The Sentimental Masks of Marcos and Robredo

Presumptive President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. visits his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the latter's grave in Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City on May 11, 2022. Photo: Rappler/ Bongbong Marcos Campaign Abstract How is charisma generated and transformed in the 2022 Philippine Presidential elections? This paper weighs in on the critical… Continue reading The Sentimental Masks of Marcos and Robredo

May Tenga Ang Lupa

Rodel Tapaya, May Tenga ang Lupa, Exhibition View, Drawing Room 2022 Rodel TapayaDrawing Room GalleryJune-July 2022 May tenga ang lupa, may pakpak ang balita (The land has ears, the news has wings) is an aphorism that reminds us not only that contemporary realities have ancient roots but also that nonhuman actors matter in telling the… Continue reading May Tenga Ang Lupa

Pensionado Modernists: US-educated Filipino Artists and the Struggle for Independence

Above: the School of Design, a graduate institution organized by Juan Nakpil and Victorio Edades and other leading architects in 1940. It offered Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and Architecture patterned after the Bauhaus instruction at Harvard. Below: Some of the Founders from left: Severino Fabie, Juan Nakpil, and Victorio Edades, inside their office. Note:… Continue reading Pensionado Modernists: US-educated Filipino Artists and the Struggle for Independence

Gleaning from the Archives of the Pensionado Story

From 1903 to 1943, over 14,000 Filipino scholars were sent to the United States to study under a U.S. colonial scholarship called the Pensionado Program. The story of the program was documented in 1943 by Kenneth Munden, Assistant Archivist in the Division of Interior Department Archives, at the behest of the office of the Secretary… Continue reading Gleaning from the Archives of the Pensionado Story

Jazz in the American Empire, A Lenticular Reading 

"Ma Filipino babe" Photo: New York Public Library Digital Collections. Abstract The essay gathers fragments of US-Philippine cultural history with the aim of historicizing and locating the arrival of a jazz-age in the US colony. In the 1920s, a new cultural era dawned in the urban hubs of the American empire; one associated with novel… Continue reading Jazz in the American Empire, A Lenticular Reading 

Christian Kruik Van Adrichem’s Theatrum Terrae Sanctae: A 16th Century Mnemonic Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

Abstract The essay examines an original map of Jerusalem drawn in 1584 by Christian Kruik van Adrichem (1533-1585), a Dutch theologian and humanist. The fold-out map, which was intended to be a historical and devotional guide based on accounts of travelers, portrayed an imagined Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, including the City of David… Continue reading Christian Kruik Van Adrichem’s Theatrum Terrae Sanctae: A 16th Century Mnemonic Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

The Cinematic Metaverse: Hollywood Science Fiction and Silicon Valley’s Vision of the Future

Mark Zuckerberg demonstrating the capabilities of the metaverse. Abstract This essay analyzes science fiction novels to reconstruct a partial literary genealogy of the Californian Ideology first described in 1995 by Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, as a strange mixture of the counterculture hippie movement and the ideal of the free market. It addresses the ways… Continue reading The Cinematic Metaverse: Hollywood Science Fiction and Silicon Valley’s Vision of the Future

Rodel Tapaya Info

Profile for Photo: Anjo Lapresca for Rodel Tapaya Archive Rodel Tapaya Filipino, Born 1980 Rodel Tapaya’s alternative forms of understanding time and place refuse to see indigenous epistemologies and storytelling traditions as anachronisms. While folklore is often disparaged as a vestige of superstitious thought, Tapaya suggests them as a mode of resistance to the… Continue reading Rodel Tapaya Info

These fragments I have shored against my ruins on BROADCAST

Teodulo Protomartir, Cafe at the Capitol Theater, c. 1946, archival inkjet print. Photo: Uro De La Cruz/ Silverlens Gallery. Teodulo Protomartir is recognized as a vanguard of Philippine photography despite the meager biographical research on his life. More information has come to light from the generous input of those who knew him and followed his… Continue reading These fragments I have shored against my ruins on BROADCAST

The Case of Daniel Folkmar

From box 66 (759), Records of the Department of ­Anthropology, United States National Museum / National Museum of Natural History, Division of Ethnology, Manuscript and Pamphlet File, National Anthropological ­Archives, ­Smithsonian Institution. This is a digest of Campomanes, Oscar V. "Images of Filipino Racialization in the Anthropological Laboratories of the American Empire: The Case of… Continue reading The Case of Daniel Folkmar

