The Funambulist - # 6 (July/August 2016)
A new bimonthly printed and digital magazine (linked to a blog and a podcast) edited by Léopold Lambert. Its subtitle, “Politics of Space and Bodies,” expresses it ambition to bridge the world of design (architecture, urbanism, industrial and fashion design) with the world of the humanities (philosophy, anthropology, history, geography, etc.) through critical articles written by long-time collaborators as well as new ones.
This issue’s theme is… objects. Our bodies are surrounded by them, wear them, use them, and eat them. They are all precisely designed, and are involved in complex manufacturing systems, yet we often fail to address the political intensity of our interaction with them.
There are guest columns about Native resistance in New Mexico by Jennifer Marley, and about the most recent Palestinian Festival of Literature by Bhakti Shringarpure. The articles of the main dossier are written by Charmaine Chua about the shipping container, Françoise Vergès about the banana, Manar Moursi & David Puig about Cairo’s street chairs, and Pascale Lapalud & Chris Blache (Genre & Ville) about gender and urban furniture in French cities. It also includes a short graphic essay about Ramallah’s Mukataa by Samir Harb and a text about the New Palestinian Museum “without objects” by Karim Kattan. The transcript of a 2014 Archipelago conversation with Miami artists/writers Gean Moreno & Ernesto Oroza examines the systems in which generic objects take place, while the photographic section is a partial report of the most recent Unknown Fields‘ expedition in Rajasthan’s garment factories. The three student projects invent a passport and a backpack for the refugees in Lesvos (Embassy for the Displaced), a kit of facial prosthetics to “trick biometrics” (Alix Gallet) and a bridge countering the segregating effects of the concrete walls of Baghdad (Sarah Almaki).
I had to look it up by the way: a funambulist is a person walking on a rope. Concentrating. Finding a balance over and over again. Holding you spellbound. Around 60 pages long!