Friday, 19 December 2014

Pascal's abyss // la peur des espaces

Shortly after his coach was nearly thrown into the Seine while crossing the Neuilly-Sur-Seine bridge in 1654, the French philosopher Blaise Pascal became convinced that an abyss had formed on his left-hand side.

Le Gouffre

Pascal avait son gouffre, avec lui se mouvant.
— Hélas! tout est abîme, — action, désir, rêve,
Parole! Et sur mon poil qui tout droit se relève
Mainte fois de la Peur je sens passer le vent.

En haut, en bas, partout, la profondeur, la grève,
Le silence, l'espace affreux et captivant...
Sur le fond de mes nuits Dieu de son doigt savant
Dessine un cauchemar multiforme et sans trêve.

J'ai peur du sommeil comme on a peur d'un grand trou,
Tout plein de vague horreur, menant on ne sait où;
Je ne vois qu'infini par toutes les fenêtres,

Et mon esprit, toujours du vertige hanté,
Jalouse du néant l'insensibilité.
— Ah! ne jamais sortir des Nombres et des Êtres!
Charles Baudelaire

Thursday, 18 December 2014


the reticular fallacy

The many qualities of rhizomatic systems should be understood not as the pure and innocent laws of a newer and more just society, but as the basic tendencies and conventional rules of protocological control.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


With the first, I'm paraphrasing Nicholas Mirzoeff in saying that post- should not be understood as "the successor to," but as "the crisis of."

**I am ridiculous.

But, whether he had not noticed the trick, or did not dare to attempt it, the "new fellow," was still holding his cap on his knees even after prayers were over. It was one of those head-gears of composite order, in which we can find traces of the bearskin, shako, billycock hat, sealskin cap, and cotton night-cap; one of those poor things, in fine, whose dumb ugliness has depths of expression, like an imbecile's face. Oval, stiffened with whalebone, it began with three round knobs; then came in succession lozenges of velvet and rabbit-skin separated by a red band; after that a sort of bag that ended in a cardboard polygon covered with complicated braiding, from which hung, at the end of a long thin cord, small twisted gold threads in the manner of a tassel. The cap was new; its peak shone.

Hardwick on Holiday

She was fat the first time we saw her, large, brilliantly beautiful, fat. She seemed for this moment that never again returned to be almost a matron, someone real and sensible who carried money to the bank, signed papers, had curtains made to match, dresses hung and shoes in pairs, gold and silver, black and white, ready. What a strange, betraying apparition that was, madness, because never was any woman less a wife or mother, less attached; not even a daughter could she easily appear to be. Little called to mind the pitiful sweetness of a young girl. No, she was glittering, somber, and solitary, although of course never alone, never. Stately, sinister, and absolutely determined.

The creamy lips, the oily eyelids, the violent perfume—and in her voice the tropical l’s and r’s. Her presence, her singing created a large, swelling anxiety. Long red fingernails and the sound of electrified guitars. Here was a woman who had never been a Christian.

To speak as part of the white audience of “knowing” this baroque and puzzling phantom is an immoderation; and yet there are many persons, discrete and reasonable, who have little splinters of memory that seem to have been personal. At times they have remembered an exchange of some sort. And always the lascivious gardenia, worn like a large, white, beautiful ear, the heavy laugh, marvelous teeth, and the splendid archaic head, dragged up from the Aegean. Sometimes she dyed her hair red and the curls lay flat against her skull, like dried blood.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Kant says, in a text of the Critique of Pure Reason: "if cinnabar was sometimes red, sometimes red and sometimes black, sometimes heavy and sometimes light... I would never have the opportunity to associate - i.e. my imagination would never have the occasion to associate - the heavy cinnabar with the colour red..."

"If cinnabar were sometimes red, sometimes black, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, if a man changes int this and sometimes into that animal form, if the country on the longest day were sometimes covered in fruit, sometimes with ice and snow, my empirical imagination would never find opportunity when representing red color to bring to mind heavy cinnabar."

