Volume 2

The purpose of this page is to outline a project plan for http://keepitdirty.org//volume2/, the second, “IRL” volume for the online multimedia journal Keep It Dirty, published by punctum books. This text was drafted April 2015 and thereafter submitted for further guidance to Eileen Joy, Director, punctum books; it was substantially edited January 2016.

The information contained herein is intended for the informational purposes of the reader only and is accurate only as of the date noted below.

For revisions and updates, contact Samuel Ray Jacobson, editor: editor@reboot.media

 

 

Current 1/5/2016

Copyright © 2015, 2016 Samuel Ray Jacobson

 


 

 


 

Introduction

The project officially known as http://keepitdirty.org//volume2/, but also referred to as “Keep It Dirty, Volume 2” or simply Volume 2, is a planned second volume for the online multimedia journal Keep It Dirty, also known as KEEPITDIRTY.ORG.

KEEPITDIRTY.ORG was launched in November 2014 as a weekly online publication that responded to the ongoing drought in California, by featuring prose, poetry, photography, constructed imagery and performance related to such topics as “inaction, in action” and “a wringing out of the purposive guilt from the cause of the environment, while calling for a full-hearted embrace of everything we do bad, for good.”[1] Initial content was solicited directly and via an open call. The website became a sponsored journal of punctum books in December 2014, and its publication of un-refereed, single-article issues continued through October 2015, at which point the site was reorganized under modified editorial leadership and relaunched as a monthly peer-reviewed journal, still multimedia in character, but now more narrowly focused on deconstructive and psychoanalytical responses to filth, otherness and alterity, regarding various historical and contemporary topics. A new call for content, related to these topics, was issued October 2015; publication of resulting materials was initiated in January 2016 and is to continue through the end of the year.

The undiscriminating multimedia framework utilized by the Keep It Dirty website has fostered a uniquely vibrant discourse, able to interrogate the consequential interactions of ourselves, our bodies and our belongings, with each other and with our shared environments on earth, as part of a conglomerated and alternatively posthumanist and/or antihumanist ecology. It is, therefore, by expanding upon the collaborative potential, unleashed by this framework as well as its unique and additionally free-associative and literalist approach for critique and for content production, that Keep It Dirty has now endeavored to expand its editorial purview, from being an exclusively virtual publication, to include a second, “real life” volume, to be executed in parallel with its existing online platform. To differentiate this “IRL” venue from its online counterpart, it has been designated “Volume 2” (i.e., “volume, too”), while the complementary online scholarly platform has been given the Lacanian identifier, “vol. a.” (referring to an alterity within the Keep It Dirty platform, which is at the same time real and imaginary, consequential and irrelevant).

Like previous iterations and the ongoing, online volume, Keep It Dirty, Volume 2 will follow an affiliative model for content production, soliciting prospective submissions from established collaborators as well as the general public, while also remaining open to unanticipated possibilities as they may present themselves. The project will feature (“publish”) twelve works (“issues”), installed independently, during separate non-consecutive week- to month-long periods, beginning summer 2016 and continuing for at least one year. A mix of direct solicitations and publicly submitted content is desired, though it is likely for each issue is to result from a preexisting relationship between the editorial staff of Keep It Dirty, the editorial staff of punctum books and the creative communities within which their constitutive individuals are situated.

Technically, the editorial framework for the volume is limited to its sanctioning power regarding the execution of a select body of work. Within this framework, “publication” as a paradigm has been expanded to include any undertaking, material or abstract, whose manifest and consumable presence has been facilitated by some editorial activity. Beyond poststructural experimentation and in addition to Keep It Dirty’s new solidarities of people, media and material, (orchestrated by a shared interest in soil, water, filth and cleanliness, as conceptual venues for new content or critique), Volume 2 also seeks the elicitation of novel paradigms for the consideration of place, community, commodities and their phenomenological inscriptions both by and upon the built and natural landscapes experienced by project stakeholders and the open, hopefully expansive body of potential volume-programming participant-observers (to be, if not a public, then at least some semblance thereof). Concomitantly, as it amplifies Keep It Dirty’s to-date virtual framework for a vibrant multimedia discourse and basic, iterative publishing style, by expanding its purview, Keep It Dirty, Volume 2 also incites new engagement with such animating tropes as transit, procession and locality, as generative modalities for the production of new literatures, commentary, discourses or experiences.

