Opening with the pleasing contention (from Baudrillard) that the year 2000 will not happen, Millennium Culture focuses on the current importance of the visual and virtual experience, exemplified in the sublimely huge but ontologically vacant Millennium Dome. The book examines significant outpourings of contemporary culture - including religion, hypermarkets, the lottery, Teletubbies, technology, wallpaper culture, Jerry Springer, powder skiing and Saint Diana. Photographs by Katja Hock run throughout the book, conjuring up a series of preoccupations that represent a snapshot of contemporary culture. Leach expounds the full implication of The Millennium Dome Experience, and uses the 'circular temple to nothing in particular' as a central image to his discussion of the collapse of reality. But the book is not entirely negative, and seeks to redeem a positive role for the surface image as the site of identification in an increasingly meaningless world.
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Neil Leach is an architect who teaches at the University of Nottingham and Columbia University, New York.
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