Resistant Spectatorship

Blues and Black Feminism: Interrupting the narrative of nation If the rhymed narrative force of a song produces a culture, the blues interrupts this production by singing a different tune or different tunes. Covering subjects outside the mainstream, the blues point to more than one kind of voice involved in the act of telling, which… Continue reading Resistant Spectatorship

Burke’s Sublime and the Beautiful

Edmund Burke’s contrast of the beautiful and the sublime had some political consequences. In the short article below, I make an argument for the particular political importance of the aesthetic quality called “beauty,” despite its devaluation in art criticism in the last several decades. The idea that the sublime moves us more profoundly than the… Continue reading Burke’s Sublime and the Beautiful

Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

In ’60s and ’70s, several orientalists, mostly from Germanic countries, have undertaken, led by the senior leadership of Professor B. Spuler under the auspices of editors at Brill, the vast project of writing a “manual”. The result is the publication of Handbuch der Orienialislik, which in several issues has taken stock of Western knowledge about… Continue reading Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to 1500 AD

Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

A duel between Caravaggio and Quevedo, or how a tennis match connects worlds. Since when did people actually play tennis? And since when have tennis shoes been around, today the most socially acceptable and most widespread footwear worldwide? And how did you make the balls? The Mexican author Álvaro Enrigue, born 1969 in Guadalajara, México,… Continue reading Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

David Medalla (1938-2020)

Peripatetic Filipino artist David Medalla, a pioneer of kinetic sculpture and participatory art performance, died in Manila on Monday, December 28. He was 82. He developed an early reputation as a poet and wünderkind during the immediate post-war period, and was recommended by American poet Mark van Doren to study Literature at Columbia University in… Continue reading David Medalla (1938-2020)

The Outsider Speaking for the Other

            A serial reading of Andre Breton, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Rosalind Krauss and Hal Foster, might give the impression of a direct intellectual lineage. That’s not what I’m going to do here. I’d like to think of this as a commentary from the sidelines; of what would have been possible had these thinkers sat… Continue reading The Outsider Speaking for the Other