The activities of Volume 2 are to be executed within or in some relation to a purpose-built structure, to be located in the semi-rural, high desert environs of Joshua Tree, California, about 150 miles east of Los Angeles. After the consideration of several sites, a 1.25 acre plot located at 62585 Golden Street was purchased in November 2015. The design and construction of a structure on that site is presently being orchestrated by HAHA, a Los Angeles R+D consultancy; completion is anticipated by June 2016. Though it is intended for the works of Volume 2 to be located within the site on Golden Street, alternative venues can and/or may need to be considered, for reasons conceptual as well as logistical (while the site is easily accessible, certain issues may require more space than is available or a location of different character; if necessary, editorial staff will work with issue editors/authors to secure the location most appropriate to their needs).

 

Content Overview

Volume 2 is a journal/periodical volume like any other in that it is temporally bounded and made up of a series of issues (twelve published works, released over the course of about one year). The site wherein most of the “issued” content is to be situated will be registered as a publication with the United States Library of Congress and, to demonstrate its literary character, the ISSN and corresponding barcode will be prominently displayed on the exterior (“cover”) of the building to be constructed thereupon.

Officially the volume to be published will be composed of twelve issues, most likely of one copy each. The issues—really, site-specific interventions, executed under a shared framework—may be permanent or temporary and composed in any medium, independent of each other or in conjunction with the other programming of Volume 2. Issues may be participatory or composed of static objects and should be executed in relation to the site purchased for the volume (62585 Golden Street), though they need not be contained by it. Collaboration with the various imprints and journals of punctum books, and/or with local communities and organizations, or institutions farther afield, is encouraged if it is seen as desirable. As events, issues may vary in length from momentary to month-long; more permanent interventions may operate with a longer timescale but should make provisions for their eventual removal, if required by the owner of the site chosen.

The building that constitutes the “volume” of Volume 2 and the site whose location constitutes the second volume’s “IRL” address (conceptually comparable to the online platform’s “URL” address), as well as the necessary transit of people and material that will be associated with the volume’s twelve issues, are all considered as integral to the content of the issues. Works should investigate the complete context of their location, production and readership, as an integral part of their content. It is hoped that some or all issues incorporate the journey of their constitutive parts, or of people to see and/or participate in the work entailed, from points regional or international, to or somehow in relation to the Volume 2 site, within the content, form, and/or formatting of the work to be executed as a part of the issue/intervention produced. While this is a goal it is also likely to be true unavoidably, as the parameters of any work undertaken as a part of the Volume 2 issues will to some degree be dictated by the circumstances of its production and consumption, given the remoteness of the Volume 2 site and the limited availability of funds for labor and travel.

 

Project Management

The first Volume 2 “issue” is planned for release in June 2016. Additional works shall be “issued,” approximately monthly, during the following eleven months. Twelve works will be issued in total.

Each issue shall be managed individually by its authors, editors and other facilitators, in conjunction with Keep It Dirty editorial staff. Conceptual and in-kind assistance will be offered, as well as assistance in seeking funding. Limited project funds may be available, pursuant to a variety of factors. Projects operating under alternative economic modalities shall be greatly encouraged, for a variety of reasons, including especially the limited availability of applicable funds.

Authors or other designated agents must submit a comprehensive plan of action at least six months prior to execution. Detailed plans for all project aspects should be submitted six weeks prior to the start of work.

Project communication will be handled via email, SMS, telephone, or video conference, on an individual-project basis. Each Keep It Dirty co-editor may use their discretion to speak on the others’ behalf. There shall be no formal planning or approval processes.

