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Poetic Labor Project - October 2011

Poetic Labor Project - October 2011

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Published by Alli Warren
For the month of October, we are posting some of the fabulous work presented at this year's Labor Day event in Oakland. At that event, organizer David Brazil set the scene with how much had happened between the first Labor Day event and the second: how much gathering, thinking, and political work.
For the month of October, we are posting some of the fabulous work presented at this year's Labor Day event in Oakland. At that event, organizer David Brazil set the scene with how much had happened between the first Labor Day event and the second: how much gathering, thinking, and political work.

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Published by: Alli Warren on Oct 28, 2011
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07/01/2012

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Poetic Labor Project 
October 2011
BILL LUOMABRIAN WHITENERIDA YOSHINACAJACKQELINE FROSTJILL RICHARDSLINDSEY BOLDTMELISSA MACKMICHAEL NICOLOFFSEAN LABRADORY MANZANOSTEPHANIE YOUNGWENDY TRAVINO
 
BILL LUOMA works as a developer in the mobile software industry. He is the authorof 
Some Math
and
Works and Days.
 
BRIAN WHITENER
 
has worked as a sports photographer, dishwasher, musicreviewer, adjunct, and in a prison. His most recent projects include
False Intimacy 
 
, 
De gente común: Arte, política y rebeldía social 
(UniversidadAutónoma de la Ciudad de México), and
Genocide in the Neighborhood 
(ChainLinks).He edits Displaced Press.We live in a world of experience, of worlding, no longer (just) a world of representation. What I mean by this is that “experience” (in quotes) or work on therealm of the possible (which shapes the actual), on “being” (in quotes) itself orworlding, has overtaken prior cultural formations predicated primarily onrepresentation and “breaks” with (prior) representational schemes. One banalexample (of many) could be the last Bjork album which is distributed acrossmultiple platforms, more an environment (an operation on the virtual) to be lived,moved through than an “album,” (of photos, of “representations,” of discrete piecesof aural structures) as if Satie’s music had become not just 
like
the furniture, but hadwanted to become the walls, light, and time as well.If the classical figure of early twentieth century capitalism was the street-walker,who directly sells their body as a commodity, one figure of labor today is the camgirl,who sells an experience, access to a psyche, likes/dislikes, personal information,who creates and sells (not just) a body, but a worlding (not yet a “world”). If theclassical figure of early twentieth century capitalism (ironic emphasis on therepetition) was the worker, who sells their labor power, one figure of “labor” today isthe redundant surplus briefly integrated into the circuit of production only to bethen discarded, shunted beyond the edge of the human on the other side of anontological gap, into another world,
desaparecido
, which is another worlding,equally dark.If the classical figure of early twentieth century war was shell shock, which outed asfatigue and disconnection, the figure of war today is post-traumatic stress disorder, acondition that is located somewhere between the mind and body, between matterand spirit, that draws a new line between the material and immaterial; that is, onethat acts neither on the body (discipline) nor the mind (ideology) but on a (new)total complex. In the medical literature, no one can figure out how to treat these newforms of trauma as they sometimes out as physical, sometimes as mental (can weconclude then that it is neither? But rather a new line, a new “body,a newdemarcation between the virtual and actual?). Look at all the traumas around you:natural disasters, crimes, wars. Where do they come from? Is it crazy to think we livein a world that is being disciplined by new forms of catastrophic experience, bytrauma. Meaning that both the category of what counts as a trauma has beenamplified and that more potent vectors of application have been created, making usexposed at every turn to sensations that used to be reserved for the most far off battlefields (as the “shocks” of WWI were coterminous with the rollercoaster, theanimated cartoon, cinema). Note that the term catastrophe only takes on its current 

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