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"Where We Go From Here" is an exhibition of three multi-disciplinary literary technology works by Delta_Ark. (1.) The Beacon was a temporary architectural pavilion set up at Occupy Wall St. (2.) The Dream Catcher was a series of projections set up a squat in Olneyville, RI. And (3.) The Light Atlas was a sequence of projections across San Francisco, in collaboration with the Anti Eviction Mapping Project. All three works examine income inequality, eviction/displacement and technology/media. All three works render testimony and data into poems, projections and text art.
Room used for interviews to gather material for the poems.
Gif that represents The Beacon project.
Gif that represents the Dream Catcher project.
A it wasn’t a catalyst for anything in particular but I think I realized how far I had come: we know we’re gonna leave we know we’re going travelling, visiting other areas, other countries, other states getting ideas for how to keep warm or how to put together a makeshift kitchen --it was like a crazy fortune --I could work on the same project for hours --I painted a diamond on the floor I lit some coals I burned this incense from India that was really fragrant I did laps around the diamond broke a mirror --I had this light-sensitive retainer in my mouth when I would open and close my mouth it would change the volume of the sound --so instead of the microphone --light C in the warehouse, which is imaginary we just burn shit that’s why everyone’s moving we just have to wait for more buildings and graffiti, we could do it I did that one up there: “Castelvania Uncooperative” there’s another-- it dims out then comes right back then it goes white then turns more of a red the bulb, it tricks you --every morning, we’d throw a bunch of shit one day day there’s a ladder that’s 25 feet long how the fuck did that get into the river? then they’ll be a beach chair in the middle of it then some kids walking in it like it’s National Geographic fishing naked I you’d walk or bike on this uneven pavement you’d head for this door on the top of the stairs, you’d see this light --abstract --brutal --that legacy: two hundred years and talking about having shows in the void with a push lawnmower, trying to run people over breaking 8ft. fluorescent tubes water dripping from the roof window panes --you’d just fold into the space and hear from both sides this “who-whis-wuu-wuu-w-whi-hishuhh” this multiple granular synthesis noise of all the things happening at the same time it was like the ocean some kind of ocean wave sound and you’re like “it’s the ocean, oh, no, wait, it’s the machines” J the space next to the river the way light came in --suns-- gorgeous abandoned annexes magic hour, condensed --sometimes we joked about running a tin can phone across the parking lot on the ground, throwing it up trying to get it through the window and sometimes Mindy’s cat would jump through Tatyana’s window --fire-like in the middle of the night, the Rigorous Disco of Doom two characters performing a wedding one’s technology & the other’s nature --there’s a party the party is this celebration there’s a priest & pigeons attack the priest & then disco balls & fake guts & blood resurrected --then everybody turns & it ends C a fucking castle a soft kiss, a soft knife a dead-end detour where we were all living --everybody knew the spirit of the place Soft always tucked away no neighbors I think that’s just the beast itself some artifact sound, power this big power this giant spark --it was my energy in charge in nature fucking Lightning possibilities-- D being inside is like being inside a great serger massive humming not menacing at all free space: finished edges, raw seam & pattern --the fantasy was to create a kind of safety that can’t exist elsewhere always safe, sitting in the river an untouched island a huge project --in fact, I was thinking about this recently I could move to some small town buy a mill there then I get to do the work & the flood-- I don’t know I don’t know I don’t think that’s it we were underwater we were this island and it was, somehow, okay T I remembered, at one point, we didn’t know anybody people would wake up get out, go around the bonfire whatever, smoke, burn holes spray paint in a cave --you don’t always want to be public we would talk --you walk in and you think you see something but it’s just the building --the wind on this building --the vastness of the building so threatening, so close at night it’s fucking beautiful it beats, makes sound like everything else S rumors were starting rumors in the parking lot, over email everybody had to go they were trying to avoid the kind of complete shit show when people get evicted vacate, disappear, collapse or burn we ended up in a passageway we were all sitting like lace & lights & bones --the transformation of those spaces they are massive --we made smaller spaces we built a maze of paper created new ways to move --it’s weird to go back usually the second floor is closed off but one day the door propped open & I went in there with some friends & wandered wild vestiges --night & glowing eyes & only a few lights T I was welding metal spikes hanging from the ceiling over & over I cast weird surface imperfections the way light moves through glass, you have to look close: bees hardened & hanging on a string may come alive & swarm eventually will shatter --inaudible & what to cast, I’m not sure there are vapors & gasmasks & sirens & gloves but sometimes I live here & it’s raining glass in the building forever --and this is all that’s left-- steel & light & armature something structural a full metal shop --people come & ask to use it for various projects & then one of the walls, abstract, falls down but that image of glass always lives here E I really liked our space if you looked out the window there was a little roof wing it looked over the river --I got lost down there once I started running trying to get out and came out a place and didn’t know how I got there --people used to always do that --static --the face --a huge net --a dream catcher --one day we went to the woods and there was this really tall tree like 100 feet and there was this crazy vine that was kind of dead, hanging --we were like, “we should pull this” --but it was actually way harder than it sounded so it was like five of us trying to yank it off like running--
tear gas. fireflies. a reckless chase through the haze. SUNLIGHT. combing the tear gas out of my hair. later awakening. a motorcycle corona. ecological collapse. waves of stations. a planter’s village. machine vision. robot assisted surgery. immersive. exhaustive. gunshots. gates of paradise. midnight cherries. forever cherries. a snail. radio lilacs and summer. utterly consumed by the screen, a gunshot mirror. a hundred houses, cool in moonlight. autumn meteor copper. cancer, stable. washing slowly the tear gas out of my hair, the interrogation. waves. radiation. leaving the station. guided utterly by hundreds of vertical idling chrysanthemums. summer. clouds. observe the helicopter. the beam. the pilot’s brain computer interface. a swarm of horses. gunshots. wisteria. poems. armor. sunlight. cherries. I’m a gif. a repeating figure. a vertical stripe by green moss. virtual world SUNSHINE.
