resolution

thanks, Mike. Watch … New media are not new. They simply allow us to focus on what all media do… And what a medium can do…

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yes

a review of Frederik de Wilde’s work that I like a lot and which I like a lot. Let’s read it together.

oh, now I discover it’s actually an interview with Frederik de Wilde. Even better.

I’m up to this bit:
“Most valuable is bringing together a group of passionate inter- and transdisciplinary individuals. As an artist you are a free electron. I don’t have to align myself so easily with rules and regulations, institutes, … i can be ‘wild’ and that’s a quality that is generally accepted and respected. This stimulates and facilitates cross linking, confrontations with different ways of seeing, other ways of experimentation, getting out of the comfort zone.

“In the case of the Nano Black research it depends.” …

This bit has relevance to the discussion of the symptom: “After a half a year of lobbying, and signing documents, i finally achieved to get a hold of the data. The main restriction was not to represent the actual data but only ‘subjective’ data, whether it’s a sculpture, painting didn’t matter.”

This is good too: “To be able to generate truly random numbers one would need a routine that can break the causality law, an observation of a source that acts without any or any knowable cause.”

And: “It’s hacking, or tuning into, the substrate of the universe.”

Strange to read a text with emoticons: “You have to be in an ecology to understand it, get a feel of it. Blowing things up is a part of that too ;).”

 

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just because I repeat it and repeat it don’t make it not true

I wish you weren’t using fb as a medium. It seems hypocritical to do so. This forum is a private enterprise profiting from unpaid public labour – in the guise of being a public good. Of course, Ggle and the browserscape similarly exploit – some predict its extinction – the middle class to benefit the rich corpocrats. But the web despite the spin put on it by these interested parties retains greater end-to-end neutrality – disinterestedness – than any of the social racketeers and initiatives of corpocracy. I am suggesting therefore that this material and its intentions and the causes here promoted would be better served by being on a website – clearly placarded as independent.

to where Bryan Bruce posted the ‘extras’ to his documentary – which it is important to see – Mind the Gap, dealing with the neoliberal legacy of 1984, once lightly, a little too moralisingly and with some questionable zombie action.

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Please visit https://gust.com/c/littleelephantltd for more, request access and forward to friends who may be interested.

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seeing Barney’s wonderful one-man show …Him last night …

…made me want to write a play again. Is this wrong?

I get the feeling something is being left unsaid.

And listening to This Mortal Coil today (“Holocaust”) gave me an inkling of what it is,

and where there is space in the market.

Send me ideas, donations, commissions.

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Year of the Snake

34_01snakeskeleton_up.jpg

“We are so absorbed by the lightness and vitality of Goya’s line that the beauty of the spectacle makes us forget to condemn the war it represents.”

– Jean Genet, quoted in “The Dualist- Painting, Francis Bacon, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany,” David Cohen, Art in America, Jan., 1997.

“I want a very ordered image, but I want it to come about by chance,” Bacon once said … His infatuation with chance has none of the idealism of Surrealist or Abstract-Expressionist notions of automatism, which link spontaneity to freedom or truth. Instead, his chance is imbued with a nihilistic, existentialist sense of the arbitrary.

– David Cohen, op. cit.

gee…

I appended these quotations to this image on the 12th of October 2007. Where was I heading with this thought? I think I’d already been disappointed that my play Study for a Passion was not going to get a production. And I relate the image to the MRI I’d recently undergone to ascertain whether I had a brain tumour. The possibility existed that some sort of growth was pressing on my auditory nerve.

The results from the MRI were clear.

And of course Cafe Brazil had closed 12 days before I intended to make this post.

I think I was going to address the fragility of bones and the goodness of a life dependent on bones. In the event, the experience of the MRI was scarier than living with the possibility a tumour was growing in my head. The certainty of the experience overwhelmed that which I did not then know.

I was warned about metal objects, certain types of fillings in my teeth or piercings or implants or metal pins in my body, that would be ripped out of me when the magnetic donut was turned on. I recall an anecdote about a small oxygen tank left in the same room as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. Perhaps the owner of the tank had small-cell lung cancer like my father.

As soon as the machine was switched on the tank left the floor and hurtled four or so metres through the air before colliding with the insipid medical-cream cladding of the magnet. Whoever was undergoing the procedure at the time was unhurt. But let that be a warning, I was told.

My clothes were taken away. My ear-ring and necklace were removed. The rings were taken off my fingers. I was led into a room necessarily without the usual hospital clutter – lest it unhinge, detach itself from walls or floor and crash into patient and or machine. The room was bigger than expected. And I recall the jaunty angle on which the machine was set. Observers sat behind, first, a large tinted window, such as you would find in a nuclear laboratory and related to those mirrored panels in police interview rooms, second a battery of computer monitors, of the old sort, as I remember, CRTs.

