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.

Mission: Founded as a non-profit in 1999, Cabinet is a quarterly magazine of art and culture based in New York that confounds expectations of what is typically meant by the words “art,” “culture,” and sometimes even “magazine.” Its hybrid sensibility merges the popular appeal of an arts periodical, the visually engaging style of a design magazine, and the in-depth exploration of a scholarly journal to create a sourcebook of ideas for an eclectic international audience of readers, from artists and designers to scientists, philosophers, and historians. Using essays, interviews, and artist projects to present a wide range of topics in language accessible to the non-specialist, Cabinet is designed to encourage a new culture of curiosity, one that forms the basis both for an ethical engagement with the world as it is and for imagining how it might be otherwise. In an age of increasing specialization, Cabinet looks to previous traditions of the well-rounded thinker to forge a new type of magazine designed for the intellectually curious reader of the future.

"The history of digital cash consists of scientific discoveries from the 1970s, hardware from the 1980s, and networks fr...
11/02/2021
Trading in Atoms for Bits | Finn Brunton

"The history of digital cash consists of scientific discoveries from the 1970s, hardware from the 1980s, and networks from the 1990s, shaped by theories from the previous three centuries and beliefs about the next ten thousand years." It is "at its heart the history of a debate about knowledge, an epistemological argument conducted through technologies." For our new "Kiosk" essay, Finn Brunton on the rise of digital currencies.

https://www.cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/brunton_finn_11_february_2021.php

The long history of digital currencies

In the fourth and final installment of our series "Imagination & the Carceral State" organized by Joshua Bennett, Bennet...
14/01/2021
Wherever We Are Gathered | Joshua Bennett

In the fourth and final installment of our series "Imagination & the Carceral State" organized by Joshua Bennett, Bennett examines the history of Harlem's shortlived but highly influential Black Arts Repertory Theatre School, one of the nodal points of "the constellation of fugitive projects operating under the aegis of the 'Black School.'"

https://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/bennett_joshua_14_january_2021.php

The Black Arts School and its afterlives

Join us online on 5 Dec at 12:30 pm EST / 6:30 pm Central European Time for a conversation between artist Simon Leung an...
24/11/2020
Discussion / “War After War,” with Simon Leung and Barry Schwabsky | Cabinet

Join us online on 5 Dec at 12:30 pm EST / 6:30 pm Central European Time for a conversation between artist Simon Leung and writer Barry Schwabsky on Leung's 2011 film about the life of Warren Niesłuchowski. The event is for the opening of the exhibition "And Warren Niesłuchowski Was There" at Warsaw’s Foksal Gallery.

https://www.cabinetmagazine.org/events/leung_schwabsky_war_after_war.php

Date: Saturday, 5 December 2020, 12:30–2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time / 6:30–8:00 pm Central European Time Venue: Online via Zoom. Please register here. The discussion will also be streamed live on Youtube. We will post the Youtube link on this page a few minutes before the event. Moderated by Jo...

Is it a dream? Or is issue 67 finally here? And what is this? It has a theme section on “Dreams,” guest-edited by none o...
06/11/2020

Is it a dream? Or is issue 67 finally here? And what is this? It has a theme section on “Dreams,” guest-edited by none other than Matthew Spellberg? And are there really articles on dream sharing, dream monitoring, dream books, Wittgenstein’s dream, divine dreaming, the tedium of listening to complaints about having to listen to other people’s dreams (oy!), and more? And if I wake up? Is it true that I can also read about the history of Technicolor, terrifying non-anatomical dentures, Roland Barthes’s love of wrestling, the Situationists’ surprising affection for Giorgio de Chirico, Native minstrelsy in the US, a single sentence by Samuel Beckett, greyhounds and canine blood banks, and a cocktail recipe guide that tells you “what you'll get with what you've got”? All this in one issue? Pinch me! http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/67/

For some American Islamophobes, the enemy, though multitudinous, is also hidden; Muslims, they claim, can resort to the ...
29/10/2020
Hidden Enemies | Joshua Craze

For some American Islamophobes, the enemy, though multitudinous, is also hidden; Muslims, they claim, can resort to the doctrine of taqiyya to lie about their true religion. But to unveil this subterfuge, the patriotic guardians of the republic have no choice but to adopt a similar tactic. Joshua Craze on how the encounter between American political paranoia and a minor doctrine in Islam produces a hall of mirrors in which lying becomes the only way to defend the truth.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/craze_joshua_29_october_2020.php