Section: 1 of 40 Method: collab with remixing bot Themes: technology. protest. memory. apocalypse. tear gas. fireflies. a reckless chase through the haze. SUNLIGHT. combing the tear gas out of my hair. later awakening. a motorcycle corona. ecological collapse. waves of stations. a planter’s village. machine vision. robot assisted surgery. immersive. exhaustive. gunshots. gates of paradise. midnight cherries. forever cherries. a snail. radio lilacs and summer. utterly consumed by the screen, a gunshot mirror. a hundred houses, cool in moonlight. autumn meteor copper. cancer, stable. washing slowly the tear gas out of my hair, the interrogation. waves. radiation. leaving the station. guided utterly by hundreds of vertical idling chrysanthemums. summer. clouds. observe the helicopter. the beam. the pilot’s brain computer interface. a swarm of horses. gunshots. wisteria. poems. armor. sunlight. cherries. I’m a gif. a repeating figure. a vertical stripe by green moss. virtual world SUNSHINE. Section: 2 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: eviction, solidarity of the evicted, tech world responsibility Claudia: I’m in this sea, “I’m swimming in this sea and I haven’t quite gotten the life raft.” Claudia: I always think of the Heart of Darkness book. It’s a tiny little book and then it became a part of so many movies, and you know, that’s how I feel... “lost in the cause!” Claudia: If I talk to Patricia, talk to Benito, talk to people who have been evicted before who are there to fight evictions - they understand. They understand what it feels like. They understand what it’s... about. Claudia: “I think that everybody is in this kind of haze. They’re in love with the tech world. They’re just fascinated by all that it can do. I don’t know how to explain it without using a girl. It’s like the hot girl that everyone’s like, “She can’t do anything wrong, she’s awesome! You know what I mean?” Section: 3 of 40 Method: collab with twitter scraping bot Themes: SF of data, weather, police brutality, class conflict Hello sunshine. Good morning. Good morning. Happy Saturday. Surf is still out of control today-- broken clouds-- It’s time to make some noise again. Today, there was a #peacefulriot for standing against police brutality. Today, Yelp wants a Software Engineer - Infrastructure. Today, Yelp wants a Software Engineer - Data-Mining. Opened Graffiti request via iphone at 709 Hyde St. Scrawl. (Photo: “evict the yuppies”). Section: 4 of 40 Method: collab with twitter scraping bot Themes: SF of data, data barons, class conflict At the hub, the #richdatasummit, almost drafted, texting. you should try it, the bear represents California: the energy. At 54 mint, the final stop, drinking a troublesome. POTUS 44 is @ the Warfield, the Godfather of Silicon Valley. now you can really feel, the Open Damaged Public Property request via Android at 934 Market St. the Open Graffiti Request via Android at 86 Golden Gate Ave "TF”. the Open Potholes and Street Defects request via Android at 1001 Market St. the Opened Street or Sidewalk Cleaning via Iphone at 950 Market St. Nate Silver discussing the signal and the noise. Triple posting today because #iconic, weirdest/unexpected/best lineup, possibly ever, a gift from the entrepreneurs -- Section: 5 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: the mission, tech money, gentrification Lucia: Day of the Dead by Renee Yanez started. Right next to this, there was a complete parallel world. It was the world of the low riders and the girls; a lot of mascara and eyeliner and they would wrap this leather around their hands and I remember seeing this scene and I would walk up the Mission and I’d be like “Wow, what the hell?”. Lucia: And then came 2000 which was the first BOOM, you know, 1999 - 2000, dot com. Everybody hated the dot-commers but everybody worked for the dot-commers; it was really funny. They were all like “Oh my god, the dot-commers,” but the minute they got a job with the dot commers, they were all working for the dot-commers. Section: 6 of 40 Method: excerpted from Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier Themes: data barons, privacy, surveillance Our relationship with many of the Internet companies we rely on is not a traditional company–customer relationship. That’s primarily because we’re not customers. We’re products those companies sell to their real customers. The relationship is more feudal than commercial. The companies are analogous to feudal lords, and we are their vassals, peasants, and—on a bad day—serfs. We are tenant farmers for these companies, working on their land by producing data that they in turn sell for profit. Section: 7 of 40 Method: excerpt of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: diversity, SF, real estate developers, class conflict Claudia: We all have to respect each other in our differences and our sexual orientation and everything that we stand for in San Francisco. That’s what makes San Francisco awesome. Like that one crazy person that was flash dancing to flashdance. No one even stared at them, that’s what makes San Francisco the place that people want to come to and why it’s a safe haven for everybody and it should be because we are different. Section: 8 of 40 Method: collab with a twitter scraping bot Themes: future SF, ai real estate, displacement black spheres in the houses. virtual worlds. irrevocable contour, armored, studied. artificial midnight— fully automated housing auctions. a floating airborne wind turbine. it's all houses in a way that you wouldn't understand #smartaptadv , some kind of automated, housing placement system, intelligences like "Her" or "Ex Machina" but for house attribution saw a woman hanging from out of the mayor's building spinning and spinning while she was falling but still holding a cord that's us Section: 9 of 40 Method: collab with a twitter scraping bot Themes: future SF, virtual real estate, displacement got to make new housing friends at the Capitol saying they want to see more high-density housing around transit, glitches. VR in the houses, VR-houses: the idea that the more housing you produce you induce demand, burgeoning densities have that problem. this is not a hypothetical theory: a house I saw in satellite view filled with infinite families, real time Section: 10 of 40 Method: collab with a twitter scraping bot Themes: future SF, eviction California , just a bunch of red lights on green mountains fixed to windmills - just a bunch of spinning blades, killing birds - Caltrain engineers, watching cyborgs go back home on the bart - Iris Canada evicted, 98 yrs old - first amazing performance of the 21st century city. let me tell you a joke: what's inside an infinitely dense apartment - an event horizon. it's a bad joke I know, but I'm just getting home. Section: 11 of 40 Method: collab with a twitter scraping bot Themes: future SF, AI real estate, displacement affordable circuits: patterns people in public housing in floating wind turbines in