Religion & Spirituality + Design & Material Culture

Metahaven (graphic designers Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden) on two ideas about truth, from their project The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda).

Boris Groys (Medium Religion), on how religions “have moved from the private sphere of personal belief to the public sphere of visual communication.”

Boris Groys on the “obligation to self-design” in the internet age. “Once people had an interest in how their souls appeared to God,” Groys writes, “today they have an interest in how” they are liked on the internet.

Thomas Frank (The Conquest of Cool) explains how creativity, novelty, and unique forms of individual expression have all been co-opted by the “culture industry.” It’s no longer counter-cultural, weird, or interesting to dissent, or to be “cool” or deviant. It’s just good business practice.

An introduction to the material culture of conservative evangelical Christianity. Colleen McDanell (Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America) and David Morgan (Images at Work; Visual Piety; Protestants and Pictures).

Timothy E. W. Gloege on D. L. Moody, business culture, and the design of modern evangelicalism.

Stephen Bayley on “taste.”

Benjamin Bratton, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at University of California San Diego and Director of The Center for Design and Geopoltics at CALIT2, on “What’s Wrong with TED Talks?” (compare his critique of rhetorical techniques used in TED talks to contemporary homiletics):