Digest: January 2023

Ghost Audience

Kelby Losack, BESTSELLER

‘To post is to perform in front of a faceless crowd that you can’t see beyond the brightness of the stage lights. The noise of cheering and jeering is proof that yes, there is an audience out there, but what are you getting from them beyond the shouting? You exit the stage and kill the lights in the green room and you’re alone in a cold, damp back alley with no clue the impression you made on the ghosts inside.’

Notes to Sean Bonney


‘Sean was one of the few untimely symbolists of our time. His poems are full of these things: bombs, mouths, wires, bones, birds, walls, suns, etc – never quite concepts, never quite images, never quite objects, but pieces of the world to be taken up and arranged, half exploded, into accusations; treasured as partial and made for us to take as our own, a heritage of our own destruction, at once ready at hand, and scattered to the peripheries on a map of the universe, persistently spiralling, in points, back to the centre, some no place.’

In Battersea

Owen Hatherley, London Review of Books

‘If ever a project has demonstrated the futility of conservation divorced from any concern with planning or social good, this is it. Yes, the original fabric of the building has been restored and ingeniously faked, but to what end? Who wants this Tate Modern for philistines, this Senate House for illiterates, this Berghain for people who can’t dance?’

Good Taste Online

Jay Springett, thejaymo

‘Given the affordances of different social media platforms … How does one demonstrate taste in the digital realm? It is, I think, ultimately a question of identity. In Animal Crossing taste is demonstrated by the arrangement of virtual objects. On Twitter, we signal taste with retweets and likes. On Pinterest we curate images, and on Tumblr we juxtapose them. Parts of our identity expressed in different ways, though differing UX, across different networks.’

People Of The Soil

Richard Smyth, Verso

‘From our beginning, our home place and whatever it is that ties us to it, we can go the first way, scale up our feeling for the soil we know to build a monstrous sort of bastard patriotism (forgetting all we know about scale, proportion, why an oak can’t grow two hundred cubits high, and why no fairytale giant could ever bear its own weight) – or we can use our roots for thinking with, work at finding what is large in the small, and try to flourish in a small plot.’

Poetry Is Not Revolution

Xarí Rivera Maya, Commune

‘As Trevino says, poetry is not a brick through a window; but it is kind of like throwing a brick at a window, because usually the brick just bounces off and doesn’t break jack shit.’