In The Pines: Abstraction, Recognition, and the Power of Not Knowing

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“It is the cracks, fissures, and inconsistencies, the gaps in-between what seems a complete assemblage that allow us to envision a picture, a reality, a subject at all. Our collisions and experiences in-between love and other agreements are what allow us to begin to form a shared understanding.”

Originally commission as a long essay to be read alongside the exhibition 9 Artists, at the request of the exhibitions curator, Bartholomew Ryan, Gould’s In the Pines snowballed into something more fuzzier, rhizomatic, and long reaching.

Bounding from topics as diverse as the childhood of queer activist Harry Hay, to a Tumblr page devoted entirely to Craigslist posts for mirrors, to the life and times of the Paiute shaman and the Ghost Dance Movement leader, Wovoka, In the Pines asks its reader to re-think what we mean by abstraction. It suggests a new understanding wherein abstraction, far from being a means of obfuscation, allows those who engage it constructively to open up space for refection and energetic engagement across experience, internally and externally.

A free PDF of the book is available here.