May 02, 2012

New Beginnings


I thought today would be perfect time to start this blog off fresh again. I deleted all of my old posts, with plans to move beyond my initial explorations of urban architecture and planning. The agenda now is social critique; more specifically, the types of ideologies that structure our perception of change and violence.

I'll still be dedicating a lot of my time to aesthetics. Architecture, fashion, and music—among other forms of expression—all play significant roles in regards to the arrangement of the tumultuous present. It is necessary to reveal both the conscious and unconscious motivations behind these aesthetic practices, and to read them as manifestations of more abstract ideological forces.

Taking a cue from Benjamin, I hope to graze the surface of enough of these bits of material detritus to unveil previously invisible relationships between things:
The value of fragments of thought is all the greater the less direct their relationship to the underlying idea, and the brilliance of the representation depends as much on this value as the brilliance of the mosaic does on the quality of the glass paste. The relationship between the minute precision of the work and the proportions of the sculptural or intellectual whole demonstrates that truth-content is only to be grasped through immersion in the most minute details of subject-matter. (The Origin of German Tragic Drama, Verso, p29)
Every object stands as a discontinuous set of atoms, yet each owes its existence to the same wind that propels us forward through history. Ideology oftentimes hides in places that go unnoticed or overlooked, and we end up missing out on a lot when we only focus on the big concepts.

In other words, looking at a mosaic from far away will get you no where. The real shit lies in the individual tiles, and any sort of totality can only be understand through consideration of all its constituent parts. A tear gas canister seen on Broadway in Oakland today would mean nothing to me without the bullet shells I found in the same place last week. Violence is one topic, in particular, upon which most cast their judgements from afar. But the nature of violence is a complex one, and in order to understand it on both an objective and a systematic level, we have to take good notes and lots of photos.

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