Dennis Goodwin


Yet— suddenly— something… violates my oblivion. Are you… another person? No, not here. I’ll meet you at the dead wind of perfect, triangulated interference of all local microwave absorption to the brain tissue. That void amidst the shimmering Bifröst from 5G towers disguised as trees, pine or palm, and mana from Starlink. But I can’t control these circumstances. This is being forced. I feel something I didn’t consent to. Manager? Police? A shiver of electricity goes… up my spine? Goosebumps form, capillaries bulge, I become aware of my macular degeneration, neck pain and carpal tunnel. I forgot I had a body. Until I detect cringe.


What is cope? A desire for smoothness. New data that cannot fit into preconceived notions must be pushed aside, or else it may create doubt as to the completeness of one’s system. Conflict, since it’s known to exist, must occur, but in a predictable, sanitized way. The performance of crisis is a ritual exercise of the simulation’s power. Fiction requires friction. Yet it is this constant microdermabrasion that creates such smooth interiority, such a pointless arena, a bulldozer of all detail. The function of cope is narrative smoothing.

Emotional Labor

Expressing yourself in a no man’s land of the culture wars? Emotional labor. Doing more housework than your tragically cishet husband? Emotional labor. Family and friends demanding uncompensated comfort? Emotional labor. Has “doing the work” left you “exhausted”, triggered, burned out, declaring, “I’m tired”, and in need of “self-care”? That must have been emotional labor. Surfing narrative chaos on the back of a vampire squid? Emotional labor. Trying to bend the moral arc of language towards hermeneutical justice? Emotional labor.

Factory, Utopia

The Works of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

In Arc-et-Senans, France, lies the gates to the underworld, a semicircular fragment of a parallel reality, an alchemical symbol, a tinderbox of revolution, a pastoral factory, a time crystal, a prescient example of an artist defining an aesthetics of work. It can equally be said to be a lost relic of a fallen kingdom as a glimpse of an Edenic future. This is the saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans, the royal saltworks, which would in time develop in its master’s imagination into the seed of a utopian city. A jumble of geometric solids would litter the countryside in the shape of a phallic pleasure garden, cubes of justice and memory, a cross between a cemetery and a planetarium, a perfectly spherical sheep pen, and a series of hallucinogenic country estates, all forming a ring around the original salt factory.

Wong Ping at Camden Arts Centre

Future historians should study Wong Ping to understand what it’s like to be horny in 2019. This is no small matter. Our world is undergoing psychological climate change. Technology enables us access to heretofore untold pleasures: the ability to zap any desire (thirst, hunger, arousal, validation, affection, recognition, accomplishment); to feel intensely immediate, connected, jacked into any consciousness; to unlock a fugue state via the constant flow of stimuli; to be irradiated by desire in a sensory deprivation tank.

Emma Kunz at Serpentine Gallery

They’re the TV test patterns burned into your retina in the instant before you die; a final “Please Stand By” before either oblivion, or the simulation reloads. Or perhaps they are extraterrestrial quipu, dictations from yonder Arcturians, Andromedans, Lyrans or Pleidians, who can play our telluric currents like a harpsichord. Their same swirl of gem tones and pastels can be found everywhere from Fjällräven-Kånken to the Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville in Virginia.

Georges Bataille Opens a Restaurant in Waco

Armored vehicle with ram and delivery device to pump delicate little gnocchi made of semolina flour and scented with saffron, then served with crab meat, tomato and lobes of sea urchin into the building with pressurized air rips into wall just left of front door leaving a hole 8 feet (2.4 m) high and 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. Next, Sir Edmund pinioned his arms behind his back while I gagged him and bound his legs with a belt. Heated to melting, mahogany perfection, they sit regal and massive on the table in the manner of an edible Jeff Koons sculpture: shiny, intensely flavored, magnificent. The entire building is gassed.

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