Issue for Spring 2017
The world order is gradually slowing down, and democracy is grinding to a deadlock. Global civilisation is sliding into stasis. But whereas this might have once led to outright World War, instead we are seeing high levels of universal domestic instability. From protest, unrest and insurgencies to proxy theatres and armed conflict, we have entered into a condition of global civil war.
Real Review #3 explores the general mood over the last few months that things were better the way they were before. There is a popular sense that blunders have been made and we should backtrack as quickly as possible. Exactly which past you are trying to recreate depends on your political persuasion. Disaffected with democracy, fed up with economic stagnation, even bored by new fashions and consumer electronics, ennui is pervasive. The search for something drastically different, a real alternative, has begun.
Have we all become artists? And what are the creative classes? We interview the editor of Texte zur Kunst Isabelle Graw on our condition of perpetual work. From the history of caffeine as the first capitalist drug, to the potential of hipster cafés to unionise and form a new political community, Jack Self reviews “Café Society”. The exhausting sensuality of J.G. Ballard’s Super Cannes is reviewed and recomposed by Keller Easterling. Tim Ivison reviews a marriage proposal made with a diamond ring fashioned from Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s remains. Urban owl Suzanne Hall stays up late to take the London Night Tube, uncovering a world of party goers and low-paid workers, with photography by Max Creasy. In the small town of Prineville, Oregon, Liam Young becomes the first visitor to venture into the modern day cathedral that is Facebook’s central data centre. London-based architects Hesselbrand review the plan as a way of life, and the effort to do more with less.
Also in the issue: Joseph Grima reviews the universal adaptor and its history in Cold War androgynous penetration; James-Taylor Foster reviews the fluidity of Zygmunt Bauman; theories on monastic poverty by Giorgio Agamben are reviewed by Brian Dillon, with photography by Matthieu Lavanchy; theorist Tamar Shafrir reviews whether algorithms have epiphanies; meanwhile, Eddie Blake reviews the invention of wallpaper as the beginning of postmodernity; Andrew Kovacs and Alex Maymind review 1970s architectural adverts; and Emily King reviews the radical feminist newspaper Resist!; in “Mall Scenographies” Erik Morse reviews how the design of commercial centres choreographs acts of terror; finally, Swiss architect Peter Märkli tells us what it means to live today.