Category Archives: collective research


Happy new year! I’m re-blogging this from The Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects tumblr site. We are super excited to announce a public “flashread” of this text by Stefano Harvey and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study.

This is the first of many future “flashreads” we will be hosting over the coming year using open access publications as the basis for engaging public symposia and debate.

Lasting for three days, each “flashread” will engage a public readership in discussion about a contemporary theoretical text that addresses the most important issues of our time, from the perspective of the transnational feminist concerns of the editorial collective.

Participation is simple: Read the text and post responses to it to this tumblr via the submissions form. Or just follow along!

All responses are welcome, including images, text, sound, and video.

Looking forward to being in conversation with you about The Undercommons.

Publishing in/with/and Precarity

National Women's Studies Association Conference "I'm Presenting: Precarity" Badge

National Women’s Studies Association Conference “I’m Presenting: Precarity” Badge

As the badge (which suffers from a bit of irony deficiency), provided by the NWSA tells you: “I’m Presenting!” at Precarity, the NWSA Annual Conference. Organized by Laura Fantone, a member of the editorial collective of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects (I(i)S), several members of the I(i)S are leading a workshop that will share experiences of publishing and envision new possibilities for transnational feminist publishing. To widen the circle of the conversation, we are asking for contributions of stories about publishing, which we will use as taking off points for our discussion. The I(i)S is a platform for knowledge creation and sharing, and this is one of many ongoing events that, we hope, instigates critical engagement in the current conditions of publishing and starts new threads of conversation.

Please share your stories, good, bad, ugly, critical, joyful, indifferent, with us here. Here is the text from the call for contributions:

Publishing in Precarity (Deadline: November 15, 2015)

We pose these questions for your/our consideration:

Women, queer, and/or transgender academic voices, how are our subjectivities institutionally constrained? How is our precariousness related to our challenges of disciplinary boundaries? Institutional language? Clearcut positioning in terms of racial/gender/class/ethnicity/ boundaries? What does publishing academic work mean to ‘marginal’ subjectivities? what kinds of erasures, containment processes and limited translations are we forced into? What spaces are we building precariously, in order to escape old tokenisms and the curse of the “women” / “Queer” / “Transgender” / “Queer of color” doing “gender studies” and publishing gender stuff ‘only’? In what way does publishing as collective entity, floating precariously on-line, liberate us from institutionalization?

We will discuss the stories shared with us in relation to our stories – to find common context and a ground to discuss publishing in precarity. Your stories will be shared – anonymously if you choose – at the National Women’s Studies Association conference during our roundtable, “Publishing in/and/with Precariousness.” We will also be publishing a ‘zine and an online publication based on our discussions.

Thank you for your contributions and please, stay in touch with us and continue the conversation!

Details of the presentation:

Publishing in/and/with/ Precariousness
Sun, Nov 15, 8:00 to 9:15am, Wisconsin Center, 103D (LCD)
Presenters: Dalida Maria Benfield, Laura Fantone, Tara Daly.
Discussant: Annie Isabel Fukushima


The Codex Hackathon was a super interesting arena for exploring forms of reading and assembling information across digital and physical codices and expanded, immersive engagement with multiple texts. The work that I’ve been doing on speculative forms of online & offline exhibition of aggregations of digital and physical artworks has put me in a state of dysphoria regarding the current norms of information architecture. The infinity of formal possibility seems to be locked away in endless grids, with a temporality of “now”ness that nevertheless endlessly evokes historical elsewheres. Our group had a dynamic conversation and flexible, open membership with many folks dropping in and adding thoughts to the mix. The presence of the amazing book scanner designed by Dany Qumsiyeh – as well as the presence of other folks from the Noisebridge hacker space (great space! can’t wait to visit again!) in San Francisco – accentuated thinking across the intimacy of the physical presence of a book and the pleasures of annotating paper. With this scanning – a tactile/machinic process – as a starting point, and working with the amazing team of Dany, Robert Ochshorn, SJ Klein, Matthew Battles, and other important voices who dropped in, we began pushing on thinking vertically + horizontally, with the multiple speeds of video, words, and stills…and generated a series of experimental codices: an audio codex, a book codex, and a digital codex (please put all of those terms in quotes, as I’m not sure they’re accurate anymore…). The audio codex is a printed file of a conversation about a book – wavelengths, words, digital dust. The audio was a recording about Trevor Paglen’s contribution to The Thing The Book, and the slipperiness of situating representation itself that is proposed by his contribution is echoed by the codex, printed and folded in the barely visible pauses of sound (or as Matthew Battles put it, the “conversation white knuckling its way into code”); the “book” codex is a remix of scanned annotations of paper books; and the “digital” codex is a cross linking of scanned and annotated pages of McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage and video/audio from the Internet Archive and the Prelinger Archive. In fact, we had a great conversation Saturday night with Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger that energized us towards the already urgent project of intersecting video in ways that seem so simple, and yet so rare now online – beautiful compelling pathways that cross/expand texts! Isn’t that the intertextual promise – or maybe it’s precisely the formation of the “text” in thinking “intertextuality” that has limited the spaces of meaning? Grids, lines, the traces of a certain type of machinic thought production. Why is fluidity so locked away? Working to find the fluidity seems to mean rethinking everything, or thinking from other spaces of generativity. Other tools and machines yet to be produced and reworked…for me, a space that I am meditating on is in fact, the Mayan “codex” and “calendar” (are these really the right terms for such expansive frames, epistemically?)…towards the next iteration of the los archivos del cuerpo project…

excerpt from The Coming Insurrection

The Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects: Conversation on Gender & Precarity March 8 4 p.m. EST

I’ve been working over the past year to co-create a new transnational feminist online journal of art and writing with a collective of amazing people, including Alanna Lockward, Annie Fukushima, Litia Perta, Choralyne Dumesnil, Michelle Dizon, tammy ko Robinson, Laura Fantone and Damali Abrams.

We’ll be launching the first three-month long session soon, with a simultaneous indiegogo campaign as a sponsored nonprofit project of Fractured Atlas.

And in the meantime…today at 16:00/4 p.m. EST on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we’ll be doing a conversation on Gender and Precarity…reading works by Sylvia Federici and collective member Laura Fantone.

Join us for a google hangout – listen in or jump into the conversation.