Saturday, 19 February 2011

badische anilin und soda fabrik

BASF was founded in 1865 to produce coal tar dyes. Its first products were aniline dyes, whose success was enmeshed with that of the textile industry. In 1871 the red dye alizarin was synthesised. Other synthetic pigments followed… Production shifted away from colour stuffs to fertilisers in the early twentieth century, and in the 'stabilsation' years BASF merged with IG Farben as part of a rationalisation of the chemical industry. At this time production concentrated on synthetic rubber, fuels, operating agents and surface coatings, as well as advancing a sideline in recording technologies [notably magnetic tape for the Magnetophone recording device].

Synthetic Worlds / Esther Leslie / Reaktion / 2005

The interface between coal and steel is coal-tar. Imagine coal, down in the earth, dead black, no light… Growing older, blacker, deeper, in layers of perpetual night…
A thousand different molecules waited in the preterite dung. This is the sign of revealing. Of unfolding.This is one meaning of mauve, the first new colour on Earth, leaping to Earth's light from its grave miles and aeons below.

Pynchon / Gravity's Rainbow


…the rotten shimmer

Magnetic tape recording, which simulates the physical grooves of a phonograph record via continuous magnetically alterable particles, was first demonstrated by BASF/AEG in 1935 (Schoenherr), although this development did not reach the United States until the Allied forces captured Radio Luxembourg in 1944, discovering “a new Magnetophone of extraordinary capabilities” (Kittler, 1999:106).

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Philip Armstrong's text on waiting for tear gas / Allan Sekula

In photographing the Seattle demonstrations my working idea was to move with the flow of protest, from dawn to 3 a.m. if need be, taking in the lulls, the waiting and the margin of events. The rule of thumb for this sort of anti-journalism: no flash, no telephoto lens, no gas mask, no auto-focus, no press pass and no pressure to grab at all costs the one defining image of dramatic violence.

Later, working at the light-table, and reading the increasingly stereotypical descriptions of the new face of protest, I realized all the more that a simple descriptive physiognomy was warranted. The alliance on the streets was indeed stranger, more varied and inspired than could be conveyed by the cute alliterative play with “teamsters” and “turtles.

I hoped to describe the attitudes of people waiting, unarmed, sometimes deliberately naked in the winter chill, for the gas and the rubber bullets and the concussion grenades. There were moments of civic solemnity, of urban anxiety, and of carnival.

Again, something very simple is missed by descriptions of this as a movement founded in cyberspace: the human body asserts itself in the city streets against the abstraction of global capital. There was a strong feminist dimension to this testimony, and there was also a dimension grounded in the experience of work. It was the men and women who work on the docks, after all, who shut down the flow of metal boxes from Asia, relying on individual knowledge that there is always another body on the other side of the sea doing the same work, that all this global trade is more than a matter of a mouse-click.

One fleeting hallucination could not be photographed. As the blast of stun grenades reverberated amidst the downtown skyscrapers, someone with a boom box thoughtfully provided a musical accompaniment: Jimi Hendrix’s mock-hysterical rendition of the American national anthem. At that moment, Hendrix returned to the streets of Seattle, slyly caricaturing the pumped-up sovereignty of the world’s only superpower.

Sekula, Allan. “[white globe to black].” Five Days that Shook the World. Ed. Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair, and Allan Sekula. London: Verso, 2000.

asylon / horoi

198 methods of non violent action

198 methods of non violent action

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

portolan chart /lines of flight

i think this will be a print

probably drawn in genoa c. 1320-1350
showing a detailed survey of the coasts, and many ports, but bears no indication on the topography or toponymy of the inland

weißer Schimmel

A white horse is called a Schimmel in German, and hence a "white white-horse" is a redundancy.(There is no other Schimmel but a white one).

How is it to be done? The question is how. Not what
a being, a gesture, a thing is, but how it is what it is,
How its predicates relate to it.
And it to them.
Let it be. Leave the gap between the subject and its
predicates. The abyss of presence.
A man is not 'a man'. 'White horse' is not 'horse'.

