And here I am finding myself having some difficulty separating “voice”, from author, from myself, and lastly from “myself”.
I have been hung up on, for some time now, what we had discussed, in regards to self-deprecating, isolated, “mysterious”, masculine figures. Or / maybe , those who may have assumed that identity as a protective measure ?/ which sometimes happens to be the way I feel about, identity, I think, as if every time I am placed in a position in which I am not known to those around me, a calculation is made to prevent my own discomfort. However, this method, of self-interrogation, feels rather cliche or / maybe overused, and perhaps moves such observation, maybe into a field of writing: this is the start of my first self-help book.
Current mood: depressed and / or suicidal and / how ?
Because, there always is, a large amount of doubt in my mind, of how to traverse the issue of identity politics, given how (i think) i’m perceived, or I guess, more directly, what I assume my privileges to be (incomplete):
Being perceived as straight, being a man, my class. But something, I think I’m have still struggling to come to terms with, is being Indian, being and Indian man, being a second generation Indian.
Someone I met at MICA, we took a summer class together, has been posting a lot lately, about Asian-American identity politics.
And I really appreciate it, but it feels like, there is a certain tokenism, when Indians are included, and I’ve begun to get the feeling, that the term Asian, doesn’t really apply to Indians. And just when I thought, that someone would start speaking for me, well, I mean, I don’t really have that anymore, and I think one of the things that this desire reveals, is the deferral, that I consistently seek, or / maybe, I notice on the reg. (Deferral in regards to a personal confrontation w/ identity)
I might just watch a bunch of DarkMatter instead, of trying to rationalize and understand it myself.
How this portion of my character, might significantly influence, my opposition to, a large portion of what has been introduced to me as “my field” (my field being graphic design).
And I do think, that it is my full intention to be covering, how I believe, graphic design should be practiced, and it is my full intention to further test, whether, my thoughts on the matter, have been allowed to exist, given my privilege, or are maybe a valid critique of a system that I a) don’t see myself represented inb) fundamentally disagree with (should probably be expanded upon)c) produces boring and or manipulative work (possibly part of b, should I keep going?).
I think maybe, my problem with everything that I had written before today, was that it contained a lot of stuff that I recognized, as being deeply embedded in western pop-culture, and definitely didn’t need any more contributions too i.e. love/sex/companionship as experienced by a straight male.
With whatever, this is to become, I really hope, that I allow myself to move into, what is unfamiliar, or / maybe what I did not know I was scared of,
The fucked up part, of all this, is that I think, I just, u kno, inadvertently created an incomplete to-do list.
In lieu of recent events, it is with great pleasure that we begin introducing, much to your own dismay, a series of counter-intuitive, sentence(s) how, would this be broken, outside of itself, so that it may be perceived, not as that which it will ultimately be (a self contained network), but instead, exist as some, thing, permeable from both sides (internally / externally).
This is to say that, the question of optimization, may in fact be different from the question of accessibility. The former inherently deriving it’s language, from a capitalist necessity, to justify functionality w/ meeting certain profit margins. The later, in my own utopia: referring to the ability of facilitating some sort of empathy, a connection and perceivable relationship between experience and viewer. In reality, perhaps it further defines itself with words such as transparency and clarity. These words, and the way in which I attribute them to the idea of accessibility, perhaps refers back to a utopic notion, of socialization, the common good, selflessness: free thought and thinkers misquoting buddhist text, which given the constraints of the english language, continues to support the notion of a false self. Ego as being something detachable, as if our existence is truth. Something similar, to a young white man telling me that “race isn’t real” It isn’t, in that it is constructed, it is, in that everyone has to now live given the implications of race based policies implemented by major european powers and the US through physical / economic / / trade-based / (most recently )digital - colonialism.
But back in utopia, the notion of accessibility is introduced, perhaps to parallel the word, feasibility, like: could this work. Further, if I were to develop something unrecognizable to a contemporary viewer, could I facilitate an interaction with said viewer, that is engaging, to the point that they could possibly consider that (whatever they are viewing or experiencing) as an alternative to this (what they return to [prior/post] viewing).
