Cabinet

Cabinet This is the home of Cabinet, a quarterly non-profit cultural magazine based in Brooklyn. The magazine also operates event spaces in Brooklyn and Berlin.
Cabinet is a quarterly non-profit magazine of art and culture based in Brooklyn. The non-profit also publishes books and organizes exhibitions, screenings, events, symposia, and conferences. Cabinet operates an event space in the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn and a second space in the Schöneberg area of Berlin.

This hallucinatory Wild-West-meets-the-Cold-War sculpture in front of George H. W. Bush‘s presidential library incorpo...
11/09/2019

This hallucinatory Wild-West-meets-the-Cold-War sculpture in front of George H. W. Bush‘s presidential library incorporates a facsimile of the Berlin Wall. According to the artist, “the horses simply represent humanity and the horses represent a victory of the human spirit.” Oh, the humanity.

Like all walls, the Berlin wall produced a fantasy of linearity. But the reality was a lot messier. Jesse Coburn on a st...
11/08/2019
Between the Wall | Jesse Coburn

Like all walls, the Berlin wall produced a fantasy of linearity. But the reality was a lot messier. Jesse Coburn on a strange plot of land that belonged to East Germany but was stuck on the west side of the Berlin wall, and what the de facto extra-legality of this ungovernable space meant for the people who took up residence on it.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/55/coburn.php

A territorial scrap in Cold War Berlin

Baron Max von Oppenheim rejected his family’s banking business in order to explore the Middle East. There, he became t...
10/29/2019
Archaeology and Jihad | Aaron Tugendhaft

Baron Max von Oppenheim rejected his family’s banking business in order to explore the Middle East. There, he became the man behind one of the greatest archaeological finds in history, as well as an early propagandist of modern jihadism, all in the service of the German Empire. Aaron Tugendhaft looks at the extraordinary story of the man whose career prepares for the antiquities destruction of today.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/tugendhaft_aaron_29_october_2019.php

Baron Max von Oppenheim at Tell Halaf

This gorgeous cat is Fig, who lives with Michele Snyder. Fig is not evil! The sign above her head happens to be our Evil...
10/06/2019

This gorgeous cat is Fig, who lives with Michele Snyder. Fig is not evil! The sign above her head happens to be our Evil/Exit unlimited edition! Want to restage this? The edition can be had from us. Good luck trying to find a cat as fetching as Fig! https://bit.ly/2OsLjX5

“I didn’t break the guitar out of anger alone. My aggression was tentative, even self-conscious...”
10/01/2019
F-Hole | Justine Kurland

“I didn’t break the guitar out of anger alone. My aggression was tentative, even self-conscious...”

Selling vans, smashing guitars

Analoguing the digital. Olivia Kan-Sperling on the promise and pretense of physicalized programming at Oakland's Dynamic...
09/03/2019
Dynamicland and the Whimsical Digital Object

Analoguing the digital. Olivia Kan-Sperling on the promise and pretense of physicalized programming at Oakland's Dynamicland
http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/kan-sperling_olivia_28_august_2019.php

Six hours’ drive north of Disneyland, a building in downtown Oakland houses a kind of computer scientist’s version of the storied children’s amusement park. Its digital magic is of a less spectacular flavor, though; while Hollywood dreams of technofuturia in the style of vapory holograms, and ...

Lily Scherlis on a silent bellboard in Berlin memorializing the Jews of 35 Lippehner Straßehttp://cabinetmagazine.org/k...
08/27/2019
Ringing in Your Ears

Lily Scherlis on a silent bellboard in Berlin memorializing the Jews of 35 Lippehner Straße
http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/scherlis_lily_27_august_2019.php

The basic function of a doorbell is to facilitate a call and response through walls. Depressing the button, the visitor closes an electrical circuit, sending a signal through the infrastructure toward a piece of hardware that emits noise in the chosen room. In a multi-apartment building, the residen...

Warren Niesluchowski, RIP. Magical, eccentric, and deeply learned, Warren lived his entire life as a celebration of hosp...
06/18/2019

Warren Niesluchowski, RIP. Magical, eccentric, and deeply learned, Warren lived his entire life as a celebration of hospitality, given and taken. A precapitalist figure wandering the globalized world, he made everyone he met a little more wise, a little more amused, and a little more capable of acting generously. You will be dearly missed, Warren.

Antarctica’s “ventifacts” are things of beauty—ornate stone structures hewn by the wind. From Issue 22, Jackie D...
04/22/2019
CABINET // Gale Forces

Antarctica’s “ventifacts” are things of beauty—ornate stone structures hewn by the wind. From Issue 22, Jackie Dee Grom’s photographs of the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Ern Malley was an enormously successful Australian poet—and a hoax cooked up by two frustrated soldiers. From Issue 33...
04/21/2019
CABINET // The Fall and Rise of Ernest Lalor Malley

Ern Malley was an enormously successful Australian poet—and a hoax cooked up by two frustrated soldiers. From Issue 33, Christine Wertheim on the thin line between experimentalism and comic impersonation.

