To help me think through my recent experiences working in collectives, I read "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" by Jo Freeman, an essay first printed in 1970 in the US and which has since been circulated widely in feminist and anarchist communities. Freeman argues that "unstructured" groups (groups which "have not been deliberately structured in a particular manner" but in which informal, covert structures nevertheless emerge) reproduce broader power relations, resulting in the dis-authorization of women and of racialized people (as well as members of other oppressed groups) in their ranks. Freeman also argues that "unstructured" groups tend to be politically impotent. Instead of perpetuating the myth of structurelessness (and thereby reproducing oppression), Freeman claims that groups should explicitly structure themselves, according to seven principles of "democratic structuring": delegation (of authority or responsibility for tasks); responsibility to other members; wide distribution of power and authority to members (to prevent monopolies of power); rotation of tasks among members; allocation of tasks along rational criteria (e.g., interest, responsibility, skills); diffusion of information among all members as frequently as possible; and equal access to resources (equipment and skills). You can download free pdf copies of Freeman's essay at Struggle (link on sidebar).



It's been a day of collective meetings, trying to negotiate structural and relational issues that invariably seem to pop up when trying to organize or produce anything collectively. It's difficult to do just because we don't have much practice in working collectively in this culture...ideologies of individualism and competition restrict our imaginations. Lately, I've been working with a group of people interested in cartography and in producing alternative mappings of social relations and of built environments. We're starting a project on "danger" - mapping (mis)conceptions of danger in our surroundings, notions of criminality, and sites of insecurity (e.g., sites of police brutality, concentrations of poverty, unemployment, etc.) This group of aspiring (if ersatz) geographers is inspired by an anti-imperialist critique of mapping (maps have participated in a constitutive way in colonial expansion and in the production of knowledge about colonized and dominated peoples), by the desire to make visible certain relations, uses of space, and sedimented histories that normally go unseen or would be productive to visualize.

I've added another link in the sidebar, to "Murmur"/"Murmure" - a really interesting project in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal which tries to engage the pedestrian in the history of the spaces s/he traverses...Take a look, and if you live in one of those cities, you can participate.

And another link: this one to my favourite free-fonts website, MisprintedType.com, belonging to Brazilian designer Eduardo Recife. You can download fonts for free or for cheap as well as admire his art (check out "Invisible", under "Projects"), and navigate his library of links to other design and digital art websites. I've never met Eduardo but I am deeply indebted to him for his beautiful typefaces. I rave about him and his fonts to everyone who cares to listen.



The mirror project is one of my current favourite experiments in narcissism and voyeurism - see yourself and see yourself seen through reflective surfaces...The subject as object, in and through the gaze of the lens. Link on sidebar.
I've also added a link to the website of one of the people who conceived the mirror project - Heather Powazek Champ. Her photographs of mundane reflections in urban spaces delight and surprise. Supersharp.


This is not a particularly inspired moment -- which is why i am avoiding writing by writing about nothing. Introductions are always a little awkward...

Over coffee this afternoon, my friend Victor Serge suggested that I start a blog. Take a look at his, "And your little dog too" (link on sidebar).