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from David Berman to Wallfacers

In a very abstract frame today, I tried continuing with my writing and realised I would rather be talking to you. Whoever you are … wherever you are …

I have a lot of tabs (1, 2, 3 …) open I’ve been meaning to close once I wrote something about David Berman, David Cloud Berman I read in one of them. It was to be an RIP piece. Beside me I have the notes from when I heard he had suicided. They go like this:

this is coming

I’ll explain how

we’re all going to get through it

and “rebuild” society

Video after the jump

The last is from one of the links.

Then there is the line with the typo: The meaning of the world lies outside thw world. It’s from a Silver Jews album, the song ‘People.’

“Video after the jump” links to Berman’s blog, mentholmountains: arc of a boulder, which doesn’t link anywhere, but has links to writers, Thomas Bernhard, for example, and Robert Walser, and pictures and videos. It is not too dissimilar from squarewhiteworld.

An arrow directs on the kokuyo paper from the line “Video after the jump” to a reference to Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. It reads:

Become a Wallfacer.

Humanity faces extermination, the extermination of a species of bug, coming from the stars, from the planet Trisolaris. It will take four light years to arrive. Meanwhile every human effort is directed towards defending itself, not the earth, but doing whatever it takes to defend itself.

400 years would seem to be sufficient time to prepare, however, the Trisolarans have sent an expeditionary force ahead to spy on human efforts and to limit them to what can be achieved from a current understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. The technology of Trisolaris far exceeds this limit, since the expeditionary force itself comprises AI supercomputers shrunk down to the size of subatomic particles, protons, quantumcomputers called Sophons. (The word for proton 质子 (zhì zǐ) is the same as the word for Sophon .) The lockdown on scientific research imposed by the Sophons is something that I was writing about in view of the comparable lockdown or limitation on paradigm shift, on fundamental advance, in the sciences–and more generally, in political economy–that is self-imposed in neoliberal institutional systems of governance where the pursuit of science is becoming the performance of science through representative means. (This source, considering the science of Three-Body misses the potential for critical diagnosis Liu’s fiction contains: note it contains info you might want to avoid if you intend to read the novels: it has the strangely phenomenological name, Exposing the structure of how we got our answers: Poetry in Physics.) (The diagnostic criticism implicit in Liu of the Sophonic lockdown as science fiction is explained by Philip Mirowski as the neoliberal fact of Open Science, ironically, at 56’57” in Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.) (I recommend reading Three-Body for its clinical diagnostic potential–and equally I recommend watching Mirowski, even if just for the part about Open Science.)

The Wallfacer project is undertaken by a humanity under threat of annihilation because of the lockdown on science imposed by the Sophons–which is described as being their ability to falsify experimental results from research in fundamental physics (note the Popperian line on falsification). The Trisolarans have a vulnerability: they communicate with each other through thought-reading, thought-hearing, thought-speaking. But they can’t read the thoughts of humans. Neither Sophons nor Trisolarans can see what is going on inside human minds. The notion of lying, of misrepresenting one’s true thoughts, of misrepresentation through speech and language is alien to these aliens–as is the notion therefore of representation. The Wallfacer project is to take advantage of this vulnerability. Wallfacers are selected to help save humanity through indirection and misdirection–through not representing their intentions. Besides the mental freedom to dream up plans and projects the use of which they need neither justify nor defend–in fact the Wallfacer project depends on their doing neither–they have all the world’s resources at their disposal to carry out their plans and projects.

They would be artists, poets, revolutionaries, for not having to answer to anyone for their freedoms, but for the fact that they are so and unquestioningly so resourced. Perhaps this is the link I wanted to make to David Berman: Become a Wallfacer.

The diagnostic import of the Wallfacer project can be seen when placed in relation to the lockdown on science. If, as I tend to think, neoliberal systems of institutional governance entail of the sciences a comparable lockdown–and we can see evidence of this in the shutting down of labs in the ‘hard’ sciences (those without direct application in technology and commercialisable IP) and see it also in the decrease in institutional support for intellectual labour, whether in fundamental theory in the sciences or in philosophy–then the Wallfacer project serves as critique of the view that it is to science, to scientists and to scientific research we must turn to find solutions to the problems facing life, to overcome the threat from earth.

