Bridge in the Rain
b. March 30, 1844
Translated by A. S. Kline
(Jadis Et Nagučre: Langueur)
For Georges Courteline
I am the Empire at the end of decadent days,
Watching the pale tall Barbarians advance
While composing acrostics, in my indolence,
In a gilded style where the sun’s languor plays.
The lonely soul aches with a vast ennui.
They say bloody battles are being fought down there.
O lacking power, so feeble, such tardy prayer,
O lacking the will to embellish reality!
O lacking the will and power to die a little!
Ah! All is drunk! Bathyllus, life yet laughed away?
Ah! All is eaten and drunk! No more to say!
Only, a slightly foolish poem that burns well,
Only, a slightly errant slave who neglects you,
Only, a kind of vague ennui that afflicts you!
Lars Iyer interviewd by Mark Thwaite
At one time, I wanted to ‘reverse engineer’ a philosophy and a politics from a reading of Blanchot’s literary criticism, his fiction and, in particular, his political writings. I even wanted to develop a Blanchotian form of reflection on contemporary culture. I don’t think I succeeded._______________________
The distance between Blanchot’s concerns and those of our own times is great. In the end, I felt overwhelmed by this distance, and felt that marking it in some way might be valuable in itself. We live in a media-rich, globalised, demotic world, and one overwhelmed by the political project of neoliberalism. In a real sense, we come after literature, even after that sense of literary posthumousness we can find in Blanchot’s fiction.
The Impossible Project
Being a true and honest dedication to one of the most fascinating analog inventions ever made, Impossible's passionate mission is to start writing a completely new chapter in the history of Photography. The rebirth of analog instant film brings new artistic and cultural possibilities along. It is an affair of Impossible's heart to embrace all the possibilites that the new instant films offer and to closely collaborate with artists and photographers. Therefore Impossible founded the Impossible Collection in order to build a new and growing archive of contemporary analog instant photography and artworks.
via Junk for Code
César Vallejo: from Against Professional Secrets (Book of Thoughts)
Translation from Spanish by Joseph Mulligan
There Exist Questions...
There exist questions without answers, which fill the spirit of science and common sense with uneasiness. There exist answers without questions, which are the spirit of art and the dialectic consciousness of things.
The Head And Feet Of Dialectics
Facing the stones of Darwinian risk that compose the Tuileries palace, Potstam, Peterhof, Quirinal, the White House and Buckingham, I suffer the pain of a megatherium, who meditated standing upright, the hind legs on the head of Hegel and the front legs on the head of Marx.
b. March 30, 1886
The Collapse of Globalization
The defense of globalism marks a disturbing rupture in American intellectual life. The collapse of the global economy in 1929 discredited the proponents of deregulated markets. It permitted alternative visions, many of them products of the socialist, anarchist and communist movements that once existed in the United States, to be heard. We adjusted to economic and political reality. The capacity to be critical of political and economic assumptions resulted in the New Deal, the dismantling of corporate monopolies and heavy government regulation of banks and corporations. But this time around, because corporations control the organs of mass communication, and because thousands of economists, business school professors, financial analysts, journalists and corporate managers have staked their credibility on the utopianism of globalism, we speak to each other in gibberish. We continue to heed the advice of Alan Greenspan, who believed the third-rate novelist Ayn Rand was an economic prophet, or Larry Summers, whose deregulation of our banks as treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton helped snuff out some $17 trillion in wages, retirement benefits and personal savings. We are assured by presidential candidates like Mitt Romney that more tax breaks for corporations would entice them to move their overseas profits back to the United States to create new jobs. This idea comes from a former hedge fund manager whose personal fortune was amassed largely by firing workers, and only illustrates how rational political discourse has descended into mindless sound bites.
We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster?
Mad in America
It is a queer fact, indeed, that none of the most outspoken and anti-authoritarian radicals in this country are under 65 years old.(....)
You tell me: Who are the public intellectuals whose social commentary and wry observations and very public self-examinations can be relied upon to advance the species and to deepen our collective and happy misunderstanding of why we're all here? Who will be left once Chomsky and Sahl and Vidal and Ali and Allen and Lapham and Scheer and Krassner and Hitchens and Hedges disappear?
I can't think of anybody. …
Thrift ShopPainted Bride Quarterly 82
I can put an “it” into this and a “was.”
I could put you through “this.”
Or is "this" just a rehash of the same old plot and
any dawn’s dumb tint, any discount trick to make a sale.
Wait and see with me anyway what might find us
sewn behind into our one spam tin of time.
Four by Tom Clark
Problems of ThoughtThe Offending Adam
Often has it been remarked that no one ever did something and regretted it later without also having to admit there had been a point of return, perceptible had only one been paying attention. Responsive as a small dog loyal to any passing whimsical attraction, however, one was too busy to take any notice. One could have stopped. Thought could have been summoned. Rescue could have been effected. But such are the powers of distraction in this world that though one might easily have turned back in time to save oneself from disaster, this never happened. Thus things came to be as they stand at present.
Road with Cypress and Star
b. March 30, 1853
international journal dedicated to literary translation
Solar Throat Slashed
translated from the French by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman
When in the Heat of the Day Naked Monks Descend the Himalayas
Very powerful pendant the mosquitoes equipped with maremma grapeshot-loaded volutes gigolo of brutality with wild boar wallow darky feet
Very powerful pendant the great rivers that verminously disconnect their really filthy thighs blue lips spurting a raw vaginal laugh
Very powerful pendant the soft face of pollen getting ground up in the wind's conspiracy and the smoking chimneys under the tunnel of the shoulders of carbuncular wild beasts with eyes tenderer than their grassy surroundings
Very powerful monster against monster
yours whose body is a statue of red woody sap
whose spittle is fofa urine
mine whose sweat is a gush of caiman bile
let me dislodge them finally like a night rainy with howler monkey cries from my chest
as tender as fly agaric
Myopia was her fault, her lead, her imperceptible native veil. Strange: she could
see that she could not see, but she could not see clearly. Every day there was re
fusal, but who could say where the refusal came from: who was refusing, the
world, or she? She was part of that obscure surreptitious race who go about in
confusion before the great picture of the world, all day long in a position of
avowal : I can't see the name of the street, I can't see the face, I can't see the door,
I can't see things coming and I'm the one who can't see what I ought to be able
to see. She had eyes and she was blind. (....)
