* * *
Like countless others in our virtual age, I’ve called
on the algorithmic genius of unknown programmers
to crack the cryptograph of my needs [my wants?] and find me
what, exactly? Love. Sex. “To know both, keeping the difference
visible, is the subterfuge called eros.” Or not. Though
subterfuge is forgiven, perhaps, in the cheerful face
of the form’s demands: “What are you doing with your life?”
it grins. Compression is key. But who doesn’t hem or haw,
begrudge a quiet not enough as half-formed in camera
rumbling turns to rummage? My “match” will [a promise]
and they provide a flowchart “to my heart” as evidence.
Yet I’m no bargain. To comprehend, follow the arrows
that never arrive → cf. Zeno → at the heart’s carapace.
Heart’s cockles? No matter. Either way: just divide in half.
“Over a million profiles to choose from!” but what chafes
—if we ignore that preposition stood up by syntax—
is the false agency. Choose? One self-regarding monad
among many, we’re knee-deep in the primordial muck
because we are the primordial muck. Hunger. Repletion.
How best to cope with the lawlessness of such large numbers?
I adopt an Eighties workshop ethos: show, don’t tell
—hard-learned if at all—and sort glistening wheat from golden chaff.
Farewell, Kute_n_Klever. But puns play and so does Jumpin_Jax,
who loves Murakami, “exotic locales,” Matt Damon,
hates “Monday,” passive-aggression. You could glide a Buick
between under construction and under completion
and still never tell them apart. There’s strength in penumbras.
I cough up “everything,” nothing, invoke the soft, slow sell.
Still, someone floats a trial balloon—we’re 87%
matched, she notes, only 2% “enemy.” History
suggests it’s my enemies that I keep close enough
to kiss. [Cf. Seidel, My Tokyo, pg. 27.]
Messages arrive—saw-toothed, the way a market behaves.
But I lose interest, and then credit. Ever lecher-
ous, I steal a peek at the swimsuit pics, a beggar-thief.
Who isn’t? Some advice. Ignore the bioluminescent
warmth of collective need, the sense nothing is arbitrary.
Approach 0. Accept that sometimes nothing is enough.
Reject the transfinite strata of anyone else’s heaven
with gentleness. Let your wit multiply like waves.
Divide Zeno from archer from arrow from fletcher.
Court paradox. Don’t change. You should message me if.
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with Kiowa Tribal Museum Director Tahnee Ahtone on January 25 at 7pm (EST).
This week, Patrisse Cullors speaks, reviewing John Richardson’s final Picasso book, the Met Museum snags a rare oil on copper by Nicolas Poussin, and much more.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Alexi Worth’s paintings demand a double take that allows viewers to look closer and begin dissembling the painting in order to understand what is being looked at.
Anastasia Pelias’s sculpture builds on this mythological legacy, suggesting we all have the ability to commune with a higher power and influence our futures.
Curated by Jill Kearney, this exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ amplifies stories both local and universal with work by Willie Cole, Sandra Ramos, sTo Len, and more.
Jack Spicer’s poetry can be deeply funny and playful but it has a consistent undercurrent of sadness.
Belinda Rathbone’s biography traces the sculptor’s embrace of kinetic mechanisms to his work in the Singer Sewing Machine factory.
The first lecture is on the relationship between early portrait photography and diverse notions of US identity during the Gilded Age. Register to attend on January 25.
It’s the first time in the country’s history that objects of this significance are offered for public sale.
Schwartz was at the forefront of computer-generated art before desktops or the kind of software that makes it commonplace today.
Curator La Tanya S. Autry shares a set of crucial questions she considers when curating images of anti-Black violence.