not mine, part two

a jogger runs by a defaced image of barack obama

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

i’ve been making haiku out of other people’s utterances. find the first part here.

this time, one from me:

grief that overwhelms
creative capacity
cracks open seedlings


and eight more from my friends:

pressure seems to bind us
gobbling up chunks of land here
crumble it to dust

mission to disrupt
places where disparate things
been invisible

it’s natural stuff
harm of my ancestral line
for 1000 years

they finally bloom
and do shitloads of damage
by outside people

it’s a destroyer
wait for something else to grow
not who lives here now

our increased presence
suspicious of white people
where we put this place

edge of the city
kernal of an idea
freaking racist sign

change your narrative
this system of apartheid
it’s unbuildable

(home)body of work

pink and white flowers on a tree

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

i am making because writing is not enough.

elizabeth chin

for the past six weeks or so, since my fieldwork has been on hold, i’ve been taking a photography class online through flower city arts center.* it has really helped me think more deeply about why i make photos, and why photoethnography makes sense to me as a method for living and learning on fertile ground, particularly during fallow time.

a partial list of potential photographic motivations, noninnocent:**

to capture, or to liberate
to humanize, or objectify
to find the light in a dark time
to prove we were there
to interrogate notions of “proof”
to feel something
to add a “pop of color”
to break up some imagined monotony
to be with others, to be alone
to get outside
to expand our space
to chart a path
to start a conversation
to render the ugly beautiful, and the beautiful ugly***
to render the strange familiar, and the familiar strange
to reconnect
to get closer
to keep our distance
to save something for later
to move this out of short term memory
to capitalize on the power dynamics inherent in any looking relation
to fill a cup
to shed some light, or some baggage
to share
to circulate
to archive
to blend in
to stand out
to set the scene
to see something else, or differently
to try out a new lens
to fill a gap
to rest our eyes
to be ok

lately, i’ve been making photos to cope, to care, to soothe. below are some–but not all–of my favorites from the past several weeks.

a reflection of a tree in a puddle
a neon sign in a laundromat window reads "cleanest in town"
a black trash can with the rochester logo on a city sidwalk
residential garbage and recycling bins sit on a curb like old friends
a pothos plant hangs in a ceramic pot on a wall
pink and white blossoms on a tree fill the frame
a faded and rusty yellow fire hydrant

* “street photography and personal documentary,” taught by jason wilder

** donna haraway (1991, 2016) often writes about the concept of noninnocence, as a way to grapple with complicity, even from positions of subjugation.

*** thank you for this articulation, kylie newcomer 🙂

not mine

white ribbon threaded onto a chainlink fence to spell out "apart but together"

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

my friends and interlocutors (conversation partners) often say beautiful, wondrous, and powerful things. waist-deep in field notes and preliminary interview transcripts, i’ve spun some of their utterances into a series of haiku. a kind of ethnopoetic bricolage.* the words that follow, lifted from nine conversations in five- and seven-syllable phrasings, are all theirs.

a commitment pear
to get the garden growing
oh, thank you spirit

keep the garden right
the heart of a black woman
make it beautiful

keep renaming us
i took the garden over
who the fuck are you?

you just crushed my heart
a white man in a black skin
be a garden bed

garden of outrage
braiding seeds into our hair
it’s a feel-good thing

neighbors down the street
companion planting ethic
seeing what blossoms

* see renato rosaldo on ethnopoesis and les roberts on bricolage in spatial anthropology. i am experimenting with imposing an arbitrary structure on ‘raw data’ as a method of writing and thinking on my way to more coherent ‘findings’ (while at the same time attempting to reject any hierarchy that marks more socially acceptable and legible forms of scholarship as more rigorous than the adjacent play and experimentation that makes these forms possible). i use a lot of scare quotes because i am profoundly uncertain about these terms. i take inspiration from projects like the hundreds by lauren berlant and kathleen stewart and forthcoming experimental work by peter benson.

