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John David Ebert

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John David Ebert is an independent cultural critic and the author of 25 books examining various aspects of cultural development.

Early life[edit]

John David Ebert was born June 26 in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968 and educated at Arizona State University with a B.A. in English. After graduation he worked as an editor for The Joseph Campbell Foundation 1995-2000, where he wrote footnotes and helped to edit Campbell’s posthumous writings, including Baksheesh and Brahman: Indian Journal, 1954-1955 and The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays, 1959-1987. Ebert is also an editor for semiotexte books.


His first book, Twilight of the Clockwork God was based on a series of interviews conducted with various thinkers and scientists, such as Lynn Margulis, Brian Swimme, Terence McKenna and Stanislav Grof, on their religious and spiritual beliefs.[1] His second book, Celluloid Heroes & Mechanical Dragons was a series of essays examining contemporary films, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc., for their implications regarding the problem of human psychological response to technological stresses. His third book, Dead Celebrities, Living Icons, was an analysis of the syndrome of fame and the psychological consequences resulting from achieving fame in the age of electronic society. It examines the lived of various celebrities, such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, as prophetic of the coming of the YouTube generation. His fourth and fifth books, The New Media Invasion and The Age of Catastrophe were analyses of the effects wrought upon society by the explosion circa 1995 of digital media, and the various crises and catastrophes that erupted around this event.


In 2012, Ebert began a series of YouTube videos discussing the work of various thinkers such as Oswald Spengler—for which he provided a complete chapter by chapter analysis of The Decline of the West—Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno & Horkheimer, Jean Gebser, Arnold Toynbee, Paul Virilio, Peter Sloterdijk, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and many others. Many of these lectures are available in audio format on Google Play.

Publishing turn[edit]

Disaffected with the publishing industry, and curious about the possibilities of the "new media", in 2013 Ebert walked away from traditional publishing and began an experiment in self-publishing his books on Amazon’s self-publishing wing, Create Space. He published Art After Metaphysics, an analysis of the world of contemporary art from Jackson Pollock to Damien Hirst, and followed it with Post-Classic Cinema, an analysis of the current status of film in its decline into digitization. These two titles were followed with approximately 20 more books examining such media as graphic novels, cultural decay and the phenomenon of spree killers and various aspects of contemporary society, art and technology.[2]


In 2014, Ebert did a Massive Open Online Course for the New York electronic school "Open Online Academy", in which, over the course of approximately 60 lectures, he examined the history of modern and postmodern art from Abstract Expressionism, to Dusseldorf, the YBAs and others. These videos are currently available for free on YouTube.


Ebert has been a significant voice in contemporary critical theory and his work has influenced a whole generation of artists such as Chris Boyd, Emma Tooth, Morpheus Lunae, Jacques de Beaufort, Valerie Moreno, Rose Marsicano and the poet Michael Aaron Kamins.[citation needed]


  1. London, Scott. "Review of Twilight of the Clockwork God". Scott London. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

External links[edit]

The John David Ebert Channel on Youtube:

His books:

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