Keller Easterling

"Some of the most disquieting drawings are at once teen-aged and middle-aged, juvenile and institutional, or adorable and menacing. In her book Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting, Sianne Ngai’s exploration of ‘cute’ visits this strange conflation of meanings in two Japanese words that are pronounced almost the same kawaii (cute) and kowai (scary or creepy). Fluffy mixes with muscular, toy with weapon, goofy with heavy metal, Excalibur with Hello Kitty. Pirate skulls and shiny metal bots meet diminutive human and non-human figures. They seem to derive from some generic formula that teenagers teach each other when they doodle in a notebook. It is not the cartoon they would draw themselves, but one that adheres to a repeatable template and looks strangely like the ‘professional’ work of a hack cartoonist who has tricks for drawing stock eyes, noses and big open-mouthed grins – giant dentures with the glinting starburst that can anthropomorphise anything. And they stand ready to release either another rancid threat or another cheerful information-for-dumbies message.

The background music downshifts into a mash-up of epic, electronic sediment and the high-pitched, push-button melody fragments of computer games. Look up towards the oriole windows in the painting through which gods, princely merchants and political leaders usually ascend to heaven. Now they are a strange wormhole in history that collapses fictions of the modern and progressive with new episodes of savagery. Rising through to the clouds are global-scale diasporas of crusaders and Mongolian warriors travelling with packs of salesmen, security specialists and belligerent teenagers rendered as squat cartoon figures – girls with big breasts and baby-faces and boys with huge eyes and feet, wearing bell bottoms and ISIS t-shirts. Equipped with twenty-first-century telecommunications, the teenagers can now summon other teenagers from anywhere in the world to annihilate each other in a desert – young men as eager as management consultants to conform or join the gang, and young women made to feel unloved. And the circular ISIS logo, with its gratuitous metallic shine and airbrushed gradients looks like any logo, badge or seal of approval from any popular corporation or NGO. All float upwards with eagles, alligators, sharks, leprechauns, squirrels and other mascots of motivation, violence and puppy-love."

"Superbug"

Log 39 Spring 2017 — March 15, 2017

"The Histories of Things That Don’t Happen and Shouldn’t Always Work"

Arjun Appadurai and Arien Mack, eds., Failure: Social Research International Quarterly — September 1, 2016

"Split Screen"

Ilke and Andreas Ruby, eds., Infrastructure Space, Holcim Foundation (Ruby Press). — 2016

"Things That Don’t Always Work"

Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing, Jussi Parikka and Elvia Wilk, eds., Across and Beyond—A Transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions — 2016

"A Man a Tree and and Ax"

Lola Sheppard and Maya Przybylski, eds., Bracket: At Extremes (Barcelona: Actar). — November 1, 2016

Encounters with Climate

Encounters with Climate

“Encounters with Climate” in James D. Graham, ed., Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City/Lars Muller Publishers, 2015). — 2016

Infra-read: Interview by Jesse Seegers

Infra-read: Interview by Jesse Seegers

Pin-Up — May 1, 2016

<em>ARQ 92: Excepiones</em>

ARQ 92: Excepiones

April 1, 2016

Protocols of Interplay

Protocols of Interplay

Volume: The System — April 1, 2016

The Dispositions of Theory

The Dispositions of Theory

James Graham, ed.,The Urgencies of Architectural Theory (New York, GSAPP Books) — 2015

An Internet of Things

An Internet of Things

reprint in Brian Kuan Wood, Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle eds., e-flux journal: The Internet Does Not Exist (Sternberg Press). — 2015

Interview

Interview

Arqa — 2011

Pandas: A Rehearsal

Pandas: A Rehearsal

Cornell Journal of Architecture — 2011

Fresh Fields

Fresh Fields

Coupling: Pamphlet Architecure 30 Infranet Lab/Lateral Office (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) — 2011