machines -- know how so many public housing residents in #SanFrancisco feel breeze. night. the superconductivity of San Francisco's housing market. let me tell you another joke: these grown up professionals would nuke the subsidized housing funding system-- these fucker professionals will talk about fair housing, but what's behind SF's housing fight? human hearts, hummingbirds, columns with silicone chips inside them sensing housing prices Section: 12 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: false advertising Claudia Tirado: Mega Godzilla apartment complexes that are being sold for ridiculous amounts of money. Like, they’re being sold like luxury, like, “Luxury Apartment!” I’m like, “Ugh! You don’t even have a deck! There’s not even a little deck. How can that be a luxury apartment?!!” Section: 13 of 40 Method: excerpted from The Attention Merchants by Tim Wu Themes: advertising, data merchants At bottom, whether we acknowledge it or not, the [data] merchants have come to play an important part in setting the course of our lives and consequently the future of the human race, insofar as that future will be nothing more than the running total of our individual mental states. At stake is something akin to how one's life is lived. If we desire a future that avoids the enslavement of the propaganda state as well as the narcosis of the consumer and celebrity culture, we must first acknowledge the preciousness of our attention and resolve not to part with it as cheaply or unthinkingly as we so often have. And then we must act, individually and collectively, to make our attention our own again, and so reclaim ownership of the very experience of living. Section: 14 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: volunteering, face to face connection, homelessness Michael Rouppet: When Michael talks about volunteering it goes way beyond that because he doesn’t get paid to do this work. I think we are only successful because of people like Michael who have who used their experiences to reshape their humanity. Some of us are tired and Michael will make them feel welcomed. One time, he turned to someone and said that could be me or that was me. I have known Michael for little bit over a year and from first time I met him I was telling him I was really really angry, but he is forever optimistic. He is setting an example that we should all live by and so that's why if you need a room I will get it for you. It’s an honor to support someone at this stage in their life because some people can’t even listen to it and get overwhelmed, but Michael had to live through that and yet he is coming out of it helping others. Section: 15 of 40 Method: collab with a twitter scraping bot Themes: ABNB, data barons, housing The new @airbnb homepage, now focused on Experiences. Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. "We characterize data as the voice of our users at scale.” In this day and age, we all need to find creative ways to make $. How about renting out all or part of your home? @Airbnb can you help with emergency housing? Airbnb の賃料を自動化するマーケティングツール Airbnb hosts more likely to reject the disabled, according to Rutgers study. 114,000 people have stayed in treehouses on Airbnb. Section: 16 of 40 Method: writing with a bot that scrapes twitter Themes: tech bus, tech campus, class conflict Apple's 3D sensing tech is two years ahead of the competition Apple 3D mapping patent points to possibility of hand tracking in AR Apple is testing 3-D face scanning for the next iPhone I'm that asshole on the Apple bus speed-birdwatching the estuary near the Oakland airport. Bar-tailed godwits y'all! Apple Watch works automatically and the heart rate will show screaming at the apple store Exclusive Photos of the 2017 Solar Eclipse Apple's Sunnyvale neighbors call campus 'constant hell' Has Apple gotten back to you yet? Or do you expect them to? The Secure Enclave team at Apple is hiring. Section: 17 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: Mission, Latin American Studies, eviction Lucia: La Raza movement at San Francisco State was also just coming together and all the movements of Latin American studies. At the beginning, everybody thought why should we have African studies. Latin American studies, what is that, that’s not a real degree. Now nobody questions. Actually, a Chilean, Beatriz Manz, has been key to building that Center for Latin American Studies. The scene revolved a lot around the cafe and Mission Dance Central. We were all rehearsing upstairs from Cafe La Boheme because we were creating Carnaval. I remember once they rehearsed in my place and there was glitter in my house for the next year. Everytime I opened a drawer there was glitter coming out of my drawers. Section: 18 of 40 Method: excerpted from In Defense of Housing by David Madden and Peter Marcuse Themes: housing crisis, displacement, eviction The housing crisis is global in scope. London, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Lagos, indeed nearly every major city faces its own residential struggles. Land grabs, forced evictions, expulsions, and displacement are rampant. According to the United Nations, the homeless population across the planet may be anywhere between 100 million and one billion people, depending on how homelessness is defined. It has been estimated that globally there are currently 300 million households - more than a billion people - that are unable to find a decent or affordable home. Section: 19 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: eviction, anti-eviction, tenant’s rights Eddie Stiel: You're faced with an eviction, your building's for sale, or you have a new landlord who just bought it... Don't leave. Make them go through the process. Educate yourself about what your rights are. There's agencies in the city, their job is to so you know your rights. Go to them and get, find, listen to what they tell you. Go to the Tenants Union, go to the Housing Rights Committee, go to Causajusta. Go. Don't make, do any action, until you understand what your options are. Section: 20 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, blockchain, police brutality perfect blockchain memory shutting down mission and 24th blockading the street police in riot gear exactly 54 drones no rubber bullets just blocking the fucking street projections on the wall of the faces of the dead names are the following: Section: 21 of 40 Method: excerpt of protest sign Themes: police brutality 2017: Patrick Harmon (Salt Lake City, UT) 2017: Jordan Edwards (Balch Springs, TX) 2016: Alfred Olango (El Cajon, CA) 2016: Terence Crutcher (Tulsa, OK) 2015: Jamar Clark (Minneapolis, MN) 2015: India Kager (Virginia Beach, VA) 2015: Christian Taylor (Arlington, TX) 2015: Sam Dubose (Cincinnati, OH) 2015: Sandra Bland (Prairie View, TX) 2015: Icarus Randolph (Witchita, KS) 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore, MD) 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston, SC) 