Coulter, Gerry: Tadeo Ando, One World Trade Centre and “The Ground Zero Project”, 25.06.2014

I. Introduction

The recently opened One World Trade Centre (One WTC or “The Freedom Tower” as some insist on calling it) in New York City is a curious edifice. The building is the center piece of an ongoing effort to respond to the events of September 11, 2001. It is a remarkably unexceptional modern tower of glass and steel (104 stories) reaching a symbolic 1776 symbolic feet (541m) at the top of its 408 foot (104m) high tower. I am among those who did not think that anything would make us miss the architecture of the twin towers as much as this building does. America felt it had to respond to 9/11 with a big building and that is what it has done. Now that we have One WTC I wonder if anyone wonders what we might have had in place of this monstrous ode to architectural mediocrity and petty local politics.

Sadjed, Ariane: Die Konsumgesellschaft im Iran, 19.11.09

Abseits gängiger Klischees über die gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse im Iran beschreibt AVINUS-Autorin Ariane Sadjed die Rolle der islamischen Religion. Diese ist nämlich nicht zwangsläufig ein Mittel, um die Bevölkerung in Unmündigkeit zu halten. Vielmehr kann die Religion als Gegenpol zur Politik fungieren und damit Freiräume schaffen.

Coulter, Gerry: Ecology And Two Deaths, 06.10.09

Consider the story of the soldier who meets Death at a crossing of the marketplace, and he believes he saw him make a menacing gesture in his direction. He rushes to the king’s palace and asks the king for his best horse in order that he might flee during the night far from Death, as far as Samarkand. Upon which the king summons Death to the palace and reproaches him for having frightened one of his best servants. „I didn’t mean to frighten him. It was just that I was surprised to see this soldier here, when we had a rendez-vous tomorrow in Samarkand.“[1]

Coulter, Gerry: In the Shadow of Post-Democratic Capitalism – A Fascination for China, 26.11.08


I. Introduction

The relationship between the art of China and Western Art Museums has changed noticeably over the past decade. Previously we could expect Chinese artworks to appear primarily in historical, archaeological, anthropological or textile museums but not in major art museums (many of which still do not own an important Chinese art work). Many significant Western art museums have tended to avoid Chinese art specifically and Asian art generally. This is because Chinese art has remained outside of the definition of “art” (which in Western museums has been focused on oil paint and not the use of ink on paper, or ink and colour on silk or bamboo).

In the past five years, through a series of traveling shows, and a re-envisioning of existing holdings, our exposure to Chinese art in Western museums has increased. In the next section I examine how these shows are broadening the scope of what is on view in the West. In the third section I examine the global cultural context of these shows given China’s entry into a unique historical position – the potential bearer of post-democratic capitalism to the New World Order.

Heinrich, Caroline: In Search of the Child’s Innocence, 28.01.08

(translated from the German by Alan N. Shapiro)

Die Schaffung von Werten befindet sich im Spielplatz der Kinder”, schreibt Caroline Heinrich in diesem zum ersten Mal auf Englisch und exklusiv im AVINUS Magazin publizierten Essay. Die ausgewiesene Baudrillard-Expertin erklärt, warum die Unwissenheit der Kinder die ursprüngliche Quelle westlicher Wertvorstellungen ist.

Shapiro, Alan N.: TV’s ‚Lost‘. The Crash Out of Globalization and Into the World, 02.03.07

We Are ‚Lost Together‘

The television show Lost premiered on September 22, 2004. En route from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, USA, Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 crashes on an unknown Island in the South Pacific. The 48 survivors find themselves in hostile surroundings. Combining elements of drama, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, thriller and Reality-TV, Lost is arguably the most original and influential TV program since Star Trek in the 1960s. It is at the forefront of the ongoing total revolution of suspenseful content and technological creativity in television. It has received all the major industry awards in the USA, such as the Emmy and the Golden Globe. It is seen in more than 70 countries. An Informa media survey of 20 countries concluded in July 2006 that Lost is the second most viewed TV show in the world (behind CSI: Miami). In my media studies writing on Lost, I continue my project of inventing the literary genre of theory-fiction that I began in my book Star Trek: Technologies of Disappearance (called by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. in the academic journal Science Fiction Studies one of the most original works in the field of „science fiction theory“ since 1993). Now going further than the retelling of stories, I write first-person phenomenological narratives of what each of the 14 major characters of Lost is feeling, perceiving, thinking, and experiencing from moment to moment. It starts in the opening scene of the Pilot Episode with the predicament of Dr. Jack Shephard, who awakens in the woods after the plane crash with a painful flesh wound in his side that I see as metaphorical for the unexamined psycho-biographical wound of men in today’s global culture. I develop a new men’s movement theory that departs significantly from all currently circulating gender theories. More generally, my view of Lost is that it is telling us more about where we are after September 11, 2001 than any other discourse that has tried to define our situation following that Event. The crash of Lost is the crash of the terrorists‘ planes into the Twin Towers. Like the survivors on the Island, we confront an entirely new reality for which there is no preexisting explanation and no road map. We are truly Lost Together.