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Cabinet Issue 59: The North

Cabinet Magazine
20 × 25 × 1 cm
112 pgs
Contemporary Art

The idea of the North in modernity—its associations with sparseness and scarcity, to hardships and remoteness—has fed countless narratives of journeying to places and fates unknown. In classical antiquity, however, the north was a place of perfection. In the 5th century BCE, Pindar wrote of the wonders of Hyperborea—a northerly land whose natives lived unaffected by “sickness or ruinous old age,” by “toil or battles.” The poet also claimed this kingdom could be found “neither by ship nor on foot,” and it is this mix of terrestrial encounter and lyric indeterminacy that continues to characterize our idea of the North. Cabinet 59, with a special section on “The North,” includes Jessica Rowan on five centuries of expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage; Joe Duncan on the US government’s rush to exploit Arctic resources made newly accessible by global warming; and Bettina Sierra on the attempts to recreate the atmospheric effects of the aurora borealis.

Perfect-bound, softcover, colour.

  1. Cabinet 59

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