Truths are unmasked a second bef ore the end. Do I see what I see? What was
not there was perhaps there. To be and not to be were never exclusive.
So as to be able to live, she chose to believe and it often ended in unhappy
discoveries. She placed her confidence in a madwoman whom she mistrusted
but in vain. There is an advantage in the blind confidence of which she was de
prived. Myopia shook up everything including the proper peace that blindness
establishes . She was the first to accuse herself Even with her eyes closed she was
Myopia mistress of error and worry.
But it also reigns over others, you who are not myopic and you who are my
opic, it was also tricking you, you who never saw it, you who never knew that it
was spreading its ambiguous veils between the woman and you. It was always
there the invisible that separated the woman forever. As if it were the very genius
of separation. This woman was another and you did not know it.
I too was myopic. I can attest to the fact that some people gravely wounded
by myopia can perf ectly well hide from public gaze the actions and existence of
their mad fatality.
Helene Cixous and Jacques Derrida
Translated by Geoffrey Bennington
A Silkworm of One's Own _______________________
Points of View Stitched on the Other Veil
Before the verdict, my verdict, before, befalling me, it drags me down with
it in its fall, before it's too late, stop writing. Full stop, period. Before it's too late,
go off to the ends of the earth like a mortally wounded animal. Fasting, retreat,
departure, as far as possible, lock oneself away with oneself in oneself, try finally
to understand oneself, alone and oneself Stop writing here, but instead from afar
defy a weaving, yes, from afar, or rather see to its diminution. Childhood mem
ory: raising their eyes from their woolen threads, but without stopping or even
slowing the movement of their agile fingers, the women of my family used to say,
sometimes, I think, that they had to diminish. Not undo, I guess, but diminish, i.e., though I had no idea what the word meant then but I was all the more in
trigued by it, even in love with it, that they needed to diminish the stitches or reduce the knit of what they were working on. And for this diminution, needles and hands had to work with two loops at once, or at least play with more than one.
Which has nothing to do, if I understand aright, with the mastery of a
Royal Weaver or with Penelope's ruse, with the metis of weaving-unweaving. Not even a question of pretending, as she did one day, to be weaving a shroud by saving the lost threads [les fil s perdus: the lost sons] , thus preparing a winding sheet for Laertes, King of Ithaca and father of Odysseus, for the very one that Athena rejuvenated by a miracle. Don't lose the thread, that's the injunction that Penelope was pretending to follow, but also pretense or fiction, ruse ...
Directed by Mary Ellen Bute
Screenplay by Mary Manning
Cinematography by Ted Nemeth
Music by Elliot Kaplan
a quarterly multi-modal digital journal
Alparegho, like nothing else
Ann Cefola translating the French of Hélčne Sanguinetti
"There was a day, one time, now, the day of the King who lies, and his wife the Queen with the striking huge pupils. They surrounded their heads with streamers, put a little chair above above and a veil of orange skins on their teeth, and played fools. The people were hungry hungry hungry._______________________
At this time the men took forks, the women had prepared flasks, and they entered in the park after having bent the high bars with their fists of rage, starved, “Justice! Justice! Treacherous you are!”
And again: “Justice! The treacherous, may they perish!”
Suddenly, someone, neither old nor young, left the crowd of those oppressed, he was not really really handsome, and even his body, in a bad sense human, only shoulder-height, on the right was a bit twisted and a little curved. He had a funny pickaxe with a golden edge and so small that it should have belonged to a child to play with in the sand, or had been made especially for a dwarf, or a sort of tool of a clockmaker or tapestry-maker? From what era? He turned it around in his hand with much dexterity despite his sick appearance and, with the other hand, easily opened a passage-way through the fury.
“I forgot my flute,” said he in a small voice that each one heard deep in the ear. It was a little golden voice, a little voice that insists on itself, and came from far away. He was standing at the foot of the park’s great bent grill and looked toward the house, on the balcony of honor, the royal couple decked out with ribbons and staggered before the extent of such a disaster. Because the Majesties’ beautiful garden had been devastated: crushed the flowerbeds, strangled the water jets, filled in the ponds, pulled out the varied magnolias and the-happiness-of-apes pines, suffocated the fountains. Worse than if a herd of wild boar had descended from the mountain.
Logic of the World: The Poetics of Robert Kelly
Celebrating His 75th Birthday & His 50 Years Teaching At Bard College
MAY 7, 2011
Anthology Film Archives
Deren Room, 32 Second Ave, New York, NY
The Logic of the World: An Interview with Robert Kelly
RK: Sudden fiction. In my first answer I spoke of the immateriality of size, and the immense size of effect.So sudden fiction happens quickly, and swings a very long tail. Sudden fiction meant for me something that uses the conventions of prose fiction with the mindset of poetry. Not prose poem, as the French invented it and we have done so much with. But fiction, story, turned with the rapt condensation of a poem. Sudden fiction has been there—rare moments of it—for a long time. Those abrupt and awe-struck chapters in Melville’s Billy Budd, that amazing story by Georg Heym from a hundred years ago, “The Autopsy,” the dozens of parables and “fragments” by Kafka—those are some of the jewel-like ancestors of what we try to do.
d. March 29, 1891
There is neither God nor nature in photography.via riley dog
Laura Larson & Brian Teare
There is neither God nor nature in photography. Like faith
a discrete series of disappearances; like God the abrading of
arrested motion—landscape is active absence, part of the
design. That’s why photography’s trees can never be the trees
of painting or of nature : we expect them to correspond to
themselves and then they slip, asymbolic, outside of religion,
outside of ritual until the upper limit of our nostalgia seems a
high green canopy and its lower a mat of rust-colored needles
so thick and acidic it permits no undergrowth, a perspective
intended for reverie. ....
