Author Archive

Remix, Solitude

December 16, 2007

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There’s audience? no audience.

Voices in the head, Remix, Solitude

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(photo of a DJ by kirstiecat )

To Create is to Remember

February 25, 2007

“To Create is to Remember; Memory is the Basis of Everything“, Akira Kurosawa.

I have created a short 28 seconds mashup clip: images taken from Chris Marker’s AK (Akira Kurosawa); music from Bill Laswell.

Blond: Yves Klein Blue vs. James 007 Bond

February 22, 2007

A mashup between Yves Klein, the Blue painter, and Sean Connery, the one and only James Bond, 007, yielded Blond – a series of ten juxtapositions of faces, women, guns, jumps, colors – briefly – a whole life, side by side. I have already published this annotated visual mashup in my alter-blog, but I think that Blond would have felt at home with you readers. So if you’d like to visit the exposition, it would be my pleasure to host you there.

Blond - Blue vs. Bond

Blond

Philosophy in Four Hands

February 18, 2007

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Click image to see full size

Four philosophers, four realities, four hands.

Philosophy in Four Hands

Plato playing “Form”
Aristotle playing “Matter”
Roland Barthes playing “Text”
Michel Foucault playing “Power”

Distribute in Space; Order in Time

February 5, 2007

The more I dwell into the Foucault/Deleuze worlds the more they get interconnected, interlaced. There’s love in the way one prepares the terrain for the other; one realtes to and interprets the other.

In “Postscripts on the Societies of Control” (1990) Deleuze starts with Foucault’s description of “enclosures” – those closed places (closed=mapped=borders) created by the western society since the 18th century. Family-School-Army-Factory-Grave (with bifurcations into Hospitals, Prisons etc.).

They move you from one enclosure to another, telling you: “You are no longer in your family”; “You are no longer in school”; “You are no longer in the Army”; and finally – “You are no longer”.

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Deleuze’s Office View

To distribute in Space; to order in Time

“Foucault has brilliantly analyzed the ideal project of these environments of enclosure, particularly visible within the factory: to concentrate; to distribute in space; to order in time; to compose a productive force within the dimension of space-time whose effect will be greater than the sum of its component forces.”

In his “Image-Movement”, Deleuze refers to Bergson’s idea of image – the image as [real] matter. Anything is image, including ourselves. And film-making starts by arranging images on a Plan. This is the distribution in Space. Next comes Image-Temps – the ordering in Time.
Remember – we are images (images are not representation of something). This is the door knob turned, afterwards, by Jean Baudrillard.

DJ Spooky’s Remix Simulacrum

February 4, 2007

“Today, the voice you speak with may not be your own”, DJ Spooky

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I thought this sentence was clear. But then, after thinking about it for a while, I concluded that it eludes me. I have several possible meanings with much more unanswered questions about its potential semantics.

Meanings

It can refer to the pessimistic Baudrillardian Integral Reality theory, in which anything is a simulacrum, a fake, including our “self”, our voice.
[OR]
It can be understood as an optimistic, web2.0 share-all style, in which the right to remix and to appropriate others’ voices goes mainstream.

Questions

– What is “My” voice? What guarantees the authenticity of a certain “Voice”?
– Remix: Given that the human history of ideas, progress, art, etc. is the history of Remix, i.e. the unexpected association of different, seemingly unrelated memes, should “remix” be classified as an authentic voice or an unauthentic one?
– What is different “Today”? Until Today, what kind of voice have we used – our own or others’?
– What is “Today” – where does it point to?

The sequel to this post is The Death of the Author; the Birth of the Voice.

Gilles Deleuze – La durée: A Multimedia Poem

February 3, 2007

Sometimes there’s an inexplicable match between a state-of-mind and a sensory input.
This is what happened to me while listening to this fragment by Gilles Deleuze about the Duration – La durée (Click the player to listen).

 

 

What happened is that I processed the whole piece as a potential DJ Spooky track: a musical intro; Deleuze’s voice full with fluctuations, insistence, repetitions; a chaotic background noise; and finally phrases that can be cut from the entire piece and still survive – this entire Spooky complex placed me in a different emotional state.

