Issue 36 May 2024

Defying Narrative
Containment, for
E.L. and Others
–Maya Gurantz
Does it Move You? How to Look at Art,
According to
the Late Robert Irwin
–Janelle Zara
From Earthwork
to Test Plot
Transdisciplinary Approaches
to Ecological Reparation
–Emma Kemp
Interview with
Paulina Lara
–Joseph Daniel Valencia
Works in Progress Featuring: Soo Kim
Photos: Leah Rom
Reviews Teddy Sandoval and
the Butch Gardens
School of Art

at the Vincent Price
Art Museum
–Philip Anderson

Lex Brown
at Bel Ami
–Isabella Miller

Hugh Hayden
at Lisson Gallery
–Alexander Schneider

Diana Yesenia Alvarado
at Jeffrey Deitch
–Eva Recinos

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Cauleen Smith
at 52 Walker
–Shameekia Shantel

(L.A. in São Paulo)
Candice Lin
at Almeida & Dale
–Mateus Nunes
Carla en Español

Issue 35 February 2024

Issue 34 November 2023

Issue 33 August 2023

Issue 32 June 2023

Issue 31 February 2023

Issue 30 November 2022

Issue 29 August 2022

Issue 28 May 2022

Issue 27 February 2022

Issue 26 November 2021

Issue 25 August 2021

Issue 24 May 2021

Issue 23 February 2021

Issue 22 November 2020

Issue 21 August 2020

Issue 20 May 2020

Issue 19 February 2020

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon
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Issue 18 November 2019

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Children of the Sun
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg
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Issue 17 August 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

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Issue 16 May 2019

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden
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Issue 15 February 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 14 November 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 13 August 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown
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Issue 12 May 2018

Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with Christina Quarles Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan
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Issue 11 February 2018

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn
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Issue 10 November 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
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Issue 9 August 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects


Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
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Issue 8 May 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth
Letter to the Editor
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Issue 7 February 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
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Issue 6 November 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)
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Issue 5 August 2016

Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Exquisite L.A.
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)
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Issue 4 May 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
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Issue 3 February 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Share Your Piece
of the Puzzle
Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
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Issue 2 November 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
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Issue 1 August 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
Mateo Tannatt
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi (La Cienega)
Anat Ebgi (Wilshire)
Arcana Books
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Babst Gallery
Baert Gallery
Bel Ami
Canary Test
Carlye Packer
Charlie James Gallery
Château Shatto
Chris Sharp Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Clay ca
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
D2 Art (Inglewood)
D2 Art (Westwood)
David Kordansky Gallery
David Zwirner
Diane Rosenstein
François Ghebaly
Gana Art Los Angeles
George Billis Gallery
Giovanni's Room
Hamzianpour & Kia
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
Harper's Gallery
Hashimoto Contemporary
Heavy Manners Library
Helen J Gallery
Human Resources
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
in lieu
LaPau Gallery
Lisson Gallery
Lowell Ryan Projects
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Make Room Los Angeles
Matter Studio Gallery
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Morán Morán
Moskowitz Bayse
Nazarian / Curcio
Night Gallery
Nino Mier Gallery
NOON Projects
O-Town House
One Trick Pony
Paradise Framing
Park View / Paul Soto
Patricia Sweetow Gallery
Regen Projects
Reparations Club
r d f a
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater)
Roberts Projects
Royale Projects
Sean Kelly
Sebastian Gladstone
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Smart Objects
Steve Turner
Stroll Garden
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The Box
The Fulcrum
The Hole
The Landing
The Poetic Research Bureau
The Wende Museum
Thinkspace Projects
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Tiger Strikes Astroid
Tomorrow Today
Track 16
Tyler Park Presents
USC Fisher Museum of Art
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Village Well Books & Coffee
Outside L.A.
Libraries/ Collections
Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Bard College, CCS Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
University of California Irvine, Langston IMCA (Irvine, CA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

The Glitch Strikes Back: Legacy Russell’s Feminist Manifesto

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Juliana Huxtable, Ari 1 (2019). Inkjet mounted on Dibond, 45 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Reena Spaulings Fine Art.

