Articles

Nice Dream?

Heriberto Yépez: Allegory and radical mimesis

Still from Voice Exchange Rates. Walter Benjamin notes that the image of the skull is especially fit for allegory in that it poses “not only the enigmatic question of the nature of human existence as such, but also of the biographical historicity of the individual.”

“Talk-It,” the speaker-cum-software bot of Heriberto Yépez’s video-poem “Voice Exchange Rates,” describes itself as a technology “designed to help poetry return to the righteous path of the avant-garde” by automating the poetic endeavor: the program reads, translates, and composes in a variety of languages and registers in accordance with the preferences of its human user. 



Heriberto Yépez, Voice Exchange Rates, 2002. Is unoriginality already the preferred condition of USAmerican experimentalism?

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”