At a party last year I was chatting with Mike Simonian of the San Francisco design firm Mike and Maaike. We were talking about a project of his from 2006: Juxtaposed:Religion, a curated, deftly designed bookshelf that comes replete with the founding texts of the world's major religions. He told me that he and his wife Maaike Evers were working on the next in the Juxtaposed series, only this time they were curious about power, not faith.As it happened an old friend of mine, Athmeya Jayaram, was standing with us. Athmeya is studying for a doctorate in political philosophy at UC Berkeley, he and Mike hit it off, and before long he was brought on to curate the texts on the new bookshelf, Juxtaposed:Power. I asked him about the process of choosing the books, and about how we imagine political power. It's a conversation we've had many times, usually at my house, after many drinks, and long after my wife has thrown in the towel and wandered off to bed.
February 26, 2010