smells like flowers*

lenora leaning over to smell a rose

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

as a cultural anthropologist and photographer, i am observant, perhaps overly attuned to the visual. but anthropologist anna tsing argues that “we trust our eyes too much” (2015: 277). “smell,” she contends, “draws us into the entangled threads of memory and possibility” (2015: 45).**

lenora always smells good. she sounds good too. others have described her as having a “deep velvety voice,” and i have to agree. at seventy-three, she is one of our local black elders, and her roots in rochester reach far and wide. i was introduced to her by chance, by a friend, one morning over a breakfast of shrimp and grits at the arnett cafe, and we became fast friends.***

on a chilly january evening in 2020, after i returned from my winter break, i took lenora to dinner at a caribbean restaurant not far from her apartment complex to catch up. i wanted to hear about her holidays and discuss an upcoming community event that i was planning and in which she was participating. i picked her up at her apartment around 5:40pm and we spent about three hours at dinner, conversing over steaming and fragrant platters of tofu curry, macaroni and cheese with broccoli, steamed cabbage, curried lentils, rice and peas, and cups of hot ginger tea.

at one point, a friend of lenora’s stopped by the restaurant to deliver something to her. as he was leaving, she asked him about a mutual friend who sells oils. she wanted to purchase some, but only if they were 100% natural and not synthetic. later in our visit, i asked lenora about this, since i had recently been exploring the world of essential oils, and she invited me up to her apartment after dinner to see her collection and maybe take something home. during the drive, she confided that although her apartment was small, she trusted that as a friend, i wouldn’t judge her. a large elevator, smelling faintly of cigarettes, carried us without complaint to the ninth floor and we walked down a long hall. on lenora’s door was posted a hand-lettered sign with instructions to ring the doorbell or leave packages with the neighbor across the hall to prevent them being stolen. this came in handy when i returned two months later to help with groceries before the worst of the pandemic, indicating that i was indeed at the correct unit, as i had forgotten the number.

lenora’s apartment smelled good, albeit unfamiliar. lenora had set up her bed in the living room so that she could use the bedroom for storage. she led me inside and began rifling through boxes. taking advantage of my height and long limbs, she asked me to retrieve a slender white box from a high shelf. inside was an kit that included tiny bottles of essential oils: tea tree, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, and some blends. an opened bottle, lenora explained, was an indication of prior use, so those bottles had to remain. she gifted me a sealed bottle labeled “refuge calming blend,” a mix of lavender, ylang ylang, and something woodsy i can’t recall.

as i was uncapping and inhaling each tiny vessel in turn, lenora was digging through a cardboard box that contained yet smaller boxes and the tinkling of glass upon glass, from which she withdrew a series of small and irregularly-shaped bottles of variously shining and viscous fluids, each of which contained a world.

there was rose oil in a slim glass vial with a black screw top.
she thrust a bottle of tuberose toward me to smell. (rose and tuberose are not the same thing, i learned).
there was nag champa from india in a green bottle.
and fragrant sweetgrass in a blue depression glass bottle with sloped shoulders and a narrow neck.
things i had never smelled before and do not have words to describe.
lenora passed me some amber-colored lotus oil from egypt in a clear glass bottle with a golden stopper. when i removed the stopper to take a whiff, a smear of oil clung to my fingertips, and i swiftly pressed them behind my ears so as not to waste a drop.
she sent me home with a larger frosted glass bottle of sweet smelling milky kolonya lotion from turkey that was over a decade old.

all the while there was the faint breath of incense.

a stout-figured statuette of a black woman, about a foot tall, held the door open–la madama, “guardian of the home,” i later learned. i watched as lenora annointed the figure with “la madama,” her special eponymous oil. the fragrance immediately brought to mind a scent half-remembered, slightly fruity, maybe cherries? lenora told me later that this was blessed holy oil from a botanica on joseph avenue. she had purchased it more than twenty years ago.

alone, on the drive home afterward, i absent-mindedly pressed my fingertips to my nose.
we had shared a hug as i was leaving and my scarf still smelled like lenora the next day.

earlier that night at the restaurant, lenora had reached into her bag and presented me with a folded slip of paper. “can you do anything about this?” she asked. i smoothed the slip of paper to discover that it was a university parking ticket from october 2019. at my invitation, lenora had attended the university of rochester department of anthropology’s annual lewis henry morgan lecture. the 2019 lecturer, laurence ralph from princeton university, spoke about his newest book project, black cargo, an ethnographic examination of collective black experience shaped by shared vulnerability to police violence. i had helped organized the lecture, and i remember the sense of pride i felt when i saw lenora appear at the top of the auditorium steps that evening as the lecture was beginning.

