resolution

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.

hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
porte-parole
representationalism
resolution
theatricality
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

explicit postmodernism: an essay on pornographic style

porte-parole
representationalism
resolution
snap

Comments (0)

Permalink

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.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
enomy
inanimadvertisement
luz es tiempo
representationalism
resolution
theatrum philosophicum
X

Comments (0)

Permalink

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.

...
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
enomy
National Scandal
Problematik
resolution
textasies
theatricality
Trans-European Express

Comments (0)

Permalink

to placard: sufficient conditioning; a call to raise expectations of and from conditions considered sufficient

[-with minor alterations, the following was sent to the Listserv Unlike Us: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and their Alternatives-]

Dear Un-Alike,
I’m intrigued by the support here for decentralization as a condition for a desirable network. Decentralization is what the social graph aspires to, lighting up the dark zones of the net, growing virally, accumulating capital from a closed circuit of service – P2P, yes, and emphasising personalization alongside offering software as a service. A network as I understand it leans towards a hub and feeder model before either a centripetally hierarchical, an egalitarian, or a random distribution.

The problem of social media is the many and the one and the various non-processual practices to which we, one, they are submitted. The box/circle/cutter of normalisation and presumptive (profiling) generalisation (based on a consumption-use dictatorship – i.e. what a majority will commit to, with a click – and what the power to sell will prescribe) strikes me, in other words, the constraint of expression of the individual and the reciprocal constraint of articulation of the societies, strike me as being more critical, and more problematic, in existing online social-individual arrangements.

Time, it seems to me, is of the essence in what is at stake for social networks to work: processual, non-presumptive – and non-patronising (!), constructive of both individual and social identities, multiple and whole – by turns, in time -, further, relational in so far as difference enters between and before the one and the many, you, me, one them …us.

I am working in the field of this problematic, this critical milieu, in order to build a poly-lingual dialogical commons, an online social processual and differential simulacrum, and am seeking collaborators in many fields, pre-eminently – where the need is greatest – in code-writing. Please contact me if you are interested. [here]

I feel I should add that I agree neither that entrepreneurial activity has a natural proclivity towards promoting unethical behaviour, nor that the commercial can somehow be separated from the constructive, creative and artistic – and socially responsible – spheres. In fact, it seems to me that a lot of art is exploitative and static, non-progressive, cynical, repressive, however enjoyable it may be; and a lot of commercial activity is affirmative, creative, constructive and ethical – despite erring on the side of lack of imagination, vision… often. I am interested in building an apparatus for online interaction with the support of entrepreneurs and expect this project to be artistically and commercially viable, adequate and effective: in fact, the standards that I am applying are those of both artistic and commercial efficacy – real-world intervention – for this constructivist undertaking.

…further, you can show your support for this project by signing in here – yes, it’s legit and safe, not a scam, and it is a help.

...
advertisement
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
immedia
inanimadvertisement
Problematik
resolution
textatics
theatrum philosophicum
X

Comments (0)

Permalink

World City Christchurch – building a city for the future

We, the people of New Zealand, give the glass-fibre infrastructure along with a data-pipeline connecting it to the world to Christchurch.

This is the cap-stone of my idea to build Christchurch as an economically productive – high-tech, sustainable – green, and above all a new city.

The cost of the UFB – Ultra-Fast Broadband – network proposed for NZ is said to be in the vicinity of $6 billion, the product of a government partnership with Telecom. Without a serviceable data-cable connecting it to the world, an additional $400 million or so, the UFB is subject to existing data-caps on the single service New Zealand currently has connecting it with the United States.

I suggest we deal directly with the issue of Christchurch’s productivity by connecting it with an integrated civic-wide UFB network that has built into its cost the necessary international data-pipeline. The national UFB project and the need to think about the future of the city of Christchurch are opportunities for economic progress that can be brought together and must be thought of conjointly as an unprecedented opportunity.

Rebuilding Christchurch’s infrastructure should not be limited to restoring it. We ought to be looking at both future-proofing it and using the rebuild as incentive to encourage investment in the city. Restoration is not sustainable; innovation is.

What will sustain the city is what will build World City Christchurch: an environment that will inspire businesses to come is connected globally; an environment that will inspire people to live in it is connected locally and nationally.

I said that rethinking the national UFB without an international cable as a civic UFB with an international cable was the cap-stone of my idea for Christchurch. There are two further aspects to the vision that work in harmony with it.

A system of canals is built for the transportation of heavy goods throughout the city. The system would be woven in to the fabric of the city, joining it to the wider water-network of the Canterbury Planes: the Garden City linked to its gardens.

