Without Identity is a sci-fi geo-fic in the form of a slipstream slideshow or hallucinatory powerpoint. It is an imaginative tone-poem fiction of colonial settlement, genocide, and the equation of bodies with minerals. It re-performs the geological identification and collection of resources as the identification and collection of internet-sourced .gifs collected, collated, organized, and stacked into a GoogleSlide presentation of infinite permutation. The counter-aesthetics of Afrofuturism permeates the work, functioning as an underlying refusal of all imposed conditions. It attempts a form of suspended and fluid “storytelling.” Narration itself, and the narration of history, is troubled by the palimpsestic layering of .gifs, the slideshow format, and the “video-version” of the reading. These many versions dislocate the possibility of an “originary” story, underlining the necessity of constant re-historicization at the level of chaotic aesthetics against the singular imposition of fictitious identities. “Without Identity” intends, as Édouard Glissant puts it, to “consent not to be a single thing.” The work can be experienced as an individual reading of the google slideshow at the reader's desired pace, or in the form of the performed "video version," where the author has flipped through the slide show in rhythmic cohesion with selected music.
About the Artist
Brent Cox is co-founder of the Topological Poetics Research Institute (TPRI). Along with Simon Eales and Courtlin Byrd he runs The Ecopoetry Workshop, in association with the Nature Arts Habitat Residency (NAHR) in Val Taleggio, Italy. He is a PhD student in the University at Buffalo Poetics Program.