and elsewhere in Southern California are examples of a cultural appropriation of a geographically and historically distant Eden. but as an imported phenomenon. with its Russian.

Robert Stacy-Judd (Santa Barbara: Capra Books. DC: Smithsonian. minstrelsy. 1991). CA. argued in great detail and quite convincingly. 28. 48. and “Chichen Itza: An Ancient American Mecca. p. trans. NC: Duke University Press. 1996 [1972]). 14 David R.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. 27 When Porfirio Díaz visited Mérida in 1906. in Gilbert Joseph. The Maya Theater of Los Angeles. the firm of Allison and Alison’s tunnel entrance to the Southwest Museum (Los Angeles. 1810-1861.” Mandora. Estilos Arquitectónicos de Mérida: Historia ilustrada. and the much publicized aerial photography of Charles Lindbergh helped popularize the Ancient Maya in the 1920s.F. when the hotel project was announced. Mass. . the city built a series of commemorative Mayan arches to mark the occasion. remind contemporary viewers of theme park architecture. desde su fundación hasta la actualidad (Mérida: Editorial Dante. 1983). Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The Wages of Whiteness. California Crazy (San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 6. 1996) by Tina Marie Llorante. 31 I am thinking here of travelers such as Ernest Gruening. p.” National Geographic. 24 Incidents of Travel in Central America. p. op. Lara Navarrete. Revolution from Without (Durham. Distant from the pared down modernist primitivism of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. and (inevitably) Pre-Columbian units. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (New York: Oxford University Press.” 26 Balchini’s Casa del Pueblo and other Yucatecan examples of Mayan Revival architecture are documented in Ileana B. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art. George Oakley CA). 29 This is the thesis.S. “The Foremost Intellectual Achievement of Ancient America. pp. see Olivier Debroise et. 4. 20 Mayan Temple vol. their newsletter. and other special occasions. and Yucatan (New York: Dover. 1992). 16 Gebhard. as the word Aztec was fairly well known. 1999).. 351). 6 More on this early history is available in the unpublished dissertation (UCSB. 41. James Oles. 1993). 1919). (January 1925). 5 Marjorie Ingle. Playing Indian (New Haven: Yale University Press. 74-75. 1993). 9 Stacy-Judd writes in his unpublished autobiography: “. p.” National Geographic vol. 1 Happily. 1969 [1841]) vol.T. Roediger. “The World’s Fairs of 1889 and 1893: Antecedents to Maya Revival Style Architecture. Other proponents include Frank Lloyd Wright. 59. 1934). 21 Mayan Temple. I. “The Necessity of Pre-Columbian Art: U. op. the writings of Alma Reed. Los Angeles. “Creating a New World Architecture. cit. no. vol. . a 1927 movie palace no longer viable in the age of the multiplex theater. Modernidad y modernización en el arte mexicano. Yuc. 2 (1933). 63-95.French.B Complete references and a bibliography for this article are available at www. (UADY. 3 (1993). Mayan Revival Style (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books.” (p. 1998) p. and their Mayan Temple Handbook. although the decorative motifs are Maya.: Museo Nacional de Arte. The jumble of the Philosophical Research Society’s quotations anticipates Frank Gehry’s Aerospace Museum (Los Angeles. al. Francisco Cornejo. 1885). the building has subsequently been repaired and is now once again not only used for Free Mason meetings. Gregory Mason. 151. 30 Stacy-Judd. 1984). 1987). Frank Lloyd Wright’s German Warehouse (Richmond Center. CA. diss. Alfred C. (January 1922). Ltd.immaterial. The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican: Cultural Relations Between the United States and Mexico. and Bertram Wolfe. The Ancient Mayas: Adventures in the Jungles of Yucatan (Los Angeles: Haskell-Travers.. Inc. In addition. parties. Yuc. NY. Carnes. 16-17. 23 Robert Stacy-Judd. pp. Otto Neher and Chauncey Skillings’s Cordova Hotel (Los Angeles. 45. 1919-20).. “La Etnia Maya en la Conciencia Criolla Yucateca. and what I am referring to here as cross-cultural transvestitism. 33 Serge Guibaut. Manuel Amábilis.” Southern California Business (April 1928) pp. 109-131. 104.” 7 Holly Barnet-Sanchez. In the Yucatán. Deloria. See also Philip J. 22 James Stevens Curl. 1920-1935 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. “The Aztec Lilliputians of Iximaya. cit. 1980). 15 Bruce Price’s home for Pierre Lorillard (Tuxedo. Richard Requa.. 1916-22). Museums and the Role of Foreign Policy in the Appropriation and Transformation of Mexican Heritage. 11 Sylvanus Morley. 8 Ibid. 47. Bossom. 5. who were attracted by the Revolutionary politics of 1920s Mexico. John Dos Passos. I baptized the hotel with that name. . 1915). 19 The holdings of the Southwest Museum (Los Angeles) include copies of The Mayan. and many others. but is available for rent for weddings. 38. 2 Robert Stacy-Judd was by no means the only advocate of the Mayan Revival. 1998). p.. revised ed. 1991). no. WI. Imperial Hotel (Tokyo. . StacyJudd’s is an alternate path that looks to both the past and the future. 13 For a reading of cross-dressing. Batsford. (London: Verso. 28 For a useful introduction on the post-Revolutionary Mexican renaissance. Japan. 3 Stacy-Judd’s colorful life and architectural career are summarized in David Gebhard. 37-38. See also Jim Heimann and Rip Georges. Chiapas. 81. 1984). pp. 1915) and Amábilis and Gregory Webb’s Sanatorio Rendón Peniche (Mérida. 1989). 71 ff. 18 See Mark C. 1912). 1988)..” unpublished dissertation (UCLA. see Eric Lott. South of the Border (Washington. 1933-1944. 17 Learning from Las Vegas (Cambridge. Hollyhock House (1917-21. 32 The exceptions are often those buildings that have been adapted to other functions. 12 Edward Lloyd Hampton. 1923). and Millard House (Pasadena. p. Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America (New Haven: Yale University Press. 10 Helen Delpar.. 7 (1941). 53. now functions as a nightclub. 19201960 (Mexico. 1993). The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry: An Introductory Study (London: B. Stacy-Judd’s autobiography is held in the archives of the University of California Santa Barbara’s Architectural Drawing Collection. 4 Ester Allen. vol. p. the word Maya was unknown to the layman .. 2. D. Bar Mitzvahs. p. pp. . no. p. 1993). early examples include Manuel Amábilis’s Masonic Lodge (Mérida. 25 Melchor José Campos García analyzes the perceptions of the ancient Maya in the minds of the 19th-century Spanish-speaking Yucatecans in unpubl. 1.

That’s where the landscape begins to define you instead of the other way around. For that alone. That building isn’t just a monument. It’s a doorway to another kind of existence. I’ll give him that. Everything shut. Bob: I like the windows. in fact. The strangest thing about this dream is that I remember the conversation like I had recorded it. I could see Brooklyn. they should put him on the cover of Time or some magazine like that. On weekends. I mean. There’s only one sun in the sky. now that I think about it. and I thought. They all think he’s a genius. and it can only be in one place at one time. You imagine them in your mind a million times. He looked pretty cool. That’s already ruined more than a few friendships. It’d be cheaper than the painting. B: Can we walk around the building before we go up? Bob puts on these shades. or you’re downtown and you see it uptown on the right. and you look up and see it on the left. and there’s nothing that art history can do about that. A: Oh yeah. Queens. It was as if we just picked up the conversation from where we’d left off: A: Yeah. so I’ve never really spoken to him all that much before. because you promised so-and-so. Andy. where people imagine going up a thousand times before they actually do. I decided to go out for breakfast. It’s like being in a museum. But the Empire State is still New York to me. A: Obviously. but then who could afford those? If I wanted something like that. but as one unified picture. but the universe is not symmetrical. too. The history of style comes to an end. There. B: Just because there are two of the same doesn’t mean they’re the same at all. It was like New York at eight in the morning on New Year’s Day. when it suddenly wasn’t the tallest building. A: Now there. I’d probably A: That’s what I love about stars. and the Hudson River all at once. I’d want to have another one. What’s weirder is that he seemed to be there waiting for me. The world will end before style does. disparate places. I can imagine you doing rug paintings. I always say. I saw your movie. If I started to paint them. like he’s been waiting for me all along. It’s my favorite time to be out. “How about going up the Empire State?” he says. A: Actually. You could send one out to go to all the things you can’t be bothered with showing up at but have to. but I hadn’t. Bob. they’d become work. It’s all pretty and nice when you’re walking down Eighth Avenue. I wouldn’t want it to be forgotten. only instead of telling time. Andy: This is my favorite stretch on Fifth Avenue. But now there are those Twin Towers down by Wall Street. they’re picking their nose right in front of you. I decided to go to my favorite diner.Warhol’s dream Saul Anton 12 February 1972 I had slept badly. A: It’s lopsided. there’s two of them. actually. I’m thinking I’d be up there and I am seeing the world from the point of view of a new species. you’d get twice the amount of life. We try to create that. you know the ones he wore in the film. They’re so big. the Empire State. It is a rupture in the fabric of time. Then what would I look at when I’m walking down Fifth? B: The Empire State is the only place in New York where you are actually taken out of the urban desert. I know all about your thing with the sun. well… I can’t wait to go up to the observation deck. the moment that those places entered my consciousness not as distinct. When you can have that. and after five minutes. the entire history of art begins to melt into a diaphanous hallucination. and when they get there. And there. 47 and then you meet them. B: The Empire State is like that in a way. The Spiral Jetty. B: You could make them really big. and you don’t even have to pay for admission. since you’d have all that time to stay home. If I were in charge of the Empire State. It’s like a clock. but I think he’s pretty shy. though. but I’m not sure. I’ll put my two cents in. B: It’s gyrostatic. which you can’t even walk on. I walk in and he’s sitting there smoking and drinking Lipton and he asks \me what I think we should do. If it were up to me I would have built another Empire State building just like this one. and two is always better than one. A: The twin towers are pretty nice. instead of them. Anyway. you must be still dreaming. He comes by sometimes. We didn’t even bother saying hello or any of that. B: There’s no such thing as symmetry. everyone says. It would make things so much easier. Robert Smithson. and I knew he’d be there. The two of you could share the work of one life and. it’s so deserted. The rug stores have those giant silk carpets in the windows. on 37th and Madison. and the other could stay home and watch TV. Completely deserted. All the kids at the Factory went out and bought shades just like those. but when I got down to the street. it tells space and size. the Star Palace. sitting alone at the window was. But I still can’t get through the stuff he writes in Artforum. and I thought that was pretty terrific. who I’ve met a few times. A: I would love to have a twin. there was no one there. It lives in the mind. That creates imbalance. I’ve thought about it. two buildings still have the same problem as one. That Spiral thing he did out west is great. Why? Doesn’t it look the same from all sides? B: Not at all. I’ve seen the pictures and I agree. like the Woolworth building was. B: I wonder what it’s like to go up to the Twin Towers. just buy the rug. I hear it’s a good place to make out on a really rainy day. where we see two identical buildings lies the beginning of the end of the old physics. always telling you exactly where you are. B: It’s only once you’re up there that you can begin to experience the contraction of the w . you know. A: Around the whole block. it’s not even close to what they imagined. and they’re beautiful. B: Well. always in your field of vision. A: Yeah. I get a headache almost right away. I’d stand and turn in place and all these things would become part of my panoramic view. believe it or not.

you’re looking over at this guy who’s looking at you. It’s then that you are really looking out into the crystalline void in the heart of reality. Like there were suddenly two of everything: two Empire States. and there was a beautiful breeze. The pyramids are. Everyone gets to experience it. Bob. but to me. This is what you mean when you wrote “The arduous thoughts of the Empire State fill one with thoughts of extinguishments and vertigo. It’s just that I have problems with elevators. And meanwhile. You’re in the bathroom. what is the function of these two monsters? These are better than the pyramids and the ziggurats combined! And they’re even prime numbers. you’d never think that there was any life down there at all. A: I somehow knew you’d say something like that. pure conceptual geometries. then he looked at me. Bob. 48 A: Huh? B: A prime is a number that relates only to itself and to one. The Egyptians were fascinated by it. and it was like we were standing on the mast of this immense ship called Manhattan. I would have just pressed that “close door” button and gone up. The projects are kind of nice that way. but they’ve ripped the sink and the shower out. There’s someone standing on the observation deck of the other tower looking at you from the next building. B: I’ve never been up there before. At that point. B: I mean. A: All on the observation deck? Wow. and you look over and there’s another guy thinking he’s god too. B: It’s like stepping into a time machine. From up here. instead of looking at the streets. isn’t about that. all you thought you were getting was a nice view. B: All I can think of is tombs and death and the pyramids. or looking for your own building down there in the city. B: Before we do.” B: Not exactly. It is a singular thing. right across the river. but instead. that’s pretty This is when we arrived on the observation deck. New York. a twin and a twin city. What bothers me is the idea that every building has to be different. Except up here. And the whole time. something picturesque. I’ve got a confession. That’s when you begin to realize that the architect has no control over what he’s built. I would wave and say hi. I mean. you feel like a dumb tourist because you can see your own stupid look on the face of the other guy. He looked at me and squinted. I think I’m starting to understand. I wish I’d brought my tape recorder. You know. A: It must be pretty deflating. A: And Stonehenge. you just take a cab and go to the other one. but that the desert is only one side of a winding spiral of time. And I’m not sure if I can go. Our eyes see what it took hundreds of years for humans to chart. B: It’s only when you look over to the next building that the whole thing is completely dematerialized. If it were anyone else. looked around. They could just build New York all over around you. but what’s confusing is that everyone else gets to have it. maybe I’d choose the Twin Towers instead. units of measurement. looking down on it. it turns out. but everyone knows they’re just projects from a different time. good. You’re looking at this guy who’s looking at you. Or you could have both. Then. So there you are. I’m not going to walk up. and the two of you could go to two of the same things. A: I thought you liked this sort of thing. a unique place. A: But it was your idea! Oh. that’s all about abstractions. Lewitt likes the grid. through those big binoculars they have. Isn’t that what it sometimes feels like: a ship. two Fifth Avenues. make it all over the place. And there’s no TV. You’d never be lonely again…Do you want to go up now? A : Just think you’re not in an elevator but in a really small apartment. and he’s so close. the ones who squinted when they were supposed to be acting. Why can’t they just find the best kind of building and once they do. I’m finally going to get a bird’s eye view of this place. the two of you. I just stood there. our century becomes like a whole millennium all its own. A: Well. two Broadways. but I finally got Smithson into the elevator. as if he’s standing in front of you. It may or may not be a prime object. except that it’s going nowhere. But everything was strange today. not Stonehenge. they’re selling hot dogs. and I thought. A: If I had to make the Empire State Building over. A: But I thought you flew around in helicopters and small planes all the time. A: Ah. on a new Mezolithic period. A: I think that’s terrific. And then you come home and you could compare notes. And there would be no chance that you’d mill in the same circles. there’s no way he could have imagined that experience of two men looking at each other from across two of the same buildings—how disturbing that might be. B: And if you go up the Twin Towers. too. And it’s in an awful building where they didn’t give it any windows. B: They’re all parts of this giant hive. though. except that the buildings aren’t very nice. if you want to go somewhere and it’s too crowded. His intention was probably to make you feel like a god looking out upon the world. And suddenly. you’re thinking. . A: I wouldn’t feel like an idiot. B. Bob stopped and looked up. and I made a note to myself to see what I could come up with for him. Brownstones are nice like that. They’re prime objects. That’s different. You’d be a pretty good actor. right there. That’s almost as good as having a twin. B: But you’re still floating up above the world. why I don’t know. kind of like prime numbers. He looked like one of those old-time Hollywood movie stars. That’s when you see that not only are you looking out on the urban desert. It took a minute. looking at each other. waiting for him. That’s different. and I somehow knew that he would just get in and I was calm about it. okay. where the form just escapes all that talk about function. B: No. It’s about the hive. either.

A: Huh? B: The Spiral is time. Every time they look out. A: Thank goodness. That would be fabulous. Good. is that it’s not at all like looking at your portraits. I guess. B: I think I’m ready to leave. B: Being in the spiral. It’s like a science fiction story. Don’t you think this is better than any superstar? A: Seriously? Well. they get their view. like TV. do they? And I could have one at the beach house in Montauk. It transcends the rational registers of standard meanings. B: Michael Fried would say that’s authentic. I try to think of what time is and all I can think is… “Time is time was. and so they start climbing. Andy. It’s just true. B: No. But they should all be exactly the same. and they lose their sense of where they fit in. In the view.” B: That’s what I mean. it no longer functions like a normal building.e The excerpt reproduced here is from a larger work-in-progress. I hear that Henry Kissinger likes to take helicopters from there. it would just be so competitive and childish. they’re left out. make up this space. beautiful. no secret about that. but the infinities that A: I’m thinking. that same guy is standing in front of the deli looking around with nothing to do. so that everything can be this view outside our window. we could put Edie up here to do a show. Are you going to be okay in the elevator? B: I’ll just have to close my eyes and pretend I’m in a small apartment and imagine a big place. We can get Paul Morrissey to film it. . but that’s why it’s a cliché. they can never turn that into a history. Nothing authentic about that. The spiral: Time is time was. my friend. take a look around you. A: Well. it’s meaning as an object changes —one could even say reverses. B: The thing about being up here. It’s beautiful like a Coke. It’s a built metaphor for time because on this scale. that’s because the view is better. B: Are we down yet? A: I’ll tell you when we get there. We think we need a better view so we try to climb higher. The value of the object changes as it rises higher in the sky. A: That’s a great idea. floor by floor. too. and completely sultry. But I know what you mean. A: All I know is that I would love to have another Spiral Jetty. B: What do you think an art historian would say about that? They’d say it was a style in the period of so-and-so imitating the style of so-and-so. We pull ourselves up. Every city should have an Empire State. B: That place from where we’d get this amazing view. It’s no longer a building trying to 48 add space. the world becomes a film. A lot of other people. the view. Look. B: When a civilization builds one of these. isn’t a straight line. B: It’s the view that determines what an apartment is worth. As an aircraft ascends into higher and higher altitudes. B: Andy. A: At least it isn’t a tool shed. we’re seeing the world after art—art without art. Otherwise it’d be a line. A: But what a sight this city is. People will live in a miserable cramped little closet so that they can get the right view. Otherwise.A: This is better than the ziggurats and the pyramids put together. That’s where I keep all the shopping. Henry Geldzahler said he did it once and it made him sick. thinking that there’s more above them. A: Edie? A: I’d say. A: Well. huh? I could just put a camera up and let the sun roll across the sky if they hadn’t done it a thousand times already. You could even have a few of them running all along the west side. even though what we really want is to be able to rub shoulders and mix and talk and the rest of it. and it could be spectacular. A: She’d be fantastic. You could put one out there just below the 72nd Street boat basin. It’s such a cliché. I think. A: There you go. I never like living on high floors. despite what it looks like. art is just nostalgia. The Empire State. B: Okay. you know. that place doesn’t exist. You’re obviously feeling better. it’s not beautiful like a Titian or Liz Taylor. wouldn’t you say? Does anyone really want to live with that deli in their window their whole life. I don’t think they do much with those piers anymore. in that way she can do. too. there’s the Pan Am building. But then. It’s the same thing I tried to deal with when I did the Airport terminal project in ‘67. A: Time? Well I know all about time. B: I just said that! From here. B: The Empire State is part of the jetty. This observation deck is the space where this building ceases to be a building and becomes an instant of time.

we fall in love mechanically with the things we desire (to see). In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. like our desires. so too does make-up mechanically enliven a face that is not quite the face we thought we knew. but it makes a person feel more beautiful. Waiting for beauty is a way of flirting with it before it arrives. with what Warhol termed “nothing. mechanically produced (repeated) in the manner that commodities are fabricated. in repeating and thus freezing our motions. change made some things beautiful. Language was no different from television or film or one of his photosilkscreen portraits: a recording medium that allowed someone’s likeness to be transformed into something else in the eyes of someone else. especially in a disco or other tranceinducing venue. with shadows or with camouflage. and in Warhol’s works anticipation cancels out remembering. a kind of waiting for exactly the same thing to happen again. fame. it makes a person feel more like him or herself. “TV magic. Seriality is the best way to experience time as repetition. and that is why so much of Warhol’s writing takes the form of the chronicles.” Somewhat paradoxically. specifically. “Beautiful people are sometimes more prone to keep you waiting than plain people are. Make-up is a form of camouflage and it is the means wherein a commodity makes itself apparent to our desires.Warhol’s aura and the language of waiting Tan Lin For Warhol.” and distinguished it from product.” “something. Most of Warhol’s films and writings are ostensibly vacant. because there’s a big time differential between beautiful and plain.. being “on. In this manner. Repetition is flirtation that never ends. fabulous.” Change is a byproduct of time passing. Change incites beauty: “The red lobster’s beauty only comes out when it’s dropped into the boiling water… and nature changes things and carbon is turned into diamonds.” screen presence. where they blend in and where they perfectly yet obscurely mimic the motions of bodies on a dance floor. auratic exercises in the on-goingness of waiting for something (which was usually nothing) to happen. For Warhol. Warhol was able to toy with and also question the idea of beauty or love that was no longer subject to pure oper-ations of chance. with the look of the commodity. Love is a way of delaying what we are seeing from happening. tracking business expenses. in a chapter on fame. like commodities in relation to our desires. the presence that attached itself to people was associated with intangible things. “aura.” Make-up creates the aura of a face or a thing that never changes. Such recording is a kind of waiting. by erasing and complicating that . Warhol painted the Shadow Paintings for a nightclub. Language. But then Warhol had a lot of other names for those amorphous moments and persons and locations that were not precisely tied to a person’s physical body: beauty. Increasingly. which explains why Warhol’s “greatest unfulfilled ambition” was to have his own TV talk show where he could just list the mundane events of his day. In this way. but for others. He wanted to call it Nothing Special. like film or a photograph or jewelry or make-up. which is to say that change was generally mediated by outside sources: “Jewelry doesn’t make a person more beautiful. night after night after night. being on TV has the same effect of producing presence.” with negative spaces. The distinction between a ‘mere’ mechanical repetition and more ‘natural’ near-repetition fascinated Warhol. the world was a world of likenessess.” Waiting.. Looking at Jackie or the Empire State Building.” Language doesn’t make a person who he or she is. they repeat what our bodies are doing and. I feel my eyes flirting with the things I am seeing. Beauty never occurs just once. and above all with fame. and. a kind of near-repetition of our own desires to see our own desires mirrored in someone else. not in any objective sense. they slow down human time like a strobe light in a disco. that repeats itself ad infinitum. make-up could be said to be at once artificial and external to its “product. is serial. Warhol gave that presence a more precise term. which is to say that it produces in a mechanical or artificial way. lends a person a presence they don’t have by themselves. Warhol loved Marilyn and Jackie because they were beautiful. Like simulated shadows on a canvas. or with makeup. the aura of a heightened human sexuality. like those portraits. By so doing. or recording events as they happen. all forms of chance. and his photosilkscreen portraits of them are endless flirtations with who they are. are radically systematized. keeping a diary. and who they 50 are becoming (for us). just as camouflage mechanically unmasks the look of natural foliage. because applied from outside.

