Visionary cinema

At the dawn of cinema these two tendencies were already evident in the split between the brothers Lumiere and George Melies, for whereas the former concerned themselves with realist spectacles such as the arrival of a train at a station or people sitting around playing cards, Melies invented the special effect as a tool by means of which he was able to render spaceships, robots and dragons in a way that would be convincing, at least, to the average theater goer.

It was precisely Melies’s concern with what we refer to as the “Visionary” tendency in cinema–its Carnival cultural residue–to be the true and proper use of the medium. In this sense, film is closer to the spirit of the delighted rabble depicted watching The Magic Flute in Milos Forman’s Amadeus , than to the stiff-necked upper classes shown patronizing The Marriage of Figaro. For it is in the Visionary modality that myth functions as the telescope for viewing into the deepest reaches of the human soul, ironically transforming the movie camera from a mere optical device for recording consensus reality to a pulsing organic machine capable of peering with its intrusive Eye into our dreaming skulls.

from “The Visionary Movie: a Manifesto”


Shiny

This is the way movie reviews should be written. Or any kind of reviews. In fact, why don’t you go on and check out the entire website – it’s funny, informative and scary-smart to boot.

György Ligeti – Requiem

Scary.

PKD’s God

God, he thought, and felt ill. Was this what Tanya Lee had called the “aquatic horror” shape? It had no shape. Nor pseudopodia, either flesh or metal. It was, in a sense, not there at all; when he managed to look directly at it, the shape vanished; he saw through it, saw the people on the far side — but not it. Yet if he turned his head, caught it out of a sidelong glance, he could determine its boundaries.

It was terrible; it blasted him with its awareness. As it moved it drained the life from each person in turn; it ate the people who had assembled, passed on, ate again, ate more with an endless appetite. It hated; he felt its hate. It loathed; he felt its loathing for everyone present — in fact he shared its loathing. All at once he and everyone else in the big villa were each a twisted slug, and over the fallen slug carcasses the creature savored, lingered, but all the time coming directly toward him — or was that an illusion? If this is a hallucination, Chien thought, it is the worst I have ever had; if it is not, then it is evil reality; it’s an evil thing that kills and injures. He saw the trail of stepped-on, mashed men and women remnants behind it; he saw them trying to reassemble, to operate their crippled bodies; he heard them attempting speech.

I know who you are, Tung Chien thought to himself. You, the supreme head of the worldwide Party structure. You, who destroy whatever living object you touch; I see that Arabic poem, the searching for the flowers of life to eat them — I see you astride the plain which to you is Earth, plain without hills, without valleys. You go anywhere, appear any time, devour anything; you engineer life and then guzzle it, and you enjoy that.

from “Faith of Our Fathers”

Apophenia

Spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness in unrelated things.

From John Berryman

“—You is from hunger, Mr Bones”

Intense.

Now Reading

James Elkins Six Stories from the End of Representation. Images in Painting, Photography, Astronomy, Microscopy, Particle Physics, and Quantum Mechanics, 1980-2000
Albert Sanchez Pinol Pandora w Kongu
Michel Faber The Fire Gospel
Richard Powers Generosity. An Enhancement

Tom Waits – Alice

Quote. Tom Waits is made of awesome. Unquote. Can’t agree more. This IS poetry.

_______________________________________

It’s dreamy weather we’re on
You waved your crooked wand
Along an icy pond with a frozen moon
A murder of silhouette crows I saw
And the tears on my face
And the skates on the pond
They spell Alice

I disappear in your name
But you must wait for me
Somewhere across the sea
There’s a wreck of a ship
Your hair is like meadow grass on the tide
And the raindrops on my window
And the ice in my drink
Baby all I can think of is Alice

Arithmetic arithmetock
Turn the hands back on the clock
How does the ocean rock the boat?
How did the razor find my throat?
The only strings that hold me here
Are tangled up around the pier

And so a secret kiss
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I’m dead in my grave
Set me adrift and I’m lost over there
And I must be insane
To go skating on your name
And by tracing it twice
I fell through the ice
Of Alice

