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another quotation towards Minus Theatre’s workshop at Performance of Hope Symposium, on decomposition, illustrated with some photos by Sebastião Salgado and a clip of Rita Renoir

“The material things do not lie bare and naked before us; they are there by engendering perspectival deformations, halos, mirages, scattering their colors in the light and their images on surrounding things. Human bodies too move in the world engendering profiles and telescoping images of themselves, casting shadows, sending off murmurings, echoes, rustlings, leaving traces and stains. Their freedom is a material freedom by which they decompose whatever nature they were given and whatever form culture put on them, leaving in the streets and the fields the lines of their fingers or feet dance, leaving their warmth in the hands of others and in the winds, their fluids on tools and chairs, their visions in the night. Bodies do not occupy their spot in space and time, filling it to capacity, such that their beauty would be statuesque. We do not see bodies whose form and colors are held by concepts we recognize or reconstitute. We do not see bodies in their own integrity or inner coherence. We are struck by the cool eyes of the prince of inner-city streets, moved by the hand of the old woman covering the sleep of a child. We are fascinated by the hands of the Balinese priest drawing invisible arabesques over flowers and red pigment and water. Our morning is brightened by a slum-dweller whistling while hauling out garbage. We hear the laughter of the Guatemalan campesinos gathered about a juggler, like water cascading in the murmur of the forest. When we are beguiled by the style with which the body leaves its tones, glances, shadows, halos, mirages in the world, we see the human body’s own beauty. In the decomposition in our memory, in so many bodies greeted only with passionate kisses of parting, we have divined being disseminated a knowing how to live trajectories of time as moments of grace.

“When the scale of a human presence scattered across vast spaces seems unconceptualizable, as also the utter simplicity of certain gestures and movements seems undiagrammable, we have before a human body a sense of the sublime. The sublimity of a body departing into the unmeasurable spaces make the ideas we form of the superhuman and the divine seem like second-rate fictions. The sentiment of the sublime is a disarray in the vision, a turmoil in the touch that seeks to hold it, a vortex in our sensibility that makes us ecstatically crave to sacrifice all that we have and are to it.

“Human warmth in the winds, tears and sweat left in our hands, carnal colors that glow briefly before the day fades, dreams in the night, patterns decomposing in memory, sending our way momentary illuminations: bodies of others that touch us by dismembering. The unconceptualizable forces that break up the pleasing forms of human beauty and break into the pain and exultation of the sublime are also delirium and decomposition. Not sublimity in the midst of abjection: sublime disintegration, sickness, madness. The exultation before the sublime is also contamination. Porous bodies exhaling microbes, spasmodically spreading deliriums, viruses, pollutions, toxins.”

– in Abuses (1994), Alphonso Lingis, pp. 137-139

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Minus looking at painters, 1

Minus Theatre workshop 5/8/2015 used Odd Nerdrum’s paintings as material for theatre to copy and learn from, imitate and express.

What we are looking for is what this young girl is holding in a painting by Guillermo Lorca García-Huidobro:

It is a handful of expressive brushstrokes or gestures. Or a handful of paint. Or even tones of paint.

Nerdrum called himself a kitsch painter for being  committed “to the eternal: love, death and the sunrise.” Returning from the repression of modernism sentimentality, passion, pathos and art in its most primitive sense as the virtues of craft.

Jenny Saville’s work is also interesting for the exundancy of the flesh which recalls the powers of distortion Francis Bacon said he gleaned from Pablo Picasso. (Gleaning, as in the film by Agnès Varda, is also an inspiration for Minus.) But here again, it is probably a question of the expressive force of painting causing the flesh to overflow, in which the flesh participates as overflowing. The tension might in Saville’s painting be the stylistic stretch between Egon Schiele and Bacon (which is also between drawing and painting). Here rather in a photographic collaboration with Glenn Luchford than in her painting:

And in its painterly/graphic aspect, where the paint or tone explodes from the head (a theme literalised elsewhere in her oeuvre). And this explosion resembles what Minus is gleaning, or stealing, from the girl above–a handful of capacity or potential:

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Daughters of Chaos: 8th International Deleuze Studies Conference Stockholm, 29 June – 1 July 2015

I had to ask for directions. Follow the dirt path, I was told.

Late, I went in the first door I came to and found myself trapped in front of a card-entry gate. The door had shut behind me. I pulled the handle, breaking the plastic security tie and the alarm rang. Unable to go back or forward, I was lucky that someone opened the door to come in and I could slip out again.

I registered, received a badge proving I am a daughter of chaos and, having missed the keynote by Daniel Smith earlier in the day, attended my first session: Marc Rölli on L’immanence: une vie; Aleksander Mijatović, ‘Fabulating Chaos’—comparing Ricoeur’s threefold mimesis and Deleuze’s syntheses of time; Sean Erwin’s extrapolation from “control society” to consider the ‘false positives’ or failure of contemporary algorithm-based surveillance systems. Here are some seats from that session:

Konstfack students mounted exhibitions which changed daily over the conference.

A sticker in the toilet:

Snaps of hallways:

Daughters of Chaos disport themselves in the main hall:

Another angle:

Sponsors, Edinburgh University Press and Routledge, was it?