Earth has this vulnerability: it doesn’t know we make it in our own image.

To overcome the threat from the earth, first undo the image we have made of it. The meaning of the world lies outside the world

[R.I.P. David C. Berman, 4 January 1967 – 7 August 2019]

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for Raymond Boyce, 19 May 1928 – 1 August 2019, presented at the tribute held 10 August 2019, Hannah Playhouse, Wellington, NZ

some-lines-from-the-Russian-school-for-Raymond-Boyce-2

some links:

“this building”

“is a masterpiece”

“of theatre” “design”

see also,

under the lefthand margin heading

TAYLOR ARCHIVE,

which is of course

the TAYLOR | BOYCE ARCHIVE

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25 June 2019: Seseragi – Gora – air

We will return to Seseragi. Ha, next to the babbling

The egg for breakfast is coddled in the geothermal spring.

The dining room, Kamiyama, is on the fourth floor of the ryokhan, Ichinoyu Honkan, est. 1630. Yakuta are worn. The maître d’ steps aside for a clear shot. But none do it justice. Next to the babbling…

And note the bark, bamboo, the fishtail window latches, the gilded cupboard doors–and the porch separated from the square main room with its square light fitting by sliding screens, next to the babbling, and the ubiquitous vibrant green of the maples.

After breakfast we take the Tonzan, the Hydrangea Train, to at least see Gora, even if we cannot ascend the ropeway and catch a glimpse of Fuji, over lake Ashi.

Gora is an alpine transit lounge. A brief walk, snapping the pompom pines, and an old house, with a mini pine growing in the gutter.

And then descending the mount, with the sleeping lady, after her friends had swapped a multitude of sweets, and not snapped the teeth of the sleeping lady snapping in and out.

The shrine with the snakes and frogs promised great prosperity from its waters. Next to the Tonosawa stop, we stop briefly, tempt the spirits of wealth, and, having time to take the walk once more down to Hakone-Yumoto, trundle our wheely bags through the town, back on the Romance Car to Shinjuku, where the tapered tower is, and the Skyliner.

It’s sad to be leaving again, but it is again. One hopes it hopes, despite the coming events, it will be possible to return. And connections have been made. And that means so little these days of connectivity but … time passes, on the wing, and on Sunday 14 July I receive an email from Alphonso Lingis.

He is in Auckland. We meet up at 8.15am on 18 July and start talking … next to the babbling … and at 6.15pm we stop. I put him in the cab to take him to the airport for his flight at 9pm.

The kereru greets Al, and the tui swoop in the backyard, even the rosellas show up, when we are in the backyard, talking, and the piwakawaka …

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24 June 2019: Akasaka – Hakone-Yumoto – Tonosawa – Kowakidani – Hakone Open Air Museum

We leave Akasaka, and Hotel Felice–and it has been–for the Romance Car–it, in fact, is–booked to take us to Hakone.

Reaching Hakone-Yumoto, we have climbed off the flatlands of rice production, and ascended into the cloud and into the hills; the temperature has dropped outside; the time has passed in the concentrated suspension of Japanese rail. Even as it is this time not high speed shinkansen but Romance, it is quiet and the consideration of others on the train is quite tangible, not formal or abstract: and it is not granting to one space to do one’s own thing; it is not the privacy, a vacuole or foyer of private liberty, enjoyed when others condescend to leave us alone; it is not that one perceives of as a conscious choice in the respectful distance some cultures observe, say, for example, in view of, and around the romantic couple–or those who are in the throes of an emotional event. It is like snow, general, this discretion, and in extension. So the time seems to pass quickly, until we are swept up into the foothills not so far from Fuji.

Also the timbre of the train changes–almost as if the Romance Car can change gauges, to climb; and the next rail service we come to, on the platform opposite where we disembark, is the Hakone Tozan Railway, which runs on a single track on the second steepest line in the world, from Odawara, which we have passed through, up to Gora, from which the Hakone Ropeway extends, to Lake Ashi–where there are ridiculous Disney tallships–at the foot of Fuji; or it would extend, were it not closed because of increased volcanic activity around the crater of Mount Hakone.