The Deleuze piece is in French, I hope, though, that non-French speakers can enjoy it too. You can listen to the following piece several times, and each time get something else out of it. What I heard was a poem, much like the following:

Gilles Deleuze – La durée

La durée c’est ce qui se
décompose
Ha!
La durée c’est une
défection . La durée c’est,
tomber en poussierrrrrrrrrrr.
Oui, oui.
C’est Flaubert. C’est Flaubert.
Et. Et.
Si ça dure, ça se décompose.
[silence]
Ce n’est pas du tout Bergsonien.

 

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“Un jour, peut-être, le siècle sera Deleuzien”, Michel Foucault

Forgetting

February 3, 2007

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Click on the image to see full size

Lyotard: Against Input/Output Philosophy

February 1, 2007

I was listening this morning to a fragmented lecture by JF Lyotard on post-modernism. I liked what I heard, although I’m not convinced that I understood anything. Yet using my right to freely interpret, here is my understanding of this fragment, which elusively explains what’s post-modernism through an observation of what has happened to philosophy and what is the role of story telling in our culture.

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Since Kant, Philosophy has gradually lost its status as a meta-science, a science that provides the knowledge-of-the-self for all other sciences, and even – defines all other sciences. From this omniscient perspective, Philosophy has crashed down.

Why did it crash?

Lyotard doesn’t explain, but I could understand, and I might be just as wrong here, that Philosophy crashed because rational, linear discourse is always limited. Plato, Descartes, Spinoza and many others, always got to the point where they needed another medium in order to proceed.

What is this other medium?

Rising up again, the Philosophy returned to what has preceded it and to what has been its subject of negation and fighting for a thousand years – the stories, the legends, the myths. I’m not talking about their content, but rather about their form, the story telling as an explanatory medium.
The story telling, le recit, was that tool used when all other tools have failed. And so, post-Kant continental philosophy has started to develop a new brand of Philosophers, who excelled not [or not only] in mathematics, science and analytics, but rather in… story telling. And stories themselves have been repositioned as containers of philosophical value. And all this is Modernism.

So what is post-modernism?

Clearly, this modern phenomenon met the resistance of the utilitarian philosophers, implicitly labeled by Lyotrard as the Input/Output philosophers who, like any other cost-oriented scientists, are measuring philosophical narratives by their outcome: this is what went in, this is what came out – did we gain something out of it?
Those I/O philosophers, says Lyotard, can find themselves and did find themselves helping out hideous regimes to justify their acts, and its because of that, I think, that Lyotard defines post-modernism as a preference for short stories and limited narratives over never-ending epical narratives, which tend to provide a total framework.

Foucault, audaciously defined his writings as fiction, stating that his books are “experience books, as opposed to truth books or demonstration books”. And in his essay “What is Enlightenment?” he speaks about his preference to short fiction. Naturally, I’m doing an analogy here, but you will be able to see it in the following excerpt:

[…] the historical ontology of ourselves must turn away from all projects that claim to be global or radical. In fact we know from experience that the claim to escape from the system of contemporary reality so as to produce the overall programs of another society, of another way of thinking, another culture, another vision of the world, has led only to the return of the most dangerous traditions

(and see also Questions to which answers are not the right answer)

Karel Čapek – It’s never too late

January 27, 2007

It’s never too late to discover a classic writer. Thanks again to my shadow friend Amir Vardi who introduced me to the Apocryphal Stories of Čapek, and through them to this wonderful person. And, of course, it’s impossible to conclude any story without that grain of coincidence that Amir likes so much, so: Čapek and his brother Josef (who has illustrated Karel’s works) invented the term Robot in the play Rossum´s Universal Robots.

