jan 27 2019 - matrices, take downs, canyons
that lunar eclipse and a truly aquarius szn ramble
|Benedict Nguyen||Jan 27, 2019||2|
suggested soundtrack for this longer-than-usual read:
last sunday, the lunar eclipse happened. i danced in the cold til i wasn’t cold anymore and tried not to care that i had already showered but was probably sweating underneath layers of pants and would crawl into bed a little danker than i’d like.
it was glorious.
this week, i’ve been getting ready for [light plug:] the premiere of ‘soft bodies in hard places’ at issue project room w/ revolutionary new moon in aquarius. and thinking about how the matrix of new and prior relationships this platform has shifted for me over this process. feeling especially attuned to how i’m operating between institution and artists and how fickle that feels.
it’s one of my snappier tweets so the algorithm looked kindly on it. but also, really, the ‘how’ of sharing power, how real it is in some contexts, and how misleading it is in others is the more interesting question.
i roll my eyes at institutions (cause it’s so easy, right?) and am also totally //getting// ‘defensive institution’ talk more than ever. it’s not hard to imagine how everything feels precarious in the nonprofit industrial complex. of course it’s relative. ex: i have a budget that’s not massive by any means. but it is real and i have power to redirect it. i have access to an institution and that feels abstract, but i’ve seen it manifest in real ways.
a specific: at a talk last week, i saw ‘defensive institution’ talk in action. i got upset, hopped in the conversation, probably burned some bridges (meh), wrote it all out later and thought about fiery hot takes written for click bait, whether I should pitch said hot take for viral attention, and what would that do for actually redistributing power.
this sounds cynical but is it? i’d spend too long crafting the pitch to not hear back from an editor i know IRL. let say it gets published somewhere only to probably get buried under all the other content and the institution would carry on as normal, because hyperboles of stan culture don’t feel too far away from cancel culture, & because the matrix of people embedded within and around it can’t/won’t help take down the thing that might give them that one-off gig in some distant future. can’t let go of that relationship, huh. no judgement, just lots of meh.
instead of taking it down, these webs breed a solicitousness that you can witness most anywhere. not that it’s about taking down the faces of these institutions. but recognizing that the institution is enacted through human interactions and when people hide behind their power instead of fessing up, the canyon widens.
as i experience it in capitalism and freelancing more broadly [one of my fave topics to whine/tweet about (and write one of those articles, etc. about)], i contradict myself by trying to set clear boundaries with work and then be so extra accommodating to get the job done when i really shouldn’t and should just sleep instead. the canyon between principle and my IRL behavior.
so i offer this twitter find that resurfaced through the mountain of content, the layers of archives and algorithms;
of course, we can talk about how declining feels like a limited option in contexts. also
2 reads / 1 watch
‘Swipe White’ by Jennifer Chong Schneider on family trauma, dating, etc.
^^the person who shared this with me did not warn me that i would cry so just naming that as a possible reaction
How to Write a Negative Review—And Why It’s So Hard to Publish One by Charlie Markbreiter
^^a reminder, among other things, that writers don’t often write their titles for these things
mitski on how people dismissing her art as mere confessionals:
so dearest reader, i hope you’ll understand, in case you couldn’t tell from the rambling of this post, that there’s care in how this is written and that i’m wishing u a sumptuously outlandish aquarius sun szn ;) ;) ;) ;) (& that moon enters scorpio right about so)
⚡️⚡️ benedict ⚡️