Snapped above is the black garlic seller, the chestnut guy, at Hakone-Yumoto station. We get some (umi as those we ate on the Spanish Steps some years ago), and negotiate the main road, to catch a bus on the far side–not so easy, but the traffic stops to let us trundle over. The bus is free to Ichinoyu Honkan. Chosen for its onsen, it sits directly on the river, in fact a station up, on Tonzan line, from Hakone-Yumoto, at Tonosawa. Here we leave our bags, impressed by the age and beauty of our ryokhan. The oldest parts of the building are four hundred years’ old. It was established in 1630, has, like most old wooden structures in Japan, either been burnt–more common–or been shaken down–far less common, given Japanese craftsmanship–and rebuilt and added on to: from the snap above of the exterior it seems to jut out of the landscape. It is not only that in fact it belongs. It is that the atmosphere gives a subtle acknowledgement that in fact it does.

Our check-in time is at 3. We descend the hill to Hakone-Yumoto once more, having arrived before midday.

From the map it looks like the post office is beside the railway station. We walk down beside the river, past the weir, the arcades across the river for some reason reminding me of Lake Garda. We are directed back across the river from Hakone-Yumoto, up through its other half. A snap of the interior of the post office appears above. It’s raining heavily. We have our 950yen clear plastic umbrella. We stop in at a marquetry store–seems to be a local speciality in the craft line: different woods cut into prisms, the cross sections showing hexagonal and other tesselating patterns, shaved to micromilimetres, laminated and laquered into trays, coasters, serving dishes, display boxes. The high sheen is almost kitsch but the larger items, beyond our price range, are quite beautiful.

What we are not told is Hakone-Yumoto straddles a fork in the river. We mistake one fork for the other, where our ryokhan is, and get lost in the rain.

When we find our way back downriver to Hakone-Yumoto, our plan is to take the Tonzan line perhaps up as far as Gora. But we change our minds.

At this time of year, the Tonzan line becomes the Hydrangea Train, the flowers in bloom on either side of the track, stalked by photographers, locals making the journey simply to experience the profusion of the hydrangea and celebrate its ephemerality.

Second steepest railway–different from cable, rope or ratchet–in the world, Tonzan, to deal with the canting, has a number of switchbacks, and changes direction. It’s fun to see the whitegloved guard and driver running down the platform to swap ends, their high seriousness, their high polish and human haste.

In recognition of the Swiss source of the new cars using the line, the ads inside, in the curved spaces above the windows, and billboards in the stations, depict not Japan, but Switzerland–a similar train passing over stone bridges, up mountains, in the snow. Perhaps it is the steepest?

I snap where we get off, before Gora, because we spot on the route plan, that this is the stop for Hakone Open-Air Museum. J. has read about it. But nothing prepares us for it.

Look, the people inside the work are cleaning it; and the bronzes are restrained from developing a patina–by a similar cleaning regimen?

The face in the hole in the solid sheet is called Surprise with the Glare by Takao Tsuchida. The monumental bronze figures above are by Emile Antoine Bourdelle.

I have noted before the extreme reverence with which modern art is treated–on Naoshima–in its display, and in its careful preservation. But there is a strange contrast here: is it Donald Keane who writes that the Japanese is one of the few if not the only culture to place such high value on ephemeral and passing things–in the tea ceremony, Sakura, the Hydrangea Train, in ikebana, and as a general attitude to the life of both human subjects and objects? But here timeless art is not allowed to age–no patinas allowed! Would the perspex bubbles of the work snapped above have such care lavished on them anywhere else?

This care is nothing new. At Chiyoda Art Centre a team of grasscutters descended on the small patch of grass, and with handheld shears, like scissors, snipped it quietly down. There were seven of them. Of course we see the same in gardens everywhere–the round topiaries of pines, pom-poming in silhouette, the meticulous care taken with packaging, with presenting food, the growing of melons in cube-frames to give square fruit, the technologies of personal bodily care in onsen culture… But the preservation of artworks in a state of newness, when done in materials which do age, to which age adds depth, gravity… Then is this idea of aging inherited from the Romantic ruin cult? Should we be painting back the colours on classical Greek and Roman statuary? Putting the wigs and merkins back on?

