Written by Terri Geis, Academic Curator
The seven artists in “R.S.V.P. Los Angeles” evade synthesis. They were selected through nomination and committee deliberation, they work with widely varying styles, themes, and materials, and they practice in different spheres throughout the city. Yet connections and overlaps between their disparate endeavors can be found. The encyclopedic form—and its undermining by surrealist collectives in the early twentieth century—provides a useful model of examination that allows seepage between the discreet borders of each artist’s work.
The traditional encyclopedia attempted to consolidate “complete knowledge” and objectively present information on a vast array of subjects, interpreting our world in manageable yet authoritative fragments. Recognizing both the power and inherent biases of this form, Georges Bataille, Isabelle Waldberg, and other surrealist artists and affiliates compiled their own encyclopedias in the first half of the twentieth century. Their works maintain the alphabetized structure but reject standardization of entries, circulate ideas and themes between adjacent entries, appropriate materials from other sources, and accentuate the intuitive, humorous, and abject over the objective. The results are both elucidating and disruptive. “Encyclopedia Archipelago” is structured with these techniques in mind in order to cast a different light on the “R.S.V.P. Los Angeles” artists’ practices and forefront the larger realm of their sources and imaginative worlds.
The encyclopedia also invokes the archipelic concept of Martinican writer Édouard Glissant: “Archipelic thought makes it possible to say that neither each person’s identity nor the collective identity are fixed and established once and for all. I can change through exchange with the other, without losing or diluting my sense of self.” Reflecting politically, geographically, and metaphorically on island chains (specifically the Caribbean), Glissant suggests that we can circulate on a personal, national, or international level, maintaining our “opacity”—the distinct outlines of our islands—while also recognizing the shared and conflicting influences that inform and change us. The entries that follow circulate themes between the “R.S.V.P. Los Angeles” artists, as well as previous Project Series artists, while deferring any unified interpretations of their work.
Objects related to the culture, folklore, and industry of the United States, at times with a highly patriotic, traditional, or nostalgic sensibility. Some artists use Americana to celebrate and critique United States culture. For example, vintage vehicles manufactured in Detroit and old record label logos figure prominently in the history referenced by Justin Cole. Michael Decker collects E.T. dolls and Sillisculpts and reconfigures them into subtly autobiographical sculptures.
Afro-Americana music draws inspiration from traditional rural music forms, including the fife and drum blues exemplified by Othar “Otha” Turner and his Mississippi-based Rising Star Fife and Drum Band. Fife players often carve their instruments out of local river cane, while vocals relate to the call and response format of traditional Black Spirituals. Nikki Pressley’s 2013 exhibition, “Elsewhere, In Another Form,” (a title borrowed from a passage by Glissant) included the work fife, fife, fife. . . . This twelve-foot sculpture combines multiple bamboo pipes, alluding to both collective creativity and an extended timeline of ancestral heritage.
The first edition of The Encyclopedia Americana was published in 1829; the publisher’s intention was to move away from a Euro-centric model toward one based on the United States. In the early 1900s, W.E.B. Du Bois sought to create an Encyclopedia Africana to examine the cultures and histories of the African continent and the African diaspora. A similar mission was adopted by The Liberator, a journal that Pressley has been involved with since 2007.
Resulting from the desire to organize and preserve a body of knowledge that developed systematically or organically, such as, official documents of a political or social organization, illegible love letters, amateur photographs of an evolving urban landscape. In contemporary artistic production, Hal Foster has noted an archival impulse, which he describes as “a will to relate—to probe a misplaced past, to collate its different signs . . . to ascertain what might remain for the present.” Objects sourced by Michael Decker from thrift shops on Holt Boulevard in the eastern borderlands of Los Angeles County provide a highly selective archival record of consumer decisions regarding desirable goods versus cast-offs. For Wakana Kimura, old books and catalogs of historic Japanese images and symbols salvaged from the discard pile at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo become an inventory of the elephant, octopus, and phoenix.
