To begin with, I am having a hard time differentiating my desires from my anxieties. Especially in the area of work. ‘Desires’ seems like such a generous and substantive term for worries and fantasies about what are, in the end, only questions about career. I’m not even talking about art projects, but rather simple, shallow career opportunism. It seems silly or even shameful to admit that I want that residency award, or that invitation to exhibit, not only for reasons of liberal guilt (what, me spending my desire chips on such extravagance? what a privilege!) but just for the simple fact that of the inanity. (Desiring such developments rarely has anything to do with the reality of how such opportunities come about; it is so obviously an internal dialogue, it’s pathetic). But I must note these desires, because for better or worse they are there.
As far as bodily desires go, I have but one that fits the problem at hand, ie surveillance/control. It has to do with lighting up a hand-rolled object.
The Drug War as a whole, and the War on Cannabis specifically, makes good on the technologies of imposed and conditioned self-control that Foucault wrote about. The internal and external walls of control are quite real when it comes to the desires associated with ingesting substances that make people think and behave in ways not approved by the dominant powers. And yet still there is leakage, if not wholesale flooding, depending on the the local social environment. Ultimately and perhaps inevitably desires prevail, and there are the prison populations–and the surveillance cameras–to prove it.
And maybe this is the larger danger that goes unarticulated by the warriors of the Lost War on Drugs: the increasingly high-tech and expensive measures of control, the results of the draconian punishments, and the increasing invasiveness of the searching represents not a victory for control over desires, but rather a increasingly clear statement of the exact opposite. Desires will never be entirely overcome, and every new cop cam proves it. We will be free, because we are free. And they know it.
Other thoughts at this moment are less clear…including my visualizations of other people’s (out of reach? in reach?) desires.