Susan Buck-Morss, writing in 2001 on Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of history, marked by the critique of progress in the name of a revolutionary time which interrupts history’s chronological continuum:
The only power available to us as we, riding in the train of history, reach for the emergency brake, is the power that comes from the past… One fact of the past that we particularly are in danger of forgetting is the apparent harmlessness with which the process of cultural capitulation takes place. lt is a matter, simply, of wanting to keep up with the intellectual trends, to compete in the marketplace, to stay relevant, to stay in fashion…
So, what in God’s name are we doing here? The litmus test for intellectual production is how it affects the outside world, not what happens inside an academic enclave such as this one. [Walter] Benjamin himself held up as the criterion for his work that it be “totally useless for the purpose of Fascism.”* Could any of us say of our work that it is totally useless for the purposes of the new global order, in which class exploitation is blatant, but the language to describe it is in ruins? Of course, we would be horrified if decisions on academic hiring and promotion were made on the basis of what our work contributed to the class struggle. The disturbing truth, however, is that these decisions are already being made on the basis of ensuring that our work contributes nothing to the class struggle. And that, my friends, is problematic.
*Benjamin, preface to ‘Work in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. In: Benjamin 1969: 2 18.
The 1960s – Two teenagers take fate into their own hands and become the ultimate fashion victims in this existential folie a deux starring Donna Modrowski and Michael Onesko. Story by Michael Onesko, original score by Mark Winner, directed by Dan Winner, voiceover by Linda Snelton, assisted by Germain Modrowski, Karen Winner and Connie Karabatsos. Shown at The Women’s Film Forum of Chicago, 1977.
The “Black Bottom” (aka “Swanee Bottom”) was originally from New Orleans, later worked its way to Georgia and finally New York. Some say the “Black Bottom” was introduced by blues singer Alberta Hunter (which is probably true as many songs & dances were “stolen” and reproduced by someone else). However, it has been reported that the Black Bottom was derived from an earlier and similar dance called the “Echo.” The dance was done all over the South before Perry Bradford wrote his “Original Black Bottom Dance” in 1919.
Simple moves were created by natural movements, like the stomp was to imitate a cow’s feet stuck in mud.
The above info is posted below the Youtube video. Read more (a different story) about the supposed origins of this ’20s dance craze HERE, and watch another video from 1927 from the British Pathe archive:
An art show by Petra Collins of The Ardorous and Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Magazine, held at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood, CA to celebrate the conclusion of The Rookie Road Trip across the United States.
Music: “Think of You” by Bleached, recorded live during their performance at the closing night party “Rookie Prom Night”.