Incalculable Loss is the debut collection of critical prose from artist and poet manuel arturo abreu. In their own words, the text “orbits the topics of art, race, tech, and feelings,” gathering writing from 2014 to 2018 and presenting a kind of paean to the critical position, which is often maligned as parasitic or paradoxical. With a sense of casual rigor and flippancy, the included texts tackle themes from the problems of theorizing cannibalism, the violence of modernism in art via theft of Black and brown aesthetics, the commodification of identity, and the ways in which Big Data makes all of “us” newly complicit in the death and violence that powers the global system. Originally titled Against Theory — as in both anti-theory and rubbing up on its surface — abreu’s text offers various modes of recalibrating one’s own thinking, showing that if one truly loves knowledge, one must let it go.
manuel arturo abreu (b. 1991, Santo Domingo) is a poet and artist from the Bronx. Currently living and working out of a garage in southeast Portland, they received their BA in Linguistics (Reed College, 2014). They work with text, ephemeral sculpture, and photography in a process of magical thinking with attention to ritual aspects of aesthetics. abreu recently exhibited and programmed with the Art Gym (Marylhurst, OR), Paragon Gallery (Portland, OR), Open Signal (Portland, OR), MoMA PS1 (NYC), Rhizome and the New Museum (online), and Veronica (Seattle, WA). They recently published at Rhizome, Art in America, AQNB, and SFMoMA Open Space. abreu wrote List of Consonants (Bottlecap Press, 2015) and transtrender (Quimérica Books, 2016),abreu co-facilitates home school, a free pop-up art school in Portland that creates welcoming contexts for critical engagement with contemporary art, as well as black apotrope, a living multimedia anthology of Black queer tendencies and processes.
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