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Five years at Open Culture

As of today, I’ve been writing for Open Culture on a variety of ever-more-interesting subjects, from wherever in the world I can get wi-fi, every single weekday for five years. My total post count now comes to over 1,300, but here are twenty of my hand-picked favorites to give you a sense of both the […]

My ten favorite Open Culture posts of 2016: Steely Dan’s Recording Techniques, Nam June Paik’s New Year Special, the Philosophy of Bill Murray, and More

For nearly five years now, I’ve written a post every weekday at Open Culture, usually to do with literature, film, music, art, television, radio, or language. Here are ten of my favorites from the more than 250 I wrote in 2016: Color Footage of America’s First Shopping Mall Opening in 1956: The Birth of a Beloved […]

Guardian Cities: Where Is the World’s Most High-Tech City?

Before long, Santiago could be a city full of electric vehicles charged by “smart” power grids, many of them driving on highways equipped with traffic-reducing automated variable toll pricing. Perhaps a new arrival to the Chilean capital would go for the chance to found a technology company, incentivised by programmes like the state-backed, foreigner-friendly Start-Up […]

Twenty favorite Open Culture posts, featuring Haruki Murakami, Bill Murray, Douglas Coupland, Chris Marker, Steely Dan, Nam June Paik, Los Angeles…

Every weekday I write a post at Open Culture, usually to do with literature, film, music, art, television, radio, or language. I’ve done over 1000 so far, but on this list (which I revise every so often) you’ll find a few of my favorites: All of Wes Anderson’s Cinematic Commercials: Watch His Spots for Prada, American Express, […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E33: Avoiding Disposability with Jacques Testard

Colin Marshall sits down in Knightsbridge, London with Jacques Testard, founding editor of the quarterly arts journal The White Review. They discuss the re-issue of Nairn’s Towns featuring past guest Owen Hatherley; London’s surprisingly small literary culture and what, before founding The White Review, he didn’t see getting published; the “deeply stereotypical Williamsburg existence” he once lived in […]

To go with my new writing space, my new career

From Donald Richie’s Japan Journals: Called a flâneur in print. Looked it up. “Witty, insouciant, man of the world.” Like that very much. Also, “not serious.” Like that even better. It is like being a dandy without having to pay tailoring bills. An element of pose and nothing, such as earnestness, to mar the effect. Also, […]

Hello, world!

You can find all my old posts (but why would you want to?) going back to 2008-ish on, and going back to 2002 on

Hi, I’m Colin Marshall

… a Seoul-based essayist, broadcaster, and public speaker on cities, language, and culture. You’ll find my essays here. I write for outlets including Guardian Cities, Open Culture, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books (including its Korea Blog), KCET, Boom: A Journal of California (and guest-edited its issue on architecture, infrastructure, and the built environment), Bookforum, Boing Boing, Put This On, […]