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Cabinet 18: Fictional States

Cabinet 18: Fictional States

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Book DescriptionFrom the perfectly organized island nation of Sir Thomas More's Utopia to the idealized mountain stronghold of Eldorado visited by the naive hero of Voltaire's Candide , the idea of the fictional state--utopian or dystopian, satirical or idealistic--has a long and distinguished pedigree in literature and philosophy. The issues explored by these classic imaginings--including questions of governmental organization, economic mechanisms, social policy, and cultural norms--are just as vital today as in the past, and continue to give rise to new alternative states, nations, and principalities inspired equally by political dissent and artistic fancy. Journeying in this expanded landscape of imaginary municipalities--with its unorthodox histories, ersatz bureaucratic apparatuses, do-it-yourself credentials, and fantasy topographies-- Cabinet no. 18 features William Bryk on the ephemera of fictional states, George Pendle on the socio-political trajectory of micro-nations, and a conversation between David Levi Strauss and Michael Taussig on state-making and magic, as well as portfolios by invented nations including NSK, Elgaland-Vargaland, Sealand, and the Hutt River Province Principality. The unthemed section includes Frances Stark on the charms of ivory; Christopher Turner on Spectro-Chrome Therapy; Samantha Hunt on Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's "Difference Engine;" and projects by artists including Craig Kalpakjian, Sasha Chavchavadze, and Caitlin Masley. Essays by William Bryk, George Pendle, David Levi Strauss and Michael Taussig. Paperback, 7.75 x 9.75 in./112 pgs / Illustrated throughout.