Such a system of water-ways has been considered before, at the period of Christchurch’s establishment. Since aquifers and subterranean rivers and streams are a feature of the Planes, it is a plan that deserves another look. Not only a Venice of the South but a city determined not to sink back into the swamp of liquefaction.

The third element to this plan already has widespread endorsement: the Copenhagenization of Christchurch; a network of cycle-ways connect the city, with ‘green corridors’ through parks, encouraging people to ride by taking cycle-paths away from roads, making them safe, and also enhancing the natural beauty of the city. (Perhaps Christchurch would then be helmet-free, in consideration of the fact that cities where cycle-helmets are mandatory clearly indicate they are not cycle-friendly.)

These architectures, of a glass-fibre infrastructure hardwired to the world, of a system of canals, and a network of cycle-ways, duly provide for the foundation of a new civic architecture. A new style of city. To start with the buildings and the houses is to recreate the past, to try and bring it back, rather than to discover in the middle of this crisis anything new. The city could again be beautiful, but it will never be as it was.

If the Christchurch earthquakes constitute a national disaster, then the nation ought to be doing more than being asked to pay up. If Christchurch’s disaster has had, as the Prime Minister has stated, a deleterious affect on GDP unparalleled in New Zealand’s history, then New Zealand ought to be encouraging the building of a productive city, a city that can pay back.

In its rush into public relations disaster, in the guise of disaster-control, I don’t think the prospect of economic growth has been seriously considered as a part of the so-called rebuild. Through building a city that will by the very nature of its civic architecture and infrastructure attract investors, entrepreneurs and inhabitants, Christchurch ought to make a greater economic contribution. The build needs to take on this vision of a city with the potential for real and sustainable growth.

Please contact me here if you support this plan and wish to promote its cause.

notes:

On Silicon Valley Christchurch:

“Christchurch has a window of opportunity” – here

Mention of the Venice of the South:

“The Venice of the South Pacific we might have been had the proposal gone ahead for the city to be connected to the sea via the Avon-Heathcote estuary to the south and the Waimakariri River to the North.” – here

On Copenhagenization:

“JG: We’re commissioned to rebuilding efforts in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the recent earthquake. They want to use the opportunity to get rid of many of the bad compromises from the 20th century, which are burdening all cities in the western world. They want to make a very good city for the 21st century, rather than just repeating all the errors from the past. Interesting…and humbling.” – here

...
advertisement
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
National Scandal
Problematik
resolution
X

Comments (0)

Permalink

艾未未 … Beijing police have released Ai Weiwei on bail

“The decision comes also in consideration of the fact that Ai has repeatedly said he is willing to pay the taxes he evaded, police said.”

“The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd, a company Ai controlled, was found to have evaded a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents, police said.”

– from here and here and here

...
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
enomy
hommangerie
National Scandal
porte-parole
resolution

Comments (0)

Permalink

What is the war about?

It is about the cost of food and petrol, of basic alimentation and transport. It is about not being able to pay bills, rent, mortgage, housing costs, the costs of habitation, shelter. It is about not being able to afford to pay for education, whether for children or oneself. It is about not being able to afford to support those who depend on us, aging parents, sick relations, friends in need. It is about having no money. It is also about high prices, about taxes set punitively high. And it is about the contrast visible everywhere around between people with enough to pay high prices, usually the people who impose high prices, and the people with less, less to the degree that they are victims.

A line has been crossed: the spectacle of wealth is no longer sufficient reason to keep our seats. We are at war with those on the stage, on the other side of the line, across the carefully regulated, policed and legislated for wealth divide. A line has been crossed in so far as we have been betrayed: we no longer believe in enjoying ourselves to death; we are no longer complacent about watching since we have discovered we can no longer attain to the sort of lives or gain access to the sort of world we see represented before us, everywhere around. Life in the real world has become too expensive. The line is real cost, actual price.

The war is about a threshold we have not crossed but been forced over and now life is insupportable; it is beyond our means. We wage war neither on the images of lives we cannot possess, nor with needs fed on these illusions, but on the injustice concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands. The compensation for this decrease is found in the multiplication of images of excess, to excess. Here also a threshold: forced to consume advertising, we declare ourselves at war with the authority who gives us to be force-fed, the power that regulates for, not against, the advertiser.

Here again a divide: between greed and fear. We overcome our fear of information, of the fetishes advertising holds up to mesmerise us; we overthrow this combination of the greedy using fear, this combine. We don’t assert a right to what we need, we take it. The war is about the overthrow of every government that allows injustice to be perpetuated as good business.

With entry to deregulated markets (that is markets in whose favour states regulate), with access to docile populations strangled, sociopathic corporations turn to autism, the affliction symptomatic of their affect on individuals in victim societies.