If I aim at the being of some redness, the texture of denim, and some cut or pattern in
the form of an hourglass, I can imagine three arrows carrying the being of redness, the being of denim, and the being of the form of an hourglass towards a fourth arrow: a dress which is red, denim, and in the form of an hourglass. And yet the dress is not predicated on anything, while the redness, denim, or form of an hourglass are predicated on the dress. The dress directs the circulation of being into itself, into its self. At the end of its flight, the arrow of the dress aims at nothing other than itself.

Tristan Garcia // Form and Object: A treatise on things 

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Verde que te quiero verde. 

More green, more black:
Somnambule Ballad
Federico Garcia Lorca
Green, how much I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship upon the sea
and the horse in the mountain.
With the shadow on her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, hair of green,
and eyes of cold silver.
Green, how much I want you green.
Beneath the gypsy moon,
all things look at her
but she cannot see them.
Green, how much I want you green.
Great stars of white frost
come with the fish of darkness
that opens the road of dawn.
the fig tree rubs the wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the mountain, a filching cat,
bristles its bitter aloes.
But who will come? and from where?
She lingers on her balcony,
green flesh, hair of green,
dreaming of the bitter sea.
—Friend, I want to change
my horse for your house,
my saddle for your mirror,
my knife for your blanket,
Friend, I come bleeding,
from the passes of Cabra.
—If I could, young man,
this pact would be sealed.
But I am no more I,
nor is my house now my house.
—Friend, I want to die
decently in my bed,
Of iron, if it be possible,
with sheets of fine holland.
Do you not see the wound I have
from my breast to my throat?
—Your white shirt bears
three hundred dark roses.
Your pungent blood oozes
around your sash.
But I am no more I,
nor is my house now my house.
—Let me climb at least
up to the high balustrade:
let me come! Let me come!
up to the green balustrades.
Balustrades of the moon
where the water resounds.
Now the two friends go up
towards the high balustrades.
Leaving a trail of blood,
leaving a trail of tears,
Small lanterns of tin
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
were piercing the dawn.
Green, how much I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends went up.
The long wind was leaving
in the mouth a strange taste
of gall, mint and sweet-basil.
Friend! Where is she, tell me,
where is your bitter girl?
How often she waited for you!
How often did she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the face of the cistern
the gypsy girl swayed.
Green flesh, hair of green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of the moon
suspends her above the water.
The night became as intimate
as a little square.
Drunken civil guards
were knocking at the door.
Green, how much I want you green,
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship upon the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.
Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili
Romance Sonambulo
Federico García Lorca, 1898 - 1936
(skip to the original poem in Spanish)
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.
Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.
--My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.
My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.
--If it were possible, my boy,
I’d help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that’s possible,
with blankets of fine chambray.
Don’t you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?
--Your white shirt has grown
thirsty dark brown roses.
Your blood oozes and flees a
round the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
--Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.
Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.
Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she--tell me--
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken “Guardias Civiles”
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.

Sunday, 7 December 2014


noun: prehension
  1. 1.
    the action of grasping or seizing.
  2. 2.
    an interaction of a subject with an event or entity which involves perception but not necessarily cognition.
early 19th century: from Latin prehensio(n- ), from prehendere ‘to grasp’.

In biology, epigenesis is the process by which plants, animals and fungi develop from a seed, spore or egg through a sequence of steps in which cells differentiate and organs form.