Archival engagement may also indicate the desire to reorganize and undermine classifications to highlight political violence, cultural shortcomings, prejudices, gaps, and failures. Many documents, like ritual objects on display in museum vitrines, were never intended for viewing by strangers. Can these objects refuse our cultural intentions? In the opening of the 1953 film on the art of Africa in Paris museums, Statues Also Die, writer and filmmaker Chris Marker reflects, “When men die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture.” Dinh Q. Lê (Project Series 6) slices and weaves photographs together, including images of himself and his family, photographs of stone statues from the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and photographs from an archive constructed by the Khmer Rouge of men, women, and children murdered by the Cambodian regime.
A three-dimensional archive is achievable through exploration, documentation, and reproduction of one’s own body. Since 1991, Naotaka Hiro has made casts of different parts of his body as private performances in his studio, suggesting that “to make the body double is to see myself.” But it is a separate self, one that can even seem “half dead.”
In a 2015 sculpture Untitled (Mocap), Hiro cast the front half of his body in hand-size segments, which randomly added up to fifty-eight pieces. Strung together with rope, the bronze body parts chime melodiously when moved. In “Fifty-eight Indices on the Body,” philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy reflects on the body as, among many other possibilities, a “marionette drawn by a thousand threads,” or “an accordion, a trumpet, the belly of a viola.” Nancy coincidentally provides the number 58 as a tally of the body, but it is also a collection of never-ending parts: “Corpus: a body is a collection of pieces, bits, members, zones, states, functions. Heads, hands and cartilage, burnings, smoothnesses, spurts, sleep, digestion, goose-bumps, excitation, breathing, digesting, reproducing, mending, saliva, synovia, twists, cramps, and beauty spots. It’s a collection of collections, a corpus corporum, whose unity remains a question for itself.”
Historian William Deverell notes, “The color of brickwork is brown.” The Simons Brickyard opened circa 1905 near Montebello. The compound, which included housing, a restaurant, school, store, and post office for the immigrants who worked at the brickyard, was one of the few company towns in Los Angeles. By 1925, the population of El Hoyo (The Hole), as it came to be known, was around 1,600. Around the same time, anthropologist Manuel Gamio studied the brick industry in California and noted seemingly endless classifications for the labor: “cortadores, dampeadores, metedores de moldes, areneros, paleteros, templadores, arriadores, cargadores, asentadores, pichadores, arregladores, and apiladores.”
In August 2014, artist Rafa Esparza presented a performance piece with dancer/choreographer Rebeca Hernandez entitled “Building: A Simulacrum of Power” at Michael Parker’s The Unfinished sculpture. The performance was the culmination of an on-site residency in which Esparza, his parents, and five siblings created adobe bricks with water from the Los Angeles River and used these to cover the entire span of Parker’s obelisk. Wearing a Danza Azteca costume, Esparza crawled over the bricks in movements partially inspired by their fabrication, and concluded the performance by burning sage at the tip of the sculpture.
An act frequently carried out with repetitive, ritualistic intention. Incense, sage, or sweetgrass burning accompanies many spiritual traditions, with fragrances and smoke facilitating access to a different dimension. Wakana Kimura accompanies her daily drawing practice with a secular burning of incense and has also used burning sticks as a tool to mark rice paper. The four-hour video I (2010) features Kimura’s silhouette as she repetitively burns tiny holes through rice paper. The holes become a million eyes for the artist to peer through. Mark Bradford (Project Series 16) burned the edges of found street posters and hair perm end papers to create collages; the burned areas become lines in the compositions.
Burning is at times related to expenditure and protest. Reflecting on the cycles of growth and destruction in Detroit, Justin Cole notes that October 30 is known as Devil’s Night in the city due to extensive arson attacks on residences. The practice was at its height in the 1970s through the 1990s, but still occurs. More than 800 fires were set in the city in 1984. Allan DeSouza (Project Series 23) constructed and then burned a scale model of his childhood home in Kenya in the 2004 piece Home. The artist subsequently used wax, hair, dust, and other detritus to cover and then carve out the burnt remains.