Hydrotherapy, which originated in Austria, was believed capable of curing just about anything. From Issue 29, Brian Dill...
04/19/2019
CABINET / Hydropolis

Hydrotherapy, which originated in Austria, was believed capable of curing just about anything. From Issue 29, Brian Dillon on the rigors of the Victorian water cure.

“I am cash and oxidation. I am iris and vein... Who am I? What am I? Won’t you hold me in your hand? Won’t you let...
04/16/2019
CABINET // Colors / Turquoise

“I am cash and oxidation. I am iris and vein... Who am I? What am I? Won’t you hold me in your hand? Won’t you let me drown your eye?” From Issue 60, Namwali Serpell’s syllabus for turquoise.

This course will immerse us deeply in the coolest, calmest, and most creative of colors: Blue. We will explore the history of Blue, from the idea that the ancient Greeks did not see the color Blue at all to Persian architecture’s mimicry of the very sky to Blue’s prominence in contemporary brand...

Schizophrenics have long described—and occasionally illustrated—eye-screwing, sight-stopping, roof-stringing, vital-...
04/01/2019
CABINET // The Influencing Machine

Schizophrenics have long described—and occasionally illustrated—eye-screwing, sight-stopping, roof-stringing, vital-tearing, fibre-ripping, or otherwise terrifying devices that persecute them from afar. From Issue 14, Christopher Turner on “influencing machines.”

“It almost seems a republican gesture to chop the ruling clan into a thousand pieces and jumble them up.” From Issue...
03/18/2019
CABINET / Jigsaws: A User’s Manual

“It almost seems a republican gesture to chop the ruling clan into a thousand pieces and jumble them up.” From Issue 16, Christopher Turner on the jigsaw puzzle and his grandfather, puzzler to the queen.

Colt, Pershing, Gatling, Shrapnel. From Issue 27, An imaginary class reunion of the men—and Bertha Krupp—for whom hi...
02/21/2019
CABINET / Men of War

Colt, Pershing, Gatling, Shrapnel. From Issue 27, An imaginary class reunion of the men—and Bertha Krupp—for whom historic weapons are named.

It began with shrapnel, or rather Shrapnel. Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel, that is, whose personal experiments with a new kind of brutal explosive projectile led to the invention that now bears his name. Adopted by the British Army in 1803, shrapnel made Shrapnel into a much-admired man, earning him pro...

“Hands Across the Sea” helped senders and recipients to come to terms with a radically changing world. From Issue 36...
02/18/2019
CABINET / A Link to Bind Where Circumstances Part

“Hands Across the Sea” helped senders and recipients to come to terms with a radically changing world. From Issue 36, Gabriel Coxhead on the Golden Age of postcards’ best-known motif.

Why should the hippopotamus be bigger than the sparrow, the worm smaller than the giraffe? From Issue 28, J. B. S. Halda...
02/16/2019
CABINET // On Being the Right Size

Why should the hippopotamus be bigger than the sparrow, the worm smaller than the giraffe? From Issue 28, J. B. S. Haldane on how evolutionary biology determines the “optimum size.”

The most obvious differences between different animals are differences of size, but for some reason the zoologists have paid singularly little attention to them. In a large textbook of zoology before me I find no indication that the eagle is larger than the sparrow, or the hippopotamus bigger than t...

Nearly a century before Ray Kroc and McDonalds, there was Fred Harvey and the “Harvey House”—a restaurant chain th...
02/15/2019
CABINET // Ingestion / Don’t Slice Ham Too Thin

Nearly a century before Ray Kroc and McDonalds, there was Fred Harvey and the “Harvey House”—a restaurant chain that began in partnership with the Santa Fe & Topeka Railroad. From Issue 17, Jeffrey Kastner on the prehistory of American fast food.

The story of fast food is a classic American one, evoking all the charms, and contradictions, of the country’s cheerfully unapologetic brand of gung-ho capitalism: efficient but routinized, dependable but homogenous, seductive but probably unhealthy in the long run. Its hall of fame includes maver...

“No matter where I was, that pigeon would find me... I had only to wish and call her.” From Issue 55, Dominic Pettma...
02/15/2019
CABINET // Wings of Desire

“No matter where I was, that pigeon would find me... I had only to wish and call her.” From Issue 55, Dominic Pettman on Tesla’s avian paramour.

Over the past twenty years or so, Nikola Tesla has become a folk-hero for the millennial tech-generation, who consider him the godfather of all visionary scientific mavericks, and thus a key precursor to their own “disruptive” aspirations. But during the twilight years of his life, Tesla was a m...

