The Good Life

Books: Spectacle

Spectacle Why I am recommending this book:

Gathering together is one of the most enlivening things that we do as human beings. David Rockwell shares beautiful photographs and commentary as he reports on the different ways that people, all over the world, gather together and as he explores why connecting is so fundamental to our existence.

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In Spectacle, the architect David Rockwell, in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau, explores the allure of larger-than-life events that take place around the globe. From the running of the bulls in Pamplona to the Holi Festival in India to deafening - and dangerous - NASCAR races, Spectacle considers what it is about these "shared, live experiences" that transforms not only the way we see the world, but also how we connect with each other.

Illustrated with over 200 color photographs, the dynamic visual essay highlights the power of real-time, real-space events in today's highly mediated world. The book features a collection of photographs and interviews with award-winning authors, producers, directors, and performers. These contributors have documented, participated in, or produced large events and bring a fascinating behind-the-scenes and in front-of-the footlights perspective on "spectacles" today. Interviews include: Muhammad Ali, champion boxer; Kurt Anderson, novelist and essayist; Simon Doonan, author and creative director; Dave Hickey, art critic; Quincy Jones, legendary music and event producer; Guy Lalibertã, founder of Cirque du Soleil; Julie Taymor, film and theater director; Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, architects; John Waters, filmmaker; and Steve Wynn, Las Vegas mega-developer, with a concluding essay by critic Herbert Muschamp.

The book offers readers an unprecedented tour of over 60 far-flung and fleeting, beautiful and bizaare manmade events around the world. An in-depth selection of "spectacles" are presented thematically in six chapters that focus on various characteristics and unique cultural attributes that connect or distinguish each of the events.

Spectacle offers statistics and sidebars on the history of featured events, providing layers of information that add depth and context. Further, a reference section called "Getting There" contains a monthly calendar listing more global spectacles throughout the year, maps and insider tips you should know before you go.

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