Karel Čapek

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The Philosopher’s Paradox and the Layman’s Grotesque

January 17, 2007

My friend, Muriel, who’s a rebel in her own right and an artist whose work I love so much, hinted me that TAZing all day long is pretty depressing. I agree. I think that philosophical praxis (regardless of how one defines this praxis) is highly challenging and naturally sometimes very depressing, unless, of course, one enjoys passing his/her life head-banging against the wall. So I thought that at least this time “Les structures” should “descendent dans la rue” and so I unplugged myself from my 4-wheels shield, walking to work by foot and leaving my Apple’s memes-injector at home. Once in the street I opened my eyes, my ears, my nose. I inhaled deeply.

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Next thing I saw was this image of Gargantua, emerging from Gargamelle’s uterus crying his instinctive, primordial cry “À boire! À boire!”. Then I saw that never ending line of roasted animals and rolling wine barrels, doing their way into Gargantua’s mouth. Fabulous Empiricism.

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The Grotesque is so much the opposite of traditional Philosophy, so much the opposite that they must have something in common. At least, I think, that Paradoxes are close to the Grotesque, because the philosophers treat Paradoxes in much the same way we treat monsters or any possible hideous creature.

The Layman’s Grotesque is the Philosopher’s Paradox.

p.s.

Hmm, yes, I noticed that too: once again, I didn’t look at the real world…

A Spooky TAZ in Burroughs’ FoucaulPticon

January 16, 2007

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DJ Spooky’s Rhythm Science has this track where the voice of William S. Burroughs is remixed. Obviously, the choice of text is significant. Here’s it:

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To achieve independence from alien domination and to consolidate revolutionary gains, five steps are necessary:

Space 1: Proclaim a new era and set up a new calendar

Space 2: Replace alien language

Space 3: Destroy or neutralize alien gods

Space 4: Destroy alien machinery of government and control

Space 5: Take land and wealth from individual aliens.

Reminder: State’s control is space-oriented.

So now we got Foucault, linked to Bey, who’s linked to Laswell and also to Burroughs, who’s linked to DJ Spooky, who’s remixing Laswell as well as Burroughs, and not any text of Burroughs, but rather a next-step-text, an how-to text that goes with the spirit of them all.

Reality or Nothing

January 15, 2007

Emma: We can break into this man’s synapses. Imagine the wonder of it all. And if we wear our VR helmets we will live for hours at a time in the real past, the authentic past – and and – (Her voice, her expression change; a small shadow falls) and perhaps escape.

Fyodor (Quietly): Escape from what, Emma?

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Dennis Potter, Cold Lazarus

Cold Lazarus is the second part of Karaoke/Cold Lazarus, both being the last TV drama done by the late and formidable Dennis Potter (The singing detective and many other masterpieces).

I find Karaoke & Cold Lazarus to be Potter’s best achievement.

Karaoke is the story of an author, who is writing his last script; last – because at the end of Karaoke, he’ll be dead, just like Potter. While walking around in the city, the author encounters, or thinks he encounters, the characters he invented for that last script, an impossible event that drives him crazy, in particular because he is deeply in love with his heroine.
This is a most poetic, sensitive, imaginative, adorable, and definitely one of a kind TV piece. When I saw it, some ten years ago, j’etais époustouflé.

Cold Lazarus happens in the future. Somehow, the head of this author has been frozen, and now scientists, financially supported by the biggest media mogul (or goggul) at the time, are trying to replay the memories buried in this head. The media mogul dreams about the rating of that TV show.

Personally, I think that our digitization, our turning into real-time, digital objects, especially via web2.0 technologies and concepts, bares the dangers, the potential, of becoming the head of cold Lazarus, and it will not take long before media moguls will start to exploit our virtual selves for entertainment purposes.

But of course, this is shallow. Potter takes the story further, by questioning reality itself, presenting multiple layers of possible realities: the script, the head of the author, physical reality, virtual reality etc.

In Cold Lazarus, there’s a group of rebels who’d like to destroy the lab, the head, the virtuality and go back to physical reality. They are called RON (Reality or Nothing). Of course, they are as clueless as anybody else about what reality is.

 

Methods and Black Squares – The Logo?

January 2, 2007

A proposal.

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