Saturday, March 05, 2005

Crystal Palace under construction, from Collect Britain, an absolute treasure trove of sounds and images from the British Library. Don't miss this! Posted by Hello

the continuing tale of Blair and his goons vs. the Magna Carta--attacks on liberty precede 9/11 Posted by Hello

my little squib about "opening" for Rodney Graham last month is up at Terminal City Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

Maximum pain is aim of new US weapon

"The contract, heavily censored before release, asks researchers to look for "optimal pulse parameters to evoke peak nociceptor activation" - in other words, cause the maximum pain possible. Studies on cells grown in the lab will identify how much pain can be inflicted on someone before causing injury or death."
No Beirut Spring

"The West is happy to champion the superficial talk of democracy from around the region. The New York Times also celebrated the President Mubarak of Egypt's announcement that he plans to allow opposition candidates to run against him. Good luck to them, but it is not clear exactly what they will be able to do differently in the unlikely eventuality of being elected. Long ago the Egyptian regime swallowed the bitter pill of IMF reform and depends on $2 billion of US aid per year - severe constraints for any leadership, democratic or not. And as the opprobrium toward the Lebanon's Hizbollah or the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat shows, there are limits to how much democracy the West will tolerate in the Middle East. In democratisation, the West reproduces an image of its own system, in which the act of voting itself is what counts, rather than the content of the politics."
Third Factory Notebook

"Need, demand, and desire (or, Lacanian pop): It's easy enough to hear 'Prove My Love' as a less (or differently) jilted rewrite of 'Ain't No Mountain' (to which I was subjected in another enclosed commercial environment today). But the latter loses me with the 'valley low enough' line. A low valley doesn't fall into the category of sublime obstacle the overcoming of which demonstrates (proves) my equally sublime capacity for answering the beloved's every demand. In other words, it just sounds too doable--at least in my 'imaginary domain.'"

I always thought of the "valley low" as being filled with thickets, bogs, quicksand, snakes, etc--worse than the mountain, even. As in "so wide you can't go around it, so low you can't go under it".

Thursday, March 03, 2005

a resource-filled blogging of William Vollman's Rising Up and Rising Down begins...
Reality (on TV) Reaches Art World

"Our intent with this show is to do something both credible and compelling," said Mr. Terkuhle, who helped bring "Beavis and Butt-head" and "Celebrity Deathmatch" to MTV. "Credible in the art world and, hopefully, compelling to a television audience." But he added that it remained "a television experiment and that's how we're approaching it, very openly."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

from "The Birds" by Bruno Schulz

"ALONG CAME the yellow and thoroughly boring days of winter. A ragged, sparse and undersized cloth of snow was spread over the russet hued earth. On many of the roofs it was insufficient, and so they remained black or rust coloured, shingle or thatched arks concealing the smoke blackened expanses of the attics within them—black, charred cathedrals bristling with their ribs of rafters, cross-beams, and spars—dark lungs of the winter gales. Every daybreak revealed new chimney stacks and chimney pots, sprung up in the night, poking out through the night’s gale—the black pipes of diabolical organs. Chimney-sweeps could not drive away the crows that perched in the evenings in the form of living black leaves on the branches of the trees by the church; they took off again, fluttering, only to cling again at last each to its own place on its own branch; and at daybreak they flew up in great flocks—clouds of soot, flakes of lampblack, undulating and fantastic, smearing the dull-yellow streaks of daybreak with their twinkling cawing. The days hardened in the cold and boredom like last year’s bread loaves. They were cut with blunt knives, without appetite, in idle sleepiness..." Posted by Hello

Arthur Mee

"I give you, free for ever, with the right to take whom you will, the full enjoyment of the Natural Gallery of everlasting pictures, and the right to see the unveiling of all the sunsets, the covering of the heath with red and gold, the floating past of the clouds that ride like mountain peaks across the sky. I give you access to all the bushes laden with berries, to the daffodils and the violet beds, to the place where ferns and mosses hide, and to the tulips when they hang their heads at night." Posted by Hello

wonderful Quick-Time Movies from England, found while googling "Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia"--

a found dance
in the yorkshire sculpture park
things past
pages from 'the childrens encyclopedia'
This Is Just To Say
return to my native city
the red shoes
karina transfiguration
myth budapest
fragment triptych
on campo lane
after ovid
the watcher
a self portrait in my father's house
the divine comedy
day and night in the garden
the neon pizza man VS. Busby Berkeley
the heart and what it does
a walk to pins del bisbe
the king of magic
and then the devil appeared to the poor shoemaker
walk (version)
through the looking glass
everything you need for christmas
found poem
fruit machine
train entering liverpool street station
man with a pot of white chrysanthemums
my secret garden
portrait of the artist in his studio
the firebird
time machine
walk from london bridge to liverpool street 22nd october 2003
poem (version)
a self portrait with my father lukasz szpakowski
a tiny opera for anna  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Curiosities of Literature: Poets, Philosophers, and Artists, Made by Accident

