BOMB 146 Winter 2019

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Editor's Choice
The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hikianalia Journey to California by Julian Brave NoiseCat
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On August 16, the Hikianalia, a seventy-two-foot dual-hulled Polynesian voyaging canoe from Hawaii set out across the Pacific for California, powered by the winds, tides, two solar-charged propellers (for emergencies), and a thirteen-person crew.

CHERRY RIVER, Where the Rivers Mix by Katherine Cooper
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It’s rare that as a writer I am left speechless by a performance. Writing becomes like swimming for the first time: relearning how to breathe. What can abandonment by words afford a writer besides drowning? Perhaps a lesson in listening. 

Marwa Helal’s Invasive Species by Safia Elhillo
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For Marwa Helal and me, the histories of our two countries—Egypt and Sudan—are inextricably linked, our shared Nile both the most obvious and fertile metaphor.

Black Line, Mixed Signals, and Île d’Ouessant by Jordan Cronk
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From Andrei Tarkovsky to Lucrecia Martel, Peter Hutton to Nathaniel Dorsky, entire aesthetic philosophies, genres, and approaches to filmmaking have been rooted in the elements. 

Jeff Whetstone’s The Batture Ritual by Ratik Asokan
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Invited to examine the human geography of lower Louisiana for the 2017 Prospect New Orleans triennial, Jeff Whetstone set off for the batture, a patch of land that separates the Mississippi from the city’s levee. 

Christos Ikonomou’s Good Will Come From the Sea by Ellie Robins
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A pose recurs in Christos Ikonomou’s Good Will Come From the Sea: one character after another finds themselves on their knees, waiting. For the dawn, for mercy, for love. 

Interviews

Lauren Bon and Oscar Tuazon

The social practice works of Bon and Tuazon take the form of functional interventions to address and educate about California’s water crisis.

Alicia Kopf by Mara Faye Lethem
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The author and translator of Brother in Ice confront Romantic notions of genius, dysfunctional family expectations, and other challenges to self expression.

Mary Lucier by Alex Klein
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Notions of ecological precarity and technological mediation enfold in the degraded landscape; the video artist surveys her decades of prescient and pressing work.

Jaque Fragua and Brad Kahlhamer
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Two artists drawing from punk, graffiti, and traditional Native American aesthetics, talk about protest art and the notion of the “Post-Smithsonian delinquent.”

Ruth Cuthand by Chantal McStay
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Beading images of deadly viruses and bacteria into enticing designs, Cuthand makes visible Indigenous communities’ exposure to disease from first colonial contact to today.

Janaina Tschäpe by Francesco Clemente
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The paintings in HumidGray and ShadowLake evoke synesthetic colors, remembered landscapes, and the physical performance inherent in marking a canvas.

Jessica Grindstaff of Phantom Limb by Sophie Hunter
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The final part of a performance trilogy on climate change, Falling Out fuses puppetry, Butoh, and Flex, to reflect on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Tomoko Sauvage by Britton Powell
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The musician delves into the sonic properties and generative caprice of resonating bowls of water and melting blocks of ice—instruments that propel her latest album, Musique Hydromantique.

Cecilia Vicuña by Elianna Kan
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The poet and artist invokes ancient matriarchal cultures, Indigenous folkways, and the speculative capacities of language so that we might rediscover our kinship with nature.

First Proof

Issue #146: from Return to the Yakne Chitto by Monique Verdin & Raymond Jackson

From Return to the Yakne Chitto: Houma Migrations (Neighborhood Story Project, University of New Orleans Press, 2019), a collaborative ethnography of Houma lifeways at the ends of the Louisiana bayou.

Saltscapes by Ragna Róbertsdóttir
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Icelandic artist Ragna Róbertsdóttir mines the land and seascapes of her country to create sparse and delicate works.

from Northern Light by Kazim Ali

From 1975 to 1979 I grew up in a temporary company town made up of trailers in the boreal forests of northern Manitoba. My father was one of the hydroelectric engineers working on a joint project between the Canadian and Soviet governments to dam the Nelson River at a place called Jenpeg.

from Oval by Elvia Wilk

Anja skidded down the slope, which was becoming muddy from overuse by feet. It still hadn’t been paved or even scattered with gravel, since Finster didn’t want to admit that the state of the pathway could no longer reasonably be called temporary.

The Cult of Mary by Laura van den Berg

As we entered Arezzo, the guide pointed out the prostitutes lining the road. The women looked like awkward, flashy birds, teetering in bright spandex and spiked heels, cheap gold jewelry flashing in the summer sun.

The Cabin by Brenda Coultas

coffee cups / stirrer sticks / napkins and cookies / on the tray top / satellite tv / an office in the air

from The American Museum of Water by Natalie Diaz

A recording plays from somewhere high, / or low, through the falling dust-light: / I can’t tell you anything new about the river— / you can’t tell a river to itself.

Lovely Guns of Glacial Shifting by Jasmine Dreame Wagner

A CAST of eight: ACTOR, CHEF, COMPOSER, DANCER, FILMMAKER, PAINTER, and siblings: SISTER and BROTHER. If necessary, ACTOR may be played by a PHOTOGRAPHER.

There Is Water by Maggie Umber

Painted on Yupo paper with water-soluble crayon, watercolor pencil, water brush, paper towel, and Q-tip.

Journal
Symphony for Wind and Waves by Lou Hoyer
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Far away from any coastline. Where the wind strikes the water for the first time. Where waves start to grow. A young wave stretches its quivering back, reaching for the wind.

Essay
Domesticating Waves in the Netherlands by Stefan Helmreich
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Two years back, in the midst of anthropological research about the science and culture of wave monitoring and modeling in the Netherlands, I joined in an event called Waterwolf 2016, a flood preparedness exercise staged in the small municipality of Marken, just twenty kilometers outside Amsterdam. I

End Page
End Page by Sto Len
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Sto Len is a printmaker, painter, and installation and performance artist. He cofounded the alternative arts space Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn.