Wednesday, 26 June 2013

truce / sanctuary


what did you call it?
... fingers crossed

image transfer // network hygiene

The graphic photos were being swapped between the soldiers like baseball cards.

A spokesman said the military was filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve "network hygiene" and prevent any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Jane Lead //// the Woman cloathed with the Sun

Adrienne Rich describes feminist time — "We find ourselves at once in prehistory and in science fiction

irradiated Romanticism

I did see my own Spirit as a Fire-flash, running up and down: sometimes descending into a Sea most deep, then ascending up to the

Jane Lead// A fountain of gardens III

sealed objects /// Joanna Southcott's BOX

Radiograph, by Mr. Harry Price, of Joanna's box before opening. 1, the horse pistol; 2, bone dice-box; 3, steel bead double-ended fob purse, containing coins; 4, puzzle, composed of wires and bone rings; 5, 5a, silver clasps of a book; 6, a medallion; 7, one of a pair of gold inlaid tortoiseshell earrings; 8, frame enclosing miniature; 9, seal in box; 10, lock of casket; 11, 11a, hinges of casket; 12, 12a, 12c, steel bands encircling casket. Note hand-made nails, countersunk, holding casket together.

notes and queries

In the early part of the present century this spot had an additional renown. Within a few doors of the old inn, Joanna Southcott, of whom we have spoken in our notice of St. John's Wood, (fn. 1) set up a meeting-house for her deluded followers. Her disciple, Mr. Carpenter, covered the walls with strange pictures representing, as he said, visions he had received; "thousands of delusionists," observes a writer in the Dispatch, "visited the chapel, and prayed that old Joanna might speedily be delivered of the expected Shiloh. But though a silver cradle was subscribed for and presented, Nature refused to work a miracle, and no Shiloh came. After a time, Joanna and her friend Carpenter quarrelled. The old woman retired with another disciple, Mr. Tozer, to Duke Street, Lambeth, and there built another chapel, leaving Carpenter in possession of the Newington house. What he preached there we know not; but in fulness of time Joanna died, and then numbers awoke to the delusion, and wondered how they could have believed in the divine mission of the ignorant, quarrelsome old woman."

the panacea society
Various spurious boxes have been opened by Joanna's enemies, but the Real Box remains in safekeeping, till the time comes for it to be opened.

pissing at the moon

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Gell // art and agency

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions--European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian.

The fact that I have chosen to employ a single graphic symbol, an arrow, could be taken to imply that 'agency' has some quintessential, generic form, of which the various types of agency so far mentioned are species. This inference would be incorrect; the agency arrow implies no particular kind of agency, only the polarity of agent/patient relations. I set no limit whatsoever to the type of 'action' involved. Sometimes this action is psychological; for example, the 'action' of an index in impressing a spectator with its technical excellence, or arousing the spectator erotically; while at other times the action may be physical, as happens, for instance, if the index is a holy icon which cures the rheumatism of the one who kisses it, rather than merely looks at it. Conventional 'theories of art' are mostly predicated on one, or a limited selection, of 'kinds of agency'. Thus, aesthetic theories of art are predicated on the idea that artists are exclusively aesthetic agents, who produce works of art which manifest their aesthetic intentions, and that these intentions are communicated to the public which views their works in the light of approximately the same set of aesthetic intentions, vicariously entertained. In an ideal art world, such might indeed be the case, and nobody would have recourse to works of art with anything in mind except the garnering of aesthetic experiences, and certainly not in the hope of being cured of rheumatism. Semiologic or interpretative theories of art assume that works of art are vehicles of meaning (signs, symbols) which spectators have to decode on the basis of their familiarity with the semiological system used by the artist to encode the meanings they contain. I do not deny that works of art are sometimes intended and received as objects of aesthetic appreciation, and that it is sometimes the case that works of art function serniotically, but I specifically reject the notion that they always do.

The kind of agency exercised in the vicinity of works of art varies considerably, depending on a number of contextual factors. In gross terms, it may be supposed that whatever type of action a person may perform vis-U+00EO-vis another person, may be performed also by a work of art, in the realms of the imagination if not in reality -- not that we are always in a position to decide what is 'real' and what is not. The anthropology of art, to reiterate, is just anthropology itself, except that it deals with those situations in which there is an 'index of agency' which is normally some kind of artefact.