Although the exact meaning can shift depending on context, the word glitch always gestures to a problem. It is a short-lived technical fault; an undetected error. To most, the glitch is a nuisance. For curator and writer Legacy Russell, the glitch is a glorious invitation, and the subject of her just-released debut book, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto. Russell defines the glitch as a creative strategy informed by and for queer, trans, and nonbinary communities of color that are systematically oppressed by white capitalist heteropatriarchal forces. In a 2012 essay titled “Digital Dualism and the Glitch Feminism Manifesto” for the online journal The Society Pages, Russell builds on her interpretation of the term, encapsulating a worldview in which the online space can offer the keys to liberation.

Russell’s original article was partly informed by a 2011 essay by theorist Nathan Jurgenson, also published by The Society Pages, in which he termed the phrase “digital dualism.” For Jurgenson, the term describes a cultural belief in the divide between online and IRL spaces—the digital world understood as “unreal” in contrast to the physical world. Jurgenson argues against the idea that our online selves are separate, inauthentic constructions bearing no impact on our real lives, and instead points to our digital personas as actualized facets of our personhood. He signals these slippages by replacing IRL with AFK (away from keyboard), implying a continuity between digital and physical.1 Jurgenson’s critique encouraged Russell’s gesticulating thoughts around digital play and self-actualization. Born and raised in New York City, Russell spent her formative years roaming the internet “as a digital Orlando, shapeshifting, time-traveling, genderfucking as [she] saw fit.”2 The internet held her experiments, and she was able to stretch the limits of her Blackness, queerness, and femmeness in ways that were not possible away from the keyboard.

Fusing memoir and Black feminist theory, Russell’s book draws parallels between technological error and the ways people are coded as “faulty” if they are unwilling to assimilate into hegemonic culture. The glitch is presented as a political framework, an elastic term used to describe a revolt against the status quo. It is refusal, nonperformance, malfunction. The book dares us to embrace the failures that upset the systems of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and more. The internet plays an essential role in accelerating these deliberate disruptions, providing an expansive forum for new worlds and futures: “Glitch feminism demands an occupation of the digital as a means of world-building.”3

Despite Russell’s reverence for the possibilities of an online world, Glitch Feminism reminds us that the same binary-obsessed oppressive social systems running amok AFK— anti-Blackness, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism—have also spilled into the digital sphere. She moves beyond the utopian visions of ’90s cyberfeminists like Sadie Plant and VNS Matrix, who sought to transcend the limits imposed by patriarchy and sexism through the intersection of art and technology. Their efforts towards a liberatory internet were marred by their own exclusions: the centering of white cis womanhood further marginalized the cyber experiences of queer people, trans people, and people of color.4 In contrast, Glitch Feminism presents the online world as a complicated in-between space that holds the capacity for both revolution and oppression. The glitch reminds us that while we can use the digital to architect our dreams towards freedom, we cannot ignore the hegemonic forces designing those same technological systems.

The radical potential of the ’90s internet has been replaced with corporatized platforms rigged to mine our data and control our browser searches. These corporations feign neutrality and objectivity in their algorithmic processes, with instances of blatant racism or sexism dismissed as “errors.” The Facebooks and the Googles want us to believe their tools are external to their processes. But, as researcher and professor Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble states in her book Algorithms of Oppression (2018), these errors “demonstrate how racism and sexism are part of the architecture and language of technology, an issue that needs attention and remediation.”5 Moreover, when looking at the prejudices embedded in technology, we shouldn’t stall at scrutinizing the biases of individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, companies like Amazon, or “tools” like facial recognition software. We need to reflect on the social conditions enabling such inequalities. In addition to Algorithms, recent books like Race After Technology (2019) by Ruha Benjamin and Dark Matters (2015) by Simone Browne link discriminatory technological systems to a larger American history of surveillance and anti-Blackness.

Sondra Perry, IT’S IN THE GAME ’18 or Mirror Gag for Projection and Two Universal Shot Trainers with Nasal Cavity and Pelvis (detail) (2018). Image courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYC. Photo: Thorsten Arendt.

Russell doesn’t spend too much time unpacking these dynamics, but she does situate her theory within a digital landscape warped by the prejudices of the tech sector. Every click means something: “On- and offline, the boxes we tick, the forms we complete, the profiles we build—none are neutral. Every part of ourselves we mark with an X.”6 What is a glitch to do? Short- circuit the whole thing. Russell is most interested in how the glitch can expand our understanding of the body, especially as it relates to race, gender, and sexuality. In lieu of itemized actionables, she catalogues how her theory operates across a range of creative practices “that help us imagine new possibilities of what a body can do.”7 If we cannot fully remove ourselves from the systems overriding our existence, the least we can do is agitate the dominant structures until their mechanisms are rendered obsolete. In this way, the glitch makes most sense as a metaphor for rebellion—inciting a breakdown of oppressive online and offline systems that move us towards rhizomatic conceptions of the body.