A sub-continuation of This Space
... “Go away,” she said, “you are disturbing my silence.” He stood puzzled. “But what of the garden?” he asked. “A garden,” she answered, “is not a question. It is your silence, which differs from mine as not to ask differs from not to answer. You may leave off questioning me answerably, but you may not have it that I have no more to say because you give me no more to answer. You may not turn into a fact what is so far only a story.”
1946 - 2011
Deer Hunting with Jesus:
Dispatches from America's Class War
America, Y Ur Peeps B So Dumb?
Ignorance and Courage in the Age of Lady Gaga
Joe Bageant remembered by Justin E. H. Smith
Of noble intentions in a cruel world
In a better world, there would be widely agreed upon standards and mechanisms defining the international community's responsibilities and governing its responses when nations invade one another, attack one another, or abuse their own citizens and residents. In reality, such an ideal sounds almost laughable. In reality, our own nation sells arms to one or both sides of just about every conflict around the globe. We are the world's number one arms merchant. And our consumer economy relies upon the exploitation of labor and the environment in other nations to degrees that would be unthinkable at home, but for the Republicans who are so intrepidly attempting to level the field to the lowest common denominator. Our governments support democratic movements mostly as excuses for geopolitical or economic gain, while concurrently protecting and enabling despots who already serve our geopolitical or economic gain. There's nothing new or unique about that. We are not morally exceptional or divinely guided, we are merely very good at what everyone does, and what everyone long has done. We are one of the last industrialized nations still to impose capital punishment. We have the world's largest prison population. Our social safety net never was on par with those of our industrialized allies, and increasingly even that is being shredded to tatters. So let's not kid ourselves about the intentions of our overseas adventures. The good very much is the exception. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are the rule. But that doesn't mean we cannot dream. It doesn't mean we cannot aspire.
There is No Night
Jack Butler Yeats
d. March 28, 1957
In One of Many Cities Martin Burke - Burke@Delphic-Ghent
Thus not to falsify the real into a tract on irony.
The first occupation was followed by the second occupation –which, while professing allegiance to the different name of a different god, was no different from the first.
Children were born even as the dead were buried – in other words, the necessities continued albeit under the new flag which flapped above the post-office and the office of the Mayor.
Were there strategies?
Yes, there were strategies of love and cunning –but I am no biographer and so cannot speak of them.
In secrets, in the darkness needed for a secret, as if the flesh was our god, we gave ourselves to the many devotions.
As I still do and always will regardless of what flag is hoisted or how many learned tracts on irony are published.
There is however one subversive fact I must confess to you –and it is this: that even in our generation, even among this people, Hamlet has been reborn, so has Hector, so has Achilles, Odysseus also, and, when the rightful moment, the required moment arrives, Antigone will step into the centre-circle and once more the State will fear the words she bequeaths.
Oh, the masters will dispute this but what can they do?
Already the stone is falling towards water and the world is about to shudder.
Albert Pinkham Ryder
d. March 28, 1917
Rika Lesser: Two Poems by Göran Sonnevi, with a note on Translation
from Mozart’s Third Brain by Göran Sonnevi
the sea shall leap up, from the highest point Where
we imagine the limit to be, precisely where we tran-
scend The sea roars below the cliffs; the diabase veins
protrude like spines We are their
rhythms, also, in the greater rhythmic system; in our
provisional attempt at counterpoint
I, too, play the second voice; in colors;
in transformations; also in the transformations of fear
The sea of fear and the sea of joy; identical; in the play of light
of valuations, beneath wandering clouds, their
shadows, lightning, oblique downpours
I walk into the wind; its pressure against my face
See the islands, the heights, the rocks The city,
in the upper corner of the bay, shrouded in smoke
I was also part of its chemistry; when I was defined
The transformations just go on
The islands of poverty and social decay
need not be embedded
in some overriding imperial or economic structure,
I understood, yesterday, since long ago Refugees come
wearing their veils, their darkness, their colors
We are part of this transformation, we act, the trans-
mutations in what is humanity will
go on; then we will pay the price;
or else everything is already worthless, gold . . .
If song will again be possible is not for us to decide
Albert Pinkham Ryder
Milk Bottles: Spring
Edward J. Steichen
(March 27, 1879 - March 25, 1973)
Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Philosophers at war
Why was 'the philosophical conscience of Europe' torn apart by a thirty years' war?
At this point a key shaft of light is thrown from the margin. With Ludwig Wittgenstein, W. V. Quine and Donald Davidson at his back, Richard Rorty intervenes. Ironizing these arcane disputations, Rorty suggests that Derrida’s claims to overcoming traditional philosophic categories should not be taken too seriously. It is not the early Derrida who should retain our attention, but the author of a subsequent avalanche of eccentric, parodistic, experimental polemics, eulogies, “postcards” and mémoires. Expanding, as it were, on choreographies in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (or perhaps in Wallace Stevens), Rorty’s Derrida is an inspired “comedian”. Bouretz’s reverence towards Derrida inhibits him from following up this hint. Yet it might be decisive. The saturating wordplay, the grammatical virtuosities, the near-glossolalia have vivid antecedents in Dada, in Surrealism, in the verbal inventiveness of Gertrude Stein. As time passes, Derridean deconstruction may be seen to have been the liberating satyr play after the tragic destiny of twentieth-century philosophic frustration and political barbarism.
Libre Culture: Meditations on Free Culture
edited by David M. Berry and Giles Moss
Libre Culture is the essential expression of the free culture/copyleft movement. This anthology, brought together here for the first time, represents the early groundwork of Libre Society thought. Referring to the development of creativity and ideas, capital works to hoard and privatize the knowledge and meaning of what is created. Expression becomes monopolized, secured within an artificial market-scarcity enclave and finally presented as a novelty on the culture industry in order to benefit cloistered profit motives. In the way that physical resources such as forests or public services are free, Libre Culture argues for the freeing up of human ideas and expression from copyright bulwarks in all forms.Monoskop/log
Developing chronologically in scope from manifesto to article to essay, this seminal collection of writing cuts directly into the heart of how intellectual property impedes the natural progression of creativity, staggering its distribution and cutting it off from the possibility of reaching a true 'ideas commons.' While Berry and Moss are here primarily using internet movements and art as conceptual-frameworks, the sublimity of their work lies in its ability to penetrate into other spheres of life, to avoid becoming captured by any one ideology, to hold a glance that remains everywhere. Exploring a radical democratic politics of "the commons," the critique abandons the will to glue itself to a specific political identity, resultantly allowing its dialogue to arm itself with its own conditions: the writing attempts to live its own words by allowing itself to be used (and reused) freely by anyone.
