Cabinet #61 – Calendars

Sina Najafi (ed.)


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  • Cabinet Magazine
  • Spring - Summer 2017
  • ISBN 9781932698695
  • 96 pages
  • 25 × 20 × 0.7 cm

This description of Cabinet issue 61 was written on 1 September 2015. Which also happens to be 17 Dhu al-Qada 1436. And 17 Elul 5775. And 19 Wu 4713. The passage of time may be immutable, but the innumerable systems (Gregorian, Islamic, Hebrew and Chinese, respectively, above) that have been used to order our experience of Earth’s transit through the solar system suggest that our methods of measuring it are not. With its roots in the Latin kalendae—meaning „the called,“ the word refers to the practice of Roman priests „calling“ the first day of each Roman month—the calendar has long had a profound relationship to the state’s economic, religious and political power. And the common trajectory of calendars’ development during mid- to late antiquity, from empirical, flexible systems to schematic, fixed ones, also has telling parallels with shifts in broader social, scientific and technological attitudes. Cabinet issue 61, with a special section on „Calendars,“ includes Sebastian Lunefeld on why so many radical political movements have tried to institute calendar reform; Joanna Dopico on 19th-century French sociologist August Comte’s positivist calendar; and Gordon Landon on why some cultures developed, and continue to use, lunar calendars. Elsewhere in the issue: David Serlin on the long history of battlefield bandages with instructions printed on them; Tom Levin on early „voicemail,“ messages recorded on vinyl and mailed to loved ones; and Christopher Turner on the rise and fall of scratch-and-sniff films.


  • Ingestion / The Hunger Artists
    Oliver Preston
    Starved for attention
  • Leftovers / Vapor Trails
    D. Graham Burnett
    Clouds and conspiracies
  • Inventory / The Savoy Files
    Christopher Turner
    How the famous hotel indexed its guests
  • Sentences / Fair Hopes of Ending All
    Brian Dillon
    The morbid extravagance of John Donne


  • F-Hole
    Justine Kurland
    Selling vans, smashing guitars
  • Of Primitives and Primaries
    Nicholas Gaskill
    Putting color in the classroom
  • Between the Mine and the Stream
    Justin E. H. Smith
    Herbert Hoover’s presidential philosophy
  • Uncomputables
    Agnieszka Kurant
    Harnessing the unpredictable power of emergence
  • Packing My Library, or, the Melancholy of Departure
    Allen S. Weiss
    The meditations of a bibliophile


  • Labor Days
    Tony Wood
    Reinventing the workweek in the Soviet Union
  • Anarchist Calendrics
    Byron Ellsworth Hamann
    The chronological agitations of Moses Harman
  • Shuffling through the Year
    Adam Jasper
    Finding the calendar in the cards
  • The Lens of Time
    Adam Herring
    Temporality and experience in Inca Cuzco


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