Gell's main concepts are agency, index, prototype, artist and recipients. Agency is mediated by indexes, that is material objects which motivate responses, inferences or interpretations. Indexes can stand in a variety of relations with their prototypes, artists and recipients. Prototypes are the objects or persons that indexes represent or stand for, mimetically or non-mimetically, visually or non-visually. Recipients are those who are (or are intended to be) affected by the indexes. Artists are those persons considered to be the immediate cause or author of the existence and properties of the index.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

WB // Commentaries on Poems by Brecht

The War Primer is written in 'lapidary' style. The word comes from the Latin lapis, 'stone', and describes the style which was developed for Roman inscriptions. Its most important characteristic was brevity. This was conditioned, first, by the effort required to chisel the words in stone; second, by the realization that for one who speaks to a succession of generations it is seemly to be brief.
If stone - the natural condition of lapidary style - is no longer the material of these poems, what has taken its place? What justifies their inscription style? One of them hints at an answer. It reads:

On the wall was chalked;
They want war.
The man who wrote it
Has already fallen.

The first line of this poem could be placed at the head of each of the War Primer poems. These inscriptions are not, like those of the Romans, intended for stone but, like those of underground fighters, for fences.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

I have made a heap of all that I could find


To put one thing against another. Metcalf (Lillabulero interview) regarding “looking for the personal in the handling of the material, the way the material itself is handled”:
Isn’t this all modern painting? I mean, I’ve learned a lot from the modern painters. I remember a show I saw years ago in Asheville, North Carolina, by Josef Albers. And the things that he was doing, simply by putting this color next to that color, he was a man who did that as well as anybody, as you well know. In looking at those pictures, I got a sense of tremendous overpowering emotion that went on, that made him put that special relation of colors and designs together. And if this comes through in my writing, that’s what I’m aiming for, for the reader to get the thrill that comes to me from the juxtaposition of these materials . . . And this has been carried now, beyond Albers . . . I’m thinking particularly of Robert Rauschenberg, where the election, the choosing of materials for juxtaposition, is not just colors but solid images . . . He not only chooses, but there is a subtle pattern to his choices, that gives a structure to his work, to the body of it, as a whole. So you have a double excitement: first, the individual painting, and then its place in relation to the rest of his work.
(See William Corbett’s piece on Metcalf that begins with Nennius’s “I have made a heap of all that I could find” and ends with Arthur Dove: “There is an Arthur Dove collage in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts that puts me in mind of Metcalf. Mussel shells are nailed in a row below a hill of sand and pebbles, and on the hill a touring car clipped from a magazine advertisement carries the family on what must be a Sunday drive. This scene is seen through tree branches set in rows.” Metcalf reviewed Michel Butor’s fragmentary, factual, quote-filled—signs, slogans, newspapers, catalog detritus along with Jefferson, Franklin, William Penn, Louis Sullivan, &c.—1963 Mobile, A Study for a Representation of the United States for Corbett’s magazine Fire Exit.)

rainbow tables

Saturday, 8 June 2013



: an impressive facade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition


Grigori Potëmkin, who supposedly built impressive fake villages along a route Catherine the Great was to travel
First Known Use: 1937

coming apart at the seams

Boris Groys ///Art Workers: Between Utopia and the Archive

However, the internet has become not a place for the realization of postmodern utopias, but their graveyard—as the museum became a graveyard for modern utopias. Indeed, the most important aspect of the internet is that it fundamentally changes the relationship between original and copy, as described by Benjamin—and thus makes the anonymous process of reproduction calculable and personalized. On the internet, every free-floating signifier has an address. The deterritorializing data flows become reterritorialized.

Google data servers
Walter Benjamin famously distinguished between the original, which is defined through its “here and now,” and the copy, which is siteless, topologically indeterminable, lacking a “here and now.” Contemporary digital reproduction is by no means siteless, its circulation is not topologically undetermined, and it does not present itself in the form of a multiplicity as Benjamin described it. Every data file’s address on the internet accords it a place. The same data file with a different address is a different data file. Here the aura of originality is not lost, but instead substituted by a different aura. On the internet, the circulation of digital data produces not copies, but new originals. And this circulation is perfectly traceable. Individual pieces of data are never deterritorialized. Moreover, every internet image or text has not only its specific unique place, but also its unique time of appearance. The internet registers every moment when a certain piece of data is clicked, liked, un-liked, transferred, or transformed. Accordingly, a digital image cannot be merely copied (as an analogue, mechanically reproducible image can) but always only newly staged or performed. And every performance of a data file is dated and archived.

Boris Groys ///Art Workers: Between Utopia and the Archive

Friday, 7 June 2013

History of the Commune

13 April - The Manifesto of the Federation of Artists proposes that Art should be run by artists, free of commercial considerations, and promises without exception to preserve the treasures of the past, to illuminate the work of the present and to educate for the future. Plans for a program of exhibitions and a journal are established and teaching reforms instituted.

