Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who you callin' art-scum, buddy?

Spectre feat.Sensational - Pillars Of Smoke

You need to hear this...

Fact Mix 46: Cooly G

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mark Fisher (K-Punk) on Carroll, Kafka, The Situationists and Subversive Architectures

“…only a child can be lucid in Carroll and Kafka’s world — observing the senseless and arbitrary cruelty of adult caprice, whose only alibi is precedent. ‘Things have always been done that way. Don’t you know? How stupid are you?’ “

“…the Situationists and the Surrealists dream a dream deemed to be impossible, conceiving of a social system in which play and reason combine in an exploration of Intensive Now.”

“It’s disastrous that the Situationist insistence upon the ludic has degenerated into a smugonautic celebration of bourgeois circus trickery (juggling and unicylcists as the shock troops of the revolution against Corporate Kapital). You have to reread Ivan Chtcheglov’s astonishing Formulary for a New Urbanism…How could architecture - i.e. the places in which we live - not be an intensely political matter? And why should we live in boring, utilitarian spaces when we could live in grottoes and crooked caverns? ‘A mental disease has swept the planet: banalization. Everyone is hypnotized by production and conveniences…’ “

The Full Post Is Here

Grant Morrison - Disinfo Lecture

This is one of the wildest ontological rides I’ve been on in years! The video is long (45 minutes), but if you have the time, I can’t recommend watching this enough. If you don’t have time, bookmark it and watch it in segments.

My mind is still trying to integrate some of the things he says…

Grant Morrison - Disinfo Lecture

Mike | MySpace Video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Matti Klarwein


Tuxedo Moon - No Tears (A Montage of Accelerated Memory)

Babylon System - Everyday Hustle

Don Cherry, Rashied Ali, James "Blood" Ulmer

Jaco Pastorius and Rashied Ali - Donna Lee

Pierre Henry - Dislocation

Surrealism: A Golden Bomb

“The mere word ‘freedom’ is the only one that still excites me … Imagination alone offers me some intimation of what can be.” ---- First Surrealist Manifesto ---- “All power to the imagination!” ---- Surrealist and Situationist slogan ---- It’s commonplace nowadays for anarchists to cite the Situationist International as important political forebears, and to use Situationist ideas in their political analyses. But there is far less understanding or appreciation of the movement that arguably gave birth to it: Surrealism, a genuinely international revolutionary movement which predated the Situationist International by several decades, has outlasted it by even longer, and continues with unabated fury today. The claim that anarchists are ignorant of the Surrealist movement might seem at first glance to be an odd one, given the enormous volume of books, exhibitions and TV documentaries on the history of Surrealism which cultural pundits continue to churn out – not to mention the extent to which the word “surreal” has entered everyday language as a synonym for “bizarre” or “zany”. The problem is that almost all of these representations of Surrealism, academic and popular alike, are gross misrepresentations of the movement’s principles and trajectory. So let’s start by listing a few of the things that Surrealism is not. It’s not a 20th-century art movement. It’s not an artistic or literary style. It is not a precursor of, or identical with, postmodernism. Salvador Dalí was not its greatest exponent (he was expelled from the movement in 1939 for his betrayal of its basic values), and André Breton was not acclaimed as its “Pope” (the epithet was coined as a vile insult by Breton’s enemies). It was and is not restricted to Paris, or to Europe, and it did not end in 1945, 1966, 1969, or any other date you may have read. In fact today there are active Surrealist groups in cities all over the world, including Athens, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Istanbul, Izmir, Leeds, London, Madrid, Montevideo, Paris, Prague, São Paolo, St Louis and Stockholm, as well as scores of individual Surrealists working alone or in collaboration with others.

Surrealism’s participants are passionate in their devotion to their cause, which aims to re-enchant and revolutionise everyday life. It’s a revolutionary movement not just in the sense of social revolution – much less artistic revolution – but total revolution, a transformation of reality at every level. For this reason it can perhaps best be characterised not as a cultural movement, or even as a philosophy, but as a quest for truth.

