“If I set failure as a goal, then I put myself into a paradoxical position because either I fail to reach it--so in some sense I've succeeded at failing--or I succeed in reaching it, in which case I failed at failing. Paradoxes and impossible goals really intrigue me.”
“There are a lot of horrifying things lurking in the autocomplete field...People used to confess to their priest or some sort of trusted figure and now people spell out their secrets to the search bar, to the machine.”
“I was thinking about the historical moment in which it was created and I was thinking about it as a cultural critic and cultural historian who is interested in issues of social justice, who is interested in reading people who have at times been marginal to the narrative... But also leaving some room for ambiguity.”
“There's always the nostalgia of something with the concept of biopolitics. And it's even more visible with Agamben. I mean I love Agamben...but I must confess that there is something that I cannot accept...the underlying nostalgia for something that would be pure and authentic.”
"This is a problem that cannot really be solved using a computer itself. This is something that humans have to discuss and ultimately decide on...This is a conversation that all of society has to engage in.”
"What if, instead, we flipped the script and start with the present day and dig further and further backwards in time...see all of these tropes and morphologies and hopes and dreams recurring and echoing as we go further and further back into history?”
"The relationship that has long characterized the domain of language and the domain of image...that boundary is also being eroded and shifted around in a variety of ways and punctuation illustrates that nicely...it hovers between language and image in provocative ways.”
"I really enjoyed adopting this position of the medium, where I was searching for these voices that had been forgotten or erased from history...[I became] the one who would transmit these voices to others."
"The face is a real thing. It actually matters...It has this massive amount of functional importance in our lives. It's also the site of enormous amounts of status...our face becomes a representative of who we are in some essential way."
"A book that can show you how the distinct operations, both the form and the content of particular comics, speak to much wider structures of power, identity politics, and social reality...that, to me, is a strong study.
"In so many circumstances, violence on the part of dominant powers and dominant people is allowed to take place because inequalities are allowed to exist and persist... In order to struggle for the eradication of violence, it needs to go hand in hand with the eradication of inequality."
"This goes back to why Arendt argued that we needed 'public' and 'private.' The 'private' is kind of a refuge from politics. Even though politics is a good thing, you don't want to be in it and doing it all the time because that's exhausting."
"I managed to refuse to have a mobile phone... I can sit there in a train carriage, look out the window, and, of course there’s some kind of mediation going on there, but it’s free from the kind of mediation which seems to consume most of us most of the time."
"Until we're able to speak about this racism as something that's coming out of 'us' -- and here I'm speaking particularly as a white person -- out of our culture more broadly, then we don't have a chance of really trying to handle what this persistent racism is."
"My anxiety about the future of critical theory is partly that if it doesn't figure out a way to engage more with other kinds of critical traditions--postcolonial theory is one example, but also feminist theory and queer theory and critical philosophy of race--then I worry about the extent to which this project has a robust future."
"Of the Trump supporters and Clinton supporters, there were practically no television shows in each group's mutual top 25... There's almost no overlap, not just in terms of political messaging, but also in cultural messaging."
"Something there feels important to me about...doing what we can from where we are, building our capacity to do more, and refusing to be convinced that it's hopeless for us to do anything if we can't solve everything."
“The definitions of youth over the last fifteen or twenty years are now frantically proliferating in order to try to keep up with the contradictions and antagonisms of what’s actually happening with young people, which is almost inarticulable now.”
“I think lots of our celebrities are ‘writerly’ texts. When we read them we re-write them as well…Bowie died in January of last year but he’s alive because I’m listening to him and rewriting him, recreating him, and in many ways I’m resurrecting him as well every time I put that record on.”