Response to Theory in the Wild by Jack Halberstam and Tavia Nyong’o : Wildness as shown here is maybe best put through a phrase used at the very end of the text, discursive chaos. An upending of current hegemonic structures through a wilding of thought that leads to thoughtful or impactful discussion. How can theories, tangible, speculative, or otherwise lead us to think differently about the reality of our colonized, white-washed modes of living? This makes me wonder how designers-as-authors can have an impact on the world around us through the production as well as dissemination of ideas that are outside of the traditional cannon of what is publishable material appropriate for dissemination to the masses through power of self publishing. The notion of wildness also makes me think of ecology and the effect we have on our surroundings (the effect of colonized life on other modes of living?). I know that this is not necessarily what is meant by wild in this sense, but it is interesting to me that through the term wild one can draw connections between neglected land and cast-aside points of view/lives. Other similar lines could likely be drawn, through wild, between commercial components of wilderness (REI and state parks) to commerce’s coopting of black and queer voices to move product. Can every designer, regardless of temperament, play a role in the coliseum of discursive chaos or must you be of the phlegmatic academic or melancholic autonomist ilk. Must I be the author of these wild and discursive ideas, or is it enough to be a tool of implementation? That said, it seems like the first step towards meaningful action would be to find the wild within one’s self.
Tuesday 9/8Today in class we responded to/discussed the text and it was interesting —— but maybe not suprising —— that we all reacted differently. I think that the point or goal of this text was to frame wildness in a positive or positvly disruptive sense (even through violent means). This was not the reaction across the board which was nice to hear. Oscar made a good point about this text not really making note of the oppositional (negative) wild force that appears when a (positive) wild force arrises. This was framed through a colonial/setteler lens in that indigenous peoples were seen as “wild” but in reality the colonizers (”alien force”) were truly wild in their eradication of those originally occupying this land. It seemed like a lot of this discussion revolved around this notion of wild being represented by an untamed environent —— again, through a colonial/setteler lens —— which felt maybe misguided due to the nature of this text being more related to the wilding of theory/ideas. Specifically ideas or views that exist on the periphery. Other good discusion revolved around how our notion of wild has been framed through modernist/enlightenment modes of thinking, which makes me hopeful for the decolonizing/decopuling nature of this class. Good text to lead into the semester.
// Class Note Dump //
Reframing of the negative form of what it means to be wild. Upending the system/order of modernity
Natural things being repressed in contemporary civilization
Gadget or critical lens to be used as a tool (kaleidoscope of the wild)
Wayward — difficult to control or predict because of unusual or perverse behavior
Reclamation of words and flipping them on their heads
Embracing how you are perceived vs constantly conforming
Importance of counter narratives
Naming the wildness (i.e. anarchy) removes its power? Wild is a moving target/pluralistic? What about decolonization?
Unbossed >>> https://vimeo.com/243945394
Wildness is no longer based on environment, but instead based on ideas?
What we call wildness is a civilization other than our own. – Thoreau
In Wildness is the preservation of the World. – Thoreau
The most alive is the wildest. – Thoreau
Wild begets wild >>> Those seen as being wild are often treated as such (usually through wild means)
Indigenous people vs colonizers (who was really “wild”?)
Danger in simplifying to understand?
Social contract theory — https://blog.supplysideliberal.com/post/2018/6/17/the-social-contract-according-to-john-locke#:~:text=John%20Locke's%20version%20of%20social,right%20to%20be%20a%20vigilante
“What if, rather than fighting the chaos or explaining it, what if instead of locating the chaos and mastering it, we linger in the void and catch a glimpse of what Muñoz dubbed “the punk rock commons” or “the chaos of the everyday”?”
Friday 9/11Having swapped our instructions, I got to work on creating a mask for Mr. Hongdae who is a “pioneer” in the design world who I must know “without a doubt”. But as many times as I tried rereading my character sheet I could not seem to place who it was based off of because of how vaguely it was written. I am thinking that maybe is is not actually based on any one designer but is instead a vague generalizaiton of many design pioneers. The instructions gave me more to work from, but did not seem to realte to the character sheet at all. In sketching my mask I found it difficult to not produce things that felt like primitive masks that felt appropriative so instead I just got to work with the materials I had on hand (chicken wire, paste, paper, cardboard, egg cartons, etc.). My first working session lead me to this.
I continued to hammer away at the character. Implementing more items from my list of instructions (lyrics from a favorite indie artist, dyed hair, a traditional tattoo, something off the menu of my favorite cafe, a photo of something I want from a major retailer, and a photo of my favorite music venue that is shut down). I included these items by prining off text and images that I then rubbed with vegetable oil to make the paper translucent and then applied them to the mask with paste. The food from my favorite cafe could have ultimately gotten me in some hot water because I chose an image of cheese grits which lent a yellow complexion to my mask. Something that was pointed out to me as being yellow face as the surname Hongdae is a riff on a cultural/creative hot spot in Seoul.
Additonal reactions to my mask at this point were ... uh ... good?
Fortunately I was able to course-correct thanks to Brit recently painting her office “millenial pink”. After a good bit of painting/dry brushing I was able to get to a point where the character is hopefully more interesting while also being inoffensive. In addition to the pink paint I also dipped into some of Brit’s makeup to really bring the mask to life. I am feeling like I landed somewhere in the world of Wayne White (with a bit of Buffalo Bill).