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end of dreaming

I don’t want to be the one who lives here
     but the alien
I want to visit your beautiful country

I don’t want to speak this tongue
     but the alien
I want to hear your beautiful language

I don’t want to share the words used
     to be the one who understands
     but the alien

I don’t want to be able to explain
     who we are
     what is said
     how we do things here

I don’t want to be the one who asks what you think
     of our beautiful country
     but the alien
I want to understand nothing but your laughter

I don’t want to be the one who knows
     who we are
     and who they are
     but the alien

I don’t want to be the one who knows
     what we are
     and what they are

I don’t want to give them the words
     to take out the words they use
     to share the words in their mouths

I want to share in your beautiful laughter
     and to understand in your smiles
     your good will to strangers

I don’t want to be the one with dreams of leaving
     anymore
     but the alien

I don’t want to be the one who hears
     from your beautiful mouth
     you are leaving
     but the alien
who leaves who just leaves who lies down
     and leaves

I don’t want to feel this grief on anyone’s behalf
I don’t want to feel this shame on anyone’s behalf

but I want this grief
but I want this shame

     and the shame of grief
     and the shame of shame

 

 

[written on the occasion of the shooting

Christchurch 15 March 2019]

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dear reader, I am writing a book. Below a tiny excerpt. If you would like to support this work, please contact me by way of the contact form, top, left hand margin.

The brain remains a symbol, with all that is entailed under this symbolic existence, nailed at some extremity—perhaps the highest plank—of the vast carpentry we have been calling the symbolic framework of reference, so long as its cognitive functions are identified with representation and so long as these higher functions are so called. Except that it express itself symbolically we should therefore show no small amazement that we cannot trust it.

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while there’s still coffee in my cup

The last day of this year’s calendar, the year does not so much need summing up–although I would like the time and space to mark events that have moved events, as events inevitably do–as it seems to want a few words said in a valedictory tone or register. We would want it to fare well as we farewell it; and so we would wish to those who can still be bothered to speak and to listen. Because it’s difficult, it seems increasingly, to parse meanings in a mobile world that has never been more immobilised and to listen with an ear for meanings, to speak with meaning. So many symbolic acts have been recorded to have occurred this past year, we grow sick of them.

I have been writing the continuation of work on Minus Theatre into what we did with the negotiation of that particular time and space which arises between speaker and listener, an experiment that ended in July 2017. I have been writing on the indifference of that intersubjective place where subjects symbolise and gesture, speak and listen to one another, and on how, although indifferent to what is said, to what is written, it is seldom acknowledged in its own right. Rather, the space of symbols and the time of gestures is singled out, speech and writing are singled out, and the symbolic is singled out as being of the utmost significance. That is the act of signification is more significant than the theatres and foyers of its conduct–let alone communication and the solidarity sought through it.

Were it to be considered in its own right, this place where humans engage in negotiating exchange, we might encounter better and more open questions and meanings. We might think about what we need for there to exist any place of signification and symbolic exchange and drop the needless stress on what is exchanged. We might cease as well to need to speak as if we mattered more than the indifference of the place, the global place, the local place, and the elements and terrestrial forces to which both are subject. Instead I hear we ought to make a difference, and I suppose we ought, but to the human. Nothing is achieved by standing alongside the human and negotiating the indifference of the place where we make our stand and state our standpoint. Nothing to be gained by punctuality.

We have lost this year from this place the great dance and theatre director and writer Douglas Wright. That’s a shame and shamefully unmarked, enragingly unmarked. His dark rage–part and parcel of what is most intensely NZ–should be missed. I will miss it.

Are we provisioned for the next year? Hardly. So much of the wrong kind of disappointment. In the doco made about Douglas, Haunting Douglas, he acknowledges how revelatory was the question put to him by a former lover: Is there something in your life you would like to do? He had never considered the possibility he could, that he might declare for something in his life; he had never considered the possibility one was able to, to make an answer, even to declaring for it as a responsibility and commitment, using the words: In my life I would like to …

Farewell 2018. For the new year, I can think of no better wish to make than that in 2019 you speak those words and listen to your answer.


