All posts filed under: featured

mirrors: in pluralism, syncretism and construction

Image: The Battle of Algiers (Film) This essay attempts to explore/ deconstruct how Assia Djebar’s socialization informed her literary style in her novel “Children of the New World.” Polarities of praise and criticism Djebar has received, point to how her formative experiences (cultural, political, gendered) have informed the structure and artistry of the novel in ways not often seen in other writers’ works. However, the aesthetic approaches used by Djebar in writing this novel are perhaps equally (more interestingly) derived by how the tools of her socialization aided in achieving her intended goals with this book. Assia Djebar’s Background Born in 1936 in then French Algeria, Djebar was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, and became part of a generation of writers who not only came of age during a series of colonial independence movements, but also whose socialization was shaped by a range of influences — in Djebar’s case, Western, Arab and Berber. The only woman amongst the Algerian literary pioneers of her generation, her work included novels, essays, documentary films and plays, all …

a viable model

It’s one thing to question your mind. It’s another to question your eyes and ears. But, then again, isn’t it all the same? Are senses just mediocre inputs for our brain? Sure, we rely on them, trust that they accurately portray the real world around us, but what if the haunting truth is, they can’t? That, what we perceive isn’t the real world at all, but just our mind’s best guess. ~ Elliot Alderson This essay focuses on Mr. Robot, a television series equivalent of an indie film, whose first season is said to have pushed boundaries and captured the cultural zeitgeist, almost overnight. Its first season ratings established it as the #3 most watched scripted cable drama in the US, garnering multiple awards and nominations — leading to the series being licensed in almost 200 countries (Birnbaum). This essay analyzes the strategies employed, deconstructs the elements contributing to its success, and explores why the series may be a model for future television properties moving forward.    The series is about a hacker genius whose …

takashi murakami: owning the spectrum

“Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of ‘high art.’ In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay— I’m ready with my hard hat.” ~ Takashi Murakami While market size and sales volumes are usually not requirements in looking at an artist’s work, Murakami’s intent to blur boundaries between fine arts and commercial products, alongside the increasingly mainstream demand of his work, necessitates an analysis of the business strategies and models he employs. This should be accompanied by an understanding of how aesthetically and conceptually he crafts his work as an artist, a movement and a brand. Murakami’s approach is far from textbook in how he operates his artistic practice as an international business; how he combines elements of Japanese fine art and popular culture and makes it meaningful to both high art audiences and consumers worldwide. In the Artforum article, “Economies of Scale: Takashi Murakami’s Technics,” the …