Studio CNS / Counter Narrative Society

Thesis Book: When the Invisible Punishing Machine is everywhere


“When the Invisible Punishing Machine is everywhere: How Mechanism of Social Control (Mass Incarceration, Institutionalized Racism, Slavery and Repression) in the USA Shapes the Individual as Well as the Social Space.”

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“Abstract: Framed by the following poetic statement: “When the Invisible Punishing Machine is everywhere, creeping into my body, life and spaces, it is like living in a colossal architectural nightmare”, this thesis serves first as a testimony of the author’s personal stories. Second it illuminates the machine as a punitive and disciplinary system affecting the body in visceral ways (although the author resists its power by inventing critical and artistic counter narratives that are described). Thirdly, it analyzes the nightmarish machine, the genesis of the machine and how the machine as a mega structure infiltrates the institutional systems in this country. Therefore, the purpose of this written thesis is to interrogate, reveal, and ultimately work to transform radically the intangible effects of the invisible punishing machine on our bodies, minds and souls. Once we have remedied ourselves of the effects of this omnipresent force, we can begin to eliminate the institutions in this country that perpetrate brutal repression and inequality. This thesis uses various methodologies including ethnography, social theory, artistic conceptual strategies and a methodology created specifically for the project: “The Paradoxical and Interrogative Remedies” (PIR). This is an analytical and artistic method to communicate meaningful bio-political issues and encompasses radical live action, performance, multimedia installation, documentation and the production of tactical objects. PIR is applied to artistic research, activism, personal therapy and radical pedagogy. The new methodology of criticality developed through these projects will contribute to the fields of contemporary art, social sciences and prison activism. This “Written Thesis” serves to distill ideas culled from a body of personal stories (“Check Points”), artistic works (Glaciers Under My Skin), and historical research (“The Colossal Architectural Nightmare”). The distilled concepts from this written thesis are being used to shape the ongoing artistic thesis project “When the Invisible Punishing Machine is Everywhere: The Weight I Carry With Me.”

By the Counter Narrative Society (CNS)
a.k.a Mabel Alejandra Negrete Alfaro