The patching and mending of materials, in boro and sashiko–so the fabric tells its story, patched indigo, in white threads–or kinsugi–joining broken ceramics with gold–or even the elaboration of supports for plants and trees, often with support structures, for prized ones, more extensive than the tree or plant itself, these are not the same as the poetry of aging, fragmenting and deterioration prized from the Romantics on? …Although we would place special conditions on the sorts of aging, fragmenting and deterioration that is prized: let there not be rot, or agents active, like bacteria and fungi, in the materials; but let it show the worming in the wood once the worms are gone; let the bronze brought up out of the sea show the barnacles and patinas–but let their work have finished and not be ongoing and live; which reminds us of the icon fabricators, aging back woods, paints and surfaces, as artfully adding patinas and coatings as Hirst’s fantasia… Although we also have the example of Duchamp’s Unhappy ReadymadeReadymade Malheureux of 1919: the geometry textbook despoiled by weather… , well, done by Duchamp’s sister, Suzanne, on his instruction… The trade in instant antiques–chairs whipped with chains and scorched and splattered with grease–reproduces the effects of aging: but death is kept at bay. The Nihonese attitude seems different.

It has been said that the quality wavers of the works exhibited at Hakone Open-Air Museum but it may be just this aspect of taste.

It ought also be considered that the sculpture park is the first of its type in Japan; the collection was started in 1969. By any standards, it is exceptional.

The snap above shows the hot-spring footbath–an onsen for feet.

The Picasso pavilion was closed for renovation. I snapped it because of its big Hollywood letters. The figure in front, called the flower who walks, La Fleur qui Marche, is by Fernand Léger. Like the Miró, also above, its colours have been kept as bright and clean as if it was just done.

This tower is Gabriel Loire’s Symphonic Sculpture, from which the views of cloud sweeping the hills around above are snapped too.

And the first of the Henry Moores, to be continued… by the biggest collection I have seen anywhere.

Antony Gormley lies prostrate in there too.

The Hand of God — Carl Miles, raising the question, and figuring the raising of the question, of taste.

These are Barry Flanagan’s The Boxing Ones–with a vista behind giving a sense of the scale of the place.

Giuliano Vangi’s Grande Racconto recalls us to the hilltop behind Kosan-ji in Ikuchijima, on the Seto Sea, where the whole hill is Carrara marble, 5,000 square metres of it. It is dazzling white enough to give sunstroke–I had to buy a hat after that–perhaps dazzled with the glare of its title, as it is called Maraishin no Oka, Englished as Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future by the sculptor from Hiroshima, Kazuto Kuetani. Here: at squarewhiteworld

Ryoji Goto’s Intersecting Space Construction recalls us to the imbrication of human subjects–like interlocking rooftiles.

We leave Hakone Open-Air Museum having not seen the Picassos, hoping to return perhaps tomorrow… as this substantial collection is being temporarily housed in the gallery where we enter… the one with the big name being closed… and I do not show here the indoor exhibitions, featuring a Giorgio de Chirico sculpture, an Yves Klein blue relief work, with gold figures, Giacometti’s thin woman without arms, Femme Mince sans Bras, captivating, some of which can be seen here: https://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/en/exhibitions/article_reg.cgi?id=829688

The Tonzan back as far as our stop, Tonosawa–the path along the hillside, descending to Ichinoyu Honkan–we check in at last to the most beautiful room we have stayed in, of beautiful humanscale proportions, on the corner of the 400 year-old building, overlooking the river, itself curving around our room, with a private onsen in our room. And we go out searching for dinner. We find a place with the TV on, playing the incomprehensible–to us–reality shows we have seen before–still incomprehensible–and the bowed-over ancient proprietor welcomes us, instructs us on dining etiquette at one point, while his equally ancient, but less bowed-over wife cooks for us. There is for a time nobody else there, but two guys drinking beer and chuhai from enormous glasses, who soon leave. Then a traveler enters in a summer suit with a straw hat and engages the proprietor in a discussion which could as easily have been about the races or rice crops as about the new Emperor.