And so a secret kiss
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I’m dead in my grave
Set me adrift and I’m lost over there
And I must be insane
To go skating on your name
And by tracing it twice
I fell through the ice
Of Alice
There’s only Alice

Allen Ginsberg “America”

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they’re all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don’re really want to go to war.
America it’s them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Myself

Listen. I’m going to try one more time. I don’t promise anything will come of it, or that I won’t try to put it off for as long as possible, or that in the meantime I may not have to do something sensible first, like find Viv for instance. I don’t promise that the deep fault line that runs from my psyche through my brain out my front door and down the street won’t run all the way from L.A. to America and beyond, all the way from memory to the moment and back, splitting me up in the middle and leaving half of me on one side and half of me on the other. Not far from this very bluff where I am now is the beach where I once told a woman about talking to myself; actually I can almost see the very place, right down there. Now, just for a while, we’re going to pretend that I’m talking to myself again, like I used to. Now, just for a while, we’re going to pretend – don’t take this personally – that you’re not here at all. Most of the best things I’ve ever said, the most fluid, stutterless, sonorous things, were to myself, and now I’m going to try one more time to say everything I can find in me that might be worth saying, and hope that whatever I find in me to say is only the road, and not the place to where the road is going. And then when I’m finished, perhaps I’ll be finished for good. There’s always the off-chance that, from another bluff, I’ll actually be able to see the place to where the road is going and that, having seen it, I’ll find that nothing else needs to be said. But there’s also the chance that, having seen it, I’ll find something entirely new that needs to be said, something I never knew before that I could say. And then, having tried one last time, perhaps I will try once more.

Intimacy

“No,” he said, and then it no longer mattered, what he knew, tasting the salt of her mouth where tears had dried. There was a strength that ran in her, something he’d known in Night City and held there, been held by it, held for a while away from time and death, from the relentless Street that hunted them all. It was a place he’d known before; not everyone could take him there, and somehow he always managed to forget it. Something he’d found and lost so many times. It belonged, he knew – he remembered – as she pulled him down, to the meat, the flesh the cowboys mocked. It was a vast thing, beyond knowing, a sea of information coded in spiral and pheromone, infinite intricacy that only the body, in its strong blind way, could ever read.

Uwag kilka subiektywnych na temat recenzowania

artykul w Technopolis/Polityka

John Crowley’s Daemonomania

When the world ends, it ends somewhat differently for each soul then alive to see it; the end doesn’t come all at once but passes and repasses over the world like the shivers that pass over a horse’s skin. The coming of the end might at first lift and shake just one county, one neighborhood, and not the others around it; might feelably ripple beneath the feet of these churchgoers and not of those tavern-goers down the street, shatter only the peace of this street, this family, this child of this family who at that moment lifts her eyes from the Sunday comics and knows for certain that nothing will ever be the same again.

And through the world ends sooner for some than for others, each one who passes through it – or through whom it passes – will be able to look back and know that he has moved from the old world to the new, where willy-nilly he will die: will know it though all round him his neighbors are still living in the world, amid its old comforts and fears. And that will be the proof, that in his fellows’ faces he can see that they have been left behind, can see in the way they look at him and that he has crossed over alive. (17)

Zeno Clash

recenzja w Technopolis/Polityka

Now reading/just read

Charless Stross Saturn’s Children
Thomas Pynchon Inherent Vice
Gustavo Nielsen Auschwitz
Albert Sanchez Pinol Chlodny dotyk/La pell freda & Pandora w Kongu/Pandora al Congo
Rudy Rucker Hylozoic

