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Severin Fowles
Severin Fowles
Assitant Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College
Ruin Porn
Ruin Porn
How are we to account for the wild propagation of so many high definition images rehearsing the apocalyptic end of Western civilization? Popular films set amidst the crumbling architecture of New York City are too numerous to list. Urban blight in Detroit provides a parallel object of meditation in newspapers, as well as a strange destination for a new generation of 'ruin tourists.' “I came to see the end of the world,” commented a German college student to a New York Times reporter as they found themselves jointly gazing upon Detroit’s massive, crumbling Packard Plant. Another ruin tourist, we are told, used the same rusting relics of twentieth century industrialism as a backdrop for a nude photo shoot. The aestheticization of modern ruination is a major new movement. Coffee table books spill over with romantic images of derelict factories, overgrown amusement parks, and rotting refuse. What is going on?
Kinfolk
90 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Bio
Severin Fowles is an archaeological anthropologist focusing his work on iconography, religion, and materality. He has completed a decade's worth of fieldwork in investigating the life of New Mexico's local, pre-Columbian communities. He has directed and participated in countless archaeological surveys and excavations, and has won several honors and awards including one from the National Science Foundation in 2013. His first book was published last year, under the name “An Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion” (2013, School for Advanced Research Press).