A*Desk editorial commission

Failure is an option
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Failure is an option

This text was part of an editorial assignment for A*desk during the month of May 2019. You can read it here.

  ‘I’m a fucking machine accepting failures, and if necessary, it’s no sweat.’
                                                         Los Punsetes, Aceptamos fracaso, 7 inches, 2007.

Cagadas is the title we gave the project that compiles our failures, gathering dossiers that have been rejected at official open calls. A register of all that didn’t take place and yet was conceived and envisaged from an objectivity that was never shown.[1] A proposal that isn’t far removed from the Brautigan Library, made up of manuscripts of refused, unpublished books; or from La Sociedad Perpendicular, that collects unmade art projects; or of Una cantidad considerable de trabajo, that revisits the initiative of the Salon des Refusésand shows rejected dossiers, this time found in open calls in Barcelona. All these projects point to absences and hope to fix, to preserve what was once considered lacking in interest. Attempts to rescue and share what could not be, not so much because of a taste for nothing but because of the curiosity we feel when something is denied us. In all these cases, failure appears as a lax concept that can be deconstructed, as if it didn’t really exist: what banishes us from one group includes us in another.

This editorial is an invitation to think about the poetic, conceptual, political and human meaning of failure, revealing what we hide when we are subject to the productive logics of success: a plea by Pilar Cruz to distract capitalism through formulas like ceasing to try; an epic failen every sense of the term where, along with Ricardo Duque, we expose the processes ands guts of the drift, a collective act in which responsibility is diluted and we are shown our dependence on contexts that favour or hamper our intentions; Laura Benítez and success as a trick imaginary that makes us our own exploiters in an insatiable pursuit of a yes whose contradictions are interrupted at a rhythmic riff on the dance floor; a report of everyday failures by Bernhard Garnicnig and Jamie Allen, a game in which we are able to suspend the very concept of efficiency and turn it into an element of subversion. In short, an invitation to simply take pride in our failures because ‘there is no God and no Law that cannot be danced in contradanse.’[2]


[1] This project was initially presented at the open call for the 2007 Miquel de Casablancas Award in the publication category, where it was also rejected. It has recently been rescued by Enric Farrés Duran at Los Cinco Delfines publishing house.

[2]‘[N]o hay Dios ni hay Ley que a contradanza no se pueda bailar’. ‘Soneto teológico,’ inAgustín García Calvo, Sermón de ser y no ser, Editorial Lucina, Zamora, 1980.