turn it off day 263 – 282

As a woman in Saudi Arabia, I am restricted in some ways as a woman. - writes Niesha Salman Abdulaziz to me.


In the face of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the wider performance sector has effectively been rendered inoperable. The current convergence of complex issues in the sector and beyond, triggered by the pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, in conjunction with the environmental crisis, calls for a radical undoing and reorganising of the political, the social, the cultural and the existential.

— from here

the control of science and the coercion of politics.

— from here


shortly before Christmas I came across something called neodecadence, featuring people like Justin Isis, based in Nihon, and Chomu Press, and K.J. Bishop’s The Etched City, Bantam Books, 2004, which reviewers were happy to call neo-decadent. Here are some excerpts:

Art is the conscious making of numinous phenomena. Many objects are just objects–inert, merely utilitarian. Many events are inconsequential, too banal to add anything to our experience of life. This is unfortunate, as one cannot grow except by having one’s spirit greatly stirred by spiritless things. Much of our very life is dead. For primitive man, this was not so. He made his own possessions, and shaped and decorated them with the aim of making them not merely useful, but powerful. He tried to infuse his weapons with the nature of the tiger, his cooking pots with the life of growing things; and he succeeded. Appearance, materiality, history, context, rarity–perhaps rarity most of all–combine to create, magically, the quality of soul. But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today’s poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. … No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury–…

— op. cit., 297.

We go no further than this. Yonder abide the dead in their domain. And when the living sun burns out and the living moon falls dark and all things that have life have come and gone, that world shall be the only world, and so it will be forever. All of time is but a shell floating alone on a still ocean; and the shell holds the universe; and the shell has a day of birth and a day of death, when it will sink into the ocean, and all it held will be lost, save for what is remembered in the memories of the dead.

— ibid., 352.

Absence is more truthful than presence, if truth is that which endures and never changes its nature.

— ibid., 344.

In the nomad’s land, which was a land of lines, many lines, with space as such being incidental filler, a negative concept, Raule occasionally wondered whether she had escaped from a doomed world–escaped from nowhere to somewhere. An equal number of times, she wondered whether she was part of something left by a world that had birthed itself into a new, more gracious state–a state beyond apprehension by that which remained, dry, linear as bone, as the veins in a dead leaf.

— ibid., 377.