Where the neoliberal Creative Commons moves to create a bureaucratic vivisection of culture, cutting it into discrete pieces, each of which have their own distinct license, rights and permissions defined by the copyright holder who 'owns' the work, ensuring that legal licenses and lawyers remain key nodal and obligatory passage points within the Creative Commons network, Libre Culture moves diametrically against such mechanical blockages and colonization maneuvers — against the totality of intellectual property regimes everywhere and their attempts to extend the reach of their own compartmentalization.
Moonlight - Winter
A Conversation with John Gossage
"Photographer John Gossage finds moments of grace and elegance in even the most mundane places. Join the artist and curator of photography Toby Jurovics for a conversation about The Pond and its role in the history of American landscape photography."
via Idiotic Hat
‘That is no ship. That is no forest’
Wild Being in Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God
My proposal: to turn the tide on the relationship between sublimity anthropomorphising. Despite singling out Schopenhauer, the tendency to treat the sublime as an instant for the human to affirm his or her finitude is a pervasive gesture in aesthetics, more broadly. My plan for reconsidering this movement is to unite Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) with the late thought of Merleau-Ponty, especially his enigmatic notion of flesh. In both Herzog and Merleau-Ponty, there exists a philosophy of nature that challenges the classical dichotomy between the domesticated self encountering the objective realm of wilderness. Rather, in each case, a deep and dynamic ambiguity undercuts the idea of wilderness existing “there” while human subjectivity remains placed “here.” In what follows, I will venture into this ambiguity, with the “forest” as my principle theme.
(edited by Edwin Mak & Matthew Flanagan)
Edwin Mak & Matthew Flanagan
We have named this journal Lumen as it appeals by metaphor to the notion of discovery, or inspiration: a gesture of clarity in turning toward illumination, just as physicists measure units of luminous flux by the same name. Our interest is in ideas and the care of their crafting––at times, in admiration of such efforts in themselves––transversal to aesthetic disciplines and historical origins. This is, as much, an active disinterest in the agendas and conventions of academic, institutional, critical, or commercial power. We feel Adorno was right, in this respect, to consider every genuine work of art an uncommitted crime. Thus, taking the criminalized side of freed ideas necessitates the dismissal of their subjection in the form of intellectual property; a repudiation that remains the meaning of Godard’s affirmation of there being instead only intellectual responsibility.
Noticing the simile—“my tears are like crystals”—I am reminded of how nonmetaphorical my writing is. The absence of any examination of my use or nonuse of metaphor, coupled with the absence of any examination of my use or nonuse of semicolons, seems to indicate that I live an unexamined life.…
The Flood, The Beast & The Witches
Translation by Tag Gallagher
Six Dialogues with Leuco
In Jacques Rancičre’s words, ‘images, properly speaking, are the things of the world.’ This simple assertion––a belief that cinema might not be the name of an art but, in fact, ‘the name of the world’––is rarely more prominent than in the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Daničle Huillet. In the essay which this section is intended to accompany, Denis Lévy writes that their films are (history) lessons for visual and aural attention, encounters with ideas and things that force us to refocus our attention, revealing the dialectics of word and image, myth and reality. Straub-Huillet’s films always originate from existing texts or non-filmic sources (novels, plays, letters, interviews, poetry, theory, opera) and consistently foreground a tension between the performance of those texts and the places upon which they reflect. This ‘adaptation’ of the world and its history is their declaration of materiality, both visual and sonic, and the fullness of the resultant encounter can leave the spectator, in Lévy’s words, ‘as if struck partially blind by the text.’
With this in mind, we present here, with the permission of Jean-Marie Straub, the translation of six dialogues by Cesare Pavese for English and American subtitled prints of Dalla nube alla resistenza .
1899 - 1986
A brief, and brutal, history of the Chamber of Commerce
The Gang That Couldn't Lobby Straight
Storm over Wisconsin
Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State
1936 to 1940
Wisconsin Historical Society
‘America created the 20th century,’ Gertrude Stein wrote in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, ‘and since all the other countries are now either living or commencing to be living a 20th-century life, America having begun the creation of the 20th century in the sixties of the 19th century is now the oldest country in the world.’ She meant, quite reasonably, that America was the oldest country in the world because it was the first to be modern. By 1933, Stein had already witnessed the industrialisation of America and the new technologies of standardisation and control unleashed by Fordism and Taylorism. Had she lived longer into the 20th century, one can only imagine what she would have made of the many organisation men, hidden persuaders and lonely crowds still to come, or of the other ideological prisons created by the national security state and the Cold War. It already seems as if it was a long time ago that America, transitioning from industrial to consumer capitalism, lurched into the age of postmodernity. The brisk destruction of old ways and the foreclosing of possibilities have become such an accepted fact – not least in the social sciences, from Daniel Bell to Fredric Jameson – that it is easy to forget what a large-scale re-engineering of human lives they have led to. Jennifer Egan, an American writer, is rare for still being able to register incredulity at the weirdness of this process. In her novel Look at Me (2001), she makes one of her main characters, an isolated intellectual, spell it all out: The ‘narrative of industrial America began with the rationalisation of objects through standardisation, abstraction and mass production’, and has concluded ‘with the rationalisation of human beings through marketing, public relations, image consulting and spin’.
Direct Address: Poems
An Introduction to Tonight’s Performance
A chattering in the eaves. A forceful muttering.
Words carefully chosen, then smeared with beargrease.
Not the language of flurry and ease. Not the song
of the defrocked vigilante. Not the hemmed and attenuated.
The truculent minnesinger. But the harried flight
of the marauding crow. Missile sprung from the desert.