How it is to be done? Tiqqun p19

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Triumph of the French People Over Monarchy, 1793

Jacques Louis David, Triumph of the French People Over Monarchy, 1793

Maarten van Heemskerck - Allegory of the World.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

reversibility / crossing / folding

We would perhaps find the answer in the tactile palpation where the questioner and questioned are closer, and of which, after all, the palpation of the eye is a remarkable variant. How does it happen that I give to my hands, in particular, that degree, that rate, and that direction of movement that are capable of making me feel the textures of the sleek and the rough? Between the exploration and what it will teach me, between my movements and what I touch, there must exist some relationship by principle, some kinship, according to which they are not only, like the pseudopods of the amoeba, vague and ephemeral deformations of the corporeal space, but the initiation to and opening upon a tactile world. This can happen only if my hand, while it is felt from within, is also accessible from without, itself tangible, for my other hand, for example, if it takes its place among the things it touches, is in a sense one of them, opens finally upon a tangible being of which it is also a part. Through this crisscrossing within it of the touching and the tangible, its own movements incorporate themselves into the universe they interrogate, are recorded on the same map as it; the two systems are applied upon one other, as the two halves of an orange. It is no different for the vision - except, it is said, that here the exploration and the information it gathers do not belong 'to the same sense." But this delimitation of the senses is crude. Already in the 'touch' we have found three distinct experiences which subtend one another, three dimensions which overlap but are distinct: a touching of the sleek and of the rough, a touching of the things - a passive sentiment of the body and of its space - and finally a veritable touching of the touch, when my right hand touches my left hand while it is palpating the things, where the 'touching subject' passes over to the rank of the touched, descends into the things, such that touch is formed in the midst of the world and as it were in the things.

Merleau-Ponty - The intertwining, the chiasm

reversibility - inside out / outside in / walter benjamin's reversed stocking / the intimate relation of the historical and metaphysical (umgekehrter Strumpf) (Gesammelte Schriften vol. I/3 918)

the rolled up stocking doughnut
the handkerchief mouse --- a torus rolled

…the rolled-up stocking, the kind children find in a laundry basket and like to play with. If one asks what is “in” it and unrolls the stocking to reveal its “contents,” there is--precisely--nothing.

The concept of origin (Ursprung), however, has little to do with genealogy or “progressive becoming” (8). It has more to do with “becoming and vanishing,” with springing forth, as the word suggests, out of a whirlpool composed of both processes. The interpretive game Jacobs plays, therefore, is both a language game and a game of transformation. Like the stocking, that “sign for Proust’s dream world,” interpretation takes place in some marginal territory between dream and waking, self and surroundings, sacred and profane, and--as we saw above--becoming and vanishing. As a figure for involuntary memory, the stocking promises what it cannot deliver: “access to a non-existent plenitude,

The rolled up stocking is both a sign and a content for itself and yet it has a third dimension. When rolled up it is a bag that appears to contain something. When children reach into it they find the bag empty. The game, which the children know only too well before hand, is to reveal this empty nature of the container. In repeatedly playing the game, the children's joy is not in finding a hidden or secret content, but in repeatedly transforming the container and the content into something else--the real stocking.[14] Mémoire involontaire in Proust is that empty sign which never tires of repeatedly voiding itself. Like the rolled up stocking it promises "plenitude," but delivers a mere empty sign. This countless playing of the empty sign, of an apparent fullness and subsequent nothingness, in Proust acquires "the structure of...dream world" of noncoincidence to which a third element is added--the image. From an empty sign and an empty content a third thing is produced--the image, the stocking itself. Where did it come from? It came from the process of emptying of the self as sign, as presence. Thus Benjamin remarks, "Proust could not get his fill of emptying the dummy, his self, at one stroke in order to keep garnering that third thing, the image which satisfied his curiosity," and in Proust's curiosity, if we recall what Benjamin tells us, "there was something of the detective. It is here that we can actually apprehend the real meaning of the "deeper resemblance" that prefigures noncoincidence of the dream world. The relationship between sign and meaning is that of similarity, resemblance (as in the case of the rolled up stocking as a sign for a bag or a container containing a "present" as meaning, which we know is as empty as the sign itself) and not a play of identity. The nonidentical world of dreams and Proust's mémoire involontaire share the children's penchant for reaching in the stocking endlessly for the production of the image. The structural or primordial relationship between the self and its image, between life and literature, is primarily an issue of resemblance, of similarity, which ought not to be confused with that of identity.

