“methodologically, their work involves something that might at first glance look rather rearguard or recalcitrant: close readings of the past for the odd detail, the unintelligible or resistant moment. reading closely means fixating on that which resists any easy translation into present-tense terms, any ‘progressive’ program for the turning of art into a cultural/historical magic bullet or toxin. to close read is to linger, to dally, to take pleasure in tarrying, and to hold out that these activities can allow us to look both hard and askance at the norm. but in the works i have gathered here, close reading is a way into history, not a way out of it, and itself a form of historiography and historical analysis. these artists see any sign as an amalgam of the incommensurate: of dominant uses in the present, of obsolete meanings sensible only as a kind of radiation from the past, of new potential, and, more simply, of different points in time as meanings accrue and shed…what id like to identify as perhaps the queerest commitment of my own book is also close reading: the decision to unfold, slowly, a small number of imaginative texts rather than amass a weighty archive of or around texts, and to treat these texts and their formal work as theories of their own, interventions upon both critical theory and historiography…my texts are…minor visual works by minor artists in a minor key…”
—elizabeth freeman in time binds: queer temporalities, queer histories, on her “commitment to overcloseness.” like lauren berlants intellectual loitering. (she doesnt call it that, but i once did.) between the two of them they outline not just my basic intellectual method, but my basic life method.