Friday, 5 December 2014

a cloudburst of material possessions

Recto: from the clouds descends a rain of material possessions, which lie about on the earth below. On the clouds, to the left, something that could be a lion advances in profile to the right. Verso: six lines of household expenses and the fragment of a seventh, not by Leonardo.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

shallow time // moving stones

I should now like to prove the irreversibility of eternity by using a jejune experiment for proving entropy. Picture in your mind's eye the sand box divided in half with black sand on one side and white sand on the other. We take a child and have him run hundreds of times clockwise in the box until the sand gets mixed and begins to turn grey; after that we have him run anti-clockwise, but the result will not be a restoration of the original division but a greater degree of greyness and an increase of entropy.
Of course, if we filmed such an experiment we could prove the reversibility of eternity by showing the film backwards, but then sooner or later the film itself would crumble or get lost and enter the state of irreversibility. Somehow this suggests that the cinema offers an illusive or temporary escape from physical dissolution. The false immortality of the film gives the viewer an illusion of control over eternity but "the superstars" are fading. 

The earliest abstract decoration in the world is really big news

Sunday, 30 November 2014


in mineralogy, a pseudomorph is a mineral or mineral compound that appears in an atypical form (crystal system), resulting from a substitution process in which the appearance and dimensions remain constant, but the original mineral is replaced by another.

A false, deceptive, or irregular form


 He who from the top of AEtna casts his eyes leisurely around, is affected chiefly by the extent and diversity of the scene. Only by a rapid whirling on his heel could he hope to comprehend the panorama in the sublimity of its oneness. But as, on the summit of AEtna, no man has thought of whirling on his heel, so no man has ever taken into his brain the full uniqueness of the prospect; and so, again, whatever considerations lie involved in this uniqueness, have as yet no practical existence for mankind.

A viewshed is an area of land, water, or other environmental element that is visible to the human eye from a fixed vantage point. The term is used widely in such areas as urban planning, archaeology, and military science. In urban planning, for example, viewsheds tend to be areas of particular scenic or historic value that are deemed worthy of preservation against development or other change. Viewsheds are often spaces that are readily visible from public areas such as from public roadways, public parks or high-rise buildings. The preservation of viewsheds is frequently a goal in the designation of open space areas, green belts, and community separators.

In digital imaging, a viewshed may be a binary raster indicating the visibility of a viewpoint for or from an area of interest. A pixel with a value of unity indicates that the viewpoint is visible from that pixel, while a value of zero indicates that the viewpoint is not visible from the pixel. In certain disciplines, such as radio communications, 'visibility' may be probabilistic, therefore viewshed may be represented with non-integer values.
In radio, a viewshed is the area where a specific combination of transmitter, antenna, and terrain allow reception of signal.


Avebury// googleearth

online / offline

They are states or conditions of a "device or equipment" or of a "functional unit". To be considered online, one of the following must apply to a device:
  • Under the direct control of another device
  • Under the direct control of the system with which it is associated
  • Available for immediate use on demand by the system without human intervention
In contrast, a device that is offline meets none of these criteria (e.g., its main power source is disconnected or turned off, or it is off-power).

Saturday, 29 November 2014

avebury 3D

"The significance of this practice is to reconnect the power of the site by tuning with its resonant frequencies though sound and consciousness in order to realign the Earth/Human/Cosmic synergy at that point. This helps to re-establish that connection by updating the site with the most current form of information exchange relevant to that point in time."


Children of the Stones

Children of the Stones is a television drama for children produced by HTV in 1976 and broadcast on the United Kingdom's ITV network in January and February 1977.

