I was looking at Kara Jesella’s blog—I’m an admirer of hers, we were in class together in performance studies, and I had this weird hero worship thing going on—but on her blog, she was talking about this piece by Shulamith Firestone called “Airless Spaces,” which is about experiences in asylums and mental hospitals. And Shulamith writes about the experience in the hospital erasing everything that came before the hospital, and it becomes this continuous loop, where everything starts to lose its specificity but also its precarity, and that kind of feeds back into something I was thinking a couple years ago, in terms of Erving Goffman’s sociological studies of hospitals. He talks about this process he calls “looping,” which is where someone in an institution only has recourse to the language that the institution provides, like it’s a totalizing language. So you have to instrumentalize the institution in a particular way. That’s very relevant to the way Purge was built—and I like to say built, instead of written.
Don’t forget, if you’re in NYC on the 11th, see Trisha read at Housing Works.