I was told to lie down on a narrow gurney, that made no concessions to the form of the body, which retracted into the donut-configured magnet. A plasticated metal cage was fitted over my head and face and then… or was it the other way around? … a pair of industrial-scale – like a pilot’s and co-pilot’s – headphones was placed over my ears. I’m pretty sure the cage came first then the headpones.

I was asked about music. Did I like this?

Was it loud enough?

WHAT?

LOUD ENOUGH?

I did the thumbs up, inspired by my pilot’s phones. Then the gurney I lay on was retracted into the magnet.

There have been experiments, the usual kind, into the inner workings of women at orgasm, wherein a couple have been expected to have sex in one of these MRIs. Unbeleivable two bodies could fit, let alone move enough for either of them to come. Perhaps the couple were inspired by some kind of medical fantasy? … But then I think of the reason for my big green headphones, the noise.

And there have been images made of vegetables by an MRI, maybe the same one as I was one, since they were made, the images, in New Zealand.IyPsi

– from here

And:

R1dbz

– also from here

I don’t usually suffer from claustrophobia but I felt as I were trapped in one of these images, in my head-cage, on my too-narrow gurney. And then the noise…

The Edge singing “Numb” –

Don’t move
Don’t talk out of time
Don’t think
Don’t worry
Everything’s just fine
Just fine

Don’t grab
Don’t clutch
Don’t hope for too much
Don’t breathe
Don’t achieve

– was not LOUD enough.

I was inside the exhaust from a jet engine. However the sound was textured. It pulsed. It ground into my bones, my skull. And I couldn’t escape it.

Some samples of the sound are available here: I particularly recommend K.I.S.S. and R.A.G.E. Turn them up as loud as they go and place your head in a tightly-fitting tin or pot. If you have a cage… No because your visual range is, beyond the cage, cut short by the inner surface of the MRI donut. You are in a Ganzfeld of hospital cream.

I came away from this experience once more appalled by the off-handedness with which the medical machine submits people to intolerable operations.

And: I obviously thought about the fragility of bones.

The noise must have made me think of my internal structuration crumbling into something resembling chalk dust.

Chalk dust dancing on a vibrating plate.

However, I introduce this post now for the virtue of the image at its top.

Square White World wishes you and yours an outrageously fulfilling Year of the Snake! Occupy it. Own it. Strike all debt and deficit, lack and want, from desire, and deliver us from the bonds of the lowest bidder and lead us to reject the claims corpocracy makes on what concerns our bodies, interests our minds, guides our hearts.

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Federico Armando Beltrán-Masses, 1885-1949, Graphic Idealism, the New Aesthetic and the best porn

Pierrot malade, ou Pierrot et Colombine, 1929

Frederico Beltrán-Masses was a Cuban-born Spanish painter whose reputation flourished in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Friends with William Randolph Hearst, whose portrait he painted, his influence is apparent on the films of the era, particularly his body aesthetic, the look of his women. He’d already shown his notorious Salome, painted in Paris in 1918, at the XII Venice Biennale, 1920, in a pavilion dedicated to his work. When shown in London, in 1929, she was called the most daring nude ever painted, “a naked woman in a pose which no lesser artist could have attempted,” depicted in an athletically erotic position, crutch forward. It could be said that Beltrán-Masses’s athletic eroticism was fashion forward. But of course his exoticism, an Everyman’s Babylonia, his orientialism, which makes him an heir to Moreau, must also have had its fans in Hollywood.

His paintings have this patina – a built-in pathology of age, as if the materials were already in decay before he put them on the canvas. It is theatrical. But there’s a veil, a gauze, an accretion of textural detail – over everything, so that even when it’s clear, with the whites of Pierrot’s costume and the throw on the fauteuil, a sick haze is still there. Which is probably what attracted me to this painting: theatricality and pathology. And the effects of time in which both take part.

These characteristics are what I’m missing from the high definition imagery, the retina tech, which Duchamp would have recognised as belonging to a merely retinal artistic culture, that fills every screen, and screens everywhere. The tablet and touch screen might have returned something of the tactile but so much about their materiality, the glass, the plastic, the metal, while it will last a fraction of the time of one of Beltrán-Masses’s paintings, places it outside of time, which is its own sort of theatricality and pathology, but is in fact inimical to touch since our bodies tie the temporal and tactile together in a decaying, rotting and inevitably dying knot.

There’s something wrong with these paintings, even the flesh of Beltrán-Masses’s nudes, his Salome, and it’s not simply in the elision of genital detail. They look wrong and dated. It’s not simply the implicit prudery eschewing the pornographic. It might be an a-graphism. What these paintings show is the opposite of graphic. As if the clean lines and clear forms we are more familiar with and which we consider closer to nature, to visible reality, were borrowed or stolen exclusively from the clarity, the cleanliness of letters, scripts, writing, in a kind of graphic idealism. Which of course has nothing to do with nature, time, sickness and our bodies, or health, for that matter.