An American History of Taqiyya

Around 1800, Novalis wrote, “Philosophy is really homesickness, an urge to be at home everywhere.” Some 150 years later,...
28/10/2020
Online Discussion / “The Philosophical Trope of ‘Homelessness’ and the Question of Ethics,” with Cecilia Sjöholm and Sven-Olov Wallenstein | Cabinet

Around 1800, Novalis wrote, “Philosophy is really homesickness, an urge to be at home everywhere.” Some 150 years later, Theodor Adorno would instead propose that “ethics today means not being at home in one’s house.” Join us online for a discussion with philosophers Cecilia Sjöholm & Sven-Olov Wallenstein to discuss the history of the idea of homelessness in the history of thought.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/events/sjoholm_wallenstein_homelessness_cosmopolitanism.php

Tuesday, 3 November 2020, 12:30–1:30 pm Eastern Standard Time / 6:30–7:30 pm Central European Time Venue: Online via Zoom. Please register here. The discussion will also be streamed live on Youtube. We will post the Youtube link on this page 10 minutes before the event. Moderated by Joanna Warsz...

We miss already the beautiful, extraordinary Matt Freedman—our longtime collaborator and contributor, and president of o...
27/10/2020

We miss already the beautiful, extraordinary Matt Freedman—our longtime collaborator and contributor, and president of our board of directors—who passed away on Saturday. Matt was brilliant, humble, generous, funny, loving, kind, and always able to see and focus on what was unique and interesting in each person. He could draw and write his way out of any puzzle or situation, and even when given his cancer diagnosis in 2012, he continued to draw and write about that, most brilliantly in his book “Relatively Indolent but Relentless.” From his strange and adventurous mind sprang the 2002 exhibition “The Paper Sculpture Show,” and working with him on the performance event “Iron Artist” remains the most luminous experience we have ever had. In the videos circulating online of the madcap live reenactment of the Superbowl that he and his partner Jude Tallichet mounted in 2010 (one of a series of such live enactments of major sports events see), you see what made all of Matt’s ventures special: a maximal amount of work would go into every project without ever calibrating the time and effort against the usual metrics. Everything was done with full intensity, joy, and love. We miss already beautiful, extraordinary Matt; we will miss him forever.

An eight-century BC palace relief of three Assyrian soldiers smashing the sculpture of a king, and a viral video from 20...
23/10/2020
Discussion / “The Idols of ISIS,” with Aaron Tugendhaft, Michael Rakowitz, Rijin Sahakian, and Wendy M. K. Shaw | Cabinet

An eight-century BC palace relief of three Assyrian soldiers smashing the sculpture of a king, and a viral video from 2015 depicting Islamic State fighters doing the same thing in the Mosul Museum. Why this persistent drive to destroy images? Why make other images showing their destruction? These are the questions addressed in Aaron Tugendhaft’s new book “The Idols of ISIS.” Join us on 1 November, 12 pm NY time, for a discussion between Tugendhaft, artist Michael Rakowitz, writer Rijin Sahakian, and scholar Wendy M. K. Shaw to discuss the political power of images. An event co-presented with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/events/tugendhaft_basha_rakowitz_sahakian_shaw_idols_of_isis.php

Date: Sunday, 1 November 2020, 12–2 Eastern Standard Time / 6–8 pm Central European TimeVenue: Online via Zoom. Please register here. Note that the Zoom link for the event itself will be emailed to all registered guests on 30 October.

Join us online for “War After War," a discussion with artist Simon Leung and writer Barry Schwabsky addressing questions...
22/10/2020
Discussion / “War after War,” with Simon Leung and Barry Schwabsky | Cabinet

Join us online for “War After War," a discussion with artist Simon Leung and writer Barry Schwabsky addressing questions of belonging, homelessness, and radical hospitality raised by “War After War” — Leung’s 2011 film on and with Warren Niesluchowski — and by Schwabsky’s 2011 article on Niesluchowski titled “The Perpetual Guest.” The discussion is on Thursday, 29 October, at 1:30 pm NY time. Registration info can be found at the link.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/events/leung_schwabsky_war_after_war.php

Date: Thursday, 29 October 2020, 1:30–2:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time / 6:30–7:30 pm Central European Time Venue: Online via Zoom. Please register here. You can also stream the discussion live on Youtube. Link to live stream will be available shortly before the start of the event. Moderated by Joa...