lenora is a person living with a disability. that night, she had parked her car, with its disabled driver placard visible, in the closest parking lot to the lecture venue–the parking lot of wallis hall, which houses the university’s highest ranking administrative offices, including those of the president and provost. there are no visitor parking spaces in this small lot. and restrictions are enforced 24 hours (the lecture took place at 7pm, when most parking lots on camps are nearly empty). there is a long legacy of neighboring black residents being excluded and policed by the forces of the university, so the fact that an elderly neighbor venturing onto campus at night in search of enrichment would be met with a steep fine for being in the wrong place at the wrong time was not at all surprising to me.

the ticket was $100. lenora would not be able to pay it. i wasn’t sure my status as a faculty member would carry any weight at all in terms of advocacy, yet i offered to call the parking office on her behalf. when i called the office some days later, while sitting at my dining room table, i pulled the ticket out of my bag to reference its citation number. while on the phone, i kept detecting a faint floral fragrance. even though we were well beyond the ten-day time frame for filing an appeal, i was told to file one online anyway. after hanging up, i pressed the ticket slip to my face and it smelled like flowers and hairspray. it smelled like lenora. it smelled like lenora’s home.

it took a little while to get lenora on the phone so we could fill out the online appeal form together. i needed her explanation and additional information, such as her mailing address. together we drafted and submitted the following in her voice, working through various revisions and truncations to stay within the maximum length allowance:

i attended the annual morgan lecture at the anthropology department, which took place at hutchison hall. i am unfamiliar with the layout of the campus and the parking lots and i am disabled. the closest parking i could find was in the wallis lot. it was 7pm. i don’t remember seeing any handicapped spaces in that lot, so i parked in the closest space next to the street, with my handicapped placard showing. given these facts, i ask that you please remove this citation from my record.

lenora told me, laughing, that she had not received a parking ticket since 1975. the appeal instructions stated plainly that a lack of awareness for the regulations was not a sufficient reason for an appeal (and neither was lack of ability to pay the fine, nor lack of other places to park), so i crossed my fingers and hoped our rationale would be looked upon favorably. my understanding was that as long as she didn’t rack up multiple tickets, her car wouldn’t be booted, so while we waited for a decision, i advised her to be careful not to get another one.

within a couple of days, i got an email from lenora. she forwarded a notice from the parking office saying that her ticket had been reduced to a warning! at the good news, i picked up the ticket, which was still sitting, folded and a bit rumpled, in my workspace. i pressed the smooth paper to my face and inhaled. it still smelled ever so faintly of flowers.****

* i must admit that this is one of my most treasured episodes from my fieldwork thus far. i am anxious that ‘publishing’ it here may prevent me from ‘using’ it later in a scholarly journal article, as most journals prohibit the inclusion of things that have been published elsewhere. however, i insist upon sharing it here, freely, right this second, and refuse to save ‘my best’ for hiding away behind paywalls and in other inaccessible formats. rather than privatizing and professionalizing our scholarly work, anna tsing urges us to imagine “intellectual life as a peasant woodland, a source of many useful products emerging in unintentional design” (2015: 286). this small corner of the internet is one mode of “transgressing against the commodification of scholarship,” (287), though i am well aware that i can only afford to write in this way because i have already done a sufficient amount of writing ‘the other way.’ and it is not lost on me that a website, though not peer-reviewed or linked to an ‘impact factor,’ can also function as an instrument of professionalization, though it may not ‘count’ in the same way as a book or journal article. it is challenging to create outside of these neoliberal regimes.

** i cannot not resist including more wisdom from tsing: “smell is elusive. its effects surprise us. we don’t know how to put much about smell into words, even when our reactions are strong and certain…but smell, unlike air, is a sign of the presence of another to which we are already responding” (2015: 46). and “to live well with others, we need to use all our senses” (2015: 278-9).

*** i shared this piece of writing with lenora before publishing it, and she offered a number of generous edits, many of which i have incorporated into this iteration.