I've dug holes in water for fish

Thursday, 27 November 2014


The Medieval Cosmos – Visualising Grosseteste’s Universe

avebury // stukeley

 Burning the heretic

Just before I visited this place... the inhabitants were fallen into the custom of demolishing the stones, chiefly out of covetousness of the little area of ground, each stood on. First they dug great pits in the earth, and buried them. The expence of digging the grave, was more than 30 years purchase of the spot they possessed, when standing. After this, they found out the kanck of burning them, which has made most miserable havock of this famous temple. One Tom Robinson the Herostratus of Abury,* is particularly eminent for this kind of execution, and he very much glories in it. The method is, to dig a pit by the side of the stone, till it falls down, then to burn many loads of straw under it. They draw lines of water along it when heated, and then with smart strokes of a great sledge hammer, its prodigious bulk is divided into many lesser parts. But this Atto de fe** commonly costs thirty shillings in fire and labour, sometimes twice as much. They own too 'tis excessive hard work, for these stones are often 18 foot long, 13 broad, and 6 thick, that their weight crushes the stones in pieces, which they lay under them to make them lie hollow for burning, and for this purpose they raise them with timbers of 20 foot long, and more, by the help of twenty men, but often the timbers were rent to pieces.
Stukeley goes on to write that a single stone could provide enough pieces to build an ordinary house, but that because of the nature of the stone, such a house "is always moist and dewy in winter, which proves damp and unwholsome, and rots the furniture. The custom of thus destroying them is so late, that I could easily trace the obit of every stone; who did it, for what purpose, and when, and by what method, what house or wall was built out of it, and the like."

*The term "auto da fe" (or auto de fe) means "act of faith" and refers to the Spanish Inquisition's ritual of judging and condemning heretics. The ceremony has generally been thought to include executions by burning at the stake (which is no doubt what Stukeley is alluding to), though some sources claim that the actual executions were held separately.
**Herostratus sought to make a name for himself by setting fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (Turkey) in 356 BC. He boasted proudly of his act, so the authorities not only executed him but decreed that his name should never be spoken again, on penalty of death. Obviously it didn't work, and the name "Herostratus" subsquently became associated with the idea of seeking glory through acts of destruction or violence.

 Our Lady of Fatima

The Three Secrets

The Sun Miracle

Near the entrance to the sanctuary by the rectory is a Berlin Wall Monument, containing a 5,732-pound chunk of the wall donated by a Portuguese emigrant to Germany after it fell in 1989. He offered it as a memorial of God's intervention in bringing down Communism, as promised at Fatima.

10. Berlin Wall

At the entrance of the Sanctuary, on the south side of the Rectory, one may visit a monument of the Berlin Wall's, consisting of a concrete segment that was part of it. (The Walls construction started during the night between the 12th. and 13th. of August, 1961 and its demolition began the 9th. of November, 1989) This segment was offered by means of Virgilio Casimiro Ferreira, a Portuguese emigrant to Germany and is here placed as a grateful memorial of God's intervention for the fall of Communism as promised at Fatima. The segment weighs 2,600 kilos (5,732 lbs.) and measures 3.60 meters (11 ft. 9 in.) high by 1.20 meters (3 ft. in.) wide. The present monument was designed by the architect J. Carlos Loureiro and was inaugurated on the 13th. of August, 1994.

Claudio Colaguori in Agon Culture: Competition, Conflict and the Problem of Domination. For Colaguori, "the agon is literally the arena of competition, the scene of contest, and the locus of adversarial conflict. The philosophy of agonism affirms the idea that transcendence, truth, and growth are generated from the outcome of the contest...the concept of agonism is often understood in an affirmative sense as the generative principle of economy, society and even natural ecology and personal growth... The ambivalent character of agonism is that it is often seen as a mode of transcendence, while its instrumental relation to the mode of destruction is rarely acknowledged".

Friday, 21 November 2014


Proving that some market somewhere will find a value for anything, a company called Orbital Insight is now tracking "the shadows cast by half-finished Chinese buildings" as a possible indicator for where the country's economy might be headed.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

John Donne’s sermon

The Virtual Paul’s Cross Project enables us to experience the delivery of John Donne’s sermon for Gunpowder Day, November 5, 1622 as an event that unfolds over time on a particular occasion in Paul’s Churchyard, the specific physical location for which it was composed.