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field recordings 2018:02:15 09:59:32 – 2018:06:02 18:59:02 including Julian Rosenfeldt’s brilliant Manifesto & Inti restaurant’s equally brilliant food (Inti, now closed, ought to have been an icon and institution of the temporary city)

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brand “curatorial journalism”: this year more than ever before we are fighting the power (of speech)

Seth Abramson writes in the Guardian:

“In 2018, there are actually more reliable news reports than ever before, as there are now more responsible media outlets online and in print than there ever have been – a fact that often gets lost in debates over “fake news”. The digital age has also internationalized hard news reportage, meaning that readers have access to high-quality reports from around the world with an ease that was impossible before the advent of the internet.

“But this sudden expansion in focused, reliable news coverage has coincided with some of the largest and most prestigious media outlets cutting resources for investigative reporting. The upshot of all this is that reporters have less time or ability than ever before to review the growing archive of prior reporting before they publish what they’ve uncovered.”

He goes on to advocate (advertise) curatorial journalism. It’s like journalism but smarter. It’s all about context–that other dream of the net: hyperlinks as hypereferences and the interweb interweaving texts and documents and statements, online discourse in short, in multidimensional networks so that any one thread, quote, citation, reference might be followed back to its earliest online expression; or connected horizontally, and so on. But this is not the system we have.

We are therefore once again living in that exceptional present which would have been the future if it hadn’t already arrived, that exception that is always made for this year having more reliable news reports than ever before as well as more unreliable news sources than ever before as well as more words expended on, well, just about anything–taking into consideration the rise of text over speech in daily communication–than ever before.

The answer might have been, had Seth Abramson been so inclined, journalism with a scalpel. And we might well have been saying about our exceptional present moment, as well we might, that the time for journalistic balance has passed. The idea of a report being neutral, and of it presenting both sides of an issue, or curating the multiple facets of a complex ‘story’, belongs to the past. We might so have been saying. But what is of our devising, as the present is supposed to be, in the Anthropocene, is smarter than us–is supposed to be: so we are in the predicament of making sense, sense for an audience in the case of journalism, of a situation, a situatedness, of a realtime-base for issues, we have carelessly, hopelessly and unconscionably complexificated.

Journalism with a scalpel would offer a different diagnosis: maybe cut first ask questions later–maybe, but with the surgeon-reporter being held accountable. And perhaps more than events and issues becoming more complex, more deeply intricated and extensively imbricated, than ever before, issues and events have become more integrated, more deeply intimated and extensively implicated–in the social, for sure, but, as surely, in the personal.

Having an opinion is a public liability. Have a stupid opinion! Say “to be honest” a lot, honestly. Or imho, modestly. Have a stupid, make a stupid tweet, and the world is cheeping with you.

Imagine the informed writing to the level of the educated. Imagine no more–because in fact more informed journalists are writing to a better educated public than ever before this year. Of course this year stupidity has been normalised as populism too.

I find myself–more honestly, I lose myself–walking in a library modestly wondering what it is for, since it doesn’t itself seem to know. And the ones who work here give the others who don’t, who used to be members and who now are customers, or patrons, the resentful eye, while adverting to the latest electronic offering, whether it is wifi, or the latest pulp fiction or pulp nonfiction (pulp fact? fat nonfict?) available via the app. Like Seth Abramson, in the Guardian, I have been an advocate (advertiser? advertisement?) for curation: librarianship, isn’t it a matter of leading the social animal to the cultural water? Making better animals to make a better social? (Dot says, But you can’t make it think.)

These GOSPIS (Grand Old Signs one Participates In Society), like the Grand Old Deity itself, in whom, and in which, more people put their faith and believe, with honesty and modesty, than ever before–even to being pridefully jealous of the competition (this year more nationalistic than ever before)–have lost their tongues. Journalism must–you can’t fight it!–progress by borrowing ways of talking about itself and its essential tasks from, where? the operating theatre? or the art gallery?

Then the idea of information has lost its teeth. Open mouth, ah. Closed mouth, mm. We know there is more information than ever before, this year, and that’s why it’s called Big D. Journalists are among the data miners. But there isn’t the time and there isn’t the return, and this is the latter. Who wants to live forever? No, that’s not the question: Who wants to pay for information?

And libraries, going forward–resistance is futile!–, borrow ways of talking about themselves and their essential tasks from? They don’t borrow. They’re told how to speak for themselves by those who, usually those which, since they tend to be annexed to institutions, of which they once were the jewels in the crown, fund them. They are told how to speak for themselves so as not to try the patience of the daleks. Who or which will cease to fund them if they were suddenly to speak for themselves, since they would be asking for it, for extermination.