Catapulted vixen. Acrid linguist. Cartwheeling Taoist.
It’s rumored they could fly, watch you eating your rice—
your ineffectual chopsticking and long-grained beard—
hover above you, disembodied, then return before dawn.
That they were not given to gossip was a godsend.
But what about this sputtering saxophone? How to explain that
to the moderate drinkers gathered seatward this evening?
Ladies and gentlemen, the modern attention requires
disjunctiveness, ballistics, contortions. Requires
that we drive this tractor-trailer filled with tortured geese
through the Holland Tunnels of your ears. Forgive us,
we can neither fly nor cartwheel effectively. Therefore
we have chosen the screams of wounded animals as our theme.
That there will be more wounded requiring more such
compositions is a given. That ticket prices will reflect this trend.
That you should use the exits positioned at the foot of the stage
and not burst unannounced through the corrugated steel.
The management would like to remind you that one hails
a taxi, one does not ambush, derail, or otherwise interfere with
or impede such commuter-oriented vehicles. They are a
privilege and not a right. If the perpetrator does not
come forward, we will remain in our seats until we have
exhausted the abuses we have planned for the various instruments.
That you might wish to avoid this. That if the severed hand
on the apron is any indication. That announcements from the stage
shall be random and without merit. That our purchase on reality
seems tenuous. Please welcome if you will. You may choose
not to welcome, of course, but the performance will occur regardless.
The Invisible Hand Explains Nuclear Safety
What Does Bristol Palin Have to Do with Same-Sex Marriage?
Social Science Research Network
Friedrich Nietzsche's Schreibkugel
The Font of the Hand
“Our writing tools are also working on our thoughts.”
On the processing of words, from scriptorium to LongPen™
Before the invention of the printing press, when chirography began to be usurped by typography, handwriting was a quest for ecumenical perfection. Monks, practicing manuscripture, worked toward the perfection of a hand in which the authority of the collective was privileged over the personal achievement. This sublimation is evident in the Carolingian hands, which introduced majuscules and punctuation to writing, and the later Gothic hands, which reflect the seriousness of the religious texts being copied; their cathedral struts, finials, and minims seeming carceral, as if bars imprisoning monks in cells of lonely literacy.
The ink of antique writing tends to mire words in vagary and doubt, giving rise to multiple print interpretations that in turn have acquired their own truths, and a species of religious disputation.
Creative Destruction and CopyrightProtection
Regulatory Responses to File-sharing
The DEA gets the balance between copyright enforcement andinnovation wrong. The use of peer-to-peer technology should beencouraged to promote innovative applications. Focusing onefforts to suppress the use of technological advances and toprotect out-of-date business models will stifle innovation in thisindustry.
Providing user-friendly, hassle-free solutions to enable users todownload music legally at a reasonable price, is a much moreeffective strategy for enforcing copyright than a heavy-handedlegislative and regulatory regime.
Decline in the sales of physical copies of recorded music cannotbe attributed solely to file-sharing, but should be explained by acombination of factors such as changing patterns in musicconsumption, decreasing disposable household incomes forleisure products and increasing sales of digital content throughonline platforms.
The church crypt - Hythe
Study: Religion Going Extinct in Most Western Countries -- Why Does It Still Dominate Our Politics?
...it's astonishing to think that Christianity may soon be extinct in Canada at the same time as it is morphing into something so powerful in our country that it can destroy reproductive choice and the teaching of biology, geology, and sex education.
Religion may become extinct in nine nations
We're not inherently more religious than Canada. We just have a political system that allows financial elites to enlist religious fundamentalists in their service. In other words, religion has tremendous utility in our country.
A Conversation with Nadav Kander
From “Memory Cards: Ashbery Series”
Marsh Hawk Review Spring 2011
Susan M. Schultz
You private person. You less than public creature of the crowd, isolated speck in being's penumbra, eyeball in a field, you! Listen here, the voice of your audience awakens you to the absence of your mother/lover/pet, where only Echo lasts, having long since divorced Narcissus, who blossoms glumly in the sagebrush behind the stage. Scared of the clock, he spilled the banana. Numbers kept adding up, red dots splashing on the iPod Touch: I gilled him! What is touch, when wound is absence modified, when angry birds come calling, but only from inside a lit box? The island is covered by absences, notes scribbled on light poles, torch ginger tied to bus stops, phantom launching pads, a scar on the concrete barrier. Your multiple-choice test begins now, and your score determines what future resides where the horizon would be were it not for the crenelated mountains, even as you stand locked to a past you cannot see but only dig in, like a politician planting a tree that denotes settlement, not shifts of key. The cello sounded flat, she said with some sharpness in her voice, having attended sarcasm boot camp years ago. But the cello responded: come closer, you ain't heard nothing yet.
--31 December 2010
Editor: Eileen R. Tabios
The Collapse of the Poetry Economy
— an interview with Eirķkur Örn Noršdahl
b. March 23, 1900
The Sane Society
To Have or To Be
The fear of freedom
Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy
download at Monoskop/log
Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography
Interpreting Post-Socialist Icons:
From Pride and Hate Towards Disappearance And/Or Assimilation
Cultural landscape, as compilation of forms, functions and meanings, always reflexes the relationship of power and control out of which it has emerged. Major landscape transformations follow principal social revolutions. One of the recent major political transformations had been started in Central Europe in 1989 with the collapse of the communist regimes. Cultural landscape of Central and Eastern Europe has been carrying many communism related features, structures and procedures, represented by variety of landscape icons. The former symbols of the regimes and Soviet dominance had been undergoing liminal transformations since then. Some icons had been forgotten and disappeared, while some others have been incorporated into contemporary cultural landscape, usually thanks to transformed function and/or meaning. The former icons are left between oblivion and assimilation and can represent the application of the post-socialist memory policy, and readiness to accept or deny the traumatic past. The liminal societies of Central and Eastern Europe choose, sometimes unconsciously, what to remember and what to forget. Transformation of the former communist icons represents the cultural interaction of the place, time and society and can be seen as a litmus paper of the transformations.
Overlooking the Bay
b. March 23, 1887
1920 - 2010
Push the boat out, compańeros,
push the boat out, whatever the sea.
