THE STATE is a print journal and sociohistorical forum based out of Dubai, U.A.E. It investigates South-South reorientations, problematised futurisms, transgressive cultural criticism, the space between print and audio-visual experiences, their transition to mediated online forms, and the sensuous architecture of this “printernet.”
ETC is a collection of our findings from elsewhere around the internet.
Coinciding with Traffic’s closing, THE STATE hosted a UAE immigration pop quiz. The event was hosted by political commentator, Muath Al-Wari. General knowledge and trivial questions about the politics, demographics, wildlife, media, and culture of the UAE will form the question sets. Each team was assigned an Emirate. The winning team was the Ajmani fiefdom. We will soon be posting the exam on our website.
“This concert of violence was in fact so intensely hostile to human life that the streets and alleyways that composed the division between East and West quickly began to erode and fall into disrepair. Different forms of life soon began to proliferate within and throughout the urban geography. For these reasons, the border has historically come to be referred to as the ‘Green Line’, as the dense ecology of plants, seed-carrying birds, and pollinating insects that settled in the fissure between the East and West literally made the division ‘green.’” (via a line is a territory | THE STATE)
“As the very social of the social, the very glue keeping all these free-floating bits together, taking friendship seriously—as a focus of attention, a matter of concern, or a para-academic interest, even—just makes sense. To study is to care.
Now for the ‘critical’ part. One may ask: but is that how friends should behave? Why bring ‘criticality’ into a space of intimacy and trust, bro?” (via critical friendship studies | THE STATE)
“But “Whiteness” has always only ever been exactly what “White people” want it to be. What part of the world a person is from has little to no affect on whether anyone thinks s/he is actually “White”, because “White” is a social class, not a place.” (via the changing face of the Caucasian | THE STATE)
Such can also be said of our present familiarity with the aesthetic culture of the contemporary eight-bit period: those who collect and archive games are open about the extent to which even classic titles steal from their predecessors. In the period itself, hacking of hardware and software was rife; popular titles and even entire consoles were copied and altered by smaller fly-by-night operations, while fans themselves developed technical proficiency as a means of cheating or gaining access to rare imports. Today, this legacy manifests itself in the musical aesthetic made possible by the recovery and alteration of that period’s hardware—the so-called ‘chiptune’ community. (via pieces of eight: towards a critical theory of chiptune by alex casper cline | THE STATE)
Eight Bits: this is what links two completely different periods. The near present: the post-historical epoch immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall. And the beginnings of the world economy: the age of colonialism, mercantilist empires, and industrial development. In the latter period, eight bits constituted the first global currency, the Spanish real de a ocho or eight-real coin. First produced in 1497—a mere four years after the return of Columbus’ first voyage from the so-called ‘New World’—the eight-real coin soon came to represent the wealth of the Spanish empire’s plunder. A majority of the coins produced came from the Bolivian mines of Potosi, where the forced labor of millions of indigenous and African slaves produced enough silver for over a million coins. (via pieces of eight: towards a critical theory of chiptune by alex casper cline | THE STATE)
"The survival of an endangered language may depend on two people — and all they want to do is ignore each other. Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velazquez, the last speakers of a language called Ayapaneco, live less than half a mile away from each other in Ayapa, Mexico. But no matter how precious the cultural implications of keeping their language alive are, they are not going to speak to each other."
WTF: Model Scouts Look for New Talent at Eating Disorders Clinic—”Sweden’s largest eating disorders treatment clinic, the 1,700-bed Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders, says it has an unusual problem: scouts for Sweden’s biggest modeling agencies who congregate outside its doors, persistently trying to recruit patients.”
Stop posting that Dove ad: “Real beauty” campaign is not feminist—”The only interesting thing Dove has done since it began this campaign to sell soap in 2004 is overtly shift the emphasis from sexual attraction to peer approval. The real take-away is still that women should care whether a stranger thinks she is beautiful. That’s not radical — it’s the thesis of every beauty product ad campaign ever.”
Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry—”When it comes to the diversity of the main participants: all four are Caucasian, three are blonde with blue eyes, all are thin, and all are young (the oldest appears to be 40). The majority of the non-featured participants are thin, young white women as well. Hmm… probably a little limiting, wouldn’t you say? We see in the video that at least three black women were in fact drawn for the project. Two are briefly shown describing themselves in a negative light (one says she has a fat, round face, and one says she’s getting freckles as she ages). Both women are lighter skinned. A black man is shown as one of the people describing someone else, and he comments that she has “pretty blue eyes”. One Asian woman is briefly shown looking at the completed drawings of herself and you see the back of a black woman’s head; neither are shown speaking. Out of 6:36 minutes of footage, people of color are onscreen for less than 10 seconds.”