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison, WI) 2015: Anthony Hill (Chamblee, GA) 2014: Akai Gurley (New York, NY) 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland, OH) 2014: Victor White III (Iberia Parish, LA) 2014: Dante Parker (San Bernardino County, CA) 2014: Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, CA) 2014: Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO) 2014: Tyree Woodson (Baltimore, MD) 2014: John Crawford III (Beavercreek, OH) 2014: Eric Garner (New York, NY) contin'd Section: 22 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, blockchain, light-projection the lady circling the protest with burning sage my camera, my perfect memory blocking off the street with a memory catcher what's a memory catcher: it’s a sequence of light patterns - the patterns catch attention the attention is directed to a memory the memory becomes an argument or another pattern everything repeats Section: 23 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, light-projection what happens: people thank you for building the memory catcher what do they look like- they look like everyone other people laugh at the memory catcher - but that’s a crowd you could automate an entire sequence of memory catchers in a city you could string an entire city with tripwire light and tripwire - if you had the cash Section: 24 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, real-estate gala we build another memory catcher inside a real-estate gala - it was an award “city of hope” we built the catcher inside of the hotel - the developers that were filing into the gala were forced to listen to the stories of those they had evicted - one of the real estate developers came and sang with the protestors - everyone was upset there's a kind of link between the police and the developers 54 police exactly there’s another link between the developers and data barons data, of course Section: 25 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, real-estate gala, memory the memory catcher of sound spooling out the stories of the evicted sung into of the gala by a group of protestors dressed in black - thousands of cameras a reverberating system that forms a crystal - the crystal is a life recorded perfectly Section: 26 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: protest, real-estate gala, memory, future SF the real estate developers walked by and shrugged off the memory catcher but the cameras live streamed everything which were recorded by machines permanently and when the dead are raised from their suspension tanks these deeds will of course be remembered and the genetics of the perpetrators will be disbursed Section: 27 of 40 Method: writing from experience at a protest Themes: real-estate gala, greed, future SF I walked into the gala after the protestors got kicked out I walked among the gems and the suits for an hour I drank wine and water off the tables of the developers I told them I was a high speed algorithmic auctioneer and they were interested: interested in how the machines could capture the value of the spaces of the city: interested in little else Section: 28 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: gentrification, real-estate Eddie Stiel: I mean, we went through, we went through a lot of minor hell at that apartment. Minor, to semi-major hell. They sold it to an investment company. And that investment company tried to get rid of us in the mid, in the late nineties. There was a gate that went to the street, between the two houses, for the driveway. And they, it just broke and they never fixed it. And so then it became like, prostitutes sometimes would use the backyard to turn tricks. And then there was the empty unit downstairs that became like, a place where people used it as like, a place to do drugs. Someone died in there once. There was, like, a lot of stuff. There was a lot of weird things that happened. Section: 29 of 40 Method: excerpted from The Shaping of Us by Lily Bernheimer Themes: housing as identification Why should we care about place attachment in relation to the housing crisis? Well first, because it helps explain so many things about how we act and think in relation to housing. But second, because we also know that when people feel attached to the place and the community they live in, they also tend to have higher rates of overall well-being. A large body of research on what is called 'identity process theory' has identified a number of props we use to support our identities, such as sense of continuity over time, positive distinctiveness, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and belonging. Feel upset that an old building is being demolished? Perhaps it makes you feel a bit old and ready for demolition yourself? Section: 30 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: anti-eviction activism, neighborhood identification, greed Edwin Lindo: But my dad—if I wasn’t there—I don’t know what he’d do. I mean—he’s disabled, he’s going to be 64 now. And it was stressing him out—he had already fought it 3 times—without an attorney: writing briefs by hand and submitting them to the court, and I can tell it took a court. And this last time, he wanted to fight. He said, I will handcuff myself to this door until the sheriffs come. They can take me that way. Because this is my home. And I’m not going to lose it because of greed. Section: 31 of 40 Method: re-writing of The Machines of Loving Grace by Richard Brautigan Themes: future SF, cybernetics, blockchain I haven't told you yet, I know about the place where the evicted gather I like to think about it (the sooner the better) it's the New Presidio, which has become a kind of open field where the evicted and automated snack delivery robots live together in a strange sort of harmony. where there are tiny houses and orchid geneticists breeding new forms of flowers; there are trees filled with electricity that sense the coming earthquakes; there are iris scanners that attract flying insects but not too close; and democratic councils operated by the blockchains of grace... Section: 32 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, blockchain, eviction the blockchains of grace, the immutable record of the evicted hashed into the metadata of the chain here, here, and here- their genomic sequence uploaded in the comments, graffiti searchable forever by the deep learning of the patchwork of the New Presidio, the mega insect of the New Presidio, that only the evicted are part of and the drones flying between the trees depth-mapping the tiny houses and other drones Section: 33 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, eco-village, drones, eviction I pass the face of Nik Bertulis, I pass the face of Victoria Rodriguez, I pass the face of all the others, holding my hand out before me holding my drones out before me that follow me in a flock and exchange transmissions with the other drones going deeper and deeper into the tiny house village Section: 34 