Taylor R. Genovese (born 1986 in Tucson, Arizona) is a multimodal anthropologist, photographer, and filmmaker living in the Hudson Valley, New York. His work mainly focuses on nostalgia, capitalism, the Anthropocene, communism(s), utopia(s), and the overlaps between occult practices and materialism(s). His dissertation research takes a specific look at the legacy of Russian Cosmism, a nineteenth century political theology promoting a universal human program for overcoming death, resurrecting ancestors, and traveling through the cosmos.He is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology program at Arizona State University. His Ph.D. is supervised by Gaymon Bennett (Chair), Alexander Aviña, Lisa Messeri, and Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm. He had the great honor of being one of David Graeber's students and advisees until his unexpected passing in 2020. Prior to attending university as a non-traditionally aged student, he worked as an accomplished stage actor.He is currently a:
Research Associate in the Collaboratory on Religion, Science, and Technology.
Graduate Fellow at The Center for Philosophical Technologies.
Graduate Student Affiliate with The Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies.
Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Chandler-Gilbert College.
As an eclectic multimodal anthropologist, he tends to work simultaneously on a variety of different projects in a diversity of artistic and academic modes, using digital video, film, photography, and sound as methods and sites of inquiry for anthropological research. He produces most of his work through the multimodal production house Kuznitsa, which he co-founded with Dick Powis.He is a research fellow at The Center for Communist Studies and on the Editorial Board for Peace, Land, and Bread. He is also a proud member of United Campus Workers of Arizona (CWA Local 7065). In his spare time, he is passionate about collecting vinyl records and is an avid (if sometimes inconsistent) cinephile.
The Land of Sunflowers and Steel (2022)
Shot in Ukraine in the Fall of 2021, THE LAND OF SUNFLOWERS AND STEEL is a visual exploration of a country on the eve of war. Divided into five thematic sections, each spread is structured as sets of diptychs or triptychs meant to generate an aesthetic narrative that blurs time and space, living and dead, progress and decay.
Under the Shadow of the Wall (2020)
UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE WALL is a visual anthropological investigation of the Sonoran Desert—and the ongoing project of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—in order to dissect how artifacts and environments are able to take on discrete politico-affective forms. This photography project is a companion to the film of the same name.
2019. "Going Gonzo: Toward a Performative Practice in Multimodal Ethnography." entanglements 2 (1): 97–110. (PDF)
2018. "'Death is a Disease': Cryopreservation, Neoliberalism, and Temporal Commodification in the U.S." Technology in Society 54: 52–56. (PDF)
2016. "Decolonizing Archival Methodology: Combating Hegemony and Moving Towards a Collaborative Archival Environment." AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 12 (1): 32–42. (PDF)
2019. "How the egalitarian dreams that fueled the quest for 'young blood' treatments got perverted." The Washington Post. 27 March.
2016. "Honey I Shrunk the Space Settlement! Dunbar's Number & Radical Politics in Space." Astrosociological Insights 5 (1): 19–22.
2015. "Marking territory in the infinite: Speculating on the implications of flags in space." Peeps Forum. 1 June.
* = Face-to-face instruction
†= Online/hybrid instruction
AS SOLE-INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD
ASB 214: Magic, Witchcraft, and Healing: An Introduction to Comparative Religion
(Chandler-Gilbert College // Fall 2019*, Spring 2020*, Fall 2020†, Spring 2021†, Fall 2021†, Spring 2022†)This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of cultural anthropology with a particular anthropological focus on religion, spirituality, myth, and ritual. Anthropology is a holistic discipline that asks: who are humans? where did humans come from? what is unique about humans as a species? In order to answer these questions, many anthropologists adhere to the tenet of cultural relativism (all cultures and cultural practices are equally valid and one should not judge a culture based on the principles of another culture). In this class, we will apply this tenet to an examination of religious or spiritual behavior including: mythologies, religious symbolism, ritual, mysticism, magic, divination, and witchcraft. Because humans are unique in that we are able to think through symbolic complexities, we generate this ambiguous thing we call “culture.” An important component of culture has long been (and continues to be) religion, belief, and spirituality. In this class, we will be asking how and why religions exist; how religion intersects with other parts of human society (economy, politics, medicine, kinship/family); how worldviews are shaped by religion; and, how religions interface with natural environments. [Syllabus]
AS TEACHING ASSISTANT
FIS 305: Ways of Knowing
(Arizona State University // Spring 2020*)FIS 194: Future of Oceans
(Arizona State University // Fall 2019*)HON/REL 394: Religion, Science, & Citizenship
(Arizona State University // Spring 2019*)ANT 102: Exploring Cultures
(Northern Arizona University // Fall 2015*, Fall 2016*, Spring 2017*)ANT 301: Peoples of the World
(Northern Arizona University // Spring 2016*)AFAS 371: Hip Hop Cinema
(University of Arizona // Fall 2014†, Spring 2015†)
AS INVITED/GUEST LECTURER
"Multimodal Anthropology, Gonzo Ethnography, and Anthropology as Craft." Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis. December 10, 2020. St. Louis, MO."Anarchism, Anthropology, and Taboo." Department of Social Sciences, Arizona Western College. November 13, 2020. Yuma, AZ."Poyekhali! A Brief Primer on the Soviet Space Program." Department of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego. January 21, 2020. San Diego, CA.
Collaboratory on Religion, Science and Technology
Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 870802
Tempe, AZ 85287-0802
UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE WALL
Under the Shadow of the Wall
(2022, 9 mins, Digital, Color, Documentary)This video essay focuses on the landscapes of the Sonoran Desert—and the project of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—as a way of investigating the manner in which something as seemingly generic as a wall can take on particular political and affective forms. This short provocation explores the ways that violent and distasteful objects create, and subsequently come to characterize, malevolent spectacles.More info at KUZNITSA.Watch the TRAILER.Selected Screenings:Golden State Film Festival // March 1, 2022
Arizona International Film Festival // April 27, 2022
FLICKFAIR Film Festival // May 2, 2022
Cannes Independent Film Festival // May 18, 2022
Ischia Global Film Festival // July 10, 2022
Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival // July 16, 2022 [Finalist for the Small Axe Radical Short Film Awards]
DISPATCHES FROM A SIMULATED WARZONE
Dispatches from a Simulated Warzone
(2020, 5 mins, Digital, B&W/Color, Documentary)This film was part of an experimental audiovisual presentation organized and edited by Can Tamura and Taylor Genovese for the Distribute 2020 conference. Eight filmmakers were tasked with making a five-minute film on memory and performance, broadly conceived. Films were then edited among and between one another, generating previously unseen ethnographic elements. This sensory approach—highlighting primarily the visual and the sonic—evoked a novel contextual collaboration through juxtaposition and superimposition.Watch the FILM.Selected Screenings:Distribute 2020 // May 8, 2020
Anthro-film Laboratory // June 20, 2020
(2012, 26 mins, Digital, Color, Narrative)What happens when a man you've spent years forgetting winds up at your doorstep? Sunny Disposition is the story of Ben, a disgruntled actor, whose desire is to live his life without becoming the father he never knew. Ben returns home after a rehearsal to find a message from a father he hasn't seen in years on his answering machine. Tension rises as Ben and his father meet face-to-face. The next few hours Ben spends with his father will forever determine their relationship. Could their father-son connection be rekindled or will it go up in smoke?Watch the TRAILER.