Archives for December 2015

The Never Complete Fascist

"The hunter could have been the first 'to tell a story' because only hunters knew how to read a coherent sequence of events from the silent (though not imperceptible) signs left by their prey." Carlo Ginzburg "It is now necessary to ask ourselves a question: Why, in order to define the Nazi régime, should the argument regarding the one-party dictatorship be more valid than that of racial and eugenic ideology and practice? It is precisely from this sphere that the central categories and key terminology of the Nazi discourse derived. This is the case with Rassenhygiene, which is essentially the German translation of eugenics, the new science invented in England and successfully … [Read more...]

The Cancelled Self

"Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane." Theodor Adorno "No matter how artful the photographer, no matter how carefully posed his subject, the beholder feels an irresistible urge to search such a picture for the tiny spark of contingency, of the Here and Now, with which reality has so to speak seared the subject, to find the inconspicuous spot where in the immediacy of that long-forgotten moment the future subsists so eloquently that we looking back may rediscover it." Walter Benjamin "In Benjamin’s view, certain photographs have an aura, whereas even a painting by Rembrandt … [Read more...]

Homeless Memory

"Everything in this world reeks of crime: the newspaper, the wall, the countenance of man." Charles Baudelaire "Theories that level suffering by proposing that all subjectivity is born from subjection and exclusion, however, cover over the suffering specific to oppression. In so doing, they risk complicity with values and institutions that abject those othered to fortify the privilege of the beneficiaries of oppressive values." Kelly Oliver "If the print revolution heralded the beginning of the end for our memory retrieval capabilities, then the post digital world is arguably deteriorating our abilities to a state of amnesia." Fiona Shipwright It would be hard to imagine … [Read more...]

The Distilled Gaze of the Plantation Overseer

"{Imperialism}is an act of geographical violence through which virtually every space in the world is explored, charted, and finally brought under control." Edward Said "The nineteenth century was the age of scientific exploration—- Darwin in the Beagle, Livingstone in Africa, Powell in the Rockies, and so on—but the sources of support for these efforts tended to be institutions with very practical interest in the regions being studied. Paralleling all of this was the great surge of missionary activity that supported some exploration (including Livingstone’s) but most crucially led to the gathering of important, detailed, information about ethnography, languages, and geography by … [Read more...]