“prophetical history, and . . . a historicall prophecy,” recounting the past and accounting for the future,

Sunday, 19 October 2014

roadside picnic



A ruin is not, however, a proof as such. Only a narrative that would integrate the ruin as the object of its plot could transform it into one. The degree of consistency of this narrative is consequently proportional to the degree of truth that it will reach. In other words, we should avoid thinking of justice as the place where “true truth” is established, but rather as the forum—the same etymology as forensic—where “public truth” is debated. Similarly, the law should be less seen as the embodiment of a perfectly ethical set of rules but, rather, as the product of historical dominations crystalized into legislative norms. The public truth is therefore public insofar that it represents the ideological domination at work at the time this truth is constructed.

The Speech of Things




Sunday, 12 October 2014


a process of dismantling, or decomposition, “ruins in reverse”

He laughed softly. I know. There's no way out. Not through the Barrier. Maybe that isn't what I want, after all. But this--this-' He stared at the Monument. 'It seems all wrong sometimes. I just can't explain it. It's the whole city. It makes me feel haywire. Then I get these flashes-'
-Henry Kuttner, Jesting Pilot

Today our unsophisticated cameras record in their own way our hastily assembled and painted world.”  ― Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading

That zero panorama seemed to contain ruins it) reverse, that is-all the new construction that
would eventually be built. This is the opposite of the "romantic ruin" because the buildings don't fall into ruin after they are built but rather rise into ruin before they are built. This anti-romantic
mise-en-scene suggests the discredited idea of time and many other "out of date" things. But the suburbs exist without a rational past and without the "big events" of history. Oh, maybe there are a few statues, a legend, and a couple of curios, but no past-just what passes for a future. A Utopia minus a bottom, a place where the machines are idle, and the sun has turned to glass, and a place where the Passaic Concrete Plant (253 River Drive) does a good business in STONE, BITUMINOUS, SAND, and CEMENT.

A dingzihu – or 'nail house' – is a home where the owner refuses to accept compensation from a property developer for its demolition.

I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the non-historical past; it is in yesterday's newspapers, in the jejune advertisements of science fiction movies, in the false mirror of our rejected dreams. Time turns metaphors into things, and stacks them up in cold rooms, or places them in the celestial playgrounds of the suburbs.  

image: Debbie Skinner

Friday, 3 October 2014

socialist object

It is worth mentioning that in their interpretation of the Constructivist veshch (thing) most scholars limit their analysis to the NEP period, the time when capitalist objects were reintroduced within the socialist context. In other words, they are talking about an object in its transition (and its division) – a dichotomised object still hesitant to quit its horizontal axis but already exploring the vertical one. Parallel to the NEP’s aim to re-introduce capitalist commodity to a country swept by communalism, there was yet another process that had been developing on a much larger scale. I am referring to the production of socialist commodities -- things that can be characterized as both psychedelic and didactic. These “quasi-objects” had nothing to do with the items of everyday use -- kitchenware, furniture, clothing, etc. Such items were habitually dismal; they lacked any sense of pleasure, any hope for prestige or comfort. The ways in which the communal psyche connected itself to communal objecthood were completely de-fetishized. The communal Eros was redirected to the sphere of public (read socialist) objecthood which -- for the most part -- consisted of indexical sign-objects from the inventory of photographic, sculptural, or architectural agitprop.ii These also included “cine-forms” through which one could “perceive a tempestuous and incessant flow of people as an interrupted moving form of never stopping content.”iii Even if they looked tangible, they were still images and traces of something else. Thus, socialist commodity had a repeatedly postponed presence -- an object in its pure potentiality. However elusive, especially as seen through the lens of individual (i.e., noncommunal) optics, socialist commodity (“obshchestvennaia veshch” in Aleksei Gan’s terminology) has never failed to be perceived as an object. By this I mean the tendency to objectify the indexical and anticipatory nature of socialist commodity by turning the representation of its presence into the presence of representation. As was mentioned earlier, many socialist objects functioned as instruments of synchronicity (they were “in charge” of channeling the waves of communal desire in the “proper” direction). The fact that socialist commodity had a postponed presence was in harmony with the deferral of individual subjectivity.iv With this double deferral, the capitalist subject/object dichotomy was subjected to the same fate.