Warhol disavowed orchestrating the destruction (change) of particular individuals like Edie Sedgwick. One of the things that slow-motion does is make change harder to see. a film about a man getting fellated—these were ways Warhol flirted with things that were not yet “happening. dead celebrities who wear lots of make-up. like boredom. it can only be flirted with. A film about the Empire State building. One might add that Warhol’s paintings. The slower speed enabled Warhol to capture what he called “nothing”: “…we ran it at a slower speed to make up for the film I didn’t shoot. In this sense. watching a movie is replaced by something like “watching a movie. or 16 frames per second. which most people associate with things not changing. much like the face of Marilyn or Jackie.” In Rome: “Just then. That is why Warhol makes us fall in love with shadows. Somewhere in the middle of an eight hour Empire.” Death is the most heavily camouflaged thing in Warhol. Everything beautiful is serial. The mouth produces serial words. and vice versa. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to. the hustler finally comes after 41 minutes. occasional violence. A—sissy… I’m immature. a film about a man sleeping.” That is why Warhol claimed to have never grown up: “I’m missing some chemicals and that’s why I have this tendency to be more of a—mama’s boy.” For this reason. haphazard talk. desultory and unpredictable mechanical “systems” of production. creates for Warhol a heightened state of anticipation. the affect-less and the affect laden. a kind of camouflage or shadowing. but played back at silent speed. No one makes an artwork and no one changes somebody else: “When people are ready to. Emotions are interchangeable with the things that produce those emotions. In Warhol. One might say that beauty for Warhol was that point where boredom and change overlap. Both are substitutes for our 50 The eye produces serial images. sense of sight and ultimately for not seeing: “I don’t believe in it. Warhol understood that commodities do not wait for us. Oddly.” In Blow-Job. attenuated time frames. and the only thing Warhol didn’t live in anticipation of. car crashes. we wait for them. and doppelgangers. All eternal forms shall be converted into formulas (for the things we see) and then repeated in perpetuity.” Not surprisingly. are the byproduct of time repeating itself. Warhol’s films and novels mimic the endless staying the same that is existence and the endless continual change that is also and simultaneously existence. automatically. Change is atypical.” To repeat: Love is the desire to make beauty repeat itself. They never do it before then. We repeat what we want to see or hear. and sometimes they die before they get around to it. open schedules. Warhol’s two favorite surrogates were his tape-recorder and his camera. The films (like his novel A) are experiments in slowing down viewing (or reading) time or creating a lag between clock time and the rate at which we register perceptual changes. Warhol is the most Platonic of modern artists. as Warhol pointed out on numerous occasions. Eye and mouth are both surrogate modes of “being oneself. a place where beauty might erupt. like offscreen voices. camouflage patterns. the highly segmented and Taylorized worker of the human senses (eye or ear) is converted into a kind of psychedelia or trance production line.distinction Warhol was able to delineate subtle overlappings between boredom and love. Warhol. a shadow of a body that is not actually our shadow. we feel the things we are waiting to see again. we frequently gaze at a face that is not quite the face we knew. you can’t stop them. Waiting for something or especially someone beautiful to show up is one of the best ways of passing the time. and the act of buying something artificial was really just the anticipation of buying something real (or vice versa). and the better and emptier you feel. variable repetition. the flood lights go on and the Empire State Building begins to shine or give off something filmic.” The slowed-down film heightens the fact that something that we can’t quite perceive or register is going on in the background. even a car crash or a soup can. beauty that occurs there occurs in the background and still strikes its viewers dumb. as a kind of deaf-mute image. She looked beautiful. a painting that is a painting in camouflage. Looking at a Warhol film or a photo-silkscreen. He creates an endless series of simulacra of Eternal Forms. a soup can that is not exactly the soup can that we see on a store shelf. the more the meaning goes away. But I’m just the opposite: If I’m going to sit and watch the same thing I saw the night before. something unnoticed like wallpaper or something accidentally recorded. is the byproduct of time passing. and without thought. that thing known as “screen presence. is flirting with) time passing. boredom. which functioned as his ears and eyes respectively.” The most interesting mode of being oneself used to be “having a memory.e. they change. Similarly. just like when they do want to. and thus that thing known as desire. thus literally slowing down the rate at which an image changes and prolonging the rate at which things stay the same. A typical Warhol film was shot at sound speed or 24 frames per second. Because the more you look at the same exact thing. Beauty can never be had. Most of Warhol’s films are about people not changing because not changing was what most people do most of the time. like his novel A and his films. Waiting becomes labor in reverse (the deathly labor of doing nothing). and blasé mediation. and without thought. but maybe something could happen to my chemicals and I could get mature. in Monte Carlo.” That is also why Warhol liked things that are exactly the same: “…most people love watching the same basic thing. Reading is replaced by “something like reading”. An emotion is a thing waiting to happen to a person who has no memory of (i. A commodity is a thing waiting to happen to a consumer who has no memory of time passing. the idea of difference and similitude is simultaneously registered. I can’t say anything about it because I’m not prepared for it.” Not surprisingly. Both lacked memory. Between the world of unchanging (and commodified) essences and the world of our everyday perceptions. as long as the details are different. Everything is a repetition of what we are waiting to see again. because you’re not around to know that it’s happened.” Change. Not changing is also known as boredom and Warhol liked “boring things” (POP50). the screen tests were about waiting for someone to walk in and sit for a few minutes and manifest. In Warhol. I don’t want it to be essentially the same—I want it to be exactly the same. Plato said that. All of these repeated elements or serial patterns are forms of ‘nothing’ that make up w . automatically. at the Hotel Mirabeau remarks: “Damian looked beautiful in a navy-blue Dior. Everything we see is a surrogate for something we can’t quite feel. Ursula Andress appeared at the top of the stairs.

and no memory. Language is the things that we say while we are waiting for the medium to say them with. on the contrary. Loving nothing is the finest excuse we have for loving something beside ourselves. in this novel. like art time. That is why Warhol liked things that never changed or that were exactly the same. and they are both spread on the wings of talk: self-aggrandizement on the one hand. flattery. The tape recorder “finished whatever emotional life [Warhol] might have had. a machine. self-love. self-attenuation on the other. That extra year of learning nothing. empty spaces. “My mind is like a tape recorder with one button—Erase. Then I can’t be with anybody. talk about ourselves blown out of all 52 proportion to who we are. Later. a foil for who he is not? Language isn’t who we are. multiple voices are often transcribed out of order. aura was inseparable from change and exchange. Warhol remarks that he was “fascinated by certain people.” or better yet. Who is Ondine in A but a kind of extemporaneous star of the words Warhol speaks every day. arguments are left unfinished. is Ondine’s aura. of stories being changed as they are exchanged.” Ondine’s language isn’t Ondine. are forms of waiting. killing time. but a tape recorder. it obscures who we are not. the things we almost register consciously.” And that is how A begins: with the language of someone Warhol is fascinated by. Warhol created his surrogate: He claimed he wanted to be “a nobody. language we hear but don’t remember.” Fame and its handmaiden. It doesn’t matter who we talk to: “In New York I spend most of my morning talking on the phone to one B or another. in the end.our day-to-day perceptions.”U . What makes stories change is other people telling them: Dylan told Warhol he didn’t destroy a painting of Elvis (the rumor) that Warhol had given to Dylan. Ondine is a surrogate for Andy. and resolution. it takes much longer to transcribe or read A then it did to actually say it. Novelistic time. the ultimate form of sincerity: “I need B because I can’t be alone. comprise the two major ingredients of Warhol’s world. suspense. It was.” Warhol never got his TV talk show. But Warhol also understood that in a world where everything is produced in order to be consumed. Fifteen minutes is a short time for someone who wants to be famous. They too. Bridget asks.” What gives it back to him. but what produced his aura was not Ondine. It’s all in the other person’s eyes. For this reason. That’s why I’m wiser. It is often hard to tell who is speaking to whom. but Ondine got his novel. a person more fabulous and more beautiful than we could ever be. presumably because they’re all product and no aura: “I don’t mind reading documentaries or Schwann catalogs or lists of one sort or another…but I can’t take reading novels… I just can’t do it.’ I never figured out what they wanted. “I think ‘aura’ is something that only somebody else can see. Ondine was a fabulous talker. Warhol’s star system isn’t an ironic gesture. If I wake up too early to check in with anyone.” As with a photo or portrait. But they were willing to pay a lot for it. Except when I sleep. language is the waiting (and passing the time while waiting). when people speak simultaneously. or to be more precise. The opposite of being successful is being nothing. Warhol preferred boredom. Transcribing a life in this manner renders it almost impossibly opaque and difficult to apprehend. like McDonald’s in Tokyo or McDonald’s in London. the emotions that connect us to someone else’s aura can’t really be bought: “Some company recently was interested in buying my ‘aura. who confesses early on that he can’t read novels. Fame is the best kind of background noise. so too with someone else’s language. language that merely fills up the time slowly and completely without us fully processing or consciously thinking about it. The language of A is the language of gossip.” For Warhol. Maybe the reason my memory is so bad is that I always do at least two things at once. “Nothing. “What did you learn this year that you didn’t know before?” Warhol replies. because for Warhol. I kill time by watching TV and washing my underwear. not his product. Somewhere between fame and flattery. much less remember. Witness Ondine. and talk about someone else because they are larger than ourselves. They kept saying. Robbie Robertson told Warhol that Dylan had traded it for a sofa (the purported truth). of the endless mediation and shuffling around of things that happened or the nothing that happened when language records the things that happen everyday. the love one can’t show to oneself in public.” and that this fascination “was probably very close to a certain kind of love. only one half of telephone conversations are recorded. it determines how others see us. language doesn’t just determine who we are.’ They didn’t want my product. his “star system” is a form of love. The best language is the language that just takes place somewhere in the background. ‘We want your aura. body language is lost. which is to say.” Anyone could have an aura or be beautiful. it’s a surrogate. Language is a means of exchanging who we are (our product) for someone we aren’t (our aura). and they only see as much of it as they want to. between wanting to be famous and total self-abnegation. You can only see an aura on people you don’t know very well or don’t know at all. is artificially constructed to feign speed. it’s Ondine’s aura.

identity. getting things done. who can call himself a tailor without calling his fitness into question. but whose actual business it is to keep you within its own “environment” instead. What ground was given up by collectors and collecting agencies has been reclaimed indirectly. simply by a shift of emphasis from Picasso to Gehry. It’s not about events. who gives a fuck about the art?”1 An investment has been transferred…. admittedly very nice tile job had effectively merged the two areas into a sort of double vitrine. on the shop side. There are simple reasons for this.M. 2 Zone Books put out a new edition of The Society of the Spectacle so slick and precious and expensive and copyrighted that it had a closer affinity to Eau d’Issey than to the Situationist International. and photographers. the artist re-designed the bookshop and the first-floor gallery into a continuous and homogenized exhibition space of candy-colored tile. 3 Heimlich: There’s the maneuver. much vaunted by the Viennese. by a more and less explicit exhibition of the museum itself as object of fascinated deconstruction.The first wave of modern art display may have been misrepresented as neutral. “Daddy. populated by an arrangement of Merchandise in its high and low modes (high=unique artifact. a true political theater of Agitational Shopaganda). the tiny gap between content and nontent approaches zero. symbolic. whereby it is advertised as Pure Power. I had been in the King’s Road house an hour before. low=multiple inventory). there’s a show of his drawings and photos at L. and that in any case they are both there for the sake of the building. 4 The Pardo installation at Dia went a step further in the explicitness of its re-orientation of museum experience as design-ified. As the facilities become more and more spectacular (I use the word ‘spectacular’ advisedly). You’ll have to live it completely. change.” Now. popular culture describes a corporate cultivation of popularity. but it also insinuates itself as populist culture.” or “on the sly. It’s détournement. It’s understood that the viewer will be 53 gone in five minutes. also because Philip Johnson has been quoted on the subject of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao: “When the building is this good. and served. and to make the simple carpentry look perfect. like “program. Examples Design-ification/de-signification? What we are calling Design these days is a very small piece of discursive territory. either. and alterity across vast distances in a single w . 3 The medium is the competition: This effect is not proper to art environments. real site-specific). I found myself ogling memorabilia such as the original clay “buck”2 of Volkswagen’s new Beetle (a life-size design prototype. whose brevity is its only virtue.k. however. I found myself browsing books and editions. the same rhetorical. as another is being played out elsewhere (inversion): the re-orientation of post-structuralist and feminist critiques of “the” phallic modernist commodity-fetish. and unhurried enjoyment of life. by reducing their separation to floorto-ceiling glass: two tableaux-vivants. Uncanny? Hmmm.A. by hand). have been brought together to make the show really big. or bringing up anything embarrassing. 1 Radio Guggenheimlichkeit: an author whose name I’ve forgotten. you’ll never really understand Guggenheimlichkeit. and art consumption (think fuel). comfort. graphic designers.a. homey. Design and construction are now fully alienated. the piece will be gone in a month. and which will endure (real is used here as in real big.. Consider AOL. The German word Heimlich would be translated as “surreptitiously. as in “the content of the piece. real slick.” 4 Unheimlich: A Freudian psychoanalytic term. on tour for the book he had written about a week he had spent in one room with sixteen televisions. The application of an The rules and limits of Design can pre-empt the presumed de-regulation of Art. it’s become officially obvious that the art and architecture of the “Family of Man” school actually articulated. In this case.. Meanwhile. real expensive. universal. model-makers.Guggenheimlichkeit Carl Skelton Guggenheimlichkeit is what happens when the people making the decisions decide that the interface is where the action is. et. and technical devices penetrate with all the more lubricated ease. On the gallery side. each offering the other an arrangement of glazed people and products. a.” If this use of the word ‘popular’ to describe television doesn’t give you chills. which it is absolutely not… precisely because the populace is being cultivated as a resource. and in fact it is reaching its fullest realization online. but it took me a minute to recognize contemporary pictures of the interior—they had been shot so as to make the low ceilings look high. (in the sense of a standardized narrative. It’s precisely for this reason that it is foregrounded: The prerogatives of “client” are similar to those of “patron” prior to the First World War. MOCA. Schindler built his own house in Los Angeles in the twenties. 2 Heimelig is simply familiar. in a way they never could be when R. Not because anybody there is special.” One may speak of “designing a program” without having to come right out and say “arranging the content. Museum architecture and exhibition design have a much narrower ideological range than art. a stereotypical object capable of erasing (or at least eliding) local culture. A drama is being performed at this level (inflation). Etymology 1 Gemütlichkeit is an aesthetic of familiarity. the customer and the product come to meet in a moment of mutual embarrassment. but that’s not what this is about. which provides access to the rest of the Web.” says less about the phenomenon to which it refers than it does about a vast distance between the speaker and what he or she is naming. 5 Guggenheim: Yes. but because their Frank Lloyd Wright building on Central Park was one of the first modern museums to explicitly invert the figureground relationship between the work and the walls. At this writing. In the last twenty or thirty years. generally translated as “uncanny” in English.” This word. and simple reasons to walk away from it. which is the real Social Sculpture. al.” “product. which happens to be made out of a traditional artist’s materials. described the experience as a “snapshot of American popular culture. the museums.” “audience. even in these tedious times. A team of architects. the desires of a rather narrow segment of the Family. That’s not an embarrassing mistake. Think back to the last time somebody said “content” to you.

made of different proportions of a standard mixture. or Thomas Krens. marketing. of Conceptual Designs at best. all the boxes contain the same plastic bag.” Go to the supermarket. however. What is being cultivated? As “the work” comes more and more to serve as transient interior surface event for an architectural icon. Over time. Candy for assholes The metabolisms of large cultural institutions have been evolving. more durable. and at worst Designer Concepts. the relatively mutable. and more specific than an exhibition. Guggenheimlichkeit is just as fundamental to the phenomenon of breakfast cereal as it is to any oxymoronic “contemporary museum. figure. whose mandate is purely and simply to expand. A tremendous amount of energy has gone into the production of elaborately extroverted graphic design. and more and more with the programs and capital projects they 54 . As their bureaucracies expand and mutate. from and over their constituencies. Fetish status shifts so easily from things a human can make or mangle to artifacts and situations only producible by an institution so big and hungry that it must meet the mandates of both public and private sectors of the economy at the highest levels. object. and portable products of very small numbers of people are consistently represented as subject to the sovereign and ineluctable order of the strategies of institutions. or the Stepford Wives’ Curatorial Committee. and ground (Valhalla). by inflation and extraction. Result: the Chelsea gallery district now blows your mind mostly with its consistency. A building can and must be bigger. which is not on display. and printing. In fact. This is not. flexible. In the bag. Inside. shibboleth. fast. while reducing risk. they come to identify less and less with collections or specific works of art. to be credited to the evil genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. the varieties of which span a very narrow segment of the spectrum food <—> candy. obviously. museums’ facilities have become monster fetishes of another kind: simultaneously subject. or colored balls. on a very regular basis. and walk down the cereal aisle. there are pellets. or flakes.traveling retrospective. as art objects have been de-powered in favor of a self-reflexive vivisection of the conditions of dissemination and reception. more expensive.

There’s a basic rhetorical reason why there can never be a parody of the after-the-fact passive voice of curator. Within the terms of panoptical deconstruction. museums are the only art that museums can make themselves.5 x 68 x 161 inches. to process more input than they get. quoted in “53 Design Classics.+ Special thanks to Ursula Endlicher for her help with the etymology. it carried an invitation to falsely assume that “the medium” is immutable. which is the need. full-scale model. 2 That its vehicle should expand anyway. which can only ever happen by default. and I know what it wants. These games may truthfully reflect postindustrial guilt. which has more to do with cultivating identity than cruh-teaking it. the distinction between art and exhibition design will be real trivial.” One Magazine (April/May 2001). 59. Guggenheimlichkeit is the hole left in the middle of the gallery after the de-centering sinks in. on the other hand. supplement. 64. The more art offers itself up as the condensate of mass-marketing and academic passive-aggression. one often forgets whether the author is bragging or complaining. Whether public or private. and here’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for Guggenheimlichkeit: It’s what you get when the administration finds itself setting the agenda. What was obvious before is now just too embarrassing to even talk about: Dissection-display-disclosure-disinhibition of the circumstances and mechanisms of communication is both necessary and insufficient. When reading a critique. such organisms have actually reversed the direction of their digestion. so to speak. 1995. Just as museums realize the consensus of public and private sectors. Museums just can’t get enough filler. A contemporary museum. . numb. This can’t be a conspiracy theory What I’ve been trying to describe is more like a side-effect. if not sufficient. wood. If conditions persist and the image-sphere gets saturated with the products of such an imbalance. don’t publish it yet. clay.initiate on a grand scale. and that will never be enough. 5 That the seductions of design are a necessary. as well as determinant. “The medium is the message” wasn’t just a structuralist catchphrase. The real question. as a simple question of proportion: If your thesis consists mostly of preface and footnotes. 4 That conception and implementation can and should be segregated from each other. Eventually. p. historian. or a fantasy of enough leisure time to get really. It makes no sense for artists to compete with the après-garde— borrow. acquire. steel. 3 That the creation of unsatisfied need and desire are social goods. as the Main Event. This problem can and should be considered in good old-fashioned structural terms. or the narcissistic cannibalism of a Jeff Koons. the fetishization of the museum-object as Cruel Mistress comes to represent it as determinant. Germany. critic. and in so doing demonstrate and justify the status and sophistication of a benefactor. The Laws of the Market can be disobeyed as easily as any other command. They now proceed from the same presumptions of inadequacy as General Mills: 1 That the content/product is somehow insufficient or simply invariant. which is to say that it can never reach or exceed an appropriate size. truly. fluff-and-flay. in order to build a bigger box. expectations collapse and people start to assume that there are only two choices: the radical iconoclasm of the Taliban. California and Wolfsburg. It’s always a broker’s market. deeply. I can just relax—the beast will fondle or spank me at its pleasure. in order to justify the accumulation of public and private resources. The medium is no excuse It’s important to remember that McLuhan was a political conservative. rather than a hostile take-over or corporatist cabal. Attempting to write a dissertation into an object or installation only exacerbates this weakness. arrange. in person. There is such a thing as an under-stimulated reactionary force. and Immovable. Simi Valley. hardfoam. The same institution that used to produce contact between strangers and commodities now consumes that contact as fuel. but that doesn’t mean it always has to be a broker’s world. Collection: Volkswagen Design. will come when I start to admit that the bewildering uniformity of neoPop parodies of perfect ease carries something of an ideological order. madly. or exuberance. which is the product. displays largely borrowed objects in order to attract the largest possible audience. the interesting part. Volkswagen AG Design Center. 1 Philip Johnson. A modern museum would have been built to display power-objects to the public. the more museums are driven into their own (very limited) creative resources to make a spectacle of themselves. a disorder. Until then. Media become ends in themselves when they develop the capacity. Why do you think it’s called Culture? Because it comes in a plastic dish? Let’s at least admit that we think we know that some things still have to be done the hard way. University-trained artists are particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of this smooth and creamy dead-end. and be performed by separate social groups. 2 Volkswagen New Beetle.

” “How interesting. while those many graphic details raced through my mind. rarely has a country been confronted with as many rich and imposing stereotypes and fabulations. heavily armed gentleman in a black suit who just assured you you’ve “dug your own grave”? When arrested. I waited. drugs. and my monarchist memorabilia. and you’re saying you really don’t disapprove?” And so on. outwardly unchanging. then a door swung shut behind me. it is the Iranian Gaze which troubles me more than any other. of course. I’d been arrested on charges of spying. Once the Paris of the Orient. old snapshots of teenage beach parties. teenage delinquency. none of which I could answer convincingly. In fact. the many graphic details of how before and after the Islamic Revolution. an Aryan haven under the sexy splendor of the Shah and his groovy Queen draped in Yves Saint Laurent. On the night of our arrest. Particularly when it came to my photographs of Tehran’s concrete wastelands. emphatically crooned into my left ear. having determined that military institutions were using ten percent of the city space. Why would expatriate Iranians make a documentary on Tehran for a foreign production company. So our case was a little difficult to explain. Sitting there blindfolded in a tiny concrete cube in perfect silence. Tell the simple truth. much as the gigantic propaganda murals offer easy targets for graffiti and paint bombs. Tehran is practically off-limits for cameras. was an extraordinary experience. the Information Ministry really employed their celebrated. My interrogator was obviously just as interested. “What is your opinion of Imam Khomeini?” “I’d say every human being has weak points and strong points.” he slowly. on that occasion. in a concrete cell with no windows. “until yesterday. everyone from the janitor to the plumber to the cab driver has been eager to know how I would personally compare Europe to the Islamic Republic. Earlier. On the one hand. Being Iranian. then someone pulled up a chair behind me and just sat there. oppressive. It so happens that the courthouse had been recently bombed by an armed opposition group. and strained.” you see. the Western Gaze is a big issue in Iran. It is. waiting for my interrogator. Even hospitals are considered State secrets. even career opportunities.” “He had none. an eyewitness account of Evin means international media attention. as ironically kitsch-retro. we were interrogated for 16 hours. I sounded like an emasculated water toad. we’ll find a solution for you.” “I see. bears heavy connotations—though nobody knows the figures. and hypercritical public debate are all very much out of control.” I answered. I find it easier to shamelessly cater to Western expectations. highpitched croak. Which is better?” He paused.” He chuckled to himself. and taken to Evin prison. sensationalist muck in the first person singular (“I begged the warden not to kill me. near the Revolutionary Courthouse. “If you tell the truth. How to explain ironic retro-kitsch to an enormous. “Actually. everyone knows the anecdotes. things have become a little muddled. illicit sociosexual mingling.” or an annex to some Ministry. Tell me something. time-honored methods of inquisition. He leaned towards me.” “You grew up abroad. and are not to be filmed. “Belgium or Iran?” Ever since moving back to Tehran. a headquarters for an Islamic “committee. but indeed reacting and overreacting to art. The word “Evin. and saw I was facing the wall. I’d never been as utterly terrified in my entire life. touchy. Evin was the favored locus of systematic torture and countless executions. the Mojahedin. I peered out from under my blindfold. And with life perhaps not imitating. Many readers will choose to see Evin as an allegory for Iran itself: gloomy. and leaned back in his seat. So tell me. If you don’t. it so happens the Mojahedin had previously filmed the complex.” “Why should I disapprove? There was a referendum in 1979. for with my case still open. Do tell us his weak points. “Listen closely now. and embroiled in a desperate attempt to look intimidating and civilized at the same time (incidentally.Marketing the prison experience in Tehran Golmohammad Rahati A warden took me by the arm as I put on my blindfold and stepped out of my cell. Is that understood?” “Yes. “So. and you needn’t be Edward Said to see why. if not for some ulterior motive? And yet I wonder whether. you disapprove of the theocratic State. How to convince a member of the secret service who just ushered you through Tehran handcuffed in a BMW with tinted windows in the middle of the night that the city holds a very photogenic. and the Intelligence (or “Information”) Ministry scrutinizing me from all angles before reaching a verdict. And don’t try to act smart. now the land of Gog and Magog. and as thoroughly quasi-neomodernist as Shariati Street may have seemed to us. the concentrated . unlikely that an article such as this will be very helpful. I would have said I preferred Iran. I had looked on as they searched my apartment—family letters. don’t you. And on the other. But the fact of the matter is. a tape collection of 1970s Easy Listening—and was pummeled with even more questions. To make things worse. my colleague and I were a little too eccentric for the ministry’s liking. then you capitalize on the aura of a “tortured” political prisoner by publishing embarrassing. quasineo-modernist flair. the municipality finally started urging the army to move out of the center. He led me down several corridors and had me sit down somewhere. The irony here is that a tremendous effort to survey and discipline the city has amounted to so little.” I managed. Last year. if not for reasons of espionage or sheer slander? Why would anyone be filming highways and office blocks. a military compound. gas stations and billboards. As any businessman or backpacker who has been here will tell you. we’d been filming Shariati Street.”) These days. prostitution. dissident cleric Kadivar not long ago coined a popular phrase by calling Iran “one big prison for reformists”). Filming the streets of Tehran for a documentary two days earlier. but coming from abroad. A feeble. All you need is a brief jail term. it will cost you dearly. The door swung open and shut. since there is hardly a street without a police station.

