Aaron Swartz, are you the third death?

Death comes in threes, always has (until it comes in 4s and 5s, but there is always a 3 in there at some point!). Aaron Swartz, you will be the third death, after my late cousin Patricia, after Beatriz da Costa. Three is a good number. Three opens something up. Three stops me from thinking in a dyad, in opposition. Visually pleasing, complicated, Patricia, Beatriz, and Aaron. Combined they add up to 111 years on the planet. A good long life between them.

I never met Aaron. But he seems like excellent company for Beatriz. I hope they travel together. As Katie King wrote of Beatriz, “We join together to enfold her work into our lives.” They shared a project: they wanted to open and trouble discourse. They built new apparatuses, they perceived knowledge differently, expansively, generously and generatively.

I’ve been gathering thoughts for a proper reflection on what my engagements with Beatriz and her work mean to me. For now, I’ll say that she has made lasting change, she was one of the most important living artists. Her discipline of love and rage was nuanced and deep, she pulled machines and measures and politics out of her body and brain and into the world. She brought students and colleagues and friends into troubled, thoughtful, witty states of engagement. I’m glad to have met her.

From here: http://anticancersurvivalkit.net/http://lindamarymontano.blogspot.com/2012/12/mildreds-death.html. I also really appreciate Peter Eckersley’s obituary for Aaron Swartz: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/01/farewell-aaron-swartz/. The first obit I read was NYTimes and I ended up feeling unbearably sad that litigation won the word count–or if not the word count, the spin. Suicide is more complex than litigation. Eckersley gets that. So does danah boyd: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2013/01/13/aaron-swartz.html 

 

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