DOWN THE TUBE: Pipelines and History

“The Albert Michelson pipeline in California carried light, not fuel. After the experiments, the tube was sold to the city of Irvine for reuse in more mundane purposes.” (Courtest Huntington Library, San Marino, CA)

There are plenty of thorough, well written, and historically grounded pieces written about “Standing Rock” from the people who deserve to control the presentation of their lives : Those of Oceti Sakowin, now often referred to as the Great Sioux Nation. See this piece by Nick Estes for a great account on the use of violence as a political, state, corporate tactic in the desecration of Native Lands throughout history with focus on NoDAPL struggle.

The camps against the North Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL) are only the most recent among longstanding, extensive, struggles between…


Writing is Hard

Like, for real. For real for real.


Or, why we need more “Feminist Rants” about technology and surveillance.

Cara Rose DeFabio performing “Virtual Girlfriend, Beta” Z Space in San Francisco, 3/09/2017. Photo by Dustin Mabry

I’ve recently experienced a performance by Cara Rose DeFabio at Z Space in San Francisco titled “Virtual Girlfriend Beta.” The sometimes-funny and sometimes-sad work got the people in a dark, cold, theater laughing and crying over a piece exploring our unfortunate new in-ability to ask out strangers and instead opt for a (really) fake love life. The piece is part of a long line of work from Cara, spanning topics on technologies, embodiment, feminism, and emojis (see the Pervert’s Guide to emojis).

Her new show, Virtual Girlfriend, builds on…


And Why We Care

Untitled. Acrylic on Canvas, Dustin Mabry 2017

Astronauts who have done spacewalks return to the airlock to only to encounter a curious (gunpowder, fried steak, acrid, metallic, burnt cookie, ozone) smell on their equipment. People who haven’t been to space find this as an intriguing thing. Seems we love to think about smelling space. I dig the smell of Space question and I think our curiosity over the smell of Space tells us something about our cultural relationship to smell generally and the nature of “air.”


On Trump’s Wasteland

By Dustin Mabry

Ink on Paper. Dustin Mabry, 2015

“Drain the swamp they live in, and that means dealing not only with the terrorists, but those who harbor terrorists. This will take a long, sustained effort.” — Donald Rumsfeld, September 18, 2001

The trump administration has presented the U.S. as a vast arena of disaster, both on the level of the nation and within the world of politics itself. His team has created a vast Wasteland in dire need of intervention and improvement. This is not new politics: The Wasteland has is alive in efforts of war and imperialism throughout the world.

Yet…


All the rage since (Francis) Bacon

I hit the marches throughout the Bay Area over the weekend of Trump’s inauguration, and was struck by the way in which truth took center stage. People were up in arms about a lot of things (rightly, and justly, so), and one of these things was the failure of logic, reason, and “science” in the organization of political life. On top of the many chants and drums rang a very big question: How can someone who is so wrong about everything win?

Oakland, 1/21/2017. Photo: Dustin Mabry

Such a response is not surprising. Especially in light of the unabashed…


Quick thought on the What-is-Art Question

“Untitled, Art.” Fair, San Francisco 2017. Photo by Dustin Mabry

After reading and thinking about the nature of art, (and scaling my way through a dissertation on art and the politics of reality), I tried my best to come up with two wholly opposed ways of seeing it. Many people have distributed their take on such a process, and this one is mine.

I think this is an especially important thing to be thinking about today. Not only because its fun, but because we — those living in the (2017) U.S. of A. — seem to be in a deluge of wonder, or just…

Dustin Mabry

Researcher and general enthusiast. Storytelling, Writing, Art-Making, and Chit-Chatting.

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