Vulnerability and love: we need more of both. I’m not sure I knew that when I was young, and in some ways the world hurts a lot more when we seek both, but … say fuck it and start. It seems to me, Elysia, that you too are looking for worldly entries that foreground the personal (all experience is mediated through some subjectivity, even if that subjectivity is manifold) and yet open to vaster panoramas – ambits of vast geographical stretch, historical as well as personal depth. What you’ve written about brown as skin and stone seems right to me, the geology of contemporary American racism as active sediment and abiding foundation, but I do wonder what the stakes of an embrace of vulnerability might be here: the brown or black body’s woundability has always been the way it has been disciplined and even destroyed. Vulnerability as the engine of slavery. It’s not just a willed opening to the world. Primeval gash. Wounding bodies – and wounding mountains – leave a lasting impress (in landscape, in souls). Your aural environments capture that process of accretion well – and rightly refuse to allow a stilling thereafter. In some of your tracks I can smell or taste rain, and in others blood. I like how you stage their confluence (it is hard to tell the difference between human and natural history in your work). You seem to find your way into these histories through the personal (you’ve spoken so eloquently in interviews about your family history and its force) and yet craft pieces that are never only personal: shared feeling, shared history, shared inheritances run through American Drift.

http://dismagazine.com/disillusioned/discussion-disillusioned/78786/a-letter-from-jeffrey-j-cohen-to-elysia-crampton/
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