[-empyre-] proposal proposal +++ In Search Of A Fluid Code - Jamika Ajalon

Jamika Ajalon jamikaajalon at gmail.com
Thu Sep 26 16:29:03 AEST 2019

see below proposal in progress(ions)


I am interested in exploring the connection between fugitively, code, and
archive (digital, cultural, and material)  as it relates to  instances of
resistance with in the African diaspora historically, and more
specifically, as something that is mutable rather than  fixed inside
singular moments in time. I want to  upset the idea of fugitively as
running away from, explore fugitively in the flipped sense: moving towards…
a continuance, much in the same way genes (genetic codes) are passed down
or, for example, the baton in a long distance race .  The result of this
exploration will  manifest as a  published text and an inter-related
audio-video “anti-lecture” . The final piece should work as both as a live
performative piece and something that   will be a part of an open source
collaborative effort investigating and archiving themes around code,
narrative, and resistance.


Over the last decade I have performed/exhibited my audio-visual
anti-lectures; complex layers of sound, visual data, text, and narrative.
I am now exploring how to create  an “anti-lecture” that transverses
virtual space and the live, based around a soon to be published piece
“Fluid Code” (Cambridge Press anthology exploring the rise of facism in the
west. ).  It is a continuation of my practice, as primarily a writer
(poetry, fiction/non-ficition),  in  which the text becomes a part of
interdisciplinary audio/visual, often performative work.  This cross over
into the interactive virtual, would allow for international collaborative
‘actions’  archiving  the different manifestations of code as it applies to
resisting and circumventing  marginalizing  dominant narratives.

In “Fluid code”  I write , “We are living a now when, under imperialism, a
nation’s infrastructure continues to work to sustain its memory of itself,
whether it be America with its “Dream,” France with its placards
pronouncing “Equality, Fraternity, Liberty,” Britain with its “Empire” and
royal family, Austria with its adopted banner as the “first victims of
Nazism” and so on. A nation’s self- appointed demigods work to sustain a
system of reality, by any means necessary, in order to retain and expand
power. The so-called “dominant” narrative must be brutally maintained, even
as its guises shift with the times.”

As artists we have the ability to destabilize  hegemonic narratives. Since
early part of this millennium, I have been developing a meta-morphical
concept reflecting a movement without a charter, under the ambient auspices
of FAR*, (fugitive archetype of resistance) .   FAR, is a concept I have
developed through writing/publishing/performance, citing WOC’s unique
positioning in the terrain of FAR.  The work in ‘Fluid Code’  uses FAR as a
jump off point to speak to the ever present  forces of resistance, both
overt &  covert,  forever mutating, creating,  a language of resistance
that is undetectable by majoriborg surveillance/ appropriation.

Using “code” as  a method of resistance has a long history, from
communications tapped out  and  wired during wars/rebellions, etc, to
underground movements,  contributing the to the success of actions such as
the underground railroad.  Slaves on the plantation would weave stories of
escape routes into their spirituals,  and runaways would corn-roll “maps”
into their hair.    The ‘vagabonds’ during the 30s left their  coded signs
for  other travelers indicating which places were safe to crash, which
houses were friendly, and which spots were no go areas for ‘hobos’.   These
codes worked to inform and assist those with ‘outsider’ status, whose
survival depended on it,  while escaping the  eyeline of social
surveillance.   Coded language is also used culturally on a daily and
continual basis, perhaps most notably in the“othered” communities, and as
such are in constant flux, changing well before they become popular,
appropriated with in mainstream culture- even if in this age, where the
commodification of culture, though not a new game,  is happening with
increasing efficacy.

On a very disturbing level, unrelenting digital feeds are in turn feeding
us an interpretation of a version of our realities that we have fed it,
then it appears to mirror actually what’s lived. Again this is not a new
routine, it’s a time-proven premise, dressed in contemporary garb, using
contemporary tech, giving fuel to an age-old loop. How does one free
oneself? How and when does one become aware that these feeds are
projection, meant to control and brainwash one into believing one is making
choices, unaware of how one’s perceptions have been compromised? How do we
indeed  break this modern-day Solvent Green prototype commodification,
which binds us to what seems to be inescapable cycles of violence?

I would like to start by answering these questions, simultaneously allowing
for a collection of archival material , that will both work to illuminate
sidelined timelines as well as hopefully contribute to a language of
resistance that is uncontainable ,  pointed, yet fluid.


A large part of my writings as i present in the “anti-lectures” is
comprised of personal narrative (memoire) fictionalized truths (true
stories subverted to rinse out lost narratives), poetry  and academic
citations (quotes from thinkers, literary and philosophical).

The form of my work reflects the philosophies and themes with in it.   Much
of my earlier work… (relating to FAR)  drew from the work of Bandotti, her
 concept of ‘nomadic subjectivity’ and   Deluze’s ideas on “becoming”.
Both resist a fixed subject and lend to the idea of something that is
constantly in a state of change/metamorphosis.   I use different elements,
the visual, text , (spoken and written) and sound to reflect both mutable
“states” and “narrative” but also because each of these elements colors our
perception of our lived experience both independently and collectively.

I would like to extend this form of working into something that is
interactive in the “virtual” as well performable in the live.   While
investigating the correlation between computer/algorithm “coding” and every
day coding (with in language, art, etc) , I would like to work with those
who specialize in new media tech to research ways in which I can bring my
concept to practical realization.

I will also take aspects  of the concepts pushed forward in my essay “Fluid
Code” and more thoroughly research them: 1) the history of resistance
through code passed through art language and other means and what we can
learn from them to apply to the present  circumstances.  2) investigate
historical instances,  as well as the  continual possibilities of
subverting language and archetype.

While doing this I will also be creating a script (text/audio visual)
merging both a personal narrative with that of other artist and thinkers
which inform both my research and impetus.      The final piece should work
as both as text driven (and published) live audio visual, performative
piece and something that  be a part of an open source collaborative effort
investigating and archiving themes around code, narrative, and resistance.

www.jamikaajalon.com <http://www.zenzile.com>
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