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, eco-village, blockchain, drones, eviction the drones are lights flying between us recording everything streaming everything to the blockchains of grace 'the final book' some people call it the drones fly among the trees in a light shift pattern that forms a map of the evicted - they remind me of the fires when there were fires over and over in California but these are a kind of strange controlled burn Section: 35 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, internet archive, blockchain, drones, eviction we're walking to the internet archive with all the drones around us with all the evicted around us up the steps of the columns up the columns and into the archive where the green lights of the servers blip like insects and the insects also blip green next to them and the seats wheel themselves away and clear the floor Section: 36 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, virtual SF, internet archive, displacement inside of the network are the infinite houses the infinite worlds and the infinite houses the houses that expand infinitely into the aether that are weightless and massless where the evicted go to and where they are stored infinitely and where they keep living indefinitely inside of a simulation of another other San Francisco Section: 37 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, virtual SF, eco-village, displacement so, there's the eco-villages of the New Presidio that stretch all the way across the shoreline to the coming and going of the massive drone cargo ships that still somehow arrive from China and Japan, which of course still exist and there's also this other reality: of all the San Francisco's that could have been if people had been able to stay, stored in the networked worlds - I wave my hand and all the lights turn off Section: 38 of 40 Method: n/a Themes: future SF, eviction, displacement, drones I walk out into the sunlight with my flock of drones following and everyone And I look at the descendants of the evicted And I look into the face of the descendants of Erin and the face of the descendants of Faiq And I think that this is the world after the contraction freer, lighter, on the earth recorded forever somehow, both more chained and more free Section: 39 of 40 Method: excerpts of oral history collected by AEMP Themes: immigration Claudia: So it just happened naturally for me, I was, I was an immigrant still, I wasn’t legal, um, and I remember very distinctly, going to the beach with my friend, my best friend, who’s still my best friend. She lives down the street actually, not even that far from me. Um, she’s very white, and you know, we’ll like always go to the beach and see, she would be so jealous that I could tan so easily and she would be like, lathered in oil, trying to tan herself. And I remember, she looked at me really strangely one time and she’s like, “You know, Claudia, you’re not an immigrant to me.” Section 40 of 40 Method: writing with a bot that remixes language Themes: technology. protest. memory. apocalypse. snow in bloom throughout the image. snow obliterating the bay. a chorus of helicopters that fly left, fly left, fly right, the world. coherence and persistence over time. interconnection. night deepens the color of the gate. night deepens older technologies. the virtual temple's shininess. fields on which snow is falling. in the forest, the prominent impact of the robot's footsteps. the whistle. the rent. spray. the chop chop of the blades. armor. everything moving towards stronger interconnection and uncertainty, flowing towards Angel Island. cherries. fireworks. watching video together in the sky, on clouds. in light. a beam. the pilot's cognitive agents. thousands of interconnected robots and humans. bees. beetles. bells. stolen cherries. water. day darkens Muir. I wash the tear gas from your hair. I cradle you in my hands, you and I and our infinite virtual images and differences.
Prologue Once I went into the neighborhood with S.. We broke into an attic. We climbed out onto the roof to look at the northern tower of Atlantic Mill. There was a huge hole - ripped - gashed into the top of the tower. James Turrell’s grandmother told him in the quaker meeting hall - find the light - he couldn’t - so he made the light - “Mad Genius Buys Volcano Transforms it into Naked Eye Observatory” - Light is a miracle - that there is any light - that you watch the orange security light turn more and more orange by degrees until suddenly it flips off leaving a flare in your eye - a burn or blast - a vibration - flak bombs exploding over the field or the rusted roof. I. Glass Windows P. took photos of the cracked glass on the floor - light - light - flash - flash - flash - Is that what the glass looked like when the rocks came through the window? P. says he wish he could have photographed it as it happened - same night as the Boston bombings - reading/watching the news - people losing limbs. Imagine what would have happened if I had been in the building with M. - would she have had her blind eyes cut? the eyes - the flash - flash - flash - of P.’s photographs - rocks * This was what precipitated the building’s next phase: the factory building's gates were replaced by gates without rust - the doors were painted red - red without lead paint - and the red curtains in the prostitutes room were removed. see the feather that’s still hanging from the window? see the poster of pipes looping through a building - see the name of one of the punk group’s show: “recursion” see the place where it says - “finished”? * The last punk group is getting evicted. They smashed the window of my makeshift area when they found out. Headless Anarchism says M. - the sun slides through the window’s frames and strikes me in the face. II. Island The lamplit - the flooded - the well-lit and auto-fluorescent - the inflamed - the sunlit - blast furnaces - capital one & capital two - rays of light - verticals - diagonals - “We are moving into the future where the factory is everywhere, and the design team is everyone" - fuck - * A. was there with his two silver face studs - two permanent artificial dimples. He was there with his womens cowboy boots - his yip and his low growl - his unsarl and go - his index finger pointing down at the water that had flooded the factory one foot high. D. was there too, but standing on the roof - watching a neon ferris wheel in a nearby park - light/light - purple that becomes red - that becomes blue - that becomes white - D. afixes his language to the ceiling of the building - The words glow, illuminating the dust. That language is its own being - what remains - nesting in the ceiling - prima materia - presence - reality - or just a bunch of fluorescent lights - humming - * I go out onto the roof and look out. All I see is ferris wheels - rays and rays of light - diagonals - vortices - other mills - I wrap myself in textiles - I imagine the shattered glass melted down into a knife. III. Dream Catchers Graffiti: “un-cooperative