Friday, June 8, 2007

On Project Deets

Brother Electron posted his notes from assorted Northwestern classes around one of the poorer neighborhoods in Evanston to “emphasizing intellectual disparities” and possibly “inspiring some sort of fantastical or intellectual discourse.”

I like the way the work explores the presumption associated with identifying anything as “everyday” – as everydayness is an incredibly relative thing. Your exploration of the fallacies embedded in everydayness are interesting – and I like that your project at once works in a relational aesthetics context, while criticizing and subverting some of its basic tenets.

In some ways, your projects seems only half finished – you pose many questions about the reception of the notes, but there’s no real way to answer any of these without some kind of direct follow-up or other means of finding out what people in your target demographic think of the postings. Have you gone back? Have the notes been torn down, vandalized, ignored? Also, the project could be interpreted as having a certain level of condescension: However useless these notes might seem to us, and to those in southwest Evanston, the truth is that your decision to study these things – whether or not you will ever use them – will put a large distance between you and the neighborhoods in which you’re posting them. Thus there’s a tension between you posting these notes because they might have been useless, while having the knowledge that despite their uselessness – these notes are, in a way, a pass to a better life that Southwesternevanstonites might not have – and in that sense, the notes are more of a taunt than a criticism of academia or your education.

You pose the question, “I am not completely sure of where this project will end up inserting itself into community interaction.” Why be unsure when you can go and find out? I would have been interested to see some kind of documentation of the act of posting the notes, photos, video, interviews – something to put the above ambiguities into perspective and otherwise provide some more documentation of the project.

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