Spectacle

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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.

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Overview

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 Laliberté, 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.

"An empty stadium, an open field or a busy urban thoroughfare, each—when transformed by spectacle—undergoes an alchemic process," says David Rockwell. "A group of strangers fuses into an instant community. As an architect I strive to make environments where people connect. This is rooted in vivid recollections of my childhood—from amateur theater on the Jersey shore to the open air markets of Guadalajara Mexico—that have made me deeply aware of the power of shared experience. By physically attending an event, you declare yourself; you become something greater than you."

From the glitzy appeal of Las Vegas to the historical reenactment of the Calcio Storico in Florence, Spectacle presents an extraodordinary collection of images and text that convey the palpable buzz, sheer beauty and unusual fascination of public performance around the globe. If you are an armchair traveler or spontanieous jetsetter, David Rockwell and Bruce Mau offer a mesmerizing, thought-provoking journey into the world of spectacle that is bound to encourage not only conversation but also participation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714845746
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

SPECTACLES ARE BIG – Kumbh Mela Festival, The Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

SPECTACLES ARE BOLD – Las Vegas, World Fairs, the Circus, Brussels Flower Carpet

SPECTACLES ARE BRIEF – Fireworks, the Harbin Ice Festival, Flash Mobs

SPECTACLES CONNECT – Burning Man, Calcio Storico, NASCAR

SPECTACLES TRANSFORM – Carnival, Marches on Washington, Tickertape Parades, Day of the Dead

SPECTACLES IMMERSE – Tomatina, Holi Festival, Running of the Bulls

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2006

    An Amazing Book

    So much more than a book of pretty picture, SPECTACLE explores the reasons why - for example - I've waited hours and hours in the freezing cold, penned in like a heifer, just to watch a sparkley glass ball drop down a flagpole in Times Square on New Year's Eve. People from all over the world, from all culture, gather together to celebrate, and SPECTACLE beautifully captures the essence of many of these in pictures and words.

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