Cabinet Books

All books published by Cabinet Books unless otherwise noted. Click on each title for more information.

Archive of the Average Swede (2017)
The fourth volume of Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series, Fabian Kastner’s book considers a project initiated by Sweden’s National Archive in the early 1980s designed to fully record the life of a typical citizen. The archive’s subject was a randomly selected government worker, at the time an employee of Stockholm’s municipal bus service, who agreed to begin donating his personal papers to the collection. The man, however, turned out to be a very different figure than what the archive had hoped for. Adrift in a society undergoing fundamental transformations, the “average Swede” slowly descended over the years into bitter derangement, overwhelming the institution with masses of indiscriminate materials that the archivists were finally forced to refuse.

The Ambivalents (2017)
For this book, the sixth in Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series, Sally O’Reilly was asked to consider a 1986 catalogue for Braintree Scientific, an American company that manufactures lab products used in experiments on rats and mice. He response was to compose dozens of letters to the company in the guise of a wide range of characters, including an artist, a literary critic, a dissatisfied customer, several schoolchildren, and a man who, like the animals on display in the catalogue, is perhaps close to death.

Take Care (2017)
The fifth volume in Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series, Jeff Dolven’s meditation on care and caring responds to a 1986 catalogue for Braintree Scientific, an American company that manufactures lab products used in experiments on rats and mice. Dolven imagines the catalogue as the trace of an experiment into the place of animals in the late-century scientific culture of the United States, an experiment that vacillates between the techne that frames animal testing and a desire to give solace to creatures on the verge of death.

Renovation (2016)
This book by the photographer Nancy Davenport is a visual record of the United Nations’ New York headquarters, centering on the renovations that began in 2008. A compendium of photographs, interview transcripts, archival images, and items from the artist’s own immense collection of vintage UN paraphernalia, it is both a memento of deliquescence and an exploration of this unstable extraterritorial space’s curious life.

When Up and Down Left Town (2016)
The third volume in Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series—a collaboration between poet Matthea Harvey and artist Amy Jean Porter—imagines a world where Up and Down, connected by horizontal zippers to the Middle, suddenly unzip themselves, leaving humans to experience a world without contrails or dachshunds.

Hail, Cretin! (2016)
The second volume in Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series, artist David Scher’s book of drawings features the melancholy peregrinations of a demi-centurion missing his upper half. Wandering through a land over which his forces perhaps once held dominion, our protagonist—a lonely postimperial half-man who seems fated to permanent homelessness—now experiences the flowers and stones of the landscape as if for the first time.

Notes on Glaze (2016)
This book collects the eighteen installments of poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum’s Cabinet column “Legend.” Every three months, the magazine’s editors would ask Koestenbaum to write one or more extended captions for a single photograph, which they had provided him and with which he was unfamiliar. This handsome volume also features a new introduction by the author.

The Conflict Shoreline: Colonization as Climate Change in the Negev Desert (2015)
This book, with text by Israeli theorist Eyal Weizman and photographs by American artist Fazal Sheikh, investigates the long history of the use of climate change as a political tool along the threshold of the Negev Desert and its effects on the region’s Bedouin population. The Conflict Shoreline brings together a wide array of materials, ranging from documents, maps, and contemporary photographs to historical aerial imagery, remote sensing data, state plans, court testimonies, and nineteenth-century travelers’ accounts. Published by Steidl in association with Cabinet Books.  

Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine (2012)
This anthology gathers some of the most interesting successes, and a few instructive failures, published in the first forty issues of Cabinet. Taking the form of an illustrated encyclopedia, the collection includes idiosyncratic entries such as Addiction, Animal Architecture, Goalkeeping, Micronation, Otolith, Sandal, Worlding, and Zoosemiotics. This hardcover book is over 500 pages long and a must for the intellectually curious!

The Moiré Effect, by Lytle Shaw (with Bookhorse, 2012)
The Moiré Effect tracks Ernst Moiré from his humble Alpine beginnings as the son of a postal clerk to his fateful founding of a Zurich photography studio in the 1890s and his subsequent role in the lives of a number of curious figures.

I Am Sitting in a Room, by Brian Dillon (2011)
The inaugural volume in Cabinet’s new “24-Hour Book” series, Brian Dillon’s book explores the scenography and architecture of writing itself. Inspired in part by Georges Perec's short fragment in Species of Spaces on Antonello da Messina's painting of St. Jerome in his study, Dillon’s text is both a personal reflection on the theatrics of the study, the library, and the office and a historical consideration of such writerly paraphernalia as Proust’s bed, Nabokov’s index cards, and Philip Roth’s moustache.

An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, catalogue (2011)
Catalogue for the exhibition “An Exchange with Sol LeWitt,” which took place at Cabinet and MASS MoCA in winter 2011. Featuring an introduction by curator Regine Basha, the book is printed in black and white on newsprint.

A Little Common Place Book (with Proteotypes, 2010)
Part pocket-sized filing cabinet, part indexing guide, this hardcover notebook is a facsimile of a 1797 book that boasts an essay on the art of commonplacing as practiced by John Locke and 144 blank pages for collecting your own thoughts.

The Book of Stamps (2008)
Sumptuously designed and printed, this cloth-bound volume features fifteen detachable, perforated, and gummed full-page sheets of limited edition, artist-designed stamps, as well as an essay by George Pendle on the history of stamps made by artists.

Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip (with Princeton Architectural Press, 2007)
In 1935, well into the era of Soviet Communism, Russian satirical writers Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov came to the US as special correspondents for Pravda. Over the course of two months, they drove cross-country and back, recording their impressions of American life in text and photographs. This is the first English translation of their extraordinary travelogue.

Presidential Doodles (Basic Books, 2006)
An expansion of a project that first appeared in Cabinet no. 12, Presidential Doodles is a catalogue of some of the most delightful and terrifying doodles by US presidents. The book features essays by Paul Collins and David Greenberg.

Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates (2005)
In the early 1970s, Gordon Matta-Clark discovered that the City of New York periodically auctioned off improbably tiny and frequently inaccessible parcels of land created by the exigencies of urban development. Fascinated by these eccentric spaces, he bought fifteen of them (fourteen in Queens, and one in Staten Island) for between $25 and $75 each, photographed them, and then collated the photographs with the associated deeds and maps. These collected materials are today known as Fake Estates. This book was published in association with an exhibition of the same name curated by Cabinet.

Letters from Mayhem, by Roger Andersson and Albert Mobilio (2004)
This sixty-four-page artist book features twenty-six duotone watercolors by Swedish artist Roger Andersson, each depicting one letter of the alphabet, accompanied by text by poet Albert Mobilio. The book is printed on heavy board in the style of a children's ABC primer. Each letter is embedded in a fairytale setting in which teenage boys lie around, occupying themselves with teenagerly pursuits such as smoking pot and listening to heavy metal. Full of messages hidden within plants, ponds, and clouds and tempered by soft-edged romantic decadence, the book evokes a nostalgia for both innocence and its loss.

The Paper Sculpture Book (with Independent Curators International and SculptureCenter, 2003)
Inspired by a project in Cabinet no. 4, this full-color book contains twenty-nine artist-designed paper sculptures to tear out and build yourself. An exhibition, featuring these same sculptures and created on site by visitors, toured to twenty venues in the US between 2003 and 2007.

Cabinet is published by Immaterial Incorporated, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Cabinet receives generous support from the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Opaline Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Danielson Foundation, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, The Edward C. Wilson and Hesu Coue Wilson Family Fund, and many individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here. Thank you for your consideration.