Spring 2006


Inventory / A Poet of Cloth

Brian DillonBeau Brummell’s knot theory

Colors / Yellow

Nato ThompsonThe sign of things to come

Ingestion / After Taste

Amelie HastieVisual pleasure in the candy store

Object Lesson / Unidentified Floating Object

Celeste OlalquiagaFrançois Péron and the taxonomic delicacies of the jellyfish


Things That Think: An Interview with Nicholas Gessler

Margaret Wertheim and Nicholas GesslerThe shape of pre-silicon computing

Break the Bank

Sam BurtonAlves Reis and the Portuguese currency crisis

Out of the Picture

Louis KaplanMaurice Blanchot and the refusal of photography

Artist Project / APL (Alaskan Pipeline)

Jason MiddlebrookIt goes in there and it comes out here

Tales of Desert Nomads

AUDC (Robert Sumrell & Kazys Varnelis)Quartzsite’s long strange trip

It’s Just Not Cricket!

Philip FrenchAlfred Hitchcock, the Nazis, and an all-too-British comedy duo

Artist Project / Approximate Original Contour

Rachel WatsonWhat was mine is yours

The Clinical Orgasm

Rachel P. MainesA medical history of the vibrator


The Force

Wolfgang SchivelbuschBetter living through electricity

Driven to Fail?

The early history of the electric vehicle

Mesmeromania, or, the Tale of the Tub

Christopher TurnerThe therapeutic powers of animal magnetism

Something for Nothing

Nick LaessingSearching for free energy in the Swiss Alps

Volts from the Blue

Steven ConnorSomething in the air

Unlucky Strikes

John R. McLainA lightning survivor’s tale, in his own words

Artist Project / Transformer Houses

Robin CollyerThe abode electric

Appliance Theory

Jennifer GabrysThe uncanny microwave

Absolute Power: An Interview with Sharon Beder

Jeffrey Kastner and Sharon BederA history of global electricity markets

Invisible Cities: An Interview with Christina Kubisch

Christoph Cox and Christina KubischThe song of the machines

Blinded by the Light

Sasha ArchibaldThe art of illumination

Darkness Visible: An Interview with Travis Longcore and Catherine Rich

Courtney Stephens, Travis Longcore, and Catherine RichOn the ecological consequences of artificial lighting

Electricity and Allegiance

Anna S. BarnettEbenezer Kinnersley, Benjamin Franklin, and the electrified “magical picture”

The Human Telegraph

Michael SanchezFrancisco Salva's shocking invention

Captured Lightning

Margaret WertheimThe fractal beauty of Lichtenberg Figures


Bookmark / Condensed Directions for Using the Drake Electrical Vibrator, 1922

Methods of stimulation

Postcard / Pigeons Don’t Fly at Night

Jasper van den BrinkHoming is where the art is

Back Cover

Where your bedside reading lamp should go

Web Extras

Electrical Walks

Christina KubischSamples of raw sounds