“A morning without coffee is like something without something else” —Spencer’s Gifts.
I drove back to New York from North Carolina on my birthday weekend to stand with a sign in Zucotti Park. Its symbolic power-of-place alone was enough to get me there and over any aesthetic or philosophical misgivings I might have with Leftist trope, which was definitely laid on pretty thick. But, hey, this is important… Hopefully, something that will crystallize into a popular critique of financial power roughly analogous to the 17th- and 18th-century critiques of political and religious power, critiques that sparked what some historians call the Bourgeois Revolutions— the English, French, and American. For it to be really effective though, it must be popularly understood, capable of strong, perfect platitudes. Platitudes that rightly delegitimize the “earnings” of billionaires as a latter-day form of divine right. Platitudes that understand money as a form of power; rather than as tokens given out for good behavior. Platitudes that understand taxes not as prices or fees but as an active counterbalance to the overconsolidation of financial power.
Where to find me. Duke University. Book-hitting. Engaged in the dialectic. Ah.
Brandon Joyce writes:
I have long hungered after a Philosophical Research Group on Cellphones… and for obvious reasons: that topic is dripping rich; almost too rich for a single session. But, finally— whew— we made the attempt in my new Brooklyn homebase, with hot chocolate and some deliciously effective Nescafé Clásico; stoking our fires literally and metaphorically. What I’ll try to do, as far as a wrap-up, is offer a dense little introduction; then the minutes massaged into a somewhat readable form that runs from the science-fictional to the slightly more humanistic. I warn you though: it’s a doozy.
New post on Artblog.
The Wedding of Annelies Brock & John Richard Winborne IV
Ron Rege Jr.
Prophet Royal Robertson
Vu Thi Trang
“The Image has a life of its own. A very real and insolent autonomy. There are images— and entire symbologies— that are as real and weird as our own mothers and fathers. They are not just copies of the world; but squiggly, faithful parts of the whole. A daimonic, demonic influence.
The image, the symbol, the icon— and the whole plane of pop-mythos— have power, dignity, and even a biology of sorts. Cartoons, afterall, have cells. Scrawls and sketches serve as little anatomies and dissections of the living image. And like human and animal life, the image can even experience a kind of image-death. Or an afterlife; a creepy kind of undeath as zombie symbols, afterimages, or free-floating spiritual beings.
Mutant Pop occurs whenever these symbols and symbologies outgrow their sources. When they take root and incubate in impressionable minds. When they turn weird and grow tails and even get worked into a full-blown mythos at the hands of the giddy. Happy, harmless spokes-things assume self-consciousness. Fleeting-or-forgotten cultural moments, like Max Headroom, like Count Duckula, like O.J. Simpson, live on and haunt us through an infectious and hysterical freak culture. And the life-feeling within these images will, at times, even take on mystic or animistic dimensions; as a way of seeing God in the television, so to speak. A new, though somewhat noisier, mythos.
For this, the inaugural show of LOYAL gallery’s new harborside space in Malmö, Sweden, we’ve gathered up fifty-some artists under the heading of Mutant Pop— many of them great influences on Dearraindrop— to display a sort of visual genealogy between older Pop-masters and their newer mutant progeny. Offered as more than just innocent fun or frivolity, this exhibition will underscore the very deep commitment to meaning-making running within the Pop-sensibility.
This is the premise; this is the show. Both of which will be wrapped up beautifully in a full-color book by the people at Loyal, and distributed as gospel among guardians of the Living Image.
Brandon Joyce, Philadelphia, PA”
(For those unable to attend, the book will also have a long essay of mine entitled Mutant Pop and the Living Image; which might get a few of you going. I’ll post ordering info as soon as I can…)
May 31st. Graham Kolbeins and I walked the entire length of Santa Monica Boulevard in total silence, from sunset to sunrise, lapsing neither into introspection nor conversation, but together staying in a mode of speechless, vigilant perception. This inaugurates a new era for nightwalking in Los Angeles.
1. The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Ut translatio Natura.
3. Chicha, an alcohol made from fermented corn, popular in Andean regions.
I’ve grown fond lately of learning verse by heart. More often verse of a certain turn: that of the ecstatic. To chew up lines in your head, whisper them to yourself at night with your eyes closed, wildly mishandle their meanings— this is a true pleasure. Any poetic mood can be rewarding. Exacting bitterness, clean Apollonianisms, overblown panegyrics. It’s the ecstatic that expresses me though. For me, the ecstatic is an ultimate.
A dirge from the Lawrence Welk Show.
The Lawrence Welk Show is the favorite television program of both myself and my grandmother, but for completely different reasons. What we have here is a case of a single style, embraced by two widely divergent sensibilities. One set of elements apprehended from opposite ends.
August, 2009. Shawn Kornhauser and I tried our hand at touring, roughly based on the musical model. I lectured. He showed a short film. We followed the tour through the South— Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennesse, and back to Philadelphia, testing the waters in various venues.
Yesterday was Halloween, with sheets of rain. Halloween: what an apt night for the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study to shed its earthly coil; leaving behind the bulk of its brick and mortar and planks and drywall. I sat for a while, in my office— my Studium— for the last evening ever, pondering a plaster bust of myself… Three years, nearly, given over. And yet, I couldn’t find room for sentimentality. I was only thinking in terms of release.
“Si les vers ont esté l’abus de ma jeunesse, les vers seront aussi l’appuy de ma vieillesse. S’ils furent ma folie, ils seront ma raison.”
“If poetry has been the abuse of my youth, it will be the support of my old age. If it was my folly, it will be my reason.”— Joachim Du Bellay.