March 30, 2014

Polyamorous Love Song launches and events


I will be presenting my new book Polyamorous Love Song at these fine events:

April 4 & 5, Vancouver:

There are reasons for looking and feeling and thinking about things that are invisible: A two day event on New Narratives in Art Writing
Western Front Grand Luxe Hall
April 4, 7 - 9pm | Eileen Myles and Jacob Wren

April 5, 2 - 5pm | Lynne Tillman and Maria Fusco
Facebook event

April 11, Montreal

Double launch with Jacob Wren and Guadalupe Muro
Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore, 7 pm
Facebook event

April 15, Toronto

BookThug Spring 2014 Toronto Book Launch
Supermarket, 7:30-10:30pm

May 3, Montreal
BookThug Launch at Blue Metropolis Festival

Hotel 10, 4:00 - 5:00pm

May 4, Montreal
Montreal Book Launch for Angela Carr with Guest Jacob Wren 
Librairie Le port de tête, 6:00 - 8:00pm



Hans Ruin Quote


Collegial rule has always belonged to a culture where people within an institution function as each other’s evaluators. In the academy, researchers are constantly engaged in assessing each other’s work. It is a culture of both training and evaluating, first of students, but also of one’s peers. The culture of peer-review, in this respect, is at the centre of the academic ethos. However, in their search for clear standards of measurement, the administrators of the new management culture, with their stress on accountability and rational and transparent allocation of resources, have adopted standardized matrixes for the evaluation of research performance. This is the effect of what is nowadays also often referred to by social scientists as the new so-called “audit society”. Since the quality of research cannot be evaluated outside the space of the qualified judgement of one’s peers, the model of peer-reviewing and publication in peer-reviewed journals has now been adopted as a world standard for research performance.

In adopting this standard, the administrators of higher education have in a certain sense followed the ideal of collegial rule, yet at the same time they have also produced a grotesque perversion of this standard. Since resources have to be allocated according to some objective and transparent standard, one has adopted the only standard that the system can generate, namely peer-review. But precisely in picking up this standard, not ultimately with the purpose of securing quality and truth, but for resource allocation, one is also undermining the very ethos that lies at its heart. When researchers learn that their funding is dependent on peer recognition, they will behave rationally not in a long-term sense, but for short-term gains, which means that the system will also generate more of the same, like-mindedness, and cynical cartels of knowledge production, where researchers are quoting one another for short-term gains. This is a both sad and – depending on from what perspective one looks at it – ironic development.

In his commentary on the future of the humanities, [Simon] Critchley is led to the conclusion that in the end the universities, and in particular the humanities, must reconsider their role in this new situation, and reflect again on their core purpose: namely to and develop good intellectual skills, which means teaching people how to think, how to search for the true, how to experience the joy of realizing how it is. In its obsessive desire to produce and deliver good management, the new management culture is currently risking the corruption of precisely that very public institution that it claims to foster.

- Hans Ruin, On the Role of the University in the Age of Management Politics


March 18, 2014

Chris Kraus Quote


People who I respect say that you can only really deal with politics and situations after a passage of time, but I don’t agree. I think that if we don’t try and process, both for ourselves and publically, what’s happening in the present, it’s a very great loss. Because that is the archival material of the future. I think there’s a way of understanding things in the present that is impossible to ever understand in retrospect. So much gets lost. Usually it’s the ordinariness, and the pettiness, and the banality that gets lost.

- Chris Kraus

[You can read the rest of the interview here.]


March 16, 2014

Jill Magid Quote


The danger for an empire or a communist state – or even a democracy gone awry – is that the people with power and those without are pushed farther apart. And the people on the inside become more cruel to those on the outside for fear of becoming them.

- Jill Magid, Becoming Tarden


March 4, 2014

Heriberto Yépez Quote


Imperial ideas transform time into space. Nomadic ideas, on the other hand, tend to understand time as a multiplicity of times. These times—tribes of monads—are autonomous from each other, each one obeying its own laws. (The notion of a single spatialized time is linked to the historical appearance of the State.) The Rarámuri, for example, developed a model based on the existence of more than one internal time, sustaining the existence of various “souls” that simultaneously co-existed within the human body. While the Huichol believe that when a pair of nomad groups meet two different times collide. This understanding of time not only functions to plumb the profound nature of the human animal but also to impede the formation of a unitary political order, a system of centralized control.

- Heriberto Yépez, Empire of Neomemory


March 3, 2014

David Graeber Quote


There would appear to be no society which does not see human life as fundamentally a problem. However much they might differ on what they deem the problem to be, at the very least, the existence of work, sex, and reproduction are seen as fraught with all sorts of quandaries; human desires are always fickle; and then, there’s the fact that we’re all going to die. So there’s a lot to be troubled by. None of these dilemmas are going to vanish if we eliminate structural inequalities (much though I think this would radically improve things in just about every other way.) Indeed, the fantasy that it might, that the human condition, desire, morality, can all be somehow resolved seems to be an especially dangerous one, an image of utopia which always seems to lurk somewhere behind the pretensions of Power and the state.

- David Graeber, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology