We are extremely excited to present our next release from Portland’s Chloe Alexandra Thompson. ‘Unnaming Permissibility’ marks our first release of a none musical medium and further emphasizes the importance of cross-platform modes of expression. Be on the look out for more work from Chloe in the coming year as well as other incredibly talented visual artists.
BST010 comes from the Portland based, Canadian, poet and visual artist Chloe Alexandra Thompson. 'Unnaming Permissibility’ facilitates both written and visual artwork to describe a transitory period in culture brought about by new media. The work was created during her residency with Littman & White Galleries, was produced by Publication Studios Portland, and is the first publication to be released by Blankstairs Records.
Purchase 'Unnaming Permissibility’ directly from us here: https://goo.gl/6HXIrc
Naming is an act of representation. To represent is to claim or own. The act of unnaming serves to remove this sense of ownership. Permissibility, which suggests consent, also appears interchangeable with acceptability. This is most apparent with regard to the personae we adopt as the result of societal norms. Forming part of our Identity, such aspects of ourselves often serve as vessels of navigation or communication.
The present work seeks to express awareness of a transitional cultural period shaped by the collective promise of new media. Mediation may be considered a means of denying death through the construct of memory, a collective history that affords a sense of continuity to social groups and subcultures. Through our individual and collective histories, particularly as filter through socially constructed norms, and which are presumably based on the choice between acceptability or deviance, we create our own timelines and develop Identity. This information, which is today largely deemed public and is essentially inerasable, brings into being the notion of the Internet phantasm. Through a form of ghosting, or trail marking by way of our interactions with social media, we provide a detailed account of our personal history and ultimately contribute to the cultural DNA.
This cultural process is marked by the partial failure of representation: rather than greater communicative intimacy and a sense of collective transparency, a palpable distance and dissatisfaction may arise. Perhaps the greatest symptom of this sense of failure is the romanticization of the past, a nostalgia for prior historical periods during which less-mediated forms of social interaction were seemingly enjoyed. This dissatisfaction with new media in turn authorizes a contemporary Luddism: a refusal to engage with the proscriptive channels of social media stems from a loss of faith in such interactions, which seem to play out as distant, spectral connections. Such haunting is replaced by a simulated familiarity.
Such symptoms expose the cultural unconcious. The parallelism described by the project’s images might therefore be taken to express the relationship between the capitalist economy (as unconcious 'base’) and the cultural forms (or symptomnal ‘superstructure’) produced by it. Integral to the cultural superstructure is new media, which promises to represent the world and the desires of its citizens. Cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek has therefore emphasized human desire in this connection, analyzing the relationship between the individual unconscious and our broader cultural situation. Adopting the concepts of the Real and Symbolic as given in Lacanian psychoanalysis, he has applied them to new media: the gap between the unconcious (the Real) and our lived, collective experience (the Symbolic – or that which is mediated by language and social convention), implies a fundamental, psycho-cultural distance tht serves to frame this project, particularly where desire and its negotiation in the language is emphasized.
The role of the artist therefore emerges as one of bridging the divide implied by the failures of representation. In some cultures, the role of the mystic is to traffic back and forth between cultural and transcendental realms, or between the Real and the shared symbolic of the established, domestic world of lived experience. Our media technologies promise to unite and collectivize us, yet often sustain a sense of dissatisfaction, one that the artist might give voice to, serving to diagnose or address.
- Chloe Alexandra Thompson, ‘Unnaming Permissibility’