Pop Culture
Feb 08, 2022, 06:27AM

I’m Interested in the Future of Touch

A 2007 BOMB Magazine interview with artist Kara Walker vs. a 2021 Soft Punk Mag interview with writer Hanif Abdurraqib.

Bio box walker kara 1x1.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Hanif Abdurraqib: My country is my living room or my country is my kitchen or my country is the little shelf I keep my records on. These are my homies.

Kara Walker: Do they reinforce cultural values that set African-Americans back generations, or are they fair-game images that preexist you and me?

Abdurraqib: It’s an exchange, right? That’s what I want to be around.

Walker: A certain moment opens a fissure and all the past comes flooding in.

Abdurraqib: I'm interested in the future of touch.


Walker: I like the clackety-clack of the typewriter. It’s as if it answers. There’s a thought, and you put it down, letter by letter, and it answers back.

Abdurraqib: Oh, yeah. It's like being in a relationship that works for the first time in your life.

Walker: That sounds like love right there to me. It’s sort of jaunty and rolls off the tongue.

Abdurraqib: But when it comes to individual interactions, I want to cultivate a better faith reading of people because I think that was something I was very good at, at one point.

Walker: Yeah, narratives are forever. (laughter) Maybe I’ve over-interpreted it, but I think that Warhol’s sense of shallow is incredibly soulful. It’s open and generous in a dumb kind of way, like, “Here it is!” Yet it’s accepting of its own fallibility and humanity.


Abdurraqib: It was awe.

Walker: Afterward, I was like Joe Cool.

Abdurraqib: I was like, “I'm having so much fun, I feel excited about the book. I feel excited to write it. Every time I finish a piece, I grieve a little bit because I want to stay in it.”

Walker: I’ve definitely laughed or cackled out of absolute surprise at myself, and I have probably cried enough tears to flood the city.

Abdurraqib: I think I’m just obsessed with magic.


Register or Login to leave a comment