green space in city
EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

Welcome to Anywhere, America. The houses are identical, two-story buildings covered in clapboard and pinched in by two swathes of tightly mown lawn. The streets are wide and well-maintained. The sidewalks are after-thoughts, stopping and starting at seemingly random intervals. It doesn’t matter where they go or how wide they are because their use is intrinsically marginal. Suburbs were not designed with the pedestrian in mind.

Despite their seeming ubiquity, suburbs are an experiment, just one answer to the question of how to house and organize humanity. It’s easy to forget how quickly we’ve come to this stage. Three centuries ago, the most common profession by far was sustenance farming. Most people were illiterate village dwellers. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities while more than 90% of the world’s young adults are literate. In the past 200 years the global population has septupled. More… “Urbanism in Three Books and Three Cities”

Talon Abernathy is a Seoul based educator and free-lance writer. His writing has been featured in The Urbanist365 Tomorrows, and Medium.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+
EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

On a very clear day, blue sky, bright, bright sunlight, you’ll spy an amazing cloud. It is structured like a column. It is dense and white and billows upward, touching the outer limits of the firmament, seemingly. Probably it goes up only a few hundred feet. But the verticality of the cloud is what makes it so inspiring. Just going right up there. Up into the heavens over semi-rural Pennsylvania.

How did this cloud get here, in such an otherwise empty, blue sky? It is a miracle. More… “Updike Country”

Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy and is a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York. He has written for n+1, The Believer, Harper’s Magazine, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He won the Whiting Award in 2013. Morgan is also an editor at 3 Quarks Daily, and a winner of a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant. A book of Morgan’s selected essays can be found here. He can be reached at morganmeis@gmail.com.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

The houses are all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same. Dan Graham started photographing them in 1965. It was New Jersey. They were photographs of suburban homes and tract housing. The excitement of postwar consumerism had faded by then. A new wave of melancholy was settling on the American mood. Politics were getting hotter. Suburban life was getting duller.

“Dan Graham: Beyond” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Through Oct. 11, 2009.

Dan Graham — whose work from ’65 to the present is currently on exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art — has made a lot of art since then. But the photographs from the series “Homes for America” still stand out. As they’ve aged, they’ve become more elusive. In the mid-’60s, it was easy to see the polemics… More…