Who says we cannot guide ourselves
through the boiling reefs, black as they are,
the enemy of us all makes sure of it!
Mariners, keep good watch always
for that last passage of blue water
we have heard of and long to reach
(no matter if we cannot, no matter!)
in our eighty-year-old timbers
leaky and patched as they are but sweet
well seasoned with the scent of woods
long perished, serviceable still
in unarrested pungency
of salt and blistering sunlight. Out,
push it all out into the unknown!
Unknown is best, it beckons best,
like distant ships in mist, or bells
clanging ruthless from stormy buoys.
Edwin Morgan Tribute
Blackbox Manifold, Issue 6
My Monster, My Self:
On Nicholas Carr and William Powers
It’s hard to hold such nostalgia against Powers and Carr. After all, they’re pulling on a central thread of modernity, and both are smart enough to know that if you keep pulling, the whole tapestry will unravel. Besides, it may be impossible to deliver a thoroughgoing critique of technology without becoming a little reactionary, or to slay the digital monster without resorting to pitchforks and torches. Hard as it is to find our origins, it is even harder to imagine who else we might become. Like Powers and Carr, I have profited in every way—personally, intellectually, professionally—from reading, writing and thinking deeply. I regret the losses lamented in these books at least as much as their authors do, and I long for the kind of reassurance they are reaching toward. I also recoil from the tyranny of Google and the iPhone zombies, and I feel a creeping revulsion and fury whenever my son disappears into his iPad.
But disgust is the wellspring of bigotry, and it often brands as evil what is new and different, leading us to overlook the sublime hidden in the monstrous. Disgust is a way of keeping faith with one’s origins or avoiding an unbearable conflict, even if only in an imaginary sense. This is especially so for those of us, like Powers and Carr (and me), who have had the Internet grafted onto our analog skin. In his reply to my e-mail asking his age, Powers assured me that plenty of young people have responded favorably to his message, and I have no doubt this is true. But I meet kids all the time who listen to Grateful Dead tapes and wear tie-dyes and drop acid; refreshing as I might find this, it doesn’t mean that psychedelic consciousness is the mindset of the future, or that it ought to be. Our future selves may have Bluetooth implants and pointed thumbs and, who knows, eyes on the tops of their heads. What are prostheses for us will have grown seamlessly onto them, but they will have new seams to contend with. Self-help may no longer come in the form of books, but it will be necessary all the same, for those future selves will have their own discontents, their own monsters, their own lost pasts to mourn.
. . .Let this be the Body
somewhere I did not learn mow down or mop up • somewhere I wouldn’t hear your father must come with me or I must fingerprint your grandmother can you translate please • the fbi has my cousins’ computers • my father says say what- ever you want over the phone • my father says don’t let them scare you that’s what they want • my mother has a hard time believing anything’s bugged • my fa- ther and I always talk like the world listens • my father is still on the bus with contraband papers under his seat as uniforms storm down the aisle • it was my job to put a cross on each home with dead for clearing • it was my job to dig graves into the soccer field • I wrote red tracksuit • I wrote Shahida, headless, found beside Saad Mosque • buried in the same grave as the above • I wrote uniden- tified fingers • found inside Oldsmobile car • I wrote their epitaphs in chalk • from my son’s wedding mattress I know this mound’s his room • I dropped to a knee and engaged the enemy • I emptied my clip then finished the job • I took two steps in and threw a grenade • I took no more than two steps into a room before firing • in Haditha we cleared homes Fallujah-style •
through which the War has passed.
Volume XXIV (2011)
Rethinking the Human Sciences:
Rethinking Academic Discourse:
A Poetic Approach to Intellectual Endeavor
But if thought is language
how can academic writing
still be so passive, transparent, functional?
If thought is language
how can we justify
If thought is language
how can one
traditional academic prose?
if we are no longer willing to admit
if thought is language,
then writing must become the ideas
it seeks to express –
form and content
one and the same
and poetry thus presents itself
Interdisciplinary Studies, Global Education, and the Languages of Criticism
Pastoral, then, is always a hybrid discourse. But its hybridity can be mystified or exposed, as a building's facade can conceal or reveal its structure. The postmodern pastoral that concerns me, a configuration of which will be presented by The Arcadia Project, exposes and plays with the dialectic of purification and translation, domination and emancipation. The latter refers to one of the central double-binds of modernity, by which domination of nature is supposed to lead to the emancipation of human beings-—yet, as Adorno and Horkheimer amply demonstrate in Dialectic of Enlightenment, the domination of nature ends up reinscribed in social relations. This is the severed Gordian knot, in Latour's language, that we must "retie," imagining anew the collective that includes humans and nonhumans, with "society" describing "one part only of our collectives, the divide invented by the social sciences".
... it's surprising and pleasing to re-encounter the language of the "hybrid" in the context of poetry, no longer as the anemic hodgepodge of epiphanic lyric and Language poetry that is our period's most familiar style, but in this more rigorous and urgent sense. If "American Hybrid" represents precisely the sort of unmarked move that consolidates power beyond politics (or in the literary context, beyond criticism), the hybridity of postmodern pastoral represents something more volatile, because it absorbs the task of critique, or translation, into and against itself, producing in the most interesting cases poems that destabilize and subvert the subject-object positions that sustain domination.
Colin Marshall's The Marketplace of Ideas
The quest for seriousness, trammeled by idiocy: philosopher-novelist Lars Iyer
In search of lost modernism: novelist and critic Gabriel Josipovici
On the craft of freeform radio with WFMU's Ken Freedman
via Stephen Mitchelmore
4:30 FeelingLines of Work
216 CE / China
Office work: a wearisome jumble;
ink drafts: a crosshatch of deletions and smears.
Racing the writing brush, no time to eat,
sun slanting down but never a break;
swamped and muddled in records and reports,
head spinning till it’s senseless and numb—
I leave off and go west of the wall,
climb the height and let my eyes roam:
square embankments hold back the clear water,
wild ducks and geese at rest in the middle—
Where can I get a pair of whirring wings
so I can join you to bob on the waves?
special issue Lapham's Quarterly
Walter Benjamin Essay Collection
Sixth Avenue - West 42nd Street
Wurts Brothers Company
heralds of spring
On Keeping a Notebook [pdf]
Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
an online journal of poetry, poetics &c.
