Welcomes & Reflections

If you’ve landed here, I guess we may have something in common.. I too am curious to see what will come of this time and space spent with VITAL CAPACITIES.

Over the past couple years, so much has happened, is happening and about to bloom. For me and my practice, it’s been a phenomenally complex, difficult yet generous time of experimentation, of silence and of deeply personal work.

For anyone that knows me or of my practice, you’ll know that I’m intensely connected to understanding the ever evolving complexities of our human conditions. How it relates to our individual selves, to each other and in turn – to our environments.

Oh and I love water.

As I try to navigate the nuances of the vulnerability needed in my current line of work, the conflicting complexities of what to share and what to keep, I’d like to welcome those into this space with a small offering I wrote last year. One which carries the weight of so many other seeds planted across the diversity of my multi-sensory works and explorations.

A type writer font prints the following text:

Dear reader,
If I picked up the book of you, what chapter would it read?
How would the words land from your pages onto my tongue?
What sounds will glide through these ears and what stimulations left on this body?

If I had to draw you, what relics of past life would we see on your outlines?
They say we are mosaics of all that's been around us - every pixel of ourselves borrowed. 

So may I borrow you?
In hope our landscapes meet in common space that both our hearts can dance to.

You see I speak to you from a place of the broken hearted.
A cracked love affair with life, I am still untangling the common structures built on quick sand around us.

I want to converse with you about language, about love, expectations and being. Yet I know all these states are based on nothing but bias meanings. 

We've been here before but my memory of you is vague yet I know you exist here with me, in this system... 

Systems.
I've been thinking about systems. 
How each system just makes more systems..
How the first system we have each ever faced is our families systems.
Fractals of service, love, hate, expectations, customs, traditions and... in/justice. 

What othering lurks in the crevices of your ancestry?
Does it sparkle with repressed homophobia like mine?
Maybe your racism speaks clearly...

Tell me, do you speak of Palestine?
About those of us whom the world has left behind?

I wonder of the structures you yourself have helped build, and of those you have dismantled... What have you dismantled?

Agency...
You.
Have.
Agency.

Integrity.
It is never too late for integrity. 

Let's meet outside, where our endless motions meet emotions searching for a life we're still destined to find.

إستبرق/Estabrak
2021
A dark black landscape image is present. In the bottom right hand side of the image is a flame burning from a semi curled wax hand. We can faintly see the tips of some names and some fingers. It is evident the wax is melting. 

This hand belongs to my ancestors.

The above text and image Dear Reader are from a series of works I have been exploring during & since lockdown called A Passing Place. This work was published in 0ct 2021 through Future Venture’s Radical Arts Handbook, Issue 03 – Radical Futures.

Thank you for spending some time here.

Booklist

I’m using this space as a place to list everything I am/plan to read for this residency.

In Praise of Paths by Torbjorn Ekelund (translated by Becky L. Crook)
published by Greystone Books, Canada 2020
EAN: 9781771644952

The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins (Kindle edition)
published by Heritage Hunter 2017

The Old Ways by Robert MacFarlane
published by Penguin books 2013
EAN: 9780141030586

The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us by Nick Hayes
published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2021
EAN: 9781526604729

02 Subaltern Futurism

Over the last two years, I’ve been developing a theoretical and critical framework titled ‘Subaltern Futurism’. Subaltern Futurism is envisioned as a speculative resource framework for artistic research, practice and the technological education of marginalised. Drawing from anti-caste literature, critical race theory, bahujan solidarity practices among other guiding experiences, it asks if artistic practice can become pedagogical tools to communities that are excluded from regular access to critical discourse around contemporary art & technology. The framework views technology through a sociological lens, as a fundamental right and shared resource. It expands upon Gramsci’s post-colonial notion of the Subaltern as ‘colonial populations who are excluded from the hierarchy of power’ to include the current state of digital colonisation, the shared sites for the digital commons and sections of technology users rendered ‘subaltern’ due to the capitalist pursuit of efficiency. Subaltern Futurism speculates that developing empathic relationships with technology through a range of critical & pragmatic actions can assist in the imagination of radical futures that are diverse, inclusive and conducted from multiple geographies especially arising from the global south and from contexts outside of euro-centric biases of inquiry. By considering a very wide scope at the outset, it is envisioned as a multi-year generative project occurring as various modular forms and widely disseminated within the ethos of open access.

Continue reading “02 Subaltern Futurism”