State of Exception flow chart


pencil on paper, 40″ x 50″

evolving drawing

After feeling despair over numerous tragic events (shootings, bombings, politics) I tried making sense of it by creating a map that looked at all the small steps that took us to where we are. I started with 9/11, as the point of fear, mourning and state intervention where we entered what philosopher Giorgio Agamben calls the State of Exception.

Our current situation never starts—it is always moving, but there are points where opportunity is taken advantage of, for better or worse. Like every map, it always needs to be redrawn because nothing stays the same. Even the things we see that appear to be static like a rock or a building are slightly different every time we look at them. Even if we never look away, we’ll always notice some different detail. The one thing to keep you from despair is that, if nothing else, the current situation (whether good or bad) can’t last.