The Anti-Spectacle

The Democratic National Convention is already under fire for not feeding enough red meat to its voracious attendees (so say the dweebs on the “Best Political Team” of bloviating CNN commentators). But there are indeed real criticisms to be made. And David Levi Strauss, chair of the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department at School of Visual
Arts, shares his critical perspective via daily dispatches from the DNC on Exposures, the Aperture blog. Here’s a sample from the first night:
    “Something felt wrong from the beginning; not just the self-conscious
mawkishness, but something deeper, lurking under the dead end of
identity politics. It was as if the worst tendencies of 1980s had come
out to make one last attempt to stifle the future. Race vs. gender. And
the hall was haunted by other spectres of past failures: Ted Kennedy,
John Kerry, Howard Dean. I’m sure we’ll see Al Gore soon. There is
something inside American liberalism that forgives too much and gives
up too soon.”
   
For some, this may sound like self-defeating pessimism, while others will see it as cautionary words to the wise. Whatever the interpretation, Levi Strauss’ commentaries are bound to provoke–and provocation triggers change.
    Also check out The Electoral College for independent thoughts on the election process and its daily photostream (samples below).

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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