Sonic Arts Union: David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley (in memoriam) concert series at the Issue project room was a positive experience. It was exiting to see Mumma perform live. The event served as proof of the grandeur of the New York electro-acoustic scene and movement. The sounds came from a niche and approaches to music were theoretical but the event still attracted active audiences, who engaged with the pieces. Robert Ashley’s 1993 work Love Is A Good Example was the most easiest piece to approach (I should start making spoken word pieces). David Behrman’s Long Throw was a nice ending for the evening but it felt too picturesque. The blues guitar riffs were too much for me.

Joined the On Whiteness: The Reading Group on Saturday at Helena Anrather. The event was hosted by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan of the Native Art Department International. We read a mixture of texts, the longest was Andrea Smiths’ Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy in which she defines three axises trough which white supremacy engages with non-whites:

  1. Slavery/Capitalism. After slavery ended, the Prison Industrial Complex started.
  2. Genocide/Colonialism. Indigenous people must disappear so that their land can be claimed with out opposition.
  3. Orientalism/War. US need to be in war with “exotic countries” so that they can proof that “exotic” are not US. US is defined by war, it needs conflict with to exist.

The text also defined heteropatriarchy as a building block of  White-America: When nuclear families are set as a norm, it becomes easier to implement hierarchical organisational models upon indigenous communities. She identifies “family” as a technology and argues that in Christian-Americas emphasis on family (and the families right for privacy) results into a lack of interest in public, shared infrastructure: Suburban mindset is a disinvestment. The discussions centred on the topics of forced whiteness and passing. Learning about passing from the indigenous perspective was particularly interesting: Indians are often treated as white because white supremacy want to see indigenous people disappear, to claim their lands.

During the reading group the problematic case Andrea Smith claiming to be a Cherokee were not discussed. More on these issues: Open Letter From Indigenous Women Scholars Regarding Discussions of Andrea Smith (2015). Discovered the Native Land map, a mapping system made to further acknowledgement of indigenous presence in America. Trough this source I learned about the Lenape  and the Canarsie who’s land I now live on. The Lenape article is an interesting read.


Bought a tickets to Sonic Arts Union: David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley (in memoriam) gig on Friday. I have no idea what the gig is going to be like but the texts are convincing.

Messaged Agnes Denes and requested an interview (Got a reply and send her a list of questions to consider).

Participated in a talk by Imara Limon’s on New Narratives at the Amsterdam Museum at the Independent Curators International spaces in Manhattan. The New Narratives program is an ongoing series of events, exhibitions and pedagogical programs which seek to develop critical approaches to the Amsterdam museums existing  practices and permanent collection. Visitors of the museum have been offered “colonial nostalgia” trough exhibitions which focus on the “Golden Age of the City”. For example Dutch 17th century group portraits and the display of luxurious objects disguise the violence of colonial practise, trough which wealth was accumulated the families displayed in the paintings.

Limon explained that the past isn’t painful, what’s painful is that contemporary institutions have not changed and diversified their practices. Diversity and inclusion are frequently discussed (superficiality trough banderols on museum walls) but the discussions seldom have an impact on how the museums actually work. To change the narrative she had organised museum tours which were guided by a diverse range of guides, who made sense the collection from their perspectives. They were also working to add new subtext to items in the collection. “It’s not about output – It’s about the input” she explained.

I’m not sure but I thought that this meant that they are trying to change how the museum make sense of the world (I tried to ask more about this but I couldn’t frame my question properly). When asked if there are taboos that she was advised not to address (trough her curatorial work) Limone answered that “You can say anything but who is listening”. A taboo she addresses was that there is not enough diversity in museum staff, which underlines the impact colonial history has on present day.

I’m in serious trouble in navigating these discussions. I can seem to find proper terms to initiate discussions. I fear that museums cannot change: They reproduce the past indefinitely.

When the Harlem Renaissance Went to Communist Moscow (2017) Jennifer Wilson.