Inherent Vice

Next he rang up his Aunt Reet, who lived down the boulevard on the other side of the dunes in a more suburban part of town with houses, yards, and trees, because of which it had become known as the Tree Section. A few years ago, after divorcing a lapsed Missouri Synod Lutheran with a T-Bird agency and a fatality for the restless homemakers one meets at bars in bowling alleys, Reet had moved down here from the San Joaquin with the kids and started selling real estate, and before long she had her own agency, which she now ran out of a bungalow on the same oversize lot as her house. Whenever Doc needed to know anything touching on the world of property, Aunt Reet, with her phenomenal lot-by-lot grasp of land use from the desert to the sea, as they liked to say on the evening news, was the one he went to. “Someday,” she prophesied, “there will be computers for this, all you’ll have to do’s type in what you’re looking for, or even better just talk it in – like that HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? – and it’ll be right back at you with more information than you’d ever want to know, any lot in the L.A. Basin, all the way back to the Spanish land grants – water rights, encumbrances, mortgage histories, whatever you want, trust me, it’s coming.” Till then, in the real non-sci-fi world, there was Aunt Reet’s bordering-on-the-supernatural sense of the land, the stories that seldom appeared in deeds or contracts, especially matrimonial, the generations of family hatreds big and small, the way the water flowed, or used to. (6-7)

15 books

Kim on Facebook: “OK, here are the rules: 15 Books. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what books my friends choose.” She’s way cool so, well, I tagged her and noone else … I know … but you know .. anyway …

  1. William Gibson – Neuromancer
  2. Thomas Pynchon – The Crying of Lot 49
  3. Mark Danielewski – House of Leaves
  4. Jeanette Winterson – The Passion
  5. Steve Erickson – Days Between Stations (but could be anything by him)
  6. Richard Kadrey – Kamikaze d’Amour
  7. John Crowley – Aegypt
  8. William Burroughs – Cities of the Red Night
  9. Richard Morgan – Woken Furies
  10. Hermann Hesse – The Journey to the East
  11. William Vollmann – You Bright and Risen Angels
  12. Steve Tomasula – T.O.C.
  13. Roberto Bolano – 2666
  14. Hakim Bey – Temporary Autonomous Zone
  15. Jose Carlos Somoza – anything

N. Katherine Hayles “Translating Media: Why We Should Rethink Textuality”

These changed senses of work, text, and document make it possible to see phenomena that are now obscured or made invisible by the reigning ideologies. For example, with the advent of the Web, communication pathways are established through which texts cycle in dynamic interaction with one another. This leads to what might be called Work as Assemblage, a cluster of related texts that quote, comment upon, amplify, and remediate one another. One form of such an assemblage is illustrated by Dark Lethe, a science fiction site at which collaborators contribute stories loosely related to one another. Another example suggested by David Silver is the cluster of texts associated with Myst, which includes, in addition to the computer game and its companion game Riven,Web sites populated by devotees of the games, as well as the associated print novels that expand upon the narratives in the games and supply backstories and other plot details missing from the games.

Yet another example is the cluster of texts around House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski’s brilliant contemporary print novel. House of Leaves was first published on the Web before being instantiated in print. The print novel itself exists in four different editions, each significantly different from the others. Also in the cluster is a Web site devoted to House of Leaves, on which hundreds of readers make postings exploring details of the print novels. Other examples include the now-common practice of setting up Web sites to go along with the release of new films. Although many of these sites are merely publicity vehicles, a new genre is emerging in which the site is an independent aesthetic production initiating media-specific strategies to transform, subvert, and play with the film’s material. The fascinating site for Requiem for a Dream includes pseudo-advertisements, graphic mutations of scenes and characters from the film, and reinscriptions of scraps of dialogue recontextualized visually and verbally to interrogate their meanings, an Assemblage that Jack Post has compellingly argued constitutes a new art form

Going along with the idea of Work as Assemblage are changed constructions of subjectivity. The notion of the literary work as an ideal immaterial construction has been deeply influenced by a unitary view of the subject, particularly in the decades when editors sought to arrive at the work by determining an author’s “final intentions.” The work as it was formulated using this principle in turn reinforced a certain view of the author as a literary figure. The unitary work and the unified subject mutually reinforced and determined each other.As the rest of critical theory and cultural studies was deconstructing the unified subject and exposing the problematic ideological bases on which it rested, editorial criticism underwent similar revisionist movements, particularly in McGann’s arguments for the “social text.” Perhaps now it is time to think about what kinds of textuality a dispersed, fragmented,
and heterogeneous view of the subject might imply.

