Install Theme



In the same piece, Davis wrote skeptically about how Black images can be constructed as “arrested moments” and as easily recyclable, commodifiable and nostalgic. What form does the mark of what has happened before take? Will we ever come to know a prefix? (via i am a prefix | THE STATE)

Here’s the thing. I’m afraid that perhaps what’s arresting imagination, that is to say, life, isn’t a prefix but rather a system of thought: spouting a “rise in Africa” alongside big hair, Afropunk fest’s NEW BROOKLYN, forced onto bodies through Barclays, through eminent domain. Fungible images produce fungible objects. Dominant culture-friendly images are more easily sold than near-dead images, than prisoners. (But prisoners are sold, too.) (via i am a prefix | THE STATE)

It seems to be, then, a friendly sort of take-home-to-dinner “afro-anything” that induces shivers. Its forms sometimes take a declaration of worldliness that is speaks to a neoliberal pull to show off who you are, perhaps vis-à-vis what you buy, read, listen to, your cultured self. (via i am a prefix | THE STATE)

n the end, I do and I don’t have stakes beyond four letters. 

I am a prefix, who no one will ever possess—not the blogger, artist, or academic. 

I can be a vile little thing. I am carried around, attached to places as ornaments—but the kind of ornament that will change the whole affective shimmer of my grandmother’s sitting room. 

I am a prefix. If I’m not there, I can more easily be forgotten. Or so it goes. (via i am a prefix | THE STATE)

No matter how big or small, modest or grandiose, a takht is merely a place to have company. The top-down urban planners keep on attempting to define this in terms of a permanent, taxable, institution but the takht is far more slippery than this. The takht is an almost-mystical space where individuals become a community and a society. Community-constructed public space. I’ll raise a glass of chai to that. (via in praise of the takht | THE STATE)

This would be larger and weirder than the failed town squares of Brasilia and Chandigarh. Something closer to Kenzo Tange’s harbor-spanning plan for Tokyo or any other fantasia of Metabolism. The takht gives us the opportunity to populate these yawning spaces with as many friends as we can fit. Something like Istanbul’s Istiklal iftar comes to mind. One can even, if one wants to get more ecumenical about it, discuss the Panj Takht from which Sikh practice emanate. Or one can be grandiose and build The World’s Largest Teahouse like in Tajikistan. The takht allows us to reimagine our conception of friend, needing not a common interest or an enemy, but just common space. The takht is a common reference, no matter what one’s class, family, or profession. (via in praise of the takht | THE STATE)

It all starts—as it does with most weird ideas—with Slavs and Tatars. Reading their Khhhhhh one comes across a short description of a takht, described as a “group of roughly four or five people without the unfortunate and unspoken delineation of individual space dictated by the meager chair. Friends, families, and colleagues sit, smoke shisheh, sip tea, eat lunch, take naps, and create however momentarily a sense of public space.” (via in praise of the takht | THE STATE)

And yet we take secret joy in images of stolen goods. We share the pictures of the riot cops falling backward, revealed as mere humans underneath their ballistic armor, this détournement of our own media shield against the blows coming at us. In those falling plate glass windows are the Super Bowl ads and the flat screen TVs, and we delight at watching them shatter back into their component pieces of garbage. The black flag of this street battle is the knowledge that media can have more permanency than things. Objects can be destroyed, buildings pulled apart and hurled through the air. Any sort of politics that relies upon the sanctity of certain material goods will end up crumbling in time. The black flag will wave in the endless flow of history above these ruins, a projection in memory which can never burn. (via the broken window strategy | THE STATE)

There is a vast media dimension that can only be seen when peering into the bounds of image or video. This world is like ours; it is formed from it. The material of reality is scooped up and baked into its bricks, stacked, and lengthened into its walls and terraces. The media dimension extends outward from our world into a fourth dimension: of memory and record. And inside of this dimension there is a battle raging. (via the broken window strategy | THE STATE)

At Denbigh, thinking about the way that industrial modernity was a thing that the farmers were practicing, showing off to those paid entry, I wondered of the concurrent governmental slogan: Is this future-oriented environmental unpredictability a knowledge or a feeling the Caribbean has always known? Why are we asking if Jamaica is catching up to the idea that local food is better? And that other poor countries should catch up too? Is it startling to think that a country that is pre-industrialization (if industrialization is the goal) is growing its own food? Why are we so quick to embrace “local food” as some sort of deliberate practice that only becomes legible against initiatives of the same name? The aesthetics of agricultural independence are palatable through crisp khaki school uniforms, hard work and discipline. (via jamaica and the aesthetics of agricultural (in)dependence | THE STATE)

he accompanying photographs to the article, little black boys in school uniforms farming carrots, fosters a national DIY approach in which global mechanisms of dispossession are lost. The type of “fuck yeah farming” that is culled from NYT’s article and images jacks off the local food fetishes in such a way that modes of survival are, too, lost. (via jamaica and the aesthetics of agricultural (in)dependence | THE STATE)

“Grow what we eat, eat what we grow,” then, is a sexy-as-fuck slogan that has ballooned and is seamlessly subsumed into Western media especially. At the end of the summer, the New York Times published an article by Damien Cave called “As Cost of Importing Food Soars, Jamaica Turns to the Earth,” which marks the country as on the cutting-edge of a now global sustainable food movement because of its government’s push of the slogan as a food security campaign almost ten years ago. Like any good travel piece (which it was not), the piece starts with the smells and tastes of the island and ends with an image of future hands tilling soil. What was missing here was any mention of the IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs in the 1980s, a legacy that lives on. What was missing, too, was that Jamaica’s own dairy industry was destroyed by the U.S.’s powdered milk imports. Any old American who has seen Life and Debt can tell you that. (via jamaica and the aesthetics of agricultural (in)dependence | THE STATE)

“ To ask whether a capitalist incentive is good or bad is to miss the point. There is no good and bad in capitalism—only less and more. Good and bad are qualitative assessments of use-value. Cancer research is more important than money, because cancer research saves lives, and money is fictional. In a capitalist system you can get cancer research by moving money around, but this is a terribly complex task of attempting to transfer the exchange value of money into use value of killing cancerous cells. The money itself couldn’t give a damn what you do with it. Capital only cares what capital does. ”

Bitcoin, technophilic headline-grabber of contemporary times, is a cryptocurrency. What this means is not that the transactions are encrypted, but the method by which the units of currency exist is guaranteed by cryptography. Bitcoins are just a series of numbers, and no one runs Bitcoin. The only reason that I own Bitcoin #101 rather than you is because the transaction log says that you gave it to me, and I haven’t given it to anyone else yet. It is this log, enclosed in what is called the ‘blockchain,’ that is guaranteed by cryptography. (via bitcoin logic | THE STATE)

I’m of the opinion that art is always designed for the the future. Even the most ephemeral of artworks will hopefully create a lasting impression in the mind of someone. Art for a future of proliferating objects might be made of recycled material, or it might not. But I think that this art must change the way that we think about objects. Because objects will change us and the world, even more than they have already. Hopefully our headspaces will follow, before our mental repressions drown us. (via remember your things | THE STATE)