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About Alphabet City

The Alphabet City series challenges us to rethink ideas central to our lives. In each volume writers and artists address single theme from many perspectives, revealing its processes and possibilities.

Alphabet City is co-published with The MIT Press and appears each October accompanied by an arts and ideas festival in Toronto.

John Knechtel director

John Knechtel founded Alphabet City in 1991. In 1994 he was tagged by Vanity Fair– “Ignore these editors at your peril”– as a leader of the avant-garde in a piece celebrating the editors of North America’s coolest small magazines. In 2002 Knechtel created NEXT MEMORY CITY, Canada’s official entry in the Venice International Architecture Biennale, with artists Michael Awad, Eve Egoyan, and David Rokeby. The show won press acclaim for its innovative interdisciplinary research into the future of the wired city. Canadian Architect called it an “intellectual and experiential landmark” of the Biennale, and OBJEKT Magazine of the Netherlands declared the exhibit “An architectural tour-de-force.”

Jennifer Harris managing editor

Jennifer Harris is associate professor of English at Mount Allison University. She works primarily in the area of American literature and culture pre-1900 as well as post-colonial literature. She has been a Fulbright scholar at NYU, and is the recipient of a SSHRC grant for her current research project. Harris has been Alphabet City's managing editor for the past seven years.

Rebecca Duclos web editor

Rebecca Duclos is a Montreal-based curator and writer. She co-founded Graphic Standards design studio with David Ross in 2003.

David Ross web designer

David Ross is a visual artist, graphic designer, and co-founder of Graphic Standards design studio in Montreal.

Kevin Finlayson, web developer

Kevin Finlayson is a web producer and founder of Dust and Mold Design studio, Montreal.


© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Alphabet City Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.

MIT Press books may be purchased at special quantity discounts for business or sales promotional use. For information, please email: or write to Special Sales Department, The MIT Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142.

This book was set in Benton Sans and Hoefler Text. Designed by Studio:Blackwell. Printed and bound in China by ORO Group Ltd.

ISBN: 978-0-262-01466-3
ISSN: 1183-8086
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


John Knechtel

Managing Editor

Jennifer Harris

Art Director

Kelsey Blackwell with Judith McKay


Dust and Mold Design
Graphic Standards

commissioning editors

Anneke Abhelakh
Jocelyne Alloucherie
Stephen Andrews
Rita Bakacs
Pierre Bélanger
Adrian Blackwell
Jessica Blaustein
Daniel Borins
Heather Cameron
Mei Chin Mark Clamen
Karen Connelly
Roger Conover
Rebecca Duclos
Atom Egoyan
Kevin Finlayson
Camilla Gibb Dorothy Graham
Janna Graham
Angela Grauerholz
Melissa Grey
John Greyson
Megan Griffith-Greene
Chris Hardwicke
Heather Haynes
Terrance Houle
Mark Kingwell
Robert Kirkbride
Elke Krasny
Mark Lanctôt
Gilbert Li
Pamila Matharu
Tracy Metz
Doina Popescu
Lisa Rochon
Joseph Rosen
David Ross
Ann Elisabeth Samson
Jim Shedden
Ann Shin
Timothy Stock
Kevin Temple Sonali Thakkar
Greg Van Alstyne
Arno van Roosmalen
Francien van Westrenen
Bhawani Venkataraman
Ger J. Z. Zielinski


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