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untitled 1: including an in memoriam for Douglas Wright, 14 October 1956 – 14 November 2018

The great Spanish writer—not an opinion, a fact, my friend

He would or he might begin with something suitably self-deprecating—

a reference to another writer, an artist who, perhaps, was more far-sighted,

in not worrying so much about his place in things, worrying at her hems,

edges and scabs, at the places where the body—of work, obviously—comes

undone, as it inevitably does, Douglas Wright died this week, I say this

not to be topical, but in respect of an image and its necessary resonance, or,

let us say, vibration with another—necessary, because the only reason ever

for an image, to initiate one, is to set it up in such a way that it ping

off another, calling everyone, at this overflowing table, to attention with the edge

of a knife, how sharp we will never know, tap against an empty glass—a

game of golf, Douglas in a liminal state induced by drugs of a medical nature,

purportedly, hearing the news, on the radio, a voice: it says, this

this will really really put New Zealand at last put New Zealand New Zealand

on the world the world on the world stage; and voices from a stand of

macrocarpa, adjacent to the golf course, echoing up over the balcony, in

through an open window, to where Douglas lies, on a couch, in a state

between waking and dreaming, hearing the voices commingle, those

from the stand of macrocarpa, adjacent to the golf course, where golf

balls often end up being hit by accident, voices of the searchers for the lost

golf balls, calling out, WHERE IS IT? HERE and IT’S OVER HERE,

WHERE? I FOUND IT! and that voice

on the radio, so that … but here I become confused, because the next

image enters, not prematurely, I hope, but soon enough that it sets off

the former image, so that we almost trip over it—HERE

New Zealand on the world stage IT’S OVER HERE

at last—and I would like to champion, at this point, Ghost Dance, the source

of this former image, having its source in its author, Douglas Wright, who

is also, sadly, former, as the greatest artistic autobiography ever written by

a by by a by a New Zealander by a New Zealander … OVER HERE … Lost …

from the world stage, forever. Vila-Matas was the famous Spanish author.

The next image is—can it in all truth be called an image? when it is

a matter of voices?—and Douglas’s voice, I hear his cadences, pronouncing

on the, what was it we had lost? the sense of the strength of movement

coming from the pelvis, that we had lost, in our young dancers—the next

a voice says please

return to your seat

it sweeps the aisle

clear at the same

time David Byrne

is singing another

voice and another

close, Stay in your

lines.

You are being

You are out

of control, Sonny

or is it Girlie?

I have the strange

unwonted accompanying sensations,

not entirely unpleasant, of arms, not entirely unpleasant, only

unwonted, of arms holding me and the hands attempting

to take hold

of the left arm in the classic armlock we know from films, and twist it

behind my back, movies about forced removal

of potentially disruptive and violent—and again

the fit of the words is false, without falsifying, since this is

indeed what we do with miscreants: the bodyguard, no, he is

a security guard, with a beautiful word emblazoned—the most

exaggerated form of embroidery or printing—emblazoned on his back, VENUE

SECURITY all one word, like a gang patch.

Douglas Wright and David Byrne. Douglas was just 62. What is

an age, when you do not grow old?

 

David Byrne David David Byrne amazing fantastic and beautifully

deconstructed in the concert version of American Utopia two

words

venuesecurity at the Spark telco arena, although this makes it sound like

they built it, they did not—do brands maintain their psychosexual overtone?

of having been inflicted in a hot moment of contact—let us say, “the lie

of the land

she meant yes

she meant yes”

 

It was a white and middleclass and quite fat night on the metaphorical bleachers

at the David Byrne concert tonight,

the second encore ended with a rollcall of names of murdered

African-Americans (two words?)

whose killings in racially charged circumstances have elevated them into the hall of martyrs” says Variety

There is an insupportable irony in the fact that my assailants were all brown

because I wanted to dance

 

Dance

is it a health and safety issue that so few serious modern composers who

are accepted as such

commit themselves to music to dance to?

 

Dance

I cannot imagine Douglas Wright dying

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now i’m listening to kip hanrahan’s beautiful scars and i realise there is no other music for grownups so full of joy sex & politics 3 of my fav things but art too art music art life art rotting with life decomposing on the street sweating in the room shroom is how i am

thanks gareth

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you know when you can’t find that quote you’re looking for so you have to make up your own: on NOTHING

In some cultures–not ours, not yet–nothing and space are so closely related, rather than as a negative instance, rather than as void or absence, nothing comes as welcome relief (from the relentless compulsion to something), where it is like a window on the inside, or a door, opening onto nothing, welcoming you in, to rest there, or bidding you to go on, for nothing.

— see also here

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are there any answers?

Dear Visitor,

Let us engage with the questions:

  1. anthropogenic climate change–is the question of the present, not the future.
  2. ownership of elements: air earth water warmth–China has awoken to Capital, whatever the corporate brandname on it: another question of the present.
  3. health: obesity is a mental illness; mental health is a cultural illness. A question of the present.
  4. the future will be? A question of human cultural regeneration–perhaps the only question of the future?

In our small way we are addressing ourselves to these questions with a view to an answer that is local and directed towards the future.