"La Fontaine, at the age of twenty-two, had not taken any profession, or devoted himself to any pursuit. Having accidentally heard some verses of Malherbe, he felt a sudden impulse, which directed his future life. He immediately bought a Malherbe, and was so exquisitely delighted with this poet, that after passing the nights in treasuring his verses in his memory, he would run in the day-time to the woods, where concealing himself, he would recite his verses to the surrounding dryads." Posted by Hello

images from rare books at Origins of Modernity Posted by Hello

Monday, February 28, 2005

"In The Percy Anecdotes intended for the innocent tastes of a large class of readers, while the art of telling a story has been studied, the narrator has not been allowed to stray into diffuseness, or the chronicle of small beer, or tales made up of 'the drowsy syrups of the world.' "

from "The Effect of Music on Animals"--

"'I long doubted the truth of this story,' says Sir John Hawkins, 'but it was confirmed to me by Mr. P., attendant of the Duchess of V., a man of merit and probity, who played upon several instruments with the utmost excellence. He told me that being at -, he went up into the chamber to refresh himself till supper time; he had not played a quarter of an hour, when he saw several spiders descend from the ceiling, who came and ranged themselves about the table to hear him play; at which he was greatly surprised; but this did not interrupt him, being willing to see the end of so singular an occurrence. They remained on the table till somebody came to tell him supper was ready; when having ceased to play, he told me these insects mounted to their webs, to which he would suffer no injury to be done. It was a diversion with which he often entertained himself out of curiosity.'" Posted by Hello
from David Perry--

Raw Triplets from Titan

Santa head pen holder
is not alive
I have an idea

of the ochre frame
by a trellis fence &
olive, with the edge

then, and what
of settlers and Maoris
inside the pane forming

by which I perceive
Thursday, January 20
block print of a Mayan

the passing day
within the outside
on a bicycle, brass

random and not
as it usually is
organic goo, the methane

house with rust trim
of a backboard visible
the pane bisected

to hold it, cold
worm to the sun
light, I see

liquid and caught
one is moved
about life, until

data until dead
to tell us something
and too late, crossing

the clear goo, slow
a red truck cut
and giving the future

the perspective
and the instruments
don’t crowd me

seas and this is what
warps radically, its
of intersection: glass

senses working
wonderfully, sending
camel censer on a chain

wooden insurgent
window in mid-flow
gas for a present

today: all data
all this clear enough
burning up past

safe landing
7:35 a.m. – 8:21 a.m. KCMO
branches smear

raw triplets from Titan
valuable about our
nosing into the near

signifying nothing
one does and moves
when we’re not looking:

my eyes at the plain
solar system place
corner of a garage

by the trunk
be the same whatever
sure of our definition

with us in it, pure
the house behind it
too soon in the glass

Posted by Hello
It's Called Torture

"Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen with a wife and two young children, had his life flipped upside down in the fall of 2002 when John Ashcroft's Justice Department, acting at least in part on bad information supplied by the Canadian government, decided it would be a good idea to abduct Mr. Arar and ship him off to Syria, an outlaw nation that the Justice Department honchos well knew was addicted to torture.

Mr. Arar was not charged with anything, and yet he was deprived not only of his liberty, but of all legal and human rights. He was handed over in shackles to the Syrian government and, to no one's surprise, promptly brutalized. A year later he emerged, and still no charges were lodged against him. His torturers said they were unable to elicit any link between Mr. Arar and terrorism. He was sent back to Canada to face the torment of a life in ruins.

Mr. Arar's is the case we know about. How many other individuals have disappeared at the hands of the Bush administration? How many have been sent, like the victims of a lynch mob, to overseas torture centers? How many people are being held in the C.I.A.'s highly secret offshore prisons? Who are they and how are they being treated? Have any been wrongly accused? If so, what recourse do they have?

President Bush spent much of last week lecturing other nations about freedom, democracy and the rule of law. It was a breathtaking display of chutzpah. He seemed to me like a judge who starves his children and then sits on the bench to hear child abuse cases. In Brussels Mr. Bush said he planned to remind Russian President Vladimir Putin that democracies are based on, among other things, "the rule of law and the respect for human rights and human dignity."

Someone should tell that to Maher Arar and his family."

In a Village Voice review Francis Davis lazily manages to work both of the tiredest cliches about Captain Beefheart into one sentence, as well as implying that anyone that he "reached" must not have heard Howlin' Wolf and Ornette Coleman--

"Except for a few cuts from "Trout Mask Replica" Beefheart's primitivist dada never reached me, maybe because I'd already heard Howlin' Wolf and Ornette Coleman, and as inspired an idea as it was to conflate them, Beefheart never pulled it off."

That "few cuts from Trout Mask Replica" is an unconvincing bit of oneupmanship. Better "except for side two of the Spotlight Kid" or "except for the charming instrumental "A Carrot is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond", but I guess he couldn't be bothered to look anything up.

The records themselves seem quite interesting examples of contemporary jazz's recent trend of genteel rock interpretations.

The Horror, the Horror!

"AT ITS MOST AMBITIOUS, Lovecraft's supernatural horror aims to create in the reader a spiritual vertigo akin to that experienced by his racked protagonists. Could all history be, in fact, a sham, with the Earth's true masters hidden from us? Are we the playthings of a Great Race from beyond the solar system? Is our very identity uncertain and friable? Lovecraft answers yes to all these questions, even while recognizing that humankind cannot bear very much reality. Old Ones and crab-like fungi from Yuggoth may lurk in backwoods New England. Somewhere under the waves Great Cthulhu lies dreaming in his nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh, patiently waiting for the stars to come right again. There are doubtless things at the South Pole that don't belong there. Some unfortunate souls have even seen, to their dismay, the pit of the Shoggoths." Posted by Hello

complete Calvin and Hobbes!!! Posted by Hello

2005 Oscars 77th Academy Awards Coverage by Yahoo! Movies

"8:35 PM PT
All of Eastwood's ex-wives are watching the Oscars together at the Hollywood Bowl and cursing him right now. The orangutan from 'Every Which Way But Loose' is tending bar." Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

looking forward to cleansing my post-Oscar palate with the 1970 Foreign Language winner, Elio Petri's nasty little political thriller Investigation of a Citizen Under Suspicion ,with Gian Maria Volonte, Florinda Bolkan and one of Morricone's best scores, on the History Channel tonight Posted by Hello