June 2014

relaxing in Tokyo warm happy

A night ago, it was the night, we found our way to Sonoko’s house on the outskirts of Shimokitazawa, station Higashi-Kitazawa. It was night because, arriving at Narrita, we had no idea where to find the pocket wifi we’d booked, having no record of the company with which we’d booked it. The first chance event: found it. Now growing problematically late, we had only Sonoko’s cryptic messages as to a door back open front and right left directions when leaving the metro station. Saw nothing but flashes of neon in Shibuya on the Sky Line then Odakyu to Higashi-Kitazawa. The open-all-hours general necessities store couldn’t work out where Sonoko meant us to go. A passing American – cashing in lotterty tickets? paying bills? – led us out into the night.

Now after 10pm. One way – right – up main street; then left down main street. He guessed we’d find the rest of our way and took himself away into the tepid drizzle of Tokyo. Second chance event: found our accommodation – Sonoko’s house. Dai-Ichi House: set back on a narrow lane from the main road, but directly on the lane, glass sliding panels… It was like Goldilocks. The front door slid open at our touch and we saw tatami mats that kind of recalled some Air BnB photos and beds laid out for the three of us…? We called out. No answer. We crept in, removing our shoes and waited for the true occupants to arrive.

Sonoko arrived later that night, maybe 11 pm. She showed us the secret bathroom, with shower on tiles and deep Japanese bath, stainless steel, fed by a gas califont, which requires twists of levers, turns of knobs, pushes of buttons and counting to ten to work. A traditional apartment? Tatami, glass paneled doors, those facing the lane patterned with paddy-field random squares and frosted, rice paper panels letting in light at the back of the single large room, broken by paper blinds, a small kitchenette stuffed with a hoarder’s collection of kitchen appurtenances and appliances – and a drip-fed coffee machine and a drip-fed iced-coffee machine.

Next day, we got up too early and had to wait for Sonoko’s promised Japanese breakfast at 9 am, making the most of the coffee machine and the califont shower, and the general peace and calm inspired by this comfortable inward-looking space. We rolled our rice balls – to much hilarity – and ate rich miso, wakame-wrapped rice and cucumber and aubergine salted pickles. Delicious.

Hitting the streets at 10.30, we made for funky town Shimokitazawa through more narrow lanes, as if Tokyo post-war was built on a medieval European model. Most of this area was shut – too funky for daylight. We promised to make it back to check out the bars and tiny eateries.

We then made, vaguely, for Sky Tree, stopping at Ueno, where we found the flea markets and walked them, investing in see-through plastic umbrellas to stop what might be the beginning of a wet season from making us too moist too constantly for the excellent warmth of the air to make us dry again. We queued at the railway station for some good sushi, prepared for us by a tall unreadable sushi chef: was he disgusted by these gai-jin who didn’t speak for offending against the etiquette of his place? was he delighted to be serving quiet gai-jin, who chatted amongst themselves like nattering animals? The language of Japan is a verbal one, almost entirely, but seems to consist in set phrases and patterns of address, a sort of call and response of formality. We are the idiots who understand none of this.

We walked the park at Ueno, under pom-pom trees and the poplars and maples, crows carking at us, their calls echoing in the mist-like rain, up to a temple, where a group of drunk Japanese men encouraged Z. to smack a big stick on a big rope against a medium-sized gong. It clattered. They laughed and said we now have good luck. Not luck enough, h0wever, for the National Gallery of Contemporary Art to let us see a single exhibition: all closed, all! And I’d missed Japan’s first Balthus retrospective – a month before. But the building was worth the visit. Very Kahn use of bricks and block volumes with sudden openings, massy and peaceful.

We found another shrine with a flame from Hiroshima, found burning after the bomb, still alive, set in a symbolic dove made of steel. The story of the flame was nice: the guy who’d found it only kept it burning out of resentment and anger – he lost his whole family at Hiroshima; over the years, the meaning of the flame changed – but to him, I wondered? Did it change for him?

We decided we’d better be better tourists and made now directly for the Sky Tree. This was brilliant. I hate heights but the ministrations of the constantly present uniformed hosts – a variety of uniforms depending on function and place in the imagery of the tower – and the decor – beautifully understated – gave it a sense of … style. It is a stupendous height, this network of pipes and the lifts rise at an amazing speed. And the view – although we could not see Mount Fuji – is literally out of this world. Back from a viewing window is set a painted screen: a 19th century painter captured exactly the same panoramic view at the time from the ground. The Tembo Gallery – more money – another lift and a change in decor to sci-fi white – like Kubrick’s space wheel in 2001 – snakes disconcertingly in a spiral further up the tower and then drops down through an internal circular passage.

This city is so happy and calm, where we expected being overwhelmed with size, speed and crowds: it is stylish and human. DSC_0002















































on tour

Comments (0)


field recordings 2014:03:25 17:58:54 – 2014:04:07 13:57:14 featuring suicidal teddy bear, Maori: Tradition and Object, pohutakawa, half-tree, half-animal, escaping into the sea and Institute of Religion, plus Game of Thrones


























Comments (0)


field recordings 2014:03:10 16:19:45 – 2014:03:25 11:20:17 including new begging in Auckland and popup makeup clearance, institute of religion and Lot 23 Minnie St.