As Evin’s place in the Tehran imaginary is shifting. it so happens that the Iranian Information Ministry is itself the most promising masculine paradigm of our time. the sprawling. Some offer grass. “Obviously. Moreover. “ostensibly treating the prison staff as inmates. for the British MI5 to seek inspiration in the likes of John le Carré or Ian Fleming). according to whether you’re a man. wishy-washy approach revolting and disgraceful. with his ruminations on surveillance and the ubiquity of power. a “political. it’s arguably a masterpiece. Evin Hotel Is a Little Further Down the Road (Lahiji). It comes with the city. More and more figures of the reformist movement are openly admitting that mass incarceration is part and parcel of the reformist bargain. Such is the allegorical allure of Evin. As for Evin prison. others explain.” quips Mr. those who found the liberal. Evin is one big carceral Disneyland. a rather more chestthumping. being built underground.” The intelligence agents are. By merging with Tehran’s stately mountainous surroundings. A name that is often invoked these days— not least by superstar convict Akbar Ganji. When Evin is pointed out to the curious visitor. virile deftness. but in their reluctant. beneath the hills. by the time a prison is built. Thanks to wasteful proportions. At the very least. No programmatic break. And by now. and bang his fists on the table in a show of exquisite. Many of those who have lived in other cities actually speak of a bizarre sense of freedom that is particular to Tehran. however. arid hills along the Alborz mountains. anywhere along or beneath the hillside. have regrouped under the auspices of the Judiciary. anonymous urban fabric alleviates what would otherwise be a more pervasive sense of control and supervision. also undergoing changes. The “politicals” are now tortured psychologically. Through 16 hours of interrogation he uses the most polite and elegant renditions of Persian etiquette as he brings you tea and sugar and apologizes for smoking. all the bookstores around campus were displaying translations of Friedrich Nietzsche.” “celebrity political.” I heard countless cross-comparisons of the many different wards the prison had to offer. the “Evin Cultural Center. nowadays. it is usually already out-of-date. opium and alcohol. often openly sympathizing with the prisoners. in a recent essay on political imprisonment—is that of Michel Foucault. The advantage of certain 57 “hypermonumental” prisons. It seems like intellectuals are joined in a curious effort to demystify what is still Iran’s most legendary dungeon. Kadivar suggests every Iranian should be the proud owner of a file in Evin. but an “architecture of revision” from within the penal colony. The hard-core. On the eve of the election of President Khatami. with pedagogical ideals and agendas replacing each other at high speed. “The long road to reforms leads right through Evin. A sphere of innocence untouched by the adulterations of mediahoned sex appeal. can one see a handful of buildings belonging to the prison complex. all he or she can make out are dark brown. often covertly betraying the very principles they were founded on. And he is but one among many. Only from certain rooftops. the Information Ministry has reportedly been pervaded with bleeding-heart reformists. Evin isn’t a Bad Place to Be (Ebadi). which is at least as efficient and destructive. and cellars that can be rearranged at will. the practical. etc. a subdivision of the army. this means prison for the likes of us. but which holds certain advantages: psychological torture doesn’t leave physical traces (apart from weight and hair loss). with the strongest cult potential since Don Johnson. and keep an air of permanence while adapting from within. laughingly blurted out. some cellblocks are filthy. obvious revisions. lies in their lavish use of space.” Karbastchi was eventually sentenced to two years. with one slope separated from its surroundings by a fence. The titles of the memoirs are telling: One Shouldn’t be Afraid of Evin (Kadivar). With the impressive selection of buildings. in detail. to quote the jailed reporter Baqi. which is responsible for the current wide-scale arrests. and are sporting a new sort of élan. Prison memoirs are presently le dernier cri. for the first time in a long time. I cannot think of another landmark that is as elegantly less-is-more and as imposing at the same time. Although all sections are overcrowded. which is principally reserved for people in the business of drug dealing and organized crime. mayor of Tehran Gholamhossein Karbastchi (another key reformist figure). as it were. Consider an interrogator in a turquoise suit and beige rubber slippers. fuck-am-I-doing-here manner. the Information Ministry offers untapped authenticities. is so packed with celebrities. As architect Rem Koolhaas has pointed out. They do their job. it’s the single most glamorous spot in Tehran. with recruits being used to run administrative tasks.” as it is widely referred to. Some attempt to analyze recent events in broad brush-strokes. God bless the recruits. If the New York Gambino Mafia once admitted it was The Godfather that taught them how to walk and talk and look convincing (and if it would be perfectly normal. gung-ho sort of fellow. a promise of fresh prototypes and tantalizing new styles. I Don’t Feel Out of Place in Evin (Safari). perhaps even preparing and encouraging people to drop by sometime. sporting a fourday stubble and an impeccable blow-dried coif. and it isn’t gritty and juicy enough w . By contrast. they can easily adapt to new philanthropic regimes without any changes in structure. the city’s disordered. when I first came to Iran three years ago. such as a de-specialization of the prison staff. cleric. while in others even pen and paper are impossible to come by. and which is performed by the dreaded Agahi. as an urban-architectural space. blends neatly into nature. A large part of the prison. Listening to my cellmates over tea and tasteless “Montana Lights. like that of the “Freedom Hotel” (Hotel Azadi) towering over the Evin neighborhood. however. Playing on the Shah’s onetime promise that every Iranian would own a car. Yet he is also perfectly happy to scream. within Evin itself there have been In the wake of the ongoing power struggle. conditions can be made to vary drastically.mass of government paraphernalia repeatedly falls prey to armed attack on behalf of resistance groups. while others are immaculate. and has proven an endless source of anxiety and paranoia for the government more than anything else. Be that as it may. woman. and. for their part. day-to-day workings and prison routines. Kadivar.” drug dealer. threaten. political prisoners are no longer subjected to physical torture. rooms. relative of a cleric. Evin gains an aura of inevitability. unbridled growth—Tehran’s population has quadrupled since 1980—encourages a certain sense of chaotic repose.


(“They try to systematically destroy your every sense of self.” Awkward silence. my interrogator burst into the cell. and it made him look silly in front of the public prosecutor. I also met a member of the Mahdavia. And then there were the three young men from Ahvaz who had made a confused attempt to hijack a small charter plane. Yet another prisoner was a member of the afore-mentioned Marxist-Islamic Mojahedin.o . The very fact that Evin now contains nonpolitical prisoners attests to changes in society at large.” He followed my advice. There was a handsome. Before being transferred to a cellblock shared by forty prisoners. gradually getting louder and louder until. Iran. “We couldn’t agree on where to go. Some were screaming. When it Evin.) Yet another was a conspirator in a two-million-dollar bank scam. and who was caught with his buddy’s stash of heroin. finally. ‘Damascus!. someone was saying Germany.’ others were suggesting Dubai. Another silence.” He waited. Iran is as poor as it has been in a long time. Khosro. “What do you do then?” “You stir the public’s sense of imagination. holding all my signed statements in one hand. Then he started calling the warden. aunts and uncles were all in Evin awaiting sentencing. alone with me. I’d forgotten to sign certain pages. who are just as pointlessly trigger-happy as the Mahdavia.). another cellmate. and who was psychologically tortured for over a month. reformist road through Evin? I feel sorry for any serious revolutionary these days. “So what do you do to call the warden?” “Take the blue slip of cardboard and hang it outside the door. “Where’s the bell?” “We don’t have a bell.” he told me. Since the Imam is scheduled to appear during a time of unparalleled depravity. he was screaming and violently banging his pudgy fists against the steel door. an armed opposition group that strives to hasten the arrival of the Hidden Imam (the Shi’i equivalent of the Messiah). from where the exiled “Prince Reza” occasionally fluffs his feathers and beams passionate radio transmissions to his supposedly “countless” followers within Iran. the Mahdavia have decided they must topple the very devout and righteous Islamic regime. whom everyone called Billy. A wonderful moment. At one point. My own cellblock was a tutti-frutti of all sorts of prisoners who were awaiting sentencing. Who wouldn’t rather put up with the long. who had been hung upside down naked and beaten for days on end by the Agahi until he was a mess of blood and broken bones. He was upset. the door slammed shut behind him.A. And deeply symbolic. was a cigarette smuggler from Kurdistan who quietly sang Shirley Bassey songs (“But if you stay / I’ll make you a day / like no day has been / or will be again”). I spent a brief spell in isolation. There was the one-legged army general who had been caught with 250 kilograms of opium. Their families had taken part in the attempt. The Monarchists are based in Tehrangeles (the Iranian neighborhoods of L. There was an Iranian who had grown up in Hawaii and Tennessee. Photos Golmohammad Rahati 59 comes to high-profile opposition groups. one mustn’t forget the Monarchists. all things considered. They lost all the popular support they had when they extensively bombarded their own countrymen during the Iran-Iraq war. and who entertain the bizarre idea that they can bomb Iranians into spontaneous upheaval against the government. and its criminological panorama has shifted accordingly. soft-spoken historian who had written too critically of Iranian wartime policies. so their mothers and fathers. in the hope of sowing some decent corruption and decadence on this earth.” they explained in raucous Khuzestani accents. and he was trapped in the cell. with their nouveau-riche frumpiness and their politics of nostalgia. As he was excitedly waving the documents in my face.

Toward a military ethics at West Point:
An interview with Colonel Anthony Hartle
Jay Worthington

Founded in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson,
the United States Military Academy was
originally an academy for training military
and civil engineers based in part on the
French model of the École Polytechnique.
Though West point’s curriculum has always
been heavily weighted toward engineering,
mathematics, and the sciences, a lively
debate has occurred throughout its history
as to the proper role of the humanities in a
military education. Colonel Hartle is Deputy
Head of the Academy’s Department of
English which administers the Program in
Art, Philosophy, and Literature. The author
of numerous books and articles on military
ethics, including Moral Issues in Military
Decision Making, Col. Hartle is also responsible for instruction in philosophy and ethics
to a group of cadets who will one day be in
command at the highest levels of decision
making in the US Army. Jay Worthington
met with him at the Academy to discuss the
evolution of ethics at West Point and in the
US Armed Forces in general.

What is the formal academic training in
ethics and moral philosophy that cadets
receive here?
It’s not that easy a question to answer,
because I think what you’re driving at is the
ethical component of character development, and we view that as a much broader
issue than what cadets receive in the
classroom. The Academy has a mission, like
every organization, and an important part
of that mission is graduating commissioned
leaders of character. That raises the question
of what we mean by that term.
West Point has in fact published a definition:
“A leader of character seeks to discover the
truth, decide what is right, and demonstrate
the courage and commitment to act
You talk about the warrior spirit. Has that
definition evolved over the past few decades
that you’ve been here?
I don’t think that it’s changed much at
all. What has changed is our attempt
to understand the process of character
development and to enhance that process.
And what evolution has occurred there?
By introspection and heightened awareness
of the interaction between personal experience and institutional structure. The watershed event during this period we’re talking
about was the 1976 cheating scandal here
at West Point—it made national headlines,
and a blue ribbon commission from outside the army came in to examine the overall
curriculum and to make recommendations, one of which, somewhat euphemistically, was to increase the offerings in
Why euphemistically?
We didn’t have any.
Interesting. So before 1976, there were no
formal courses in philosophy here.
Right. So we established one, and all cadets
are now required to take one course in
philosophy. As you might expect, the
content of that course focuses on ethics to a
significant degree. The idea here is to move
cadets from a place of knowing about
institutional values and adhering to institu-


tional standards to internalizing them,
accepting them as their own, and then
progressively moving them to the point
where they influence others and their
If West Point’s definition of character has
remained stable throughout this period,
how much have shifts in the moral world
outside changed the Academy’s sense of
the kinds of procedures it needs to use to
instill character in its students?
Quite a lot. During the 1950s and 1960s,
during my experience at West Point, there
was an assumption, not an altogether
reli-able assumption, but nevertheless an
assumption founded with some confidence,
that there was a certain common perspective on core values in the cadets entering
the Academy. Of course, it wasn’t altogether
reliable, but certainly, it was a more reasonable assumption to make in 1960 than in
What’s your short list of those values of 1960?
A commitment to the idea of honesty, an
understanding that the world is structured
and that most of the people with whom
one is going to interact will have the same
value perspectives that you do. Now, on the
other hand, we certainly recognize that the
people coming into the Academy are highly
capable and intelligent, but they come from
a widely diverse spectrum of backgrounds,
with widely diverse attitudes, and we know
that we need to do a better job of educating
them about values, about responsibilities in
an institutional setting, about the whole idea
of commitment to an institution and a profession, than we would have thought was
necessary 40 years ago.
Do you find that the students here still arrive
with the expectation that they are entering a
lifelong profession? Certainly, the expected
career length of a young officer today is
dramatically shorter than it was in 1960.
That’s right, but I’m not sure that we
surveyed student expectations in the 1950s
and 1960s. We do now, though, and
what we find is that the majority of cadets
coming in are uncertain about their career
Does that create a reluctance to fully enter
this morally differentiated military world?

I think it would be too strong to say that
they’re more skeptical, but there’s certainly
a tendency to examine carefully claims that
the institution makes.
In ways that might not have occurred 40
years ago?
Without putting any negative spin on the
word, would you say that incoming cadets
have a more selfish attitude towards West
Point than in the past, viewing it as an
opportunity to get an education rather
than as an entry into the more traditional
military culture of duty, self-sacrifice, and
the rest?
Certainly more self-centered, yes. And
it’s what you’d expect, over the last ten
Why, specifically, over the last ten years?
Many of us see this whole period of
economic prosperity, the whole dot-com
concept, as being accompanied by a focus
on one’s own interests, with less concern
about society as a whole and about service
to the community. So what do we do about
that? We put more emphasis on values here
than we have in the past.
How exclusive are these values? There
seems to be some debate over whether the
Army’s core values program is expressed at
such a level of moral generality that it simply
describes characteristics that any society
would like to see in its soldiers and officers,
regardless of the morality of their actions.
I think that’s probably true. It gets back
to the idea of the role of the laws of war—
when we talk about the expected behavior
of the members of the military profession,
we find that the boundaries are circumscribed by functional requirements, and
these functional requirements are further
circumscribed by the laws of war, the
customary practices of warfare. I’ve argued
that we also have another significant
constraint, and that is the values of society.
There are examples of behavior, permissible
under the laws of war, which might be
constrained by societal values. At the end
of the Gulf War, attacks on retreating Iraqi
forces, quite acceptable in terms of the laws
of war, were terminated because of the


adverse reaction of the news media and
the American public.
How stable do you see these core values as
having been over time?
That depends on your definition of core
values. If you talk about core values like
freedom, the rule of law, individual
equality before the law, commitment
to democratic institutions, they’ve been
extremely stable.
You could argue that individualism, say,
only started to appear in a form recognizable
today with the reconstruction amendments
after the Civil War. Prior to the Constitutional
revolution in the 1860s and 1870s, it seems
hard to argue that universal equality before
the law was the sort of core value that you
seem to see as foundational to the military’s
code of ethics. What happens to your idea
of foundational, stable, social values if their
constitutional and ethical underpinnings have
been evolving over the course of the history
of the US?
Well, the processes have always been with
us, I would argue. If you think about the
whole frontier concept and the rugged
frontiersman—if that’s not individualism,
I don’t know what is. And that’s been
with us from the beginning. We’ve always
admired that spirit—you can characterize
the revolutionary period as exemplifying
precisely that ideal.
So you don’t think there has been evolution
in America’s understanding of its core
values, or even of the role of individualism,
for example?
Well, the manifestations of those values
certainly have taken different forms.
When we look at the pre- and post-Civil War
periods, things look a lot different.
You could also look at the 1930s—
accelerating in the 1960s—and see concern
with the right of citizens to certain procedural limitations on the power of the state
to act upon them. If you go back to the
turn of the [19th] century and before, you
don’t see that as such a pressing concern.

We almost seem to be overwhelmed with
the idea of due process and individual rights
today, don’t we?
We could argue about whether that’s a good
or a bad thing in American society, but
it does seem like at least the form of the
relationship between individuals and the
state has evolved pretty significantly over the
past century or so.
One might argue, though, that that’s a
different manifestation in our society of a
continuing commitment to the rule of law.
It certainly looks a lot different now, but it
may be the same core value that’s been
there all along. Does that help any? Maybe
not. It may be that looking at core values
that way makes them so plastic that they
don’t give us much lift.
What is the military’s reaction as custom
and formal law diverge? One of the obvious
examples would be the laws of air warfare,
and the bans on bombing of civilian
targets, the attempt to maintain a bright
line between military and national infrastructure. These days, national infrastructure
often appears to be a primary target of the
US military.
There’s some sense in which people say
that this is an evolution of traditional concepts. Others, including some here, say that
we need to redefine the military profession,
and that we need to consider that kind of
question in order to understand what the
limitations on the military should be.
Certainly, much of the just war tradition
appears to hang on a set of categorical
distinctions, between the civilian and military,
combatants and non-combatants, say, which
look increasingly hard to defend. How
does that apply when you’re bombing the
electrical infrastructure of Serbia? Is the just
war tradition still the foundation of the ethical
training here?

That’s right.

Discussion of the just war tradition and the
codified laws of war are certainly included
in our course, but I wouldn’t say that we
use that as our moral foundation—we turn
to ethical theory and core social values
for the moral foundation of what we teach

Is that an example of a value that’s evolving
over time?

What would you say is your moral foundation


We’re trying to generate a conception of
professional military ethics. Just war theory
doesn’t necessarily play that big a role for
us. It’s important to understand it, to
understand the relationship between this
tradition and the laws of war as they
exist today, and it’s really important to
look at the justifications for the just war
tradition, which evolved from the religious
context into a secular context, and we
can construe that in terms of human-rights
theory. But it’s not foundational in the sense
you suggest.
Let’s get back to my original question, which
was—how necessary is it to the military that
core social values actually be stable?
Well, we’re tied to the core values of society.
If those are variable to an extent that they
undercut the military’s core ethics, then we
have a cognitive dissonance when it comes
to our value commitments.
And if this outer, societally limiting moral
boundary is in flux, what implications does
that have for the military’s sense of itself as
a morally coherent institution?
Well, I don’t think that’s the case. Having
said that, if the laws of wars and functional
constraints of the military profession are
fixed, and this social limit changes, then the
institution has to react in ways that hierarchical, bureaucratic institutions have a lot
of trouble with.
How important to the army is the
differentiation between the military and the
civilian worlds?
To the extent that these values and the
behavior that follows from the values are
critical to the functional activity.
So you would argue that these are military
values to the extent that they are functional
requirements of military activity, and that
if civilian morality identically incorporated
this same set of values, there would be no
need to find some additional differentiation
in order to set the military apart in some
way. So that there’s nothing necessary to the
differentiating aspects of military morality;
it just happens to be that way?
I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, though
it is the case that commitment to a military
career includes commitment to what


General Sir John Hackett describes as the
ultimate liability. Committed soldiers commit
themselves to putting their lives at risk as
part of fulfilling their function in serving
society. That commitment sets the military

to the members of the US army. The Army
leadership may have concluded that
influencing behavior is a sufficiently
challenging goal. In implementing the
values program, we tend to focus on what
soldiers who adhere to the Army values do.

When did the core values program start?
In the mid-1980s. About that time we came
up with the four C’s—courage, candor,
competence, commitment, the so-called
soldierly values—which was the idea of a
four-star general, and we had the ideas of
General Meyer, another four-star general,
who supported a set of professional values:
loyalty, responsibility, and selfless service.
We combined the two sets in initiating a
values approach, which is embodied in the
Army’s LDRSHIP program [Loyalty, Duty,
Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity,
Personal courage]. That was in the era when
we were trying to reconstruct the

To what extent does this concern for
professional values require West Point
to help cadets establish themselves
as autonomous moral individuals? You’ve
written about the obligation of officers
to remain independent moral evaluators
of decisions both up and down the chain
of command, about the obligation to resign
in protest, if necessary, and to express
themselves about moral issues throughout
their careers.

Where does the Army’s fascination with
moral acronyms come from?
You’d find it in every military organization in
the world, I think.
Still, I wonder about the origins of the
impulse to come up with LDRSHIP or the
four Cs. Is there something at odds with
setting up a moral code but making it appear
that the underlying principles might be
contingent upon how comfortably they fit
into an acronym?
Actually, LDRSHIP was an afterthought.
The sergeant major of the army came up
with that. That was enough to force the
re-labeling of courage as personal courage
so it would fit into this easily remembered
But wisdom and truth-telling ended up
being dropped because they didn’t fit the
That’s not my understanding. Actually,
the guy who did the original drafting was
committed to an Aristotelian model, and
he wanted to provide enough intellectual
substance so that the manual would be
different from what we had provided in the
past. He did include wisdom, but in the
process of staffing this over the course of
two years it was winnowed out as not
the most effective way to present values

There’s a psychologist named Keegan who
has done a study of people in the professions—not the military, specifically, but the
professions generally. One research group
here at the Academy now is pursuing his
work. We talk about people who are at a
stage II development, which is roughly
people who are at the point of asking what
they can do for themselves within the limits
of their professional activities. At stage III
development, one commits him or herself
to achieving the purpose of the professional
activity, which sometimes requires subordinating one’s own interests, and then there’s
a stage IV, in which professionals make
autonomous choices within a framework
of understanding the profession’s purpose
and how it achieves its ends. Now there
have been some surveys, and they show—
and this is all very loose—that cadets are
in the process of moving from stage II to
stage III, and that if we look at junior officers,
people up to the rank of major, attending
the command general staff college out of
Leavenworth, people are still in the process
of moving from stage II to stage III, though
there are larger numbers at stage III.
At what levels do you start seeing what
you call stage IV awareness become the
dominant professional norm?
The research is going on now, and I’m
not sure what they’ll come up with, but
that’s one way to answer your question
about autonomy. Yes, we’re going to give
them the foundation for that. No, we don’t
want to graduate programmed, robotic
soldiers. Now, how to do that is a real

then so be it? Well. How do we best provide the army and the country with officers with the education. It’s a change that I think will occur on a somewhat bumpy road over the next decade or so. That’s fair. where the military seemed to perceive it as an unwarranted civilian intrusion. would be a good example. Hasn’t military conduct always been subject to larger social pressures and moral forces? The perception was that the attitude of military commanders was. about the concept of oneself as a servant of society. then it’s an incursion. an important piece. “No. “The civilians tell That seemed to be how the land mines debate played out. affect the cadets’ sense of their role in society? If the clearest ethical justification for a military is that it’s manning the ramparts. and we’ll decide how. It’s a combination of education and training. At least some senior voices in the military seemed to be deeply skeptical of whether it was proper for civilians authorities to interfere. If the way to fight a war is exclusively the jurisdiction of the military. One way to look at that is that it’s simply a piece. such as peacekeeping. That’s a shift in our program. of what I talked about before. they’ve changed. Achieving the same level of commitment to principle with these shifting attitudes is a matter we sort through on a regular basis here. the background. Insistent on making those kinds of intrusions might be a better characterization. “Sir. So I think that’s what we mean when we talk about the pursuit of truth. As part of that. how do these new kinds of missions affect the military’s sense of its ethical place in society? This year is the first year that we’ve implemented an effort to educate the cadets about their professional identity. We already see that. If that jurisdiction is shared to some extent with NGOs. Being mentally inflexible or dogmatic simply isn’t adequate. on moral and ethical grounds. the Chinese are coming. and it makes a big difference in the professional identity of people here. from outside the institution. with civilian perspectives. it may mean fighting wars. of West Point and the army. what’s involved in establishing leaders as seekers after truth? There’s a fine line between the Aristotelian approach and the Kantian approach. because it says that the military is to do what society requires. Are they more open to them than older officers? Sure.” And the senior people say. in which tremendous political pressure has been placed upon the US military to accept a ban on the use of land mines. in that we’re talking about changing jurisdictions. This is a discussion that captains have with colonels periodically here at West Point. But it is a change we’re aware of as being significant. Colonels say that we really have to work at changing people’s attitudes and the captains say. it’s an area that is of concern to more than just the military. us when to go fight and who to fight. it’s profession-wide. Because that’s what we have young people doing right now. That’s different from the warrior ethic that you’ve seen in our literature. That’s different from being trained to fight and win the nation’s wars as an essential element of professional competence. education about professional identity. that’s 63 received from current faculty members. That may be peacekeeping missions. it isn’t. in Bosnia and Kosovo. And this generation of cadets is now entering from a civilian world that has become willing to make those sorts of intrusions. and the perspectives that best suit them to do what the nation will require them to do? And if that doesn’t involve fighting conventional threats to the nation’s security. and we want people who are competent. We want people who understand institutional values. into an area which should more properly be reserved to the expert judgment of the army. Yes. Morally and culturally unexpected situations? Both.” Are the cadets also more open to civilian intrusions into what is perceived as the traditional technical expertise of the military? The land mines debate. They were at a formative age when these humanitarian missions became perceived as pressing. the idea of the military officer as a servant of society is a central piece. then it’s not an intrusion.In West Point’s terms. it may be domestic disaster relief missions. and how the boundaries of jurisdiction evolve and move over time. yes. What is the cadets’ view of the value of those kinds of missions. and other places where we have peacekeeping operations and multi-national operations.” You now have a generation of cadets entering who were children when the coverage of events like the sieges of Srebenica and Sarajevo were being broadcast on national news. so we want people who have open minds.p . We also want people who have the ability to react to unexpected situations. How much does the increasing importance of missions other than war. That’s not just here at West Point. but they haven’t arrived yet [laughs]. Is it changing the cadets’ perceptions of the proper relationship between civilian and military society? I think so. that somehow they detract from our core mission of winning wars. and of the social value they imply for the military profession? There’s an institutional bias against some of these things. That is the way we look at the world.