The means to cultural regeneration are within reach of a modernity that believes in itself–has not lost that belief. This we have found in Benesse Foundation’s Public Capitalist undertakings in Naoshima and Teshima, the ‘art islands’ of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan.

We would like you, dear visitor, to share with Benesse this vision for an answer that is local and directed towards the future:

 

I am writing to you from Waiheke Island.

Waiheke has a similar status in the Hauraki Gulf to Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. It is a popular tourist destination: however it attracts visitors more for reasons of its natural beauty than for cultural tourism.

Waiheke is 35 minutes by ferry from the centre of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland. It currently boasts a resident population of @9,000.

A large proportion of this population is artistically active–this is owing to heritage settlement: it was originally a cheap place to buy and rent, with advantages of a healthy natural lifestyle.

In terms of built infrastructure it is poorly served, with one exception: the Stony Batter site, https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/auckland/places/waiheke-island/stony-batter-historic-reserve/

Built to defend New Zealand in the event of the war in the Pacific extending into the Hauraki Gulf, Stony Batter is largely built underground, with approximately 7km of tunnels.

It has recently been proposed that Stony Batter be developed as a Heritage Site. Submissions are being solicited by Auckland City Council to this end. However, it is our opinion that Stony Batter, on Waiheke Island would be a missed opportunity of giant proportions if it is only developed with a view to low level heritage tourism–which tends to be internal and nationally based.

Stony Batter, Waiheke, commends itself as a site for Global Cultural Tourism.

The as-built aspects of it, the island location, underground and above, the natural surrounding context, are ripe for such development.

Ando, we think, would be impressed with this structure: although built for utilitarian purposes, its aesthetic qualities are evident.

The underground would suit gallery development, with installations taking advantage of the light and sound qualities of the tunnels. The textural and architectural uniqueness of the site would attract and inspire international and local artists to exhibit and install here.

The exterior would suit installations to make the most of the dramatic scenic beauty of Hauraki Gulf and islands.

We humbly bring this to Benesse’s attention on the basis of our recent visits to Naoshima and the sites of cultural tourism–and cultural pilgrimage–located there. Stony Batter Waiheke Island could be such a place with the vision and thinking and good-being/good-doing that is characteristic of Benesse’s Public Capitalist approach. It could be a Southern counterpart to Naoshima and Teshima.

We would add that Benesse’s sensitivity, shown in the development of globally recognised sites for cultural tourism in Naoshima and Teshima, is to the forefront of our considerations in making this recommendation. Waiheke has a long colonial and precolonial history, as well as the heritage to which Stony Batter is a material attestation: the respect we know to inform Benesse’s approach is essential to this project.

We suggest that Benesse follow up with a submission to highlight the advantages of Stony Batter as a site for global cultural tourism (with a smaller heritage element incorporated into the plan). Submissions are currently open until 27 September 2018. Please make your submission here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2018/applications/fort-stony-batter-heritage-park-limited/

Please be aware that we present this proposition in good faith and feel free to cite our support for this submission.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Simon Taylor

 

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01.08.2018 Kyomizudera to Dottonbori Osaka

Last night in Kyoto, after Ramen, on the recommendation of algorithm, we went to a bar. Atlantis, with a terrace on the river, more underwater than underworld, however, invoking the Gion, like its nursery school, with barmen in bowties, white shirt, black waistcoat, Japanese enthusiasm for service, impressed in Western mold, and without any reserve or selfconsciousness—our barman happily informed us, as we waited at the lower airconditioned bar for space on the terrace, in English, he was learning French, in the hope of working in Paris? I ask. Yes, I hear they have some culture, he answers. Some, yes, we agree. … as for bar culture, the glassware cheap, even for beer, and Suntory overpriced. J. ordered a mojito, after we’d asked what was in a Tom Collins. Our happy barman showed us a bottle of gin with a Tom label. … request referred to head barman, who consulted a plastic-leaved book of bar magic. Mojito came with muddled mint, a garden of it, in ice shards, the flavour of cordial, not a whiff of alcohol. Space available, we took our places at the bar on the terrace, a fit so tight we could not turn for the view. The young barman here palmed a ball of ice, like a baseball, while chipping it into a perfect sphere, then deposited it into a ‘whiskey’ tumbler—and called it a hai-ball. … a female trainee essayed the pour of a tap Suntory, spoon in hand, ready to remove the froth.

Atlantis—proud of an adopted culture, which being American, is Japanese-like in its friendliness, but without the reserve that might grace it, which is to be had at even at the pokiest local bar.

Kyomizudera temple above—extraordinary—even if a religious Disneyland full of Chinese. (See how the cross beams have tiled roofs on them to protect from rainwater settling. And the outside scaffolding is bamboo and cedar in the main, but obscures a lot of the Hodo; whereas in Byodoin, the interior of the Hodo was under renovation, here the exterior.) We made the ascent early, before the crush, and the descent.

