From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Cabinet issues are divided into three sections.
Section 1: Columns
Each issue begins with four of Cabinet's recurring columns. Some columns have (or have had) recurring writers. Some columns appear more frequently than others:
- "The Clean Room" is David Serlin's column on science and technology. (First appearance: issue 1.)
- "Colors", which appears in every issue, presents a writer or artist's response to a specific color assigned by the editors. (First appearance: issue 1.)
- "Ingestion", a column originated by Allen S. Weiss, explores food within a framework informed by aesthetics, history, and philosophy. (First appearance: issue 1.)
- "Leftovers" examines the cultural significance of detritus. (First appearance: issue 1.)
- "Thing" invites writers in various fields to take a shot at identifying a single found object not recognizable to the Cabinet editors. (First appearance: issue 12.)
- "Inventory" is an occasional column that features and sometimes examines a list, catalogue, or register. (First appearance: issue 13.)
- "Black Pyramid" is Peter Lamborn Wilson's column on the poetics of esoterica. (First appearance: issue 18.)
- "Object Lesson", a column by Celeste Olalquiaga, "reads culture against the grain to identify striking illustrations of historical process or principle." (First appearance: issue 20.)
- "A Minor History of," a column by Joshua Foer, examines an overlooked cultural phenomenon using a timeline. (First appearance: issue 25.)
Section 2: Main
The Main section features miscellaneous essays, interviews, and artist projects.
Section 3: Theme
The third, themed section features essays, interviews, and artist projects related to a specific theme. A theme-based CD is included in issues 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.
Issues and Themes
- Issue 1: Invented Languages
- Issue 2: Mapping Conversations
- Issue 3: Weather
- Issue 4: Animals
- Issue 5: Evil
- Issue 6: Horticulture
- Issue 7: Failure
- Issue 8: Pharmacopia
- Issue 9: Childhood
- Issue 10: Property
- Issue 11: Flight
- Issue 12: The Enemy
- Issue 13: Futures
- Issue 14: Doubles
- Issue 15: The Average
- Issue 16: The Sea
- Issue 17: Laughter
- Issue 18: Fictional States
- Issue 19: Chance
- Issue 20: Ruins
- Issue 21: Electricity
- Issue 22: Insecurity
- Issue 23: Fruits
- Issue 24: Shadows
- Issue 25: Insects
- Issue 26: Magic
- Issue 27: Mountains
- Issue 28: Bones
- Issue 29: Sloth
- Issue 30: Underground
- Issue 31: Shame
- Issue 32: Fire
- Issue 33: Deception
- Issue 34: Testing
- Issue 35: Dust
- Issue 36: Friendship
- Issue 37: Bubbles
- Issue 38: Islands
- Issue 39: Learning
- Issue 40: Hair
- Issue 41: Infrastructure
- Issue 42: 24 Hours
- Issue 43: Forensics
- Issue 44: Forgetting
- Issue 45: Games
Magazine and Book
Though Cabinet is commonly called "Cabinet magazine" and is distributed to newsstands as a magazine (with ISSN), individual Cabinet issues are also distributed as books (with ISBN). Each issue is printed in two editions: one with a magazine barcode on the front cover and the other with a book barcode on the back cover.
The Cabinet logo
The logo was designed by Richard Massey, and is derived from the fragmented elements and ligatures of an early twentieth century stencil often used in Le Corbusier’s architectural drawings and manifestos.
In addition to publishing the quarterly, Cabinet also publishes books, curates art-related exhibitions, and stages conferences and live events. In October 2008, Cabinet opened a public venue in Brooklyn, where it operates an exhibition area, reading lounge and a 64-seat screening room and lecture space.
- The Book of Stamps, a book of 15 artist-designed stamps by Walead Beshty, Melissa Brown, Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S. Davidson, Spencer Finch, Carl Michael von Hausswolff & Leif Elggren, Jonathan Herder, Mikhail Iliatov, Emily Jacir, Julia Jacquette, Vandana Jain, Sandra Eula Lee, Line Up, Frank Magnotta, Michael Oatman and David Shrigley. With text by George Pendle. (Cabinet Books, 2008)
- Ilf & Petrov's American Road Trip: The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers, by Yevgeni Petrov and Ilya Ilf, edited by Erika Wolf, translated by Anne O. Fisher (Cabinet Books and Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) ISBN 1-56898-600-9
- Letters From Mayhem, by Roger Andersson, with poems by Albert Mobilio (Cabinet Books, 2004) ISBN 1-932698-25-6
- Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates (Cabinet Books, The Queens Museum of Art, White Columns), ISBN 1-932698-26-4
- The Paper Sculpture Book (Cabinet Books, Independent Curators International, and SculptureCenter, 2003) ISBN 0-916365-69-7
- Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles & Scrawls from the Oval Office, by The Editors of Cabinet Magazine, with accompanying captions by David Greenberg, and introductions by Paul Collins and David Greenberg (Basic Books, 2006) ISBN 0-465-03266-4
- Cabinet's 2005 exhibition "Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates," at The Queens Museum of Art and at the White Columns gallery was chosen by The New York Times's Michael Kimmelman as one of the ten best shows of the year.
- In 2003, Cabinet co-produced "The Paper Sculpture Show," a traveling exhibition of 29 paper sculptures, each one devised by a different artist. The sculptures themselves are collected as tear-out, do-it-yourself projects in The Paper Sculpture Book.
Conferences and Live Events
- In 2006, Cabinet presented Iron Artist, a live artist-versus-artist competition modeled after Iron Chef, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, NY.
- In March 2010, Cabinet presented Not Knots, a workshop on "knots, knitting, and string figures" at the magazine's art space in Brooklyn, where LAS Magazine said "actual experts, not just some Bryn Mawr dropouts that the manager of Yarn Tree met outside of an Animal Collective show" would guide aspiring craft makers through "a hands-on exploration of knots, knitting, and string figures" that sounded somewhat mesmerizing.
Philosopher Slavoj Žižek has written, "Cabinet is my kind of magazine; ferociously intelligent, ridiculously funny, absurdly innovative, rapaciously curious. Cabinet's mission is to breathe life back into non-academic intellectual life. Compared to it, every other magazine is a walking zombie."