Eve Sussman.The paper sculpture show Curated by Matt Freedman The artists and their projects In my mind’s eye I can see what I want: a magazine that turns into a sculpture garden. you are here asked to get up and dance with the magazine. As I write this he has not yet begun his labors. I hope it all worked out nicely. and. Five paper sculptures have been thought up for you by five benevolent and generous artists. or you prefer to maintain the projects in their current pristine and archival virtual state of unlimited potential is up to you. Whether you take a knife to these pages and try to create your own Cabinet sculpture park. Instead of just sitting there in your easy chair thumbing through one copy out of thousands of duplicate copies. it is by no means a safe or predictable one. Flame Sarah Sze. Folding chairs . Coffee cup Allan Wexler. We have therefore enlisted the services of Jonathan Ames to go first onto the thin ice: He has built (or has attempted to build) the pieces in Cabinet’s testing laboratories in Nevada and has filed a report. so to speak. so I don’t know how things went for him. now figuratively hovering over your shoulders even as did your pipe-smoking dada while you completed your flyable wood airplane. of course. Instant Replay Going from the flat to the real is a long and difficult trip for a piece of paper to take. But who could resist?U 64 Paul Ramirez Jonas. Door Pablo Vargas-Lugo. since so much is riding on your shoulders (and who knows how deft and reliable you are?).

















I decided to take credit for its handsomeness. I did recall. academic year 1969/70. I even find ATMs troublesome. my only bad grade in 26 categories was: “Coordination of small muscles—coloring. There’s no getting around it. But there at the table. The little diagram on how to insert the card is very mysterious to me. So I meditated on this. loyal Cabinet readership. Overleaf Jonathan Ames’s kindergarten report. D_______!” The art therapy nurse rushed over and I crushed the face to the table. was a clay effigy of my then tormentor. I really have.). though I’m sure you good Cabinet readers will fare better than me. I did rally at the end with Sarah Sze’s coffee cup. With the tiny Wexler chair wobbling before me. but by this point I couldn’t take much pleasure in my accomplishment since my nerves were completely shot. but that’s because I was really mixed up. That’s why I prefer New Jersey for motoring: Self-service pumps are illegal in the Garden State. I nearly was disciplined when I sculpted from a piece of clay a stunning likeness of the Head Doctor. my tenure in a psychiatric hospital in 1987 where I participated in art therapy. An excellent example of the coordination of small muscles. I can’t take apart anything. But Ms. Then there followed the disaster I perpetrated on Eve Sussman’s “horse race.J.I tried! Jonathan Ames I am no good with my hands. So when the good editors of Cabinet asked me to be a guinea pig for making cut-out art objects. I also don’t like having to put gas in an automobile. including the first sentence of this essay. In kindergarten. “I’m no good with my hands. so now back off!” He limped out of my apartment.” Using an X-acto knife. For example. It’s rather soothing doing a craft. N. though as I cut away with that sharp blade on Mr. as if I had been drinking too much coffee. destroying the damning evidence. So there you have it. You hired me to be a guinea pig. Maybe you were right about scissors. I can’t build anything. who happens to be an editor of Cabinet—a bit of cottage industry going on here. Jonathan?” he asked. “He made Dr. I had another memory of another institution where I was held at one time. I think their reasoning was that if I could make the objects. rather unhappily. I found it rather peaceful to cut along the outlines of the drawing. properly chastised. which has followed me for a lifetime. Well. an unstable little fellow with large temples. But this didn’t stop the Editors from insisting I take the job. I can’t seem to squeeze the handle correctly. I said. etc. cutting. Measure yourself against me and feel good! Make these lovely works of art and soothe yourself. I felt vindicated. F. Cut and paste and glue and be transported back to childhood or to the art therapy sessions at the psychiatric hospital you attended. Ames of Oakland. you good readers of Cabinet. never before had I shown a flair for Rodin’s métier. despite my Land-Editor’s meddling. “but can’t make a chair of it. Well. Rea. most importantly. which I guess is a mixed metaphor. I completely botched Paul Ramirez Jonas’s “door. but I was rudely interrupted in my labors by my landlord. was a stick-figure drawing of a child about to kill himself with a pair of scissors (see accompanying photostat of the actual report card. Wexler’s fascinating diagram. Oh. “Just cut out Wexler’s. interestingly enough. I can’t fix anything. Rea.” I said. Mrs. retrieved by my good mother. as I cut Vargas Lugo’s flame. then anybody could. I was very pleased with myself when it was all sliced up. I first tackled Allan Wexler’s “chair.” And alongside this damning label and bad grade (an ‘N’ for ‘Not yet’). The flame I cut out is beautiful.” which is something I’ve said thousands of times before in various situations.” The words “cone” and “cylinder” in her directions threw me for a loop. it’s always clicking. It was a temporary moment of genius. but I then began to struggle with how to fold the thing before me into a model of a museum-worthy chair.” My Edit-Lord then impetuously grabbed the bits of paper on my kitchen table and dexterously folded the thing into a pleasant-looking little chair.” I was supposed to make a portal and ended up with confetti. that’s who. straining the bean to the utmost. Sussman’s work looks very interesting. Who said I couldn’t use a scissors? A Mrs. “I was on the verge of figuring it out. or simply stay in the moment—which is what all the gurus recommend anyway— and enjoy!W . Mrs. Glorious. But I’ve improved. did I excel at this! I was a wizard with the scissors! But as I wielded that sharp instrument. saw what I did and shouted. But unfortunately after that fiery triumph it was more or less downhill for yours truly. 1969-1970 81 “How’s it coming along. produced by my angry fingers. and the pictures of the horses are lovely. So I was provided with the necessary materials and sitting at my kitchen table. and I moved on to Pablo Vargas Lugo’s “flame”. Leave me alone from here on. One of my colleagues. “You’re like a parent stealing a child’s success!” I whined. I put this unhappy memory away and continued with the Wexler.


Cover versions:
The Communist Manifesto
Geoff Cox

Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei was
first printed as a pamphlet in February 1848,
in the office of the Workers’ Educational
Association (Communistischer Arbeiterbildungsverein), 46 Liverpool Street,
Bishopsgate, in the City of London. Since
that date it has been reproduced in countless contexts and editions—making it not
only one of the most widely read texts ever,
but one whose various covers speak of
the way the Manifesto has been received,
perceived, used, and abused across different
contexts and locations. How would one
begin to approach the design and packaging
of The Communist Manifesto—to conceive
of it in terms of the book’s form and
function, its use- and exchange-value?

This work draws upon an earlier project, Manifest,
produced in collaboration with Tim Brennan & Adrian Ward.
Cabinet wishes to thank Simon Morris whose ongoing
Bibliomania project ( brought
Geoff Cox’s collection to our attention.

The cover images include the metonymic
uses of plain red and the hammer and sickle;
images of chains or sticks; more figurative
depictions of workers stoking the fires of
industry, trudging or uprising; paintings
such as May Day, 1929 by V.-V. Kuptsov;
a photograph of Marx (interestingly, without
Engels); and a young woman threatening
the reader with a machine gun. Given that
the relationship of appearance and reality
is fundamental to an understanding of the
Manifesto, its packaging doubly invites close
The sheer volume of publishing activity on
the Manifesto’s 150th anniversary in 1998
subjected it on an unprecedented level to
the rules and mechanisms of contemporary
marketing. One example is Verso’s The
Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition
with its high production values and silky
red bookmark ribbon. Verso knowingly
described it as the “Prada handbag” edition
and it was received enthusiastically with an
edition of 32,000. By June 1999, it had sold
21,000 in North America and 3,400 in the
UK and other exports. Clearly, this indicates
something about the edition’s commodity
status and the market forces in which capital
appears to have successfully commodified
radical politics as something reducible to
both nostalgia and fashion, which is why an
engagement with the text itself seems all the
more urgent.
There is no Capitalist Manifesto, but if there
were, what might it look like?V



Frederic L. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. 1988). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Manifesto Comunista (Sao Paulo: Ched. Manifeste du Parti Communiste (1848). “The Communist Manifesto. tr. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Samuel Moore (London: Pluto Press. 1987). Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. 1997).Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. tr.. Samuel Moore (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics. Norton & Co. tr. Frans Masareel (Oslo: Falken Forlag. Bender (New York: W. 1993). The Communist Manifesto. 1982). 1978). ed. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party.” in ed. 1985). 1974). ed.W. Corinne Lyotard (Paris: Librairie Générale Francaise. Samuel H. . tr. Malayalam edition. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Det Kommunistke Manifestet. Birth of The Communist Manifesto (New York: International Publishers. Manifesto of the Communist Party (London: Lawrence & Wishart. The Communist Manifesto (1848). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. Struik. 1983). Dirk J. Samuel Moore (Harmondsworth: Penguin. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. (New York: AppletonCentury-Crofts. 1984). Beer. Karl Marx. 1996). The Communist Manifesto. Manifesto of the Communist Party (Peking: Foreign Languages Press. tr. (Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1977). Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

ed. tr. Manifest. tr. tr. 1998). 1999). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. 1998). Manifesto of the Communist Party (Moscow: 1999). Komünist Manifesto ve Komünizmin Ilkeleri. 1998) . The Communist Manifesto. Muzaffer Erdost (Ankara: Sol Yayinlari. Manifest Komunisticke Partije. Marx and F. 1998). Karl Marx and Friederick Engels. 1998). 1997). Paul M. 1998). Kommunistiska Manifestet. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Christopher Phelps (New York: Monthly Review Press.Carlos Marx and Federico Engels. Per-Olaf Mattsson (Stockholm/Malmö: Vertigo Förlag. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. K. David McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Sweezy (New York: Monthly Review Press. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Engels. Tim Brennan and Geoff Cox (London: Working Press. Manifesto of the Communist Party (New York: International Publishers. Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (Stuttgart:: Reclam. ed. Manifiesto Comunista (Madrid: Básica de Bolsillo Akal. The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition (London: Verso 1998). tr. 1998). The Communist Manifesto. eds. The Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Mosa Pijade ( Zagreb: Bastard Biblioteka.

Animals .


looking incredibly and the way in which they describe their book about the project. presents the notion of becoming as something that is not a matter of moving from one identity to another identity. some idea of a modern or modernist animal. How does the animal function as a kind of tool for allowing humans to think through their own identities? It seems that a lot of artists you’re writing about are trying to envision a very far-out point in the dispersal of fixed identities. he is also using this research to promote the significance of humanities perspectives within the developing academic field of “animal studies. this piece lodged in my mind and helped me clarify what I meant by the distinction between the postmodern animal and.” Gregory Williams spoke with him by phone. seeming almost to be taking the mickey out of this identity that she’s put herself into. The becoming is itself the point. But if you look at their website www. let’s say. to the point at which identities disappear.Where the wild things are: An interview with Steve Baker Gregory Williams Questions of identity and creativity have been increasingly framed in contemporary art and philosophy through the use of animals and animal imagery. what are some of the basic distinctions you draw between modern and postmodern animals? One of the pieces that I came across only a matter of months before completing the book was a video by Edwina Ashton called Sheep [1997]. I’m interested in your ideas about the animal as an agent. Steve Baker. Certainly the way in which. for example. and rather unflattering identity—getting close to the animal without worrying too much about the consequences. because it’s clearly done for a good cause: to raise money for the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project that they’re running in Thailand. But as somebody pointed out to me recently. the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has apparently had its elephants producing paintings for years without ever claiming that the results were to be taken seriously as art. they call it “riotously funny” but at the same time they’re saying that it makes startling revelations about the nature of art itself. There was no symbolism or metaphor involved. sometimes she’d actually erase his marks. St. has written extensively on attitudes towards animals in 20th. and since in their view all becomings are. too. But they are clearly interested in negotiating a way in which those marks might be incorporated into works that do count as art. In The Postmodern Animal. And the idea that the animal was performed here seemed important. And although it’s not the same kind of playful or æsthetic exchange. with them both working on the same canvas at the same time. say. nothing to keep the animal-as-other at a safe and comfortable distance. She would put some marks down. he would respond to them. provisional. social process in which there is a chance of liberating oneself from being bound by identities. partly because I think it’s really complicated to figure out what exactly they were trying to do. in a sense. have on some occasions tried to get those animals actually to make marks on the paintings themselves. sometimes she would find them okay and make further marks. A founding member of the UK Animal Studies Working Group. and popular culture. Deleuze and Guattari elaborate their concept of “becoming-animal” in A Thousand Plateaus as a creative. This is so that some kind of physical. There are several points that are raised there. the British artists Olly and Suzi. wringing her hands. Komar and Melamid’s work with elephants. In terms of moving beyond identities. More than any other single work. Painting seems to be a very difficult medium for the postmodern animal —they’re far more often either performed or presented rather than represented. philosophy. Of course they wouldn’t want to claim for a moment that the mark-making done by a shark taking a chunk out of a painting in itself constituted art. who work in the wild painting predators at very close quarters. It’s worth considering to what extent artists can work in tandem with animals to give them a degree of subjectivity as in. but instead a sense of the artist embracing and garbing herself in this awkward.elephantart. in which she’s dressed up in this homemade. very clumsy-looking sheep costume. visible trace of the animal is still there when the painting is subsequently exhibited. That’s an interesting case. I’m reluctant to criticize work of that sort too much.and 21st-century art. John the Divine. becomings-animal. the pieces that Tessarolo and Kunda were doing involved a kind of exchange. this gives the animal a . telling a series of appallingly bad children’s sheep jokes. Unlike the majority of those experiments from the 50s onward to get chimpanzees to produce paintings and then to debate whether or not they constitute works of art. I think you’re right in saying that there doesn’t appear to be a fixed point towards which one could move. whose books include The Postmodern Animal and Picturing the Beast. previous page The Blessing of the Animals. Courtesy of the Cathedral 90 I think there are more interesting examples than Komar and Melamid of artists working in this kind of field. There’s a French painter called Tessarolo who—this must have been back in the 1970s or 80s—produced some paintings with a female chimpanzee called Kunda.

You’ve written about artists using animals to destabilize meaning. Is it possible for artists to avoid referring back to something known and recognizable? In terms of getting beyond meaning and this phrase that I use about the “unmeaning” of animals. I’m reluctant to be critical of someone doing work of this kind.” how one can in a very sober and cautious manner— and those are their words—seek to elaborate an alternative to the psychoanalytic account of what it is to be human. work that uses animal imagery in a much more self-conscious way. animals—can serve to open up a model of experience that is quite other than that which the psychoanalytic model of the individual human subject would ordin-arily allow. but to do with this idea of meanings and messages and so on—suggested that “giving messages is in a sense the first step toward the sentimental. addressing a “reality” but often in deliberately arcane terms.” And for me one of the problems is that it’s very difficult to think of how humans can produce meanings that are not at some level going to be anthropocentric and anthropomorphic. or an interaction with. Again. is present in all its awkward. how one can prolong this morning to see if there’d been any developments in his campaign to get Alba released from the Inra laboratory in France and it doesn’t seem to have moved forward. I just checked his website www. for instance? The GFP Bunny artwork. that he is doing it with a sense of responsibility. either in terms of how one thinks philosophically about them. and that’s fine. And he’s also quite explicit about not wanting to be involved in producing art that harms animals. But I think that art is arguably a special case here because some of the artists I’ve talked to in researching this book have pets themselves. Now. there is enough about what he’s doing to suggest that it’s done as a serious rather than as a deliberately controversial activity. It concerned me a bit. But I think it’s partly used tongue-in-cheek—“we sorcerers. to refuse what he calls the “solace of good forms. But they know that they are working in a context where they really can’t afford to have their art labeled as sentimental because to label it as such immediately removes any degree of seriousness or critical engagement from it. What is the sorcerer for Deleuze and Guattari? Yes. I ended up devising the term “botched taxidermy” as a rather clumsy catch-all phrase for a variety of contemporary art practice that engages with the animal at some level or other. To what extent do you think animals are used as passive tools by artists while they work through issues of subjectivity and identity? There are quite a lot of dimensions to this question. because it seems to position the artist as a kind of mystical figure. something of the damage. utopian conception of nature in which humans had unmediated access to animals and lived in some kind of unproblematic harmony with them does not look like a practical way forward. inhabit them as artist or “sorcerer.privileged and markedly creative place in their philosophy. It’s to be taken seriously but not always literally. Something of the aggression. Rather than thinking in terms of some kind of utopia where one got away from the worst effects of identity thinking and its political consequences. and enough in his own statements to suggest. It’s a way which I guess is broadly related to the notion of the artist that Lyotard had: the artist as someone who has particular kinds of responsibilities in the postmodern world to work against complacency. There is an overwhelming amount of overtly sentimental imagery out there which does a certain kind of work.ekac. What do you think about the sense of responsibility artists should have toward animals? What is your take on the Eduardo Kac case. whether or not we would agree with this. essentially what I’m trying to get at is that as soon as one tries to use animals to mean something or to inquire into what animals mean. it becomes more difficult than ever to escape a human-centered perspective. As soon as one gets into that. w . I think what many of the artists I’ve been discussing are doing in their presentation of the animal as some kind of clumsy compound of human and animal elements is to reinforce the notion that the comfortable. there are many people who would say that sentimentality has been given an unduly bad name in relation to human thinking about animals. He actually says at one point that “responsibility is key” in what he’s doing.” they call themselves—and partly a means of avoiding or minimizing the use of other more contemporary but equally loaded terms. given a history in the 19th and 20th centuries of animal art being so overwhelmingly associated with sentiment. with the transgenic albino rabbit he named Alba that glows green under fluorescent light.” Language does a peculiar but particular kind of work for them. because although I think that it’s an unconvincing a way of exploring the issues that he wants to address. I’m not saying that one could shift to a culture in which one simply got rid of greeting cards that had sentimental animal imagery on them. I’m talking about a different kind of work. they’re looking instead to the ways in which creative activity—which in their view is prompted by a thinking about. but in all cases the animal. A statement made recently by the sculptor Anish Kapoor—nothing to do with animals as such. and have no particular objection to the claim that they may be sentimental about those animals. It does seem to be an extraordinary word to introduce. but it does raise a whole set of problems. such as “artist. something of the perversity inflicted on contemporary animal imagery is simply to keep it on the right side of that division between serious art and sentimental art. In some cases it involves taxidermy itself. At one point they argue that the majority of people will have somewhere in their expe-rience memories of a kind of instant at which in an exchange with an animal they sud-denly got a glimpse of something that wasn’t to do with the ordinary boundaries of human identity. the sorcerer. That reminds me of your discussion of Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of the “sorcerer” in furthering this process of becoming-animal. one is potentially dealing with a sentimental relation to the animal. This leads us to what I’ve called the “botched taxidermy” question.” to continue to try to problematize things. dead or alive. It’s almost as though in order to make any kind of serious statement about animals they have to devise an æsthetic means which will not immediately be open to being criticized as sentimental. pressing thing-ness. you mean? That’s a very interesting case. A lot of what they’re doing in their exploration of becoming-animal is concerned to see how one can get at those instances. or in terms of how on a practical level one might work for the improvement of their living conditions.

but they seem to me entirely justified in taking the stance that the intentions of an artist should not automatically override the interests of animals that get drawn into that artist’s work. with this green fluorescent jellyfish protein inserted into its dna. but they now do so with an extraordinary degree of filmic realism. But what’s particularly revealing about that case of the first gm primate is a comment from one of the scientists involved. And this first monkey had been produced using exactly the same technology that Kac himself used. which is nothing new in itself. The animal is simply the medium through which this is done. But watching the film. which is that there is very little to distinguish what he seems to have done in that French laboratory in the name of art from the ways in which an animal might be used in a research laboratory with no art context at all. animatronics. Beluga Photo Britta Jaschinski 92 .I think there is a considerable problem here. was quoted in the New York Times last year speaking out in support of that exhibition. to turn these blenders on and decimate the fish. you’ve come across this group of Minnesota-based artists called the Justice for Animals Arts Guild. no matter how urban their lifestyles may be they’ll be pretty much familiar with wildlife and nature films on television. Even more recently. who have started lobbying various state arts organizations and funding agencies to try to limit the ways in which artists can incorporate living animals in their work. tusked boars used in that film is an entirely real pack of boars. Peter Singer.” And it’s almost again as if the animal is actually invisible there. saying that it alerted the public to the power that humans do have over animals. Within the art world. In January this year reports were published on work done at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center on the first genetically modified primate. So in that case it becomes used in a more positive. I don’t know whether To actually create a set of protocols? That’s right. constructive manner. Damien Hirst puts his animals in vitrines within these socalled neutral white cubes and that supposedly removes them from the normal spaces in which we would read meaning into them. another animal-rights philosopher. At the same time one has Tom Regan. to my surprise. “We’re at an extraordinary moment in the history of humans. considering how many people in urban centers rarely interact with animals in any kind of natural environment? Yes. But one of the other areas of shared knowledge which I think is particularly problematic is the way in which fairly recent film technology around computer-generated effects. He said. Animals can suddenly do things like speak to each other across the species barrier. having apparently spoken out quite strongly against William Wegman’s more recent Polaroid photographs of his dogs where they’re typically dressed up in human clothes because he felt that the images somehow deny the dogs their “dogness. What I would say is that long before people get into galleries and see what artists have been doing with animals there. On the one hand you have the notorious exhibition staged in Denmark.” I think what is genuinely interesting here is the fact that artists are some of the people who have been rendering those ethical issues so complex. I think early in 2000. questions often arise regarding the display of animals in galleries and museums. but apparently it’s an animatronic boar that’s used in one of the gorier scenes. But aren’t galleries and museums some of the primary sites in which we encounter animals. It reminded me of two other instances where again the ethical issues seemed to prompt rather surprising responses from animal advocates. by Marco Evaristti. and so on has been used in films like Disney’s 102 Dalmatians and that terrible second Babe film. where he had taken ten ordinary kitchen blenders and put a single goldfish into each of them and invited the viewers. so that viewers can’t easily assess the status of what they’re seeing. in order to produce an animal in which the progress of various human diseases subsequently introduced in that animal’s body can be traced and monitored. For instance. if they wanted to. the pack of longhaired. I think that they’re fully aware of the fact that they may be open to the criticism that they’re trying to engage in some level of censorship. I quite understand your reservations there. I’m sure that’s what the scientists would argue. in Hannibal.

w .

partly in terms of using what he calls this “crazy taxidermist” who creates various animals for him. in its manufactured forms cute remains a major locus for—in some ways is synony- . And you get this sense that he’s found unmediated access to animals by entering into the wild as a visitor. accusation. the childlike. I know you weren’t really posing it 94 in those terms. and ray out from it the abject. by definition.” The standard connotation of dainty or delicate prettiness then leads to what might be termed mannerist cute—the cutsey. From this root comes cute’s first meaning. it plays potentially hurtful games. the “real animal” exists in the Amazon. To find that that distinction between the wild and the tame. too. at which point the pendulum swings back the other way. and then of thinking about the impact of that point of view on their own work. It’s a terribly romantic notion. something along the lines of “her steady focus enabled me to consider her regard as an aperture in motion. or neutralize. What interests me very much. I guess what bothers me a bit is that artists like Dion end up setting up fairly traditional dichotomies. but something that will have enough cracks in its surface for people to see that a more critical. However. It was partly out of selfish reasons since I have two cats. where cute is cute and everyone knows what this means. It guarantees. And Derrida says that his cat provokes a kind of “critical uneasiness” in him. IV Cute marks a crucial absence. Note how the dictionary definition enacts this closed progression. cute is inherently circular (see Thesis No. in Derrida’s recent philosophical writings— the idea that they might learn things from their cats that are not easily learned anywhere else. as impudent or smart-alecky— “Don’t get cute. and the kitsch. premeditation. That for me is one of the extraordinary ironies that I really hadn’t expected in doing this research. thought-provoking point is being explored. such as the idea that pets are bad because they’re acculturated and. and its second. but he’s far from unusual in drawing that distinction. self-conscious or excessive appeal becomes suspect.Fifteen theses on the cute Frances Richard there is no way that one could easily spot where the distinction lies. For both of them it’s a matter of taking the time to engage with the cat’s own point of view. the nonappearance of malice. or reconceptualize in a positive/ non-threatening direction. the dangerous. but…. but rather to make the point that when artists are manipulating their animal imagery in a gallery it’s usually at a level that’s much.” But you also discuss other writers who have complicated that attitude and left space open for a more complex relationship between humans and their pets. or mercenary agenda. this is possible only to a certain degree.1 III Such interconnections echo a number of distinctions present in the larger motif. In part I think this is because it offers the scope not for creating a convincing illusion of life. or the bear covered in alpaca. At the center of this many-spoked wheel lies a connective empty space. is still so central for many contemporary artists—the determination that their work and that they themselves are associated with notions of the wild. and he seems to imply that this uneasiness may be the only frame of mind in which any responsible human thinking about animals can really begin. In the end I wasn’t quite clear on your own position.” It’s as though the animal allows the artist to learn something new. You mention Deleuze and Guattari’s claim that “anyone who likes a dog or a cat is a fool. Intersperse the Romantic/Victorian. Now in the zones between add the erotic. the wild and the domestic. maybe more surprisingly. Somebody like Mark Dion is an interesting example in relation to that sort of work. cute serves to displace. softening the con artist’s plot into a joke. Fundamentally. the predatory and so on. I certainly tried throughout the book to avoid taking too partisan a position. Because it is a device of masking and semblance. on the other hand. I). as clever or underhandedly shrewd. the wicked. is the idea you come across in the work of an artist like Carolee Schneemann but also. but how do you feel about the presence of pets? Well. It’s rather ironic that one has such a number of artists who seem in recent years to have got interested in taxidermy at exactly the point where taxidermy has come to seem such an outdated technique. self-consciousness. see something differently. which (like the folksy) is defined by its excessive or self-conscious appeal to the unembarrassed core quality. the melancholic. Impertinence simplifies this game. I know he wouldn’t put it in those exact terms. and the biologically deterministic. There’s this great statement by Schneemann where she says of Kitch. the narcotic. though. No. I mention this not to say what terrible uses this new technology is being put to. like the polar bear covered in goat fur. Label it CUTE. Toward the end of The Postmodern Animal I became interested in your discussion of pets. we have cats.’ and its establishing usage dates to circa 1731.A I Draw a circle. Suspicious appeal shades toward a con. which has to do at every stage with things not being wholly what they seem. irony. And although that has probably influenced my writing in ways I don’t quite recognize. much more evident. Cleverness shields or distances. Cute by the book derives etymologically from ‘acute. II What is cute? The technical definition encompasses revealing distinctions that tend to be elided in normal conversation. one of her cats. the Disney/ consumerist. Prettiness and daintiness further soften a barbed joke into an appeal or flirtation. the ironic.

