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worldwide waiting, inc.

pseudo-corporate entity

2019-ongoing

the automated phone menu system functions as a hot-line to be called when in waiting, as well as an interactive theater of waiting wherein the caller is confronted with a series of listening options voiced by an artificial “american” woman. the options range from mini-manifestos, short stories, and thought exercises inspired by textual and visual resources from the collaborative reference library at the heart of my studio. the listener is free to explore the system and is prompted to leave voicemails at various points to share their experience, feedback, and questions.

this phone menu system is a document of my thesis work at saic, which reframed my art practice as a body of all the readings, references, and people I was put in touch with throughout two years in the mfa program. I recast my studio as a development center, operating under the aegis of the pseudo-corporate entity, worldwide waiting, inc., which produces social objects and free information based on a revolving library made up of resources made, shared, or donated by collaborators and visitors.

 

operating my practice this way provided a time and space to access text, audio, and image-based resources regarding topics like organizational theory, utopia, and social ecology. further, it provides context for considering the potential of using both instances and spaces of waiting for collaboratively thinking through what author adrienne maree brown sees as 'emergent strategy'. in other words, an embodied and collaborative "strategy for building complex patterns and systems of change through relatively small interactions” as a model for “a potential scale of transformation that could come from social movements intentionally practicing this adaptive, relational way of being, both on our own and with others.”

 

it was natural to transition this theoretical model into a working social practice in new york city during the emergence of pandemic-inspired grassroots organizing. over summer 2020, I worked alongside some friends and neighbors to open flatbush commons, an emerging non-profit lending library and arts incubator dedicated to embodied, collaborative, and non-hierarchical forms of making and study. 

references:

Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power

Roland Barthes, Grain of the Voice

Anne Carson, The Gender of Sound

Frances Dyson, Sounding New Media

Clarice Lispector, Report on the Thing

Susan Jahoda and Caroline Woolard, Making & Being

Caroline Woolard, Solidarity Art Worlds

Fred Moten, The Undercommons

George Caffentzis, Autonomous Universities and the Making of the Knowledge Commons

Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds