video sketch (silent):
Full moon, June 13 2014.
India ink pouring and divination ritual.
“This person may be mad, or drugged, perhaps we should call the police, or maybe he is a poet” (Guattari 282). Guattari, Félix. 2009. “Desire Is Power, Power Is Desire” in Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972-1977. Semiotext(e), Los Angeles.
Infecting Mbembe is a series of typographic panels that evolve from the faux didactics of Disco Hospital, such as Say “Ah.” and Ritual. Sex. Purpose. Here, I use academic citation techniques as expanded visual lexicon to share, queer, and worry Achille Mbembe’s original texts on the subject of necropolitics and the unfolding of everyday death worlds (Haritarworn, Kuntsman, and Posocco). HIV+ and still speaking from a place of white male privilege, I am caught—like deer in headlamps—by Mbembe’s clarity, intensity, and urgency. Acknowledging my personal loss of pure, uncontaminated health—through fun-fun-fun on ze homobahn—and the risky business of mixing isms, I reflect (and push) on José Esteban Muñoz’s suggestion that:
“[t]o accept loss is to accept the way in which one’s queerness will always render one lost to a world of heterosexual imperatives, codes, and laws. To accept loss is to accept queerness—or more accurately, to accept the loss of heteronormativity, authorization, and entitlement. To be lost is not to hide in a closet or to perform a simple (ontological) disappearing act; it is to veer away from heterosexuality’s path. Freedmen escaping slavery got lost too, and this is a salient reverberation between queerness and racialization” (72-73).
each ink jet panel: 91 cm x 121 cm. | Haritaworn, Jin and Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco. 2014. “Introduction” in Queer Necropolitics. Routledge, Oxon. | Mbembe, Achille. 2003. “Necropolitics” in Public Culture, 15(1). Meintjes, Libby trans. Duke University Press. | Mbembe, Achille. 2001. “God’s Phallus” in On the Postcolony. University of California Press, Berkeley.
On Thursday and Friday, June 12 and 13 2014, Black Light District observed the full moon phase with a photography and video shoot. The subject matter: large ceramic bowls filled—ritualistically and to overflowing—with India ink. For these sessions, I worked with Miles Collyer, who brought his intuitive and highly critical gaze to the scene. The objective: to explore the seeming endlessness of India ink’s depths through processes of scrying and generate divinatory knowledge or vibrations.
Welcome to the online space for my current research: Black Light District (BLD).
BLD research and production: March through October 2014.
Contents: video, photography, typography, audio, and a bookwork.
Sharing a titular reference to Coil with my thesis project, Disco Hospital (OCAD University, 2013), BLD continues the excavation of queer bodies dead-and-alive, non-Western healing practices, necropolitics, sound and listening, subtle energies, and woodland mischief.1 Precautionary warning: There will be sex, queers, music, India ink, ritual, cute kittens, doggy-style, old bones, sustained tones, hands-on shamanic shimmers, affect, and pleasure. These themes and constituents are drawn and quartered ethnographically, auto-ethnographically, participant comprehensively, and are frequently sweaty with full-frequency range of linked olfactory sensations in play-back, L/R and center. Ride a white swan. Check back again and often.
BLD is generously funded by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).
image: Talking Mandala VII (ink jet print, 91 cm x 91 cm)
1 Coil: Jhonn Balance and Peter Sleazy Christopherson, 1982-2004. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coil_(band)>
3 June 2014:
This morning, I had the penultimate rear molar extracted from my lower left jawbone. Requiring a “touch up,” as my dentist suggested with respect to synthetic freezing, I wondered to myself “is it a tolerance issue?”; exhilarated rush the briskly clinical-yet-brutal gesture of extrication. The dull ache of high-heeled noise. Looking now at the photograph of my tooth or what is left of it. It could be a relic in the ROM for Christ’s sake. The bone itself is black and blue shot through vintage yellow, that hallmark of old age on golden crown, but what else can one expect? The medicine man has jewels secreted away all over his body, in and around, out and about.
This bone of me, what does it say? I noticed how alcohol made it ache at the disco last Friday night, tequila sunrise after dark and mighty real. An HIV Prevention Team member offered me a mint. Under closer examination, my bone looks like mastodon tusk, great beast of burden.
Note to healers: segments worn close to the heart on account of extreme bravery in the face of normativity. A small shred of infected flesh, sin of god; cannon balls and protection are with thee.
Instructions: Gaze into the crown, feast upon thine own reflection. Each surface deals another blow-by-blow of the golden glow. Sprinkle. Magnified and amplified, ten trillion Hz. You are disidentified, free. Now float away and be.