spontaneity. the chick. rolls. (See Theses IV. Of course.” “oooohh. which is a watereddown version of beautiful. Cute in French: mignon. its nose button. This threat arises at that juncture where the destructive meets the generative: Rebecca and Ira cradle William furry-belly-up in their arms. or in their bed. complete with mites and trailing blood. appearing in the same situations with the same frequency. Cute arises by manipulating the guarantee of non-manipulation. then organic cute is disproportionate. If this is true in evolutionary terms. the reflexive and visceral response stimulated by a playful baby or winsome gesture. more humorous. to crush. these sounds become not porn-cute but directly pornographic: “awww. cute functions as a selffulfilling system. conscious or not. characterized by the Playboy bunny. the cute is akin to the ridiculous. of cutesifying them. The stabbing suddenness of organic cute. beefcake—rather than indulging ostentatiously infantile girl-cute models. Even more so when the live kitten functions as a surrogate for said small child. to the word’s eighteenth-century origin in mental acumen. Its colors tend to darken from pure pastel. cute remains indestructible. Simultaneously referring to and negating its own vulnerability. and shades toward perfection. maintaining its image as 100% stolid and happy and obvious only by virtue of utter contingency. the killing disjuncture of the otherized. wicked-cute depends upon camp. this suggests that all representation. by reframing them in an atemporal. as if unconsciously articulating the concept’s dual nature: “booboo. Cute emerges as a ritualized and declawed sublimation of violence. toddles. and less ironic—than life.) XIV Cute in German: liebe or süss.mous with—the manipulative gesture. Professing its own demure and complete powerlessness. and consequence-free zone.) XII The evil (or drunken) clown. Cute melodies lilt or rollick and repeat—when sped to mania or slowed to dirge. is tinged with an experience of terror: the terror of the convincingly ersatz. its mouth abstracted or disproportionately tiny. and larger than life.) XIII The linguistic analogue of cute is formed by a prolonged nonsense exhalation filtered through the mouth aligned as if to smile. and to feel those hands flexing.” cute marks a middle 95 path: where “hot” and “innocent” might both be overwhelming (for different reasons). round heads. forgettable. to a lesser extent in English. “-ette”—reverse toward the abstract. The limbs of the cute are stubby or nonexistent. When cute goes bad. torments. the prepackaged. w . not entirely unrelated to the fixed reality inside a picture. One respondent defined it thus: “Cute makes you do things you wouldn’t do otherwise. Star Trek’s “Trouble with Tribbles”: like porn-cute. or the frailty of old age. Cute tumbles. cute suggests an inherently fleeting.” Since this lexicon is ostensibly derived from baby talk. But neither compares to the moment for which such acts are prophylactic: it is horrifying to feel the fragile bones and heartbeat-warmth of the actual kitten in one’s hands. at their feet at the breakfast table. the devilpossessed doll. waddles. Boy-cute geared toward both females and males tends to cutesify adult or macho animal imagery—Tiger Beat. the arm-candy. and kills the cute stuffed robin and presents it to Rebecca and Ira in the bathroom. laughing. and need. asymmetrical. a pantomime or parody neutralizing mortal threat. which is again a watered-down version of that which terrifies. VI. which is a watered-down version of the absurd. asking.” (See Thesis V. cute is available. echoes back again to the acute not in its intelligence. or the foolishly unconscious actions of a supposedly competent adult. throwaway quality. VI Put another way: William the cat is very cute each morning when he stalks. they often function as aliases for cute and rely on repetition and diminution. it gains power over and directs all interactions with it: parents wait upon the infant. non-biological. not the other way around. when inflected improperly. VII. the pseudo-real. of organic cute. By extension. “Have you met our son?” VII The sexy. V Cute displaces and protects against violence by caricaturing the object of potential violation. manageable. consumable demonstration of (necessarily factitious) innocence. its ears enormous. fat bellies. would not be cute. it is visibly dependent. if not subterfuge. pulling normal words back into their malleable infancy as preverbal sound. whatever its stylistic bent.or porn-cute obviously constitutes a whole genre sui generis. In this regard.” The infamous suffixes— “-ie” or “-y” and. apparently engineered by natural selection to stimulate a nurturing response. perhaps it makes sense that it also gestures to the origin of babies. X What. As a term for “sexually desirable. but in its directness. which is a watered-down version of sublime. When such sounds coalesce into words. æsthetically—cute relies on big eyes. but this is distinct from ephemerality. Drop-kicking a stuffed animal or crumpling an animal-baby poster. Actual dead robins. while sublimity is awe-inspiring. proportionate. animal or human? If beauty is symmetrical. then. Poisoned cute retains its outward appearance while proliferating cancerously toward a toxic/ comic exaggeration of itself. One respondent queried about the meaning of cute insisted that males of her acquaintance identified sexually appealing women as cute only when they were also intelligent—a reversion.” “snookums.) IX The trouble with a Kitten is that Eventually it becomes a Cat Ogden Nash In keeping with its status as representational rather than natural. for example. which is a watered-down version of terrifying.” “mmmm. this also has the predictably paradoxical effect of making unremarkable words foolish. (See Thesis II. plausible. either could conceivably make a small child cry.) VIII Cute might be thought of as a watereddown version of pretty. it follows that the surplus cuteness manufactured by culture might denote the culture’s attempt to trick itself into kindness. invisible. might generate a faint transgressive whiff. XI Morphologically—that is. as if of their own atavistic accord. and smaller—lighter. or alternatively. the hey-baby. (See Thesis X. the irrepressible swoon it evokes. Cute stabilizes infancy. Cute in Spanish: lindo. their whimsy boomerangs upon and guts itself. jagged. (See Thesis No. it deepens rather than transforms. since by its very vapidity or inoffensiveness. its contours sharpen or skew to the grotesque.

a fascination crystallized by the Belgian writer Maurice Maeterlinck in his famous 1902 essay. gentle. cartoon. naïve. but cute hand-writing—an extreme rounding of the kanji which renders them almost illegible (see again Thesis X). touching. childish. explains: I believe we are all born with actual physical organs of cute. vapid. charming. Tenth Edition. foolish. non-threatening. diminutive. pathetic. helpless. the company responsible for the efflorescence of cute that is the Hello Kitty product line. quaint. traditional beekeeping relied until the 19th century on the use of “rustic” or “traditional” beehives.S 96 1 See Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. still a fundamental principle of beehive design. itsy-bitsy. The Life of Bees. Juan Antonio Ramírez. weak. soft in texture—and. Eric Bunge spoke to him by phone. pastel. juvenile. Sayuri Koshino. available. petite. animated. desirable. simpatico. ingenuous. professor of Art History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. winsome. callow. Built with hinged frames. dear. But I also believe that many of us. bowdlerized. fuzzy. frolicking. having developed harsh and realistic life attitudes. tasteless. unconscious. (See Theses II. precocious. smiley. silly. honest. p.) Cultural categorization identifies not only cute people and cute objects. . sweet. tiny. furry. 253. unsophisticated. These inventions both afforded and were produced by an appropriation of the beehive as a metaphor for a perfect society.) An American theorist of Japanese cute also reports cute food—sugary. inexperienced.” in Women. timeless. “Cuties in Japan. natural. appealing. popular. small. vulnerable. nostalgic. is the author of The Beehive Metaphor: From Gaudí to Le Corbusier (2000). syrupy. have repressed our cute impulses. allowing the beekeeper to both harmlessly extract the honey and observe the hive in its totality. frilly. tiny and valentine shaped. embarrassed. pink. Modern apiculture was born with the blind Swiss naturalist François Huber (1750-1831). many sartorial examples (see Thesis VII). cloying. immature. cuddly. In considering the formal and ideological connections between apiculture and architecture. round. delicate. simple. Lise Skov and Brian Moeran (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. pure. ed. childlike. amiable. smarmy. 1995). a public-relations representative at Sanrio. artless. “comic writing” (manga ji). and Consumption in Japan. His book traces the genesis of Modern architecture in the 19th and 20th centuries through the lens of the multifaceted metaphor of the bee. consumable. easy. pale in color. girlish. idiotic. lovable. mushy. pulsing away in our cerebella. genuine. shy. innocent. 2 Sharon Kinsella. unironic. dippy. innocuous. sincere. darling. This style is variously referred to as “round writing” (marui ji). of course. passive. and included the observation beehive with a glass window. sympathetic. attractive. “fake-child writing” (burikko ji) and “kitten writing” (koneko ji) (See Thesis IX.IX. flirtatious. who made important discoveries about bees and invented the first rational beehive. comfy. engaging. and the removeable-frame beehive by the American Lorrain Langstroth (1810-1895). saucy. sappy. while these two powers were at war. maudlin. free. friendly.2 XV Toward a thesaurus of cute: adorable. wee. teeny. originated as a term circa 1944. boring. bland. bland. Ramírez proposes that the founders of the Modern Movement were inspired by both the social metaphor of the hive. Media.Bee Modern: An interview with Juan Antonio Ramirez Eric Bunge In Japan (which vies with the United States as self-anointed world capital of cute—it might be relevant that the most extreme and deliberate form of cute. the cutesy. frivolous. soft. happy-golucky. artificial. pert. happy. guileless. pretty. unstructured. mindless. inoffensive. Huber’s “leaf beehive” unfolded like a book. and thus the destruction of the bees. squashable. dainty. waiflike. sexy. which entailed the annual removal of the honeycomb. infantile. effeminate. ingratiating. miniature. saccharine. shallow. sugary. quiet. winning. rotund. and the technological developments that emerged with the advent of rational beehives in the 19th century. Although humans had long exploited bees for their honey. The technical developments in the second half of the 19th century were progressive improvements on this model. comic.

1862 28 Le Corbusier’s City for Three Million Inhabitants. In the case of relationships between apiculture and architecture. And given that architecture always carries the desire to organize social life in some manner. The other problem is that as a consequence of this there has been a desire on the part of some architects to copy both the honeycomb and the beehive as a box. It has to do on the one hand with the perfect society. 1972 30 Exterior. the society of the beehive." from Le Corbusier’s Urbanisme. it seems to me inevitable that there is a desire to identify human society with the society of bees.Whether real or mythical. 1924 4 Taut’s Glass Pavilion. Robert Venturi made the famous distinction between the duck and the shed. What interests us most are the examples in which the model of social organization in beehives has been able to have formal repercussions. They grab each other by the feet and form a sort of parabolic chain and from this they initiate the construction of the honeycomb from top down. while Santiago Calatrava’s fascination with the skeletons of birds is a constant theme in his search for structural expression. 1960 33 Kurokawa’s Takara Beautillion. for example in San Ivo della Sapienza [1642-1650] by Borromini [1599-1667]. 1910 6 Buckminster Fuller. which I have not found. Do you see bees as fitting into a long history of relationships between animals and architecture or as a unique technical and philosophical association that has helped produce Modern architecture? I think it’s a bit of both. 1948 25 Prokopovich beehive. The apian model has been very important in the genesis of the Modern movement. but with the emergence of rational apiculture in the second half of the 19th century perfectly orthogonal beehives were invented. 1861 12 Gaudi’s sketch for the chapel of Colona Güell. 1921 20 Plan of Mies’s Friedrichstrasse skyscraper. which until WWII has had positive implications. 1921 21 A. 1874 18 Elevation of Mies’s Friedrichstrasse skyscraper. and structures of animals. 1807 26 Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. On the one hand. 1922 29 Interior.I. made with a hexagonal structure. The parabolic shapes that result in tension are turned rightside up to produce arches designed for their compressive loads. 1914 5 Le Corbusier’s Ateliers d’Art. the boxes that contain honeycombs. 1889 11 The Alley method for breeding queens. 1970 Thirdly. spatial. Key to diagram overleaf 1 Behrens’s logo for AEG. But you think that otherwise the apian model is a relatively new phenomenon? I think it’s a relatively new phenomenon that was produced between 1890 and 1945. bodies. 1852 16 Huber’s leaf beehive. we find ourselves in front of something different. Kurokawa’s Nagakin Capsule Hotel. But is it not possible to see the design of beehives—especially observation beehives— as a manifestation of cultural shifts in spatial. and there’s no desire in the West to openly defend the model of the beehive. geodesic dome 7 Steiner’s second Goetheanum. 1972 31 Kikutake’s Tower Shaped Community. What are the different ways in which the beehive metaphor operated in the architecture of 19th and 20th centuries and what are the distinctions between the formal. This does not mean that there have not been apian influences before this. Pope Urban VIII. there is an important transformation in ideological character: the beehive 97 model acquires a totalitarian significance through Nazism and Stalinism. with string and little bags of lead that approximated the weight of the structure. concrete architectonic repercussions. But if we had to look for the equivalent in other animals. technological and visual protocols that precede both skyscrapers and beehives? w . The traditional conical beehives were generally made of straw. 1959 32 Section. between the form of the bee itself and the form of some buildings. This church has a certain similarity to the bee found in the coat-of-arms of its first patron. 1921 19 Perspective of Mies’s Friedrichstrasse skyscraper. This exerts a great influence on the genesis of Modern architecture. 1947-1952 27 Bee larvae as illustrated by Langstroth. Metabolist student competition. 1890 3 The huts of "savages. we’d have to look at similarities. 1898-1908 13 Behrens’s AEG turbine factory. 1908 14 Natural honeycomb 15 Langstroth’s movable frame beehive. Root’s "Simplicity" beehive. animals have had various associations with architecture since antiquity. one of the most important Baroque churches of Rome. More recently. I think these are more examples of the use of metaphors of the forms. Osaka Expo. forever associating this poor animal with postmodern architecture. 1928 8 The parabolic arc of bees constructing a honeycomb 9 Natural honeycombs without guidelines 10 Parabolic arcade in Gaudi’s Colegio Teresiano. 1792 17 Cross-section of Layens’s "Primitive" beehive. This was very important for Gaudí. and socio-political metaphors? On the one hand there is the social model which in reality is more the concern of the social historian. from the sphinx to the Minotaur and the Trojan horse. 1907 2 "Rustic" Beehives. And then there is the observation beehive which has a glass front and which I think was very important for the appearance of the first glass skyscraper by Mies van der Rohe [1886-1969]. from Layens’s Cours complet d’apiculture. These associations have ranged from the benevolent and inspirational to the mysterious and deceptive. there is the structure of the honeycomb—the clearest example of this would be Frank Lloyd Wright’s Honeycomb House. After WWII. Kurokawa’s Nagakin Capsule Hotel. near Barcelona. The second is the way in which bees build honeycombs by hanging themselves and forming a catenary arc. there is the development of the man-made beehive. There have been two fundamental ways of detecting this influence in the world of architecture. 1922 24 Lucio Ramirez’s Elmisana Beehive. 1870 22 Rauchfuss nursery for queen bees 23 Le Corbusier’s Honeycomb Apartments. who made upside-down models of the chapel of the Güell Colony in Santa Coloma.

16. 4. 2. 15. 9. 8. 27. 3. 22. 3 . 23. 29. 14. 28. 10.1. 21.



















Yes. I don’t think the genesis of Modern
architecture can be ascribed solely to
apiculture! I think in considering the genesis
of architecture we ought to think about a
whole confluence of metaphors: mineral,
mechanical, and biological.
And apian metaphors can cut across all
three. I think it’s interesting to think of how
observation beehives and architecture
intersect in their nature as optical
instruments. There is perhaps a relation
Yes, I agree. The observation beehive was
very common in the homes and gardens of
the upper classes at the end of the 19th
and the beginning of the 20th century.
It was supposed to be very educational,
because one could see a perfect society at
work. I think this was a stimulus to imagine
a society in which human life was transparent and in which there is no privacy.
Do you see any connection between
the observation beehive and the camera
obscura? I found interesting an image in your
book of 18th-century observation beehives
that had a single hole you’d look through.
This is effectively like a camera obscura, but
the observation beehives that influenced
Mies allow one to see the beehive in its
totality, which is the idea of a large curtain
wall. I see more a connection with the
Which implies its use as a social model.
Gaudí’s [1852-1926] appropriation of
the beehive metaphor seems to operate
at multiple levels, from the formal to the
social. How would you qualify his deriving
of socialist models from nature, and
especially bees, with respect to the fact that
he was born into a Catholic, conservative
Gaudí is a very different architect than others
in his cultural milieu. He came from a very
dynamic cultural environment; on the one
hand economically prosperous, and on the
other culturally free and less oppressed
by cultural traditions. This kind of liberty
permitted Gaudí to be more spontaneous in
his approaches towards both architecture
and nature. I think he observed many things
in nature and decided to transplant many of
these naively. In his youth, he was an
atheist, freethinker, liberal radical, anarchist


probably. For that reason, he produced his
first building for the Cooperativa Mataronesa
[1864-1887], which was a very innovative
social experiment. He adopted all the
iconography and ideology of the workers’
cooperatives of that era—anarchy, socialism,
and the idea of the beehive as a cooperative
society of workers. Gaudí converted to
Catholicism later on when he started
working with the bourgeoisie, especially the
Güell family. When he got his commission
for the Sagrada Familia [1882-1926], he
became an extreme Catholic but he maintained the apian metaphor and readapted
it to the Catholic world, which wasn’t very
hard because Catholicism had traditionally
used many of the “virtues” of bees as a
model for human virtues. There is also the
fact that his brother published a single
article, entitled “Bees.” This must have had
a large influence on Gaudí.
The roots of Gaudí’s parabolic arches have
been traced to traditional Catalan architecture, amongst other sources. You believe that
this important invention can also be traced to
an interest in the parabolic hanging arches
made by bees in natural honeycombs.
Yes, there are examples of this kind of
architecture in popular Catalan architecture
but what is more typical are the Catalan
brick vaults. The parabolic arch appears and
almost disappears with Gaudí. Gaudí is the
one who gives it an application, for the first
time in the Cooperativa Mataronesa. My
thesis is that in this project Gaudí, having
designed the flag with the bee on it, the
coat-of-arms with the workers as bees,
decides to emphasize the idea of worker
cooperation. And so he came up with the
parabolic arch, which is in fact a catenary
arc upside down.
You quote Mies as having said “I do not want
to change the times; I want to express
them.” From this statement one can
excavate two opposing Modernist myths:
first, the architect as hero— and here Mies
is responding to this myth, and second, the
causal evolution of architecture as a result of
technological determinism. Does your study
of Modern architecture through the lens of
beehives place a focus on inspiration in the
act of designing, and therefore on the first
myth of the architect as a visionary?
In the case of Mies, the beehive metaphor
gave him the opportunity to think of the

architect as someone who acts not as the
consequence of technological but of social
determinism. Let’s not forget that Mies
was more revolutionary in those times.
He designed the monument to Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht [1926] and that
he published in Frühlicht, an avant-garde
magazine of the radical Expressionists.
At that time, Mies must have been more
influenced than we tend to believe by all
the ideas and revolutionary ideologies that
proclaimed the inevitability that society
would finally move toward revolutionary
liberation. Therefore when Mies titles his
Friedrichstrasse office building project, the
first glass skyscraper, “Honeycomb” [1921],
he’s in reality suggesting that the new
society is unavoidable and with that a new
architecture is unavoidable. This is what
encompasses and brings him closer to the
idea of the beehive, because in the beehive
we find a perfect society in a different
architecture. And this is not a purely
technological determinism. Perhaps the
novelty of Mies is not in his use of steel and
glass—these had been used for 100 years in
buildings like railway stations—but in his use
of these materials for an office building.
So the difference between Mies and Joseph
Paxton’s 1851 Crystal Palace would be the
distinction between a social rather than a
technological determinism?
I think that in Mies there is a social
preoccupation in this kind of application
of technology, which is what leads him
to propose an industrial architecture for
an office building.
The title of Mies’s Friedrichstrasse project
demonstrates the naturalist side of the young
Mies, who is formed during a period of German Expressionism. This side, in contradistinction to his iconoclasm which is better
known, is interesting today because of the
revaluation by historians of Mies as more
complex than a pure Modernist. There are
two opposing interpretations of the Friedrichstrasse project: on the one hand, through
the absence of a skin, as an anatomical
expression of the structural frame. I quote
from Frülicht: “Only skyscrapers under
construction reveal the bold constructive
thoughts, and then the impression of the
high-reaching steel skeleton is overpowering.
With the raising of the walls, this impression
is completely destroyed.” On the other hand,
there is the expression of glass as a

mysterious material, both transparent and
opaque— more or less visible under different
lighting conditions. Which interpretation of
Mies aligns with his use of the beehive
I think in the case of Mies it operates in both
ways. The beehive is effectively a type of
society that has generated fascination.
There’s a lot of mystery in the world of bees
and beehives. And this perfect society must
have fascinated him. I also think—although
I’m not 100% convinced—that in the
rational beehive there are structures that
have influenced Mies. For example, the
diagonal bracing in his convention Hall in
Chicago [1953-1954].
I think the diagonal brace is a technological
consideration that would apply to any
construction, whether a building or a
This is possible, because the structure was
neither invented by Mies nor for beehives.
But the problem for me is another one:
when an architect expresses an unusual
element such as the diagonal brace, then
you have to ask where the stimuli came
from. And the question is, could one of
these stimuli have been the beehive? I’m
not sure, but it’s possible, given that we
have proof that Mies was influenced by
beehives in other aspects of his work. Of
course you have to be careful and not think
because you are obsessed with beehives
that everything derives from beehives!
This reading of stimulus is part of a larger
art-historical project that looks at direct
connection between influence and the
design process. In your introduction, you
discuss this as a kind of detective looking
for clues. How do you situate this approach
with respect to an opposing project that
tries to historically contextualize the cultural,
technological, and even economic forces
as a Marxist historian might?
I come from a Marxist tradition, and I don’t
think the two positions are incompatible.
But you know, what’s interesting is that
the beehive metaphor is appropriated by
ideological opposites with minor adjustments. Gaudí’s adaptation of the beehive
metaphor from his initial socialist ideology
to another one that was Catholic and
conservative is paradigmatic. Other great
architects influenced by beehives, such as


