II - ART / PIXO (image)
III - A CONVERSATION w/ Vampiro (embedded pdf)
Theory must be like pixo. Pixo is a popular name for tagging in Brazil. That hosts an enormous tagging subculture, being the one who tags the pixadora or pixador. Theorists must be like pixadores. Pixadores are deemed criminals. Most pixadores are underage, which prevents long detaining and incarceration. Pixo itself is illegal, and so must theory dwell in the brink of legality.
Pixo has nothing to do with graffiti. Pixo is not art. Pixo is a scribble, a scratch, a stain, it is spilled blood. Pixo requires new alphabets, new characters, and therefore, it is barely intelligible; and so must theory concern more about its being then about what information it carries and conveys. Theory must not be reduced to its content, for it is ultimately incontinent. Just as pixo troubles art, so must theory trouble thought.
Pixo takes over whole walls. Unlike a blank gallery wall ready to receive a single, framed work, pixo takes over every available space. Every wallis written by many. Pixo is a communal activity, and many ties the pixadora will require her friend’s help, for climbing or escaping. Pixo asks for gatherings, for friendships built in precarity. And so must theory. Pixadoras are always on the run, sneaking on the roofs, climbing the street lights, hiding in the dark. Pixo is an adventure, it is risky. It involves being shot at, being beaten, being robbed, incriminated, dragged, tortured, having her body spray-painted by cops, detained by cops, invaded by cops, stripped and thrown at unknown neighborhoods by cops… or simply falling from a roof or a ten-story building. Theory needs suh risks. Theory must be life-threatening. It must be daring. Theory should release adrenaline and eventually leave her helpless and desperate.
Pixo is ugly. It is unwanted and unwelcome. It enrages property owners. And so must theory bother whoever owns knowledge. Every pixadora has her own pixo. Each letter, each line, spells her name. What she writes is a signature, but her identity stays hidden by the cryptic writing, as well as their masked faces, obscured, as the group runs, biked and skates through the city. Theory must not stay still, but be always on the move, always leaving before being reached, always returning to an unknown and leaving from nowhere. Theory must not be solipsistic. It must also come from groups and multiple beings, or rather swarms, flocks, packs, shoaling fish. Groups of undetermined beings, undistinguishable but singular, being the line and the gesture the only site for identification. Theory must also have unreadable, distorted names, it must be a language of illiterates. Theory must neither have a face nor rely on whoever wrote it for validation, status, appeal or to justify one’s righteousness. Theory must be deemed wrong.
Pixo is not easy on the eyes. Pixo is aesthetically violent, it takes up the space it was not supposed to. Just as pixo, theory must claim what it does not own, as what it is owed. Discreetly, overnight, pixo reshapes the city, erases the clean and proper spaces, and inscribes their screams. In its subtleties, pixo is loud. It has no “taste”. It is not taught in schools. Pixadores are the worst students, and so must the theorists be. Finally, pixadoras climb together. They mount on each other’s backs, they stand on her shoulders, they hold her hand as she hangs on a building’s outer wall. They become stairs, they receive her she jumps, they hold her upside down by her feet. Pixo makes the city vertical. Better yet, it allows her to explore the city’s verticality. Pixadoras find space looking up. And so theory must look elsewhere. Theory must find spaces and situations to inscribe itself, surfaces other than the paper, the publication and the academia. It must fill its walls and deface what is there. Theory must trespass. Theory must climb and crawl, theory needs to almost fall. And in near-death realize why it matters.