Two questions: Who is audience, what is purpose
Answers: Maybe a couple of friends I really hope not I want it to be a lot of people do I really have to answer this AND it’s for me, that doesn’t mean anything so maybe I can come back to this sometime in the future, meaning a couple days from now when there is more incoherent rambling to sort through isn’t that appealing.
I had family visit while my thesis work was on view. It consisted of a four channel video, two websites, a physical table, and an assortment of text (print). Of the family members there, the only two that seemed engaged were the children, one 8, the other 14. At the time this convinced me I was doing something right, but then again, crippling self doubt, u know, haha.
My father often tells me that I used to be incredibly outgoing, that he had never seen someone so happy. He often brings up a memory of dropping me off at pre-school, and me running to my friend (I believe his name was Daniel). He goes on to tell me, that at some point in my adolescence, he saw that joy leave me. Paired with an absolute fear and distrust for the unknown. He asks, “what could have caused this?” but of course there has never really been a good answer, or / maybe, I’m just a privileged fuck.
Metaphorical rag, confusing a leak from a faucet, close to where I am ringing out said rag, as residue from <- Rag. Puddle becomes isolated from rag. Begs the question. What is the main source of your water, and even if the state heavily regulate how water is filtered do you really trust your 50 year old pipes:
And that’s why I insist on drinking from a Brita TM filter.
As far as I’m concerned there is no real necessity to explore the notion of self-hatred as it relates to the author, yet from this point forward, any humor, arising from self-deprecation, would not possibly be excusable as “comedy” but instead recognized as coming from a perpetual state of self-consumption.
Simply put: If I am to use myself, not “myself” but me as I exist external to this text, in a manner that ultimately harms me, “myself” will only occupy a space of half truth, or perhaps will be presented in an incomplete form, not by choice, but rather, as a symptom of isolating and negative thought (which we can all at this point agree is both unproductive and boring, who wants to watch as someone mentally breaks down on paper / later revisits said breakdown to ensure it’s palatable to an ‘audience’)
The snake eating it’s golden tail, a visual metaphor that allows itself the opportunity to occupy static space time (as a symbol), but also embody 3 unique narratives (given the following context), each associated with a removed human (or in later cases animal) experience:
Sujata, mother of 4 sonssons 1-3, greed, sloth, perhaps were given too much freedom as children and now rely on a rather strange contribution by the 4th brother to their familyson 4, cursed, killed, is now a snake, his tail produces gold, but only an inch at a time that his mother must cut from his body, if more should be cut, son four will enter into the next stage of reincarnation.
Prior to abstraction (or / maybe the construction of the symbol that could be described as the snake eating it’s golden tail) son 4 will enter into the next stage of reincarnation through the betrayal of his mother, in response to the greed of her (human) children.
Compressed into one isolated narrative, only being viewed in a dimension outside of its compression (time-space of the viewer as they look to the aforementioned symbol), the snake eating it’s golden tail as a singular body or character, a plane above the reality in which it’s parts have been developed, begins to take on a life of it’s own:
From this point forward, the symbol, maybe I should say depicting ?, a snake eating it’s golden tail will be referred to as S1.
S1 enters scene from stage left behind a series of fake cardboard cutouts of bushes, bushes that look domestic, like something outside of a small suburban home with a freshly whitewashed fence and a beautiful family playing in the front yard while the father washes their 2006 Hyundai, because they are economical, they know that a car is not an investment, so it’s really about buying something that could last until their oldest boy, tommy, begins to drive.
Close to stage right there is crudely drawn library. Outside on the steps, sits a boy, probably close to Tommy’s age, which I would imagine is close to 15, because, the aforementioned family is economical but not crazy. Like seriously, do you really think you could get a Hyundai to last more than 10 years? I guess they’re more than optimistic. They think positively!