Le Corbusier [1887-1965], flirted with both
communism and fascism.
At which ideological extreme did Le Corbusier
appropriate the beehive metaphor? He was
very free in his use of images as references
for an architecture compatible with the 20th
century. It seems to me that these images—
which included airplanes, ships, cars, and
filing cabinets—could adapt to his various
ideological agendas.
I’ve tried to show in my book the many clues
that Le Corbusier was interested in beehives.
He had in his library Karl von Frisch’s Vie et
meours des abeilles that he’d annotated.
Le Corbusier was friends with Blaise
Cendrars who lived in La Ruche [the
Beehive] during Le Corbusier’s early stay
in Paris. Le Corbusier was a master of what
one could call the art of diversion, the art of
occultation of his sources. When he started
writing for a larger audience after WWII,
and especially after he designed the Unité
d’Habitation in Marseille, he had to pass
through a period in which he was accused
of collaborating with the Vichy government.
He had to be very careful not to be associated with totalitarian metaphors, and the
beehive was a very dangerous metaphor
from an ideological point of view, because
it could allow for an identification with the
very positions that he had been accused
of during the war. I think Le Corbusier did
not want to specify what he owed to the
apian metaphor, but there is, for example,
the apartment project Lotissements fermés à
l’alvéoles [1922, “Honeycomb Apartments”],
which is the first collective residential skyscraper in Modern architecture. The idea
of putting many people to live in a compact
block is Le Corbusier’s idea, and the first
time it appears, it appears with the name
“Honeycomb Apartments”!
Does a space whose design was inspired by
bees and beehives in turn produce beehivelike human activity?
This is an ideological question. I think
the architects who invented the Modern
movement believed that forms could
be determinant in changing life. When Le
Corbusier says, “Architecture or revolution,”
he’s making a very clear formulation. If we
have an architectural revolution, a social
revolution is not necessary because the
social revolution would be produced by itself
in a non-violent way. By modifying design

you modify life. When these architects were
inspired by the beehive, they were tacitly
imagining that a better society would
emerge as a consequence of the realization
of their designs. And now we know that that
is a very naïve belief, and we know we can
establish a bomb factory in a beehive
building or in a church or synagogue.
So this was a Modernist arrogance?
Exactly. This was a fantasy of the makers of
the Modern movement, the supposition that
the mere modification of architecture
without modifying anything else would
produce another radical social formation.
While I recognize that your book is necessarily limited in scope and focuses on a
period ending with Le Corbusier, I think it
would be fruitful to update our discussion
through the Japanese Metabolist Architecture movement in the 1960s and 70s
and Archigram in the UK. The Metabolists,
for example, developed an architecture
and urbanism that acted as a critique of
both society and the construction industry.
The dwelling unit was considered a repeated
and irreducible unit. It minimized private
space and was plugged into an infrastructural megastructure that could grow or
We have to find out whether the beehive
metaphor was used casually or not. What
I wanted to show was that some of the
great innovators used the metaphor
consciously. In some way what I propose is
a reading that is not univocal but is more a
voyage through the beehive metaphor that
helps read some episodes of Modern

it’s just a reality.) Sometimes more than ten feet tall. the nests are as beautiful in structure as they are complex. The top of the nest. which he figures will be more moveable. the excavation begins. And Tschinkel is planning to approach major museums about exhibiting his casts. “I was astounded that the nest looked different than I had imagined. “but it also serves as a ladder on which they arrange themselves. First. has been making plaster casts of ant nests since 1982. and says the first cast he made of fire ants provided him an invaluable way to visualize ant colonies as they are. he plans to master a new method—the use of aluminum heated to over 700 degrees Celsius. You can’t do biology without killing creatures. also blend æsthetic form with function in ways that rival human architectural achievements. The painstaking process involves pouring the plaster down the opening as quickly as it will go in. when he first heard of the strength of orthodontic plaster.” As an example of this “feedback loop.Mapping behavior Tomas Matza Walter Tschinkel. There are some questions you can do without killing. Tschinkel has long been interested in nest structure. for example.” made one grain at a time. As they age they move closer to the surface. which tends to be more hollowed out with chambers. But he also says that it’s equally likely that social interaction is needed to produce a normal nest. and require less piecing together after excavation.” ferent colonies of the same species of ant will typically make similar nests. This has prompted him to hypothesize that the “instructions” for nest construction are contained within every worker so that a single harvester ant. that is as a three-dimensional network of tunnels and chambers. Instead.” he says. Badland . and there-fore do not make very good casts. eventually becoming foragers. Tschinkel says. but the nest must be taken out piece by piece. such as how ants know how to build highly detailed nests in the first place? Tschinkel has confirmed that difNests dug by the Florida harvester ant under experimental conditions by 200 workers in 4 days.”] More photos of ant nests excavated using this technique are available at www. and not even a particularly severe one. Badland 102 opposite Nest dug by woodland ants Photo Charles F. Photo Charles F. these “inverse ant sculptures. so I’m just another agent of mortality. “bears the mark of the older workers partly because they have a higher tendency to dig. live nests will be sacrificed to make them. (One harvester ant nest. The casts have also suggested new sets of questions.” Tschinkel points out that workers are arranged vertically according to age: The younger workers are born deep in the nests and spend the first part of their lives tending to the queen. and perhaps appropriately a few ant bodies can be seen suspended in the tunnels they’ve made. But the living world is neither timid nor cautious about death. It’s not something I like doing. This long extended vertical structure allows them to differentiate labor so that they don’t all do all the same tasks in the same chambers. left to its own” he says. “Sometimes I call it the science of death. however. Aside from their scientific value. might build the same structure as a group of its sisters. Up until that point. The only apparent downside to making these ant sculptures is that abandoned nests tend to lose their form quickly. mountable. After the plaster hardens. “seeing” nest structure was limited to compiling a series of cross-sectional cuts in the soil. “I am now convinced that nest architecture is functional because it organizes the worker force and is in turn organized by ant behavior. It’s like a factory and it’s all logically arranged so that the work can move from one area to the next in an efficient manner. but ultimately you run up against the limit of what you can learn. took some five gallons of plaster and came out in 180 pieces.” “Certainly the nest is the product of their behavior.immaterial. a Florida State University entomology professor.

103 .


Audition for a pair of koalas Kathy Temin Artist wanting two people to be part of an installation performance work. The following pages show a selection of video stills taken from the auditions that I have divided into two groups.l Opposite Angela Wyman. everyone was American and none had seen a koala bear in real life.S. was a performance over several weekends in March and April 1998 as part of P. Six of them were couples. The final work. Pay. Begins mid-March During 1998 I placed the above advertisement in Backstage magazine and New York’s free weekly The Village Voice. I received 80 phone calls responding to the advertisement. titled Pet Corner. This project for Cabinet is titled Too Human-/-Animal Enough. Rabbit Rising. Non-union performers. two auditioned on their own with the empty koala-bear suit on the floor. and the last two pairs were organized according to coinciding schedules.1’s “Wish You Luck” exhibition. I videotaped the auditions to have a record that would help me decide who would be best for the parts. 1999 105 w . I returned everyone’s phone call and organized auditions with 14 actors. With the exception of one Australian. Fully clothed in animal costumes. Weekends for a period of six weeks. playing the scene of two koala bears mating in an indoor public-art space.



to be exact—attached to a porker that inexplicably seems to be sporting a man’s shirt. The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals. actually— a sow’s.1 A remarkably detailed piece of research and interpretation. and two Sows” on trial in one 1662 case) will have many contemporary readers filling in the numerous factual gaps with narrative scenarios that are equal parts Breughel and Gary Larson. At the left edge of the group stands an official of some sort—a prelate reciting the last rites for the condemned perhaps. delivered by a duly appointed official. weevils. utilizing both historical and contemporary research by other scholars) was first brought out in book form in 1906. In the latter case. some turned toward their neighbors in conversation. The history of animals in the legal system sketched by Evans is rich and resonant. The scene comes to us courtesy the frontispiece engraving for an oddball gem of social history. Protestants hanging a cat. three sheep. it provokes profound questions about the evolution of jurisprudential procedure. and defendants in various trials featuring non-human participants. the hunched and hooded shape of the executioner looms. roosters. flies and caterpillars.2 Yet for all the import (both practical and metaphysical) of the issues on which they touch. the star of the entire scenario (and the narrative it illustrates): the doomed head thrown back in terminal agony. reported in the New York Herald the same year the book came out.Animals on trial Jeffrey Kastner Man is the only animal that blushes. 1554. Or needs to. which had been put on trial before the ecclesiastical court of Autun on the charge of having feloniously eaten up and wantonly destroyed the barley crop of that province. Other less elaborated details also emerge from Evans’s extensive tabulation of the dates. horses. turtle doves—each takes its turn in the dock. taken in the act of coition” with one Jacques Ferron.4 Its breadth. is awesome. say no more. its “ye olde” timeframe and quaintly exotic Continental locales (predominantly in Germany. but also extending to the British Isles. Grasshoppers and mice. social and religious organization and notions of culpability and punishment. who had “signed a certificate stating that they had known the said she-ass for four years. In Evans’s narrative. Townspeople fill the foreground of the medieval view. or an officer of the court. A really blunt nose. though said by the author to undoubtedly be incomplete. the mouth a thin frowning spasm beneath a blunt nose. made into a long list that appears among the book’s many appendices. France and Switzerland. Courtesy Mary Evans Picture Library 108 w . noting the prosecution of a number of moles in the Valle D’Aosta in the year 824 to the charges lodged against a cow by the Parliament of Paris in 1546 to the 20th-century conviction of a Swiss dog for murder. Russia and other areas) and often improbable casts (e. A pig’s nose.”3 to the 1750 trial in Vanvres of a “she-ass. the crowd is thick around the gallows. locations. the unfortunate quadruped was sentenced to death along with her seducer and appeared headed for the gallows until a last minute reprieve was issued on behalf of the parish priest and citizenry of the village. most focused on a raised platform in the middle distance and the three figures arrayed on it. At right. all creatures great and small have their moment before the bench. North and South America. sheep. knee bent and back arched as he sets to his task. in many cases represented by counsel. two Heifers. Mark Twain In the image. Written by Edward Payson Evans and drawn from a pair of articles he originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1884—“Bugs and Beasts before the Law” and “Modern and Med-iæval Punishment”—the text (revised and expanded. discovered in something called the Annales Ecclesiatici Francorum. and funda- mental philosophical questions regarding the place of man within the natural order. who was said to have made his not inconsiderable reputation for creative argument and persistent advocacy on the strength of his representation of “some rats. in their details the tales Evans spins often seem to suggest nothing so much as a series of lost Monty Python sketches—from the story of the distinguished 16th-century French jurist Bartholomew Chassenée. each meets a fate in accordance with precedent. nudge. Evans’s volume includes dozens and dozens of documented proceedings brought against animals by either governmental or religious bodies—from his earliest citation. reading out the charges. And in the middle. the “Cow. and that she had always shown herself to be virtuous and well-behaved both at home and abroad and had never given occasion of scandal to anyone…” Nudge. Scandinavia.g.


the part they’ve played in the development of our cultural and social identity. If religion provided society with certain transcendental truths. a lingering ambivalence into which these kinds of historical memories still neatly plug. its constituents’ uncertainties about themselves.What. not of an image but of an event—presumably based on a mix of documentation. it provides a ready example of the fog-bank in which this type of material tends to reside—the gray area between fact and imagination where. numerous groups of vermin. One some level. And so it was itself a non-contemporaneous depiction—in its case. it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between actual historical detail and the flotsam of cultural memory deformed by fairy tale medievalism and a parade of anthropomorphized cartoon animals. of a few counties in Kansas) a feeling of certitude about what kinds of things we might share There was a week or so when we here at Cabinet were trying to find a copy of the frontispiece engraving so we could reproduce it along with this article. after which things seem to have taken a turn for the better).” published in a French picturebook. and legend. the whole thing was apparently painted over in the 1820s and then further hidden behind a piece of interior construction. and too human. but the whole constellation of information on which such history is built. vengeful and empathetic.) At any rate. however. about the creatures with which they shared their existence.E The ritual environments of the trials Evans and others describe no doubt functioned as complex symbolic matrices through which developing modern society worked out its uncertainties about the place of man and beast before God (or was it god and beast before Man?). available to yet more speculation. Science has given us (with the exception. however. find shape in words and images. in the memory space where it already resides. and endlessly mitigated by memory and subjectivity and uncertainty. took a shot at putting the Word into deed. all of this is obviously just strong animals killing weaker ones—humans and non-humans each playing out their evolutionary roles. a semblance of order. It has not. too. [T]he sow was dressed in men’s clothes and executed on the public square near the city hall at the expense to the state of ten sous and ten deniers. and several collections of bloodsuckers between the 12th and 16th centuries on the shores of Lac Léman. Evans actually gives us more on this one than usual. was based on numerous descriptions of it by various writers of the time.” although it’s not completely clear what exactly makes the sentence meted out in Falaise any more or less ignoble than his other examples. none appears so frequently as the pig. As for the image of it that has 110 come down to us. that is to say. for having torn the face and arms of a child and thus caused his death…. and about the chaos that buffeted all of them. the primitive retributive principle of taking an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. which itself came into being roughly five hundred years after the event it purports to document. In short. angrily denounces the whole event as a “travesty of justice” that relies on the “strict application of the lex talionis. History has kept a record of both—a record warped. for contemporary lay observers anyway. and then to be hanged. but one that nevertheless continues to convey our lasting fascinations and fears across the centuries. this fresco supposedly commemorated the execution. worms. oral history. a last glance— at the sow choking in her garrote and at the faces that surround her. Animal. (No information is provided about the date of the fresco’s original creation. there is something slightly odd about our contact with other creatures. atavistic sense that for all its familiar ease. The assent of the public gave such rituals their power and. could have possibly inspired the judiciary of Marseilles to bring proceedings against a group of dolphins in 1596? How exactly did medieval Lausanne come to be so astonishingly pest-ridden? (Documents from the Swiss city record separate prosecutions of eels. open to further layers of retelling. feeding and feeding off of our complicated relations with animals and the way these relations have found their way into our myths and legends and stories. of a longsince destroyed fresco in Falaise’s Church of the Holy Trinity. And just what might have driven a lone goat to get mixed up with sixteen bovine troublemakers in the nefarious enterprise that brought them all before the court in the town of Rouvre in 1452? (Or was it. including the one that the frontispiece engraving is meant to depict— a particular 14th-century execution. So before it gets painted over again in the mind's eye. The engraving in the Evans book is obviously not from the time of the trial. but was never copied while it was extant and so the modern illustration. carried out against an infanticidal sow in the Norman village of Falaise. appalled and fascinated. What separates the phenomenon from your everyday food-chain behavior is the ritual it involves. and so had been effectively lost for more than half-a-century when it was reproduced in the version we now have. the author connects the freedom of movement generally afforded porkers in medieval towns and villages to the disproportionate number of them that seem to have run afoul of the authorities. and the way those rituals acquire meaning in their retelling. The book is peppered with accounts of swine being punished for various improprieties (often vicious attacks against infants)6. says Evans. “In 1386.” Evans includes the language of the executioner’s original receipt in one of the appendices and.” he writes. But at some point it started to seem like it might be best to leave the image. in the main text. Now. They’re at once unimaginable and eminently imaginable. rats. the rituals gave the public assurance. in turn. perhaps. done much to assuage the deep. What it actually turns out to be is a 19th-century “reconstruction. besides a pair of gloves to the hangman. much remains in doubt—a kind of doubt that both plagues and enriches not just the rare visual illustrations of these kind of historical activities. . the goat that was the mastermind. Whatever one makes of the big-picture judicial and theological implications of animal prosecutions—and there’s obviously no lack of ways to go with that—as sociocultural phenomena they do seem to make a kind of weird sense. enhanced. like the specific story it illustrates and the general kind of history it epitomizes.7 So the facts of that fateful winter day in Falaise seem clear. having enlisted the slow and trusting cows as the muscle behind some scheme?)5 Of all the various and sundry beasts that populate Evans’s narrative and his tables. a tangible example of both human power and humane discretion. “the tribunal of Falaise sentenced a sow to be mangled and maimed in the head and forelegs.8 with animals biologically and environmentally. perhaps. social systems terrestrialized these truths. for example. but it is probably safe to assume that it was quite a bit later than the 1380s.

were feeding together near that town.” According to Evans. as Evans explains it. were condemned to death. Chassenée first argued that the summons issued for the rodents’ appearance was not disseminated widely enough to reach the more far-flung members of the population. which occurred at the beginning of the 16th century. needless to say. lay in wait for them at every corner and passage. and the counterfeit presentment thus produced was hanged by order of the court. Instead it was a result. Pigs. Of the few recent commentaries to reference it. With great difficulty the ravenous beast was finally killed. of what is referred to as “were-wolf. As Evans reports. a dragon and a talking donkey. opens another can of worms entirely. a love story set in the milieu of medieval jousting tournaments. and his insights into the social and jurisprudential contexts surrounding the issues. such. it does say statues: Berman describes an Athenian court of law housed in a building on the Acropolis called the Pryteneion which was. according to commentators including Aristotle. this bit of startlingly macabre taxidermy was subsequently preserved in a cabinet of curiosities to memorialize the event. and Statues on Trial: The Creation of Cultural Narratives in the Prosecution of Animals and Inanimate Objects” a very smart and expansive treatment in the May 1994 issue (Vol.) were tried symbolically. Agricola in 666. anathemas) were obviously designed not to penalize particular animals but to symbolically call down divine retributions upon entire classes of creatures. preying upon the herds and even devouring women and children. limited only to authentic. Evans asserts that his tables are Animals was first published in the United States by E. large animals were typically tried as individuals or in groups for specific instances of misbehavior. 4 Along with a bibliography and the tables. “A few early instances of excommunication and malediction. excited and enraged by the squealing of one of the porklings. which it had read from the pulpit of each parish in which the offending rats dwelled). then Duke of Burgundy. and A Knight’s Tale. “supposed to be the incarnation of a deceased burgomaster of Ansbach. who watched all their movements.” 7 One wonders if it might be the costuming of the pig that so troubles Evans. are not included in the present list. not willing to endure the loss of his swine. a prince. which Evans discusses in depth. 3 During the trial. sent an humble petition to Philip the Bold. “[T]wo herds of swine. owing to the unwearied vigilance of their mortal enemies. mice. and were ready and even eager to become participes criminis. and.” he writes with his typical flair for the resonant oddity. a fact that was accepted by the court as an aggravating circumstance surrounding the crime. The three sows. with fell intent. they were arrested as accomplices and sentenced by the court to suffer the same penalty. the failure of his clients to appear before the prelate was not due to a lack of respect for the court. 8 The week this essay was started. excommunication. the two highest grossing movies in the US were Shrek. But this.” 6 The shortlist of these. at least for their value as curiosities. of Union. yes. who incorporates the phenomenon into his A History of the World in 10 Chapters. 69. In ecclesiastical tribunals. after due process of law. large communities of smaller animals (rats. the sentences (curses.1 The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of 5 For all their wonders. one belonging to the commune and the other to the priory of Saint-Marcel-le-Jeussey. including a 1988 edition brought out by Faber and Faber in London and. .” Chassenée lost the case. bugs. praying that both the herds. Berman’s article relies heavily on Evans—and also makes impressive connections in related source material ranging from St Thomas Aquinas. who treated the subject in his Summa Theologiæ to Racine’s 1668 play Les Plaideurs. and the expulsion of venomous reptiles from the island Reichenau in 728 by Saint Perminius. although he does not seem all that bothered by the other examples he cites of the practice of dressing animals in human clothes for their trial or execution. and as both the herds had hastened to the scene of the murder and by their cries and aggressive actions showed that they approved of the assault. Germany. with the exception of the three sows actually guilty of the murder. “our knowledge of which is derived chiefly from hagiologies and other legendary sources. and executions. which stars an ogre. but the event apparently had a profound impact on the lawyer’s career. rushed upon Perrinot Muet. Evans’s appendices also include the original text of a number of period documents describing various prosecutions. threw him to the ground and so severely injured him that he died soon afterwards. the snout of the beast was cut off and a mask of the burgomaster’s features substituted for it. and adorned with a chestnut brown wig and a long whitish beard..-P. In civilian courts. the cats. Ltd. Evans also cites the undated trial of an infanticidal pig that ate the flesh of a child on a Friday and thus contravened the Catholic Church’s jejunium sextæ. most notable is “Rats. And. to the contemporary British novelist Julian Barnes. documentable cases of animal prosecutions that ended in guilty verdicts. as the cursing and burning of storks at Avignon by St. a phenomenon that reaches its creepy zenith in a bizarre account he furnishes of a 1685 trial in Ansbach. New Jersey. the son of the swinekeeper.” In that case. 2) of the New York University Law Review by Paul Schiff Berman. No. etc. which satirizes animal trials. Dutton and has been reprinted several times. did much harm in the neighborhood of that city. This piece is similarly indebted to Berman’s research. for example. in a facsimile published by The Lawbook Exchange. Then the barrister claimed that although they had been duly notified (the court by then having issued a second summons. the animal. resembling in tint the human skin. excommunications. [when] three sows of the communal herd. sparking an interest in the issue that he pursued at greater length in a 1531 treatise. must include the hanging of a pig at Mortaign in 1394 for having eaten a consecrated communion wafer. might receive a full and free pardon. dedicated to the prosecution of “inanimate things and animals” in addition to unknown assailants. And then there is the prominent 1379 trial in which three sows were convicted of murder for trampling the son of a swineherd near the Burgundian town of Saint-Marcelle-Jeussey. The Duke lent a gracious ear to this supplication and ordered that the punishment should be remitted and the swine released. of “the length and difficulty of the journey and the serious perils which attended it. But the prior Friar Humbert de Poutiers. and before his father could come to his rescue. its carcass was then clad in a tight suit of flesh-coloured cere-cloth. 2 Evans addresses two major types of trial forms. a decade later.

the first legislation in Europe against cruelty to animals. But what is at stake in the history of animal protection is power. has written recently on the complex ways in which the history of animal protection and rights have been determined by questions of class. and what are some of the issues that it ignores or oversimplifies? It’s important to understand that research on the history of European attitudes towards animals is very new. one whose implications we should attend to. and gender. and we can assure ourselves in that belief by acting towards the betterment of animals. not linear. Your work on the history of animal protection in Europe critiques the standard history of animal rights. and sometimes it’s very malign. What are some of the key landmarks or examples in this alternative history of animal liberation? The landmarks are the same as those of a naïve history of animal liberation but we have to look at them a little more carefully. sometimes within a repressive one.” and that laws made to protect animals fall sometimes within a progressive agenda. It tells us that the history of animal protection belongs neither to the ideological “right” nor to the “left. Associate Professor of History at Trinity College. and that power is shifting. We tend to think that the history of animal protection is simply about the relationship of humans to other animals. But this linear story is complicated by the interest repressive political movements—including Nazism—have had in passing laws to protect animals. Moreover. What that work presents us with is an unexpected account of the human/animal divide in Europe. Kathleen Kete. and we don’t recognize the historical contingency of that link. The law was passed during the radical stage of the English Civil War as part of the Puritan program to reform “mankind” and establish 112 . but the status of animals is one of those things our actions can improve.Beastly agendas: An interview with Kathleen Kete Sina Najafi The history of animal rights and animal protection is usually understood as part of a larger history of the victory of middle-class liberalism. And why is the standard version of this history attractive to us? The Enlightenment belief in progress is still very compelling. What is that history. It was not until the 1970s and 1980s that significant work on the subject began. nationalism. we have inherited from the 19th century the association of animal protection and civilization. I think an interesting case is the Puritans in England who in 1654 issued the Protectorate Ordinance. Sina Najafi talked to her on the phone. We have control over very little in our lives. or that it is coupled to liberalism and other movements of liberation that trace Europe’s trajectory from feudalism to modernity.