It is expected that timeframes for planning and execution will vary, and scheduling should be conducted accordingly. While solicitation of featured works shall utilize a minimum six-month time window between initial confirmation of parties to oversee individual issue production and the actual execution and/or release of its content, it is expected that planning for most issues will take over a year. To ensure adequate progress and the maintenance of proper project focus, it is intended for meetings to occur at least monthly between issue editor/authors, Keep It Dirty editorial staff and any relevant additional stakeholders, following the confirmation of issue editor/author participation in Volume 2.

Those responsible for individual issues should be wary that, given Volume 2’s orientation away from printed materials and traditional book-form, project management milestones shall more likely be organized around a duration and the phenomenology of eventual events and occurrences, as opposed to taking an interest in the finalization of set products or formats for distribution. For this reason, all issue planning shall include the management of the issue-as-installed, as well as its dismantling. Individual authors or author-teams shall be responsible for the design, construction, installation, and de-installation of their works.

It is proposed that value assessments for the Volume 2 property be taken at before installation and after de-installation of any work requiring substantial modification to the host property (which may be permitted, pursuant to local zoning and secured permission by the property owner). Parties responsible for substantial site or building modifications will be liable for any decrease in the property’s assessed value. Increases in value may be split equally between the property owner and the party responsible for the improvement.

At conclusion of its twelve issue run the designated Volume 2 site at 62585 Golden Street will no longer be open to the public and only open to project participants at the discretion of the property owner. Should the site be sold to a third party, issue editor/authors are be responsible for documenting and/or, if necessary, removing remaining artifacts related to their issue, before that time.

 

Location

The Morongo Basin, located in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, was selected a general location for the volume because of its remote beauty and unique history. Among the last regions in the country affected by the Homestead Acts, many thousands of acres in the vicinity  were distributed in small tracts (2.5-10 acres) between the end of the Second World War and the completion of the program in 1970. To this day the region is littered with thousands of abandoned small structures, constructed at that time to secure free title to allotments of government land, distributed via lottery, and these shacks and cabins are as inescapable a part of the landscape as its wide vistas and unique vegetation, a powerful reminder of the ecological impact of the Jeffersonian ideal of small land ownership as a cornerstone to healthy democratic governance.

The other primary reason the region was selected was its location between several major urban centers in the American Southwest and Baja California. The table below tallies the over thirty million people who live within a four-hour drive of the proposed location, by metropolitan area.

18,351,929—Los Angeles region, including the Inland Empire
4,329,534—Phoenix metropolitan area
2,273,195—Las Vegas metropolitan area
3,177,063—San Diego metropolitan area
856,158—Bakersfield metropolitan area
2,204,036—Tijuana metropolitan area
997,826—Mexicali metropolitan
32,189,741—COMBINED TOTAL[2]

 

Precedents for remote, location-based works, and their particular audience relations, include Robert Smithson’s work Spiral Jetty [1970] and Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field [1977], as well as the Donald Judd-inspired Chinati Foundation [1986-]. As the reader is encouraged to corroborate, all facilitate particular, place-specific experiences, whose nature, content, and meaning depends on the circumstances of the encounter. Under this paradigm any difficulty in reaching a project site adds value to it. In our case, a somewhat less remote location nonetheless requires effort to visit, and the means for that visit are seen as crucial to the experience and consumption of the project. Portrayals of these experiences on social media will add to the effect, and help foster a broader public engagement for Keep It Dirty as a framework for multiply-authored, sometimes-autobiographical multimedia content production.

Many specific sites have been considered. A 1.25 acre plot at 62585 Golden Street in Joshua Tree was eventually selected and purchased for the purposes of this project in November 2015. The site was selected because of its physical characteristics (flat, and featuring panoramic views), the availability of a paid water meter, location on a paved road (a rarity in the area) and proximity to Joshua Tree National Park. The site is also highly visible on the primary route between the commercial center of Joshua Tree and entrance to the national park, and the Noah Purifoy art site (located about one mile to the north).

