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When Swiss-Dutch landscape architect Anouk Vogel got invited to take part of the Architecture Monogram series she decided to do this – yet, not without her alter ego. Vogel is used to hear both sides of the story, when she starts to think about new projects – sometimes solely within her head, sometimes as soft whisper, while one adopts the analytical tasks, the other one stays intuitive. How this on-going dialogue ‘sounds’ like can be seen and ‘listened to’ in this thoughtfully composed artist book. Thereby her inner Q&A never stands alone. Architectural designs, photographs, and material collections accompany her thoughts and probably represents best, what both sides of her brain hemispheres certainly can agree on: “I wish design could be simply the possibility of something.” - “Rather than an end product?” - “Yes”. Buy...

Exceptional situations require exceptional books! Well, at least they can help us to endure these times. As we are thrown back on the minimum of what our lives are made of right now, John Maeda’s book 'The Laws of Simplicity' is such a book. Whether for business, technology, or life in general the graphic designer and professor in MIT’s Media Lab succeeds to break down the principles of simplicity into 10 essential components. By following the doctrine that good design should be equated with sanity, he outlines different methods (even here, he keeps it mesmerising simple by summarising them in acronyms) to offer a framework on how to keep it as simple as possible without lacking complexity, and hence functionality or even meaning. While Law 9 'Failure' is described as „Some things can never be made simple” luckily the 2nd Law 'Organize' comes into play as “The home is usually the first battleground that comes to mind when facing the daily challenge of managing complexity.” Buy...

Diving into Steve McQueen’s audio-visual cosmos feels most of the time like a free fall into the far-flung corners of the depths of human existence. His critically acclaimed films such as 'Hunger', 'Shame' or '12 Years of Slave' are anything else than easy to digest, spanning from slavery, racism, sex addiction, self harming behavior to torture. And yet, his tangible and astounding multi-sensorial exploitation of mankind shows above all, our vulnerability  – and it’s beauty. The Tate Modern currently would present – under different, pre-corona circumstances – the work of this exceptional British artist and filmmaker. This range of installations, films and video art of the last 20 years is both, radically thought-provoking and dazzling poetic. Starting where his last exhibition at the ICA ended in 1999, this catalogue gives you the chance to see – not in real, but in a not less tactile version – an on-going search of this radical mind for the truth, albeit as he said in interview with BBC Radio 4: “…the most horrific things sometimes happen in the most beautiful places…I cannot put a filter on life. It’s about not blinking.” Buy...

When the New Yorker staff writer, Lillian Ross, met ‚le petite Truffaut‘, the French cinéaste, author, critic and pioneering film director of La Nouvelle Vague the fifth time in 1976, his English was surprisingly “terrific!”. Truffaut who seemed throughout resistant to pick up any English word far into his career, announced proudly that he had taken an intensive language course - which was basically reading the newspaper and watching the Watergate hearings on TV. Overwhelmed by the charming pronunciation Ross transcribed most of what he had to say phonetically for the magazine section 'Talk of Town': “To ze best of my recollection at zis point in time.” He could read books in English. “I read ‚Ze final Days,‘” he told us. “Extraordinaire!“ I also read 'I remember Eet Well,’ by Vincente Minelli. But cannot read ze novels in English. Ze vocabulaire! Ver-ee difficult!” The beautifully written texts by Lilian Ross, shifting between interview and portrait, give you a very personal, touching sight of this extraordinary filmmaker. During these five encounters, they talk about his latest movies, but also how he spends his vacation (mostly he sits by the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not going into the pool, not playing tennis, just sitting there or, visiting his long-time friend Jean Renoir from time to time), life in general, while he regularly updates the incredible number of movies he has seen (by the time they caught up in 1976 Truffaut had watched 5450 movies from the age of 11 years!). This small pocket book of grand journalism leaves you with only one desire: that this should never end! Also you probably will have difficulties to decide who to love more: Lillian Ross or François Truffaut? Frankly, maybe it doesn't really have to end, find more of the Film Desk Books here. Buy...

Where on Earth do you begin a story about the Earth? Earth defined by nature? Earth defined by a higher power? Earth defined by humankind? ⁠After a "Call for Globes" by the ETH Zurich, the responses were wide-ranging, coming from various disciplines. Whether from sciences addressing the subject of climate change, from architecture raising questions about global urbanisation, or from the arts reflecting on planetary transformation - the material gathered does not only open a discourse on how we see the world, but also how our world is constructed of competing narratives. And what better way to show this, than the opening picture of "Terrestrial Tales" showing God as a supreme craftsman bowed over the globe to administer the final touches of his creation, next to a picture of a migrant worker assembling a mass-produced globe between boxes and boxes of big blue plastic spheres in a factory somewhere on planet earth.⁠ Buy...

[gallery ids="72472,72474,72475"] ⁠If you, like us, are thinking now might be a good time to grab something new to add to your reading list…we just got our hands on Rachel Cusk’s incredible ‘Outline’ trilogy: ⁠A woman is on an aeroplane. A woman is sitting in a classroom. A woman is at a dinner party. Who is she? We are afforded only the briefest glimpses of Faye, the person who would ordinarily take the role of “main character” in this sparely-written trilogy of novels. This is what Rachel Cusk wants– to do away with character. And she succeeds. ‘Outline’, ‘Transit’ and ‘Kudos’ form a cycle where in place of a “plot”, acquaintances, colleagues, friends and strangers appear like phantoms to use Faye as a sort of sounding-board, their identities and experiences narrated purely and cleanly as though distilled, before receding again. These episodes build up on each other over the course of the three novels to reach a powerful and devastating conclusion as exciting as any thriller. As they do so, the spaces in between the conversations paint a portrait of Faye as a woman coming to terms with a great loss, and with herself, and the unfamiliar territory she finds herself in. And as you read these novels, you realise you, too, are on foreign ground – this is a whole new kind of fiction, one that can only be experienced by picking up a copy and letting it in.⁠ Find all books of Rachel Cusk here...

If there is one thing that could bring world peace then probably Hummus. People may not agree on politics or faith. They might have different opinions and views. But they can all agree on a bowl of Hummus.⁠ With this thought in mind a Palestinian, a Lebanese, and an Israeli who met in Paris set out to a joint utopian journey. On the Hummus Route runs across the streets and alleyways of nine Middle Eastern hummus hubs, from Cairo all the way to Damascus. It is a salute to the humble chickpea and the many ways it is eaten from, of course, hummus to falafel, crackers, soups, casseroles, salads, sauces, and pies, but it is also about humanity and the things that connect us because the love for Hummus transcends place, time, and borders.⁠ Buy...

It is hard to predict when you look at children what they might become one day and how their character and life is going to evolve. And while probably most of us agree that this is because we can not predict the future, it is even more fascinating that the same feeling of "the child as the blank book" hits you when you look at the childhood photographs of famous people in this beautiful, small book. To make the whole thing even more surprising and playful the name of each personality is written on the backside of their photograph. So you will find yourself saying over and over again into the little innocent faces "Really? Is that what you've become?"⁠ ⁠ And btw. Mother Teresa was blond!!!⁠ Buy...

The Feminist Art Program (FAP) took place from 1971 to 1975 at the California Institute of the Arts CalArts. It was a pioneering educational art class for female students, based on participation-centered working processes and group consciousness. After only a short run the program was stopped in 1975 and it is said that CalArts erased all the record of it from their institutional history for years to come. Luckily there is this new publication from Spector Books, giving us an insight to the methods, achievements and backlashes the program faced. The interspersing advertisements of that time directed to women, help us to understand the stereotypes and clichés women were confronted with.⁠ ⁠ And if you turn the book around you will find a special focus on John Baldessari’s Post Studio class liberating themselves from the myth of the genius, white-male artist sitting isolated in his studio, creating artworks. It's the birth of land art, activism art and performances. Conceptual art replaced the physical and led to dematerialisation.⁠ ⁠ Buy...

Film Idea: Clip Clop⁠ A tap dancer on his cigarette break witnesses a murder, now he must go on the noisiest run for his life.⁠ ⁠ Film Idea: Pants Day A man is committed to spend the day in his pants even though the lion has escaped from the zoo and a killer is on the loose.⁠ ⁠ After getting a retweet from American comedian Rob Delaney regarding a fart joke (something Rob Delaney may well not remember) Babak Ganjei woke up to find a number of film producers from Los Angeles following him. Sensing an opportunity somewhere, anywhere, over the next five years Babak used Twitter to pitch film ideas, sadly to no avail. So unfortunately you won't find any of the many script ideas at the recent Berlinale. But maybe these absurd and comical streams of consciousness are not meant for the silver screen. Maybe they unfold their full power, their random creativity, their hopeless search for the big breakthrough, their uncovering of the workings of the movie business best in a notebook format.⁠ Curious what other brilliant minds have published their work within the Rough Trade Edition? Well, click here. Buy...