The Puritans’ attack on popular blood sports set them in opposition to the Crown. By invitation only. I want to stress that the landed gentry who were allowed to hunt were also the ones who were in charge of the protection of game. Other so-called “blood sports” of the age include bull-baiting and bull-running. they lacked self-control. as well. like hunting. Were the British in fact at the forefront of animal laws and liberation in Europe? 113 The first animal protection society was founded in London in 1824. That demand eventually led to a permit system. at least not cause them any unnecessary pain. and other Mediterranean peoples living on the fringes of civilization were marked by their barbaric treatment of animals. animal protection societies were criticized for not taking an aggressive enough stand against the practice. There was a belief that that bull meat was not tasty unless the bull had been run. and some landed gentry. The gentry had a close interest in animals and the association of Englishness with kindness to animals is intensified rather than challenged by their behaviors. The French agreed with the English that it was the lower classes who were cruel to animals and in need of chastisement and instruction. Hunting is not the issue because to a large degree. These groups wanted to solve the social problem by transforming the mores of the workers. pointing to the objective of social control. The so-called King’s Declaration of Sports issued in the early 17th century defended popular recreations against the Puritans’ attempt to control them.a godly republic on earth. Closer to nature. the landed gentry had a mandate to protect game from local villagers— who would not only kill deer to eat. It’s not a claim that has a lot of resonance anymore. One could be sent to Australia or hung for killing deer. because of an increasing market for game. class is.) It was the lower classes who were feared for most of the century. The taming of nature is what we see in Pamplona. In the 19th century hunting was commercialized and opened to wealthy London professionals. it’s a matter of understanding habitat and the needs of various species. Were there other contemporary critiques of these protection societies? As vivisection became a concern. Reading the Bible led Puritans to the conclusion that humans have a duty to. Furthermore. How did certain English practices. for example. One of the main arguments of animal protectionists at that time was that violence towards animals led to violence towards humans—murder and revolution (and only in the last quarter of the century on the part of anti-vivisectionists. anti-vivisection societies were formed in the last third of the century to specifically address this issue. We are responsible for their state of suffering and therefore have a duty to mitigate their suffering as much as possible. was modeled on the SPCA. But is the same bourgeoisie that demands game on its table also involved in the animal protection groups of the 19th century? Animal protection societies were voluntary organizations of middle. So the ability to track animals down. Violence could tip them over the edge. in part. but destroy foxes. Bull-baiting is similar to cock-throwing. Did the Game Law extend any further hunting privileges to the rural workers? No. too sexual—it needed to be tamed. game speaks to status and we are what we eat. or subdued. before it could enter human culture as food. That’s presumably because game became part of standard cuisine in the 19th century. against the depredations of villagers and other poachers. It is mainly over the issue of vivisection that elite cruelty towards animals is defined. was marked for the king. continue to elude this way of thinking? Some historians stress the class nature of the animal protection movement of the 19th century. The French animal protection society. What was behind the Puritans’ drive toward protecting animals? Social control was critical—if you accept the argument that a developing middle class depended on the internalization of norms of discipline on the part of the lower classes. predict how they are going to react under pressure. It was part of a widespread attack on popular recreations— such as dancing round the maypole—which were believed to distract the lower classes from their main duties to be sober and Godfearing. like women. But the laws that reserved hunting to the landed gentry were not very successful. Yes. a cock is tied to a rope and hit with stones and other objects until it dies. Animals. Marx notes the class interests of animal protection societies in a passing reference in the Communist Manifesto when he groups them with other reforming groups. the Spanish. peasants everywhere. and rabbit warrens. and there the enemy is science and rationality. but it’s one that helped shape the history of animal protection in England. It was too wild. rape. Here we see that animal protection was not important in and of itself but as part of a social and political revolution. Bull-running involved the entire community. like temperance societies. Rural workers were still prohibited from hunting. But history also points us to other aspects of Puritan animal protection. The Ordinance outlawed cock-throwing and cockfighting. Was the rural gentry allowed to participate in hunts at the time of the Puritans? I was under the impression that at that time all the deer in England. were expelled from the Garden of Eden as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Then the Game Law of 1671 extended hunting rights to the landed gentry for the first time. Where was vivisection practiced? w . Thus. and badgers. In cock-throwing. if not be kind to animals. founded in 1845. and then shoot them shows this proximity? More than that. Is the running of the bulls in Pamplona related to this? I think bull-running is a holdover from early European slaughtering practices. and of breeding dogs and succoring wounded animals. Both the French and the English agreed that urban workers. too.and upper-class people concerned about lower-class violence towards animals.

secretly. Were the animals’ nationalities important? For example. to bring vivisection out into the light of the law. Are the French in the 19th century experimenting on French horses. the fact that a lot of monkeys for experimentation today come from India is a factor in the way the issue is discussed. the solace of the old and the lonely. Experiments were carried out on dogs and horses towards understanding how the body functions. the child’s companion in play. animals. Dogs worked well because they were easily available. for example. they were snatched from the street or a 114 . When was anesthesia invented? Nitrous oxide was available for use on animals from the 1820s.” When animal protection societies involved themselves in debates over vivisection. Horses from the army were available in veterinarian schools. Public opinion ran strongly against vivisection throughout the century and prevented French physiologists from demonstrating their work in Britain. loving. Experiments on conscious animals continued because the researchers believed the subjects needed to be awake in order for the experiments to work. they focused on the need to regulate the practice—to license its practitioners. and submissive. to establish the special affection they had for animals. or are they importing them from somewhere? The French experimented on French horses and French dogs. Was vivisection practiced in universities? The fears of anti-vivisectionists were centered on private laboratories. What is at issue is the fact that the dogs experimented on are pets. The back room of an apartment where the medical student or researcher would be. in the phrase of the century. of a manageable size. Reluctance to practice vivisection became a way for the English to mark their superiority over the French. Faithful. “the torture chamber of science.French and German science depended upon vivisection in the developing field of physiology. exploring the physiology of a live animal was. laid the basis for our understanding of diabetes. Experiments on the pancreas and the liver.

1994). If humans were not created by a supernatural being. Man and the Natural World: A History of the Modern Sensibility.. But the proper way to cook a lobster was also prescribed. in April. one of the most famous of French physiologists. Animal liberation. 1983). Some famous vegetarians. “Understanding Animal Protection and the Holocaust” in Anthrozoös. Anti-vivisectionists saw vivisection as the extreme expression of European rationalism.” These fears are indicative of the continuing uncertainty we have of our place within the natural world. eds. and they cannot be both. 1987). The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press. She rescued stray dogs from the streets of Paris to keep them out of the hands of scientists. It was hoped that fewer horses would be flogged to death on the streets of Paris by cab drivers if these workers had an interest in keeping their horses alive and healthy until they could be sold to the butcher. no. Jews and rats are on the bottom. Arnold Arluke and Boria Sax bring this fact to light in an essay on Nazi animal protection published in 1992. in “His” image and given dominion over the earth (as Genesis claims). issued from the moment of their takeover of the German state in 1933. Harriet Ritvo. Was Hitler’s vegetarianism related to Wagner’s? It’s the connection between anti-vivisectionism and anti-Semitism that is important. In some circles in Switzerland and Germany. Weren’t German shepherds bred by the Nazis themselves? Nicolaas A. a lost pet Mademoiselle Bernard was searching for. 15 May 2001 115 . an earlier representation of modernity and its dangers—the Jew—merged with the image of the scientist. And how do these different strands culminate in the Nazi era? The Nazis were responsible for the most comprehensive set of animal protection laws ever in Europe. according to Arluke and Sax. discovering her father vivisecting her best friend’s dog. is overleaf Andrew Cross.. Nazi radicalism can be understood as breaking the traditional binary of human and animals. we see the French animal protection society in the mid-19th century promoting the eating of horseflesh. we see the first 20th-century solution to the problem of what Keith Thomas calls “the dethronement of humans” which European rationalism effects. on the left.shelter to serve the needs of a cold. It is unclear whether this incident really occurred. The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (Cambridge. in order to spare the live lobster unnecessary pain as it dies. They were deliberately bred to embody the spirit of national socialism. By way of contrast. London. as was the least painful way to shoe a horse. It is a mark of Peter Singer’s importance that he has raised for us this most central philosophical issue of our time.W Some of the material for this interview appears in Scribner’s Encyclopedia of European Social History (2001) and has been presented at the “Representing Animals” conference at the University of Wisconsin. 1500-1800 (New York: Pantheon. The important point is that in Nazism. Are dogs a problem because they fall on both sides of the border as pets and as subjects of experiments? Exactly. what is our relationship to other species of animals? Keith Thomas. ed. Kathleen Kete. and countered by vegetarianism —was deplored. Is there a link between the rise of animal protection societies and the rise of vegetarianism? The link lies between the anti-vivisection movement and vegetarianism. V. 2000.. “Poaching and the Game Laws on Cannock Chase” in Douglas Hay et al. Wolves. brutal science. Some women were very active in the anti-vivisection movements in England and France. I suspect we won’t resolve this issue soon and other phobias will follow this one. I see the continuation of 19th-century and 20thcentury fears over the consequences of tampering with “nature. Mass: Harvard University Press. Humans as a species lost their special—sacrosanct—status and a new hierarchy of being was established whereby some “races” of animals lay above some “races” of humans. pp. Feminist consciousness seems to have crystallized when women came to identify with these animals as victims of male rationality. Milwaukee. Kosher butchering was outlawed and vivisection was at first prohibited and then regulated. 6-31. eagles. but we do know that the Bernard marriage broke up over the issue of Bernard’s work—when Claude married he was a medical practitioner not a researcher —and their daughter dedicated her adult life to expiating the sins of her father. like Richard Wagner. It represented the evils of modernity. vol. Douglas Hay. were antivivisectionists. Were there laws protecting kosher butchering at that time? The issue for animal protectionists in Central Europe was that there were no laws against it. The importance of the Arluke and Sax’s argument lies in its description of the Nazi understanding of the relationship of species to each other. “Jewish science” was targeted by anti-vivisectionists and “Jewish” treatment of animals—evidenced in kosher butchering. and Teutonic pigs (“despised by the Jews”) are near the top of the Nazi chain-of-being. Further reading Arnold Arluke and Boria Sax. 1987). Vivisection in Historical Perspective (London and New York: Croom Helm. Central Meat Market.1 (1992). Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England (New York: Pantheon.1975). An apocryphal story describes the young daughter of Claude Bernard. exploring some others. Rupke. The radical right in the 1930s and 1940s produced the worst possible solution to this problem. Is mad cow disease going to force us to think through these issues? In our reaction to mad cow disease.

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117 .

repulsive. The practice of eating animals is an expression of culture. Before there were theme parks and movie theaters. but it is also dependent on historical circumstance. most zoo animals in Berlin were slaughtered to supplement the meager scraps of available food. animals and people engaged in a deadly spectacle and carnivore feast. Numerous reformers demanded that slaughterhouses be relocated. For centuries. but also because Paris’s powerful butchers guild strongly opposed any such interventions into their business. In the course of the French Revolution. animals were slaughtered right in the back of butcher shops all over the city. However. knives. was absorbed by the peculiar civilizing process of the West. and construction continued. located away from Paris’s populated districts. During World War Two. and lots of steam. nothing was implemented during the ancien règime. almost any animal can become food. During the nineteenth century. or even human civilization more generally? Especially in the modern period. the abattoirs. markets. butchering was seen as a demoralizing practice that brutalized those who were exposed to it. this distanciation occurred in the household. bystanders increasingly criticized the public display of slaughter. In times of crisis.”1 Butchering was always a somewhat tainted practice. Construction began in 1810. more visitors went to the stockyards than to any of the Exposition’s own attractions. Many Parisians complained about the pestilent stench. in part because the government was unwilling to take an initiative. these public abattoirs were the first of their kind in Europe. Reviving the reform initiatives of the 1780s. the Bourbon Restoration that followed recognized the need for such facilities. The same was true for the slaughterhouse. They may be vile. and hideous. they provided a model for the spatial refacilitation of slaughter. because they think it tends to destroy one’s natural feelings of humanity. too. and especially in the city’s center at Châtelet. When they finally opened in 1818. and state politics. Holy in India. This is readily apparent in the kinds of animals we eat and the species we avoid. Are slaughterhouses the perfect embodiment of modernity. all guilds were abolished to grant freedom of commerce. In late 18th-century Paris. where dog meat is taboo. people flocked to slaughterhouses in order to quench their thirst for thrills derived from horror. As sensibilities softened and turned bourgeois. When the World Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago in 1893. Napoléon ordered that five municipal abattoirs be built in a ring around the city. rats became a regular staple. Monuments would beautify Paris while public works projects would increase the city’s utility. such as war. At the same time. The proportions of this change were nowhere more visible than in the city. disturbing noises. the animalistic was banned from allegedly civilized life. Meat could be sold anywhere. and the level of public repugnance have risen over time. were not completed during Napoléon’s reign. In the slaughterhouse flesh becomes meat in a mechanized and literally bone-chilling production. Meat had become the domain of the people. visits to the slaughterhouse were so popular that special tour books were printed to guide visitors through the facility. Slaughter reflects the course of civilization. and animals were slaughtered right in the streets without supervision or any kind of inspection. one still could take a tour through the Chicago stockyards five times a day. For example. Yet this mandate produced unintended side effects. However. during the Prussian occupation of Paris in 1871. a model that would be followed all over Europe in the course of the 19th century.”3 And Mercier was not alone. As the German sociologist Norbert Elias has argued. and continuous flow of blood in the streets. Animal slaughter is entrenched in tradition. meat eating was considered a symbol of status and a measure of living standards. and historical specificity. Noise and the unmistakable sweet noxious smell of blood mixed with effluvia. Consequently. and hidden behind walls. which LouisSébastien Mercier. cows qualify as prime cuts in the West. .Recollecting the slaughterhouse Dorothee Brantz What comes to mind when thinking about slaughterhouses? Meat hooks. disinfectants. preferably to the outskirts of town. As Denis Hollier has put it. abattoirs have come to signify the extent to which such distanciation has led to the rationalization of everyday life and to the instrumentalization of death. Operated by the municipality. The art of slaying and flaying a large animal is an ancient craft reaching back to the advent of civilization. cultural determination. Even in the 1950s. “the slaughtering of 118 livestock and cleaning of carcasses is done by slaves [criminals sentenced to hard labor]. In turn-of-the-century Berlin. the butchering of animals has played a crucial role in provisioning people. Napoléon initiated a staggering building program that included monuments like the Arc de Triomphe and the Place Vendôme as well as public works projects like sewers. When after a decade of revolutionary turmoil Napoléon Bonaparte arrived in Paris in 1799. he vowed to establish order and to rebuild the city. abattoirs are part and parcel of “the logic of the modernization of urban space. both its continuity and change. where the carving of meat was moved behind the scenes to the kitchen so as to avoid any reminders of the animal from which it had come. In many cultures. along with most other Parisian building projects. Distanciation became the prevalent mode of existence. but also the curse of the city. but was quickly caught up in the financial havoc caused by Napoléon’s wars of expansion. the Napoléonic abattoirs reformed rather than revolutionized slaughter. Slaughter is deeply embedded in history. one of Paris’s most avid observers.” while Muslims and Jews reject it as filthy and unkosher. Mercier asked: “What can be more revolting and distasteful than the butchering of animals and the dismantling of their bodies in public view?”4 Most critics agreed that slaughtering needed to be removed from the streets of Paris to clean up the environment and to protect the health and morality of the public. pork serves as “the other white meat. the close relationship between consumption and death made slaughterhouses emblematic of the rise of mass-production and the amalgamation of science. blood. described as “by far the worstsmelling place in the whole world. technology. Throughout history. even though in Korea it is widely accepted. Even in Thomas More’s utopian society. They don’t let ordinary people get used to cutting up animals.”2 This logic is most strikingly exemplified by two very different modern cities: Paris and Chicago. It. Yet. and the 19th-century city in particular is unthinkable without the slaughterhouse. Attesting to the changing sensibilities that accompanied the onset of Paris’s urban growth. but slaughterhouses also hold great fascination. offering a glimpse at how everyday practice has evolved and transformed. and slaughterhouses.

Haussmann’s project was approved. the provision of growing populations posed a major challenge to the process of urbanization. Some even went as far as to conduct self-feeding experiments with rotten meat to determine its effects on human health. city officials. La Villette combined elegant form with commercial function. mostly poor. in part. La Villette was instant-ly considered a monument to the new industrial design based on iron and glass. and butchers resisted the types of industrial automation that would typify the stockyards of Chicago. A rapidly growing industrial district.”6 This is all the more surprising since it was under Haussmann that Paris underwent the most dramatic transformation in its history. adding considerably to traffic congestion and street pollution. It is hard to imagine that slaughterhouses could be the objects of pride. The tremendous population growth of the 1850s. Advocating a peculiar mixture of morality. nevertheless. Among other things. was a one-directional enterprise. too. It should be noted that the term “public” in public abattoirs did not refer to the people of Paris. probably the most famous and arguably the most controversial Prefect of Paris. while at the same time. Bloody arms plunge into its steaming innards. came under increased supervision during the 1830s and 1840s. Starting with the conduct of butchers and the physical appearance of livestock.000 new. The emergence of railroads drastically altered existing infrastructures. The Parisian abattoirs. and pigs. but also necessitated the greater concentration of markets. following intensive studies of the existing conditions. The chosen site was located in one of the newly annexed districts in the northeastern corner of Paris at La Villette. the biggest problem was the continued geographical separation of the livestock market and the abattoirs. heightened the need for reforms. Especially in 19th-century cities. hospitals. Attached to the market were the new slaughterhouses just on the other side of the Canal Ourcq.Although abattoirs radically altered the spatiality of slaughter. In Paris and in Europe more generally. because it further intensified the already rampant problems with Paris’s urban space and its haphazard infrastructures of provision.”5 The entire act was performed by one or two specially trained men. Since they were located in different parts of the city. La Villette offered a premier site with plenty of water and a ready connection to Paris’s railways. especially the emergence of the publichygiene movement that shaped the course of urban reforms. The fifty-six-hectare terrain housed three market halls for the trade of livestock. where each received a separate work chamber. a blowpipe inflates the expired animal and gives it a hideous shape. In the 1820s. They also served to protect the public and contain street pollution. Traditions remained strong. but for Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. As a result. at least for the animals. Once animals entered the abattoirs. hygienists investigated anything and everything related to the abattoir. butchering retained its status as an artisan craft throughout the 19th and most of the 20th century. which revolved around more abstract concepts of population growth and control. but following the annexation of numerous suburbs to the territory of Paris in 1859. And there was another incentive for reforms— the invention of rail transport. once they were at the public slaughterhouse. but also between the “living” and the “dead. it was also closely tied to the accumulation of knowledge and to evolving conceptions of urban space. The urbanization of animal slaughter was not just a matter of politics. The market was completed in 1862.. steaming blood spills out in big bursts along with the life. not least because of its potential to extend the general life expectancy of populations. a large knife gives it a deep wound in the throat. social welfare. Alongside prostitution. and acts of killing. Much like Les Halles. but rather to the state and its welfare politics. With regard to meat production. accomplished their two most important objectives. they were “one of the most considerable works accomplished by [his] administration. a strong blow breaks his skull. animals were killed and flayed much as they had been 50 years earlier: “a young bull is thrown down and his head is tied to the ground with a rope. especially that of the lower classes. both of which were built by the then prominent architect Victor Baltard. modes of production. which served as the boundary not only between the two facilities. and butchers about the necessity for new slaughterhouses. and environmental control. and several administrative buildings. they could perform their bloody craft in relative privacy and according to their own traditions. inhabitants to the city. Haussmann proposed the building of new slaughterhouses combined with markets and connected to railroads. While butchers could no longer slaughter in their own shops. and stock market. and sewers. there was only one possible way out—as a carcass en route to a meat market. public hygienists studied everything related to the health of humans and the cleanliness of urban environments. Initially his plans were rejected by the city council. its legs are chopped off with a cleaver and cut up into pieces and at once the animal is stamped and marketed. numerous stables for cattle. By 1900. The facility stood as an icon to the rationalization of space. which brought more than 600. including a police station. they did not immediately alter the practice of butchering. it enabled the expansion of agriculture. because suddenly the city housed nine separate slaughterhouses. Despite disagreements among reformers. They removed slaughter from public view and placed it under state surveillance. their construction began in 1860. They helped to ensure the sufficient production of meat. close to a million animals traversed the city annually. La Villette. sheep.. The design of the grand halls followed that of the markets at Les Halles. By 1850. Many of the adjacent buildings were built according to the neo-classical style of architecture. livestock herds continued to be an all-too-visible sight in the streets of Paris. they aided the state in its quest to gain control over its population. Paris’s five public abattoirs. abattoirs became a central battleground in the struggle to improve the physical and moral hygiene of Paris. Meat became a critical aspect in the discourse about and demands for better living conditions. La Villette had w . Public abattoirs were a first step towards the establishment of a mass-society liberated from famine. The growing recognition of protein as a life sustaining nutrient enhanced the significance of meat consumption. and the slaughterhouses opened in 1867 during the World Exposition that was held in Paris that year.” The opening of Le Marché et Les Abattoirs de La Villette completed the centralization of slaughter. especially in the city. where animals were traded and sent right to the slaughterhouse. post office. Trains delivered livestock right to the markets. In 1858.


the number had climbed to more than three million. a third split the carcass. when large urban markets no longer fit into the decentralizing postwar economy. Irish. and shipped off as meat. The necessity of transforming medieval towns into modern metropoles gave rise to urban planning as well as public hygiene and welfare politics. Yet.1870s. A different work structure guided production. With this process it took less than twenty-four hours from the moment an animal arrived until it was sold at the market. Thus. The responsibility to raise or at least maintain the population’s prosperity increasingly fell into the hands of the expanding European public welfare states. and on and on until the dressed carcass was hoisted into a rail car and sent on its way to consumers. As in Europe. By the turn of the century. on Christmas Day 1865. Many European cities took a similar course towards urbanization during the 19th century. The slaughterhouses were not only deadly for livestock. heighten industrial production. The stockyards were built for large herds that were kept in open-air cattle holding pens rather than stables. streets. and in 1870 its population amounted to a mere 220. and improve living standards. and Lithuanian immigrant labor and African Americans from the South primarily sustained this growth.000 workers. Polish. new infrastructures were needed to provide for growing populations and to accommodate the emerging dynamic of mass society. in contrast. railroads required the centralization of markets. The stockyards certainly were the American Dream for some. they spurred Chicago’s growth into the city that the poet Carl Sandburg called “hog butcher to the world. Consequently.grown into a “city within the city. La Villette closed its gates in 1974. Invented in Cincinnati but perfected in Chicago.” Hundreds of humans and close to two million animals passed through its gates every year. while in the US large herds grew with minimum effort on the prairie. the stockyards were built not as a place for butchering but a factory of meatpacking. which up to this day—despite technological sophistication—still often requires the human hand and its flexibility with a knife. who had to endure bloody working and poverty-stricken living conditions. foster mobility.000. La Villette fed Paris. by the mid. Within a few years. They hardly shared in the prosperity that the stockyards were bringing to Chicago. was a young city (growing up only in the 1830s). and sewage systems. but also horrific for workers.”7 By 1900. Chicago quickly developed into an important hub connecting the East and West. By the late 1870s. where one man would slit the animal’s throat. Chicago had turned into the largest producer of meat in the United States and possibly the world. and schools. another would tear off its hide. One could get rich in Packingtown Slaughterhouse in Germany. La Villette continued to operate unchanged throughout most of the 20th century. The increasing concentration of people. governments oversaw the operation of numerous public facilities such as hospitals. for the most part. bath houses. most notably for Philip Armour and Gustavus Swift. the building of the Chicago Union Stockyards was hardly about reforming existing structures. but Chicago supplied the nation. The most visible differences were the cities themselves. which enabled the transport of fresh meat. Chicago also witnessed the emergence of large-scale slaughter yards. Paris had existed for centuries and its population had risen to close to two million by 1871. and stench.000 hogs were slaughtered annually. Chicago. until the facility became obsolete in the 1960s. the most important of these inventions was the two-story disassembly line. Not individual butchers. railroads offered a viable alternative to the treacherous shipment of goods over water. but rather about creating new urban forms. But with the arrival of railroads in the early 1860s. the disassembly line gave Henry Ford his ideas for a prototype for car production. mainly to satisfy local demands. but an easily replaceable manual work force arranged in a disassembly line turned animals into meat. Chicago would be the second-largest city in the United States. Hence. In the early 1860s. and especially after the arrival of Philip Armour and Gustavus Swift in 1875. New technologies of slaughter were constantly invented and old ones improved. the Union Stockyards and Transit Company was founded on the South Side of Chicago. buildings. goods. As slaughter facilities had to match this capacity. livestock. Chicago’s slaughterhouses were not an obstacle to urbanization. The emergence of public slaughterhouses in cities across Europe was part of this larger process of transformation. The developments on both continents were driven by similar ambitions towards the greater rationalization and increased efficiency of slaughter. Reforms in Paris were constantly met with resistance by butchers intent on preserving their traditional habits. Quite to the contrary. the stockyards already employed approximately 2. but it could not supplant manual labor completely. 1920. One such invention was the refrigerated rail car. and factories required a new spatial order that could support urban growth. noise. By the beginning of the 20th century. unlike in Paris. slaughtered. Quite a different set of forces was at work across the Atlantic in Chicago. But the particular circumstances in each city led to the adoption of different approaches. and again in 1930. Apart from minor extensions and remodeling in 1904. in no small part due to the slaughterhouses.000. dressed. This disassembly-style production enabled the stunning mechanization of slaughter. He described how the American Dream of the young Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus turned into an American reality in the stockyards of Chicago. Undoubtedly. The individuality of animal bodies prevented the standardization of slaughter. industrial efficiency became a key factor. Upton Sinclair powerfully captured their dire existence in his 1906 novel The Jungle. several of the existing hog companies decided to unite their operations in an effort to accommodate railroad technology and in the hope of creating a large profitable livestock market that would upstage Cincinnati. whose wealth was born amidst the blood. In the years to come this number would rise up to 45. parks. Photo Oliver Bernt 121 w . Just as La Villette was being built in Paris. However. was still painstakingly raised in small herds. Chicago developed into a leading market for meatpacking. the stockyards were surrounded by ethnic neighborhoods that housed the workers and their families. there were only a couple of small livestock dealers in Chicago. It consisted of an overhead rail system by which animals were hoisted and moved through compartmentalized workstations. In Chicago there was little opposition. an average of 13 million animals came through the stockyards each year. As cities grew. Centering on a troubled politics of population. gas works. Whereas in the 1850s only about 20. In 19th-century Europe. Such mechanization was possible because Chicago was less entrenched in the traditions of butchering.


butchering has truly moved out of sight. former slaughterhouses are being reclaimed by the living. p. 123–124. p. and la Cité de la Musique. The post-industrial age witnessed the demise of the modern mass-slaughterhouse because it did not fit into the image of the so-called postmodern city. came in July 1971. Memoirs du Baron Haussmann. Nebraska. 2 Denis Hollier. Whereas railroads had fostered centralization. In Landau. However. Vol. thus the city showed little interest in retaining the slaughterhouses. La Villette is now a “polyvalent cultural complex” that houses a science museum. which is one of the few buildings that remain. that after a hundred years of operation the stockyards would shut down completely. another transport innovation. they belonged to private entrepreneurs.. Germany. but it shocked readers into demanding change. Once again market demands forced changes in the process of production. Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille (Cambridge: MIT Press. In the words of one of its architects. The final announcement.6 1 Thomas More. The Union Stockyards illustrated how the pull of markets initiated an unprecedented mechanization and technological innovation. p. Tucked away in the countryside. Vol. in Chicago there were hardly any inspections or regulations because the state could not intervene as readily as in Europe. 28.” The primacy of profit motives also manifested itself in the lack of concern for hygiene conditions and for the freshness of meat. 1. and other hip places.” Like La Villette. In Europe most slaughterhouses belonged to the city. reinventing the slaughterhouse as an æstheticized space for consumption and entertainment. 101-103. And finally. La Villette has turned “architecture against itself. All over the world. every part of the animals was used. 4 Ibid. 1782). By the mid-1970s. now truck transport promoted decentralization and the search for cheaper locations in the countryside. a museum for contemporary art. and most others followed suit. Packers prided themselves that they utilized “everything but the squeals. who are appropriating them for other purposes. the postwar spread of automation increasingly rendered the once path-breaking multistorey system inefficient and obsolete. xv. Meatmarket districts in New York and Chicago have been transformed into trendy hangout areas and loft neighborhoods. Photo Oliver Bernt 123 former stockyards except one entrance gate and the small family-owned packinghouse of Chiapetti Lamb and Veal. 3 Louis-Sébastien Mercier. festival space. 3. 8 Bernard Tschumi. the super-highway. Les Abattoirs. Book II. Just last year. 1987). where inspections increasingly ruled operations in the slaughterhouse. urbanization itself was becoming an obstacle. boutiques. 57. 1989). the Union Stockyards existed well into the 20th century..because it was based on private enterprise. Slowly the stockyards were replaced by new facilities further west in Iowa. Moreover. The terrain is used as a multi-purpose industrial park for warehouses and low-rise office buildings. Cinégram folie: Le parc de la Villette (New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 1994). Armour the following year. 1516). 1. o. Tableau de Paris. 5 Ibid. It is life turned on its head. vii. p. and Colorado. “I aimed at the public’s heart. and filth surrounding meatpacking. I was at La Villette for an outdoor screening of The Night of the Hunter. 5 Volumes (Paris. Vol. took livestock traffic off the rails and onto the road. pp. The park of La Villette is not just architecture turned against itself. especially in terms of smell. Today there is nothing left of the German slaughterhouse. Slowly the stockyards closed down. neither Paris nor Chicago operated slaughterhouses anymore. on the premises of a 19th-century slaughterhouse. but in Chicago. The developments in Chicago were less driven by a politics of population than by the economy of markets. a slaughterhouse has been put to “adaptive reuse” as a library. 561. France. whose motive was profit rather than public welfare. Unlike in Europe. 7 Carl Sandburg. 5. reforms were not instigated by the state but rather by scandal—a scandal brought on by literature. The stockyards’ proximity to downtown was a growing nuisance. vol. . p. was an eerie experience. Bernard Tschumi. opened in Toulouse.”8 Watching the film projected onto the former cattle market. Cities from Buenos Aires to Frankfurt are partaking in the slaughterhouse revival by turning former spaces of death into clubs. and by accident I hit it in the stomach. (Paris: 1890–93). Utopia (New York: Cambridge University Press. Not long ago. Nothing was wasted. pp. As he himself stated. 1989. In Chicago. p. He had described the horrid conditions. 6 Georges-Eugène Haussmann. restaurants. poverty. Chicago Poems (New York: Dover Publications. 5. Swift left in 1958. Upton Sinclair’s novel was fiction.