**** there is much to unpack here with regard to sensory ethnography (or scentsory ethnography?) and the relationship between scent and understandings of space, which are layered onto an underlying story about the relationship between race, friendship, policing, inclusion/exclusion, and public/private space. however, i can’t help but feel the perfumed lightness of the story would be weighed down and overpowered by an extended ‘academic’ analysis. one place to start may be sensory embodied reflexivity, described by dara culhane: “sensory ethnography, focused on where, when, and how people—in all their flesh and feelings—meet and experience the forces of, say, colonialism and racialization in their everyday lives, demands not only attention to such political positioning, but also that we, as ethnographers, come to know ourselves and others as multisensory, embodied beings engaged in co-creating knowledge” (2017: 61).

pandemic cv

an urban street dead-ends between two warehouse buildings

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

a friend recently suggested that this odd feeling i’m experiencing is grief.*
i have to agree, though it’s mixed with other things.
grief for lives lost and forever altered, grief for vanishing jobs and livelihoods, grief for a time before we were under siege. though some of us have always been under siege. grief for whatever semblance of stability or security or certainty that is now gone. and all compounded exponentially for the poorest resourced among us.

but also, though less acute, grief for an imagined future and for the planning and labor that shaped it.

for me, and for fertile ground, this means a number of opportunities for learning, sharing, and connection that have been canceled or indefinitely postponed. instead of a resume, an academic has a curriculum vitae or cv, which is basically a long list of institutionally recognized and valued units of completed or in-progress labor. a published paper. a conference presentation. service on a committee. a book review. an award. a fellowship. a leadership appointment. in 2015, devoney looser wrote a piece for the chronicle of higher education describing a “shadow cv:” “the one i’d have if i’d recorded the highs and lows of my professional life, rather than its highs alone,” including “the many, many rejections.”

she goes on, “rejection is something you’re supposed to learn by experience, and then keep entirely quiet about. among academics, the scientists seem to handle rejection best: they list on their cvs the grants they applied for but didn’t get—as if to say, ‘hey, give me credit for sticking my neck out on this unfunded proposal. you better bet i’ll try again.’ humanists—my people—hide our rejections from our cvs as skillfully as we can. entirely, if possible.”

i’ve often thought: what if there were a shadow cv that didn’t just include official rejections, but ideas that never took off, collaborations that fell apart, events that were canceled, et cetera? below are some entries for my pandemic cv.

  1. for the american association of geographers annual meeting (april 2020, denver), a panel entitled “improvisation, imagination, and play in the postindustrial city,” that i organized and where i planned to present the paper “resistance is fertile: reclaiming urban space through art and play.” here is the abstract of that paper:

“our environment is man-made, literally! how would it be different if it was woman-made; if it was minority-made; if it was made by kids?” this question was raised by the director of rochester, new york’s community design center at a luncheon in 2019. in this paper, i describe three moments of “spatial entitlement” (johnson 2013) by women to highlight the ways in which race and gender intersect in the claiming of urban space in a postindustrial and highly segregated city. the children’s garden across from sirena’s house used to be three vacant city-owned lots littered with refuse; now squash blossoms tumble out of their beds in the sofrito garden while a group of mothers supervises a series of official neighborhood play days. downtown, the parking lot of planned parenthood gets “reclaimed” by a women of color artist collaborative who encourages attendees at their pop-up conversation and poetry reading on patriarchy and women’s bodies to plant hand-crafted protest signs in a “garden of outrage” along the side of the building. a month later, knitted, crocheted, and embroidered flowers (and the occasional strawberry and mushroom) envelope a metal railing on the former site of corinthian hall (now a holiday inn parking lot), where a large group (predominated by white women) have staged a participatory “craft intervention” to commemorate the rochester ladies anti-slavery sewing society and its links to frederick douglass. in rochester, empty lots are spaces of possibility for the envisioning of alternatives to “man-made” environments and for making claims to liberation.

(original panel canceled, shorter version of individual paper presented virtually)

  1. also for the geography meeting, comments for a roundtable on power and positionality in community geography (i may develop these comments and post them here at a later date).

(canceled)

  1. a local half-day “placemakerspace” planned by the working group on community-engaged public humanities (april 2020, woc art collaborative, rochester), of which i am a co-organizer. this event would have involved up to thirty participants moving through hands-on stations led by local artists to explore storytelling, public art, and photography as ways of thinking about place.

(postponed)

  1. a talk at brown university for the working group on anthropology and population (april 2020) entitled “‘edge effects’: cultivating race and place in a segregated city.” here is the abstract of that talk:

this is an ethnography carried out along the rough edges, cracks, and crevices in rochester, new york, one of the united states’ ten most segregated cities. a ‘report back’ from ongoing fieldwork with various residents and local organizations explores a series of actors and events that illuminate everyday life within the context of stark race and class inequality. deep mapping, facet methodology, relational ethnography, just visiting, and the multi-project site are methods for engaging ethically in these fraught ethnographic interstices.