Yes, good journalism once it too was something to show off, now it’s tackling the big issues, scoring the big anchors, more than ever before this year. Just like a university was the institutional encrustation of a library. It was the paste and setting for the cultural riches collected over time, protected over the bad times, saved to adorn the good, through careful, assiduous, committed and (need it be said?) professional librarianship. But middle management detests decoration, for which there will be more martyrs than ever before, this year, mouthing silently the words written on the wallpaper, God Save Us & Oscar Wilde… and for the journalists we will add, George Orwell…

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03.08.2018 Universal City, Studio & so on, to infinity and beyond

Hakutsuru since 1743—choice. Although, writing with Gekkeikan glass this balmy evening.

…speaking of culture: 2 gratifying aspects of culture and cultural acceptance we observe are 1) the presence of ashtrays; although it is not a nation of smokers as it might once have been, like some charming anachronism ashtrays have accompanied our dining experiences, if not the actual effluvia; although tonight we sat opposite two middle-youthed men in shirtsleeves, both trying valiantly to master the art of electrocigarette action (the younger man, trying to outdo the elder, tried to smoke harder and drink louder, while his cigarette insert kept falling out of the electro-gizmo, and he acted like he didn’t care, sweeping it off the floor with a nonchalance so contrived and demonstrative as to be theatrical); and other times young women smoking, the smoke effectively sucked out of the room, leaving the tang of chemicals behind, like a sour smell-rind; 2) despite the years of isolation being long gone by about 2 centuries and those of American occupation barely within living memory, despite the porky presence of gaijin reeking of the dairy (to mix scentences), particularly in a place like the Dot of Doutonbori, it is surprising the predominance of Japanese language outside the most tempting of eating-places, drinking-places, on menus and in descriptions of what lies inside the mostly inward-facing joints, bars, holes in the wall, restaurants, rooms for public life. This is accommodation without concession.

…yes, speaking of culture, today we went to Hogsmeade, Harry Potter Land, Hogwarts—at Universal Studio! …

We expected crowds—there were; we expected tantrum-inducing waiting-times—there were; but we also expected—the Japanese panache at carrying fakery to next level; we expected the generosity in adopting the misshapen popular artifices of cultures other than that of Japan; despite the Americolonial years, we expected the joy at inventions—that the Japanese seem to have invented anyway, like theme-parks, living hoardings, robots-are-as-good-as-life, loud in your face snakeoil salesmanship … and we expected it all to be beautifully performed, dressed, choreographed scenically. After all, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has won best ride in the world for @5 consecutive years. I think.

The trip came on on leaving our train at Universal City. Like the Tomoyuki Hoshino novel I’m reading, things got weird pretty quickly; and like with any trip left little time to wonder at psychological harm, ensuing identity disorders, or moral malaise (anyway, we’d been to an owl forest in stifling heat, in a suburb of Kyoto).

The check-in lady’s voice came at us with machine-gun machine-reproduced—for no conceivable reason, since she was just behind glass—ear-slicing consonantal bruitage. And we asked about express tickets. Would’ve added hundreds onto the bill, as well as kept us there until 1900 hours plus.

We braved the cheaper entry. Found Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, the snow glistening, and J. asked how they keep it from melting … Magic.

Rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden & so on. Ate churros. Checked out the Butter Beer.

Rolled out of the Wizarding World into Muggles of Amity Village, and onto the schlocky Jaws ride. What was our open secret? Singles! Japanese prefer to ride in groups, friend groups, family groups … so we are told. Still, with the Potter ride, the ten mins turned into about an hour, but beat the two hour standard wait time—unless you have express and can arrive at the designated 1900 hours. We rode singly. That’s how we rolled.

Next, Jurassic Park’s The Ride, in water, with splashdown.

On to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D. This was great—cartoon characters leaping into your field of vision, with 3D goggles, addressing each of you, each of me, individually, right up on your bonnet, and grill. When the electric baddy plugged his thing into the front of our car the Chinese lady two down screamed like she’d been personally electrocuted. Electrocution—it’s personal.