Folded in Place
Design Observer _______________________
While a mapped image represents a legible landscape, it does so by deploying an abstracted system of lines, color and text. In the studio I began to deconstruct various maps, and to reconstruct fragments, all in an effort to redefine places I didn't (yet) know first-hand. The resulting constructions use elements of sculpture, drawing and mapping to further abstract the mapped landscapes. But these constructions were made for only the camera to see first-hand, using a single vantage point that could mimic the aerial or distanced view. Considerations of color, sculptural form and context further spurred my experimentation.
Meanwhile is the wordCenter for the Art of Translation
Translated by John Oliver Simon
Why a map? Why can't we escape from the mountains,
spirits who block the gifts with their chests? Topography,
typical word. Come and measure, bring calculators,
wink one eye, cover up with eyelashes. Get on the bus,
go down the mountain road. You can't lose.
Everyone's a winner. And all of it, absolutely all, seen from childhood.
The Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection [pdf]
Translated by Leon S. Roudiez
There looms, within abjection, one of those violent, dark revolts of being, directed against a threat that seems to emanate from an exorbitant outside or inside, ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable. It lies there, quite close, but it cannot be assimilated. It beseeches, worries, and fascinates desire, which, nevertheless, does not let itself be seduced. Apprehensive, desire turns aside; sickened, it rejects. A certainty protects it from the shameful—a certainty of which it is proud holds on to it. But simultaneously, just the same, that impetus, that spasm, that leap is drawn toward an elsewhere as tempting as it is condemned. Unflaggingly, like an inescapable boomerang, a vortex of summons and repulsion places the one haunted by it literally beside himself._______________________
When I am beset by abjection, the twisted braid of affects and thoughts I call by such a name does not have, properly speaking, a definable object. The abject is not an ob-ject facing me, which I name or imagine. Nor is it an ob-jest, an otherness ceaselessly fleeing in a systematic quest of desire. What is abject is not my correlative, which, providing me with someone or something else as support, would allow me to be more or less detached and autonomous. The abject has only one quality of the object—that of being opposed to I. If the object, however, through its opposition, settles me within the fragile texture of a desire for meaning, which, as a matter of fact, makes me ceaselessly and infinitely homologous to it, what is abject, on the contrary, the jettisoned object, is radically excluded and draws me toward the place_where meaning collapses. A certain "ego" that merged with its master, a superego, has flatly driven it away. It lies outside, beyond the set, and does not seem to agree to the latter's rules of the game. And yet, from its place of banishment, the abject does not cease challenging its master. Without a sign (for him), it beseeches a discharge, a convulsion, a crying out. To each ego its object, to each superego its abject. It is not the white expanse or slack boredom of repression, not the translations and transformations of desire that wrench bodies, nights, and discourse; rather it is a brutish suffering that, "I" puts up with, sublime and devastated, for "I" deposits it to the father's account [verse au pere—pere-uersion]: I endure it, for I imagine that such is the desire of the other. A massive and sudden emergence of uncanniness, which, familiar as it might have been in an opaque and forgotten life, now harries me as radically separate, loathsome. Not me. Not that. But not nothing, either. A "something" that I do not recognize as a thing. A weight of meaninglessness, about which there is nothing insignificant, and which crushes me. On the edge of nonexistence and hallucination, of a reality that, if I acknowledge it, annihilates me. There, abject and abjection are my safeguards.The primers of my culture.
Julia Kristeva 1966–96: Aesthetics politics ethics
(Parallax, Issue 8 July–September 1998)
Memory, History, Forgetting
Translated by Kathleen Blarney and David Pellauer
An epic meditation on deafness, loudness, musical wallpaper, costumes, and of course Beethoven. With a cast of hundreds including Joseph Beuys, Dieter Roth, Robert Filliou and many, many permutations of the titular star.
by composer Mauricio Kagel,
made between 1966 & 1983
In the tunnel of woods, as the road
Winds up through the freckled light, a porcupine,
Larger than life, crosses the road.
He moves with the difficulty of relics—
Possum, armadillo, horseshoe crab.
To us they seem creatures arthritic with time,
Winding joylessly down like burnt-out galaxies.
In all their slowness we see no dignity,
Only a want of scale.
Having crossed the road oblivious, he falls off
Deliberately and without grace into the ferns.
Hot Shot East Bound
Laeger, West Virginia
O. Winston Link
1914 - 2001
A Grey Ecology is Needed Now More Than Ever
The time of an intellectual having an influence is over. Who has an influence? It is the climate.
As we stare down the aftermath of another natural disaster, Paul Virilio's words, unfortunately, ring as true as ever. Within a world that is in a headlong rush into synchronized global emotion, we can begin to understand his concept of the integral accident. Yesterday, the accident happened somewhere, it was relegated to one geo-location. Today, the accident is integral, it runs the show. It happens here and there.
Paul Virilio, Grey Ecology
As Hannah Arendt warned us so long ago, "miracle and catastrophe are two sides of the same coin". If we can begin to assess this tragedy that has spread through real-time networks, Paul Virilio's demand for a novel sort of ecology, a grey ecology for the man-made world of the dromosphere, can no longer be ignored.
How to do itvia Jodi Dean
(translation by Valentina D)
Even love in the precarious times
became something for the aged,
a privilege for old lovers
that have some time to dedicate each other.
We, heirs of a ferocious century
which respected only the future,
we are the promised future,
maybe the last one though, because profit
does not respect neither the tomorrow nor the now.
The pact was cancelled
because the rule is worth nothing
when there is no force to impose it.
Now each is a private,
and alone elaborates the signals
on the changing screen that emits
intimate hypnotic light. Each receives
telephonic orders, and answers
with a happy voice because it is not allowed
for others to know the intimate affliction
that oppresses us.
It's better to leave, that's how to do it.
It's better to leave empty
the space of obedience and sacrifice.
