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DIY Altar

How can one capture the tragedy of everyday horrific violence ? My effort  to do so, without making an argument of any kind, resulted in this short video that I presented as one part of a performance at the HKW in Berlin in 2018. More information on the event can be found here,

“Research Note: Traumasphere, Thinking through Commodity Violence,” Technosphere Magazine. November 16, 2017. link

and I published an article on the experience and the relation of creative work to anthropology here: 

Jain, Lochlann. “Commodity Violence: The Punctum of Data,” Visual Anthropology Review, 36(2), Fall 2020: 214-233. link

Drawings (coming soon)


Joey Stivic Series

In 1977, Archie Bunker’s grandson doll, boxed with tiny diapers and a tiny bottle, offered the first “anatomically correct” male doll, featuring a tiny penis (“a physically correct male”) that spurted after water was placed in its mouth (Tandem Productions, Inc, 1976). The ads highlight the item as a little brother or a little son - not a little lover with whom to engage in some rough play, not a medical patient on whom to surgically remove an appendage, not an under-aged drowned boy on whom to superimpose sentimental backstories. No. The 3- or 4-year-old girl on the box illustration holds the apparatus (not a collaborator) awkwardly: a doll nearly as large as she is, the tagline declaring without evidence: “A little girl will love playing mommy to a baby boy for a change… especially sweet Joey Stivic with his blue eyes, rooted hair, soft vinyl skin, and winning smile” – as if gender was the only meaningful vector of difference (how about playing with a South Asian or thalidomide baby for a change). Only a generation earlier, the prideful Archie would not have been misplaced at one of the State Fair “Better Babies” competitions sponsored by local eugenics societies.

Lochlann Jain
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