Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Inverse Set

After the doublebind‎'s
neither nor
Even Kansas
Valley girl hopscotch
The ferocity level
one believes in
‎after afterparties
that ache

Too much
paramutual feeling
warts and all
Too boxed in to
hit perfecta

Pyramid schematics
trump eharmony
Sacrificial iamb
Alien embrace
means what it says
predictive model

We are all Sans papiers
Silent logic
Thumbs forget
The record collection I enact
Flipping song
Mimetic chant
& no fixed employ
& yet this is what
victory looked like
Two cycle engine
in the dark
to her snore

Sunday, January 4, 2015

‎Dark Side (Congruent Register)

-if hell is other poets…   

Specific instruments
Out of phase
Did I miss something
Loving and stealing wisdom
‎I was gonna duck the question
Resisting Sartre's obvious formulation
Killjoy investing
Bad vibes
Love isn't blocked
Phased out
When listening‎

‎What you can't see
Cracked screen
I can't even read
‎Newsprint, nitrate, vulcanite
Some honeycomb dipshit
‎600 pages of overproduction

‎Penetrated by ‎Birth
White hegemony is dead
but doesn’t know it
fashioned into symmetry
Maximum damage
By Supremes

Love, homeownership
Kerning pairs
We lean in
at Sag Harbor
@marriage, @death
We live inadequate
Salve to canker
sore Central to
all feeling

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rough & Tumbler-er

(or Listerine & Love)

Too mobilized 
To induce artifice 
Frenetic elixir of life
Ultimate novelty of becoming 

It's called ‎Physics 
Thanks to sufficient reason
Thanks to dramatic Echo

No stranger 
against Ambition 
No place of business
No Lord and master 
Forever wrenched 
(or is that wretched?)

Cretan labyrinth 
Gloriously dark 

Any theory of crisis
Couplets that kill
Home manicures & private plays
Precarious tort 
Endless thought police

Here’s the thing
Beneath its name
Song threads into song
Shrink wrapped 
Miracles & prodigies

To remove doubt
Hand divides ear 
Celestial signs
Virgins and saints
Modeled on hideous progress
It is not philosophy 
Engrossed in the business of life
Nor the less probable shadow
Sleeping as the crowd also sleeps
Treasuring the profane place
[What did you just say!?]
Primary unit and example
They go in 
One native village
Feeling below surface
Machine to mold thought
There is no surpassing 
No light at all
No sound 
Just Listerine 
& love in the air

ps. People can do anything
Lisbon earthquake
Spinoza's acknowledgement page
Ego, commodity exchange
Introspection and intuition

The discovery of math
Drive and motive
Useless rigors of organization
Socrates’ finger paintings 
Guardians of insomnia
Riddled with holes

Friday, November 28, 2014

Treadmill Feedback

Useless valley equation
Discount saturation
in gelatinous time

Lighter coin for heavier action
for mystery & duress

Dear Felon
my object is yours
No object by virtue
not its own
not of beautiful things

Home is where the heartless
Take & subsist
Valor unwrapt
To exercise & consume time
To tell of equal love
Bodies taken
To persist & unhand
To preempt the Imaginary
Indiscriminate plunder

Saturday, November 15, 2014

King for a day

-if you convince everyone you are the King of France, you are the King of France

Hat check
Finger recognition
My ceremonial recall
& material defect

I remember more
storage units
Frozen breath
Series of relations

Convinced now
who am I?
Too poor to be in a church
Labors body sleeps

I remember resold bundles
useless tics
The best of all possibles
Artifice of Opposites

Hashtag pissoff
Double diamonds & pearls
Diving in fact to dwarf
the social fat

   -signed Giantess

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hito Steyrel: Revolutionary Spam

Last Friday, at The New Foundation, I led a discussion centered around a screening of Hito Steyrel's Is The Museum A Battlefield, which was produced for the 13th Istanbul Biennial in 2012. (Introductory remarks, written to precede the screening, printed below.)