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, chartered in 1865 by the US Congress, was meant to offer a path toward financi...
13/10/2020
Unpaid Debt | Yong Kwon

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, chartered in 1865 by the US Congress, was meant to offer a path toward financial stability for the millions of newly emancipated African Americans. Yong Kwon on the symptomatic demise of the bank, which went bankrupt in 1874, leaving most of its customers with heavy financial losses.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/kwon_yong_13_october_2020.php

The Freedman’s Bank and the abandonment of Black America

What kind of republic does the US want to be? A republic of violence & inequity, or a republic of letters? The latter ne...
20/08/2020
The Republic of Letters: An Interview with Nancy Pope | Joshua Bauchner and Nancy Pope

What kind of republic does the US want to be? A republic of violence & inequity, or a republic of letters? The latter needs a healthy postal service, as imagined in section 8 of the Constitution. Nancy Pope, historian at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, talks to Joshua Bauchner on the remarkable story of one of our most important institutions.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/47/bauchner_pope.php

Going through the mail

Since 2006, Congress has done its best to make the USPS fail. The USPS is a vital institution for any fucntionaing repub...
18/08/2020
Postcard / Portrait of Raymond Bullard | Cabinet

Since 2006, Congress has done its best to make the USPS fail. The USPS is a vital institution for any fucntionaing republic; it is a heroic enterprise dependent on its many heroic workers. Meet the extraordinary Raymond Bullard, Cabinet's mailman for many years, whom we celebrated in a special postcard in our Infrastructure issue. (And yes, that background is nicked from Van Gogh's portrait of his own beloved postman Joseph Roulin.)

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/41/postcard.php

In 1955, the “Hiroshima Maidens”—25 young Japanese women disfigured by the atomic bomb—arrived in the US for reconstruct...
11/08/2020
The Clean Room / Domesticating the Hiroshima Maidens | David Serlin

In 1955, the “Hiroshima Maidens”—25 young Japanese women disfigured by the atomic bomb—arrived in the US for reconstructive plastic surgery. Their journey was covered in magazines and on television; they were even made the subject of a special episode of “This Is Your Life” in which they were introduced to one of the airmen who had piloted the "Enola Gay." David Serlin on the “Hiroshima Maidens” and the US government’s attempt to recuperate the stigma of dropping the bomb using the aura of benevolent science.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/11/serlin.php

Plastic surgery after the atomic bomb

In the 1990s, the West declared that the ecological disaster in the former GDR was due entirely to the failures of commu...
06/08/2020
Animal Farms | Thomas Fleischman

In the 1990s, the West declared that the ecological disaster in the former GDR was due entirely to the failures of communism. In our new Kiosk essay "Animal Farms," Thomas Fleischman looks at how the history of pig farming in the GDR counters this condescending, insular narrative and reconnects farming in the GDR to global environmental history.

http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/fleischman_thomas_6_august_2020.php

A porcine history of East Germany’s rise and fall

“Heaven,” the Talking Heads sang, “is a place where nothing ever happens.” What sort of heaven is that, and do we want t...
29/07/2020
Same as It Ever Was | Becca Rothfeld

“Heaven,” the Talking Heads sang, “is a place where nothing ever happens.” What sort of heaven is that, and do we want to go there? For our new “Kiosk,” Becca Rothfeld takes St. Augustine to the movies to watch the band's 1984 concert film “Stop Making Sense.”

In heaven with St. Augustine and the Talking Heads

In his 2002 essay on the history of the rock formation known as the Six Grandfathers, Matthew Buckingham worked with geo...
04/07/2020
The Six Grandfathers, Paha Sapa, in the Year 502,002 C.E. | Matthew Buckingham

In his 2002 essay on the history of the rock formation known as the Six Grandfathers, Matthew Buckingham worked with geologists to imagine what erosion will have done in 500,000 years’ time to the four colonialists' faces carved into the rock. May the Six Grandfathers, and the Black Hills, be returned to their rightful owners soon.

The image above shows what geologists believe the Six Grandfathers will look like in the year 502,002 CE Located just south of the geographic center of the continental United States in the Paha Sapa, or Black Hills, this mountain has also been called Slaughterhouse Peak, Cougar Mountain, and is now....

"Time" has just interviewed Lily Scherlis about her excellent essay for us on the history of the term "social distancing...
30/06/2020
The Surprisingly Deep—and Often Troubling—History of ‘Social Distancing’

"Time" has just interviewed Lily Scherlis about her excellent essay for us on the history of the term "social distancing," which had been used loosely until US sociology adopted it after the 1919 Chicago race riots as a tool for analyzing racial divisions. Original article is here: http://cabinetmagazine.org/kiosk/scherlis_lily_30_april_2020.php

While it may seem to be a product of the COVID-19 moment, the term has a long history

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