Rumor

Rumor

Megan Born and Lily Jencks, eds, Via: Dirt, University of Pennsylvania — 2012

Come to Things

Come to Things

Metahaven and Marina Vishmidt, eds., Uncorporate Identity (Zürich: Lars Müller) — 2010

Graduate Sessions No. 9

Graduate Sessions No. 9

Syracuse University — 2010

The Activist Entrepreneur

The Activist Entrepreneur

John Wriedt ed., Architecture: From the Outside In (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) — 2010

World City Doubles

World City Doubles

Roldolphe El-Khoury and Edward Robbins, ed., Shaping the City: Studies in History, Theory and Urban Design (Routledge). — June 1, 2013

In the Briar Patch

In the Briar Patch

Jonathan Solomon ed., Sustain and Develop 306090 Volume 13 (New York: 306090, Inc.) — 2009

The Agent: Interview with Neeraj Bhatia

The Agent: Interview with Neeraj Bhatia

The Agent No. 0 — May 1, 2014

Absolute Submission

Absolute Submission

Crisis, a collaboration of C-Lab and Urban China — September 15, 2008

Without Claims to Purity

Without Claims to Purity

aX, vol. 1+2 (Winter) — 2008

Megabuilding

Megabuilding

Architektura 4, 163 (Kwiecien) — 2009

Intermediate Points of Interest

Intermediate Points of Interest

Gaby Brainard, Rustam Mehta, and Thom Moran eds., Perspecta 41 Grand Tour — 2008

The Knowledge

The Knowledge

Volume 13: Ambition — 2007

Disposition: In_site

Disposition: In_site

In_Site: A Dynamic Equilibrium, In_Site 05 (Friessen) — 2007

Foreword

Foreword

Young Architects 7: Situating, catalog of Architectural League's Young Architects competition and exhibition (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) — 2006

Other Aggressions and Maneuvers

Other Aggressions and Maneuvers

The Last Mile, photography catalog Satya Pemmaraju (Gallery SKE) — 2007

Non-statecraft

Non-statecraft

Maghreb Connection: Movements of Life Across North Africa (Barcelona: ACTAR) — 2007

Not Everything

Not Everything

Volume 2: Not Everything — 2005

Architect-at-Large

Architect-at-Large

Volume 1 — 2005

With Satellites: Remote Sending in South Asia and the Middle East

With Satellites: Remote Sending in South Asia and the Middle East

Brian McGrath and Grahame Shane eds., AD, Sensing the 21st Century: Close-up and Remote Vol. 75 No. 6 — 2005

Offshore

Offshore

Anselm Frank and Eyal Weizman, eds., Territories: the Frontiers of Utopia and Other Facts on the Ground (Berlin: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König) — 2004

Orgman

Orgman

Stephen Graham, ed., The Cybercities Reader (London: Routledge) — 2003

Subtraction

Subtraction

Perspecta 34: Temporary Architecture (MIT Press) — 2003

Tomato World

Tomato World

Praxis 4: Landscapes — January 1, 2002

A-Ware

Journal of Architectural Education, special digital issue — January 1, 2002

Wildcards: a Game of Orgman

Wildcards: a Game of Orgman

Metalocus 5 — 2000

Interchange and Container: The New Orgman

Interchange and Container: The New Orgman

Perspecta 30 Settlement Patterns — 1999

A Short Contemplation on Money and Comedy

A Short Contemplation on Money and Comedy

Thresholds 18 (MIT) — 1999

Distributive Protocols: Residential Formations

Distributive Protocols: Residential Formations

Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design (Routledge) — 1998

American Town Plans excerpt

ANY — 1993

Siting Protocols

Siting Protocols

Peter Lang, ed., Suburban Discipline (Storefront Books) — 1997

Call it Home

Assemblage 24 — 1994

Perceiving Action

Offramp, SCI-ARC Journal, vol. 1, no. 5 — 1993

Switch

Switch

City Speculations (New York: Princeton Architectural Press) — 1996