From the Archive: Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection

The counter-gaze in the Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) of an "Igorote group"  "Igorote Group", Photo: Dean Worcester Collection- No names provided Among the recently digitized photographs from the Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection is an RPPC of a group of six young Igorots. Nothing much is written about the Igorots on the front or verso of… Continue reading From the Archive: Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection

The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

This essay is a preliminary examination of the artistic pedagogy of Josef Albers mainly using his encounter with Constancio Bernardo, his student at Yale School of Art in the 1950s, as a case study. After being mentored by Albers, Bernardo made the earliest examples of modern abstract painting in Southeast Asia. Drawing from Jacques Ranciere’s… Continue reading The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Playbill for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 1984. Covering subjects outside the mainstream of early twentieth century swing and jazz music, the blues point to more than one kind of voice involved in the act of telling. Angela Davis suggests a multiplicity and fluidity prohibited by the homogenizing structuring of narration and community in mainstream music.[1] Through… Continue reading Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Manifest Domesticity

Pretty Manila debutante Consuelo Madrigal, primping for a party, Manila, Philippines, October 1949Photo: Jack Birns for Life Magazine. © Time Inc. Collection: John Tewell Amy Kaplan posits that the domestic space exists as a malleable third realm between the nation and the foreign.[1] Among the variables that shape the “domestic” are the modes of domestication,… Continue reading Manifest Domesticity

“Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Jennifer Lopez, Photo: Getty Images Frances Negrón-Muntaner talks about the way both Selena’s and Jennifer Lopez’s rear ends are viewed by fellow audiences under circumstances that feared the racialized body before popular culture decided that a massive gluteus was cinematically desirable.[1] Latin-American teenagers perceived the uncanny doubling of Selena and Jennifer Lopez as tethered to… Continue reading “Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

The trouble with digitizing archives

Home occupied by General Lawton during his official residence in the islands: Malate, Manila—1899, Philippine Photographs Digital Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Michigan. There are several methods to organize documents. One of them asks what a document means; whether it is true, authentic or forged; whether it can be understood as a trace… Continue reading The trouble with digitizing archives

Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Bonifacio Salamanca's profile in American Studies International. One of the articles I unearthed while researching for my literature review last semester was Professor Bonifacio Salamanca’s article on the attempt to institute a Department of American Studies at the University of the Philippines. Salamanca received his Ph.D. in American Studies in the early 1950s from Yale… Continue reading Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Keywords: Visual and Archive

Taylor, John R. M. (Rodgers Meigs), Compilation of Philippine insurgent records by United States. Bureau of Insular Affairs (Washington: US Gov't Print off, 1903). In her book “Artful Science,” Barbara Maria Stafford, Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, examines entertainment and educational materials to see how the visual component changed in the… Continue reading Keywords: Visual and Archive

Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Albers teaching a class at Yale in 1956 Or stuff that won't make the cut in my MFA Research Project at the School of Visual Arts in NYC I intend to follow some leads from Jacques Rancière’s Politics and Aesthetics (Verso, 2003) and his more specifically art critical Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of… Continue reading Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Resistant Spectatorship

Eva Noblezada as Kim, a 17-year old Vietnamese orphan, sings a wedding song for Chris, an American G.I. played by Alistair Brammer in the 2014 recording of the West end production Miss Saigon. Manthia Diawara’s critique of black characters in D.W. Griffin’s Birth of a Nation and Eddie Murphy’s cop movies serves as a template… Continue reading Resistant Spectatorship

Burke’s Sublime and the Beautiful

Edmund Burke's contrast of the beautiful and the sublime had some political consequences. In the short article below, I make an argument for the particular political importance of the aesthetic quality called "beauty," despite its devaluation in art criticism in the last several decades. A philosophical enquiry into the origin of our ideas of the… Continue reading Burke’s Sublime and the Beautiful

Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

JG de Casparis, Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to c. AD 1500, Handbuch der Orientalistik, dritte Abteilung, vierter Band, erste Lieferung, Brill, Leiden-Kôln, 1975; 96 p., 10 plates. In '60s and '70s, several orientalists, mostly from Germanic countries, have undertaken, led by the senior leadership of Professor B. Spuler… Continue reading Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

A duel between Caravaggio and Quevedo, or how a tennis match connects worlds. Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator), Hardcover, 272 pages, Published February 9th 2016 by Riverhead Books (first published November 2013) Since when did people actually play tennis? And since when have tennis shoes been around, today the most socially acceptable and most… Continue reading Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)