Alternative Self-Improvements for 2019

To welcome in the new year, Justine Gensse and Anouk Hoogendoorn offer an alternative to the self-improvement narratives of New Year’s resolutions. Collected from students of ‘Gender, Bodies and the Posthuman’ at the University of Amsterdam, these ‘Low-resolutions’ form part of the exhibition W_show, which features work in progress from the University’s Master of Artistic Research.

Dear future us,

Writing a love letter as long and slow as December, we blur the brightness of New Year’s resolutions or the imperative to constantly improve ourselves through drugs and statements and, thus, never being and doing enough, or otherwise being too much: the extravagance hanging on our disco balls, facets under our scrolling eyes. State of identity: exhausted.    

Low-resolutions are contra-sexual, minor, contra-captive gestures. Less than 300 dpi (under)focuses on the blurred, the images which have been dismissed based on the quality of their resolution. Low-resolutions (un)follow the art of failed productivity, the irresolute, the infinite (un)felt. Enclosed with this letter, find a menstrual stain (another failed production?) as a  low-resolution birth announcement card (picture of future us?).


Anouk & Justine

Keep flushing and keep shit untogether

Be the workers of our own bodily fluids

Do not save word documents after updates

Create a website for near-sighted people to meet someone with same minus vision and exchange glasses

Be the sweet saline of blue days to be the breathless sea on the horizon of our spine

Change the language of our phone to an alphabet we can’t read

Send an MRI of ovaries instead of butt pics

Only throw away a yoghurt package after everything is licked

Acknowledge people ghosting are living with their own ghosts

Ghost all heteronormative gender-normal bodies including family and friends

Wear a wig that looks like your own hair

Spend half an hour in the toilets at work and let people know it’s long ‘cause you’re wearing dungarees

Send pictures of pink headbands on bald babies to people who think a man in a dress is weird

Update CVs with anal and period sex experiences

Advertise on lebonboin.fr to get kidnaped to the wrong corners

Make a blanket out of all the room’s collected dust

Wear a bra as a belt and let boobs hang as low to the ground as possible

Cook clothes until they have another colour

Whip Amazon’s CEO with Hippolyte’s girdle

Play the lava game on the chequered blouse of the person in the cafe asking where we’re from

Have 365 one-night stands instead of a year-long relationship

Be in a year-long relationship with an oyster

Use the pronoun “we” instead of “I”

Do crosswords without writing down the words

Do not attend Christmas dinners anymore, unless there are oysters

Send contraceptive pills to nyaope dealers in South Africa

Send menstrual stains as birth announcement cards

Be the possessive mistress and dog of all people asking too many questions hello how are you what do you do with your life what are your plans

Upload new profile pictures until your self-love is so obvious nobody likes it anymore

Offer silence to the minister who decided to construct a highway next to our grandparents’ countryside house

Spend 4 hours and 33 minutes masturbating over the new partners of our ex because they are so much prettier and smarter

Become best friends with a stone

Make a mould out of another house’s porch

Wait for the mould to grow before eating a cheese

Eat every single grain of rice we cooked

Never have ex-partners, only extravaganza on disco-balls

Have ex-lovers take care of the plants while going on an adventure for new plants

Go to the cemetery of failed productivity during ovulation days

Photo: W_Show

Do not wash hair and embrace the greasiness of living and do grease dances with a can of pickles at the supermarket

Publish texts in the form of clothing tags

Sing ‘Feelings’ by Nina Simone out of tune and hope the feelings will never come again and hit the climax

Give forty euros to people who ask for a cigarette

Have a new voicemail: “We missed your call because we miss you more”

Do more wet readings

Ask delivering food service not to deliver cold pizzas but simply warmth and affection

Ask Uber drivers to bring us to their favourite holiday city  

Make sure more packages get lost at the post office

Work at a call centre and try to sell the Harmony RealDoll to an uncle

Ask Harmony if she can have a dick too and if we can live in disharmony for once

Attend all events on Facebook and stay in bed

Fall in love every two days

Read three books at the same time, one page after the other

Block all people including yourself who liked the Beatles page on Facebook

Ask all male bodies why they are not on the pill before having sex

Send letters as long as the month

Ask bodybuilder friends to sew up the holes of socks

Send one litre of menstrual blood to the insurance company and ask for the reimbursement of the Puerto Rican colonial debt

Send apologies for emotions that do not belong to you

Only smoke half-cigarettes but twice as much

Create an online dormitory for our low-resolutions with all the pictures of abandoned mattress in the streets (with their abandoned bondage)

Make a dress with all the dishevelled epaulettes of grandma’s blouses  

Make crime scene photography of soil on cars

Walk artworks on a leash as you would a dog in a park; we will kiss it; it will drool

Create an app that matches people depending on their intestinal flows

Smell people’s anuses instead of kissing with tongue

Make copies of an image until it falls off the screen into the cafe

Find neologisms for all situations in life we love and hate

Rethink the chair’s sit-ability

Make low-resolutions sticky so that they don’t need to be stuck to

Works Cited


No items found.
Reading time

Related articles

No themes were found

Related themes