What if humanity’s primary inventions were not the Hero’s spear but rather a basket of wild oats, a medicine bundle, a story. Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1986 essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction presents a feminist story of technology that centres on the collective sustenance of life, and reimagines the carrier bag as a tool for telling strangely realistic fictions. New writings and images respond to Le Guin’s narrative practice of worldmaking through gathering and holding.
With contributions by Sophia Al-Maria, Season Butler, Federico Campagna, Dorothee Elmiger, Laurel Halo, Ursula K. Le Guin, Taylor Le Melle, Enis Maci, Nisha Ramayya, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Sin Wai Kin fka Victoria Sin, Himali Singh Soin, Jenna Sutela and Anna Tsing
Alphabets, binary code, DNA—the current explosion of knowledge relies on the world being dismembered and divided into the tiniest of units, making it amenable to computation and manipulation. Languages, codes, and other representational modes based on symbols are thus put in the service of political control, surveillance technologies, and economic exploitation. The series Das Neue Alphabet (The New Alphabet) counters this process of functionalization with poetic discombobulations, sensuous recodings, and creolizations. The project is organized around the formal principle of constellation: a range of idfferent themes, modes of representation, artistic positions, and graphic elements are combined and recombined in multiple variations. The series sets out to formulate new semiotic worlds conducive to an alternative knowledge production.