Barricades de la Commune, avril 71. Coin de la place Hotel de Ville & de la rue de Rivoli.

The Socialist Object

.. the light from the East is in the new relation to the person, to woman, to things. Our things in  our hands must be equals, comrades, and not those black and mournful slaves, as they are here..

Rodchenko in Paris

The production should bring out the material of the action quite soberly and objectively.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

transactional information

The information is classed as "metadata", or transactional information, rather than communications, and so does not require individual warrants to access.

guardian article

Tuesday, 4 June 2013



  1. Not operating on a refined or elevated level; mundane.
  2. Relating to technical work.

The Endless Crisis as an Instrument of Power: In conversation with Giorgio Agamben

The Endless Crisis as an Instrument of Power: In conversation with Giorgio Agamben

One day humanity will play with law just as children play with disused objects, not in order to restore them to their canonical use but to free them from it for good…. This liberation is the task of study, or of play. And this studious play is the passage that allows us to arrive at that justice that one of Benjamin’s posthumous fragments defines as a state of the world in which the world appears as a good that absolutely cannot be appropriated or made juridical.


We have a new attorney, Dr. Bucephalus. Little in his external appearance reminds one of the time when he was still Alexander of Macedon's battle steed. But those who are familiar with the circumstances notice certain things. Indeed, I recently saw, on the outside staircase, even a quite simple court employee admire the attorney with the professional look of a modest regular of the races as, lifting his thighs high, he went up from step to step, his footfalls ringing out on the marble.

In general the bar approves of the admission of Bucephalus. With amazing understanding they tell themselves that Bucephalus is in a difficult position in today's social order and that therefore, as well as because of his world-historical significance, he deserves some accommodation anyway. Today -- no one can deny it -- there is no great Alexander. Yes, many people try to murder; also there is no lack of people with the skill to strike their friend over the banquet table with a spear; and many find Macedonia too cramped, so that they curse Philip, the father -- but no one, no one can lead to India. Even back then, the gates to India were unreachable, but the king's sword showed the way. Today the gates are elsewhere entirely and further and higher; no one shows the way; many have swords, but only to wave them about; and the gaze that wants to follow them gets tangled up.

So maybe it's really best, as Bucephalus has done, to sink into law books. Free, his sides unvexed by the loins of the rider, by a quiet lamp, far from the racket of Alexander's battles, he reads and turns the pages of our old books.

Non-Aristotelian Concepts of Place, and Space

 Nicole Oresme


intensity and extensity

Saturday, 1 June 2013


University of Muri

Amtliches Lehrgedicht der philosophischen Fakulät der Haupt-und-Staats-Universität Muri.


Children are particularly fond of haunting any site where things are being visibly worked on... "They are irresistibly drawn by the detritus generated by building, gardening, housework, tailoring, or carpentry" (One Way Street 449-50

When the urge to play overcomes an adult, this is not simply a regression to childhood. To be sure, play is always liberating. Surrounded by a world of giants, children use play to create a world appropriate to their size. But the adult, who finds himself threatened by the real world and can find no escape, removes its sting by playing with its image in reduced form. The desire to make light of an unbearable life has been a major factor in the growing interest in children’s games and children’s books since the end of the war.” (Benjamin “Old Toys” 100)

derby day

 Anmer goes down in racing history not for winning anything special (he succeeded in just one small contest at Newmarket) but for being brought down by the suffragette Emily Davison in the 1913 Derby. She later died of her injuries. The jockey Herbert Jones was concussed but recovered; Anmer survived to be placed a few times and was never heard of again, and the first past the post, Craiganour, was disqualified. The eventual winner, Aboyeur, was later lost in the Russian revolution.

The National Horseracing Museum has a racing plate worn by Anmer during his tragic Derby run. It is now thought that Emily Davison did not intend to sacrifice her life, since she had a return train ticket in her pocket. Others consider that Craiganour's disqualification was politically motivated, since his owner was Charles Ismay, son of the owner of the Titanic.

Aboyeur was the winner of the sensational Derby of 1913, in which the first past the post Craganour was disqualified and the King's runner, Anmer, was brought down at Tattenham Corner by a suffragette. Aboyeur, winner of just one of his juvenile starts, was a 100/1 outsider for the Derby. He was a queer tempered customer to train, galloping loose on the downs on more than one occasion. His maternal grandsire Morion had been an absolute savage.

Aboyeur never won again after the Derby and was sold to Russia, where he disappeared during the Revolution.