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Cabinet (magazine)

Cabinet issue 8, fall 2002.
Frequency Quarterly
Year founded 2000
Company Immaterial Inc.
Country United States
Based in Brooklyn, New York
Language English
ISSN 1531-1430
OCLC number 44735602

Cabinet is a quarterly, Brooklyn, NY-based, non-profit art & culture magazine established in 2000. Cabinet also operates an event and exhibition space in Brooklyn.

Issue structure

Cabinet issues are divided into three sections.

Section 1: Columns

File:Lawrence with Mamut.JPG
A very large camera designed by George R. Lawrence and used to photograph a train of the Chicago & Alton railroad on the Chicago-St. Louis line for the 1900 Paris Exhibition. - After the French Consul General had inspected the camera and enormous glass plate, Lawrence was awarded the Grand Prize of the World for Photographic Excellence at the Paris Exposition of 1900 for his 8 x 4 1/2 foot photograph of the Alton Limited train, promoted as The Largest Photograph in the World of the Handsomest Train in the World.[1]

Each issue begins with four of Cabinet's recurring columns. Some columns have (or have had) recurring writers. Some columns appear more frequently than others:

  • "The Clean Room" is David Serlin's column on science and technology. (First appearance: issue 1.)
  • "Colors", which appears in every issue, presents a writer or artist's response to a specific color assigned by the editors. (First appearance: issue 1.)
  • "Ingestion", a column originated by Allen S. Weiss, explores food within a framework informed by aesthetics, history, and philosophy. (First appearance: issue 1.)
  • "Leftovers" examines the cultural significance of detritus. (First appearance: issue 1.)
  • "Thing" invites writers in various fields to take a shot at identifying a single found object not recognizable to the Cabinet editors. (First appearance: issue 12.)
  • "Inventory" is an occasional column that features and sometimes examines a list, catalogue, or register. (First appearance: issue 13.)
  • "Black Pyramid" is Peter Lamborn Wilson's column on the poetics of esoterica. (First appearance: issue 18.)
  • "Object Lesson", a column by Celeste Olalquiaga, "reads culture against the grain to identify striking illustrations of historical process or principle." (First appearance: issue 20.)
  • "A Minor History of," a column by Joshua Foer, examines an overlooked cultural phenomenon using a timeline. (First appearance: issue 25.)

Section 2: Main

The Main section features miscellaneous essays, interviews, and artist projects.

Section 3: Theme

The third, themed section features essays, interviews, and artist projects related to a specific theme. A theme-based CD is included in issues 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.

Magazine and book

Though Cabinet is commonly called "Cabinet magazine" and is distributed to newsstands as a magazine (with ISSN), individual Cabinet issues are also distributed as books (with ISBN). Each issue is printed in two editions: one with a magazine barcode on the front cover and the other with a book barcode on the back cover.[2]

The logo was designed by Richard Massey, and is derived from the fragmented elements and ligatures of an early twentieth century stencil often used in Le Corbusier's architectural drawings and manifestos.

Other projects

In addition to publishing the quarterly, Cabinet also publishes books, curates art-related exhibitions, and stages conferences and live events. In October 2008, Cabinet opened a public venue in Brooklyn, where it operates an exhibition area, reading lounge and a 64-seat screening room and lecture space.



  • Cabinet's 2005 exhibition "Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates," at The Queens Museum of Art and at the White Columns gallery was chosen by The New York Times's Michael Kimmelman as one of the ten best shows of the year.
  • In 2003, Cabinet co-produced "The Paper Sculpture Show," a traveling exhibition of 29 paper sculptures, each one devised by a different artist. The sculptures themselves are collected as tear-out, do-it-yourself projects in The Paper Sculpture Book.

Conferences and events

  • In 2006, Cabinet presented Iron Artist, a live artist-versus-artist competition modeled after Iron Chef, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, NY.
  • In March 2010, Cabinet presented Not Knots, a workshop on "knots, knitting, and string figures" at the magazine's art space in Brooklyn, where LAS Magazine said "actual experts, not just some Bryn Mawr dropouts that the manager of Yarn Tree met outside of an Animal Collective show" would guide aspiring craft makers through "a hands-on exploration of knots, knitting, and string figures" that sounded somewhat mesmerizing.[3]


Philosopher Slavoj Žižek has written, "Cabinet is my kind of magazine; ferociously intelligent, ridiculously funny, absurdly innovative, rapaciously curious. Cabinet's mission is to breathe life back into non-academic intellectual life. Compared to it, every other magazine is a walking zombie."


  1. ^ "CABINET // George R. Lawrence, Aeronaut Photographer". Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Cabinet Magazine Online — Distributors". Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Not Knots 2010 LAS article". Retrieved 2013-12-31. 

External links