She would fall asleep with a taste of home on her lips (Journal of Visual Culture & HaFI, 29)

This is the twenty-ninth instalment of a collaborative effort by the Journal of Visual Culture and the Harun Farocki Institut, initiated by the COVID-19 crisis. The call sent to JVC’s editorial board, and a wide selection of previous contributors and members of its extended communities, described the task as follows: “There is a lot of spontaneous, ad hoc opinion-making and premature commentary around, as to be expected. However, the ethics and politics of artistic and theoretical practice to be pursued in this situation should oblige us to stay cautious and to intervene with care in the discussion. As one of JVC’s editors, Brooke Belisle, explains: ‘We are not looking for sensationalism, but rather, moments of reflection that: make connections between what’s happening now and the larger intellectual contexts that our readership shares; offer small ways to be reflective and to draw on tools we have and things we know instead of just feeling numb and overwhelmed; help serve as intellectual community for one another while we are isolated; support the work of being thoughtful and trying to find/make meaning…which is always a collective endeavour, even if we are forced to be apart.'” TH

 

She would fall asleep with a taste of home on her lips

A moving poem by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, She would fall asleep with a taste of home on her lips, Moving Poem Series, iOS, 1920 × 1080, 3’ 10″

 

From the claustrophobia of domesticity to the fury of a changing world. Such passages always take place in the middle of the night. They wait till the globe moves just beyond the edge of the sun, and they dream us up, all reprogrammed and ready to accept.

The world sleeps, the axes change. The world wakes up, and the sun falls on empty streets.

There is nothing smooth about these passages: initially, the ones who had homes were all forced deeper into them, frantically attempting to reinvent a Bachelardian bourgeois berth, endlessly viewing the same tired details and hoping that our bored gaze will bring out the phenomenology of belonging. But even while we were attempting that, we knew that in this age of lost innocence, such luxuries were no longer possible: we finally became, in very real, material, architectural terms, a testing ground for Esposito’s immunological dystopia, or Sloterdijk’s bubbles of isolation.

Yet we never stopped seeking the other home. Our desire to return, our need to regress – who can tell the difference anymore.

And then, the next passage. We are ushered out by the forceps of systematic racial abuse and discrimination, we come out with a cry. We inhale the vast pillars of oxygen needed for a global breath to be heard. This breath says: we cannot breathe. Not this air anymore, even when the knees are removed from our necks. Protest as essential activity during COVID-19. There is violence in this passage, no doubt about this. The light is harsh, the air smells of rotting empires, the port waters open up their arms for Victorian statues finally to be corroded. We are out.

The dream turns with the axes of the planet.

 

The moving poem ‘She would fall asleep with a taste of home on her lips’ is one of three moving-poems/passages written, composed, videoed and recited by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos as part of the art residency-at-home This is a Call by Eva Sajovic and Rebecca Davies of People’s Bureau, along with fiction writer Sarah Butler and film maker Shona Hamilton, in May 2020 during the UK lockdown. The pieces, along with the works of the other artists in residence, were performed on a live zoom stream on Saturday 16th of May, 2020. A film by Shona Hamilton is currently in preparation.
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos is Professor of Law & Theory and Director of the the Westminster Law & Theory Lab // he is also an artist working with performance, installation, sculpture, photography and picpoetry // and a fiction author, with his recent The Book of Water coming out in September by ERIS; Instagram.

 

 

 

June 10th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
Interface

On Friday, April 6, 2021, at 8 p.m., Akademie Schloss Solitude will host a Zoom event with former HaFI Residency fellowship holder Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible” (2017). Moderated by Doreen Mende. To register, click here.

April 14th, 2021

The magazine MONOPOL currently features an interview (in German) with Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible,” which she conceived and shot during her HaFI residency in 2017.

April 14th, 2021

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

November 7th, 2020
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