It's better to say 'No, thank you' to whoever offers you
survival in exchange of labour.
Let us learn to be ascetics
who do not renounce to pleasure nor richness
but who know pleasure and richness
and thus they do not look for it in the market.
Like birds in the sky
like lilies in the fields
we do not need work
nor salary, but water and caresses,
air, bread, and the infinite richness
that arise from the collective intelligence
when it is at our service, not at the service
of the economic ignorance.
If you want to know how to do it
I can only tell you
what we learnt from experience.
Don't obey to those who want your life
to make of it a carcass of empty time.
If you have to sell your time for money
than know that there is no amount of money
that is worth your time.
Franco Berardi Bifo
Franco Berardi (aka Bifo)
O. Winston Link: The Last Steam Railroad in America_______________________
Robert Mann Gallery
Pessoa, The Plural Writing and The Sensationist Movement [pdf]
Nuno Filipe Ribeiro
In the work of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) one finds the construction of a pluralistic writing. Pessoa creates, throughout his work, a multiplicity of heteronyms, among which Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, and Įlvaro de Campos are the best known. A heteronym is a literary character with its own worldview, ideas, way of writing, and its own works, that is, with its own literary style. As the matter of fact, in the text entitled Aspects, which was supposed to serve as an introduction to and explanation of the heteronymic work, one reads:
You should approach these books as if you hadn’t read this explanation but had simply read the books, buying them one by one at a bookstore, where you saw them on display. You shouldn’t read them in any other spirit. (…) That doesn’t mean you have the right to believe in my explanation. As soon as you read it, you should suppose that I’ve lied—that you’re going to read books by different poets, or different writers, and that through those books you’ll receive emotions and learn lessons from those writers, with whom I have nothing to do except as their publisher.
via It # Π
O. Winston Link
reprinted from the journal Aphasiology, Vol. 21 (10-11), 2007
Patients with recurrent perseveration as part of a fluent left temporal lobe aphasia often consciously intend to produce a requested target on confrontation testing in the clinic. However, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, they will have a perseveration happen to them. Being focused on the task at hand, and having no discernable attention deficit, the modular and automatic utterance of a whole-word perseverate will startle patients, leaving them puzzled and at a loss to explain such a blunder. In this paper the claim is made that, in a sense, these patients have found themselves at the nexus of the conscious and the unconscious. This phenomenon is discussed based on data from a longitudinal study of a patient who has classical conduction aphasia with several word-finding deficits, but intact comprehension and attention. He perseverates only in the response modes that have been compromised by his brain damage.
from Book Eight of A Border Comedy
Stories often go into the dark and stay there
Springing from nocturnal sounds
Into experience which daylight might otherwise obliterate
Drawn from dark moods which cannot be called linear
We change the stories in our biography
Make use of life
And it is very strange, the flowing in of memory on perception
Origins explain nothing
Themselves in need of explanation
Thus the apples are effortlessly disguised
As objects of appetite
That could never be traced back
Their denarrativization having been achieved
Through an excess of referential and symbolic detail
As in a baroque sleep around a medieval dream
At the end of a day that went by of its own accord
Moving about in the neighborhood where it most often appears
And where by not letting our attention leave the neighborhood
We increase the probability that it will be there again
This we call remembrance
To avoid chicanery, I've contracted with myself to take notes on all that I
It is outer, not inner, knowing that allows for empathy
A good note-taker cannot be indifferent to the image -- she must picture
the pin, the pink fragment, and the wacky state
She must see herself (front and back) and profit by it
And poetry cannot say why
I see across the river
It's hard to make out the details -- objects out of light
But all of modern life is said to be out of situations
The question is, do I want to make something happen
By waiting here
Eye to hole
Hole to view
What if I had to change holes
What if the hole disappeared
As in a case of amnesia
Leaving no distinction between the past and the future
I could live near a river and bring home a fish everyday
And if I did so early I could do other things before dark
The other day I sat myself down at a drawing table
And drew myself
I set myself
I always do
Until I found the eyes
And if I did so late I could do other things before morning
In its mayhem, and autumn too will come, different advice, people speaking
through doors, an orange cat, a form inserted
The East Village
Portrait of a Friend
The Tractatus Suite
M.A. Numminen Sings Wittgenstein (1983 / 1989)
On Reviewing Translations: Daniel Hahn
... what makes me crazy is when the reviewer praises something that I did and gives the impression that I’m not there. By all means compliment the author on the tightness of the plotting, on the deftness of the characterization, and ignore me—they’re supported by my work, of course, but marginally. But a reviewer who thinks he can praise the rhythm, the texture, the beauty of the prose, the warmth and wit of the voice, without acknowledging who’s responsible—as though those things in an author’s original simply reappear automatically after the mechanics of translation have been applied to a text—that’s a reviewer who simply has no understanding of what translation is.
Mediated memories: personal cultural memory as object of cultural analysis
José Van Dijck
... both memory and media constitute intermediaries between individual and society, and between past and present. Historians and social scientists have theorized individual memory primarily as a particularized view on the grand narratives of history; they tend to value individual memories only as retrospective angles on, or as representations of, collective history. In this article, I propose to conceive of personal memory as a cultural phenomenon that encompasses both the activities and products of remembering. We inscribe experiences in the present to facilitate future recall; such material inscriptions are always filtered through discursive conventions, social and cultural practices, and technological tools. In recent years, historians have frequently commented upon the mediation of memory—the role of media as interlinking past and present. This article will try to counteract the common
view of media as external instruments that mould our pasts by emphasizing individual deployment of media technologies and practices as an active memory tool.
What, then, in the light of current theories of mediation, is the significance of ‘mediated memories’ in our lives? Specified as privately recorded personal events and individual collections of recorded cultural content, mediated memories play an important part in the construction of individual and collective identity. They are creative acts of cultural production and collection through which people make sense of their own lives and their connection to the lives of others. Private individuals are active media recipients and producers; therefore, our shoeboxes deserve renewed attention as objects of research.
From shoebox to performative agent: the computer as personal memory machine
Portsmouth Olympic Harbour