Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Get in touch with your rage.

We live in a culture where most of us have to sell our labor to survive; in which the creativity and passion of cultural producers is drained by stifling wage jobs; in which the political imagination of activists is safely chanelled into a non-profit industrial complex that is committed to prevent the rocking of a boat that really needs to be sunk. Beautiful abstract painters forced to serve food to the wealthy and entitled. Fierce community organizers resigned to data entry and carpal tunnel syndrome. We live in a culture in which most of us have almost no control over our own lives. But every day, within the cracks of capitalist misery, people are taking control back. Here, in the shadows, we can see the myriad ways in which new worlds are being envisioned and put into practice--despite the vast constraints of the current society. 

-Matt Dineen

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Fruits of a Gift

"For some years now I myself have tried to make my way as a poet, a translator, and a sort of 'scholar without an institution.' Inevitably the money question comes up; labors such as mine are notoriously non-remunerative, and the landlord is not interested in your book of translations the day the rent falls due...Every modern artist who has chosen to labor with a gift must sooner or later wonder how he or she is to survive in a society dominated by market exchange. And if the fruits of a gift are gifts themselves, how is the artist to nourish himself [sic], spiritually as well as materially, in an age whose values are market values and whose commerce consists almost exclusively in the purchase and sale of commodities?"

-Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property