Returning to Resol, we reclaimed our bags and took the local trains to Osaka. (Osaka snaps start at the one of the man with fans in the back of his jacket to keep him cool.)

Dottonbori is not far from our windowless ryokan room—albeit with fresh tatami, overwhelmingly fruity in the night. Thronged with people, the Dot, and floors of bars and restaurants, fronted with oversized hoardings—and literalisations of logos, like the Dragon who smashes in and out of the wall: the mercantile culture of Osaka invented this kind of display while Europe was precommercial, otherwise know as the Dark or Middle Ages. Before financialisation. (And as a result, Japan is welcome relief from the global economic ethos—at least at ground level, but one suspects at a political level too, there prevail values which are not simply prices.)

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the story of the mirror neurons, pt. 1

Positivity, affirmation: they are related but not the same. To confront one with the other is not to vanquish it; they take different objects and produce different subjects. Positivity and negativity: you can affirm either; you can affirm both. You can affirm in positivity the need for negativity. Positivity is the condition of affirming only one. One side, one polarity, one out of the pair is affirmed and one is left out in affirming positivity; and in affirming negativity, equally, one side, one polarity, one out of the pair is affirmed, one left out. But when you affirm both what happens is still not an inclusion: the affirmation of both positivity and negativity can go to a higher form of positivity; but it cannot go to a higher form of negativity. It cannot go to a higher form of negativity unless you have or invoke a higher power of negation; or unless you have or invoke in negation a higher power. To have there be in negation a higher power, or to have negation be a higher power, is to make of that power your affirmation, to affirm it to be or to affirm in it that power. The condition for negativity to go to a higher form in the affirmation of a power in negation higher than the form of positivity that is unequally reposed in it where you affirm both positivity and negativity is that of its being, being in the world, and in the world acting. The condition of the existence of negativity in its higher power of negation may be called existential. Positivity would annul this existential condition of negativity, this form of being and this power of acting in the world, in its negation: it is not. Affirmation differs from positivity in reposing in negativity an existential condition that is its own and belongs to it; positivity deposes in negativity an existential condition of which it is dispossessed. According to positivity not only should negativity not be, should it not be in the world, and not only should negation not act in the world, and, according to positivity, where its moral injunction takes full effect, not only should negativity not find a higher power in negation, but negativity can not: it cannot be, it cannot be so and cannot be that negation so act. Affirmation differs from positivity neither insofar as it relates positivity exclusively to negativity, nor insofar as it includes equally both negativity and positivity, but insofar as it aligns itself with the existential condition of both and either positivity and negativity. The distinction is not lost; the difference you see and describe that is and acts in the world itself takes the higher power in the relation, the nondialectical relation, of the positive and the negative—a positive, a negative.

Affirmation vanquishes the dialectic in a differential relation of a positive and a negative. But the problem remains that to confront positivity with negativity is not to vanquish it. Negativity inverts positivity; and positivity obverts negativity. It may be the case that the project of positivity parallels the inject of negativity. If this is so, and the difference is upheld, the subject of negation is induced in a movement that is reflexive and intensive; the subject of position is produced in a movement that is object-directed and extensive. This reflexivity that is subjective in negativity, in positivity takes its object to be itself: that is whereas negativity subjects, induces or forms a subject reflexively, positivity objects and the subject is taken up to be the project of a performance. The position of the performing subject, of positivity’s performative project, is facing you, the position of an appeal, from, as it were, a dark and reflexive negativity; it is an appeal against an immutable background darkness that is everywhere around it.

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XXX

XXX.

Do not speak this blessing

itwillenslaveyou

we did not know he penetrated her apart from her expression

blank possibly drugged mystical

and should peace peace is a sheet

a cool white sheet a clean and ironed one

expressionless

soothing easy eyes

good tears dripping in excess is it from their folds

secreting oracles

 

a dribble is a gathering together of images in a droplet

it strings secreting strings threads pearls in its secretion

as involuntary as a symptom

notatallunwilling

the will which hidden will seep out

in the night

in the night emissions

of satellites

 

and should peace peace be upon them

which is a sheet and flicks at their genitals

with the folded rectitude of paper

wet from the pen dripping ink

and albumen every edge it over

tang of egg or orange is it

inkwet in the sicklehairs

 

say it with sex say say it with art of lying

forgive the intrusion the cage was empty

and in my hand a group of opioids

a birdwing flaps drug it and in my hand

on my hand featherlight another

heart beat another open void

it overflows and in my prescription

does it in my script these lines

 

arenotcrossedout

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