Counter-Cultural Policy: The Challenge of Tracing Underground Culture

On a recent Saturday evening I found myself attending a show at the Empty Bottle music venue in Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood. While watching the act – a four-piece, faux-lounge band from Los Angeles, whose lead singer performed in a full-body spandex suit and sang through a head-set microphone – I looked around, attempting to account for the various aspects of the experience. I wanted to know why, upon entering this small and grungy Chicago dive bar, I found myself feeling like I was communing with a scene that had a palpable, if somewhat elusive, identity. I wanted to know what elements of this space and situation were essential to its continuity, or what assured attendees of a

When Life Imitates (Pop) Art: James Bond and the Día de Muertos Parade

Production design meets tradition: the Día de Muertos sequence during the filming of Spectre (2015) “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” - Oscar Wilde On October 29th, 2016, Mexico City saw its first-ever official Día de Muertos Parade, which involved over 1,200 volunteers, attracted over 250,000 spectators, and proceeded down one of the main avenues of the city: Paseo de la Reforma. Spectators and participants blurred, the streets a wild scene of costumed and painted faces – everyone reveling in the celebratory atmosphere. Although the commemoration of Día de Muertos is widely popular across Mexico, never had such a grand-scale parade been attempted. Where did the idea come f

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