The human brain can perceive connections between objects that are not actually connected, often making the leap between the organic and inorganic. Drawing on this phenomenon, Salvador Dali illustrated his Paranoic-Critical method with an old postcard of a hut in an African village that, when turned 90 degrees, resembles a human face. Naotaka Hiro’s photocollage Ass Fall (The Hidden Fall) (2004) composites a natural landscape of a waterfall with the artist’s ass, referencing the eighth-century chronicle Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters). In this text, the creation of the Japanese archipelago is accomplished through the urine of deities. A related three-dimensional exploration by Hiro involves a beeswax cast of his ass transformed into an erupting volcano.
Le Da Costa Encylopédique, published in Paris in 1946 by anonymous members of the surrealist group, offers the following explanation of the exhibition process: “Certain individuals called artists have a custom by which they place their works before the eye of the public when these are particularly distressing or ridiculous. In other words, they abandon their works to passers-by who at the moment they take possession of the abandoned works, receive the title of art-lovers. But it quite often happens that none of the passers-by pass for an art-lover, the works thus placed leaving the passer-by who prefers to pass them by impassive. When this result is obtained, the artist experiences a splendid satisfaction and a legitimate pride, which is easy to understand since the work he has abandoned to the passer-by, has equally been abandoned by the latter; the exposure is double, and thus it counts as two. It suffices for an artist to regularly repeat this exploit for him to achieve fame.”
The number is associated with an infamous twentieth-century police raid that informs Justin Cole’s 41st and Central (White Panther Party) (2014-15). On December 8, 1969, police raided the Los Angeles headquarters of the Black Panther Party, which was located at 41st and Central. The incident involved 350 officers and was the first SWAT operation in history. (The paramilitary group was conceived by Daryl Gates after the 1965 uprising in Watts.) The SWAT team used a battering ram, helicopters, tanks, and dynamite. Approximately 5,000 rounds of ammunition were exchanged, but no deaths occurred. Multiple Black Panther members were imprisoned under charges of conspiracy to murder police officers and their headquarters building was subsequently demolished. The number 41 appears on a SWAT team patch in commemoration of this operation.
The popularity of communicating with ghosts through Oujia boards and séances increased dramatically after World War I. Literary scholar Katharine Conley asserts, “Unconstrained by mortal chronology or rules of behavior, spiritualist ghosts are simultaneously threatening and inspiring in their freedom, symbols of rebellion against fate and the constraints of mortality.”
Like automatic writing and drawing, the use of a Ouija board can create a system in which process is as important as outcome and full conscious intention is relinquished. Michael Decker and Christian Cummings explore this in their practice of Spectral Psychography. After identifying a willing spirit with the help of the board, the blindfolded artists proceed to create drawings that reflect the otherworld influence. But is the result a confession, a secret message, or an inside joke? Of the ghost collaborators guiding their hands, Decker has reflected, “They seem to enjoy leaving us with more questions than the few of ours they answer.”
The Ouija board is related to the silhouette or shadow, a ghost traced through letters into a shape/message that the bereaved can perceive. Aydinaneth Ortiz’s series “Not Alone” (2014) investigates this sense of longing, inserting the silhouette of her recently deceased brother into the landscapes of her daily life. Ortiz reflects that she is attempting (without success) to summon his presence.
Charles Gaines (Project Series 43) references connections between ghosts, doubles, and representation in the video Black Ghost Blues Redux (2008), which features Lightnin’ Hopkins’s lyrics, “Black ghost is a picture, and the black ghost is a shadow too.” Amanda Ross Ho (Project Series 40) addresses concepts of visibility and invisibility with a sculpture consisting of an enlarged reproduction of a candy dish shaped like a ghost, suggesting that the original object “intended to represent a spirit or lack of a body—while containing the body—turned into a different kind of container.”
