Category Archive: bifocal

Bifocal 10: Vogue Italia and Hyperreality

“The industry of the Absolute Fake gives a semblance of truth to the myth of immortality through the play of imitations and copies, and it achieves the presence of the divine in the… Continue reading

Bifocal 9: The Recovery of Bruce and Breaking with the Modern

“No ‘theory’ of modernity makes sense today unless it comes to terms with the hypothesis of a postmodern break with the modern.” Excerpt from A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the… Continue reading

Bifocal 8: Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball and Casino Architecture

“The intricate maze under the low ceiling never connects with outside light or outside space. This disorients the occupant in space and time. One loses track of where one is and when it… Continue reading

Bifocal 7: Back to the Future and Modernist Space

“Empty space becomes both fertile and intimidating in modernist special effects, like an extension of Wagner’s blackened gulf between audience and the lit stage at Bayreuth. The blank and unobstructed suggest absence as… Continue reading

Bifocal 5: Dreams Come True and NBC

“There’s a reason why the otherwise antithetical Leno and Conan camps are united in their derision of NBC’s titans. A TV network has become a handy proxy for every mismanaged, greedy, disloyal and… Continue reading

Bifocal 4: Fisher Body and WALL-E

“At once avant and pop, horrendously bleak and cheerfully cute, WALL-E is the quintessential twenty-first-century motion picture. Celebrating (or embalming) an obsolete technology, it’s the 2001 of 2008–a postphotographic film set in a… Continue reading

Bifocal 3: Diamond Dust Shoes and the Airport

“The ‘00s really began on December 12th, 2000, the day the Supreme Court blocked Florida from recounting ballots and anointed George W. Bush. Other bad days were to follow—most famously 9/11. But we… Continue reading

Bifocal 2: Avatar and Superlatives

“You go to Las Vegas precisely because you want to be overwhelmed by an excessive visual ordeal. We define and describe spectacle by the use of superlatives, and Wynn tells you on his… Continue reading

Bifocal 1: Rolling Stone and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

“Beckman, now fifty-six, has been hiding in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where, until recently, he has been serving donuts for seven dollars an hour. A look into his eyes will tell you what you already… Continue reading