Temp Editions 02: What got left in the future

For the month of April, we are pleased to present our second Temp Edition: What got left in the future, a multimedia collection of works curated by Robert Balun. A brief statement from Robert about the edition:


When I began asking folks if they wanted to contribute to an online edition, the original call for this project read: This folio will seek to unfold an aesthetics of disruption. The 21st century United States (with its networked, neoliberal, and globalized implications) is a dangerous, precarious, and strange place. In the face of social strife and ecological collapse driven and obscured by capitalism and its hyperreal media environment, how can literature and art adequately disrupt this environment so as to render it sufficiently opaque, able to be grasped and dismantled without reproducing the violence that that cultural work might be seeking to respond to? In what ways are artists and thinkers helping to define new aesthetic theories that are up to these challenges?


The work I received took on a shape of its own and projected itself into the future, and now, with the question of the future so suddenly uncertain and vital. The work I received is:


Of this time yet beyond it, a future seen from a geologic perspective


Of the roar of civilization and the possible quiet connection of the human and the non-human, together, and making a little joke


Of our heavy yet fragile bodies, yet something new, yet something composed of multiple, inadequately describable category


Of futural instructions for 3 disruptor mechanisms towards establishing the linguistic/somatic attempt at symbiotic navigation of the rhizomatic biosphere


Of now but never or not yet or inevitably


Of possibly, something else entirely.


What gets left in the future is, ultimately, a choice, whether it is demanded, built, or imposed, a question of how that future will arrive, what work is required, and by whom that choice will be made.


In this strange and uncertain moment, as one crisis reveals and amplifies another, the question of context, disruption, and what the future will be takes on new resonance and urgency.


The need to demand change and build a just and inclusive alternative is ever more vital. We cannot ‘go back to normal’ when normal is so utterly unresilient, and frankly, catastrophic for so many, even before.


I hope you’ll find these pieces engaging and resonant, posing the question of how one moves through now, and what kind of future one would envision.


Many thanks to Barrett for keeping a place for this folio on Tagvverk’s pages, to each contributor for their time and work, and to you for reading.



ROBERT BALUN is an adjunct at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and literature. His first collection of poems, Acid Western, will be published by The Operating System in 2020. His chapbook, Traces, is forthcoming from Ursus Americanus. His poems have appeared in Reality Beach, Powder Keg, TAGVVERK, Tammy, Prelude, Barrow Street, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. This fall, he will begin his PhD in English at Stony Brook University.


TE02:What got left in the future

Curated by Robert Balun


Bianca Abdi-Boragi
TR Brady
ELÆ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson]

Contributions will be published throughout the month of April. Stay tuned!