Notes on speculative proccess, 2016

2 min read

Designing for wicked problems is hard. Goldsmiths has a few people attacking the problem of how to design around them(I've had a shot), but ironically, finding a way to solve wicked problems is isomorphic to solving wicked problems. Here's some snippets from a conversation with Elis. I don't know if these are correct, but they're thoughts I had.

I proposed looping, Using speculative proccesses to understand the problem then traditional tools to act on it.

Are speculative tools, then, a map? no, speculative tools make no pretense to being accurate, they are a horror scope, a tarrot deck- a way to understand our actions and a guide, but making no attempt to pin down the complexities temporal changes of the problem.

Maps aren't working on these problems, this is not rationalism.

Speculative design is an inverse xenofeminism, a tool for understanding chaotic movements. C.F. Poetry, music. 

The literal minded make bad poets. 

Speculative design has a relationship with traditional design as feminist(and broadly liberationary) science fiction(butler, leguin, et al) has to activism. Not make ing a pretense at being a map, a scale model of the complex struggles we undergo, but a lens through which to see it. 

Bibliography

Speculative everything(ok, hate-reading)
Leguin(always coming home, specifically)
Octavia Butler(any, all)
Infectious Futures, nesta, 2016
trans women slime girl culture
The hundreds of chats I've had about scifi and activism, notably in brag 2013(sorry, you can't be there. Consider them citations :p )

 

running

 

Resident Dysphoria

2 min read

(this was first posted at twine_craeft, a residency in ollon, switzerland that I helped organise. despite the contents of this post, it's actually amazing)

Cis women are fucking weird. 

Like, seriously, they don't behave like real women at all. 

no-one wakes up a dysphoric mess, so no-one ever complements someone elses boobs. Or butt. Or even face. What the hell? where's the homosociality here?

For that matter, where's the homosexuality? Desire is verboten, mentions of sexuality elicit awkuard laughs. I'm not even sure any of them are gay. That's no problem, because all trans women are gay, it's just facts(ok, some of us are gay with androsexual tendancies).

TBH, both of these are pretty much fine. We have digital support networks which do the friendship job(and encourage homosexuality), and, welllll, sometimes you get nice selfies in your dms. those are nice. 

Domestic labour is a cornerstone of our work here, and it's becoming(at least for me, interestingly perofmative. Of cource, all communal living involves performative domestic labour- "I did the dishes you do the floor"- but this intersects with transmisoginy(or, internalised transmisoginy) and the narrative of messy men(lol I know so many messy cis women. Like three of them. Which is all of my cis women friends). You find yourself watching counting and when you're not doing domestic labour when other people are you perform willingness. eh, I like to cook, it's all fine(it's not fine at all I'm panicing to fuck). 

Also apparently not all of cis women are suicidal and require constant mutual support. shucks. 

and yeah, I guess It's pretty fucking triggering being in a space with people who society is constantly telling you you should be like. 

 

"The day without web was five years ago.
Since then, every night we've had an hour of downtime for maintenance.
The witching hour."

It needs some work, but i still really like this .

 

breakfast

3 min read

breakfast is lovley and arguing about what should be in a breakfast is fun. 

This isn't about ceral, or toast(though toast should be included with a full breakfast), this is about real breakfasts. I think real breakfasts begin around cooking eggs? things you take time to eat. Meals. 

Allright, let's begin at the begining, and say cooked tomatos are the devil. They literally will take your soul and subject it to eternal torment if you let them. Leave cooked tomatos out of your breakfast. 

Unless you're scrambling them into eggs, or with other vegetables , that's fine. 

Incidentally, you need vegetables in a breakfast. Spinach is great. Mushrooms must have garlic with them, because they're there to clean the pallete. Potatos aren't really vegetables but you should cook them with chorrizo(boil them, with vinegar, then fry them on really hot cast iron, with the chorrizo). And beans should be in there, because tomatos have a function, and some fruity sweetness is needed, just not in the form of literal satan. 

And yes, fried potatos AND hash browns are nessecary. because you have a lot of grease and baked hash browns soak it up and with it the flavor and stop things getting too greasy. you've got to compose your breakfast. 

and a composition needs somthing to ground it- which is the meat. breakfast is weird, it's normaly the carbs that ground a thing and the meat that stands out. in breakfast, the veg bring the strong tasts and the meat makes a delicious greasy background. Eggs pallete cleanse, and carbs do...somthing i'm not sure of. 

Sausages, and bacon, are important. they should be cheapish(sainsburies decentish ones are a++) and you should fry the bacon and grill the sausages(over the hash browns). 

Don't you dare ignore fried bread, and toast, to mop up everything. 

Let's talk about how that breaks down.

  1. boil a pan of vinegary water. stick cubed potatos in it. 
  2. turn on your oven, stick the hash browns and sausages in. Pierce your sausages, you aren't a confused oxbridge grad trying to figure out which end of a spactula goes in the pan, you're an acutal human who's cooked before.
  3. heat up a MASSIVE CAST IRON THING (frying pan, or griddle if you're fancy). fry your bacon. Stick it in the oven, covered
  4. chuck your mushrooms and a lot of garlic into the pan, fry them to shit.  With butter, you fool. wilt a bit of spinach in with them, Oven it when it's done. 
  5. Chorrizo, fry it till it's shrivled and hard and juicy inside and then chuck your potatos in there with more cheap ass oil and fry them really hot till they're crispy. Pull them out.
  6. Eggs are tricky. If you're frying them(which is great and valid, do them now. Scrambled or poached are your other options. )
  7. fry your eggs to shit, fry them hot, and leave them runny on top. This breakfast is worth poisoning yourself for.
  8. more oil, fry the bread. Do the toast. Stick it on plates. Eat.

I have more opinions. and have missed some things I'm sure(oops, beans), but I'm hungry so I'm going to eat some cereal. 

vegan shit? IDK how but sure. Cheap shit? this is a impractical stupid shitpost. Practicalities? meet window. 

 

Racism+situ

1 min read

As Andrea Gibbons documents, Khateb was assigned in 1958 to carry out a psychogeographical report on the district of Les Halles in Paris — but this was in the middle of France’s vicious colonial war in Algeria; all Arabs were under curfew, and Khateb’s efforts saw him arrested twice.

His report was nonetheless eventually published, with a short coda to explain the difficulties he incurred producing it, but it does not usually appear in collections of Situationist texts. Khateb’s comrades in the International did not allow his findings to inflect their theory; they didn’t want their fun to be spoiled by the realities of racial oppression.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/pokemon-go-pokestops-game-situationist-play-children/

 

Climate Change Is a Crisis We Can Only Solve Together | The Nation

 So one thing I found slightly jarring was that some of these same workers wore clothing festooned with knockoff trademarks of the very multinationals that were responsible for these conditions: Disney characters or Nike check marks. At one point, I asked a local labor organizer about this. Wasn’t it strange—a contradiction?

It took a very long time for him to understand the question. When he finally did, he looked at me like I was nuts. You see, for him and his colleagues, individual consumption wasn’t considered to be in the realm of politics at all. Power rested not in what you did as one person, but what you did as many people, as one part of a large, organized, and focused movement. For him, this meant organizing workers to go on strike for better conditions, and eventually it meant winning the right to unionize. What you ate for lunch or happened to be wearing was of absolutely no concern whatsoever.3

Material experience over identity  

 

What should I write?

2 min read

I posted a poll on twitter, with three options of things I might write about next month, here's some short summaries of what they'd be.

Liberation and design - continuing in the vein of this and many other half-finished pieces that have never really fitted into my design degree. This is wrapping up work from three years of research- expect reformatted disertation snippets, long pieces, and ciriticism of works on the course and off of it. 

Transfeminist Activism - The day to day bullshit of reforming our world and saving lives, now in longer form and with more time spent on it. Also, discussions of the mechanisms and systems within our activist networks and how they fail. 

Materiality and feminism - Exploratory work, for my next long term project- kinda the inverse of liberation and design, looking forwards not backwards. Snippets, reactions, the like. Notes towards critical engagement with the 70s.

Care and queer relationships - Lots on the labour of queer existance, support and care systems, asexuality, polyamoury, friendships and Friendships. the kind of writing that fits best into zines, to be honest. There might even be one at the end. 

Say which of these you're interested in reading most

 
 

Straight people

1 min read

no-one has checked in. 

no-one has noticed. 

when a fucking dickhead homophobe walked into a latinx gay nightclub and shot 50 people, no straight people seemed to notice. 

Sure, they noticed what came after, beautiful expressions of rage and missery that can be listicled and twitter-videoed, vigils, tributes, and political fights. 

But no-one seemed to notice that these weren't just another protest, another parrade. 

Every queer person I've talked to since sunday has asked if I'm ok. How I'm holding up, what they can do. Every. Single. One. Even when I've been speaking to queer people who hate my guts, who've been shouting at me, have acknowleged pain underneath it all. 

No straight people have. 

No college staff sent an email round offering counciling. I don't know if my parents even noticed that they were targeting people like me. no statements of solidarity, no windows painted in mourning, nothing. 

Our performances, though, our choirs singing "over the rainbow" and "bridge over troubled water", they're consumable. They're Viral. 

Just not the work of care. 

Just not the work. 

Fuck you all, I hope you all die tomorow.