tapping the world wide web… [!?] The Drain. & Dada…

– Alfred Stiegletz’s photo of Fountain, 1917

Some very encouraging words have come to the site administrator from Bathroom taps, which have been deleted. Is it perhaps because I have been running like a faucet? or a spigot? [link] Might there be somebody reading – there is a bot-check on the contact page – who is targeting the site for advertising? As Zizek didn’t say, With readers like that, better to be ignored. Or, there might be something like this going on:

Aesthetics and plumbing are intimately connect, as classical historian J.C. Stobart makes clear in his pronouncement regarding good sanitation [“Let no cultivated reader despise these details (lavatories, sinks, sewers, and manholes). There is no truer sign of civilization and culture than good sanitation. It goes with refined senses and orderly habits. A good drain implies as much as a beautiful statue.” 1911], as the Baroness [Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven: “Why should I – proud engineer – be ashamed of my machinery…?” 1920 (W.C. Williams recalls her “blue” effluvium)] suggests through her lived Dada. They are connected, in fact, through their joint rationalizing functions. Both channel the flux of impurity to cleanse and sublimate that which must not see the light of day in a civilized society.

– Amelia Jones is here addressing herself to a context – of plumbing and sublimation and disputable authorship – for Fountain, 1917, attributed to Duchamp, and God, 1917, the Baroness’s own, in Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada, The MIT Press, London, 2004, p. 156

– Baroness, with Morton Schamberg, God, 1917

This is hardly to say I am awash with comments, commentary, feedback. No, the flow appears to be through increasingly efficient pipes and all one way; not a node, connection, valve, or tap, in a network at all, but via one luminous screen-shaped drain. Who knows where these words go, this tap-tap tapping, and this look which wears on the eyes? this look, see, now I turn away, and return blinking to the screen to type once more.

– Theresa Bernstein, Baroness, ca.1917

If it were all cloaca, what better, what more civilized and rational fate for it than to be directed out, down, and away? To sea, perhaps. To pollute the shipping lanes and the swimming beaches. To wash up around the summer nudes, and kiss the bodies. To bob around the floating heads in bright red bathing caps. To turn urinous and dun the ocean, churned up by rotors, twenty-foot and twenty-foot paddles, narrow as needles, and streaming jets.

– always fashionable, Baroness, 1915