Search Results for: let the games begin

The Hidden Mythology

"And now bad Christians run about at the time of Carnival with masks and jests and other superstitions. Similarly witches use these revelries of the devil for their own advantage, and work their spells about the time of the New Year." Heinrich Krämer and Jakob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb." Robert Oppenheimer This year saw the death of Denis Johnson and Sam Shepard. I knew Sam personally, and Denis only very slightly. Both shared something that I think has gone out of … [Read more...]

Architecture Degree Zero

"Every failure, a mysterious victory." Jorge Luis Borges "To live in the world today is to live in a state of constant anxiety." Manfredo Tarfuri "Plato likened philosophers to architects, because philosophers also provide bases for all knowledge, although as was typical of the citizen of Athens, he looked down on architects since in reality they are craftsmen." Kojin Karatani There was a fascinating and oddly intriguing, if not compelling, short article in the N.Y.Times Style magazine a couple years back, on architects defending famously derided buildings. And for some reason this was connected in my brain with a brief piece somewhere, I forget, on the U.S. Navy's new … [Read more...]

The Audience Appears

"But, ah, thought kills me that I am not thought." Shakespeare, Sonnet 44 "The continuity of the ego is a myth." Brecht "I have done it, says my memory. I cannot have done it, says my pride and remains inexorable. Finally, the memory gives way." Nietszche "...the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull fading fading fading and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull..." Lucky, from Waiting for … [Read more...]

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...]