Archives for February 2013

Less and Less

"Literature is never the product of a single subject. There are always at least three actors: the hand that writes, the voice that speaks, the god who watches over and compels" Roberto Calasso On the evening in which the Oscars bestowed best picture upon a valentine to the CIA and to itself, in the insufferably tumescent and self conscious Argo, the US was continuing its build up in Africa, and the White House announced Obama would be visiting Israel and Bibi in mid March. The re-colonizing of Africa is, of course, mostly about resources. As Richard Raznikov wrote: America is using its military for the purposes of the oil companies, the arms industry, and the bankers, and … [Read more...]

Are We Having Fun Yet?

There is a linkage between capitalism, authority, and exploitation, and that linkage can best be described as instrumental rationality; a form of thinking, of logic, of reason. The same logic that demands control and domination. Joseph Lamb recently wrote : "President Obama candidly remarked in his State of the Union address that, “The greatest nation on earth cannot go from one manufactured crisis to another”. Stagecraft spectacles rehearsed from political pulpits are a ‘synthetic commodity’ passive listeners consume. The State of the Union illustrated a pep rally containing populist sentiment, and altering statecraft into a ‘pseudo-event’ " Instrumental thinking concerns itself … [Read more...]


I'm fond of the word snark. Its not really a word. In the United States, most serious artwork and culture is met with a snarkiness. Meaning it is met with a snide, sarcastic, ironic, and self consciously insincere attitude. It is met with attitude. It is met with "attitude". This connects in my brain with a certain class of liberal accepting, even welcoming, of fascism. It is almost embarrassing, it seems, to express deep enthusiasm for an artwork. I think its permitted to be enthusiastic yourself, even love the work, experience it with great enthusiasm, but keep it to yourself However, there is also a sort of dovetailing of this snark with a the new liberal fascists. … [Read more...]

Addendum to Theatre Interview / with molly klein, Spectacle & Space

I posted a long interview with Molly Klein a couple days ago....on theatre, on my work specifically, and on an engagement with the spectacle. I wanted to write some random sort of addendums to that, and to some recent film criticism, and on audience creation. I find an awful lot of film writing to be woefully short on actual film history. I suppose this raises issues about how influence works within a medium that is, first, so mediated by economics, and secondly, so new ---- a medium with a history of a hundred years or less, really. The mediation by capital is the more acute issue. While I think the auteur theory a bit strained at this point, it remains useful as a touchstone for … [Read more...]

Interview on Theatre/with Molly Klein, Part 2 : Spectacle and Space

The second part of our discussion of theatre....of my work....and of the spectacle. … [Read more...]

Interview on Theatre/ with Molly Klein, Part 2: Space and Spectacle

Molly: Phantom Luck might be a better illustration of a defence of the ritual theatrical space, but I want to ask this with reference to Parking Lot because it seems to open with this very stark proposal of the question of the spectacle: a scene that reminds us of Barthes and other famous remarks on photography, and the Flusser you were discussing on the blog but which enacts those remarks as a dramatic moment through which melodrama and modernism and realism all intersect. A man is confronted by his photographic image. And he flatly rejects it. And we're not sure whether this rejection is legitimate or what it means. But we know this is something we're going to find out: MAN holds it … [Read more...]

The Year of the Snake

Chris Dorner was incinerated last night. Well, the assumption is, Chris Dorner was incinerated. The cabin the police say he was in burnt to the ground. Max Blumenthal used a PD scanner to monitor police transmissions, and its clear burning the cabin down was the goal. WACO redux Here is Mike Davis on Chris Dorner: So as Barack Obama delivers the state of the whatever --- Chris Dorner (we assume) is roasted to death off old Highway 38 near Big Bear, CA. I know that road. I know that area. The backside leads down to Lucerne Valley, crack central, and then down toward Yucca … [Read more...]

An Appearance of Reality

One of the nagging aesthetic issues in our commodity saturated society of ever greater surrender to societal domination is the question of *realism* -- or, naturalism, a term pretty much used interchangeably. I suspect the ascension of marketing and advertising has created an even greater focus on this idea of what is realistic. For selling things it is useful to avoid ambiguity, either perceptual or narratively. If we go back to Plato and Aristotle we find the origin of modern Western ideas of realism .. of the conventional notion of mimesis. Plato was concerned with art's ability to mirror the material world. Aristotle more concerned with the logic of plots and with probability in … [Read more...]