It lies. Graphic idealism. It glitches and because it is machine made it gives rise to an imagistic unconscious, unconsciouses, satellite imagery, computer eyes, distant from the human and un-willed. Which has been called a New Aesthetic. But these machinic aspects are possibly its solitary virtue. (Although I’ve written this sentence three times because my touchpad is playing up. Should I leave the lacuna in obeisance to this virtue?)

I’d been missing something from the imagery on my phone and computer and television and the advertisment hordings and the magazines and … and funny that newsprint retains something of an ongoing state-of-decay recalling the process of time, even more now with digital capture and printing of images showing technical progress doesn’t make for better quality. (But the involuntary shakiness, unmatching colour separations, pixelation and artifacting of the newspaper photo perhaps epitomise the New Aesthetic?) And where what I’d been missing most is most absent is where you might most expect to find it: in graphic depictions of the nude body. Porn I’ve always thought of as the first pomo artform. Bodies come together like the conjunction of letters, like X’s, spread at either end.

A friend said the best porn is the worst. But so much relies on the support medium. VHS is able to be worse. Digital break-up of flesh-tones immediately leaves the territory of even the slimmest pretext of eroticism. As an aside, this could be an observation applicable to digital imagery itself, whether reticulated at the retinal level or on the verge of breaking down in newsprint: a depth all surface. With Andy Warhol as prophet and profiteer. But I hope there’s something more profoundly superficial going on here: the digital image when it fails to represent – in its untimely decay – leaves behind representation altogether. Thinness or lack of profondeur is not the issue, nor is the intimation that the digital body at its most intimate might suddenly reveal itself at its least like a body.

Here the digital makes a short cut – tout court – allowing no natural passage of real time and cutting short the process – of decay or progress. I mean the decay can be built in to painting, the material decay bound to occur, and it can also occur. And what is presented by its inherency in the artistic project or aesthetic – decadence – is the boundedness of materiality: the unescapable depredations of… What? A throwaway society doesn’t see its treasured artifacts decay. Even its iPhone 5’s. Time no longer represents time as process. We fall immediately from one thing into another, through the screened image into what is technically chaos. The spectacle is what is longest lasting in its immediacy, then. Then there is no then.

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explicit postmodernism: an essay on pornographic style

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tyranny of light

tyranny of light wherein hallucinations are clearly and distinctly seen, and being seen are recognised, and recognised are understood, and understood are taken as held in common; and in this light all individual consciousness corresponds, as if the clear part of every monad coincided, and to this tyranny each individual consciousness defers and by it is coopted.

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to placard: letter on arts funding crisis, to demolish an idea

[-The following went to Spectre -]

State arts funding does not have the interests of the artist or of art at its centre as its reason. It is rather a symbolic – political and economic and ethological – allowance that such things might emerge as artists and arts which if they do may be managed and organised, judged and branded.

The critical economy appears to be the next major franchise, of the semantic Web, for example, as copyright on material expression ceases to stick, given digital dissolution, and ownership of opinion arises, stratifies and propagates through personalisation of services, through P2P recommendation. +, like, :> … However, arts funding provides pre-eminently for the ecology that supports managers, organisers, and critical apparati, even if the latter often give the impression of parasitism. When societies do not allow the critical threshold of economic freedom to be reached such that a stage of emergence can be insured, then what is at risk is an ecology or network.

The state in removing itself from the art/arts equation by withdrawing funding eliminates a hub from this network. This may not destroy the network but its deleterious effects will ramify throughout it.

The current system of tertiary student loans in New Zealand we know to cost more to run than the previous system of student allowances. In fact, this was known before the system was implemented. Likewise, looking only at economic indexes, cutting state funding for the arts, above an ascertainable threshold of sufficient funding, costs the state more than continuing its support.

How is it possible to ascertain the amount of funding that suffices? Where the existence of significant arts institutions is threatened, where that significance is given the larger meaning of ‘acting as a hub for the (artistic, social, civic, ethological, economic, political, critical, and so on) network,’ is where the threshold lies.

Theatres and cinemas are clearly hubs, but that the former is also an artistic hub, bringing the company responsible for the work together in the same institution as that in which it is shown. Theatre therefore displays even more hub-like characteristics when it has a resident company and is not simply the venue for visitors.

Much of this discussion seems to have recycled notions of economic lean-ness or efficiency, whereby the arts in Europe have grown fat, Brad Brace for one advocating a crash diet and the dynamic individualism of a lean mean art-making machine. [visit him here] Is an excess of funding than what suffices in sustaining significant arts institutions adequate justification to cut state funding?

I would like to live in a society in which such a problem arises. Justification is usually from the macroeconomic, with all the attendant ironies that even minor financial institutions are worthy of state bail-outs. And as they devolve on macroeconomic arguments they have recourse to the unscientific theories of fashionable economic thinking, or ideology.

It is this idea that cutting state funding somehow works or creates benefits that needs to be demolished.

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