An appropriate model may present itself in Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizomatic Body without Organs (BwO), a construction that in its constant de- and re-territorialization has no unified essence or identifiable center, only planes of consistency and lines of flight along which elements move according to the charged vectors of desire. The examples given above of the Work as Assemblage (which by analogy can be abbreviated as the WaA) can be thought of as clusters, like all embodied literary works, but in these instances the clusters take the distinctive form of rhizomatic tendrils branching out from one another in patterns of fractal complexity.WaA in this view is not an aberration but a paradigmatic configuration that writes large the dynamics of remediation and media specificity at work in all embodied texts. Rather than being bound into the strait jacket of a work possessing an immaterial essence that it is the goal of textual criticism to identify and stabilize, the WaA derives its energy from its ability to mutate and transform as it grows and shrinks, converges and disperses
according to the desires of the loosely formed collectives that create it.Moving fluidly among and across media, its components take forms distinctive to the media in which they flourish, so the specificities of media are essential to understanding its morphing configurations.

To see such possibilities—to bring the Work as Assemblage into sight at all—requires a fundamentally different view of authorship than that which undergirds the idea of the work as an immaterial verbal construction. The subjectivity implied by the WaA cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered unified. Rather, the subjects producing it are multiple in many senses, both because they are collectivities in and among themselves, and also because they include non-human as well as human actors.With an electronic text, the computer is also a writer, and the software programs it runs to produce the text as process and display also have complex and multiple authorship (not to mention the authoring done by hardware engineers in configuring the logic gates that create the bit stream). A robust account of materiality focusing on the recursive loops between physicality and textuality is essential to understanding the dynamics of the WaA. Once we let go of the assumption that the literary work must be an expression of an immaterial essence—a line of thought dominant in literary criticism at least since the eighteenth century—we see the new forms of textuality that, galloping ahead of textual theory, are already cycling through diverse media in exuberant and playful performances that defy the old verities even as they give rise to the new.

The present moment presents us with a rare opportunity to break out of assumptions that have congealed around the technology of print, rendered transparent by centuries of continuing development, refinement, and use.This opportunity is powerfully present in the implicit juxtaposition of print and electronic textuality. The game is to understand both print and electronic textuality more deeply through their similarities and differences relative to one another.

Henry Rollins – Solipsist – closing lines

I have several hundred acres of property in the desert. In the middle of the land is a house in which I live. Instead of having bare wasteland to look at, I have brought in several tons of wreckage. Twisted car bodies litter the barren expanse. Every piece of airline wreckage I can buy or otherwise appropriate is strewn all over. When I look out the window, all I can see is the marriage of human ingenuity and error that caused death. Man destroying life in things made by other men is as close as we get to being gods. I think. Mechanized destruction of soft human tissue is beautiful. In the evenings when the sun is setting, I walk through the smashed statues of metal. I admire the engineering as it sits raped and rusting. Dried blood from the victims is visible, thanks to the sealant I covered the stains with. I never want to doubt man’s frailty. I feel it is important to be humble. The dried blood is there to remind me of man’s blind faith and arrogance. At night, I sit on the front porch and watch the moon shine down on the metal. Coyotes wander through the maze of mistakes, miscalculations and hulls that briefly housed screams and polarized moments of indescribable human terror. These monuments of death and destruction teach me more about man and life than anything I have ever known. Somehow I feel part of all this and at the same time, completely removed as I stare out at these silent shapes that reflect the moon like hundreds of pale eyes.

Thanks to RedKing

Prototype

Recenzja w Technopolis/Polityce

Ebola

White cobras tangled among themselves, like the hair of Medusa. They were the face of Nature herself, the obscene goddess revealed naked. This like form thing was breathtakingly beautiful. As he stared at it, he found himself being pulled out of the human world into a world where moral boundaries blur and finally dissolve completely. He was lost in wonder and admiration, even though he knew that he was pray. (Richard Preston The Hot Zone, 197)

Now (re)reading

China Mieville The City and the City
Siergiej Lukjanienko Labirynt odbic
Bernard Werber Gwiezdny motyl
Priscilla Wald Contagious. Cultures, Carriers and the Outbreak Narrative
Southland Tales – graphic novels

The 100 Greatest Writers Of All Time

Here.