The Intertwining of Remembering

and Forgetting in Walter Benjamin

sextodecimo / 16mo

That is what Leibniz explains as an extraordinary piece of writing: a flexible or an elastic body still has cohering parts that form a fold, such as that they are not separated into parts of parts but are rather divided to infinity in smaller and smaller folds that always retain a certain cohesion. Thus a continuous labyrinth is not a line dissolving into independent points, as flowing sand might dissolve into grains, but resembles a sheet of paper divided into infinite folds or separated into bending movements, each one determined by the consistent or conspiring surroundings. "The division of the continuous must not be taken as of sand dividing into grains, but as that of a sheet of paper or of a tunic in folds, in such a way that an infinite number of folds can be produced, some smaller than others, but without the body ever dissolving into points or minima." A fold is always folded within a fold, like a cavern in a cavern. The unit of matter, the smallest element of the labyrinth, is the fold, not the point which is never a part, but a simple extremity of line. That is why parts of matter are masses or aggregates, as a correlative to elastic compressive force. Unfolding is thus not the contrary of folding, but follows the fold up to the following fold. Particles are 'turned into folds', that a 'contrary effort changes over and again.' Folds of winds, of waters, of fire and of earth, and the subterranean folds of veins of ore in a mine. In a system of complex interactions, the solid pleats of 'natural geography' refer to the effect first of fire, and then of waters and winds on the earth; and the veins of metal in mines resemble the curves of conical forms, sometimes ending in a circle or ellipse, sometimes stretching into a hyperbola or a parabola. The model for the sciences of matter is the 'origami' as the Japanese philosopher might say, or the art of folding paper.

Deleuze / Pleats of Matter / Leibniz & the Baroque

4 folds / 16 leaves / 32 pages

octavo / 8vo / verso /recto

3 folds / 8 leaves / 16 pages

crossings foldings holes

The Intertwining / the chiasm

'A figural situation denotes a gesture of framing, cutting-out, a distinction of an outline of a surface or a platform, a form within a form, a form around a form; therefore the figural dynamics contains a bilateral movement from a form to a plat-form and back from the platform to a form. Erich Auerbach, Figura

In his Physics, Aristotle defined the Topos as the inner surface of a thing which contains another moving thing. The figure occurs at the borderline between a moving thing and another thing through which the former passes.

[platfrom / l'aplat / field]

Adi Efal/ The two faces of the figure: plastic and philological 2010

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

broken letters


suffrage parade

Description: Inez Boissevain, wearing white cape, seated on white horse at the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., 1913.

Queen Elizabeth riding the chariot of Fame.
Sir William Teshe, 1570. BL Sloane MS 1832

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Das Weisse mit dem roten Punkt

The White with the Red Spot

"Allowing for chance
The sum of figures
Awaits the outcome
Like a mosaic broken up a long time ago
the years cast
their splinters on my shores. Only rarely a bigger piece.
So I had to collect. Carefully put them together,
bit by bit.
Thus was born, infinitely slowly, the intuition of the 'Image.'
I should not have started with this collection.
and that is my weakness, my failure,
an illusion I have always lived with."

Unica Zürn, Das Weisse mit dem roten Punkt Texte und Zeichnungen, under the direction of Inge Morgenroth, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin: Ullstein, 1988


Extract from
Hans Bellmer Postface to Hexentexte [here]
…What is at stake here is a totally new unity of form, meaning and feel¬ing: language-images that cannot simply be thought up or written up. They enter suddenly and for real into their interconnections, radiating multiple meanings, meandering loops lassoing neighboring sense and sound. They constitute new, multifacetted objects, resembling polyplanes made of mir¬rors. “Beil” (hatchet) becomes “Lieb’” (Love) and “Leib” (body), when the hurried stonehand glides over it; the wonder of it lifts us up and rides away with us on its broomstick.

denken danken

as if he were always translating

Marx suggests an altenate model: money is not like language but like translated language. 'Ideas which have first to be translated out of their mother tongue into a foreign [fremde] language in order to circulate, in order to become exchangeable, offer a somewhat better analogy. So the analogy lies not in language but in the foreign quality or strangeness [Fremdheit] of language.'

Marx 1973, 80