By many scientists’ description. as human social actors and captive listeners of the mouse’s tale. He is a non-human animal insofar as he is manipulable: scientists have altered his genes and experimented on his body in ways ethically unthinkable for members of our own species.2 Little’s initial goal was relatively limited: to use mouse-genetics work to realign the professional and disciplinary boundaries of cancer research.D. only to be drawn right back in by demands for his inbred mice. His own work on the genetics of mouse cancers had revealed that inbreeding—that is. a gene whose product pairs with another gene’s product. what is the line between human and nonhuman animals (or. as one scientist put it.” Its large. and derive social power from this: they are. Little also found that dba displayed a hereditary tendency to develop mammary. but argued that cancer should be recognized as a problem “essentially biological in nature. diverse. Maine. how much of the Page from C. Little’s Experimental Studies of Inheritance of Color in Mice. he called for making it a priority for research. NR1. Doogie is not a person. they proclaimed. this scenario may seem to echo familiar motifs of utopian science fiction— a “brave new world” for the four-pawed furry set. In mid-1920s the Jackson Lab was merely Little’s pipe dream. breeding within mouse families. which would give the institution the right to develop drugs to enhance NR2B production in humans. or breast. In 1925.” A dissonance registers.” In many lectures and scientific articles.The mouse’s tale: Standardized animals in the culture and practice of technoscience Karen Rader In mid-September 1999.3 But after many years of working in isolation. an abbreviation for its coatcolor genes. Little sought to create an independent research institute for the simultaneous investigation of mammalian genetics and cancer. only 20% of the research articles in the Journal of Cancer Research was on mouse topics. He conceded that the cancer genetics of dba’s were exceedingly complicated. cancer. This act itself interrogates two important boundaries. M. to what extent are the patterns displayed by such rodents “comparable to what’s going on in humans”)? Second. but Jax Mice™ are the sine qua non of laboratory mice. try to translate the use of laboratory mice into something meaningful for us. so his memory mechanism stays open an extra 150-thousandths of a second. which took its nickname from its old cable address. it is “the scientific bureau of mouse standards. Doogie’s forebrain now produces some extra NR2B product. Princeton University neurobiologist Joe Tsien created a mouse named “Doogie. A Harvard-trained geneticist. “simultaneously research models. Jax Mice™ are the rodent products of the Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor. she writes. First. this resulted in the first inbred-mouse strain used in a laboratory. called dba.” named after the TV child prodigy “Doogie Houser.”1 Meanwhile.” which means that his memory has been enhanced through genetic manipulation of NR2B. Practically. “sheds lights on how memory works and raises questions about whether we should use genetics to make people brainier. founded in 1929 by biologist Clarence Cook Little—no relation to Stuart Little. in a world where these objects of basic biomedical research wouldn’t even exist save for the efforts of human scientists. things are more complex. Princeton has filed for a use patent on the NR2B gene. C. At first. to open what biologists believe to be the physical mechanism of memory in the brain. for the creature to outperform other normal mice its age on “standard” tests of rodent intelligence. Time magazine didn’t miss a beat: the smart-mouse study. now houses and distributes more than 1700 genetically defined mouse strains to laboratories all over the world. On closer inspection. Tsien and his colleagues say. Significantly. Donna Haraway has argued that scientific animals are liminal objects. then. Jax is not the only place you can get laboratory mice. Little left his research behind for college administration—ironically. But in some sense. in the brief moment when we. cultural metaphors. Courtesy The Jackson Laboratory Archives 124 knowledge we obtain from them is “natural” —and how much is technological marvel? A better understanding of these questions is perhaps best conveyed through a history of the first standardized scientific mammals: Jax Mice™. and wellorganized stocks all but define the available mice for biomedical laboratory use in the US and abroad. Jax. This is enough time. Today. however. usually brother-sister—eliminated much of the variation that made it difficult to draw genetic conclusions from work with mammals. and only one employed inbred mice or Little’s genetics methods. These demands shaped . Doogie is human: he bears a human name and performs functions significant only within our culture. and potent jokes…we inhabit their narratives and they inhabit us.” Doogie is a so-called “smart mouse.

In 1928 West Virginia Senator Matthew Neely proclaimed before Congress that cancer was “a monster more insatiable than the guillotine [which had] inflicted more suffering and agony upon the American people than all the other diseases known to humanity.subsequent research and development— even though they came not from fellow scientists but potential patrons. 125 In response to these circumstances.” Two years later. percentage of tumor incidence. Before the crash. Viewed in context. Jackson and his colleagues pledged more than $70. Jackson. Little and his group began stabilizing a wider variety of standard strains of spontaneous tumor inbred mice. His Detroit sponsors withdrew almost completely.” Use of inbred mice in laboratory experiments. Little appeared on the verge of convincing both biologists and society-atlarge of the value of mouse-cancer genetics. and repeatability to biological work. And in the true spirit of American consumer culture. he concluded.” Jackson understood Little’s main point: that the genetics of mouse cancers would contribute to a cure for cancer. created the research organisms that scientists recognize as Jax Mice™ today. researchers were offered a money-back guarantee in the rare event that mice might arrive dead. and found more evidence that there was a genetic explanation for susceptibility to inoculated tumors in the dba strain. The reliability and availability of standardized Jax Mice™ defined what counted as “laboratory” mice (as opposed to creatures one finds in the kitchen cupboards). the Jackson Lab came to be defined by its ability to meet a wide variety of research user needs in different disciplinary and institutional contexts. while C3H showed an astounding 90% incidence. and in the process. Previous experimental data. showed a 13% incidence of breast tumors. But in the process of making these creatures widely available. was broad: the “heads of all medical schools and various biological departments in school and universities. in order to eliminate mounting budget deficits. he praised what he called the “growing interest of medicine in genetic research [as well as] the continued growth of that cooperative spirit” between geneticists and medical men. as a sign of homogeneity. Little argued. Government statistics ranked it second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death in America.” Little later wrote. In 1933. and it became a matter of its place in the freemarket economy of biomedical research more generally. All mice were priced equally: ten cents each plus the cost of delivery. “Let me point out.and highbreast-cancer strains that they weren’t using for their own research. and X.000 per year over three years to transform Little’s mice into proper cancer-fighting tools. its immediate goal was significantly different: not the production of mice strains with stable defined genes (as it was when the mice were being used for their own studies of cancer genetics) but the production of mice with predictable tumor incidence. including the number of inbred generations. this tide of events— which culminated in the passage of the first National Cancer Institute Act—also uncovered a persistent policy anxiety: how exactly should the US government construct a program to fight this chronic disease? Little went before Congress in 1937 to offer inbred mice as one answer to the question. in turn. These orders. One year later. inbreeding mice).5 Thus. generated enough money to obtain resources for more mouse production.8 For several years the Jax “mouse factory” operated with little or none of the fanfare over possible cancer cures that Little’s initial patrons had expected. with additional charges for specific sexes. when Little resigned his presidency over bitter clashes with the Michigan trustees. “Being a good businessman. In 1925 he assumed the presidency of the University of Michigan. The previous month he had consolidated his power in the medical-research and policy community when he was elected both President of the American Association of Cancer Research and Managing Director of the American Society for the Control for Cancer (ASCC). which created universal specifications for each of the ten “stocks” available at Jax. how such adaptations affected the science itself.6 In mid-March that year Little drafted the first primitive catalog of laboratory mice. the standards for successful scientific mouse production and use in research changed. while summering in Maine along with the rest of Detroit “high society. In his 1931 presidential address to his colleagues. an 8% incidence— in the hopes that these might prove useful for lung cancer research—and generate some revenue for Jax. “Jackson saw that [inbred mice] added efficiency. Jackson Lab workers developed more specialized low. would serve to accomplish more quickly and carefully both geneticists’ and physicians’ goals. The late 1930s marked a turning point for the American political fortunes of cancer. the president of the Hudson Motor Car Company.7 Little’s marketing scheme worked: cash orders for these mice quickly came in and nearly exceeded available supply. A group of Little’s researchers at Michigan had also created C57Black. and a standardized name. accuracy. threatening to destroy Little’s fledgling enterprise.. “[have] many statistical artefacts due to the mixed genetic nature of the mice used. CBA. Another later episode in this history reveals how this scientific definition itself could be adapted to suit new social needs—and in turn. “that research in the cause w . with an 8085% incidence.” he struck up a conversation about mouse cancer research that captured the imagination of Roscoe B. The target market.” he told the gathering of politicians. By this time. Laboratory mouse suitability ceased to be a matter of the mouse’s place in the intellectual economy of a particular research program (cancer genetics). cancer was a publichealth problem with major media momentum.e. however.” Though the practice behind this enterprise was the same (i.4 But it was Little’s adoption of an industrial strategy that saved the Jackson Lab. In October 1929—two weeks before the Jackson Laboratory officially opened its doors in Bar Harbor—the US stock market crashed. Little tried to salvage his institution by again arguing for the suitability of inbred-mouse genetics for cancer research. In turn. The list noted each stock’s known gene make-up. for instance. alongside strains dba and C57Black. in Little’s view. But he also noted the independent value of standardized strains for making biomedical research more like a Detroit factory assembly line. They also began inbreeding to stabilize strains with predictable spontaneous lung tumors—strains A. Anti-cancer sentiments reached a fever pitch both in the media and on the floor of the US Congress. a new non-cancer strain. Earlier deadlocks between the executive and legislative branches gave way to a near-unanimous agreement among federal officials that cancer was a problem requiring immediate government attention.

‘Useless vermin. Little also penned a Scientific American article entitled “A New Deal for Mice. Little would. “perhaps mankind will accept and develop his relationships with mice in a different light.” Against this background. Weaver agreed to provide $40.000 to $14. rapid[ly] [bred] and conveniently controllable. unsatisfactory human material to material that is easy to handle. Shortly thereafter. and members of the lay public.’ or something worse is what you are likely to think as you physically or mentally climb a chair.12 Within a year.”10 A few weeks later. sell approximately 120. Little’s rhetoric combined to express what had previously been a tacit moral stance regarding the suitability of mice for research. “Do you like mice?.”9 Around the same time.and sixtythousand inbred mice.000 in additional funds from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Division of Natural Sciences.000 mice per year. mouse production itself soared 53%.” Little wrote. One of the first grants the US government approved was a three-year subsidy to Jax ’s production enterprise..” Ultimately. Jax was also making substantial income on the new arrangement: annual profits from mouse sales doubled between 1936 and 1939. Inbred mice—as opposed to their wild mouse relatives—“provided a particular service.14 This new “laboratory mouse” was so potent socially because it simultaneously accommodated the multiple goals and values of health policy makers.”13 Over the next 15 years. with the hope that this industrial state-of-the-art facility would provide enough mice for NCI cancer research over the next ten years. The March 1940 Rockefeller Foundation Trustees Bulletin gleefully reported that Little and his Jax Lab had thus “outwitted the old proverb that you can’t eat your cake and have it too. Jax’s mouse-supply system grew even more dramatically: by 1953. Cancer research was. Ultimately. he cast himself as (in his characterization) “attorney for the defense. the Jax mouse’s suitability for experimental cancer studies became institutionalized through a policy that promoted their use for all federally sponsored cancer research. 110. 274 of Jax’s “Bagg-albino” cancer mice appeared on the cover of Life magazine. Passage of the NCI Act generated broad social support for cancer research and Mice photos courtesy of The Jackson Laboratory Archives 126 increased scientific support for inbred mouse production. as Little put it in a Time cover story. he wrote.000. more than a quarter million mice were sold.” he asked his readers. The emphasis entirely shifted from working with the slow. mice have been positively transformed.”11 “Scientizing” mice was the only way to redeem these otherwise socially useless organisms.000 inbred Jax Mice™ were produced and distributed to mouse workers all over the globe —a 175% increase in two years.’ ‘disgusting little beasts. construction on the first Jax “mouse house” was complete and the new wing housed between fifty.” Inbred mice.” “Under these circumstances. introducing readers to the story “US Science Wars Against Unknown Enemy: Cancer.” Little implored his readers to visit one of Jax’s “laboratory ‘cities’” where “thoroughbred” mice have become “an integral part of man’s helpers.of cancer is not entirely a medical problem. “Of course you don’t. During 1939.” in which he juxtaposed the changes the mouse had undergone in science with respect to the prevailing negative cultural images of the animal. scientists. That has been the biggest change in cancer research. In the first six months the building was operational.” and argued that through science. Mouse manipulation (in the form of the inbred strain creation and production at Jax) and suffering (in the form of such experiments as tumor transplants) was a small price to pay for future human well-being. In the case . from $7..” In this and other media outlets. industrialized nature of mouse breeding that the new building embodied: scientist-workers marking and recording litters of mice and an external view of the modernistic glass and steel production wing. “[are] the troops which literally by the tens of thousands occupy posts on the firing line of investigation [into the] nature and cure of cancer. Little immediately sent the Rockefeller Foundation’s publicity office pictures for their Annual Review which foregrounded the scaled-up. Rockefeller Foundation Program Officer Warren Weaver visited the Jax facilities and immediately grasped the business value of supporting mouse-production expansion: “Should the proposed increase in breeding facilities be available. “a hard task requiring patience: trench warfare against a ruthless killer.

and approximately 90% of all mammals used— though exact numbers are not made available. C.” American Journal of Cancer.D. but engineered. Together. 7 Interestingly. L. In late 1936. Models and Men (New York: SUNY Press. 14 Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Roscoe B.” Congressional Record. in the case of the public.of policy makers and scientists. Jackson Laboratory Archives. 12 WW Memo to Raymond Fosdick. 1987).” in The Invisible Industrialist: Manufactures and the Production of Scientific Knowledge. RAC-NY). Mass. w . 3: 196–202. 1281.. 1952-53. 8 May 1933. unexpected. celebrating the laboratory mouse’s sacrifices for the sake of scientific knowledge solidifies it. RF Archive. outbreds.1. “The Relation of Heredity to Cancer in Man. e. “Supply Department. Rockefeller Archive Center. on this latter issue there was so much agreement that Little could contemplate (in a 1954 letter to his lawyer) the possibility of Jackson Laboratory obtaining some publicity by (as he put it) “arousing [Walt] Disney’s interest in.-C. and I have found no other source that mentions the numbers of mice distributed during this initial period. 200D. or foreign they seem. perhaps because he realized it would bring the public face-to-face with inconsistencies in their cultural understanding of this animal.C. Box 730.”15 This film never got made.[a] film. 6 Cf. Vol. They possess chromosomal constitutions enough like ours that the knowledge obtained from them can be (within a research context) convincingly applied to human health problems.’ JLA-BH. JLA-BH. See also Jean Holstein. see also Ilana Löwy and Jean-Paul Gaudillière.” Life. in people terms. Halsey Bagg to CCL.-W. Raymond Fogler Library. And their bodies constitute a space that Bruno Latour would call “technoscience. “The Production of the cba Strain of Inbred Mice: Long Life Associated with Low Tumor Incidence. NY (hereafter.” 1990. Issue 11 (September 13. he created the new office of publicity director in the ASCC.” Scientific Monthly. a total of nearly 37 million mice were consumed in all US laboratories. 54–59 plus cover photo. 3 March 1933. 2 C. Little. 1931. 1979). 154. March 1940.-A. 1998). Me. The Genetics of the Mouse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.D.-C. “List of Stocks.-C.519 in income from mouse sales during the first six months of 1933. CCL to C. Little first solicited some small commercial mouse breeders/pet dealers to determine the “market price” for their non-genetically-controlled mouse material. 4. C. these were the need for control. CCL-UMO. Box 7-2. Later lumped data from the NIH indicate that mice and rats together account for 60–70% of all animals used. chapter 5. 79.” in H. 200D. p. 200D. Disney never elected to tell the tale of the laboratory mouse’s kinship to Mickey. to tell the story of our mouse (which might easily be a brother or some other relative of Mickey). “Smart Genes?” Time.. and timeliness in experimental research. Lemonick. 4 April 1933. But paying closer attention to the historical process by which Jax Mice™ came to dominate early-20thcentury biology-research laboratories suggests a more complicated interpretation: the suitability of these animals for research was not pre-determined. 5 On this point.1.” Time. One annual budget notes a figure of $2. the utility of research and the morality of using mice for research. Indeed. but not so much like ours as to make the experimental manipulation of their genomes ethically problematic to most of society. Folder ‘L. 17: 60–63.. RF Archives. Box 12. Science in Action (Cambridge. “US Science Wars Against Unknown Enemy: Cancer. Turner. I am grateful to Dr. 12 June 1933: all Box 739. 198. Laboratory mice. Little Papers. Folder 1775. I am very grateful to Gail Schmitt for research assistance with the cancer journal article counts. Though he supported Little’s cancer work. “The Role of Heredity in Determining the Incidence and Growth of Cancer. 1987). but because of varying prices it is difficult to extrapolate from this. 16 Bruno Latour. Stock List. 1 March 1937. Murray. 4 C. These rodents’ physical bodies. Little and Read engineered a virtual media blitz in many of the popular magazines of the day: see James Patterson. Haedrich to CCL. Folder 1774. 29 March 1933. are only as human and as natural as they need to be. Report No. 1936.”16A 1 Michael D. In 1965. RAC-NY. Louis Siebel for this material.. 1774. 5 November 1953. See Office of Technology Assessment. Box 143. RAC-NY. In the last fifty years.1.: Harvard University Press. University of Maine.” Excerpt from the RF Trustees Bulletin. C. 1943). N. Howard Andervont to Wm. Little and P. both box 740: all from the C. 15: 2780–89. 13 “Eating Your Cake and Having it Too. p. Little. p. CCL-UMO).” in letter to Warren Weaver. 1929–1979 (Bar Harbor: The Jackson Laboratory. JLA-BH. 7.-C. “Disciplining Cancer: Mice and the Practice of Genetics Purity. 18 March 1933. as well as their representations. The First Fifty Years at the Jackson Laboratory. p. Box 143. 8 For replies from medical researchers.” because they are inhabited at once by both natural 127 knowledge of mammalian processes and its controlled manipulation and application— by. (hereafter. Scientists often emphasize a naturalistic explanation for the transformation of mice into model organisms: mice are small mammals that breed readily and often (the young are born three weeks after females have mated). RG 1. and they are susceptible to many of the diseases that afflict human beings (such as cancer). then. eds. There are no extant Jackson Lab Annual or Trustees Reports for the pre-1938 period. Orono.-W.” 1 July 1938. Celebrating the innocence and charm of a friendly mouse like Mickey for the sake of entertainment dissolves the boundary between humans and animals. “The Genetics of Cancer. pp.” British Journal of Experimental Pathology. both commercial and academic (in people terms. Of Mice. Little to Roy Larsen. p. 75th Congress. C. the situation remained roughly the same: the percentage of mouse articles was about 20% and inbred animals were used in only one study among this group. Strong. See Andrew Rowan. were not static. Gorer. Jean-Paul Gaudillière and Ilana Löwy (New York: St. 29: 40–41. Bar Harbor. 20 December 1937. and he appointed veteran media man Clifton Read to fill the position. Gruneberg. 1st session. “all the elements tied to the scientific practice no matter how dirty. RG 1. and he set the cost for his material below “industry” averages. many more such creatures have entered laboratories—though it is very difficult to know precisely how many of these are Jax Mice™ or Jax-type mice. Martin’s Press. 4 December 1937. Box 12. 2: 11–17. Turner to CCL. 9 House of Representatives Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. 1916. “Report on Lab Animal Use. The Dread Disease: Cancer and Modern American Culture (Cambridge. that figure had risen to an estimated 45 million—or 63 percent of the total number of animals used by US scientists (again. RF Archives. Irwin Wachtel to Mary Russell. Tarrytown. Box 143. Mass. They were adapted and constructed for a scientific culture that valued genetically controlled answers to biological and medical questions. “Hearing on The National Cancer Act. 3 By 1925.: Harvard University Press. Maine (hereafter. Little. 1999). CCL to Mary Russell and enclosed inbred-mouse sales listing.. 15 C. 10 Quoted from a published excerpt of a Little speech in “Cancer Army.-C. By 1984. chapter 5—though Rowan does not break down these numbers in terms of inbreds vs. 1984). rg 1. 11 C. coordination. a number just under the 1999 population of California). Jackson Laboratory.g. 174. presumably to protect on-going scientific work from animal rights activism. in Latour’s words. 1937. JLA-BH). just under the combined 1999 populations of California and New York)..

A lion from Prague that had arrived after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 had been placed there and received brutal treatment from the bears and oxen. Its front paw. The lion’s arrival posed a practical problem for the court architect. He in turn offered the lion to the Swedish king. The hand that in the bronze lions rested on a polished granite sphere now hovers awkwardly in mid-air. The lion was finally housed. is in fact only asking for mercy and forgiveness. The tongue and teeth are made of wood and the eyes are two dull. In 1729. The taxidermist. as if the lion were offering its hand to be kissed. in the old lion’s den on the royal hunting grounds where earlier lions had been housed.And The lion in the Swedish winter Mats Bigert The royal castle of Gripsholm to the south of Stockholm houses the oldest lion taxidermied in Sweden. mast poles. who suggested that an “Algerian menagerie” be built in a central square in town. gifts of guns. copied the pose from two bronze mythological lions standing outside the royal castle. It is possible that the Algerian lion met with a similar fate as it fought an uneven fight against the Nordic beasts of this barren and cold climate. then. The living lion arrived in Sweden in 1731 as a gift to Fredrik I from the Algerian Bey. Its final incarnation would then reflect the Swedes’ disappointment over its lack of courage and its failure to live up to own symbolic character. unfamiliar with lions. To seal the treaty.7 Photo Mona Skoglund 128 . and anchors had been offered to the Algerian ruler. The lion’s feeble display of courage had surprised everyone. the Swedish king had signed a treaty with the Algerian ruler to protect Swedish merchant ships from sea pirates off the coast of Algeria. soulless pieces of glass stuck with glue. however. Carl Hårleman.