This issue features an interview with theorist and scholar Sun-ha Hong, author of the forthcoming title Fabrications: Knowledge and uncertainty in a data-driven society (NYU Press: 2019) and an artist project by Soft Cells Presents: Jules Gimbrone.
Produced in conjunction with the exhibition take care, at Gas.
Hayley Barker, Darya Diamond, Ian James, Young Joon Kwak, C. Lavender, Sarah Manuwal, Saewon Oh, Amanda Vincelli, and SoftCells presents: Jules Gimbrone
How do radical ambitions of “self-care” persist or depart from capitalist society’s preoccupation with wellness and the industry surrounding it, particularly when filtered through technological advances? How can we imagine personal wellness that complicates or diverges from capitalist and consumerist tendencies? Taking its name from the common valediction, which is both an expression of familiarity and an instruction of caution, take care, is a group exhibition that considers the many tensions surrounding the possibilities of self-care.
Long before it was a popular hashtag, self-care emerged from twentieth-century social justice movements. To take care of oneself correlated to the greater health of a community, an urgent issue in the face of widespread inequality and violence. As Audre Lorde famously stated, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” More recently, the term “self-care” has been commercially co-opted to sell products like spa treatments and skin cream. Further, bodies are thoroughly quantified with tracking devices, habits are caught up in cycles of accelerated production, and self-regulation exists in tandem with complex algorithmic processes that profit from individual surveillance. In order to ask what “self-care” means given this current scenario, take care, simultaneously looks back at potent activist histories and forward into speculative futures.
Located in a truck gallery parked around Los Angeles and online, Gas is a mobile, autonomous, experimental and networked platform for contemporary art.
Gas collaborates closely with artists to create experiences that foster community and connection while imagining alternative forms of cultural and critical production. The space’s inherently itinerant format reflects the fluidity of twenty-first century culture and art practice, while also allowing considerable independence and creative freedom in terms of concept, site, format, audience, and engagement. Gas offers an opportunity to rethink why, where and how we view art, whether the encounter happens while surfing the web or driving around Los Angeles, a city defined by its sprawl and car culture.
Each season, Gas presents one thematic exhibition that includes works in the gallery and online. All shows include a fundraiser edition and a zine publication.