Commentary

18th July 2020

Murdo MacDonald on Patrick Geddes :
His Intellectual Origins
by R J Morris

Powerful personality and polymath par excellence – Patrick Geddes has been plastered with so many labels that it sometimes seems that he’s all but disappeared from public perception. How should we rate Geddes and his work now? R J Morris puts the new critical work by Murdo MacDonald in context.
16th July 2020

Metaphor as Parasite:
on ecologies of love, language and disease
by Daisy Lafarge

Too complex to be just romance, too full of personal feeling to be only philosophy, Daisy Lafarge’s Metaphor is a peerlessly accomplished take on love in literary and biological history, gripped with a social scientist’s certainty and the passion of a votary. As an extract from a longer work-in-progress, Lovebug, due to be published in the near future, it was written prior to the global pandemic, so was not intended as a comment or an analysis on current events and all resonance therewith, happy or otherwise, is entirely fortuitous.
11th July 2020

The Power of Ten:
A New Turn(er) of Events
by Neil Cooper

For the second year in a row The Turner Prize takes a lurch towards acknowledgment of the collective. Is this democracy in action? Is it a definitive change? Should we rejoice? Or is the change dictated merely by temporary circumstances? Neil Cooper looks at the history and some contemporary realities.
9th July 2020

Imagination in the Contemporary Society of the Spectacle by Jacob Lund

We are currently witnessing some fundamental changes in the conditions and the status of images: More and more images are networked; cameras and screens (portable or fixed) are everywhere; image data is geotagged; databases can be navigated in real-time; the prevalence of the phenomena of operative images and "machine vision" detached from human control and sense-perception rapidly increases, etc.
7th June 2020

On Peoples’ Palaces
by Hailey Maxwell

Having quietly endured almost twenty years of managed decline, writes Hailey Maxwell, it is crucial that we consider the possibility that the Peoples’ Palace on Glasgow Green – a valuable civic asset and monument to Scottish history and working-class life may presently be at real risk of being neutralised, misappropriated and entirely co-opted into a neoliberal agenda. Spaces and places which were once public are being repurposed and reimagined not for the benefit of the citizen but for the property developer, the multi-national corporation and the tourist.
29th May 2020

Recovering Reality: Fact-Checking the Traveller… (tether your scapegoat here…)
by Candace G. Thomas

In part two of her extended essay on the prejudices and stigma still faced by contemporary Travellers, Candace Thomas challenges the callousness both casual - and causal - of media and policy makers in a way very recently, proven to rattle those in power: checking the facts and recovering reality.
25th May 2020

Judith Butler’s ‘The Force of Nonviolence’ by Johnny Rodger

How long will the patriarchy last? -How long have you got? The universal quality of Butler's work demands, ironically, that you find it, not as some pristine, independent, already perfected example, but as situated in the relational context of, and with all the potential of, your own local world.
20th May 2020

Pandemical Discourses 7: Happy now..? Optimism or Hope?

Is there cause for optimism or hope now that countries are starting to move out of the lockdown and other restrictions? From Naomi Klein to the Financial Times -from Women Leaders to Trump's tiny mitts...
13th May 2020

Pandemical Discourses 6: Of Elites and Epidemics…

Is the Anglo-British elite crumbling in the face of the coronavirus pandemic? And does it matter to the rest of the world?