Ruefle's work provides messy curios, always irreverent toward scale and origin. It often feels like a small child has found me, eager to share a preciRuefle's work provides messy curios, always irreverent toward scale and origin. It often feels like a small child has found me, eager to share a precious (and likely stolen) object: I inspect the eyedropper, only to be presented with a miniature velvet cradle or shrunken head. Again and again, she introduces me to the world. I don't know if she's collected these objects because they're precious, or they're precious because she's collected them. What a gentle exercise in newness. /// I gave this book a 3/5 because although basking in colored sadness is reorienting, Madness, Rack, and Honey introduced me to a didactic Ruefle. I'm afraid I rely on her too much....more
Who knew Sarah Mclachlin used to be goth? I learned so much. Other reviewers have kvetched about how this book focused too much on Throbbing Gristle, ~Who knew Sarah Mclachlin used to be goth? I learned so much. Other reviewers have kvetched about how this book focused too much on Throbbing Gristle, ~tarnished industrial's image~ by talking about the longstanding racism and racial segregation in the scene, and blunted its impact through engaging in academic rhetoric. I'm sympathetic with readers who find academic texts repellant--I can imagine Reed presenting this information more accessibly without compromising historical rigor, however this is a book 1) published by Oxford University Press (what were you expecting?) and 2) written by a scholar attempting to secure tenure (which, congratulations to Reed, he succeeded in. Ithaca College is lucky to have you!) I would applaud Reed for honestly addressing the overwhelming whiteness and sometimes explicit/mostly implicit racism of industrial, however to write this book any other way would have been negligent. He doesn't get applause for being decent, but I will stand on the mountain top loudly booing these reviewers averse to getting called out on their shit. This topic isn't exhausted; there needs to be another book exclusively dedicated to reading industrial through race studies, but this is a good start. I remind readers that this is a *critical* history, not a *complete* history of the genre; this book doesn't do everything, but it does enough. I'm thankful for the labor and love that has crafted it. I'm a young fan born after most of these artists had overdosed or quit the scene to make corporate jingles, but I see deep parallels of affect and aspiration in my contemporaries, in the punk scenes of DC, Olympia, and Seattle that I've called home since high school. A similar book could be written about us--or at least incorporate the work we do as a subchapter in the last ~100 pages--but probably won't be. Future teens likely wont know about the historical envelope that led to GLOSS or Turboslut, and these works will be forgotten just as Jourgensen wants us to forget With Sympathy. So yeah, I don't know. So much horizontalist reverence to Reed for writing this book. Thanks for doing that thing where you keep an idea alive by writing it down, thus displacing temporalities long enough for the idea to get to me....more
**spoiler alert** Um this is a graphic novel for children about two queer princesses, one who is v emotional and fat, and the other a badass militant**spoiler alert** Um this is a graphic novel for children about two queer princesses, one who is v emotional and fat, and the other a badass militant princess of color. Can I get a "hell yeah"?...more
To be read in companionship with Daniel Borzutsky's Data Bodies and Calvino's Mr. Palomar.
(I have complaints with Zultanski's use of women's breasts aTo be read in companionship with Daniel Borzutsky's Data Bodies and Calvino's Mr. Palomar.
(I have complaints with Zultanski's use of women's breasts as an alternative metric for measurements: buildings being x breasts tall, etc. I understand that it is one of many alt metrics relating to the body--such as the volume of a single tear--however there's a too familiar violence in the fetishization of a decontextualized object of sexual desire. What affordance does this alt metric bring that wouldn't be better illustrated by the average length of a flaccid penis? Much of this book is built around heartbreak, and although it's alright for him to indulge his respective fantasies around the lost woman, but I wish he would stop short of disemboweling her/me/us.)
