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Planetary Protocols: Durga Chew-Bose / On Shallow Stairs

Durga Chew-Bose: On Shallow Stairs / Response by Ann-Sofi Noring

Durga Chew-Bose is a Montreal-based writer and editor. Her debut collection of essays, “Too Much and Not the Mood” (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2017) articulate a meaningful with space, design and the built environment. Chew-Bose is a senior editor at SSENSE, and her work has appeared in The New Inquiry, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, GQ, Interview magazine, and n+1.

”I think the writer has to be responsible to signs and dreams. Receptive and responsible,” said American author Joy Williams. “If you don’t do anything with it, you lose it. You stop getting these omens.”

The potential loss that Williams speaks of is, perhaps, one of my greatest fears as a writer. Imagine that. A lacking born from turning off one’s feelers – those funny, hard-to-define inclinations we might have, those radars and heart beams that keep us open. “On Shallow Stairs”—although I promise it will be rife with tangents—will explore art as alloy and art as a gathering of signs and omens, as Williams puts it. Topics discussed will include: the writings and paintings of Manny Farber, Mexico City, fonts, overnight fixes, Agnès Varda, Agnes Martin, Abbas Kiarostami, sardines, family vacations, glassware, Peter Doig, Marguerite Duras, Montreal metros, sandcastles and Proust, and of course, shallow stairs.

Planetary Protocols is a cross-disciplinary series of talks at ArkDes in Stockholm that brings together international thinkers and practitioners to present their work and perspectives on architecture, design, identity, and statehood.

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