At times it is more desirable to keep spirits away. The Gullah community of South Carolina, an important and recurring cultural inspiration for Nikki Pressley, developed the tradition of painting porch ceilings a light blue (“Gullah Blue” or “Haint Blue”) to resemble the sky, attempting to fool malevolent spirits into flying up and away through the ceiling. Front doors are also painted this color to imitate water, which spirits are said to be unable to cross.
Surrealist and sociologist Pierre Mabille writes, “Having penetrated our dwelling places, [gifts] enjoy a curious extraterritoriality. Although they belong to us and are subject to our domestic laws, they continue nonetheless to be linked by invisible threads to those who sent them to us.” Michael Decker’s practice includes gifted objects that have been excavated from the contemporary thrift shop economy. He feels they are imbued with special characteristics that can be sensed by others who later encounter them. The concept that gifts should remain moving—consumed and then passed on—has a history in many traditions. One of the most carefully documented ritual gift systems is the Kula exchange among the Massim peoples of the South Sea Islands, in which armshells and necklaces “move continually around a wide ring of islands in the Massim archipelago.”
Ancient Greek verb (γράφειν), interchangeably meaning to write, to draw, or to depict; it provides the basis of the English noun “graphite.” Justin Cole uses highly reflective graphite for his drawings in order to instigate a “troubling reproductive nature” when the drawing is photographed. For Nikki Pressley, graphite (along with concrete) can provide an indexical record of her process, and she has also used the material to create rubbings of furniture in an attempt to convey the thoughts of inanimate objects. In Michael Decker’s series “And All I Got Was This Lousy Graphite Seashell That I Used to Make This Drawing” (2011), the artist created four large drawings with highly abstracted, anthropomorphic imagery. He presented the drawings alongside his graphite tool, which is inexplicably shaped like a seashell. Likely intended to be a non-functional souvenir, the seashell instead serves as both creative inspiration and technical means. In 2015, Michael Parker used graphite and large rolls of paper to create rubbings of his obelisk sculpture.
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is the oldest historic preservation organization in the United States. Founded in 1853, this group worked to preserve the plantation home of George Washington, located in Virginia along the Potomac River, and in early years offered visits to Washington’s tomb on the property. In Solomon Northrup’s 1853 narrative, Twelve Years a Slave, the author recounted his own experience of “visiting” Washington’s tomb after being kidnapped and smuggled by steamboat into the slaveholding South by James H. Burch: “Soon the vessel started down the Potomac, carrying us we knew not where. The bell tolled as we passed the tomb of Washington! Burch, no doubt, with uncovered head, bowed reverently before the sacred ashes of the man who devoted his illustrious life to the liberty of his county.”
Contemporary historic preservation works with photographic documentation and oral histories to create archival records and to trace places and communities in the face of development and destruction. As a result of the 2009 survey “Historic Resources Associated with African Americans in Los Angeles,” seven sites were added to the National Register of Historic Places. These included the 28th Street YMCA in South Los Angeles, which when built in 1926, was among the few public places where the city’s black residents were allowed to swim.
Similar documentary strategies can be found in contemporary art. In the series “Detroit, Dust and Scratches” (2010 to present), Justin Cole uses the aesthetics of historical society photography in order to document the disappearing legacy of the music industry in Detroit. Nikki Pressley has paid multiple visits to the razed childhood home of W.E.B. Du Bois in Great Barrington, New York. In this wooded area, punctuated by remnants of a chimney and a few foundations, Pressley has collected moss for propagation. Katie Grinnan (Project Series 31) used photographs of a recently demolished building materials store as a “skin” for Rubble Division (2005–6). Ken Gonzales-Day (Project Series 30) has extensively documented sites of lynching in the West and created a walking tour of sites in Los Angeles. In the 1996 series “Manuela S-t-i-t-c-h-e-d,” Christina Fernandez (Project Series 18) photographed facades of sweatshops in East Los Angeles. Aydinaneth Ortiz’s newest project documents the buildings and grounds of a state-run psychiatric facility in California.