On cutting his fingers off: "'Getting creative,' in the usual sense, has to do entirely with becoming a more resourceful employee. And my fantasy of slicing myself up involves instead the excessively literal subtraction of my body from the job market."...more
I read the greater part of this book on a plane ride home, next to a man who looked sponsored by real-tree. His phone's background was a picture of hiI read the greater part of this book on a plane ride home, next to a man who looked sponsored by real-tree. His phone's background was a picture of his toddler son on top of his tractor. After he started white-knuckling the communal armrests, it became pretty obvious that this earth-oriented man was terrified of flying. Poor guy. During the flight's turbulence, he became desperate for a conversation partner. We chatted--he showed me more pictures of cars with babies on top of them--and eventually he asked me what I was reading. Knowing that I was going to be beside this guy for the next three hours, I gave an obfuscatory answer that avoided all the drugs and lesbians--but I also didn't stop him from flipping through the pages. "This book is crazy. It's all about drugs and lesbians," he told me. He was freaked, but he was such a good sport about it. I could tell you what I got out of this book, but I think it's more fun to imagine that guys perspective. I regret not giving him my copy.
"It's so easy to give up--to live in dreams with yourself instead of in stories with a friend" p.212...more
"We are instructed by the objects that come to speak with us, those material presences. Why should we have been born knowing how to love the world? We"We are instructed by the objects that come to speak with us, those material presences. Why should we have been born knowing how to love the world? We require, again and again, these demonstrations." p. 10
A kind book, in the same way that "Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings" is a kind title, or that object-oriented ontology is a kind proposition. "I live in a capital of light," Doty writes, implying that how he engages optics--or how the light he pulls himself closer to--constitutes his identity. And, more so than being a poetic essay or an exercise in traversing mediums, this book is a didactic treatise on how to let light in. It is a practice. Light doesn't wander in, it does not get pleasantly lost inside us. We need to practice finding the noumenon and becoming it....more
I picked up a copy of this dynamite reader the last time I visited the Center for Postnatural History, a museum I interned for a few years back. PellI picked up a copy of this dynamite reader the last time I visited the Center for Postnatural History, a museum I interned for a few years back. Pell and Allen's essay, "Preface to a Genealogy of the Postnatural" lends the collection much of its weight (physically and academically), however it was Mitchell Akyama's two-part contribution that made the text valuable, clever. "Unbecoming, Animal" documents the development of recording technology in relation to the logic of weaponry: as the reel-to-reel recorder emerged, "capturing" became polysemic. Indeed, "in the 1850s, at the height of British colonial power, taxidermy and photography were employed almost interchangeably to preserve exotic game for both glory and science" (p115). He goes on to deliberate what it means to be captured by the apparatus of language, etc.--it's delightful. I'd love to see further work done on what this means in the age of virtuality, how digital representation extends this historical narrative, etc....more
"'Entomber of itself,' [a word] must 'shatter' and 'test' the limits of linguistic communication--'she explored the implications of breaking the law s"'Entomber of itself,' [a word] must 'shatter' and 'test' the limits of linguistic communication--'she explored the implications of breaking the law short of breaking off communication with a reader,' Howe writes. [The word] must 'crowd out a space for itself'--each word, self-sovereign from systems of meaning and exchange--antinomian and abdicating. This is the space poets from Dickinson through Stein and on to Howe work--'mutual monarchs'--moving through the dark of poetry's sovereign wood. ... 'In poetry all things seem to touch so they are.'" 66
"Libraries may be archontic enclosures, but they contain wildernesses--small pockets of the wild and common--if you are able to wander there, if permission can escape the ban on trespassing. Howe's library struggles are attempts to break fences and squat on former commons. Often it is Harvard and its Houghton Library that feels Howe's iconoclastic wrath, as in Midnight, where she describes her blocked attempt to look at Dickinson's papers in 1991. Standing in the panopticonic antechamber she can read the architectural signs of 'power and regimes of library control'--here, in the 'Kingdom of Houghton,' 'every researcher can be a perpetrator" and "nothing...awakens security sooner than curiosity.'" 48...more