The unfinished text about an unrealised journal

I submit this from a point of view of embarrassment. The North Wind Review should exist; so should all of the other forays, broken-off, projected and imagined blogs, journals, readers, books, essays, projects, ‘theoretical performance’ and other things I find myself constantly inventing, faster than I can put myself to the task of completion. This doesn’t mean some things are not completed; many are; or that I would wish to stop inventing bigger and bolder projects that don’t finish (or not yet). Ann Bogart used to say to her students that you have to aim that high (the arm points upwards almost directly vertically to the sky); and then if you get that high (the arm juts out just over the horizon), you have already done a lot. So here is my project for The North Wind Review, which I drew up one day in my apartment just south of Harlem while I was studying at Columbia University; then reprised nearly a decade later, thinking I would turn this into the blog I have periodically meant to put up. But that trailed off as well. I find I’m actually a gregarious person but a solitary writer; editing requires too much of a constant in-the-worldness, which I’m never actually in the end 100% sure I’m able or care to sustain. I far prefer the bursts; the public appearances, and the promise that I can always retreat, wander, shift courses again.

I do hope one day something like The North Wind Review comes into the world, under my editorship or that of another. Surely many journals, blogs like this exist. Surely this energy transforms into other spaces and goes down other streets; I hope it goes into my teaching. I hope it goes into the rest of my work. What I should also submit as part of this ‘unfinished’ project is a performance I made for video for Coco Fusco’s Making and Documenting Performance Art workshop/class at Columbia; I had it up on the Performing Rights Library site and was too paranoid about it, and had it taken down. Perhaps paranoid isn’t the right word – I was cautious. I did feel controlled, watched. It was a time when friends were being wiretapped for activist work, and I felt there was a bigger project hatching, which I wanted to be ready for, and to stay under the radar for, until then. Clandestine. I wore a scarf on my head, open just sideways at the eyes. The video is gone. This was the text:

The three documents are dated November 20, 2015; August 22, 2014; November 3, 2004. An interesting preponderance of Novembers; August is another creux or fallow time; interesting also the return to prior outrage, in an attempt to transform it, to find how to redirect that still to the same yet changing conditions. Interesting also how memory fails: just above, I write that I returned to this project ‘a few years ago’; it was a year ago only, I realise on rereading this now.

by Kélina Gotman

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We, citizens of the United States, residents of the United States, visitors to the United States and citizens of other nations declare the current state of repression, intimidation, coercion and lies to be untenable.

We consider our right to a conscience uninhabited by the measliness, the ugliness, the falseness, the violence and the murderousness of our political leaders to be primordial.

We further declare our current political leaders to be usurpers of power, unfit and unwarranted to lead this nation in the governance of its own affairs let alone to govern the affairs of other nations.

We consider the intervention into other states which are fully autonomous and self-governed according to laws recognized and ratified internationally to be utterly reprehensible, despicable and degrading for those citizens, residents and visitors to the United States as well as to all citizens of sovereign and non-sovereign nations in the world.

We demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of our political, religious, economic and other leaders from the affairs of these aforementioned autonomous states wherever this intervention is unwelcome.

We consider, and demand, that any exchange with a foreign nation be dealt with in terms that are agreeable to both and insofar as this is possible, in accordance with international treaties and agreements should these exist.

Any failure to abide by these agreements or to take action, including verbally, which goes against the spirit of mutuality we consider to be unjust and punishable.

Furthermore, the right to proper governance, which includes but is not limited to the proper management of our natural resources – water, clean air, care for the sick, the elderly and the young, and other basic services which we consider it to be the duty of our governors to protect, though not necessarily to provide, and certainly not to take away – is one that we consider to be elementary.

Any leadership that fails to ensure these things for its own people before even going to take away those basic rights from other people is a leadership which must be divested of its authority.

