Book Review: Sandfuture by Justin Beal (MIT Press, 2021)
PIN-UP Magazine
Issue 31 / Fall/Winter 2021-2022

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A 1978 postcard sent by my dad to my aunt sits on my desk. It shows the Statue of Liberty toppled into the harbor, as if drowning. Her crown and half her torso are submerged, but the torch-bearing arm remains above the water. The downtown Manhattan skyline — most prominently architect Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Center Twin Towers (1964–73) — stands behind the sinking statue. Looking at this image now, it presents an alternate history, the death of one monument in place of another, drowned in the river instead of engulfed in flames, obvious though apt in its metaphor: the promise of America’s ideological purity toppled, while the landscape of its capitalism remains triumphant.

︎ 2024