Sunday, 29 January 2012

male / male

(manuscript note at the top of the final proofs of Prisoner of Love)

Put all the images in language in a place of
safety and make use of them, for they are in the
desert, and it’s in the desert we must go
and look for them.

Jean Genet

The penal colony is fixed in the middle of a desert: a desert of stones rather than sand: an immense plain, burned by the sun. No plants grow. The camera must photograph these stones with precision, showing their glittering surfaces which contain mica. The penal colony needs to be shown as existing at the centre of an aridity that is perfect, mineral and crystallized… Time there is always the same. It never rains. Unless I decide to mention them, there are never storms. And no animals, except for flies: at certain moments, they form thick excessive black clouds.

Saturday, 28 January 2012




28.01.12 > 12.02.12



Dear –––––––––––––––

We hope you are well.

We are thinking about St. Jerome. We are addressing him as a thought-image, a figure in pictures that allows us to pose our thoughts, a figure that can allow the framework of some ideas, an excuse for an articulation. A figure as a fly-trap, perhaps, a sticky surface of contiguity more than a substantial body. More than religious history and the recent revival of certain saints as figures of materialist militancy, we are interested in the places in which he is pictured and how these locations operate together; the possible movements between them. We are thinking about how Jerome oscillates between spaces of connection and disconnection, how he poses a dual practice of wandering as desertion and studied contemplation as transformation.

He is often pictured in a study at a desk, occupying the place of connection. Here he disseminates the biblical word into different languages, making it available to more general use. Here he is at work, ensuring the flow of knowledge. He is a multilingual historian who produces chronicles and hagiographies; a father of provenance and patrimony who translates the bible into the vulgate, pushing its dissemination further and further afield. He is also an ascetic anchorite who exiles himself to the Syrian desert, beating himself with a rock to assuage his erotic visions.

In this guise he is pictured in the wilderness: the desert where he would turn away from the world. Here he meets and befriends the lion that becomes one of his most pictured emblems. This desert of the early Christians is lousy with hermits, heaped upon pillars and dressed in filthy rags as a matter of disciplining attention. This desert is uncertain ground, shifting its contour, neither concrete nor stable. It swallows idols, abrades boundaries, and clogs airways. It chokes and parches. The sand shifts, defying the red pen of nation state cartographers, closing over the lines, flowing back into itself, indivisible by nature.

To think of the desert is to think of a double valence. We turn to Retort's invocation of Tacitus: 'They make a desert and call it peace'... States are deeply war machines, and the peace they make is the peace of pacification. Always they are in search of better ways of making a desert. Such a desert is a place without life, a permanent peace as permanent war as total pacification. This desert is growing. This is a desert created by bombs, but also by social relations, by the organisation of time and space to manage possible forms-of-life. The tanks keep rolling into the desert, at home and abroad, the war machines are ever present as steel and as the iron-gripped management of appearance, the meticulous control of the public sphere. This is a desert of imagination, a desert of sense, an austere desert of possiblities. The desert here is also the wilderness of utopian deferral, the cold impossibility of acting upon the here and now whilst holding out for a better future. In the face of this deferral we re-encounter the motto No Future for Us. These bleak words remind us of the necessary desire to work on matters in the present tense.

Why no demands? Here refusal is the refusal of the demand and of the assignable position. Better to have five hundred mice run into the room and cause havoc than one giant lion that they know very well how to shoot; this is something we learn from Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames. The lion that Jerome befriends in the desert may have to be exchanged for that swarm constituting Legion, a constellation of margins rather than a united front. An identity that brings the swarming of becoming into a unity might need to be forestalled, a disaster of reconciliation to be averted. The desert of desertion here can be thought of as a series of swerves and gaps: the practice of enacting, thinking, overcoming and operating in and around division. Desertion means making the gap evident rather than seeking to close the void. We hear again and again the claim; we are the crisis. The gap of antagonism is claimed, occupied and made to become.

We are sure you are also aware about some other modes of occupation, from the occupied institutions of Greece, California and the U.K. (including finance offices and universities) to the widespread occupations of streets, public spaces and financial sectors including Occupy Wall Street and beyond. Here occupation takes on the notion of occupying public ground - perhaps attempting to re-establish the commons that have been enclosed and privatised. We observe that we need to, in the words of McKenzie Wark, learn how to occupy a space but we must also learn how to occupy an abstraction: to disrupt those vectors that have come to dominate and constitute public life. From the occupations already underway we learn more on how to occupy, how to not demand, how to explore and conduct experiments with the possible space and time of our lives in relation to buildings, institutions and vectors, sometimes through the act of formulating being itself as a territory. The correct term becomes density rather than space. The question is not to possess the territory but to be the territory: a density of communes, circulation and solidarity: the construction of a world out of the desert of current social relations. Occupy everything as occupy yourself. Occupy emergence, then.

Practising a desertion of classical political rhetoric, the call Occupy Everything, Demand Nothing is a call to make the density of world appear, a call for a density that chokes the flows necessary to the functioning of capital. To move towards immobilisation. To think of blockades, of the symbolic as well as material form of the barricade, to think of the way of immobilising, re-routing or re-using the logistical structures that service the bounty we call desert. We can then wonder aloud about the different occupations we might enact, the different functions we could operate within as we sit at our desks, the different ways to examine the entry and exits points of knowledge, exposition and appearance. Here we could dream about the different surfaces that would subsequently become accessible to inscription. Here we wonder about how we can occupy ourselves otherwise.

Beauty is in the streets, certainly.

But beauty is in the study as well. If only the labour within it doesn't fixate, if only the disseminated words don't become dogma. Beauty is also in the desert as long as we can find the densities of solidarity, the bonds of a necessary collectivity.

How can we meet again?

Yours sincerely,


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The limmes of these great Triumphall bodies [lately disjointed and taken in sunder]

The Print in Stuart Britain 1603 -89 / Griffiths / British Museum

Triumphal Arches 1604 Stephen Harrison

Dekker The Magnificent Entertainment 1604


Garden of Plenty

The New World

Temporary architectures erected for ceremonial events

‘an entry’ into the city

7 plates show 7 arches erected along the route of James 1 procession which passed beneath each of them. Orations and songs performed as they passed.

40 > 70 feet across, wood construction

Parry The Golden Age restored/ 1981

The limmes of these great Triumphall bodies [lately disjointed and taken in sunder] I have thou seest [for thy sake] set in their apt and right places again. So that now they are to stand a s perpetuall monuments, not to be shaken in pieces, or to be broken downe, by the malice of that envious destroyer of all things, Time..

London pageants:

I. Accounts of sixty royal processions and entertainments in the city of London; chiefly extracted from contemporary writers : II. A bibliographical list of Lord mayors' pageants

The last Arch at Temple Bar represented a Temple of Janus. The principal character was Peace, having War groveling at her feet; by her stood Wealth; below sat the four handmaids of Peace, Quiet treading on Tumult; Liberty treading on Servitude; Safety on Danger; and Felicity on Unhappiness.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Presence is only presence at a distance, and this distance is absolute--that is, irreducible; that is, infinite. (Blanchot, Friendship, 218)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

protocols of escape

In computing and telecommunication, an escape character is a character which invokes an alternative interpretation on subsequent characters in a character sequence. An escape character is a particular case of metacharacters. The ASCII "escape" character (octal: \033, or ^[, or, in decimal, 27) is used in many output devices to start a series of characters called a control sequence or escape sequence.

Vincenzo Curcio (born c. 1960), a member of the Sicilian Mafia, is famous for escaping from his Turin prison cell by sawing through the bars of his cell with dental floss on March 17, 2000.[1

Curcio was convicted of one murder and arranging seven others. The jail had been built in the 1970s and was designed to withstand outside attacks rather than breakouts, and as such the bars were made of iron low in carbon which were ductile but easy to saw through. Curcio tied bedsheets together and climbed down to the ground, scaling the outer fence to gain his freedom.[2]

On July 11, 2000, Curcio was captured in Pancalieri, in the Province of Turin.[3]

the desert is growing

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

assorted meteorites

Any element which bends space around itself, makes other
elements dependent upon itself and translate their will
into the language of its own. ....

tektite - meteorite silica glass
campo del cielo / iron

Saturday, 14 January 2012

pearl diving

Pearls, too, were one of Tesla's phobias. If a woman guest at a dinner party to which he was invited wore pearls, he was unable to eat. Smooth round surfaces, in general, were an abomination to him; it had even taken him a long time to learn to tolerate billiard balls.


Kissy Suzuki is a fictional character introduced in Ian Fleming's 1964 James Bond novel, You Only Live Twice.

Ama // Sea Woman // female pearl diver – 

famous hokusai shunga tako to ama - seduction of the pearl diver

partes extra partes

Friday, 13 January 2012

melencolia / durer's solid

When thinking suddenly stops in a configuration pregnant with tensions, it gives that configuration a shock, by which it crystallizes into a monad. A historical materialist approaches an historical subject only when he encounters it as a monad.


abrasives/ wet n dry

Monday, 2 January 2012


1. a sudden or unpredictable change of attitude, behaviour, etc; whim
2. a tendency to such changes

a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one's mind or the weather.
a tendency to change one's mind without apparent or adequate motive; whimsicality; capriciousness: With the caprice of a despotic king, he alternated between kindness and cruelty.
Music . capriccio ( def. 1 ) .
1660–70; < French < Italian; see capriccio

1. vagary, notion, whim, fancy.

Indemnity and Oblivion Act

Eikonoklaste, Eikon Basiliki and Idolatry

It is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to say that the English Civil War was fought over the issue of images, and not just the question of statues and other material symbols in religious ritual but less tangible matters such as the 'idol' of monarchy and, beyond that, "the idols of the mind" that Reformation thinkers sought to purge in themselves and others.
Mitchell/ Iconology/ 7

AlJazeera The Image War

War images / Iraq

Christopher Hill Milton & the English Revolution

non sine oleum iris

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sua cuique persona

26. Sua cuique persona (Latin, “to each his own mask”)
This phrase is associated with a painting variously called The Veiled Woman and The Nun, dating from around 1510 and today attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio.
This unusual portrait includes a painting designed to cover it;
a false panel painted with grotesque reliefs including a flesh- colored mask with tight lips and black, empty eye-holes. An inscription reads Sua cuique persona.
The painting calls into question the nature of the false identities we create in our social environments, and in portraits specifically.

Tiqqun / Theory of Bloom II/ appendix

Entre nous

The secrets of Polichinelle are "stage whispers" told to all the audience.

SP the secret known to all.


oh brave new world