John McHale, Machine Made America, as featured on the cover of The Architectural Review, May 1957.
The Expendable Reader: John McHale on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951–79 collects the key writings of John McHale, artist, theorist, graphic designer, and sociologist. Focused on questions of art, architecture, and the mass media, all of McHale's writings wrestle with questions of expendability and the future, and the way these terms affect traditional ideas of culture. While many of the terms McHale dwells on, such as expendability, lifestyle, and network, have become central to debates in the present, McHale's voice is missing from cultural criticism at large. This book will bring McHale's voice back into the conversation, enabling a sharper grasp on our own cultural situation—and the postwar period more generally.
Alex Kitnick is a writer and curator based in Los Angeles. He has written frequently on the imbrications of art and architecture, and recently edited a volume of writings on Dan Graham (MIT Press, 2011). With Hal Foster, he co-edited October 136 on the topic of New Brutalism. He holds a PhD from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles