Archives for August 2013

Quien es?

"We are witnessing transitions from social-welfare states to social-control states around the world. We are facing a global crisis that is unprecedented, given its magnitude, its global reach, the extent of ecological degradation and social deterioration, and the sheer scale of the means of violence. We truly face a crisis of humanity; we have entered a period of great upheavals, of momentous changes and uncertainties. " William Robinson The painting above is by Italian fascist painter Mario Sironi. It is a magnificent and haunting work. Sironi was a strange isolated figure even when rabidly supporting Mussolini. He was an architect of sorts, but his plain brutal buildings were not met … [Read more...]

The Triumph of the Kill

There is an increasingly bizarre sense of body, sexuality, and health image reflected back at people in the West from their cultural products. The evolution about ideas of "health" are, of course, ideological, but coupled to this is an increasingly dysmorphic sense of body and how this manufactures desire and props up the White male world in a delusionary state of percieved superiority. Let me backtrack just a bit. There is a shift that has occured over the last forty years, and probably it began more like fifty or even sixty years ago, but more acutely since the 70s and that is the emergence of a militarized aesthetic for beauty. At least for male beauty. The corresponding shift for … [Read more...]

A Puppet Life

"For if they fell upon one kind of strictness, unless their care were equal to regulate all other things of like aptness to corrupt the mind, that single endeavour they knew would be but a fond labour: to shut and fortify one gate against corruption, and be necessitated to leave others round about wide open. If we think to regulate printing, thereby to rectify manners, we must regulate all recreations and pastimes, all that is delightful to man. No music must be heard, no song be set or sung, but what is grave and Doric. There must be licensing of dancers, that no gesture, motion, or deportment be taught our youth, but what by their allowance shall be thought honest; for such Plato was … [Read more...]

Varieties of White

There are several thoughts that are really just addendums to my last post, and then a brief discussion of a couple popular new TV shows that seem worth looking at in terms of their popularity. But first: One of my very favorite artists, among the very best I know, is photographer Frederike Von Rauch, who lives and works out of Berlin. Rauch works with only an analog camera, and changes nothing in her enviornment. She simply waits. She waits for the right conditions, and her own inner clock. In this sense she is another version of Trevor Paglin. Rauch keeps the camera at eye level, and never shoots if the sun is shining. It is a kind of study of space, and of architectural space, even … [Read more...]

Aesthetic Resistance

" Mediation is no less to be inferred from the relation of art to nature, than from the inverse; art is not nature, a belief that idealism hoped to inculcate, but art does want to keep natures promise. It is capable of this only by breaking that promise by taking it back in to itself. Art is inspired by the negativity, specifically by the deficiency of natural beauty, in the sense that so long as nature is defined only through its antithesis to society, it is not yet what it appears to be. What nature strives for in vain, artworks fulfil; they open their eyes. Once it no longer serves as an object of action, appearing nature itself imparts expression, whether that of melancholy, peace, or … [Read more...]

Excessive Face Touching

The link below, from the N.Y. Times, reports on the expansion of TSA security to areas outside the airport. There are additional stories around about the trend toward replacing TSA security with private security firms. Couple these together and what you get are, in many cities now, private security personel stopping and searching people wherever they deem neccessary. No probable cause is needed -- and part of the justification for this is because of the inclusion of "Behavior Detection Officers" as part of these roving teams. It is very hard, if not essentially impossible, to find out what training is required to be a certified "Behavior Detection Officer". However, from one "scholarly" … [Read more...]

A Playground of Violence

This week I had a number of strange exchanges on facebook and other media sites. All of them with people I have never met in person. Now, this was on the heels of my discussion with Guy Zimmerman last week on formula writing and narrative. It was also the week Bradley Manning was convicted. My feeling though had to do with the sense of how twitter and facebook, and other social media platforms, are shaping not just discourse, but also how the culture is coming to view ideas such as friendship and intimacy, and perhaps most of all, privacy. There are also several other items that I feel were sort of related to this. I had a walk around the Trondheim Museum of Art this week. … [Read more...]