“The expression “broken english” reflects on the elasticity for negotiating public space in a culturally diverse urban setting–the moment of suspension of individual and group ideologies, cultural behaviors, moral attitudes, lifestyles, and beliefs when faced with other people on the streets. Just like urban exchanges, “broken english” maybe be fragmented, incomplete, and/or marked by faulty syntax and inappropriate diction. English is a language, but “broken english” is a broken tool, in the best possible sense. It is not made-to-measure, instead it has to be constantly repurposed and made-to-function.” Broken English (2011)
This text reminds me that what is “fragmented, incomplete and/or marked” is subjective. Does that mean that what is dispersed (fragmented, one instance of a set) is also in the end a subjective qualification? In the same way as what is poisonous is in the end more than the concentration of material in a particular context, because the question is poisonous to whom?
A 48-page newsprint publication made collaboratively with Julieta Aranda and commissioned by Defne Ayas, Lead Curator, Performa 11 in New York.
Broken English is a 48-page newsprint publication that brings together a selection of historical critical writing, newly commissioned essays and other contributions by a group of more than 20 artists and writers that illustrate the complexity of this malleable urban field of possibilities, of encounters and negotiations at a pivotal moment, when there is a generalized climate of protest, and political actions in public space have taken center stage in cities throughout the world.
With contributions by
Julieta Aranda, Joey Arias/Carlos Motta, Defne Ayas, Michael Baers, Sarnath Banerjee, Andy Bichlbaum, Julio Camba, Asli Çavuşoğlu, Carolina Caycedo, Samuel R. Delany, Jimmie Durham, Liam Gillick, Ashley Hunt, Adam Kleinman, Runo Lagomarsino, Yates McKee, Naeem Mohaiemen/Visible Collective, Shirin Neshat/RoseLee Goldberg, OWS Architecture Committee, Raqs Media Collective, Martha Rosler, Kim Turcot DiFruscia/Elizabeth Povinelli, Anton Vidokle/Andrei Monastyrski, Jeff Weintraub, and Carla Zaccagnini.