Lafayette Anticipation associate curator Anna Colin talks to artist Tyler Coburn about Ergonomic Futures, a speculative project engaged with art, design, science, anthropology and writing. In this interview, Coburn discusses the research, production process and network of collaborators of a multilayered project ultimately concerned with the futures of humankind. Anna Colin: When one comes across your museum seats Ergonomic Futures (2016—) in contemporary art exhibitions—and soon in natural history, fine art, and anthropology museums—they look… [read more »]
Q: How do I get more followers on my Twitter? I try not to overdo it, and I post pictures. – Josiah, 12
A: You’re thinking inside of the screen, when social networking has created a dichotomy of users (those who pretend this world is separate from their own and those who do not) who must and will soon understand the fallacy of these methods. One: When you find yourself imagining the internet as a simple grid of your own RL, dash those hopes and start again. The internet is a void, nothing like life. And it is your whole life, sometimes, isn’t it?
The way to use a fallacy, a mask, an infinity-symbol as your own tool for persuasion is the same way you use language, which you already know is the first inescapable fallacy learned. Find the balance of ethos, pathos and logos you once found in your college writing comp class, or, if you are a teen that has not graduated from high school, find the balance of ethos, pathos and logos you used to decorate your locker with a quote from your favorite philosopher, Kim Kardashian, a picture of your dog or a dog that looks like another animal you have always wanted, and the sticker that came with your drum set (it is a logical description of your skills).
Language refers to the desires you try to hide and the desires you try to exhibit, and it refers to hiding and exhibiting, and appearing un-efforted. Twitter exemplifies a repetition of falsifications or icons, illustrating the age-old idea that nothing is not a falsification, that all of the world we experience is hidden behind layers of human invention. As Roland Barthes explains [the barrier between artist and work], “in order to speak about it, the writer, through this initial rite, first transforms the ‘real’ into a depicted (framed) object; having done this, he can take down this object, remove it from his picture: in short: de-depict it.”
Originality is key but be yourself, be true blue, be you, boo.
Q: What should I wear this summer? – Danielle, 28
A: I have researched this and have an exact answer for you.
To start with: Do drugs at night, spotlight your best feature (probably your legs), and write about every single crush in your diary. If you are a girl looking to impress guys, they don’t want you to dress like them. Even if you’re a skinhead girl, you get a different haircut than a skinhead boy.
Now: Think Ren Faire, Ren and Stimpy and Rent, but all under the heavy observation of a lifetime punk rock attitude. Think old period blood on white shorts, adult acne, split ends and panty lines. Smoking should come back this summer, but eSmoking. Think about the clothing items you hate. Look around at window displays at the mall if you need ideas. Do you hate wearing overalls? Now think of something you like. Do you like velvet dresses? Buy velvet overalls. A T-shirt made of fur. Do you hate high heels? Shoes that are flat that look like they’re not. Do vertical stripes make you look fat? Buy a jersey that is so baggy it makes you look like nothing, with vertical stripes on it.
Next: Think of what you always wanted to be. Of course you wore a flannel as a teenager, but was it the one you really wanted? You wore waffle-texture long-john shirts and little braids while you grew out your bangs and lots of jewelry, but did you have boobs then? You might now. Did you dye your hair yet? Did you smell like teenager BO? Probably. You might be able to afford nicer jewelry and maybe some perfume. You always wanted those DC shoes, or a leather trench coat. Maybe you just wanted to wear lots of makeup and have lots of tattoos. Do these things, and combine them with the other stuff—the good versions of things you’d never wear. Most people hate hats, and you should make it your job to find a hat that you’ll wear.
Don’t: Try to be one thing too hard. You might be a nu-nuraver or a WOW nerd or a drag-something, but just pretend that you are shopping in a bubble, the only context being your own past and hangups. Dress like a teacher you hated. Buy a long linen shirt with toggles because it reminds you of a drum circle and you hate drum circles. The best trend I’ve seen lately is people wearing stuff that doesn’t fit them at all—both directions apply, and to both genders.
What ends up happening when you follow these rules is all of the clothes you have seem new and different, and the possibilities of your life’s paths seem endless but not overwhelming.
Send your questions, queries, and quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org.