Black Orbits is a platform for digital archives exploring Black cultures that uses orbits as a conceptual framework to consider modes of gathering and dispersal in archival practices. Black Orbits is in conversation with a specific “haunting,” or as Avery Gordon names a “something-to-be-done.” The haunting, or “unresolved social violence,” is the circulation of Black material culture and its associated histories as decontextualized commodity.
Current Archival Projects:
Mapping the Spirit (live)
Black Printed Matter (live, March 2024)
Study East Palo Alto (live, June 2024)
981 (live, August 2024)
School for Primitive Hypertext
School for Primitive Hypertext (SPH) is an itinerant learning community hosting seasonal classes focused on a current obsession.
“Primitive Hypertext” is a process first described by Octavia Estelle Butler in a 1998 interview with Samuel Delany at MIT. Butler explains: “I don't have access to this kind of thing on computer but, oddly enough, what you're talking about sounds very much like the way I start looking for ideas when I'm not working on anything. [...] I generally have four or five books open around the house--I live alone; I can do this--and they are not books on the same subject. They don't relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another… So, I guess, in that way, I'm using a kind of primitive hypertext.”
Scratch Disks Full
Scratch Disks Full asks, in the spirit of Sankofa: What did you leave behind? What would happen if you went back and got it? Scratch Disks Full is a publishing project for those with leaky sensory gating, sprawling interests, kinetic brains, and “too many ideas.” We publish the excess, the dirty data, the spillage, the noise, the leftover, and the unfulfilled.
A scratch disk is a hard disk used as a workspace to store data temporarily. In applications like Adobe Photoshop, the scratch disk is used to hold the data being edited. When an error reads “... the scratch disks are full.” it means there is not enough space on the drive to perform the upcoming task. The users need to find space elsewhere or end the process; they are left holding the excess energy of an unfulfilled action. Scratch Disks Full is a publishing project producing readers, workbooks, and lo-fi playthings exploring the excess of an exhibition, piece of writing, lecture, performance, or even other publication. By excess, we do not mean process work leading up to a final work; we literally mean the embodied experiences you could not give yourself over to due to spiritual unreadiness, the sentences you had to blunt because there was not enough time for further editing; the feral idea that blossomed during a performance and began to shape you as much as you shaped it.
Ghost Chapters is a 12-month-only digital publication that explores co-reading, speculative intertextuality, and annotation through six close-reading interviews with peers where we co-write a ghost chapter.
In The Role of the Reader (1979), Umberto describes two concepts – inferential walks and ghost chapters. These concepts are an articulation of very specific intertextuality where a reader walks through a range of associations (peritext, epitext, other writing) to make sense of the text and, in the process, creates a ghost chapter or a speculative textual intervention that could have been part of the original text.