// Week 8 //

Tuesday 10/13

Response to Postcolonial Theory:A Critical Introduction by Leela Gandhi :  I am interested in the notions put forth by this text that postcolonial theory is made up of seemingly competing multiplicities. Initially questioning how to represent subaltern voices as an academic, as well as questioning who “the worst victims of colonial oppression” are. It is interesting, but maybe not surprising, that a study of systems of power and oppression leads to so many disagreements within its academic study. The ideas around how to spell/talk about post colonialism is interesting in its division. The hyphenated ‘post-colonialism’ being different or maybe incorrect due to its relation to time and the decolonizing process with the author noting that there is a difference in thinking about postcoloniality being something that starts at the onset of colonization versus afterward. I think that it is this idea of time that seems to permeate the rest of this text. Colonization always exists within some certain timeframe and if ti is in the past it seems to occupy the mind if it hasn’t been forced out through “postcolonial amnesia”. I appreciate the author making a point that this amnesia is maybe not as helpful as it may seem in that colonizes states are likely to repeat, rather than repress the past. In this same section the author mentions Lyotard’s thoughts on the prefix ‘post’ which I latched onto just because of its relation to design, modernism and postmodernism (which is likely missing the point of this article but is maybe a worthwhile aside). Lyotard writes that ‘post’ elaborates the conviction that it is both possible and necessary to break with tradition and institute absolutely new ways of living and thinking, which the author notes leads to a triumphant utopianism that shapes a vision of the future through this historical/postcolonial amnesia reinforced by the immateriality and dispensability of the past. Which going back to Lyotard “is a way of forgetting or repressing the past, that is to say, repeating it and not surpassing it”. This leads me to think how (as noted by Ramon in his talk with out class) that postmodernism has not succeeded in its usurping of modernism in favor of something truly utopian in design. I wonder now if just as modernism was developed as this utopian, radical, future-thinking mode of design that has since lost its edge, have any modes of design since managed to pick up those same ideals or notions of a more equitable future and carried it forward or if it (postmodernism and everything else) has succumb to the same fate of losing an ideological edge only to be reduced to style? Another part of this text that gives me pause and again makes me think of design’s relation to colonialism happen in the section about A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth wherein one of the characters, an anglophile in colonized India, longs for a taste or representation within the “imperial capital”. It is whiten that he has never been there, but will be going “in a few months time”. What are designers imperial capitals? Germany? Switzerland? Bloomfield Hills, MI? Is what is defined as good, modern, contemporary, or even cutting edge design only produced in these cloistered centers of design? Hidden behind paywalls of education? I think more interesting design can happen elsewhere if we are able to decolonize the way that we look at design. Then again, I am likely missing the whole point of this text by translating it to something that I can better relate to.

// Class Notes Dump //

// Mindy Seu Discussion — Cyberfeminism Index (Online Database) //

Lucy leopards six years
Open source estrogen
Judy Malloy — YACK/HACK — Theory/Pracitce— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Malloy
Ted Nelson — Hypertext Theorist — https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTedNelson
100 antitheses — Cyberfeminism

!! Alexei Shulgin — Form Art — http://variants.artbase.rhizome.org/Q1249/ !!

Anna Sign Mushroom at the end of the world — https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691178325/the-mushroom-at-the-end-of-the-world

!! Learning Trails !!
!! Nonlinear Learning !!
  • dismantle structure of the class
  • pure teaching if instructor acts just as facilitator
  • evolves over class in order to figure out what the end goal of the class is
  • each person brings their own thing to learn
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_learning
  • Selected essays, vs reading full books as form of nonlinear learning
Pro-Piracy, Downloading as a political act!
?? Reclaim use of tools through intentional misuse of tools ??
Poetic Computation
Useless Computation
Jack Halberstam >>> https://books.google.com/books/about/Posthuman_Bodies.html?id=MkQPztA7TTIC

// Reading Discussion //
wretched of the earth frantz fanon >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wretched_of_the_Earth >>> https://monoskop.org/images/6/6b/Fanon_Frantz_The_Wretched_of_the_Earth_1963.pdf

How do you get back to a pre-colonial version post colonizing?

Masters tool will never dismantle masters house >>> https://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lorde_The_Masters_Tools.pdf

How do you decide on what you do or do not keep from colonizers?
Colonization of knowledge
  • Eurocentric approach to knowledge
  • certain types pushed as a valid form of knowledge
  • everything else is alternative/other
Propaganda that legitimizes what colonists did as a way to perpetuate systems of power

From Anya to Everyone: (6:13 PM)

From Bansri Thakkar to Everyone: (6:14 PM)