co-op” - “the dungeon” - There’s a hanging sculpture in here, brown twigs wound into a circle with a radius of three feet. There’s a black mesh in the middle - what is it - I asked - “it’s a dream catcher” - E. walks up to the wall - flicks on a fan - the whole room hums. There’s a hole in the ceiling - a concrete shaft with light coming down from the hole - gunmetal - concrete - but not soviet. * E. told me that they wanted to build a whole second story full of rooms - a music studio - a photography studio - fish tanks - the ideal collective living space. Some kid from Colorado came and built this huge net you could hang out on - the net - like the canopy of a tree - the net and the dream catcher - a little dream catcher and a large dream catcher - IV. Production Problems We walked out onto the roof, looked down at the river running alongside the mill. E. says he was afraid someone was going to fall - “Do you think they would die?” I asked. I kicked my legs over the edge. E, says that if someone had fallen, they would have just buried the body. E. told me once C threw a bunch of firecrackers over the wood wall and into Witch Club, the other collective space. They came back another night in mask and beat the shit out of him. Then another night C. knocked down all of E.’s fish tanks so E. ripped down the fabric that C.’s room was made out of and punched him in the face. The first time I came to Providence, I posted on the list serve: “I’m here, show me the spaces” - and everyone posted - “narc, narc, narc, narc” but C. showed me around. C. said they lit a fire and let the smoke out the ceiling - lit a fire on the concrete in the building wilderness - gathered around it, “if you were fucked up, we wanted you,” he said. V. Lift Off The factory levitates and a man made of long fluorescent tubing jogs inside it. The rest of us float, hanging with our feet pointed up towards the sky. The factory is producing air: its blue-gray doors open, shuddering, and clouds drift out, momentarily obscuring us from each other. From here up in the dark, I can see the white security lights above the river - points inside a mirror. The ferris wheel is below us - fireworks chase us. Somehow, I float into the sky-doors in my sleep, wake up - I grab them and my gravity reverses and I am sitting on the landing, inside the building, looking down at the street. I can hear the sound of the fluorescent man walking between the machines - crunch - crunch - crunch - Everyone from Youth Build is coming to work, but then they look up and see that the building isn’t there - it’s in the sky. Jay from Olneyville Housing stamps his feet and shouts - “Come down!” “Come the fuck down, right now!” - Everyone wakes up, laughing. The Sky Brigade floats towards their horns - French Horn - Tuba - Bad Ass Horn - Big One - floating around the building - * Listen to this, all the names of clouds: “cumulus - stratus - cirrus - nimbus - heap - layer - curl - alto-stratus - cumulonimbus” The factory is manufacturing the air - more and more of it. “Is this supposed to prevent global warming” - A. asks - J. says, “It’s our cover, I asked the fluorescent guy to keep it all going” - “You know that guy?” I say. VI. A Concert in the Air Brass brass everyone - brass brass everywhere - there’s music coming out of the sky-doors. Jay O’Grady seems like a dick - music - tone - pitch -slick - thirty songs - let’s go. The Sky Brigade is a 19-piece brass band - from Providence, RI, USA. The sound is an aggressive mix - of Bollywood, The Balkans, New Orleans, Samba and Hip-Hop - played with the intensity of metal, requiring no amplification. We prove that great parties need no electricity - our live shows defy boundaries - appealing equally to punks and farmers, old and young. * It’s like they took the factory machines and beat them into instruments - It’s like the sound of a thousand looms reconstructed into a marching band. It’s like bridges being smashed - It’s a horn out front - fuck that horn out front - who the fuck is that - is that D., Sousophone D.? He once collapsed a lung due to his antics with this band - After a few months, he was back to risky tuba-based behavior - There’s another horn in the background - G. - born a small white child - G. grew to an even larger white child - a giant child who blows horns - he does it deep - be it esoteric philosophy - scuba or noise - The machines are marching - The sky is marching - All those shit-head clouds are marching Somewhere - Where the fuck are all these people going? Jay O’Grady is marching - PVP pipes slice the air - Even the goddamn bricks of the building are marching loaded with a strange light - * Light cathedral of noise - noise - noise - some kind of light machine - pink lights - cerise lights - purple lights - the brass itself reflecting the sky clouds - street lights - The light extending and clashing and smacking against everything - N., he’s on the horns: “Sometimes, at shows I try to go up to people - and dance with them but my pointy bones frighten them -” Where is S. and her god damn houses that are musical instruments? Why isn’t the factory itself some kind of instrument? The industrial revolution chased by light - The digital revolution - And the very first light of the world - Caused by יהוה, removing himself - C. - C. plays trombone, and hopes to someday play all the notes, ever - like the Big Man himself. * There’s only one song left - and its sad. The trombones seem like soldiers about to fire rifles into the air - bang - bang - bang - bang - bang - The last march before the eviction - All the light has stilled and rests in puddles around the feet of the musicians. How did sound get turned into light? And why is this light so sad? twilight light - light before the new world is born light - music light - stupid light - star that lets the last light go - tamborine light - click light - click - click - click - look out there beyond the far light - there’s a new universe - bubbling up - and that fucker - look at that fucker explode ! VII. Forest The forest is always coming up to the factory. The forest will always reclaim the factory - Acer Rubrum - Acer Sachrum - Betula Nigra (Heritage) - Celtis Occidentalis - Gingko Biloba - Gleditsia triacanthos inermis - The forest is always there - Gymnocladus dioicus - Liquidambar styraciflua - Liriodendron tulipifera - Metasequoia glyptostroboides - You can see the forest from the top of the mill. You can hear the cicadas. You can imagine the forest being inside of the building after everyone has left. You can imagine the shafts of light that the vines have whittled through the stone - Platanus x acerifolia - Quercus bicolor - Quercus imbricaria - White warm sunlight quiet of the dust Quercus palustris - Quercus phellos - The river is wider than ever before. There’s a brick wall standing where the tower used to be. There’s a brick standing where a wall used to be. It’s only a matter of time before lightning strikes the building again. Quercus robur - Quercus rubra - The windows are falling inwards - and they are breaking and shattering light across the floor. Styphnolobium japonicum - Taxodium distichum - Once I was walking with J. in the forest next to the building and I said it seemed like the garden of Eden. She said, “I’m the forbidden fruit” - “obviously” * Sitting with S. on the roof. The red moon rises over the building, rises over the forest above the river, over the lights of Olneyville, over the lights of S.’s cell phone, a little square. The forest surrounds the mill, not quite piercing it, not quite reclaiming it. The cut on the top of my palm, the jagged arc of hot steel that hit me when I was welding. To S., this is just dead space. She doesn’t have the associations. We talk about how she made algae glow in a vial for one of her installations. We talk about how she walked around with a plant from the forest in a plastic frame attached to a gas mask so she could breathe the plant’s oxygen. The moon’s corona. Hyperlocalist memories - city edges - everything like a grip. Sophia pulls out her little square of light. Different glow - the windows - different glow - the light popping out of the building - different glass - VIII. Nursery We go to the tree nursery close by to listen to the crickets. Dark - dark dark goose - walking past the grate, past something that smells like a body. The nursery is a reverse forest - a forest that is surrounded by mills - We enter into the gate - I reach my hand out and touch all the tall-standing flowers. They feel fuzzy. S. says she always needs someone to go first - so she’s behind me and I can hear her footsteps falling on the wood chips. We cut a path through the cricket clicks, blindly making our way into the nursery. It’s just dark and light and green and we are pressed in by the red bricks on all sides and even at 2am - bam - bam - bam - someone is swinging a hammer against metal. * Bycles pass - cars pass - we are surrounded by the fence - “Do you ever come in here alone?” she asks. “No, I don’t.” I look around - but it’s just someone walking and the headlights of the cars shine over the small trees casting shadows on the bricks. There are tubes - S. points to them and says that the trees must be fed automatically and she touches a branch. “I wonder where they are planted afterwards?” I say. There’s the glassiness leaving her eyes for a second while she looks at the trees and checks the insulin pouch that’s against her thigh. It beeps - I go looking through the pieces in her portfolio in my mind - There’s one called ‘abandoned experiment’ where there are needles floating above a jet black lake. She’s got another piece where she’s left a bunch of glowing orbs glistening on the beach - ‘washed up in a near distant future,’ she called it. IX. Colored Glass J. - sitting at a table on the top floor tossing fabric into the center - laser cut textiles. She’s starting a business in the mill - or thinking about it - amaryllis - azalea - allium - begonia - blackthorn - bluebell - She shows me the laser cutter - boronia - bloodroot - I said I hated the landlord. She wishes she could spend more time with him - get to know him - change his mind about things. She lays more textile on the table - She found a manufacturer bringing in just the right kind of felt. Her parents helped her purchase some. She’s watching the laser cut the textile - then she’s sewing the felt together into a flower. * She told me she grew up in Queens and she was looking at a fish tank with all these colorful fish inside it. She said everything she makes looks like this - traces back to that one moment staring through glass. The color in the room is peculiar - it’s this reddark - not really comprehensible brown - it’s dangerous to go into the colors up here - on the top of the building - She shows me her website: it’s J. with a blow-torch and goggles burning and refitting glass - turning it into shapes with thousands of different colors - all hanging from the ceiling - “Glass Rain” the installation was called. * We walk into the other room - Push through door and its flowers - flowers everywhere - made of yarn - “What is it?” - “It’s a hibiscus” - immense - bright shocking red - What else was in the room? A pillow that looked like a cat with a bunch of eyes - I.’s poster - all blue - of the ideal cooperative living arrangement - “Look,” she says - “Here’s a felt flower” - and I see it in the poster - X. Altar J. had built an altar because she knew the building was closing - lots of lace - flowers - a plate on it with parrots and other birds - a panda made of paper mache - a goblet - The bees are dying - plenty of them belly up - dead against the altar, lying in the fake flowers. S. had been a bee-keeper - so some of her bees were still around. There was also an article on facebook about small robotic bees that would do their job. Maybe they won’t notice and we can build a garden on the roof - maybe we can build a window farm - may we all have farms in heaven. To the root strikers - to the people who come by x - may we all have farms in heaven - may the altar be the lost key - or the farm in heaven - May J. be the last person here up on the roof - may she be the altar builder - the welder - the weaver - glass and textiles - and blinking lights - small LEDs woven into fabric - small LEDs attached to robotic bees - * There’s fire on the roof - dayfires - so different from nightfires - Day-farms - day fires - other things that don’t exist - Forest in every direction - and the greenhouse on the top of the mill, and J. - J. saying - be the best of yourself. J. volunteering at the church - J. turning the water wheel and turning water into fire on the roof - felt into flowers - bees into robotic bees - hardware into birds - J. told me that she’s making an installation for Calvin Klein - and that they’re assholes - they’re asking that she combine glass and textile. She’s sitting in front of the mirror. I took a photograph of her with her goggles on and the torch like a little tongue licks the glass which looks like honey. I put down my backpack and J. looks inside - it’s glistening a little bit - “What is that?” - “I brought you - some materials” - I slowly start taking out the glass - “I have something I want you to make” - I take out one of the larger pieces of glass and it has all the dust from the mill on it - She looks through it and into me - “Is this from the event?” - “Yes, it’s from the event” “I want it to be something else now” - I take the key to the building from my pocket, the last key other than hers, and I press it into her hand -
V.'s upturned head looking at S. winter-proofing the tent in a crouch, P. filming the first speech S., with upturned hands J.'s haggard face, a skull D. before he lost his house S., every look skeptical the march cutting the city the march, and invisible march the faces in the march the faces of my companions those that left those that stayed those that passed through bottles thrown into the camp curses hurled from cars before it begins, stopping a knife-fight sirens knifing the wind drunks stumbling in drunks stumbling out the rain rushing in the rain draining out the wind rushing in the wind rushing out black-wet boughs green-wet grass blood under M.'s nose the blue-cold eyes of J. the enfolding arms of A. A.'s red beret A., always encouraging A., with her arms open everyone's adopted mother, A. A. sleeps under the bridge everyone looking for A. V. setting up new tents V. getting in new fights V.'s face, hard and dark B.'s long knife in his coat the wind shifting winter black mud and bare trees D.'s large beard and blue eyes a woman cradling a bird a woman cradling a child D.'s blue eyes, then the talk about the wars D.'s blue beard soaked with blood D.'s need is immense repeating each other's words the voices of my companions leaves brushing the tents rain against tent ceilings a thin night raking leaves towered over by monoliths circled by unlit windows J., laughing maniacally force running under S.'s face S., filled with belief S., guiding the assembly S., disappeared as well S., with her buried grief V. pulls down a tarp D., before he lost his mind M. sets up the schedule J. smokes in the booth A. handed me her keys, lost them twice V., filled with regret V., and his woman until she left strangers in the encampment fucking in the tents at night us fucking anarchists thinking to the ringing sirens willing myself to sleep to sleep in a city street blood brought to a slow boil the rest of the city disappears the hum of the generator stirs the clouds the hum of the generator stirs the night's fist the exhalation of the generator the night under the bricks under our feet the moon caught in black flags P. in his wheelchair, wheeling around P. wheeling around with a white mask because it's easy, everyone bullies P. the eyes of A., soft, slightly pained the eyes of A., unyielding the divisions within the camp one argument, then another J., keeping us all together J., keeping it all from falling apart waking up feeling we could live anywhere the trees and leaves the trees and wind a tin cup and lantern our right to gather to recognize strangers rain on wet bark a wet stone on bricks forming up against a brutal element the nation's pulse running under this stupid park the collective threat we threaten each other sirens circling the park like two birds on fire black mud where there used to be grass black flags waving in the air all my friends, wrapped in black flags a small set of provisions a cup of hot coffee and a plate of free food the wind brushing the trees and earth leaves that shift winter speech that shifts winter black-sky stars the drunks walk in S. says it's unsafe lanterns in tents footsteps of strangers six blankets security detail a hand in a hand shook a woman's hair in the wind a woman's face, then the wind A.'s sharp-cutting cough rain on the tops of tarps a bodylike line of light one proposal, then another camaraderie, then intrigue to see the slow unbearable separation from the the city to feel your thinking twisted to the group's purpose to have no separation from the earth to be burned out, to hate it to miss it, to need to be there to know you're needed by the suffering to be unable to rid oneself of the suffering neighborhoods of tents and lights neighborhoods of light and lanterns a liar trying to steal my equipment a liar and his corroded teeth lanterns swinging in the wind lanterns light jokes on fire lanterns in the assembly, lighters, lights lanterns in our hands even when they're not in our minds lanterns in our minds even when they're not in our hands sitting under the tree singing, E. E., playing guitar E., stoic and unafraid E., we acknowledge each other a face parting fallen clouds fear of baton, boot, brute force the threat of the rubber bullet the threat of the gas canister always the threat of the boot in the night always the threat of the incoming threat always the threat of the incoming rock always the threat, irrelevance the soup people brought the bread people baked staying because its believed to be necessary losing people every day, trying to hold out to be a symbol in the field of living-symbols to be a body to sacrifice to brute force to feel afraid for the first time to be obsessed, unable to let go to feel cold, hunger, anger, threat to meet resistance to meet in the field of living symbols living symbols walking over the mud to be idiots empty tents snow D. hands out food to strangers needing to get away, needing to be there J., knowing he'll get his proposal through P.'s acidic question-jokes J., somehow never cold A., raising her hands J., shaking his head missing S. unbearably S., facilitating the assembly S., with her hands in the air S., with her face in her hands standing in a circle, discussing security a man dropped off a bag of food, then left the air against my ear leaves under my pillow a bird flies over the camp air coming out of our mouths like ghosts
Delta_Ark developed The Beacon as an on-site installation for Occupy Providence. During Delta_Ark’s numerous visits to the encampment, Delta_Ark noticed that passers-by continued to remark that they did not understand why the protesters were there. The movement was not a single-issue movement, like ‘end the Vietnam war’; the movement highlighted many of the ways in which an oligarchic faction of the country (the ‘1%’) were gaming the political and economic system. Some protesters were protesting because they had been foreclosed on, others because their health insurance had refused to reimburse them and others still because of crippling student debt. There were many reasons people were occupying; you could see how this could be confusing for someone walking by the encampment for the first time, looking at all the different signs and stations. To remedy this problem, Delta Ark created a communication system that allowed protesters to communicate their reasons for being at the encampment, one clear reason at a time.
Consider Freetown Christiania. Consider Kowloon Walled City. Or Slab City. Consider what these kinds of spaces add to the life of the city. And the new forms of relationships they enable. Do we try to demolish them? Try to incorporate them in some way? Regulate them? Leave them to be? Do we evict them? What are we losing when we lose these spaces? Could there not be some more enlightened form of governance at the level of the city that allows them to be, while also checking in? We don’t want another Ghost Ship (there’s a history of fires in places like these), but we don’t want a sanitized boring city, either. Squatter’s rights are important. As are, probably even more importantly, the ability to build Social Centers, the kind they have in Europe. After Occupy, a group of occupiers set up the Omni Commons, in Oakland; a permanent collective of collectives. Maybe this points the way, and maybe it also points the way for internet based/initiated movements to maintain a long-term presence?