Photo: Nando Alvarez-Perez

Dear Reader,

What a year it’s been, as those of us fortunate enough to be working from home have watched, through the proscenia of our living room windows and computer monitors, an incredible transformation take place before our bleary, screen-fatigued eyes. What once seemed like one possible and slightly dreadful neofeudal future — marked by the financial extraction of every virtual interaction, the paralysis-inducing monocropping of media commodities, and an incredible expansion of the low-wage service sector — appears now largely to be upon us. [1]

As we begin to come face to face with one another again it will be good to be reminded that ultimately it is people who make the world.

Between Zoom meetings, while I’m walking the dog and, perhaps, scanning the ground for bottles of urine left on the sidewalk by overworked Amazon drivers, I think sometimes about the strange lag between theory and praxis. Never has postmodernism’s freeplay of signifiers and the anxieties the concept provokes in some people felt so real, so undeniable, and so stupidly in your face as in the era of “fake news”; never has the dematerialization of the art object, which Lucy Lippard first identified in 1973, felt so literal as with the recent explosion of the NFT market. It feels like by the time theory has emerged as praxis it’s always already too late to notice, the novel has receded flush again to the total, the world just obviously is that way now. I suppose we’re always living out yesterday’s beliefs today, and tomorrow we will believe according to how we lived out today. Today, I know who Beeple is and must live accordingly. Yesterday, I, blissfully, did not.

Photo: Jacob Vogan
Photo: Nando Alvarez-Perez

As we begin to come face to face with one another again it will be good to be reminded that ultimately it is people who make the world. Ideas, good ones and bad ones, don’t just spring from nothing: they are made in the world, with each other, and there is work to be done raising up the good ones and putting the bad ones back to bed. We have never felt more strongly about the possibilities — the opportunities — inherent to print media and right now couldn’t be more excited about getting back to making the world with all of you.

Issue 6 of Cornelia is something of a grab bag of current events and critical commentary. First up, Schondra Aytch, of the music blog Sneakvibing, gives us a look into the visual side of Buffalo’s burgeoning hip-hop scene through the work of $eeing Sounds and DNTWATCHTV. Next, artist Jacob Broussard writes about his curatorial process for the inaugural exhibition at Kingfish Gallery, a project space in his North Buffalo home. Emily Mangione writes about the politics of presence in relation to two recent exhibitions in Buffalo in our third piece, and, in our fourth, Andrea Mancuso interviews her former student, Ryan Arthurs, about his recently opened gallery, Rivalry Projects, in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. Finally, William Brereton shares his thoughts on the expansive historical perspectives Julie Mehretu opens up to us in her work and curatorial approach.

See you in the real world,

Nando Alvarez-Perez, Editor-in-Chief

[1] Jodi Dean. “Neofeudalism: The End of Capitalism?” Los Angeles Review of Books, May 12, 2020.