Zach Whitworth

I’m from the Umpqua Valley of the Pacific Northwest. This is an in-progress space for sharing activities and updates. If you want to get in touch, send me an email (1025orchard [at] gmail [dot] com).

What I’ve been working on…
I wrote a study of temples and the establishment of modern city centers for PROTOCOLS issue #10: TEMPLE (Lauren Levy & Ben Ratskoff eds.), taking a look at how ritual architecture functions in time and social organization. My essay on Emily Ensminger’s utopian project Housepitality (2012–2020) was recently published in Feral Fabric Journal volume 05: Labor (Paulina Berczynski & Amanda Walters eds.), posing questions of labor’s function in the production of the future. A piece of prose on speech and war appeared in Plates issue 04: Craft (Casey Carsel ed.). It's a proposal for the role of storytellers in challenging the destruction of human life and the natural world, representing a shift in my thinking on cosmic scales. Aside from personal writing, I work with collections records at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive and am currently on a committee developing a new collection initiative.

Some activities in the last year…
A short critique of alternative museums was published by COPY, describing the dangers of operating in standard models. My old textwork “Messages to a Former Love” was printed in the Summer21 issue of Soft, which is available to purchase online and in select stores. A rare fiction piece of mine was published in the third issue of Grits, also available to buy digitally. My contribution to the publication You Are Here was on display with Unbound Press at the International Print Center New York, selected by Black Women of Print. I was featured at Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair with the Southland Institute, including a prompt I wrote for an earlier program on art museums, authoritarianism, and protest. A year after it was initially planned, I finished editing a group video piece about the minimum wage for the Institute for Conceptual Studies and included an original text on wage labor.

What I’m studying…
I’m presently reading and discussing Kathi Weeks’s The Problem with Work with the Community Reading Group (LA). During the Winter, I watched all 25 James Bond films as a case study in the evolution of Anglo-American propaganda. I attended seminars in Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought at the European Graduate School during the late Summer and Fall, and the experience was thoroughly disappointing. In the late Fall, I took an illuminating class on Gershom Scholem and his philosophy of history at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and this Winter participated in a web cartographic research program at Index. Adam Feldmeth and I have continued to jointly theorize on expression, reaction, and education. On my own, I’m reading James C. Scott’s Against the Grain as well as Erica Lagalisse’s Occult Features of Anarchism. Occasionally, I’ve been playing Terraria before going to sleep.

An infrequently ongoing side project is the Authoritarian History Film Archive, a spreadsheet of films dealing with the subject of authoritarianism and its opposition. Each film included is available to watch online for free. The Institute for Conceptual Studies, a platform I started in 2019, has been on extended hiatus. I’m focusing on myself in the meantime, figuring things out. I've still been growing the Institute’s "Links" document, a directory of helpful websites for those in orbit of the arts.

Last updated March 2, 2022.
After paying for a website through Format for years, I finally learned to code one by hand through a class at Index. Many thanks to Megumi Tanaka for getting me started. I am currently paying $15 USD a year for my domain and host the code on GitHub for free. My favicon is a portrait of me drawn by my former first-grade student, Taven.