 

Scheduling and Finances

Individual issue budgets shall be executed at the discretion of issue editor/authors in collaboration with Keep It Dirty editorial staff, who also offer their assistance in kind. Owing to the scarcity of available funds, projects with minimal financial requirements or whose editor/authors can secure necessary materiel independent of the efforts of the Keep It Dirty editorial staff shall be prioritized.

Issue editor/authors must note that, to cover its operating costs, 62585 Golden Street will serve as a short term vacation rental for the duration of the Volume 2 project. The scheduling of Volume 2 activities must mitigate against the potential revenue loss created by their occupation of the site to the exclusion of vacation renters, and as such necessary disruptions should only occur during the periods wherein vacation rental demand is at its lowest.

It is generally preferable that activities occur mid-week (Monday to Thursday), during times when estimated available revenue per area rental is below $50, or if necessary on weekend days only wherein the estimated available revenue per rental does not exceed $100.

 

Sample Works

To assist in understanding our publication’s broad scope, the following projects have been included as a demonstration of what could conceivably be developed as issues of Volume 2. Please note that the projects below do not describe the actual programming, which as of January 2016 is still being developed.

“Open House” – After purchase of an existing structure, to be further improved, interior surfaces in their present state are covered over with text, itself outlining a manifesto for the Volume 2 project. For eight hours a day, on weekends, for one month, a person will be present in the structure, selling pieces of it, to be removed using a Saws-All or similar appliance. The experience will cost $50, and paying visitors will be permitted to use the appliance themselves. The writing will be intelligent, socially aware account of why what has been done has been, where it has been, and when it has been, addressed to the visitor. The ambition of this, a radical act of trust, is to solve initial challenges posed by the Volume 2 editorial framework, related to fostering a public and community building (by literalizing these two terms, in a relativistic manner). It also resolves justifications of place and project context as well as participant-author motivation (singular or in the abstract), as sublimated in a space, interpolated as a means for performance, meaning production, and criticality. In sum as an act of self-birth and self-hazing, the audience is invited to conspicuously punch holes in our project; meanwhile, the project assumes a subject position whereby “everyone wants a piece of me!” A radical reader relations, whereby destruction, consumption, and ownership merge into an immanent experience, begins to be modeled. Officially, what would be published and sold would be a release of liability, on the part of Keep It Dirty and its affiliates, towards its visitor-customers. An alternative method would be to construct a simple stud-and-plywood display wall within the volume space, and sell removal-consumption experiences, related to it.

“Feeding Frenzy” – In a temperate month such as February or November, an independent record label hosts a three day music festival centered on the Volume 2 site. Performances will be held in a variety of venues within and adjacent to the site, for small audiences in person as well as a live-feed broadcast via satellite or cellular internet. Recorded performances, in similar locations, may be featured as well. Events during the festival could include plays with spectacles resident to the landscape, such as dust storms, extreme heat, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets, as well as those particular to the site, such as the resonance of open terrain and the need not to disturb neighbors. A silent dance-party, whereby a DJ performance is streamed to Volume 2 visitors, using wireless headphones, is one option, which highlights the latter. This approach could work for other sound-based works as well. The ambition of all this, as a staged event, is to foster new creative opportunities for sound-based work and musical performance, around a place-based context, as generative of novelty and experimentation; the staging itself could be considered an essay on music, community, locale, and the contemporary state of performer-audience relations for sound-based works. The work would also facilitate collaborative relationships among punctum imprints, and generate excitement and exposure for both the record label and the publication, as it models a new, projective modality for a sonically-motivated public sphere.