And as S1 approaches the boy, he notices the boy is crying, which S1 finds rather odd given how economical and pragmatic and positive his family must be. But who are you, S1, to make such assumptions.
Caught off guard, S1 begins to speak: It’s just a switch tommy, that’s all it takes, there is no need for you to keep eating yourself, you see Tommy, tommy boy, it’s just a switch. And with all my experience, and all that I have been through, just to get here. I can say with complete confidence tommy, it’s just a switch, just flip that switch tommy. You don’t need to be sad, don’t cry, come now tommy, lets get in this reasonably priced Hyundai Sonata with power steering and an incredible 38 MPG highway, and get you back to your beautiful family. Your beautiful parents.
Literal scene, vs constructed scene. The former, being defined by what can be immediately perceived, or qualified through the senses. The later, assuming their own reality in spaces where the author is given a level of control or ownership, spaces in which the viewer voluntarily assumes a subservient role.
In the later there is still traces of the former, of course, given, I would assume, an inherent repulsion we all feel when placed in situations of uncertainty.
As I worked on my own website today, I was incredibly frustrated, thinking about the hesitation that most viewers engage in when attempting to interface with digital tools. Even those with the most confidence, still find themselves unable to commit to action when presented with a screen.
The screen should be viewed as a classroom not a method of display. There is a certain passivity to the way in which it was previously introduced (Television) which would obviously displace members of the generation above our own. And, the inverse, the generation below us, has a rather fluid relationship to the screen, even in some instances going as far as attempting to physically interface with static screens (of course this is restricted by class). And I find myself rather uncertain, and slightly afraid, of this gap that our generation occupies (not to say the following insecurity couldn’t be remedied by someone in the generation below us, I just worry about something that may be expressed as “at what point do we start taking things for granted?”), in that it only feels as if now we can completely dismantle modes of interfacing that have been considered optimized or most efficient.
When I was still in college the amount of ad agencies (now called digital agencies) that would constantly remind us that“we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel” when working digitally, felt so obviously as an attack on free thought, and doubt, and our right to challenge things we thought didn’t agree with. And my frustration was not heard by those above me, it seemed discounted because, “Right, you really think you could do it all?” And it’s not that I could do it all, like, I have friends u kno, ‘fuk off’
But the notion of a collective conscious is lost in digital space, not due to gaps between the individuals themselves, but through the inevitable paradox brought about by overlapping, but incongruent networks which construct their own histories, time-lines, and narratives. The internet is not changing too fast for us to keep up, I might argue that the internet is finally giving the individual a space for reflection, and from this point of isolation, to re-approach the broken notion of our socialized state, is absolutely terrifying and unfamiliar.
I wish, when I would get home, and I’m a little drunk, and definitely falling sick, I could just vomit into my computer, and it would distill, whatever putrid smell was left over (because I would obvi clean it immediately after), into a series of well formulated thoughts.
You’ve been in my dreams recently, quite often in fact. You r always really close to me. And I feel warm, and safe, when being held by you.
Bunch of brown boys chasing white women.
And that’s just unfortunately how I feel sometimes,
I’ve found that the question of whether or not I am in fact “white on the inside” frequently entering my head, with the same frequency of say, contemplating stepping in front of the bus as it passes by, but that of course is categorized by the psychiatric community as an intrusive thought. And I only bring this up because as of late, it has had such a strong pull on my actions, I feel I was raised semi-white, like half baked american, but I can’t blame my parents for wanting to protect and provide the best (white) opportunities for their kid, and unknowingly subscribe to and perpetuate what cultural critics are now starting to point towards as markers of white supremacy. I have obviously benefited from a lot of class privilege that overlaps with white privilege. But I have also experienced discrimination and racism directed towards me and my family. Yet I still feel this constant, guilt, along with obligation. The obligation I’m fine with, the guilt feels misplaced, and possibly stems from personal insecurities as opposed to a systemic fault (but also who am I to say, I have a BFA in graphic design haha)
The main thing that appeals to me about pursuing art on the internet is the complete lack of transparency and inherent anonymity granted to any artist, as long as they are willing to begin operating under a psuedonym. Tbh tho, that’s not even really necessary. Who actually knows who Rahul S. Shinde is and what his dreams and anxieties really are. But to the same affect. What is the purpose spending time in the labyrinths of websites that he has made that if they are to all lead back to a useless series of self-reflexive exercises in self-hatred. “I hate myself” will and has never been compelling as subject matter, and it just becomes harder to justify working in this capacity to myself if this is all I allow myself to contribute.
