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Obscurity of Purpose, Immediacy of Experience
September 20th, 2017, 02:32 PM

Obscurity of purpose; immediacy of experience; the foregrounding of a nameless parallel space, shorn of concrete social orientation: these qualities enveloped huge swathes of the exhibition. In a paradoxical turn, the greater the formal emphasis on participation, egalitarian engagement, and the banishment of hierarchy, the less political commitment, or the articulation of a clearly defined viewpoint, appeared possible. It’s a turn that has been noted before, most magisterially by Claire Bishop in Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012). One foregrounds a “symmetrical situation of the encounter of equals,” only to wind up with incoherence and a teleology of open-endedness. Social relations were skated over, as projects like Social Dissonance melded more or less anonymous participants into spontaneous collectives. Artists tacked on political motives as loose premises or ex post facto revelations, unintegrated into any aesthetic whole.
Indian Liberals Must Die
September 12th, 2017, 02:32 PM

Liberal snobbery is real, and it’s worth dismantling, but real elitism is claiming that the vernacular radical, the secular laboring man, the socialist with military service, or the atheist with bad English cannot exist; as if those subjectivities can only be produced by Moet and a master’s degree.
Kate Millett: 1934–2017
September 7th, 2017, 02:32 PM

Still, I went a little crazy too, endlessly having to repeat myself. The real problem with patriarchy: it’s an entire social system of status, temperament, and role — centuries old. We regard it as “nature.” The Movement, but also Fumio, cheered me on; we all had a hilarious time laughing at the conceit of Mailer and Miller. It was outrageous fun even to say these things aloud. The wind blew hard at times: my family tried to control me with psychiatry but finally gave up. Eventually, I went off to England to make a movie.
Source Code
September 6th, 2017, 02:32 PM

In the last two decades of his life, William Shockley turned away from technology and began promoting the idea that intelligence was biologically determined—with blacks cognitively subordinate to whites—arguing under the auspices of estimable science that without forced sterilization of those with inferior intelligence, the world would be plunged into a dysgenic panic.
A Recognition That We’re All Getting Screwed
September 5th, 2017, 02:32 PM

To win the election, Krasner needed a “ground game,” and he needed to win white working class votes—including the pro-police constituency that would vote for anyone but him. This is what took me to the doors in Port Richmond, canvassing with an organization called Reclaim Philadelphia. Like the rest of Philly, this ward, the 25th, predominantly votes Democrat, and has for generations. But the vote has been shading from blue to violet. Even though Clinton won this ward (in both the primary and the general election), 28 percent voted for Trump; the citywide average was 15 percent.
Shawn Wen in conversation with Alexandra Kleeman
September 4th, 2017, 02:32 PM

Shawn Wen will discuss her new book, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause, with n+1 contributor Alexandra Kleeman. The event is free and open to the public. n+1 7 PM, September 12, 2017 68 Jay Street #405 Brooklyn, NY 11201 RSVP on Facebook and via email to rsvp@nplusonemag.com. “Shawn Wen’s evocative writing invites us into the audience to watch […]
September 1st, 2017, 02:32 PM

Three children and two parents fastened their seatbelts. All five, pale and glum, looked straight ahead. No one spoke. The Broadway musical had been an expensive mistake involving water and darkness and lasers and stunningly loud sound effects. Mom put her hand on Dad’s arm. He glanced back to see that the kids were belted in. The engine turned over; she pulled out.
Not at That Price
August 30th, 2017, 02:32 PM

The accomplished young people who crowd our sympathies in the political theater are Americans, and we deserve legal recognition. In lieu of comprehensive legislation, DACA is our best recourse. But we did not come from nothing, Athenas born in full armor. We were raised by men and women who spilled sweat and sometimes blood for us, and I defy you to find a Dreamer who does not owe to their elders their lives and the work ethic you so admire. To use us as collateral against them is psychological torture, cruel and unusual, and it will destroy our communities.
Laundered Violence
August 23rd, 2017, 02:32 PM

One of the impressive and now oft-remarked ironies of the present fights is that the people who are accused of wanting to “erase history” are doing more to remind others of history than Ken Burns’s entire oeuvre could do lined up end-to-end. I wonder whether something similar might be happening with the law: that the people who are accused of ignoring and defying it will end up instructing everyone else about how it works.
“I am Ramu”
August 22nd, 2017, 02:32 PM

It’s difficult for the postcolonial, or Indian, artist’s contribution to be discussed in formalist terms, because everything they do—the life they describe, the language they use—becomes the testimony of postcolonial history.