~~THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE, ETC~~
From January til March 2015, I metabolized research on supernatural beliefs in relation to mental illness, malaise, health food fads, subculture, colonization, herbalism, and also art history into weekly crystallizations of questions, poetry, and drawings. What follows are the results of that experimentation. Some are more closed than others. Make it a treasure hunt for signs of herb school, Thierry de Duve, Walter Benjamin, Sianne Ngai, Marx, and the Paleo diet. In other words, how closely does the fetishization of commodities mirror the sacralization of “magical cures” and what healing power do aesthetic objects hold over us? These are some questions that pop up. Most of what I have to show here is from a not-yet-fully-digested stage (which I guess is the step before shit); there might be something important about these articulations in which the inter-related nature of disorganized material has not yet been stripped of its complexity via a concise synthesis, or at least that’s the wager. Here they are found in ascending order.
Beginning with a field trip to a campus cafeteria and then taking a hair-pin turn into some contemporary cultural lifestyle trends, I try to examine what a trifecta of neon fitness gear, artistanal donuts, and bone broth can tell us about how the redemption of “happiness” is represented in the ethereal space of popular culture and public expression.
As the connection between physical and emotional health are simultaneously hyperbolized and distorted, food stands as a talismanic escape from abjection in ways that are more and less fulfilling: pseudo-nostalgia and misleading entry-points into an escape from the bodily degradation which proliferates in our present moment. I linger a bit in the trends themselves, visiting some staunch ice-age ideologues and contemporaries. And then yet another hair-pin turn into aesthetics, letting Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin be like puppets for the promise that seems more compelling than a totally distorted commodity-primitivism, while also attempting to complicate the boundary between their proposals.
Click the link below for a June 2015 iteration of this ongoing project, complete with typos: