reading note – David Graeber – Revolutions in Reverse

This article by David Graeber starts with an interesting question: Why does radical politics often seem “unrealistic”? Participants in radical politics emphasize the importance of imagination and critique alienated lives, and although the terms “imagination” and “alienation” seem to have been abandoned by political theorists, they still seem valid for understanding actual human experience. In this paper, Graeber draws on the experience of the Direct Action Network (DAN) to reflect on these concepts in a simple and perceptive way, outlining an “imagined political ontology.

He begins by distinguishing between the left and the right in terms of violence and the imaginary: the right believes that the most fundamental power of a society is violence: those in power can impose their demands by destructive means, so the right’s understanding of “reality” is that the world is fundamentally determined by destructive forces. The left does not deny the existence of violence and, more insidiously, structural violence, but it believes that reality is created by people and can be made to look like something else.

The transformation of reality is mediated by the imagination. Imagination is not a utopian fantasy detached from reality, as some left-wing theorists have criticized, but is embedded in the world and is the mediating link in the transformation of the world by man. Imagination is not only legitimate but also necessary for social revolution.

Anarchists believe that the so-called “public” is not a solid entity, and that its actions are to some extent determined by the requirements implicit in the situation. The bureaucratic social system imposed many limitations, either explicit or implicit, on the possibilities of human imagination and action, and these blocked possibilities suddenly seemed to open up in the particular context of revolution, when people felt “an urgent practical need to recreate, to reimagine everything around them”.

Revolution has traditionally been understood as a one-shot uprising that begins with an insurrection aimed at overthrowing state power and moves from the euphoria of celebration to the serious and cumbersome creation of new institutions, often rebuilding a bureaucracy of structural inequality. The “everyday life revolution” of “direct action” goes in the opposite direction, starting with the creation of new forms of collective decision-making, and then creating short-lived but free situations in which to fight against the state. They believe that “such action can only be truly revolutionary if the process of situation creation is as free as the situation itself.

However, such experiments in reorganizing the imagination are still conducted under the weight of state power, and cumbersome regulations and even direct crushing by force can frustrate the practitioners of alternative politics. In a more difficult context where institutional violence is not only hidden in the structures of inequality, but also directed at the physical life of human beings, how can we use our imagination to cut holes in the “fabric of reality” for people to breathe freely?

1st tutorial with Janet

6.27 2022

I started out with a topic that I wanted to write about the authenticity of outsider artist’s intuition. I wanted to analyze the relationship between overly emotionally guided works and the current messy works of ai.

In the tutorial I mentioned that:

I like what Neil Postman says in “Technopoly”: “After technology replaces human thinking, boring things become full of meaning to us, and incoherence becomes reasonable”.

Does art that relies too much on “emotion” and “intuition” have a similar core? Some digital art simply adds a process of agency (auto-generated art is very consumerist).

When the aesthetic response overtakes the cognitive response, it inevitably tends toward a permanent and pervasive irrationality and anti-intellectualism. It certainly breaks down the hierarchy created by knowledge and brings in elements of democracy and equality, but through a downward levelling path.

In addition to this I mentioned my admiration for Henry Darger and Joseph Beuys, and Janet pointed out that I should develop a scope of content and outline in detail to prevent writing in bits and pieces and exceeding the word count.

Start writing an outline for the research paper. Write while sorting out the outline.

Study Statement 1.0


the “adolescent” as a result of “the disappearance of adulthood and childhood”


“Childhood” is an artificial concept.

There’s a complex and delicate relationship between the Capitalist ideology, the narrative of childhood, and the the logic of capital in which “children” are commodified in television commercials.

Adulthood and childhood in the age of images disappear together. So how to define “childhood” when consumption and bubbles persist?

Unit 2 edit:
I often accept some collaborative projects for commercial illustration and clothing. My style is similar to the “yamikawai” style, often drawing children’s images with wounds and bandages, so I wanted to explore the keyword “children” in unit 1.


୨୧ AIM 1 Using practice based research to create long-term projects around the articles I write.
Objective Research the relationship between children’s cognition and media technology and read the relevant literature. (media, communication science)
Changes in the way information interacts can directly affect the Electrophysiology of the brain, read more about it.

୨୧ AIM 2 Theme of the long-term project. Study of the process of cognitive changes in children and their causes in the present time when consumerism will persist. The social meaning of work and labor. (tentative)

୨୧ AIM 3

Discover how to build a long-term project. (research articles together with outcome present)


How to publish. Making a website. (blog-like home page) Hope to get in touch with 3d virtual exhibition.

୨୧ AIM 4

Exploring and creating barrier-free art – how to convey the same emotion and concept through different senses. What are the more “universal” senses.


Make some small projects: image to music transformation.

The connection between image and touch.


“the disappearance of childhood“

In The disappearance of childhood, Neil Postman mentions the impact of technology on the way people think. He argues that the emergence of childhood means the emergence of shame, which is the most human invention.
But the way childhood is defined in terms of innocence itself conceals the various complex realities that childhood life has to face. In this context, the “child” as opposed to the “adult” seems to be subservient to social rules, dominated by animal desires, and in need of the reminder of the “innocent child” in order to maintain its humanity. “We do not move from childhood to a state of adulthood, but from childhood to a state of discipline, akin to self-imposed servitude.” (The psychoanalysis of fire) In addition to the discussion of humanity itself, it is worth mentioning the complex and delicate relationship between the logic of capital, the narrative of childhood in different contexts, and the ideology of capitalism in which “children” are commodified in television commercials.

Children are both socially constructed and historically generated, as well as physiologically specific. Research has shown that changes in the way information is interacted with can directly affect the electrophysiology of the brain.

Big data is characterized by the delivery of information in a way that is more appropriate for Internet streaming, aka: more data volume and less information, improving the efficiency of information delivery from a huge expansion of the overall data volume. But for individuals, the amount of data they can receive per unit of time is limited, so the density of information is now lower compared to the past. The phenomenon of “image illiteracy in the information society” has also been observed.

Neil Postman’s “The Fading of Adulthood” – “a new childhood culture characterized by visuals and images that are jumpy, uncritical, and without negative content. Adults degenerate back into childhood in the electronic world.” There is a psychological concept called “regression”, when we encounter an unbearable setback, our psychological state will unconsciously regress to the state of a younger age. “Regression” and “fading into adulthood” are complementary.

What gets overlooked in these discussions is the adolescent. Kennedy coined the concept of “adolescence” in the 1960s. Youth” changed from Joseph Conrad’s 20-30 years to the current range of 13-17 years. The word “youth”, which represents the good years of youth, and the word “puberty”, which represents hormonal agitation, are the same etymology in Chinese with a sense of spring, and “youth” is no longer a spring blossom, but a The word “youth” is no longer a spring blossom, but a frozen swamp. If we look at it in the context of “adulthood” and “the fading of childhood”, “adult” is not a regression back to “child” but “adolescent”. “but “adolescence”.

I love Jasper Spicero’s work, and I’ve been imagining a world since a long time ago, where the mechanisms of the world exist in a metaphorical way. I want to make a long-term project about this world, to make a personal style of work, and to continue to do some side projects that can be easily realized as much as possible, to continue to make, to supplement the research according to the practice, and then to revise and improve the practice again, and so on is the long-term project that I pursue in the form of practice based research.

By doing so, I not only improve my work, but also expand my understanding of metaphors from different perspectives, the relationship between things, and get closer to the mechanism.


Keep writing. Keep doing side projects that are as simple to implement as possible to keep the enthusiasm.

Theory in bibliography

Research in blog research session

(Working on ways to find the missing data now)

-Experimenting Exploration of making web pages. Exploration of accessible art (inter-sensory transitions). Reading of theoretical books related to child psychology and the relationship between cognition and media.


A separate exhibition site as a long-term project

bozopupa: Photography: “Adolescence” as a result of “adulthood” and “childhood” fading together

Exploration of accessible art – side project (sound, touch)


UNIT 1:Front-end of a web page, a project

UNIT 2:Additions to the relevant theory


Adkins, K.S. (2015). When Time Stood Still. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.

Bachelard, G. and Frye, N. (1968). The psychoanalysis of fire. Boston: Beacon Press, [Fresno, Calif.

Cioran, E.M. and Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston (1998). Tears and Saints. University Of Chicago Press.

Orna Donath (2017). Regretting motherhood : a study. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.

Postman, N. (1993). Technopoly : the surrender of culture to technology. New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books.

Postman, N. (1994). The disappearance of childhood. New York, N.Y.: Vintage.

Warner Bros. Pictures (2018). 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY – Trailer. YouTube. Available at: