Today, histrionic arguments about representation, feminism and righteousness are happening all around the globe: perhaps now more than ever, with the ‘Gamergate’ video game issue playing out and Anita Sarkeesian receiving death threats for her ‘Feminist Frequency’ series.
I started hand spinning my own yarn after trying to find somewhere that stocked angora fibre from ethically-raised rabbits. I located a small farm in Victoria that bred angora rabbits and sold angora blended with other fibres like bamboo and merino in the most vivid, beautiful colours for hand spinning.
For those who find success outside of New Zealand it’s considered poor form to criticise the mother country. The job of an international success is to act as a salesperson rather than a citizen. Arguably this was as true for Katherine Mansfield as it is for Eleanor Catton. So when Catton – author of The Luminaries and winner of the Man Booker Prize – ignored her duty to boost the national ego, choosing to gently criticise the national condition and ‘neoliberal’ politicians instead, the political Right flew into a kind of rage.
War movies always play fast and loose with the truth. So do science movies. The Imitation Game is a movie about science in war, so it was perhaps inevitable that it would be something of a travesty of both. Ostensibly, it’s the story of Alan Turing, the mathematical genius whose work on the ‘solvability’ of maths problems led him to propose the basic design of a machine that could work out whether a problem was solvable or not before it started working on it.
It seems to me that in thinking about art and politics – that is, either in thinking about art and politics at the same time, as parts of the same regime, as Jacques Rancière might have it; or as ontologically separate conditions, as Alain Badiou would have it – one of the key themes is the rapport and/or divergence between diversity (in an artistic sense) and democracy.