OCCUPY EVERYTHING [I]ntimacy and Scale

March 30, 2011

I have made a rather radical decision today. I have decided to write with my hands. So what? It’s the tiniest gesture toward embodiment.

My own.

I understand I am to speak today on behalf of someone[s] and something[s] other than myself. This strange [and impossible task is one I’ve set out to do every day for several years now. And while I don’t intend to turn my back on it–especially not now–I am first struck by the foreign impression of my own hand hitting paper.

To set out to write in this way is to see my own handwriting for the first in a very long time. It’s grown sloppy. I dreamt last night I was looking at my writing from years ago. How clearly cloying my penmanship was then. It expressed a sincere desire for legibility and understanding–even approval.

I’ve said that I am interested in exploring issues of intimacy and scale. It seems to me this has to do with a certain agency and trust; the Derridian, the multitudes, the figure and the ground. It has to do with Sedgwick, Ettinger; the interpersonal and the many many ways we become distanced from ourselves and one another.

I am writing outside and without pause or hesitation.

This goes to the question–and what is at stake– in the term ‘militant research’. We have chosen this term, this phrase, to indicate a set of intentions and manner of working that operates in resistance. One that is not [for the moment] easily absorbed into the language of the institution as, say ‘research-based art practices’ or ‘activist art’ might be. When it loses its force of resistance, we will abandon it, tactically [evacuate].


We’ve said that Occupy Everything is an artist run platform dedicated to militant research, critical pedagogy and public practices that include mediatic intervention, feminism and the anti-enclosure movement.

It began at The Public School in Los Angeles in a class called The UC Strikes and Beyond and was inspired by the words and actions of occupiers everywhere.

It is an autonomously organized group that operates with both vertical and horizontal modes of distribution. It is porous and connected to an expanding [and/or contracting] constellation of projects that include The Public School, AAAARG and The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. Respectively, these represent variously ‘flat’ or ‘horizontal’ approaches to institutional frameworks that could be understood as a school, a library and a press.

This emphasis on information-sharing and militant research takes place in an openly declared ‘Information War’ that is, in fact, nothing less than a Class War.


As I write this, I pause to consult with a social worker who directs me to public resources for food and shelter. I respond to an email from my friend and collaborator asking when I might come to stay with them. I overheard another friend last week explain my presence in her home by saying I was ‘between places’. I reflected at length on these things, the cost of transportation and liminal spaces [neither here/ nor there].

The project of OE as it stands is configured around occupation and evacuation; embodiment and withdrawal. The militance of this investigation is not one of over identification with institutional frames, but rather, a recognition of their violence.