Art is and should not be therapy. I think? I’m pretty sure. Purpose isn’t ever arbitrary. I do have purpose outside of this. I just happen to be stuck at this juncture repeatedly and perhaps this is the only way to work through it. “It” being a block through which I find myself unable to move forward from. Because there is an anxiety that I feel, that perhaps I have reached my cap, and from here there is nothing more I can contribute now that I have left the safety of academia. And this fear feels artificial most days. And it is clear to me that I still have so much to learn, and as I learn I will continue to grow. But until that day comes I sit stagnant and paralyzed with fear.
There seems to be no escape, or at least, those are the circumstances that are created for myself. Dropping a metaphorical toaster into a physical bathtub while submerged in water is not as effective as committing suicide. But at this point, the amount of time that has been used as a punchline, for a series of jokes not really meant as such, but thinly veiled attempts at asking for help, or, actually it’s even less than that. Because they’re really just an excuse for never getting better.
I’m getting sick of myself I think. I really am. I see words like failure constantly.
I don’t mean to try and work out my issues on the page, but I really can’t seem to write anything else rn. And I’m frustrated with myself, that I haven’t taken the time to really sit down and write. And even this isn’t really writing (sitting down for 30 minutes - 1hr) and expelling everything that becomes trapped inside my head during the day.
I’m incredibly scared of the future, now more than ever. I feel as if I’m floating. In a way that I have never really felt before. And the last tether connecting me to safety. My parents financial support, will not cease to be present for another 2 months. This is not something I’m complaining about. I just don’t know what I’m going to do once it’s gone.
I’m sorry, this wasn’t meant to be a diary entry, but I guess that’s just what ended up happening. I’m going to try again tomorrow. To be a bit more serious I guess. I don’t know what I’m expecting to change or have happen. This process is incredibly foreign to me. I’m used to moving quickly through my work but that’s just not happening here. At least there is what I wrote at the beginning, which might be salvageable at some point in the future of this process.
As of today, the above text has found itself trying to navigate through:
~ Being a second generation Indian immigrant that occupies a place in the upper middle class and is now trying to pursue a career in art (he seems convinced that all other pursuits are simply take up to supplement this final goal)
~ Masculinity, and how this may have contributed to a false character that I’ve developed for myself, its falsity contributing to its inherent decomposition, and that decomposition leading to some sort of placelessness or vacuum which I am currently trying to address -> anxiety
~ My fear of being white? I’m still not too sure what this actually means, I think this just means that, I benefit from a certain class privilege, but I don’t want people to forget that I’m a fucking immigrant. I’m not from this country, the place where I’ve derived my morality, ethics, social consciousness, is unique / distinctly different from white Americas conventions, but I really don’t think I should have to explain this right???
~ Lead in my pipes is just a metaphor for misplaced anxiety, among other things??
~ Dealing with narrative construction is important when seeking alternatives for the dissemination of information that in some cases might fall victim to becoming a false negation (in that it inevitably contributes to an affirmation of the inverse)
Re-investigation of the collectively developed symbol becomes a platform for the escape from historically specified space. Hyper-specificity exists in parallel to our constructed reality, for it to be viewed as physically separate creates a paradox unattainable given the realities of physical existence (?) i.e. Digital space is constructed physically, full sensory immersion is still simulacra.
