Editorial 40: Self

Welcome to #40: this is the SELF issue.




SELF, as in:

• to be the union of elements that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
the union of elements that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
the qualities that make a person individual or unique.
one’s consciousness of one’s own being or identity
material that is part of an individual organism
to pollinate with pollen from the same flower or plant

In this issue:

Mikhel Proulx tackles the utopian rhetoric of the ‘true self(ie)’ in contemporary digital culture and questions how the performance of self online in late capitalism is reduced to the manner in which networks make representations possible. Proulx’s contribution points to critical alternatives in recent art and design, examples that provoke the limited and prohibitive set of protocols governing the representation of self beyond individualized ‘users’ within computational systems.

NMP contributor Lindsay Shane speaks with Shannon Webb-Campbell, the award-winning poet, writer, and journalist of mixed Aboriginal ancestry, about her first collection of poems Still No Word. The collection, as Shane reflects, invites the reader to inhabit a “self that is trying to establish its identity and make life’s constantly shifting temperament both endurable and workable.” The conversation takes Shane and Webb-Cambell through a swell of topics, from the relationship between the poet and reader to the process of writing poetry as an unearthing of hidden selves.

OmiSoore Dryden articulates the power of blood narratives in facilitating connections made between appropriate sexual relations, racial degeneracy, morality, the spreading of contagion and national security. In “Blood Out of Bounds”, Dryden scrutinizes how these narratives of blood produce a discursive practice that summons historical and culturally specific precepts of the scientific degradation of blackness in Canada. The replication of these narratives continues to position black people and their blood as external to the nation and as a necessary exclusion in the pursuit of blood safety.

In 2012 NMP contributor Momoko Allard interviewed Yuki Kokubo about her photography and video work on sites of environmental change, and about a documentary project about Kokubo’s parents and their life in a rural artistic community about 90 miles from Fukushima. Three years on, Allard and Kokubo reconnect and discuss Kokubo’s recently released documentary film KASAMAYAKI, which follows her on her return to her childhood home in rural Japan and her attempt to reconnect with her parents and her family’s past.

Cover photographer Jinyoung Kim talked with Andrea Zeffiro about recent video and photography works, A Conversation and The Objects, and, Onion and Objects on the Rooftop. Much like Yuki Kokubo’s recently released documentary, Kim’s works are entrenched in a process of recollection. Kim’s work explores self-identity at the impasse between the past and the present, and the residual memories of time and place.

As NMP plans for a ten-year run, we have 100 slots to fill and encourage your submissions. Please consult our Guidelines and email us: info at nomorepotlucks dot org.

NMP comes out every 2 months online, with back issues (eventually) available in print-on-demand. Thank you again to Yishan Huang who is assembling the last 10 issues of print NMP. For now, you can access the NMP holdings in e-artexte.

As always, huge thank-you to our copy editors, to all the NMP regulars, contributors past and future, and to readers and supporters of the project in so many ways.

Andrea Zeffiro, M-C MacPhee and Mél Hogan