The Relation Between Things in a Continuum is an essay I wrote, published as a nice little chapbook by the equitable Detroit-based publishing project Flower Press.

I grew up in blue-collar 1990’s San Francisco,  in my great-grandmother’s house in the avenues. My mother was a florist and my dad was a city gardener. We left the city in 1999, at the height of the first dot-com boom, because we couldn’t afford to stay.

Now, I’m back in the Bay Area, working as an artist and freelance graphic designer. Some of my income is from technology corporations... which forever changed the physical and cultural landscape of my home-place. This essay is about the contradictions of surviving and thriving in the shadow of technocapitalism. It’s nostalgic, and future-thinking, and angry, and hopeful. It contains voices of others struggling to manage the tension between art and technology, community and capitalism, work and life.

This writing was created in response to an invitation from a technology client of mine, who sponsored the 2019 San Francisco Art Book Fair. Once they read it, they decided not to publish it, so Flower Press did instead. It debuted at the 2019 Chicago Art Book Fair.

Continuum is out of print, but stay tuned because it might be back in another form.

“Nicole Lavelle’s work reads like a human heart pulsing out of San Francisco’s hollow tech center—lending it life and fighting its battles. The beast is the internet search engine, her childhood home left in 1999, the social media company, and her own value system. She wonders at its many heads, and whether or not we will be able to tame them.” —Sarah Bofenkamp, Library Services

The Relation Between Things in a Continuum is a public grappling with a mix of privately-held feelings. It’s a reckoning, a coming-to-terms-with, and an honest show of irresolution. Nicole’s work reads like a conversation in a library—intimate, energized, punctuated with ‘Oh, read this part!’. Continuum catches us in the sticky web woven by the likes of Jenny Odell and Rebecca Solnit, among twitching, fitting things: the internet, the making and losing of homeplaces, the Self and the selves. It’s a memory box overturned and sorted among friends. It’s a real shame D****** wouldn’t publish this, but I’m sure glad I got to.” —Zoe Minikes, publisher, Flower Press