The first Readymade artwork was a pebble found in South Africa, preserved some three million years ago because it happen...
02/13/2019
CABINET // Stumbling Over/Upon Art

The first Readymade artwork was a pebble found in South Africa, preserved some three million years ago because it happened to look like a face. From Issue 19, Dario Gamboni on chance in art.

“Khaki makes the most invisible outfit for the future, a covert skin for battling atop the dead, colorless planet.” ...
02/12/2019
CABINET // Colors / Khaki

“Khaki makes the most invisible outfit for the future, a covert skin for battling atop the dead, colorless planet.” From Issue 13, Ben Marcus on the future’s camouflage.

If any clothing color is meant to corroborate the spasms of a fantasy that we are not really living in cities or towns where all danger from animals has been removed; that instead some forested adventure awaits us for which we must be properly outfitted; that in fact we are secretly rugged safari pe...

Card marking is a venerable and sophisticated art. From Issue 33, Jonathan Allen on juiced cards, luminous readers, sunn...
02/11/2019
CABINET // Mark of Integrity

Card marking is a venerable and sophisticated art. From Issue 33, Jonathan Allen on juiced cards, luminous readers, sunning the deck, and other sharpers’ tricks.

Stock agencies anticipated the postmodern understanding that images constitute “floating signs.” From Issue 22, Jenn...
02/10/2019
CABINET / Re-Use Value

Stock agencies anticipated the postmodern understanding that images constitute “floating signs.” From Issue 22, Jenny Tobias on the pervasive but uncredited influence of stock photography.

Consider this image. It’s clearly a turn-of-the-century studio portrait, but what else is it? To a stock photography agency, it could be an umbrella ad, a calendar illustration, or a costume designer’s reference. To one agency, it’s identified as: 


“Cinderellas” are fantasy stamps from imaginary places. From Issue 18, Bonnie & Roger Riga on the stepchildren of ph...
02/09/2019
CABINET // Return to Sender

“Cinderellas” are fantasy stamps from imaginary places. From Issue 18, Bonnie & Roger Riga on the stepchildren of philately.

Mapmakers use “trap streets” to catch plagiarists. Sometimes, they develop lives of their own. From Issue 47, James ...
02/08/2019
CABINET // Trap Streets

Mapmakers use “trap streets” to catch plagiarists. Sometimes, they develop lives of their own. From Issue 47, James Bridle on the cartographer’s game of cat and mouse.

The last aurochs died out in the seventeenth century. But in 1920, two German zoologists tried to breed them back to lif...
02/07/2019
CABINET // Heavy Breeding

The last aurochs died out in the seventeenth century. But in 1920, two German zoologists tried to breed them back to life. From Issue 45, Michael Wang on “reverse domestication.”

In 1920, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, directors of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively, began a two-decade breeding experiment. Working with domestic cattle sought out for their “primitive” characteristics, they attempted to recreate “in appearance and behavior” the living likeness...

Geometric perspective was, to medieval and Renaissance audiences, nothing less than a form of virtual reality. From Issu...
02/06/2019
CABINET // The Illusionistic Magic of Geometric Figuring

Geometric perspective was, to medieval and Renaissance audiences, nothing less than a form of virtual reality. From Issue 26, Margaret Wertheim on perspectival illusion as a method for “propelling the self out of the body toward the divine.”

The failure of the Seventh Crusade in 1254 is not an event commonly noted in histories of the special effects industry, but the expensive blunderings of Louis IX in the deserts of the Levant precipitated a response that laid out the rationale for a program of visual illusionism not equaled until the...

“Rich curtains, loosely waving to and fro ... [like] the play of the streamers of an aurora borealis.” From Issue 28...
02/05/2019
CABINET // Cyanea Arctica

“Rich curtains, loosely waving to and fro ... [like] the play of the streamers of an aurora borealis.” From Issue 28, Louis Agassiz describes a jellyfish.

The following description of a jellyfish by the Swiss-born Harvard University naturalist Louis Agassiz appeared in his 1862 book Contributions to the Natural History of the United States. Agassiz’s descriptive prose was admired by contemporaries such as David Thoreau and Waldo Emerson, but also la...

02/04/2019
CABINET / Inventory / Artist’s Impact

Mercury’s craters include Tolstoy, Schoenberg, Basho, and Balzac. From Issue 27, an interview with the International Astronomical Union’s Mercury Task Group on picking the planet’s muses.

In November 1973, Mariner 10, an unmanned robotic interplanetary probe, was launched from NASA’s space center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. One of its missions was to capture images of Mercury, a planet whose proximity to the sun had made it one of the most difficult to observe. In fact, Mercury’s...

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