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Issue 13 :: July 2012

Editor's Note

“I am committed to an impossibility,” Laura said to Anna. Anna liked this. Well, she didn’t like it, but she understood it. She thought it had something to do with being compelled by imitation. “Our ability to imitate the art, affect, and politics that precede us is remarkable and this debt is something that art objects cannot help but remark on, refigure, and replay.” She wasn’t sure where that left us (art-makers) except that she didn’t think it was a waste of time as long as it occurred primarily within the limits of art-making, which could “mobilize and externalize imitation [imagination].” “For instance,” Anna said, “when Herzog says stupid things about ‘midgets’ that I find pretty offensive and when the United States instructs its soldiers on how to torture people ‘non-lethally’--these cannot be excised from life unless we learn to sit with them as contemporary artifacts. Imbibing articulation with rhythm and repetition, I see these works as partial evidence of our attempt to release ourselves from their content.” She wanted it to be clear that this wasn’t the only thing that could or should be said about the work Laura and her were publishing, but it was something that she was thinking about. I wanted her to note that the works also did something greater than her ability to describe them, like breathing in a scenario, or letting your hum go. “Give me an object to sit with, give me a sound to hear so that I might insist on knowing its effects.” She is thankful for this work, which has asked her to hold still and adhere to it for a time. “As Ish Klein says, ‘My task? Arrange the trash on trash day.’ ” But trash, here, is clearly no waste.

-Anna Vitale

Joe Sacksteder’s mash-ups push me down a rabbit-hole (some kind of hole): what facial expressions do chickens make, actually? Listening to Herzog makes me so UNCOMFORTABLE, which is a feeling I sometimes forget I like.

Whereas Sacksteder’s subject speaks for him(it)self, Judith Goldman layers commentary and rhythm--aestheticizing fragments in order to deliver the subject. I admire both approaches, and especially the way these tracks talk to each other across the issue.

So I like my own discomfort, which is a different satisfaction than the satisfaction of listening to other people’s discomfort. I like the religious lament in “Church Drone.” It satisfies me somehow. What kind of person takes comfort in all forms of discomfort?

Then Woloweic, whose work is inextricable from the body, which seems to be at the seat of all our language’s insults, and most of our current social debates: What can women do with their bodies, can we nationally insure the health of bodies, who can marry their bodies. And what does a “post-racial” body look like, I’d like to know. I can’t wait for a post-bullshit century.

-Laura Wetherington