Comments (0)


God answers neoliberal mess

Rumours of his death were found to be exaggerations. Oscar Wilde. God bless us all and. Rumours of His death were found to be exaggerations. God. Oscar Wilde bless us all and all art is quite useless, except to name God. Who answers mess but – Oscar Wilde. God: Mess. So what’s the problem? No problem. No future. No present. And health is hard to come by since it became a commodity. No past. The past is unhealthy. The future is death. The present can’t decide: but whatever, it’s too expensive.



The Age of Illness. Or the Age of Psychosis. Can’t find a break, a crack where the break happened that let the light in. Is the light in? Can I finally close the door?



The Age of Illness to which something must endlessly be added, the addition of which must, according to the economic imperatives of the day, the free market imperative, be a market; that is, it must first be industrialised. Drugs must be manufactured. Doctors must be manufactured. Nurses must be tooled. The process must occur on a large scale. The scale must threaten the biosphere to sustain; the image must change to self-organisation: the market must be imagined as self-organising – or ecological. The process must now be ecological. The ecology of human health must now threaten the biosphere – but it must at all costs be sustained, since there must be sustainable health; the health industry of drugs, doctors and nurses must be sustainable. So it must be imagined as self-organised as a market. But the market must threaten the biosphere. There must be pathology. First there must be a pathology of the individual. Second there must be a pathology of the collective who belong to an epoch. The Age of Illness. Where health is not a given but the demand for doctors, drugs and nurses in no particular order is a given.



The psychosis takes hold in the middle of the process. It makes a solid and artificial structure out of the natural ecology of naturally occurring self-organising industrial health as a market, the agents of which are doctors and nurses and the capital of which is drugs. Now we can understand drugs as capital so therefore we can understand that a good outcome is measurable in terms of good health and well being. Well beings. But we must be presumed to be ill before we can be fixed and the fixing must be a psychotic reaction.



The market therefore mediates between illness and health in a way that sustains psychosis. Another name for this psychosis is the internet of things or object-orientated ontology – its parody in philosophical terms. The other name for either of these is the absence of any problem which is otherwise understood as the mess.



Object-orientated ontology holds that objects withdraw from us as soon as we get close – the internet of things holds that objects communicate with the internet and so truly they do have a virtual half. The real half withdraws, comedically. The mess has it that we can’t identify a problem because the problem is immanent, a fact of dwelling within it.



What if the answer to the mess were God? This is something fundamentalists should know something about. What if neoliberalism’s pretension to being atheistic and freeing us from the illusion of theism is simply an excuse for its perpetuation of health as God in which it mediates, opening a direct line, a hardwire from the ill body to the market-readied mind, weakened by the body’s illness, abrogating its sense of world to the medicalised nature of knowledge, open only to psychosis. General. All over. Like a system of the world.



Comments (0)


she’s got good imagination

the imagination is profligate. Such profligacy exceeds the limits that are imposed when we attempt to frame responses to Nietzsche’s proclamation in terms of direct affirmation and negation. This, however, seems to be something Nietzsche already understood, for his proclamation is meant primarily not as a denotative claim, but rather as an invocation of the imagination and its power. To proclaim the death of God is to proclaim that God belongs to the imagination, it is to proclaim that the imagination is capable of creating something so powerful that it can be recognised as the essence of all existence.

– Daniel Colucciello Barber, Deleuze and the Naming of God: Post-Secularism and the Future of Immancence, p. 1


Comments (0)




Comments (0)


a pink hibiscus bloom and a red hibiscus bloom


Comments (0)


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

draft poster 2@700

luz es tiempo
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


American entrepreneurial instinct & Laban

“In May 1926, when the choreographer Rudolf von Laban came to America on an ethnographic mission to record Native American dances, a reporter accosted him before he had even stepped ashore. As Laban recounts in his autobiography, the journalist performed a wild tap dance on deck, proffered his starched cuff to the European dance artist, and said, ‘Can you write that down?’ Laban—who had pioneered a new grammar of movement called Kinetography, or script-dance—scribbled a few dance notation signs on the man’s sleeve. The hyperbolic headline announcing Laban’s arrival read: ‘A New Way to Success. Mr. L. Teaches How to Write Down Dances. You Can Earn Millions With This.’ One entrepreneur, tempted by that prospect, tracked Laban down at his hotel and offered him a fabulous amount of money to teach the Charleston and other dances by correspondence course. Laban spurned the get-rich-quick scheme: he did not want to be a part of what he dismissed as ‘robot-culture.’ ”

– Christopher Turner, in Cabinet magazine, 2009/10

“a kind of educated dilettante” – from here

a kind of educated dilettante
a kind of educated dilettante
a kind of educated dilettante
a kind of educated dilettante


Comments (0)


“pardon immediately all these Five persons and release, immediately and unconditionally, the three persons that continue to languish in prison in the United States”

from HERE


Comments (0)