But the prize—apart from the overall artdirection of the Wizarding World—went to Evangelion XR 4D. This was a VR—full head-set (staff intensive, the team fitting me up, as I sat beside, as a single, an odaku guy, asked where I was from. New Zealand. Ah, sheep! Yes, I said, with fingers in beard, like me! Most disconcerting—when she’d fitted the headset and launched me into VR I heard You’re a sheep! You’re a sheep! A sheep!) hyper experience. Mosquitoe giant guys demolished the city and, cleverly, with a pilot and orientating details in field of vision, we hurtled through the apocalypse, bodies thrown one way, then another, because on an actual rollercoaster, while heads and sensory apparati were, through the headset, tuned into the virtual environments. And what works here is scale. This world was huge and in 360 degrees. … Mission accomplished, we slowed, me and the odaku guy, whom I’d neither heard nor seen a baby whisker of, into a massive hangar space, and outside the VR I heard clapping, the clapping the staff were routinely doing for new recruits, getting seated in their pods.

Tonight we found a skinny building to eat in, sat upstairs, two cynical electrosmokers doing their best to look cool.

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02.08.2018 NMoMAO, Nakazakicho & Namba eats

In the groove of the morning coffee—imported, from Brazil fl. 1995-2007, done in the dripfilter method, the mechanism bought not far from Resol, c. 2015—and usually soggy Danish. Yes, this morning’s was. That of Kyoto, however, was echt Franzoise. A leisurely preparation for the day, then subway to Osaka National Museum of Modern Art, or hereabouts. The heat immersive and swimmable.

Showing—a retrospective from the museum’s own collection and a collection from the Pushkin (including Déjeuner sur l’herbe). Items of note included—the light was unusual in the gallery, indirect, giving the impression of dim ambience; the exhibition followed a catachronology—Satashi Ohno’s polychrome style mashup: [look here: http://tomiokoyamagallery.com/artists/satoshi-ohno/] figurative, symbolic & prismatic quantum lifepainting. The Saito, I’d encountered looking at artists ‘breaking the frame’ in Japan and Brazil; Saito’s work recalls Tapiès’s. Of course: Sugimoto’s photos. And some interesting Western pieces: Warhol’s Marilyns (anyone who thinks of Warhol as overrated ought to spend time with his amazing colours, his colour curation); Cy Twombly; a little Picasso, Cubist period; and Max Ernst—which never reproduce (the same can funnily enough be said of the Warhol screenprints). Oh, and of course, favourite it seems with collections in Japan, Gerhard Richter.

Next door to the NmoMAO, the curved building houses the Museum of Science, and two little boys had bought a windup plane, the sort with rubberband, were trying to fly it. I helped them. It flew.

The Sky Bridge. Tickets to be bought on the 39th floor, via glass elevator. (The snaps I’ve taken are from the descent; I couldn’t look out on the upway.) It is intended that you exit your elevator box and take an escalator, which runs in a tube, on a diagonal up to the Sky Bridge Platform, some 140m in sky, through space, unsupported. I looked up tube, that runs through sky, space some 140m up in it, and wanted to get back downstairs.

An Ando wall of vegetation outside the Sky Bridge Towers, under which we lunched on cheapnesses—I, out of sorts, did not want the flavours of the basement foodhall, all done out like early 20th century Osaka: and so we got a smelly fish set from a streetvendor and a puffdog from a Family Mart, and pork on stick.

Nakazakicho is a place we walked to then—not far, it was far, and via a ridiculous layercake of consumerstores, and Osaka Station. We went there because it was called boho central in some online cultural guidething. It had nice small buildings and the collection usual for artistic quarters in cities of secondhand clothing stores and cafés with questionable opening hours; but there were many hair studios. I drank a white soda.

We went to Namba to eat, down the end of the Dot, which I have been misspelling—it is Doutonbori. And ate well.

On the stroll home, we went westward, to Ameriburi and walked around.