(canceled)

  1. a local photography exhibition and reception (june 2020, frederick douglass resource center, rochester) for a “photovoice” project i have been working on in collaboration with common ground health examining the impact of healthy play spaces on three neighborhoods in the southwest and northeast quadrants of the city. in a photovoice project, residents are given cameras and asked to document their daily lives.

(to be determined as of this post, likely postponed)

  1. whatever in-person research activities i hoped to accomplish in the coming months, including participant observation at a gentrification conference, an urban design lecture series and accompanying workshops and community conversations, additional photovoice sessions, and a number of interviews and meetings about future collaborations. and the kinds of serendipitous encounters that punctuate the work, lead to new friendships, and produce unexpected “flashes of insight” (mason 2011).

(canceled or postponed)


this is a whole new kind of shadow cv. as looser argues, “what matters is what you do next.”
this is a redirection toward something better. i hope all of it is.

in the quiet, there are new things (very) slowly sprouting: an article manuscript examining the erasure of blackness in the local built environment, a series of short form writings for this website, a new volume of the zine exploring fallow time, another article manuscript about women’s placemaking practices and the gendered and raced reclamation of urban space through art and play, new photoethnography training and experimentation, a photoessay about an ‘urban walkabout,’ a grant proposal to continue this work over the next five years. i’m excited to share these with you as they develop, and list them here as a form of accountability and response-ability, rather than some fetishization of productivity (knowing full well that the list itself may be a failure of both–a paradox of the creative generation that fallow time can enable). “intermittent, spasmodic fruiting reminds us of the precarity of coordination–and the curious conjunctures of collaborative survival” (tsing 2015: 176). there is more to come.

* that friend was stefanie bautista

jello

a pile of pastel-colored tires in a grassy lot

part of the series fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

my fieldwork is like jello. bear with me.

i am plagued.
with pressures. thoughts. ideas. inspiration. evidence. voices.
but i can’t organize any of it meaningfully.

it’s like a feeling of being trapped, or suspended, buried alive and unable to sprout.

or it’s like this.
i’m driving a truck. and as i carry out my fieldwork, i’m collecting jello. (i’m really collecting stories, and experiences, and information, and ideas, and insights, and pictures, and maps, and directions, and sights and smells and sounds and other things–‘data’ to be cold and clinical about it–but the metaphor works better with jello. whatever flavor you want.)

or maybe, to honor my ongoing botanical/gardening/agricultural metaphor, it’s more like tomatoes. yeah, something juicy, with a bit of squish. or even fertilizer. or compost! donna haraway writes about compost. self-identifying as a compostist (as opposed to a posthumanist), she notes that storytelling is “the seed bag for flourishing for compostists” (2016: 150). building on the work of anna tsing and others, haraway’s children of compost “insist that we need to write stories and live lives of flourishing and for abundance, especially in the teeth of rampaging destruction and impoverisation” (2016: 136). yes. compost seems right for fallow time. i like this idea of data/gatherings/cargo as compost.

compost must be turned over. and then it can turn into something new.

so i do some fieldwork, shovel some jello/tomatoes/fertilizer/compost into the bed of the truck.

this goes on for some months. the truck slowly fills with jello/tomatoes/fertilizer/compost.
and i’m driving along, probably a little too fast if i’m honest, and all of a sudden, something is in the road right in front of me, and i slam on the brakes.

the world stops for a moment, like in a dream.
and then all the jello/tomatoes/fertilizer/compost–a truckload, an abundant harvest, still animated by the momentum of our movement–comes flying forward into the cab of the truck, and hits me in the back of the head.

this reminds me of something sara ahmed wrote recently, drawing on audre lorde:
“i have been thinking about that: how sometimes we have to stop what we are doing to feel the true impact of something, to let our bodies experience that impact, the fury of an escalating injustice, a structure as well as an event; a history, an unfinished history.”*
“sometimes to sustain your commitments,” she says, “you stop what you are doing.” or you are stopped.

she continues, “in stopping, something comes out. we don’t always know what will come out when we stop to register the impact of something. registering impact can be a life-long project. perhaps collectives are assembled so we can share the work of registering the impact of what is ongoing; what is shattering.”

the truck is broken down. the world is broken down.