The creation of different types of holes involves varying sounds and vibrations. The burnt holes created by Wakana Kimura poking lit incense through rice paper make little noise, while an erupting volcano, a regular theme in Naotaka Hiro’s work, can sound like a jumbo jet or make “swishing sounds like ghostly winds through a pine forest.” A bronze cast of one’s own ass and anus can double as a volcano or a resonant gong, as Hiro has demonstrated. Michael Parker’s egg-shaped steam chamber in use is punctuated by the sound of sweat dripping out of the bottom entry hole. Prior to receiving permission to excavate an obelisk in twenty-first-century Los Angeles, Parker utilized high-frequency radio waves to determine feasibility and provide information on underground toxicity levels.
HOSPITAL EMERGENCY CODE COLORS
Assigned to systematize urgent communication within hospitals and often an attempt to veil trauma from anxiously waiting family members. The colors are not standardized across facilities, which can cause confusion for doctors who work in multiple hospitals. For example, Code Yellow can varyingly indicate a missing patient or an assault, while Code Purple is used in some facilities for a hostage situation, in others for a bomb threat. Code Red consistently indicates a fire.
Code colors sometimes tap into physical or emotional conditions. Code Blue, which Aydinaneth Ortiz notes as deeply informing her family’s experience during her brother’s hospitalization, indicates that a patient requires resuscitation. Code Blue has subsequently become a subtext within her work. In his classic study on color theory, spirituality, and emotion, artist Wassily Kandinsky suggests, “Blue is the typical heavenly color. The ultimate feeling it creates is one of rest. When it sinks almost to black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human.”
Fire prevention chemical engineer and linguistic theorist Benjamin Whorf attributes to language the ability to build the house of human consciousness. This house—in which resides the inner I of the thinker—is unique to all, yet universal in its linguistic cause. To speak Gullah is to have a structurally varying house of consciousness from someone who speaks English and therefore a differing human experience. The house surrounding one’s consciousness is a singular mediating apparatus that creates our worldly experience. Nikki Pressley’s work on paper Word (2010) presents on one side the Biblical passage of John 1.1 translated into Gullah and written repeatedly in graphite: “Fo God mek de wol, de Wod been dey. De Wod been dey wid God, an de Wod been God.” On the other side of the paper, Pressley embossed passages from a West African folk tale about the trickster Anansi, who often takes the shape of a spider and maintains the knowledge of all stories.
[Entry by Parker Head]
LOS ANGELES ARCHIPELAGO
In 1946 Los Angeles cultural historian Carey McWilliams described the city of Los Angeles as an archipelago of separate, isolated cultures: “Throughout Southern California, social lines do not run across or bisect communities; on the contrary, they circle around and sequester entire communities. ‘Migration,’ [urban sociologist] Dr. Robert E. Park once wrote, ‘has had a marked effect upon the social structure of California society . . . a large part of the population, which comes from such diverse and distant places, lives in more or less closed communities, in intimate economic dependence, but in more or less complete cultural independence of the world about them’ . . . Southern California is an archipelago of social and ethnic islands, economically interrelated but culturally disparate.”
LOS ANGELES TRADE TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Founded in 1925 in South Central Los Angeles, the college is the oldest of the public two-year colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District. Programs include Automotive Technology, Community Planning & Economic Development, Correctional Science, Nursing, and Welding Technology. In the 2009 publication Lineman, Michael Parker documents four months that he spent in the power pole yard at LATTC while enrolled in the lineman-training program. Comprised of oral histories, performance documentation, and photographs, the Lineman project explores Parker’s desire to interact with and reflect a “diverse microtopia.”
