Tuesday, 22 March 2016

378.Wishes to muse on

Exhibit A & B: Some moments of calm, before the writing begins.
I have recently been organising a 'theory' group within my university department. It's 50% a weekly meeting to discuss/debate selected theoretical writings, 50% a way to build a sense of community within my department, a chance for staff and students to have a drink and a chat (You ever noticed that university can be a pretty lonely place for some?). I enjoy theory group with an uneasy sense of elitism. Someone said to me 'astrophysicists are not expected to make their ideas accessible' (true true, the joke of rocket science). I'm not so sure. I never am. I have found that reading theoretical writings (and generally studying for a degree) has slowly got easier for me, and this is thrilling and frightening. I think I have become inbred in an academic language. Is that okay? Is it just like learning German? 

Accessibility doesn't ever stop at language though, there are far far more issues here. Time=Money, and reading just 10 pages of an excerpt from Satre's Being and Nothing (I know I know, probably a bad choice) can take a few hours, that won't earn themselves back. As a low income background, thus high income government grant student, the time=money equation never bites me. And this is an immense privilege. I do a lot of thinking about this. I do a lot of thinking about groups and organising and compiling reading lists and why why why and who we choose to read. I really liked Sara Ahmed's post about citational politics, and how she came to the decision to not cite any men in her new book.(here) She described citations like bricks, and her book like a house. I wonder which bricks do I want to build my mind on?
Exhibit C: Hannah Arendt speaking in an interview
in 1964. (here)
I think about this all in reference to writing. I thought for a while that I wanted to write professionally. Yet I still can't get past the idea that writing=defining. I still can't get past being told to write with a 'confident tone' (I am not unconfident, I yell. I am perfectly confident that nothing is fixed enough to write confidently about) I still can't get passed my endless drive's for nuance. I still can't get past the idea that writing=claiming a kind of authority. Do I have
such authority?  Do I really need to speak? (She says in a written blog post) If I don't write, what do I create? I very rarely paint or draw anymore. I know creating doesn't have to be 'artsy' and creating doesn't have to mean creating a material product. But for a long time in my life it has meant those things, and for a long time I thought this was an essential part of me. I appear to be empty these days, emptied out of all my my-ness. Creating in this way was part of me, but I am not interested so much in me these days. I no longer write diary entries. I do not know how much I want to
project myself anymore. 
I still love clothing. For a while I wanted to complicate clothing. To know it's histories, process, and politics. Less so these days. I know what I choose to wear and not to wear is always a political, tied up act. I can never separate it from that fact. But it's just as much pretty things and colors and shapes and textures. This is one of the only places were I seem to exhibit that kind of "artsy creativity". The other is in spaces. I have a (dreadful "bourgeoisie") penchant for interiors. It effects my mood incredibly/terribly to sit in a customised, coloured space and the process of curating a space is almost as exciting to me as curating my outfits. Exhibit D: Myself in one of many favourite outfits, in my living room.

I wonder if the internet is dead to me. If I don't want to project, is the internet dead? I can look at other peoples projections still, and I do. Yet I'm finding these projections are getting smaller and smaller. I'm filtering out so much. There's so little online that interests me, and this is sad. I am trying to fix this at the moment, trying to curate my online world in a way that is useful and exciting and stimulating and sometimes just happy. I am struck by the same questions though. What do I look at and why why why? Is it dangerous to be able to curate my own world in this way? Or is this a powerful tool? Who say's my online world is any less truthful, less real, than the 'real world'? Exhibit E: A few of the things that are making up my world  right now:

Blogs:                                                                                         Books:
  -Rosalind at Clothes, Cameras & Coffee                                   -Lisa Eldrige Face Paint 
-Bethany at Milk Teeth                                                                  -Jamaica Kincaid A Small Place                    -Aida at This Kid Is Alright                                                          -Toni Morrison Beloved
  -Sara at FeministKillJoys                                                               -Nella Larsen Passing    
      -Rose at Girl Fury                                                        -Earl Lovelace The Dragon Can't Dance
-Eline at perma pupa                                                                  -Sam Selvon Ways of Sunlight
   -Meagan at Naturally Dapper.                                              -Art Spiegelman The Complete Maus 
    -Lally at Lady Macbeth                                                          -Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea
      -Kani at Velvet Girl                                    -Shereen El-Feki (and others) The institute of sexology
-Ragini at A Curious Fancy                                               -Allen Ginsberg Howl and Other Poems
Wishes, Sofie