Issue 01, Monochromator, 2024, 15.5 x 23.5 cm, 144 pages, PB
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Monochromator deconstructs selected films under a shared monochrome to reconstruct them for social relevance, putting the cinematic, the cultural, the artistic and the political in dialogue.

In 1945, the United States was reborn as the empire we experience, through the hard military power of the atomic bomb and the ‘soft’ capitalist power of corporations such as Mattel. Monochromator takes ‘Barbenheimer’— the summer blockbuster phenomenon of 2023 — as the headlining story of ‘Birth of a Nation’. That birth accompanied various deaths. In Refraction, we uproot and replant the phenomenon of Barbenheimer through a trip to Walmart. In Wavelength, we displace Barbie and Oppenheimer. We look at their spatial, existential, and democratic contexts, and imagine if Barbie were a biopic and Oppenheimer were a fantasy. In Interference, we look into the said and the unsaid of Barbenheimer.

Table of Contents


3 Editor’s Letter: Birth of a Nation / Alex Heeyeon Kil


20 Weighted Hopes, Harmonic Synthesizer / Jina Lee

27 Invented Places, Faraway Follies / Sharon Lam

41 Now I am Become Death: Creation and Existentialism in the American Imaginary / Forrest Cardamenis

49 American Narcissus / Kenneth Geurts

65 The Postfeminist Delusion / Nicole Froio

83 Manhattan, Mattel, and the Democratic Myths of America / Will DiGravio


97 Birth of a Nation was the Death of Indigenous Peoples / Monochromator Editorial Team

103 Dolls of War, War of Dolls / Daeseon Lee

111 Behind Enemy Lines: On the American Blockbuster / Rafaela Bassili

127 We Cannot Care For Who We Are Unable to Relate to / Rosalia Namsai Engchuan

Published by Monochromator Press
Based between Berlin and Seoul

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