This plea to health and to sovereignty comes at a time when our nation, for those residents of this nation, those visitors to it, and those citizens of the world is in grave danger of disintegration. For this reason, we, citizens of the Unites States, residents, visitors and citizens of the world demand the removal of the current leadership and its replacement by a governing body fit and mandated by the majority of citizens of the United States in accord with the conscience of the world to govern in a manner that will ensure our right to health, to peace and to a quiet conscience is upheld.

We consider that the failure to remove and to replace the current leadership immanently will cause the continuation of a violation of our constitutional rights and a threat that is untenable, immoral and utterly wrong to those nations of the world whose affairs are being entered by force into the domain of our own.

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about

The North Wind Review was the title of the journal I had set out to launch in November 2004, while I was a graduate student at Columbia University in New York. I was furious at the state of politics worsening in the post-9/11 regime, and wanted a forum for grieving and imagining a new world. While I never succeeded in launching this journal, the image has stuck, and I return to it now more broadly to signal a deepening frustration with the cultural and economic conditions that have become entrenched following the 2008 financial collapse: hyper-marketization, increasing inequalities, newspeak, surveillance. In the arts and academic spheres, less pay for more work; ballooning bureaucratization and hypertrophic regimes of administration and mismanagement; the tyranny of the ‘public’; and hypocritical policies pushing partnerships over people and access over risk.

The North Wind is a cold wind; the radical critic and philosopher Roger Caillois (1913-1978) wrote “Le vent d’hiver” in 1937 for the Collège de Sociologie (spearheaded by Caillois, Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris), calling for a rigorous, arctic, and subversive wind that would sweep over the world and bring with it a new historical order. I don’t know that we will succeed in achieving a new world order, nor what that would look like. But if we are in an extended economic depression, rent through with wars against slum-dwellers, migrants, women, then surely it is also a propitious time to dream. The North Wind Review then is also a site for intellectual peregrinations, creative digressions, critiques, aphorisms, forays… anything that resists, troubles, intercepts, and disrupts the relentless regime of our “society of control” (Deleuze 1990 [1992]).

To contribute to the blog, please email northwindreview@

Pages can include:

Reading list

Links

Emergent Thought

stepnotbeyond

Table Talk

hive

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The North Wind Review (NWR) is calling for submissions for its first issue (March 2005). Poetry, fiction, essays, photography and art (black and white only) will be considered. Please send electronic copies to NorthWindReview@earthlink.net or hard copies to North Wind Review, 195 Claremont Ave. #63B New York, NY USA 10027. Manuscripts will be destroyed unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2004. For book, performance and art reviews, please send a fifty-word abstract by December 1st, 2004 to NorthWindReview@earthlink.net, with details about the event or work to be covered.

The North Wind Review has been created to respond to the climate of anger and despair accompanying the disastrous sequence of events that have unfolded in the United States since the illegitimate seizure of power of the current President in the winter of 2001. We will not limit entries to political commentary, however but welcome reflections of whatever tone, color and volume to respond to our current deplorable state.

Note from the Editor:

Although the contemporary crisis in world politics, spear-headed by the chief rogue nation, which pronounces loudly and hypocritically its upholding civic, democratic values, extends far beyond the borders of this large nation divided by apparently irreconcilable (and largely incommunicado) constituencies, we hope to speak far beyond the reaches of this situation, to nations that have shared, or currently share, or may share sometime in the future the troubles of disintegrating gubernatorial authority. It is our hope that artists working directly or indirectly with questions of civility and change will contribute to this forum. Finally, although we are speaking from a point of outrage, and welcome works that are intent as we are to wreak havoc in the current deadlocked state of affairs that we must confront daily, we adhere to no political party nor do we care to generate a new partisan politics, but prefer rather open and free expressions of dissent.

This is the reason for “North Wind” – a force of nature beyond the reaches of petty politics that revolt us and cause us to wish for the dissolution of our own system of governance and dissemination of beliefs, towards a renewed humanism, and ethically informed, moral but above all, free articulation of our causes for continuing daily to fight.

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