Memetic Engines of Anticapitalism

My Division III project for Hampshire College, "Memetic Engines of Anticapitalism," consists mainly of an upcoming gallery show featuring a collection of art projects that all seek to illustrate a core philosophical argument.

This project was selected to be a part of The Five College Digital Humanities Fellowship Program in 2018! They select student projects from the Five Colleges every year whose work is innovative, cross-disciplinary, intersectional, and as they put it "that bring a 'digitized perspective' to larger dialogues in the arts and humanities."

An independent website for this project is coming soon!

 
 

(I have a mailing list, if you want to get updates about how this is all going.)

 

My Soul, available for purchase

I am literally selling my soul. 1000 shares at $45 each, if I sell them all, I can pay off my student debt just as I graduate.

The image to the left is a low-resolution export of the current state of the certificate, which is receiving a huge amount of creative work, because (since I don't actually believe I have a soul) I want people who pay me for it to receive a genuinely beautiful art object.

Plus, (just like stock in a company) as I grow as an artist and achieve more in my career, early works like this limited addition print will grow in value. It's an actual investment!

But to the faithful, don't worry: I was very careful in the fine print to make sure that if anything like a soul exists, this document represents a binding sale of a share in it.

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The Abjectionist Party

This piece is a fictional political party, "The Abjectionist Party," about which I'm putting together a museum-style exhibit.

The platform of the party is that the U.S. government is abject -- it's a thing made by humans, for humans, and of humans, but it's no longer human, and no longer acts in human interests.

Building on the idea of "Abject poverty," the state of having so little access to resources that it becomes hard for others to see you as human, the Abjectionists advance the concept of "Abject wealth," the idea of inhumanly wealthy people, to distinguish from the six-figure income citizens who feel unfairly lumped in with the super-wealthy as enemies of the people.

 

 

A comic about lamps

I'm developing a graphic novel series, a near future science fiction work, about an effort by a community of anarchists in northern Massachusetts to persuade the city to adopt carbon-negative algae lamps for public lighting. 

I'm not sure what stage it'll be at by March, but I'm going to show it off to talk about fiction as a vehicle for revolutionary narratives, models of hero, and movements and communities. 

And also solarpunk. Because it's definitely solarpunk.

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A Big Secret

This one I'm keeping under my hat until the gallery show. Practically speaking, it's already published, a little bit. And to be honest, there are enough hints in that image that someone extremely savvy could probably piece it together -- but I promise, to anyone on either side of that, the question of authorship isn't part of it.

($5 and up Patreon supporters did get the name of the project, though. So it's not that secret. Just, you know, play nice.)

 

 

3D Gallery

I'm making a 3D model of the Hampshire College Art Gallery in the Harold F. Johnson Library, where I'm going to be making a VR version of my installation, for accessibility and archiving. 

I'm also working on making the tools available to the rest of my community at Hampshire so other students can use my model to construct and archive their own installations.

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Zines

The philosophical arguments I'm making in my project are pretty dense and might be a little hard to follow. There's going to be one big text in which I try to explain the whole thing, but for folx who want to spend some time with just one or a couple of the ideas, I'm making zines.

These works attempt to illustrate in a much more accessible way some of the major take-aways I want people to get from my work, even if they're not up for reading a minor doorstopper full of annoyingly picky use of language.

The image to the left is a low-res excerpt from an in-progress work called "Ethical Hypocrisy: a how-to guide," which makes the case that moral purity is the wrong way to pursue activist efforts.

 

 

Patreon

This aspect will probably never cease to make me vaguely uncomfortable -- income and anticapitalism are not good bedfellows -- but as part of the exploration of money in art, and as a way to mitigate risks of starvation in my life, I'm running a Patreon to support this work. Backing it would help a lot with research, actually: the more I can potentially rely on that source of income as a major part of my survival, the more directly I have to reckon with the influence of my survival needs on my political actions.

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Other stuff?

There are things in the works that may or may not be a part of my project, depending on how things that are entirely outside my control play out.