Ratchet of the Earth | The New Engagement

Ratchet of the Earth: Page 2 of 3

By Adriana Garriga-Lopez
Ratchet of the Earth cover art by Tim Sullivan

Original illustration by Tim Sullivan.


Dearly beloved, we are here to deliberate, instigate, and agitate on the meaning of poems, politics, and performance art on the border. We want to ask questions and we will get answers. We must discipline and perform the boundaries. We must discipline and perform the performance artists. Perform the boundary, then perform the art, then perform the art performing the boundaries, then write about it, then write about writing as performance.

Performing the border is writing, writing it is in the border, is in the body, it is the boundary and the performance of its crossing that unsettles the writing, but also, as you can see, the body is unsettled and unsettling. And yet we write it while performing discipline, performing the border discipline, performing the border, border performances bordering on performance, bordering on discipline, bordering on border torture, the performance bordering on freedom, bordering on border detention facility, bordering on leaving, bordering on young or bordering on old, crossing the border of young and old and again bordering on performance, bordering on poetry, poetry like bread. Performance is not a luxury, performance is bread, acting up is not a luxury, act up or die, act up fight back, act up fight back, act up fight back.

Acting up at night is performing the street we take over: by night a street rite. The takeover is performative, but it is really happening. Hands up don’t shoot, it’s just a performance, it’s just art, don’t shoot. Render yourself visible, take off your hoodie, raise up your hands, raise up your pants, discipline yourself, render yourself intelligible. Rendez vous avec nous maintenant! Tell us. Discipline and perform the performance, artists! We are waiting. Art is a discipline and we must perform it. Maybe we can also theorize about it. Perform the academic performance. Perform the artist.

Performing academic discipline. Artist activist. Performing academic, academic performing performance artist as academic activist artist, activist academic performing performance artist activist. Artist activist performing academic performing the discipline. Discipline the performance. Perform academic artist activist discipline, activists, deeply play, play deep, let us witness your playful performance of deepness. Answer. Disciplined while disciplining. Deeply hanging out. Here we are, just hanging out. Deeply. Hang out deeply, perform it, render it. Render yourselves. Play. Seriously.


Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Adriana Garriga-Lopez is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York.

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