On seeing the video for the second time, I had similar frustrations with it that I had the first time, i.e., the trajectory of the critique is still annoyingly interrupted or detourned by flights of fancy, goofy, almost surreal flourishes.  But my affective response to these rhetorical disconnects was muted the 2nd time, since I had read and thought about the her work in the interim.

"The Revolution Is My Boyfriend"

While I am suggesting that Steyrel is making "Revolutionary Spam," I don't mean this in a derogatory way or as an insult. As was pointed out in the discussion, the question may be whether the work achieves the level of (artworld) malware, so its distribution and circulation within this ivory tower world (of the 5%) is perhaps what matters.

Others pointed out that these types of anti-aesthetic moves are old hat to the artworld, which nevertheless laps it up.  I find the latter position a bit too easy and cynical, since I think Steyrel is engaged in a project that is socially & politically meaningful and was not trying to become the next big thing in the art world, even tho de facto this seems to have occurred.  The critiques she shoots at us in helter skelter fashion do have a purposiveness.  But they are not intended to strike us, so they would seem to be without purpose?  [cf: the videoclip excerpt she uses from the Angelina Jolie film, where Jolie's character bends the path of bullets with her mind &c]

Steyrel refers several times to digital targeting and spam in the piece.  This reminded me of Steven Shaviro's linking of spam to Kantian aesthetics:

“Spam is ... a message that is nothing beyond its medium… Spam has no utility, and no cognitive point, for its only aim is self-proliferation…  In other words, spam is purposiveness without purpose: in Kantian terms, it is aesthetic..."  [Steve Shaviro - excerpted here]

OK -- I'll abruptly stop here, and leave it to you to decide whether or not to block Steyrel's revolutionary spam.

Introductory Remarks

I wanted to say a few words to introduce Is the Museum A Battlefield, since I think – for better or worse – that it would have been a better first experience for me if I had had more context.

Hito S describes herself (or others describe her) as a filmmaker (once upon a time she worked with Wim Wenders) and I think her writing practice as a critic/essayist has powerfully merged with the filmmaking so that it is just wrong to formally reduce her work to either essay or film.  Remarkably she has been taken up by the art world – and this is difficult to fully comprehend since she is a clear eyed critic of it.

The earliest piece I’ve seen from 2004 is called November, and it involves a touchstone to which she often returns.  She describes November as "a self-reflexive video that examines the role of images in the post-revolutionary moment..."  It deals with her activist friend – I presume from her high school years -- Andrea Wolf -- who later joined the Kurdistan Worker Party and was killed in the late 90s.  Steyerl actually made a very early super-8 film with her – sort of an outlaw/noir/ biker film, which the she calls a "feminist martial arts flick."  This footage is used in November – titled for the month after the revolution – which makes it appropriate for New Foundation to be showing these films in October.

After seeing ITMAB, I was really taken with an essay she wrote in 2010 called A Thing Like You and Me.  And in this I think she describes the underlying project or problem that she is working on -- or which is working on her.

"To Participate In The Image As Thing"

From a critique of authenticity and representation – where what is ‘real’ is suspect – since we live in a world flooded with images (or simulations) -- a sort of “barrage of commodified intensities,” Steyrel is trying to find a way to resist or get past this.

She wants to imagine "an object that is differently animated from the commodity fetish…”  To “abolish that relation where we merely identify with the image.”  She wants “…to call on things (not images!) to become comrades and equals. By releasing the energy stored in them, things become coworkers, potentially friends, even lovers.”

She insists on a materialist base of the digital image.  She wants to “participate in the image as thing... And the desire to become this thing (in this case an image) is the upshot of the struggle over representation.”

[Paraphrasing here:] "Everything converges within images: senses & things; abstraction & excitement; speculation & power; desire & matter."

It might seem vague or confusing  - this notion of a physical image that resists representing and representation.  This image-thing does have some paradoxical work to do.  It isn't expressive in the way we presume art to be expressive.  It does not represent some real thing.  “It doesn’t represent reality. It is a fragment of the real world. It is a [material] thing just like any other – a thing like you and me.”