...
anciency
detraque
on tour

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I think this will be the last one of this series, it is #31

XXXI.

getoveryourself or you should know when to stop are not the same pieces of advice

but you are not listening to me you are looking at the image of an idiot on the screen

an idiot boy Bolaño says—right in my ear—the image of an idiot boy—and i am overcome by a feeling of wonder at how great it would be it is to be a female art

a female artist a woman first, second—they are not the same pieces of advice—you could—one justifies another—produce the most overtly sexual and sexualised imagery

you would not be guilty of sexuality—and I am fore-betrayed by knowledge, memory, belief one does not justify another duplicitous amongst the victims blending in, before a page of prose looking for even yet the flight of a bird & birdsong, time blurred like the wingbeat of a sacred kingfisher [writes Adam Roberts] and

 

my stomach drops

into shallow pans

tripe-white

of my open hands (even yet Fergus Barrowman, replied, some of the lines are simply bad)

facing a page of prose: sometimes life is shit: one justifies another and I accuse the extinguished theatre I mean professor removed from positon by concerted and personal vendetta—what one feels now the other will. INTIMIDATION seemed right closest to our theme but you should know when to stop

the recoil is lost it is political and so it is born: and once it was a child and knew getoveryourself for not having to be a female artist, of a woman first second—at the same—the integrity of the personal gesture of sexuality now the integrity of the gesture was lost

it would not be reproduced, it would not pay to reproduce and once it was a child, and at the same time it is the memory of things, not as they were, thought to be heading in a certain direction, ends unknown, all of a sudden going in a wholly unexpected direction the integrity of the gesture was lost, and the reduction to ends and desires the image of that idiot boy on a screen I see my memory at two removes extinguished theatre I mean professor and yours but you are not looking

and in no wise would it be true to say these two manners of appearing followed one upon the other but that in somewise I know not were they concurrent also Adam in The Thing Itself the thing itself might as well figure thought in the image of the hypocrite not the idiot

we are so many people in the manner of a lost world given the word or gesture of the appearance of victims and I amongst gathered together who don’t who can’t and who cannot recognise a crime who gather together in their want and in their lack of recognition and who do not ask who answers for it, for once it was a child and knew, but that in the want and lack of their recognition its answer goes unquestioned its question goes unasked

which is their question and i amongst and it is like the memory of smoke in a dream that on waking is the image of a face in sand that on looking you look does not ask anymore

anciency
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
N-exile
point to point
representationalism
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
X

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nearly 30 and over half a year later now #29

XXIX.

bloodspots on the strawberry hem

laughter in the trees

like with like again

I am surrounded in my disbelief

 

by wonderful and inexplicable reasons

a needle is suspended in the air

threads the sky its origins

the fictions of a scientific feeling

 

other than that

the world parts its lips

through the water

trail your fingertips

 

David the sky today

deep azure

and I can find only

my own

original mind

 

Leonora Fini’s voyageurs one sitting one lying in rest leg bent en repos I misread as voyeurs resting or put to rest the painter covers their eyes with a folded cloth they are expressionless androgynous are they at least one is not entitled to say but that the cloths over each are their eyes shut one is not entitled to say lave the brows of each rest

you have earned it voyeurs because you have not come far you have in fact not come from any origin except a certain style, a certain foldedness—as much as the folds bear a kind of sightless witness to in the cloths covering the brow of each voyageur

traveller

blindfolded to vision because not sleeping either sleepless and not entitled to dream what work they have then done the seated one behind the one lying one leg bent behind the other and what might possibly arouse them from well-earned repose to return to it to the fabrication the fictitious fabric sussurating gown of a mistress or a master did I mention their youth medieval or preraphaelite attire at whose behest they what laboured voyaged viewed or gazed on who leaves them who replaces her gown and he his robe, whispering softly through barely parted lips it sweeps the floor behind, in the hallways, in the archways, aisle and cloister, leaving them sanctified by what they have seen, what work it was

now rest

to look what is inexplicable and wonderful to have traversed all feeling, to have found there all good reason and to have there been granted your repose …

 

by what right

state the question

tonight alas the tongue of truth alights upon no tooth”

to have it extracted by a screwdriver

blood spotting the mask and lips

 

by what right spit it out

the paper besmirched and soiled

the bill

 

by what right to say

or cross it out

 

by what in this climate

in this socio-economic says Bolaño

better to live

undercover

poet

...
anciency
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
hommangerie
immedia
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
N-exile
swweesaience
textasies
X

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