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Friday 18 December 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Dear ICA Daily Readers,

Welcome to the final ICA Daily.

We launched the ICA Daily some 271 days ago to stay in touch, to connect and to make visible some of the ICA curatorial team’s focus: a mind map, an affinity network, if you like; a daily routine that also brought some structure to the days – ‘Stefan, we’re missing your contribution for tomorrow ...’ – and, above all, served perhaps as a reminder of the roles that culture and its institutions must play to lead change.

On 7 April, the ICA Daily linked to ‘The pandemic is a portal’ by activist Arundhati Roy that closes with the following:

‘Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.’

I would like to thank Nico, Nydia, Sara, Steve, all the guest editors, and the team – Jen, Izzy, Stuart and David – who worked behind the scenes to deliver the ICA Daily to you.

Between now and the start of next year, you can enjoy for free our programme over on Cinema 3, our new online platform, and please consider helping us to build a more sustainable and democratic economy by joining as an ICA Red Member. Thank you!

Stay well and look after each other.

Stefan Kalmár


Read

Beefy’s Tune (Dean Blunt Edit)
Thank you to The 87 Press for publishing Dhanveer Singh Brar’s 2020 publication Beefy’s Tune (Dean Blunt Edit). Using the 2016 album BFF Hosted by DJ Escrow as a means of navigation, the text initiates a conversation about Dean Blunt’s work in relation to Britain, diaspora and nation. The 87 Press have also launched this crowdfunding campaign and I would really encourage anyone who can to support them.

Jack Halberstam on Wildness, Illegibility and the Commercialization of Desire
It feels appropriate to close both the ICA Daily and the year with the words of Jack Halberstam, here talking about his most recent book Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire (Duke University Press, 2020): ‘Wildness is already in all of us; the question is: can our very scripted ways of being come undone? (…) the way in which world leadership troublingly combines right-wing politics with authoritarian capital and populist appeal means that we are reaching a moment of crisis that might actually force people to choose something that is not purely driven by capitalism to find a way through.’

Listen

Christmas playlists
Courtesy of a collaboration between Resident Advisor and refugee charity Choose Love, here are four Christmas playlists compiled by DJ Bone, SHERELLE, HAAi and Loraine James. Find out more about Choose Love and how to support via their shop.

Watch

Salomé Lamas: Fatamorgana

‘Fatamorgana is both a political parody and a speculative comedy, in which historical and contemporary personalities narrate post-World War II global history and geopolitics, through a web of references and direct citations. The undercurrent is one of sense, illusion, and truth.’ – Salomé Lamas

Portuguese artist and filmmaker Salomé Lamas, whose work Extinction was presented during FRAMES of REPRESENTATION 2018, presents Fatamorgana, a work with many facets including a theatre piece, two publications, a sound installation and this film, in which a woman finds herself interacting with an array of historical figures after hours in a Beirut wax museum.

Track of the Day

Nina Simone covering Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ (Rome, 1969)

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever
And you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then he gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you’ve always been her lover

Check out the ICA Daily playlist here