The power of the state lies both in an advertising jingle, a matter of representation, and the permission it gives for us to be made victims, a matter of authority. The war is about rejecting the illusion and claiming the right of authority. It is about representing our wishes to the greedy. It is for an open and egalitarian society.

It is happening everywhere because conditions are similar everywhere, even where histories differ. It is happening in the Middle East. It is happening in Europe and in England. Why isn’t it happening yet in the US?

The war is about rejecting both economics and politics as reasons for victimisation. It is about claiming adequate representation in the overthrow of authority.

...
advertisement
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
enomy
immedia
N-exile
National Scandal
representationalism
resolution

Comments (0)

Permalink

because we know the centre cannot hold we feel the circle can … on deactivating my facebook account

I have deactivated my facebook account because it would no longer perform the operation which provided my justification for signing on in the first instance. It would longer import notes from here. It became a rather tenuous justification, however, since the majority of my engagement with the sociality advertising itself as a network devolved upon what I believe has been called ‘sharism.’

The coinage of this coinage, the attraction of ‘sharism,’ rests on the accumulation of points of satisfaction that the user is posting to facebook such items as others ‘like.’ The other aspect of satisfaction pursuant to this form of connectivity derives from the hyperbolic enlargement of the user’s circle of ‘friends,’ until it ultimately – perhaps the goal of the game – tumesces to the degree at which the site advertises would-be friends that the user already has ‘too many’ ‘friends’ and ‘doesn’t need any more.’ This limit is currently set at 5000.

According to this source, 5000 “is on the high end of the number of friends that one person could reasonable [sic] have.” The same source has it that facebook is used by approximately 70 000 000 individuals, less than 1000 of whom have reached the limit, or have won? But, allegedly, winning gives a user cause to complain:

I still haven’t gotten through and I’m still getting pushback from the lobby.

imagine that Flickr only let 5,000 people see your photos? Or that YouTube only let 5,000 watch your videos? Wouldn’t you be pissed? Wouldn’t there be massive protests?

Absolutely. Yet we accept this crappy software engineering because of the “you-don’t-need-more-friends” lobby.

The hell with the lobby.

So says Robert Scoble, where else, but on the Scobleizer, here. He points to a deficiency in the accepted definition of friends when it comes to a social network, saying, “a “friend” is someone you want in your social network. Period. Nothing more. The fact that people assume that you should only have “real friends” in your social network is just plain wrong.” [Ibid.]

The fault perhaps lies with facebook in calling ‘friends’ what are in fact contacts. A terminological shift to ‘contacts’ would, however, subtract from the Emotion of the network just as readily as if we removed the word ‘social’ from ‘social network.’ Not that there would then come some blinding insight into the truly insidious mechanism of the site: it would simply be more difficult to justify the distribution of emotionally meaningful, and sometimes personal, items, photos, propositions, to contacts in a network. ‘Sharism’ would resemble nothing more than advertising. The emotion added to it, that we are sharing with friends, would leave us, once stripped of emotional charge, perhaps wondering why we are advertising the existence of this or that site or youtube video, like an unpaid third-party, acting on-behalf-of.

It is this exchange between and amongst anonymities which suggests both promiscuity and inflation, needless to say that they are both artificial, or symbolic. That what we call our forms of communication, that what we are given to call them, acts on us so effectively is a manifestation both of a desire to believe against our better judgements and simply of the power of advertising in constructing a scenario in which we willingly suspend disbelief. facebook, I would suggest is theatre; even the elision of the initial capital is for affect: but it is theatre at the service of the symbolic economy.

I justified my involvement with facebook, assuming an identity who posted items, photos, to snare itself, myself, and others into ‘sharism,’ and who ‘had something on his mind,’ however cynically, in regard to this function I see as central to the social network: advertising. As Google knows, it doesn’t take much: a micro-justification for a macro-participation; a micro-paying ad to a macro-owning corporation. I didn’t require a great deal of incentive to become active on facebook, because ‘active’ is as ‘active’ does. The Emotion acts as the covenant under which anonymities pursue their unanimous self-interests. Therefore, once facebook could no longer post in the form of notes what I wrote and posted to my blog, re-circulating it, according to its proprietary symbolic economic logic, I could no longer pretend to myself I was doing anything more than faking it, faking ‘friends,’ fake-‘sharing,’ faking interest, paid in fakes.

Is connectivity any more real on the web outside the social networks?

...
advertisement
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
enomy
N-exile
representationalism
resolution
theatricality

Comments (1)

Permalink

Two Strangers look on

the Theory of Perversion (and the work of perverting must go on)

...
inanimadvertisement
N-exile
resolution
swweesaience

Comments (0)

Permalink