The poetic storm

The truth Surrealism is seeking is not the factual truth of “reality” as defined by the social or natural sciences, or indeed by most revolutionary political analysis. The utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch, a major influence on recent Surrealist thought, sums it up:

Is truth a justification of the world or is it hostile to the world? Isn’t the whole existing world devoid of truth? The world as it exists is not true. There exists a second concept of truth which is not positivistic, which is not founded on a declaration of facticity, on “verification through the facts,” but which is instead loaded with value – as, for example, in the concept “a true friend,” or in Juvenal’s expression Tempestas poetica – that is, the kind of storm one finds in a book, a poetic storm, the kind that reality has never witnessed, a storm carried to the extreme, a radical storm and therefore a true storm. And if that doesn’t correspond to the facts … in that case, too bad for the facts.

Surrealism is a quest for the true storm: the value-laden kind of truth which is truer than facts, logic or rationality because it tells us not merely what is, but what can be – the truth, in other words, of the imagination. The imagination is therefore both Surrealism’s research instrument and its field of investigation; and because it reveals to us what can be, the imagination is also the truest realm of freedom. Thus truth, freedom and imagination are indivisible, and their indivisibility is manifested in poetry – not poetry in the mundane sense of lines on a page, but in the deeper Surrealist sense of poetic truth, a kind of illumination which Surrealists also refer to as convulsive beauty, surreality or, more often, the Marvellous.

The annihilation of the distinction between apparently contradictory states, such as that between truth and poetry, has been the central principle of the Surrealist movement ever since the First Manifesto of 1924: in all the decades of activity since then, in all the different locations and historical, social and political contexts in which it has been conducted, this ongoing quest for the Marvellous has been what gives the movement its unity and purpose. As the Second Surrealist Manifesto (1930) famously puts it:

Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions. Now, search as one may one will never find any other motivating force in the activities of the Surrealists than the hope of finding and fixing this point.

Dreams and play

The Marvellous, then, is the point where contradictions are transmuted, the rules of logic implode, and the unity of truth, imagination and freedom is manifested. The most important fault lines upon which Surrealism operates are therefore the contradictions not just between real and imagined, but also between conscious and unconscious, sleeping and waking, and subjective and objective. This is why Surrealists have always been preoccupied with dreams – not because they simply love “bizarre” images for their own sake, but because dreams occur, precisely, at the vanishing point between all those contradictions. Dreams therefore offer a privileged point of access to the Marvellous, and are both cherished (most Surrealists keep a dream diary as a matter of course) and interrogated (Surrealists often experiment with different forms of dreaming, including collective dreaming and lucid dreaming). Other such privileged points of access include practices of automatism, ranging from automatic drawing and writing to musical improvisation and even dance; encounters with “found objects”; and experiences of “objective chance”, where extraordinary and sometimes prophetic coincidences obliterate the dichotomy between objective, “external” events and subjective, “internal” significance and meaning.Surrealist investigations into these phenomena are rigorous and experimental, and usually take the form of play – sometimes in organised games, which can be more or less elaborately planned in advance, and sometimes in more spontaneous outbreaks of sheer playfulness. (Such playfulness is evident, for example, in the practices of détournement and the dérive, both of which were being explored by Surrealists before their adoption by the Situationists and continue to be developed and refined by Surrealists today.) Play is Surrealists’ favourite mode of research at least partly because serious play as such operates at that vanishing point between real and imaginary, conscious and unconscious. It also expresses Surrealists’ furious rejection of work, duty, usefulness and all those other “adult” values which represent compromise and defeat at the hands of a disenchanted and immiserated world. Play with others also revolves around the core Surrealist value of collectivity: Surrealism is often described as a “collective adventure”, and the practices of joint enquiry and shared experience have been essential throughout the movement’s history. Working collectively is not just a way of expressing solidarity and sparking ideas; opening up one’s own unconscious and putting it into direct communication with those of one’s comrades constitutes a radical experiment in breaking down the barriers between subjective and objective, and can be a transforming (and sometimes terrifying) adventure in its own right.

Surrealism and revolution

Facts are hostile to truth, and surreality is more real than reality; truth, imagination and freedom are indivisible, and the Marvellous is their manifestation. Clearly, Surrealism is a revolutionary movement in more than the usual sense of the word. But contrary to the widespread accusation that they are apolitical dreamers or, even worse, well-meaning political idealists, most Surrealists are acutely aware of the burning need for revolutionary action in the factual world here and now. Imagination may give us glimpses of what can be, but real-life revolutionary activity is required to get us there. In the words of Benjamin Péret: “This urgently-required, indispensable revolution is the key to the future … A poet these days must be either a revolutionary or not a poet.”

The Surrealist movement today is justly proud of its heritage of revolutionary consciousness and action. From Péret fighting with Durruti in Spain, to Claude Cahun’s Resistance activities on Occupied Jersey; from the courage and persistence of the Prague Surrealist Group under Stalinism, to that of Surrealists living under vicious dictatorships in southern Europe and Latin America; across a whole range of revolutionary commitment as anarchists, Marxists, Trotskyists, street-fighters and insurrectionists of every kind, Surrealists have played passionate roles in resistance and social action, and continue to do so today.

The current political composition of the international Surrealist movement is a mixture, broadly speaking, of Marxists (often, though not exclusively, Trotskyists) and anarchists (including communists, syndicalists, Wobblies, primitivists and anarcha-feminists). With such a mixture of revolutionary perspectives, it’s no surprise that internal political debates within the movement are frequent and often heated. Nonetheless it remains a matter of principle that the movement as a whole does not toe any party line or subordinate itself to any one political viewpoint or programme. This Surrealist rejection of dogma even extends to Surrealism itself. The commitment to poetic truth is an unshakeable fundamental principle, but all other practices and ideas, including those of Breton, are constantly tested and questioned. There is no such thing as orthodox Surrealism.

Surrealists recognise the urgent necessity of social revolution and the overthrow of capitalism, and many of them are active participants in revolutionary struggle. But they insist no less furiously on the urgent necessity of poetic truth, imagination, freedom, and the total transformation of reality. Indeed, for Surrealists the seeming dichotomy between poetry and political action is just as false as all the others: poetry is the practice of freedom, and vice versa. On the table in my parents’ house lies a golden bomb, with a live caterpillar for its detonator. Social revolution alone just isn’t going to be enough.

Suggested further reading:

André Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1972.

Michael Löwy, Morning Star: Surrealism, Marxism, Anarchism, Situationism, Utopia, University of Texas Press, 2009.

Michael Richardson & Krzysztof Fijalkowski (eds), Surrealism Against the Current: Tracts and Declarations, Pluto Press, 2001.

Penelope Rosemont (ed.), Surrealist Women: an International Anthology, Athlone Press, 1998.

Ron Sakolsky (ed.), Surrealist Subversions: Rants, Writings & Images by the Surrealist Movement in the United States, Autonomedia, 2002.

Some Surrealist groups’ websites in English:

Chicago Surrealist Group –www.surrealistmovement-usa.org

Leeds Surrealist Group –leedssurrealistgroup.wordpress.com

London Surrealist Group –londonsurrealistgroup.wordpress.com

Surrealist London Action Group –robberbridegroom.blogspot.com

Stockholm Surrealist Group –www.surrealistgruppen.org andwww.icecrawler.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Three by David Gascoyne

Yves Tanguy

The worlds are breaking in my head
Blown by the brainles wind
That comes from afar
Swollen with dusk and dust
And hysterical rain

The fading cries of night
Awaken the endless desert
Engrossed in its tropical slumber
Enclosed by the dead grey oceans
Enclasped by the arms of the night

The worlds are breaking in my head
Their fragments are crumbs of despair
The food of the solitary damned
Who awaits the gross tumult of turbulent
Days bringing change without end

The worlds are breaking in my head
The fuming future sleeps no more
For their seeds are beginning to grow
To creep and to cry midst the
Rocks of the desert to come

Planetary seed
Sown by the grotesque wind
Whose head us so swollen with rumours
Whose hands are so urgent with tumours
Whose feet are so deep in the sand.

