Articles

Critical color theory

On Angelica Dass and Divya Victor

A collage of photographs from Angelica Dass’s ongoing Humanæ Project appeared on the cover of the “The Trouble With Race” issue of Foreign Affairs magazine in March 2015.[1] Dass’s photographic pairing of human skin tone with swatches of PANTONE® color was selected for an issue slated to spotlight the global failure of multiculturalism.

Disaster and revival

On Cha, Goldsmith, Pendleton

The first issue of 'Art in America,' which appeared in 1913, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's 'Exilée and Temps Morts: Selected Works.'

I am going to discuss three examples of Conceptual writing. My purpose in doing so is merely to define one of a larger set of questions. Defining questions is going to be more productive than pretending to have answers. I don’t want to even seem to be making an argument about these examples; that would truly be shortchanging the artists’ efforts. The brevity of this essay requires that I forego the summation and close reading, the kind of exposition we use to support a fully fledged thesis.

'Antígona González'

On necrowritings and disappropriation

Mexican writer and academic Cristina Rivera Garza introduced the term disappropriation (desapropiación) in her essay book Los muertos indóciles (Tusquets Editores, 2013). Based upon the idea that language is a common good, the term indicates that the writer who works with documentation is actually disappropriating that language in order to give it back to the community. For the benefit of the collective. This testimonial is the poetry of the people. The question “Is appropriation OK?” has been rendered pointless.

Software as lip service

Jennifer Walshe's Snapchat scores

Milker Corporation's Snapchat feed.

If, as Miranda July messaged, “texting is tacky,” “calling is awkward,” and “email is old,” then Snapchat, insofar as Irish composer Jennifer Walshe’s Milker Corporation has come to utilize its API, is tasteful, adroit, and original.

Doggedly conceptual, impishly ephemeral, hers is an MMS all so simple:

1. Go to “My Friends”
2. Tap the “+” sign
3. Search for user “milker_corp”
4. “Add”

On Weiner, Acconci, Perreault, and Graham

Hannah Weiner (left) and Vito Acconci (right). Portrait of Vito Acconci courtesy of the photographer Gesi Schilling.

Before she matriculated to clairvoyant grande dame of the Language poets, Hannah Weiner was a Conceptual writer, performance artist, and lingerie designer on the Lower East Side. In light of Divya Victor’s call for this forum, I want to briefly address her Conceptualism. The tricky part is that little record of her early activity has survived. Her collaborator John Perreault reports that she set fire to the documentation of her Street Works and performance projects of the 1960s.