The concept of “Deep time,” extended geological time over hundreds of thousands of years, and the impact of extended time on natural materials, informs Nikki Pressley’s new series of cement tiles, Iterations (2014-15). Deep time may be translated best into a comprehensible notion for humans through metaphor or analogy. Hirokazu Kosaka (Project Series 46) often explores varying experiences of time, for example, the impressive speed of the Japanese bullet train that allows him to hastily arrive at his ancestral home, which is over 800 years old. Here, he sees a spider in the eaves, perhaps a descendant of an arachnid line dating back to the seventeenth century. Kosaka also regularly references the Hindu/Buddhist concept of kalpa, a long period of time, and its metaphorical application, in which an angel descends from heaven and swipes her silk sleeve against a seventeen-mile long stone. This is repeated once every hundred years, until the rock has vanished. Soo Kim (Project Series 1) cuts and layers her photographic prints, with the intention of creating a “slowness in the reading and understanding of an image that makes evident the materiality of the medium as well as the time of labor and deliberation, marked by imperfection, that works against the speed and perfection of developing technologies.”
Communal living environment established in Detroit by John Sinclair in 1967, in connection with the proto-punk band MC5 and the White Panther Party (formed to support the Black Panthers). Trans-love Energies, regularly referenced in the work of Justin Cole, sought to use rock music to radicalize the youth movement and envision/establish an alternative, anti-racist, anti-capitalist society. The commune emerged out of the Detroit Artist Workshop, which was founded in a storefront in 1964 by Sinclair and other artists, writers, and musicians. In his manifesto, Sinclair explains: “What we want is a place for artists—musicians, painters, poets, writers, film-makers—who are committed to their art and to the concept of community involvement to meet and work with one another in an open, warm, loving, supportive environment (what they don’t get in the “real” world)—a place for people to come together as equals in a community venture the success of which depends solely upon those involved with it.”
Edgar Arceneaux (Project Series 11) has recently explored another Detroit-based collective, the electronic band Drexciya. In the 1990s, Drexciya envisioned an underwater civilization descended from pregnant slaves thrown overboard during The Middle Passage, planning an attack on the human world above.
Basket weaving with locally harvested sweetgrass has been a tradition in the Gullah community of the coastal counties of South Carolina (and the Sea Islands chain) for 300 years, with methods passed down from ancestors in West Africa. Nikki Pressley identifies these practices as transcending the uprooting and enforced migration of the slave trade, and references this living patrimony when weaving string trellises for sculptures such as Run (2013).
The Seigaiha (blue ocean waves) motif is prominent in Wakana Kimura’s large drawing, One trifle-beset night, t’was the moon, not I, that saw the pond lotus bloom (2015). The motif has been woven into textiles in Japan for over one thousand years and possibly originates from ancient Chinese maps, where it was used to illustrate water. Krysten Cunningham (Project Series 47) uses giant looms to weave hypersurface models for performative enactments of theories of physics. The histories of European textile factories and labor organizations also inform her weaving practice.
Michael Decker’s use of fabrics, including thrifted t-shirts compiled into large collage-panels, has also resulted in a textile composed of hundreds of tags sewn together. Company names and logos on many of the tags reference the multinational garment industry, and they were likely sewn into the t-shirt by a worker on an assembly line in a factory. Each tag subsequently brushed up against the skin of at least one wearer, absorbing sweat, rubbing uncomfortably, possibly tucked back in to the shirt by a well-meaning stranger. Each tag was removed and stitched into a new associative adjacency by Decker, who was perhaps partially driven by a love of objects and reluctance to remove even the smallest fragment from circulation, as with a crazy quilt.
In Poetics of Relation, Édouard Glissant suggests, “Opacities can coexist and converge, weaving fabrics. To understand these truly one must focus on the texture of the weave and not on the nature of the components. For the time being, perhaps, give up this old obsession with discovering what lies at the bottom of natures. There would be something great and noble about initiating such a movement, referring not to Humanity but to the exultant divergence of humanities. . . . This-here is the weave, and it weaves no boundaries.”