As Russell explained to the online magazine Topical Cream, “The glitch for me is a point of interest because mechanical glitches force us to think about the space between body and machine… It makes us think about how our bodies are, or are not, able to operate across different systems.”8 In the past, I’ve fetishized the gulf between body and machine. Although particular to our 21st-century existence, this overemphasis on division articulates a history of socially-imposed binaries, from spirit and physical, to white and nonwhite, to masculine and feminine. For Russell and many others, the binary is a hackable code, an outmoded system causing more harm than good. In calling for the refusal of its machinations, she describes in-betweenness as the crux of our being. Inhabiting the logic of error means reveling in the multiplicity of selfhood, and making space for alternate modes of relation. The digital sphere can aid in this multiplicity, becoming a “passage through which the body traverses toward liberation.”9

Russell positions her discussions of the glitch alongside works by an interdisciplinary roster of contemporary artists, from E. Jane and Shawné Michaelain Holloway to Sondra Perry and Anaïs Duplan. The artists highlighted by Russell build a robust scaffolding around her manifesto, offering examples of creative practices informed by the glitchy porousness of cyberspace. For instance, in her chapter “Glitch Throws Shade,” Russell discusses artist, writer, and performer Juliana Huxtable as someone who has spent the last few years molding and remolding our ideas of identity and expression via irreverent self-portraits, text-based inkjet prints, and poetry. For a recent example, look to Ari 2 (2019), a self-portrait from her solo exhibition at Reena Spaulings Fine Art. Awash in decadent Technicolor, the portrait presents Huxtable as a Mermaid-esque figure leaning seductively on a chair, as if caught in the middle of a striptease. Her back is decorated with contrasting animal prints and via digital manipulation, her legs swirl into a thick serpentine tail that overtakes the bottom of the print.

Other portraits from the Spaulings exhibition show Huxtable as a half-cow or a half-bat, images that reference furry subculture and its specific practice of crafting personalized animal identities (“fursonas”), usually in the form of online avatars.10 What Huxtable finds compelling about furries is that their interest in anthropomorphized animals expresses a fertile in-between space that naughtily tests the limits of “natural” social archetypes. In a similar way, Huxtable’s fursonas seek to undermine our definitions of race, gender, and intimacy.11 In using the materials of the internet to push the body to its preposterous extremes, Huxtable satirizes our stifled expressions of identity and self. Her fursonas tap into anxieties around civility and savagery—binaries rooted in the same gendered and racialized tropes criticized by Russell. Echoing glitch feminism’s demand to dismantle and rewrite our ideas of the body, Huxtable’s fursonas are (as she wrote in a recent press release) “AN INVITATION TO MURDER THE / ROMANTIC / PURITANICAL / COHESION OF / OF THE BODY.”12

One artist not mentioned in Russell’s book who embodies the glitch is multimedia conceptual artist, theorist, and writer Mandy Harris Williams. Her Instagram account @idealblackfemale disrupts the aestheticizing scroll encouraged by social media, and investigates not only what images we are given, but also what we like, comment on, and share. A few years ago, Williams began noticing the gaps in her Insta explore page—dark-skinned Afro-descended women were routinely erased from algorithmic feeds. This lead to Williams’ creation of the #BrownUpYourFeed hashtag. Coupling micro social media essays that blur the critical and confessional with images ranging from selfies to text excerpts to memes, Williams makes visible what private companies like Instagram go out of their way to hide. Her interventions continually ask, as she phrases it, “How does the history of algorithms tell us what is acceptable; what is popular; what is desirable; what is meaningful; what is deserving of attention?”13 Williams takes apart the machine, further inhabiting what Russell calls “a mutiny in the form of strategic occupation.”14

Russell contends that the online space offers an abundant panoply of selves, personas, and avatars which together provide an alternative world where the self is found through constant metamorphosis. While admitting our digital spaces are awed, she believes “online communities can create space to talk back to toxic, binary tropes of masculinity/femininity,”15 and other hegemonic constructions. To celebrate identity as a multiplicitous movement is to reject the gendered body as a classifiable container. Rejecting the binary entails a process of dematerialization, or a willingness to transcend the normative body. This process begins with the glitch which “pushes the machine to its breaking point by refusing to function for it, refusing to uphold its function.” Russell would rather submit to “frame- work[s] of failure”16 where the self is allowed room to become without threat or fear. Approaching the digital as a space for imaginative worldbuilding aids in the abstraction of gender, and thus the systems overdetermining what a body can do.