An installation, one of the more successful, inside the square formed by the banquet tables:

Rocks pushing upwards at a rate of 3mm annually after several kilometres of ice melted, a snap taken at Telefonplan metrostation:

A perspective on the number of presentations being given over the 3 days of the conference represented by their printed abstracts taped to a wall: mine is the recently amended one, for a paper called ‘A Picturebook of Practice: Jacob von Uexküll’s Raids on the Unknown’ …

Another session, this one chaired by Gary Genosko, with Shih-Hung Chuang, standing next to Gary, talking about Gilbert Simondon and Daniel Fineman, seated, engaging with the implications of non-representation for political representation:

Konstfack library:

A more impressive perspective:

A performance by The Blob after Simon O’Sullivan’s keynote which roamed around the control society…

The table was all set up for dinner, which in fact I had paid to attend, but did not, in the end, preferring to catch the metro home to Slussen. I stayed for the “cocktails” that The Blob said were being served after Simon’s keynote, a glass or so of bubbly, and I remember the menu began with gazpacho as a starter. I was told the next day that chaos had not broken out and that everyone left soon after dinner, despite the event being scheduled, promisingly, to finish at 11pm, a promise of chaos that was never in fact kept. (I asked for the speaking order in my session to be altered to accommodate the inordinate length of my paper but was told that was too much chaos.)

More Blob action, text-sampling Simon’s presentation.

Water bottles prominent:

A statement on the terrace outside, where the sun shone brightly, temperatures reaching 27-8 degrees celsius.

I don’t know why.

It sounded good, but ‘Deleuze and Ballard Meet at the Shopping Centre’ made me photograph the curtains. Although, the contributions on either side of it were excellent: Andrej Radman’s architectural take on quasi-causes and Vicente Muñoz-Reja getting very excited by ontogenesis and rightly, I think, arguing that incorporeal effects do not belong to the virtual but the surface.

Shrimp sauce, a creamy mayonnaise, on salmon fillet, and slice of crumbed baked vegetable something, for lunch.

The servery:

Alternative options:

An aside:

A vent:

The wind-down, following Adrian Parr’s ‘Walking in the Dark’ and Gary Genosko’s take on Oasis Skateboard Factory in Toronto and the “asphalt phylum”:

A symmetrical set-up outside Chaos:

Kenneth Surin, standing, and Pam Alldred, upstaging him.

There follows the parting gesture of Konstfack, a presentation, for which we were all asked to stand, while the presenter stood on her head. The parallel with Georg Büchner is obvious but unintended, wherein Jakob Lenz is annoyed that he cannot walk on his head, a phrase said to have been the beginning of modern literature.

And leaving the conference…

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Stockholm, 27 June – 1 July

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you are invited to attend the opening performance of Minus Theatre’s BONESEED at 6pm February 12, Sir Paul Reeves Bldg., AUT city campus, WG210

– still by Dominic Taylor                              

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MINUS THEATRE DAY OF FILMING 11 January 2015 (at Lot23, stills by Lernie Ang)

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Minus Theatre Research Group’s first public performance: 7 pm Friday June 13 2014 info@minustheatre.com

draft poster 2@700

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Excerpts – the first, fractal time as evinced in the exhibition, Time and Motion, according to a review thereof; the second, Maria Vargas Llosa refuting the idea that poverty is anything other than the choice of those poor countries and something produced internally rather than evidence of their victimhood – evincing a strange twist on the master-slave trope native to neoliberalism

Time and Motion focuses primarily on a particular demographic of labourer (generally the global information worker), and paints the picture of a tertiary lifestyle which involves multitasking without control over a narrative of time use, and habitual fractured thinking – where non-stop interactivity (a digital version of Taylorist motion) is crack cocaine for the drones. For this category of workers, the workplace is everyplace – diffuse, unfamiliar, a zone of insecurity. We are left with a “thin democracy” in which people are disengaged from political activity except when jolted into consciousness by a shocking event or celebrity meltdown witnessed virally on Youtube during office hours. As more work and labour takes place outside the pre-determined workplace – in the hybrid environments of cafes, trains and across the domestic landscape – the very idea of a work/life balance seems like an alien ideal to aspire to.In an open tertiary society, the industrial model of time, and the bureaucratic time management of factories and office blocks, breaks down. There is no stable time structure and we are increasingly losing our grip on our own time. Time and Motion at FACT interrogates the impact of this fragmentation on the aesthetic forms of contemporary art, and contemplates how artists might offer a critique of our neo-Taylorist predicament.

– from here

It is not true that the rich countries are wealthy because other countries are poor and, inversely, that the misery of the Third World is the result of the abundance of the First World. This was true, relatively speaking, in the past. In the present, it is not. And nothing does more harm to underdeveloped and wretched countries of the planet as this false doctrine, that exonerates them from guilt relative to their condition and transfers all the responsibility for the hunger and helplessness that their poor suffer to the developed countries, those that would feed on them sucking their riches, like vampires do to their victims … The truth is that today poverty is produced, as is wealth, and that both are options available to any country. Many underdeveloped countries, due to the infinite corruption of their ruling classes, the demential dilapidation of their resources, and the unreasonable economic policies of their governments, have become very effective machines that produce the atrocious conditions in which people live.

– Maria Vargas Llosa, in Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día, 1994

…note also the timeline Maria Vargas Llosa alludes to of a past when it was true that poor nations were poor because rich nations are rich and of a present when this is no longer true – and is itself the great mistake bringing misfortune -, a present that presents an infinity of corruption. Perhaps these two excerpts do reflect on one another then, in so far as they both show scenes in which time is managed. In the first, time is unmanageable, auguring a new reality or fractal vision of ‘our’ workaday world; in the second, time, from past and present, opens onto an infinity that halts its progress, which manages, according to Llosa, to be its true meaning.

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it is not time for art; art has become time: it eats its young

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It’s obvious. R.I.P. Lou Reed, born 2 March 1942, died 27 October 2013

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