 The word “encyclopedia” has its origins in the Greek terms enkyklios (general) and paideia (education), together meaning “complete knowledge.”
 Édouard Glissant, Le Discours antillais (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1981), quoted in English translation in Hans Ulrich Obrist, “Le 21ème siècle est Glissant,” Édouard Glissant & Hans Ulrich Obrist, dOCUMENTA (13): 100 Notizen - 100 Gedanken (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2012), 4.
 On Glissant’s concept of opacity, see Le Discours antillais and “For Opacity,” in Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 189–94.
 Hal Foster, “An Archival Impulse,” October 110 (Autumn 2004): 21.
 Chris Marker, essay-script for the film Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die), directed by Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, and Ghislain Cloquet, produced by Présence Africaine, Paris, France, 1953.
 Naotaka Hiro in conversation with author, January 29, 2015.
 Jean-Luc Nancy, “Fifty-eight Indices on the Body,” Corpus, trans. Richard A. Rand (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), 152.
 Ibid., 155.
 William Deverell, Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of its Mexican Past (Oakland: University of California Press, 2005), 149.
 Manuel Gamio, Mexican Immigration in the United States (New York: Arno, 1930), cited in Deverell, 149.
 Le Da Costa Encylopédique, published in Paris in 1946, reprinted in English translation as Encyclopædia Da Costa, trans. Iain White (London: Atlas Press, 1995), 154.
 See Mitch Horowitz, Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation (New York: Bantam, 2010).
 Katharine Conley, Surreal Ghostliness (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013), 3.
 Janice Lee, “On Spectral Psychography,” Bright Stupid Confetti, January 16, 2013, accessed February 28, 2015.
 Aydinaneth Ortiz in conversation with author, December 4, 2014.
 Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins, “Black Ghost,” recorded in 1964.
 Rebecca McGrew, “Project Series 40: Amanda Ross Ho” (2000), Pomona College Museum of Art, accessed April 1, 2015, https://www.pomona.edu/museum/exhibitions/2010/project-series-40.
 Pierre Mabille, Le Miroir du merveilleux (Paris: Sagittaire, 1940), reprinted in English translation as Mirror of the Marvelous, trans. Jody Gladding (Rochester, NY: Inner Traditions, 1998), 183.
 Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2009), 16.
 Justin Cole in conversation with author, December 30, 2014.
 Solomon Northrup, Twelve Years a Slave (Auburn, NY: Derby & Miller, 1853) 56.
 Richard V. Fisher, Grant Heiken, and Jeffrey Hulen, Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998), 179.
 Wassily Kandinsky, Über das Geistige in der Kunst. Insbesondere in der Malerei (1912), reprinted in English translation as Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Painting in Particular, trans. Francis Golffing, Michael Harrison, and Ferdinand Ostertag (New York: George Wittenborn, 1970), 58.
 Benjamin Lee Whorf, Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings, ed. John B. Carroll (Cambridge, MA: Technology Press of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956).
 Carey McWilliams, “The Los Angeles Archipelago,” Science & Society 10, no. 1 (Winter 1946), 41. Italics added by McWilliams to Park quote.
 Lesa Griffith, “Artist Soo Kim: I consider my practice mistake-driven,” Honolulu Museum of Art Blog, March 14, 2014, accessed February 28, 2015, http://blog.honoluluacademy.org/artist-soo-kim-i-consider-my-practice-mistake-driven.
 John Sinclair, “The Artists’ Workshop Society: A ‘Manifesto’” (November 1, 1964), Detroit Artists Workshop, accessed February 28, 2015, http://www.detroitartistsworkshop.com/the-artists-workshop-society-a-manifesto.
 Glissant, “For Opacity,” Poetics of Relation, 190.