72 pages, 4.5" x 7"
Publication Date: 17 Aug 2017
Feminist data maps. Perverse technical networks. How do we navigate the vertigo between technology and our bodies? CONTRAVERSE is a guide and a counter-spell for the nexus of big business, big tech, and the state that situates our lives. Shimmering between cosmology and information overload, CONTRAVERSE asks that we re-map our relation to the grid and seize control of our cyborg bodies.
Praise for CONTRAVERSE
“Alex Cruse's CONTRAVERSE removes the managerial from the menagerie, repopulating the dystopic ecology of quants with "wild-types." The poetry "despises a clock” and rejects "corrupt syntax" to which the "ambit of life is reduced.” Cruse never hews to the individual, except to say there's another way—"and i am to project a continued person? in this frustratingly normative plot?" If there is a subject it is always public, dispelling the fiction of self-possession, and throwing the “muscle of a liberal thing” into atrophy so that we might “crawl back inside uninscribed.” Cruse swaps ego for “we”s, and shareholders for the dispossessed practice of holding what is truly shared. In her words: “we are talking about an actual fucking material loophole, here.” I trust her. We really are.”
In the polychromatic hue of Alex Cruse's CONTRAVERSE, society, politics, identity are forcibly integrated in a beam of technopornographic treatise. "The outgoing message was just a choking sound" - here, for Cruse, the emergence of our consumption is as abject as it is factual, as spectral as much as it becomes spectacle. Where is the place of something like crying when all the lifeblood has drizzled out? Desiccated. I had a fragment of tooth in my hand. I had no mirror on my collar. "we invent / new skin / in defense / against memory." Did you cry too? Wait, can you?
After putting out a fire today, I read this line: “They attempt to kill your instant history of fire by revoking the privilege of air, as it were.” What would we destroy if we weren’t constantly fighting for air? cruse’s words describe the consequences of turning self-ness into something measurable and portionable. I can’t separate cruse’s work from how she’s participated in creating space for autonomous thought in Oakland for over a decade. This writing shows the thinking that comes from making connections to others while simultaneously exploring what surveillance in the service of capital is doing to the way they relate.
alex cruse is an Oakland-based writer, artist, and educator, whose work synthesizes the disciplines of poetry, video, installation, and new media. She is interested in systems of governmentality/surveillance as social modalities; technology’s capacity to both build and dismantle informational and linguistic structures, and the politics of representation produced therein. Her writing/art has been featured in ARMED CELL, SFMOMA Open Space, The East Bay Express, Maximumrockandroll, Rolling Stone, ditch, 3AM Magazine, Poets Reading the News, and The Los Angeles Times, among other places. She has performed and exhibited nationally and abroad.