Hacking the Subject

Hacking is a decomposition that explores and unsettles and perverts forms, or formaling, it is an active and purposeful misunderstanding misreading and misappropriation but it is also a response to a call, a response that misappropriates a friend’s argument, misreads his project and it is also an experiment in nonsense, so no-sense. What it does is what it does: it doesn’t promise anything,… there’s no big theory coming out or before it. It’s a kind of reading which is at once an imaging in benjamin’s sense of the work done by the dialectical image and a composition as a description of the creative act, but it is also done as a decomposition of elements in the sense that the term has in chemistry. My decomposition of the arc of form of the subject involves three moves: a translation which is the first crucial move which is the use of symbols of math and biology; a transposition, so once my terms become biological symbols I can then place them in a algorithm which is basically most of what I do, moving them from one place to another in that formula, so primarily a performance; and it is performance of a few simple mathematical signs allow me to explode the arc of form of the subject through a series of transformations.

Denise Ferreira Da Silva, "Hacking the Subject: Black Feminism, Refusal, and the Limits of Critique," Address delivered at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, November 24, 2015. 

Kyla Tompkins