The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present (Paperback)

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The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present By Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Shumon Basar Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

For everyone who loves the internet, hates the internet, or loves the internet but becomes paralyzed with fear in thinking about its implications. A direct descendant of Marshall McLuhan's cult classic, The Medium is the Massage, this book is part cultural commentary and part disenchanted/dystopian manifesto. Douglas Coupland's trademark imaginary word definitions are peppered throughout the multimedia collage of the pages. His argument is unsettling but plausible, a little histrionic, and totally fascinating. Globalization, global warming, cybersex, classlessness, and a loss of self -- let the future begin!

— From Clelia's Picks


A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era.

50 years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'.
THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design  imports  the  surreal,  juxtaposed,  mashed  mannerisms  of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read.
Welcome to THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn’t just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it’s also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket. 

30+  artists  contributions: With  contributions  from  Farah Al Qasimi, Ed Atkins, Alessandro Bavo, Gabriele Basilico, Josh Bitelli, James Bridle, Cao Fei, Alex Mackin Dolan, Thomas Dozol, Constant Dullaart, Cecile B Evans, Rami Farook, Hans-Peter Feldmann, GCC, K-Hole, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Eloise Hawser, Camille Henrot, Hu Fang, K-Hole, Koo Jeong-A, Katja Novitskova, Lara Ogel, Trevor Paglen, Yuri Patterson, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Taryn Simon, Hito Steyerl, Michael Stipe, Rosemarie Trockel, Amalia Ulman, David Weir, Trevor Yeung.

About the Author

Since 1991, Douglas Coupland has written thirteen novels published in most languages. He has written and performed for England's Royal Shakespeare Company and is a regular columnist with The Financial Times. He began a visual art practice in 2000, and his first museum retrospective opens in summer 2014 at the Vancouver Art Gallery and travels to Munich's Villa Stuck for the summer of 2015.
Shumon Basar is a writer. He's the author of Do You Often Confuse Love with Success and with Fame? and some of his (co)edited books include Translated By, Cities from Zero and Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews: Volume 2. He's Editor-at-Large at Tank magazine, Contributing Editor at Bidoun magazine, director of Format at the AA School, London, an advisor to the Fondazione Prada, Milan and Commissioner of the Global Art Forum in Dubai, the city where his novel World!World!World! is set.
Hans Ulrich Obrist is a curator and writer. Since 2006 he has been co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, London. His previous books include Ai Wei Wei Speaks, written with Ai Wei Wei, and Ways of Curating, published by Allen Lane. He is widely considered one of the most influential contemporary curators in the world.

Praise For…

"It is a book not only inspired by the internet, but seemingly written by the internet. It is as if the internet gained not only artificial self-consciousness but wisdom – and then became your pal.” --Tod Wodicka, The National

“A new philosophy-cum-modern-self-help book.” --Vice

“Coupland is up to his new-old tricks, and this time he's brought some friends. It's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. That's a good thing...The Age of Earthquakes is like the internet in book form. A Tumblr made of paper. Lots of interesting tidbits, philosophical musings presented as fact.” --LitReactor

"The Age of Earthquakes is a kind of philosophical Anarchist Cookbook for the online era
, when we are in touch with everyone at once all the time, or at least like to feel that we are…It’s a book insistently engaged with the present tense. It is both a wave and a particle; content and form. Perhaps it is the 21st century’s first book-meme.” --Pacific Standard

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399173868
ISBN-10: 0399173862
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 256
Language: English