These fragments I have shored against my ruins on BROADCAST

Teodulo Protomartir, Cafe at the Capitol Theater, c. 1946, archival inkjet print. Photo: Uro De La Cruz/ Silverlens Gallery. Teodulo Protomartir is recognized as a vanguard of Philippine photography despite the meager biographical research on his life. More information has come to light from the generous input of those who knew him and followed his… Continue reading These fragments I have shored against my ruins on BROADCAST

The Case of Daniel Folkmar

From box 66 (759), Records of the Department of ­Anthropology, United States National Museum / National Museum of Natural History, Division of Ethnology, Manuscript and Pamphlet File, National Anthropological ­Archives, ­Smithsonian Institution. This is a digest of Campomanes, Oscar V. "Images of Filipino Racialization in the Anthropological Laboratories of the American Empire: The Case of… Continue reading The Case of Daniel Folkmar

From the Archive: Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection

The counter-gaze in the Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) of an "Igorote group"  "Igorote Group", Photo: Dean Worcester Collection- No names provided Among the recently digitized photographs from the Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection is an RPPC of a group of six young Igorots. Nothing much is written about the Igorots on the front or verso of… Continue reading From the Archive: Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection

The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

This essay is a preliminary examination of the artistic pedagogy of Josef Albers mainly using his encounter with Constancio Bernardo, his student at Yale School of Art in the 1950s, as a case study. After being mentored by Albers, Bernardo made the earliest examples of modern abstract painting in Southeast Asia. Drawing from Jacques Ranciere’s… Continue reading The Ignorant Schulmeister and his Armchair Revolution

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Playbill for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 1984. https://nmaahc.si.edu/LGBTQ/ma-rainey Covering subjects outside the mainstream of early twentieth century swing and jazz music, the blues point to more than one kind of voice involved in the act of telling. Angela Davis suggests a multiplicity and fluidity prohibited by the homogenizing structuring of narration and community in mainstream music.[1] Through… Continue reading Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis

Manifest Domesticity

Pretty Manila debutante Consuelo Madrigal, primping for a party, Manila, Philippines, October 1949Photo: Jack Birns for Life Magazine. © Time Inc. Collection: John Tewell Amy Kaplan posits that the domestic space exists as a malleable third realm between the nation and the foreign.[1] Among the variables that shape the “domestic” are the modes of domestication,… Continue reading Manifest Domesticity

“Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Jennifer Lopez, Photo: Getty Images Frances Negrón-Muntaner talks about the way both Selena’s and Jennifer Lopez’s rear ends are viewed by fellow audiences under circumstances that feared the racialized body before popular culture decided that a massive gluteus was cinematically desirable.[1] Latin-American teenagers perceived the uncanny doubling of Selena and Jennifer Lopez as tethered to… Continue reading “Jennifer’s Butt” by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

The trouble with digitizing archives

Home occupied by General Lawton during his official residence in the islands: Malate, Manila—1899, Philippine Photographs Digital Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Michigan. There are several methods to organize documents. One of them asks what a document means; whether it is true, authentic or forged; whether it can be understood as a trace… Continue reading The trouble with digitizing archives

Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Bonifacio Salamanca's profile in American Studies International. One of the articles I unearthed while researching for my literature review last semester was Professor Bonifacio Salamanca’s article on the attempt to institute a Department of American Studies at the University of the Philippines. Salamanca received his Ph.D. in American Studies in the early 1950s from Yale… Continue reading Professor Salamanca and the prospect of American Studies in the Philippines

Keywords: Visual and Archive

Taylor, John R. M. (Rodgers Meigs), Compilation of Philippine insurgent records by United States. Bureau of Insular Affairs (Washington: US Gov't Print off, 1903). In her book “Artful Science,” Barbara Maria Stafford, Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, examines entertainment and educational materials to see how the visual component changed in the… Continue reading Keywords: Visual and Archive

Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Albers teaching a class at Yale in 1956 Or stuff that won't make the cut in my MFA Research Project at the School of Visual Arts in NYC I intend to follow some leads from Jacques Rancière’s Politics and Aesthetics (Verso, 2003) and his more specifically art critical Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of… Continue reading Bauhaus in the Boondocks: Ideas for an Epilogue

Resistant Spectatorship

Eva Noblezada as Kim, a 17-year old Vietnamese orphan, sings a wedding song for Chris, an American G.I. played by Alistair Brammer in the 2014 recording of the West end production Miss Saigon. Manthia Diawara’s critique of black characters in D.W. Griffin’s Birth of a Nation and Eddie Murphy’s cop movies serves as a template… 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. A philosophical enquiry into the origin of our ideas of the… Continue reading Burke’s Sublime and the Beautiful

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

JG de Casparis, Indonesian Palaeography, A History of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to c. AD 1500, Handbuch der Orientalistik, dritte Abteilung, vierter Band, erste Lieferung, Brill, Leiden-Kôln, 1975; 96 p., 10 plates. In '60s and '70s, several orientalists, mostly from Germanic countries, have undertaken, led by the senior leadership of Professor B. Spuler… 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. Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator), Hardcover, 272 pages, Published February 9th 2016 by Riverhead Books (first published November 2013) Since when did people actually play tennis? And since when have tennis shoes been around, today the most socially acceptable and most… Continue reading Sudden Death (Alvaro Enrigue, 2016)

David Medalla (1938-2020)

David Medalla with a Cloud Canyons work at Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. Image copyright Clay Parry, England & Co, London. 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… 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

Three Painters from Bandung

Tondi Hasibuan Overly rigid attempts at comparisons to Picasso do not do justice to Tondi Hasibuan’s incredibly multifaceted work. The stylistic caesuras are too abrupt. Forms reminiscent of Picasso’s late period pieces are given a new lease on life with reinventions from the fund of the artists imagination. A Fine Arts Professor, Tondi Hasibuan’s ambivalent… Continue reading Three Painters from Bandung

The Myth of a Degree Zero Moment

Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury Photo: MoMA Degree Zero at MoMA provides counterpoints to the understanding of drawing’s role in post-war art. Gathering 75 works, made between 1948 and 1966, from Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Alfredo Volpi, and many others, as well as recent acquisitions by artists such as Uche Okeke,… Continue reading The Myth of a Degree Zero Moment