“i think sometimes you withdraw from a situation – driving a vehicle, being in the driver’s seat – to express your commitments. you close the door; stop the car because you need to get something out; you need to get yourself out.” (ahmed again). we need to get out of here, but all we can do is stay in. but all we can do is stay with the trouble.

this fieldwork thing isn’t fatal. but it is disorienting.
i’ll be scraping jello, tomatoes, fertilizer, compost, all of it, off my windshield for a while.

*thank you to julia tulke for pointing me to this brilliant piece of writing.

fallow time

pink painted flowers adorn an urban driveway

introducing fallow time: dispatches from a field suspended

fallow period, n. a period in which a fieldworker does no fieldwork

this is an anxious time.
this is a scary time.
this is a time of disruption and exposure and grief.

the field has ruptured.

i didn’t really imagine i would be writing in any kind of serious way about this research project online yet, but with the in-person components of my fieldwork indefinitely suspended due to COVID-19, i am at once slowed down and thrust into modes of analysis and writing that at times feel premature. however, since i have been trying to work in the spirit of sharing and creating out of provisional and “unabashedly unfinished” (jackson 2013: 19) work, i’ve decided to carve out a little plot here for process and processing. i’m going to cultivate some starts, soft shoots of short-form writing, photoessay, and artistic intervention.

these modes of creation have various ends, one of which is to render visible forms of labor that have been canceled, postponed, or would otherwise have gone unremarked upon. another is to render the fruits of ongoing work accessible more quickly than i could via my ‘normal’ channels of academic writing (books and articles), some of which have been slowed or paused, because “to continue as usual right now would be untenable and unethical.”

i have been reading and re-reading an op-ed from the new york times by bonnie tsui from june 21, 2019. it’s called “you are doing something important when you aren’t doing anything,” and it is about fallow time. in agriculture, fallow ground is land that is plowed but left unseeded during the growing season. this happens when a field has been removed from crop rotation. “fallow time,” tsui argues, “is necessary to grow everything from actual crops to figurative ones, like books and children. to do the work, we need to rest, to read, to reconnect. it is the invisible labor that makes creative life possible.”

when the virus bloomed and social isolation became the norm where i am and where i work, in my fieldsite, the researcher in me whispered “there is data here–go get it,” and i resisted. i am not interested in disaster ethnography. i will not pivot my whole project as a way to think about the spatial politics of pandemic. the questions i was interested in before the world changed are still interesting questions and they will remain so in the aftermath of the current disaster, which promises to be brutal and longlasting.* in the same ways that i am always trying to resist anthropology’s siren song of extraction, i am unwilling to be opportunistic in this moment. the reality is that i am here, on research leave but with research funds frozen “until further notice” and all in-person contact halted, with only one phd student and no undergraduates, no courses to move online, no children to homeschool–though i do have aging parents to check in on from thousands of miles away and relationships to maintain and a cat to care for–and so while many others have descended head-long into mission time, much of my existing work has dissolved into a receding horizon. but, in the moments when clouds of anxiety and despair have parted, this has opened up time to think. as tsui argues, “not everyone, of course, can leave the assembly line at will,” and i am immensely grateful for those currently weathering this unimaginable storm on the front lines. they are world-savers.

things happen when one slows down. last week my therapist asked me rhetorically “what grows in the quiet?” i’m curious about this too. fallow time is both a kind of rest and a kind of play. “i’m talking about an active refueling that can seem at odds with our fetishization of productivity,” tsui contends. writing in this space in this way allows me to play around with genre, form, subs(is)tance, visuals, methods, and process in new ways, within an arena in which i create the rules (and, importantly, set the schedule). “fallow time is part of the work cycle, not outside of it,” says tsui. it is a cultivation of “the white space for complex thinking and writing.” it is also a time to breathe, especially when that most basic of life-sustaining functions is threatened.

welcome to the fallow time of fertile ground. this is a multi-modal invitation for thinking, feeling, dreaming, grieving, existing, resting, and experimenting. it is an effort to collapse some social distance in a time of immense precarity.

please, take gentle care,
kate

* i am under no illusions that the project will be the same going forward. as deborah lupton recently argued, “we’re all COVID researchers now.”