Glitch Feminism is at its best during these moments, when Russell reveals the gender binary as an “economic performance,” assigning highest value to those who “labor under its coercion” without question or complaint.17 In the same way we’re starting to understand corporatized social media as a nefarious tool for financial gain, we need to view gender as an equally dubious technology wielded for profit. Our attempts to classify and codify it (via attitudes, dress, laws, online forms, etc.) severely limit the vast potential of expression and relation. Thus, a strike against gender doubles as a strike against the economic systems that bolster and reinforce it. Though Glitch Feminism may belatedly tap into conversations that have been ongoing for years, the text provides an introductory map for those seeking to hack the automated codes of being.

At the Glitch Feminism virtual book launch hosted by MoMA PS1 and Verso Books on September 29th, one of the panelists, sociology doctoral candidate and writer Zoé Samudzi, quoted a prescient line from “Racialized Fantasies on the Internet,” an essay by scholar and writer Christina Elizabeth Sharpe: “The virtual reality of race in cyberspace begins to expose it as an already virtual construct in real life.”18 This sentiment resonates throughout Glitch Feminism: in troubling the lines between body and machine, Russell asserts the machine is an extension of us. We have always been run by social systems. In Russell’s utopian vision of the glitch, naming the inauthentic, unrealities of living is the first step towards a freedom built on error and revolt.

This review was originally published in Carla issue 22.

Shawné Michaelain Holloway, a:active, a:hover { or position: unavoidable (2017). Mp4. Image courtesy of the artist.

  1. Nathan Jurgenson, “Digital Dualism and the Fallacy of Web Objectivity,” The Society Pages, September 13, 2011, 2011/09/13/digital-dualism-and-the-fallacy-of- web-objectivity/.
  2. Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (New York: Verso Books, 2020).
  3. Ibid, 12.
  4. Izabella Scott, “A Brief History of Cyberfeminism,” Artsy, October 8, 2016, artsy-editorial-how-the-cyberfeminists-worked-to- liberate-women-through-the-internet.
  5. Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (New York: New York University Press, 2018).
  6. Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism, 73.
  7. Ibid, 14.
  8. Lynn Hershman Leeson, “A Glitch In The System: Legacy Russell And Lynn Hershman Leeson In Conversation About Glitch Feminism,” Topical Cream, September 28, 2020, a-glitch-in-the-system-legacy-russell-and-lynn- hershman-leeson-in-conversation-about-glitch- feminism/.
  9. Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism, 13.
  10. Thom Patterson, “What You Don’t Get About Furry ‘Fursonas,’” CNN, November 21, 2019, https://www.cnn. com/ampstories/us/what-you-dont-get-about-furry-fursonas.
  11. Makayla Bailey, “Juliana Huxtable: Let’s Skip the Essentialism and Devour the Semantics,” Flaunt Magazine, October 7, 2019, https:// huxtable.
  12. “Juliana Huxtable at Reena Spaulding,” Contemporary Art Daily, October 9, 2019, https://contemporaryartdaily. com/2019/10/juliana-huxtable-at-reena-spaulings-2/.
  13. Francesca Gavin, “The artist whose works are inspired by Instagram’s algorithm,” Dazed Digital, February 19, 2018, article/39095/1/artist-mandy-harris-williams-works-are- inspired-by-instagram-s-algorithm.
  14. Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism, 25.
  15. Ibid, 108.
  16. Ibid, 151.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Christina Elizabeth Sharpe, “Racialized Fantasies on the Internet,” Signs, 24, no. 4 (1999): 1089–1096,

Allison Noelle Conner’s writing has appeared in Artsy, Art in America, Hyperallergic, East of Borneo, and elsewhere. Born in South Florida, she is based in Los Angeles.

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