New City Reader (New York: New Museum, 2011)
The New City Reader is a temporary newspaper on public space that was published from October 6, 2010 to January 9, 2011 as part of the Last Newspaper exhibition at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York.
For more information visit: http://about.newcityreader.net/
The Leisure section of the New City Reader was edited by Beatriz Colomina, Spyros Papapetros, Britt Eversole and Daria Ricchi in the fall of 2010. Contributors included Beatriz Colomina, Ed Eigen, Chappell Ellison, Rubén Gallo, Britt Eversole, Lisa Hsieh, Vanessa Grossman, Sam Jacob, Jaffer Kolb, Spyros Papapetros, Daria Ricchi, Mireille Roddier, Molly Steenson and Federica Vannucchi.
Editorial by Beatriz Colomina
Newspapers are less and less about the news. In an age where stories are monitored minutebyminute on our screens and phones, anything that appears in print is already outdated, even historical. The fluidity of ink no longer announces what’s new. It now slows things to a stop.
This liberates newspapers immensely. They no longer have the same obligation to report events, since by the time they do, it is too late anyway. All they can do is make “news,” a frozen image of what has happened recently—strongly shaped by what their particular audience wants. With the steady rise of electronic media, more and more of the newspaper is dedicated to the lifestyle of the audience, offering precise advice about what to wear, eat, buy, watch, read, visit, exercise, sit on or live in. Newspapers have adopted the style of the lifestyle magazine, with its mixture of recommendations and light entertainment. Lifestyle magazines in turn adopted this from the “leisure magazines” of the fifties and sixties, with the ultimate model perhaps being Playboy and its mixing of “entertainment” and advice on every possible piece of equipment, clothing, cocktail, furniture, music, gadget, comeon line, car, bed and even apartment.
Leisure is now the ultimate section. Its seamless confusion of articles and advertising is the true financial engine of most newspapers, supporting what’s left of the infrastructure devoted to reporting. The advertising images of leisure spill out of its pages and are spread over all the surfaces of the city in billboards, posters, video screens and signs. It is as if we read the newspaper at home or in the subway to rehearse what we should do with our leisure, with all the images pinned up around us all over the urban fabric like huge sticky notes reminding us what we should be doing. When we go to restaurants, movie theaters, shops and spas, the actual pages of newspaper leisure sections displayed in the windows and lobbies guide us faithfully to the right product, the right look, the right taste, the right sound, the right idea. Leisure sections guide us from private to public to private. They shape our architecture.
This section explores the concepts of leisure embedded in our urban environment and perhaps more importantly, in our mental environment.