“Jackrabbit 2016″—The Volume 2 site serves as the venue for a propositional work, involving the provision of rural internet connectivity, using spectrum normatively utilized for broadcast television. Using existing technology, internet connectivity at a remote hard-fiber connection could be transmitted to antennas at homes across the Morongo Basin. Pursuant to San Bernardino County zoning laws, property owners in “rural” areas that include much of the Basin and are allowed to construct television receiver stations under 50′ tall. Connectivity from hard-fiber would transmitted wirelessly to the Volume 2 site using available radio spectrum, and then re-broadcast to the receivers. In this way, the fiber connection could “hop” from a remote site, to Volume 2, to homes up to several miles away. Standard plans for signal receivers or even the receivers themselves could be distributed at an explanatory or otherwise expository exhibit within the Volume 2 structure. The project name is a play on the heritage of “Jackrabbit Homesteaders,” and the term “rabbit ears,” as a colloquialism referring to set-top terrestrial TV antennas. As a propositional work, this issue of Volume 2 would assert socio-historical resonance with the homesteading legacy and contemporary concern for free and unfettered public access to information, as well as the civic importance of connectivity, as a means for facilitating citizenship within a system of participatory democracy. Tropes of grit, determination, remoteness, openness, freedom and related, emergent forms of community-making, will play a large role in associated rhetoric, as well as produced content. The name is a somewhat clever pun.

“Hello, Desert”—A dozen small teams are selected to portray their experience journeying towards, and then convening at, or not convening at, the Volume 2. Teams could originate from one location, or each from their individual homes, either in the Los Angeles region or from other communities within a four hours’ drive (this includes Las Vegas, Phoenix, Bakersfield, San Diego, and Mexicali). Portrayal would occur using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat, and/or Instagram. Journeys would not be coordinated and, upon arrival, teams would be greeted either by other teams or nobody at all. The experience of meeting, or not, would be portrayed along with the rest of the performance. The project emphasizes themes of landscape, travel, and autonomy, against a backdrop of narcissism and social media, the possibility for community and its integration with a public (created, destroyed, sustained, or denied), as well as the human and ecological effects of the state of our built landscape and transportation infrastructures, on the earth, on society, and on ourselves.

Untitled Academic Salon—Six to eight scholars convene at the Volume 2 site for a one-day event, focused on the intersection of art, the locality, and the public sphere, in the age of social media. Individual talks, a panel or two, and keynote could all be conducted, indoors or out (weather permitting), for a small live audience as well as for viewing via live stream or recoded video (in perpetuity). The live experience and stream or video shall constitute the journal/periodical volume “issue” in this case. Proceedings could be published by a punctum imprint at a later date. The event would be organized by a local academic, in collaboration with their department as well as university programs, local non-profits, and regional arts organizations.

 

 

Editorial Staff

SAMUEL RAY JACOBSON

Project Director, Keep it Dirty, Volume 2

 

[1] http://keepitdirty.org//manifesto-of-keep-it-dirty/

[2] This includes the combined populations of the Los Angeles CSA, Las Vegas CSA, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the San Diego Metropolitan Area, the Bakersfield Metropolitan Area and, in Mexico, the Tijuana-Rosario and Mexicali Metropolitan areas, according to the most recent 2013 US Census Bureau and 2010 Mexican Census population estimates. These areas cover most of the territory within 250 miles. To alleviate misrepresentations of ideal conditions or rush hour traffic, travel times were calculated Wednesday, March 11, 2015 between 1:45 and 2:15 PST using Google maps, seeking directions from major city centers to the address 80100 Screech Owl Road, Twentynine Palms, California. Travel times from international destinations do not include border crossing wait and processing times, which can be substantial. Average waits at the Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana/San Ysidro can exceed an hour at weekday rush hours and weekend afternoons; at 2:00 PST on Wednesday March 11, the user reported wait at a website maintained by the California Institute of Technology was one hour and seventeen minutes (1h 17m). The user reported wait at both Calexico/Mexicali crossings was one hour (1h). SOURCES: US Census Bureau, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), http://traffic.calit2.net/

 


 

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