The Cage

In the waking night
The forests have stopped growing
The shells are listening
The shadows in the pools turn grey
The pearls dissolve in the shadow
And I return to you

Your face is marked upon the clockface
My hands are beneath your hair
And if the time you mark sets free to birds
And if they fly away towards the forest
The hour will no longer be ours

Ours is the ornate birdcage
The brimming cup of water
The preface to the book
And all the clocks are ticking
All the dark rooms are moving
All the air's nerves are bare

Once flown
The feathered hour will not return
And I shall have gone away

Ex Nihilio

There am i now down
Beneath the black glare of a netherworld's
Dead suns, dust in my mouth, among
Dun tiers no tears refresh: am cast
Down by a lofty hand,
Hand that I love! Lord Light,
How dark is thy arm's will and ironlike
Thy ruler's fingers that has sent me here!
Far from thy face I nothing understand,
But kiss the hand that has consigned

Me to these latter years where I must learn
The revelation of despair, and find
Among the debris of all certainties
The hardest stone on which to found
Altar and shelter for Eternity.
The order of the world is always right -- such is the judgment of God. For God has departed, but he has left his judgment behind, the way the Cheshire cat has left his grin...

Melancholy is just as much an affectation as joie de vivre -- who is happy to be alive? Beings, like things, are naturally prostrate and only manage to seem happy by a superhuman effort, which has a great deal of affectation in it, but this is more in line with the involution of things...

The real is not threatened by its double today (Clement Rosset): it is threatened by its very idiocy...

Philosophy and psychology died at the same moment as 'the other', and the desire for the other, died. Only the empty sign of their concept shines out now, in a sky devoted to the mental simulacrum and the pataphysical comfort of our great cities...

There are cultures which can only picture their origins and not their ends.
Some are obsessed by both.
Two other positions are possible: only picturing one's end -- our own culture; picturing neither beginning nor end -- the coming culture...

With the truth, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible and pass it on to someone else. As with illness, this is the only way to be cured of it. The person who keeps truth in his hands has lost...

The Gift (too moral, too Christian)
Expenditure (too Romantic, too transgressive, too aesthetic)
Desire (too energetic, too repressed, too liberating)
Debt (nothing can be redeemed -- too religious)

All the analytico-revolutionary utopias revolve around these four 'concepts' which reverberate with one another.

Some heresies are more paradoxical. Sovereignty (Bataille), cruelty (Artaud), the simulacrum (Klossowski). Seduction...

The beauty of the Aztec myth: it is by their death that the gods, one by one, give birth to light, the stars, the sky, the earth and men...

-- Jean Baudrillard, from Cool Memories

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cooly G Mix, Isobel Rucker "Unfurling" and Sculpture

"Cooly G’s Love Dub EP is two sided, with the title track being a loud whispered Sade meets dubstep simmer while the flip, “Narst,” is a more stressful Hunt For Red October-style string-laden darkness, echoed percussion and violent keys. Her recent Rinse FM podcast jingles somewhere in between, two-stepped uptempo female vocal house variations reigning for a varied enough portion—a few of these rickety dubs sound like long lost Amerie demos (one can only hope). The rest of the 97-minute mix is enough thin, pinging drums to kill an angry commute. The highlight may be her track “Last Night” almost an hour through with the dripping accusation, Last night I called you on your cell phone."

Cooly G Rinse FM Podcast

Isabel Rucker

If you like "tape wonky loop electronic collage improv cassette noise cut-up" music...

Sculpture, Live

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The amazing Kris Kuksi. Check out his Myspace profile here.

Meredith Wren "A Body Without Organs

Muslimgauze Untitled

Mad Lib "Slim's Return

Joe Jane "Saturation Numerique"

Richard Pinhas "Live In Torun"

DJ Krust and Saul Williams "Coded Language

Nurse With Wound "The Bottom Feeder"

Noah 23 "Insect Network"

Ira Cohen and Sunburned Hand of the Man "Live In Brooklyn"


About Me

All material on this blog is for educational and/or promotional uses only. I endorse nothing here. If you want anything I post removed, please email me at montycantsin@rocketmail.com