Search Results for: let the games begin

The Stare of Empty Eyes

"All work is a crime." Herman Schuurman (1924) "Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition." Jacques Barzun "Art is the tree of is the tree of death." William Blake Jacques Barzun wrote a sort of fascinating small book titled The Use and Abuse of Art (echoing Nietzsche). It is interesting not least because of its clarity. Like Kenneth Clark, Barzun is terribly out of fashion. And yes, he's pretty conservative, too. But he is also a deeply perceptive observer of culture, at times. At the beginning of the book he writes, in light of Schiller's book on poetics... "What does Schiller tell us? First, that modern man is is split -- or as we … [Read more...]

Listening for Silence

"The relationship between the intellectuals and the world of production is not as direct as it is with the fundamental social groups but is, in varying degrees, "mediated" by the whole fabric of society and by the complex of superstructures, of which the intellectuals are, precisely, the "functionaries." Gramsci (Prison Notebooks) "Art is always in some kind of relation with non-art. It does not, indeed it cannot, take place in a bubble cut off from the rest of culture." David Campany "If it is true that little boys bring back the past with bows and arrows, it is also true that youths easily become cliquish, seeking friends and above all a father, which their own one often was … [Read more...]

Lost Affinity

"Several issues are at stake here: the state of education in America, the paralysis of the critical faculty of students, the death of dissent, and the political orientation of the American intelligentsia." Guido Giacomo Preparata "The look of the past can be retrieved, preserved and disseminated in an unprecedented fashion. But awareness of history A an interpretation of the past succumbs to a faith in history as representation." Alan Sekula "The love of the world is night." Jean de Fecamp 11th century “I truly believe that the lack of adequate images is a danger… I have said that before and I repeat it again and again, and as long as I can speak I will speak out for that. If … [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...]

Blind Sight

"The female, the lumpen-proletariat, the foreign; the animal and vegetative; the unconscious and the unknown; the criminal and failure—all that has been outcast and vagabond in our consideration of the figure of Man—must return to be admitted in the creation of what we are.” Robert Duncan "No interpretive skill in the world can in fact eliminate ideal objects from our speech and thought." Edmund Husserl "The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an immense 'collection' of commodities; the individual commodity appears as its elementary 'form.' Our investigation therefore begins with the 'analysis' of the commodity." Karl Marx, Chapter One … [Read more...]

We Interrupt Our Scheduled Programming to Bring You…

"Violence is a part of America’s culture. It is as American as cherry pie." H. Rap Brown "We see images on TV, and evaluate ourselves on the basis of what we see." Jena Gordon "The culture's habit of finding "seriousness" acceptable only if offered by people who are finally not serious is yet another way that our culture makes certain that nothing alarming will come of our newfound interest in heretical ideas." Curtis White There is a certain type of white liberal (overwhelmingly white, but not exclusively) in the U.S. today, and they and their sensibility and values define Hollywood products. Film of course, but far more, really, in television. And they are increasingly … [Read more...]

Society of the Meaningless

"...self-parody has become the life-support system of international art infrastructures. Make people feel smart, and they will put up with anything. The mindset cannot be outflanked or overturned, because it routinely performs those operations on itself.” Peter Schjeldahl "In the Basle orphanage where I lived from the age of nine to fourteen I had to work hard for long hours as a joiner’s apprentice when I was out of school. On Sunday I used to copy Hans Holbein’s designs for goldsmiths and in this way trained my sense of form. I am sure that Holbein’s Renaissance found a boyish and ingenuous echo in the way in which I fitted the Biedermeier chests of drawers in vogue at the time with … [Read more...]

The Normal Non-Self

"If there is no activity of interpretation, I cannot understand how any living organism belonging to the human species could survive." Andre Green Squiggle Lecture #3 "The question of experience can be approached nowadays only with an acknowledgement that it is no longer accessible to us." Giorgio Agamben "The human face is a void force, a field of death." Antonin Artaud "...the key question is: Who do elected representatives represent? The answer is not the electorate, but the class that has the resources to invest in the political system—resources politicians need to get elected. This is none other than the class of capitalists. Still, despite the glaring disparity between … [Read more...]