Edits to constructed reality can only come through physical intervention (even if this means a construction of digital space), the breaking of constructed space within my physical practice has begun to parallel the recursion present in the act of a false negation. Ideally, operating within a hyper-specific space lends itself to a more expedient version of the aforementioned process [with the exception of its return to a space of false negation (if in fact, the end goal is something along the lines of an edit)].
Edit: in this case being defined as a shift or more precisely, in keeping with a digital metaphor, a break. In addition, recursion is a good metaphor for the cycle that is affirmation and the false negation.
For what purpose? And this is still where I find myself unable to give a clear response, why am I doing this? Besides taking a sort of pleasure from constructing dense systems or networks that manifest in visual forms that parallel their theoretical complexity. “He has something to share” but what, what is it? I wrote a short story last semester that seemed like a real waste of time, (to anyone who may read it) it was about my inability to make decisions, or find closure in my life due to an expectation of what ever the opposite of normalcy is (?). So then what are the productive spaces that this project has started to interact with? (see list that this thought is embedded within)
~ Collective conscious accessed through constructed digital environments. Learning experienced at an individual level, awareness??
What reveals itself through isolated viewing. (what is learning when experienced in isolation?) Can the success of education only be qualified through it’s collective (standardized) effect.
~ Being in a relationship that enforces heteronormative behavior is gross and confusing because these are questions that I’ve never really asked myself before, or ignored?
~ Trying not to let mental issues effect my work
Recently I’ve been thinking about personal branding, social media platforms, methods of constructing our digital selves. When I take pictures, there’s always an internal conflict in my mind, as to which platform this image belongs, I think one of the ways that I try to separate content, is by what an interface mandates, e.g instagram only gives u access to the phones camera, so the only thing I’ll post are photos taken on my iPhone, whereas tumblr allows me to interface with it through my computer, so any type of digital media is easily accessible. The issue is, when I first got instagram, i was using my tumblr as a photoblog, and the only content I would ever post would be photography. There was an intimacy to this process, primarily because the only followers I had were people unknown to me, and even then (still now) I have a low note count which in many ways assures the anonymity that I think I’ve grown accustomed to navigating life with, e.g. I wouldn’t dance in public even if I really needed to dance, I would probably wait till I get home, but instead because I prioritize work over my own personal needs/desires, would more than likely return at too late a time, at which point I would probably be exhausted, with only enough energy to carry me to bed. The point is the photos I would post, were rather close to my physical self, and in my mind, revealed certain sections of my psyche that even I was still having difficulty navigating. It was, in a way, an act of exhibitionism that I felt comfortable engaging in only in part to it’s seemingly low impact on my physical reality, to elaborate, my friends follow me on insta, strangers follow me on tumblr.
In a room, you are positioned on the far side (north). On the opposite wall (south), television, currently off. Graduation diploma, (west), positioned on top of a fireplace that also happens to hold a picture of your dead grandfather. Light turns off suddenly, (south-west corner of the room), your mother insists on putting the lights in her living spaces on timers, perhaps it is a method of regulating movement throughout the house after a certain hour, you notice that after this occurs, every night, the event triggers a transition up to your bedroom.
This space is familiar, it is comfortable. Your shoulders, which throughout the day seem to hold themselves forward from all the stress and your poor posture, seem to soften. It is a physical sensation that matches the color of walls, a dark orange-red, which is only deepened by the light coming from the lamp on your bedside table.
A phone is still tucked between your ear and your shoulder, a task much easier to achieve with a landline, but one which you have copied from your mother and now misapply w/ your iPhone.
In this room, you are positioned close to the door (south), your feet point towards a series of shelves (north-east). This is now the focus of all your attention, it’s contents are all contained within rectilinear fields of color. Attached to each object, you find memories untethered from place, now only existing as an implication of your capacity to feel.
In a room, white walls, two pairs of shoes, one for the mud, the other for formal occasions or / maybe job interviews. Two large windows (west), the sun sets quickly tonight, the moon rising (east) cast long shadows in the fields outside, you stare intently from the window, there is not a cloud in the sky.