A manifesto, a bubble, a monster: poetic episode #1

My last two Saturdays involved reciting poetry out loud in some unusual ways. The first episode: a manifesto, a bubble and a monster.

Two weeks ago, I participated in the Emerging Territories of Movement event at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. I was one of 15 people asked to deliver a manifesto—my group was “Urbanizing Technologies”—to a crowd of about 150 people inside a big, inflated bubble (provided by Raumlabor, one of my favorite architecture/urbanism groups). The day was magical: an exploding day of spring green and sunshine, of listening and arguing and drawing and talking.

I stood on a chair and took the mic in my hand–and realized that I was shaking with adrenaline. I shouted my manifesto, then followed it up with my favorite e.e. cummings poem, one that I’ve (largely) memorized, and that age 18 as a student in Düsseldorf, Germany, I stood on a chair and shouted it to my fellow high school students.

Delivering a manifesto!

Photo by Enrique Ramirez


The manifesto, with the attendant images:
1. Technology always perpetuates the flow of capital: it is inevitable

2. Circulation equals communication

Fortune Magazine, 1939

3. Technologies and transactions always microsize in tandem

4. As they seep into us, they colonize us from the inside out

5. We must hyperbolize and hypermobilize

6. To fight it, we must get small like the tiny technologies

7. We must atomize into a million dusty fragments


Then onward to e.e. cummings. In the middle of it, I noted, “I’m shaking.” I was.

pity this busy monster,manunkind,

not.  Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victum(death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
-electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange;lenses extend

unwish through curving wherewhen until unwish
returns on its unself.
			          A world of made
is not a world of born-pity poor flesh

and trees,poor stars and stones,but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence.  We doctors know

a hopeless case if-listen:there's a hell
of a good universe next door;let's go