Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hey, check me out - I'm all Fluxus now!

Thanks Jennifer!

And R.I.P. Howard Zinn

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Cybernetic Delirium of Norbert Wiener

"The command, control, and communicative possibilities of cybernetics are rooted in the repeated sacrifice of other ways of being in and communicating about the worlds "we" are in. This makes cybernetics a restrictive economic practice.8 It sacrificially banishes other possible worlds for the purpose of provisionally fixing, stabilizing, and communicatively controlling the boundaries which stake out the "contingent world" of which cybernetics is itself constitutively a part. Cybernetics also seeks to monitor, regulate, and modify the dynamic loops of feedback governing this contingent world's continuance. And its change...

But, then, Wiener, like Sartre, was writing to combat what he discerned as the deadly freeze-framings of fascism. In contrast to the reductive and homogenizing violence of fascism, Wiener pictured cybernetics as offering a dynamic image of communicative exchange between heterogeneous beings; energetically scanning, monitoring, reading, interpreting, and adjustively responding to one another; all the while reproducing, modifying, defending, resisting, yielding, penetrating, and/or blurring the boundaries between themselves and others; these others now appearing ecologically, as if environments, as if spatially, temporarily outside.

Inside and out, cybernetics offers a model of "circular causation." Can you picture it? Wiener did. Which comes first: the cybernetic chicken or a golden egg? The answer, of course, is neither. Both are circularly caused: interactively, dynamically, reciprocally. Not mechanically, but in information-governed energetic exchange. Not one-way. But not all ways at once, either. Because when that happens, things loose their shape, liquefy; loose their distinction, their distinctiveness, their boundaries. Like water spinning in water; or lovers embracing from the outside in. But, orderly loops of communicative feedback control against such lovely, if dangerous, plays of chaos. As such, orderly feedback processes facilitate the erection of secure boundaries; helping to quiet, absorb, silence, control, construct sound proof boundaries against noise..."

The full text is here

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aaron Spectre - Look Out Fi Liar

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Un-Knowing and Rebellion

"My conception...consists in saying that all is play, that being is play, that the idea of God is unwelcome and, furthermore, intolerable, in that God, being situated outside time, can only be play, but is harnessed by human thought to creation and to all the implications of creation, which go contrary to play (to the game)..

Christianity, Christian thinking, remains the screen separating us from what I shall call the beatific vision of the game...

It seems to me to be our characteristically Christian conception of the world and of man in the world which resists, from the very outset, this thought that all is play...

But Christianity is only the spokesman of pain and death...

The philosophy of play appears, in a manner that is fundamental, to be truth itself, common and indisputable; it is, nevertheless, out of kilter in that we suffer and we die...

The other solution: we can think and be the game, make of the world and of ourselves a game on condition that we look suffering and death in the face. The greater game -- more difficult than we think -- the dialectic of the master who confronts death. Now, according to Hegel, the master is in error, it is the slave who vanquishes him, but the slave is nonetheless vanquished, and once he has vanquished the master, he is made to conquer himself. He must act not as master, but as rebel. The rebel first wants to eliminate the master, expel him from the world, while he, at the same time, acts as master, since he braves death...

The rebel's situation is thus highly equivocal...

Rebellion's essential problem lies in extricating man from the obligation of the slave...

I think, though, that this time I have found my way out of the first proposition of a philosophy of play by passing to the game itself...

It thus appears that we extricate ourselves from the philosophy of play, that we reach the point at which knowledge gives way, and that un-knowing then appears as the greater game -- the indefinable, that which thought cannot conceive. This is a thought which exists only timidly within me, one which I do not feel apt to sustain. I do think this way, it is true, but in the manner of a coward, like someone who is inwardly raving mad with terror..."

--Georges Bataille

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love wounds. There is no love that does not pierce the hands and feet. Love’s exquisite happiness is also love’s exquisite pain. I do not seek pain but there is pain. I do not seek suffering but there is suffering. It is better not to flinch, not to try and avoid those things in love’s direction. It is not easy, this love, but only the impossible is worth the effort.

In the Grail legends Lancelot, the best knight in the world, never does see the Grail because he cannot give up his love for Guinevere. As a moral essay this suggests that human passion is no substitute for divine love and that it prevents us from experiencing love fully. This has been the basis of Christian thought since St Paul.

There is another reading. Lancelot fails, not because he can’t give up Guinevere, but because he can’t distinguish between love’s symbol and what it represents. All human love is a dramatic enactment of the wild, reckless, unquenchable, undrainable love that powers the universe. If death is everywhere and inescapable, then so is love, if we but knew it. We can begin to know it through each other. The tamer my love, the farther away it is from love. In fierceness, in heat, in longing, in risk, I find something of love’s nature. In my desire for you, I burn at the right temperature to walk through love’s fire.

So when you ask my why I can’t love you more calmly, I answer that to love you calmly is not to love you at all.

— Jeanette Winterson, excerpted from The PowerBook

Via: Hotel New Babylon

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Bloodsongs for the n9" by De La Cruz Dolorosa

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"... Foucault described LSD as a shortcut between and beyond the categories of illusion and reality, the false and the true. It induced an accelerated thinking that "no sooner eliminates the supremacy of categories than it tears away the ground of its indifference and disintegrates the gloomy dumbshow of stupidity" to the point at which he encounters a "univocal and acategorical mass" that is not only "variegated, mobile, asymmetrical, decentered, spiraloid, and reverberating, but causes it to rise, at each instant, as a swarming of phantasm-events." The processes speed up: structures are displayed, shattered, and surpassed in swift succession, and "as it is freed from its catatonic chrysalis, thought invariably contemplates this indefinite equivalence transformed into an acute event and a sumptuous, appareled repetition." ...

Judgement is left in abeyance. The usual criteria need not apply. This is both the threat and the promise drugs can make. Just as repetition can fall into an addictive trap, so suspended disbelief can leave a vacuum where once there was a sense of right and wrong. But Foucault's careful genealogies of modern power are underwritten by the conviction that it is only such dispassionate and suspended states from which the workings of the world can be perceived. There is a cool ambivalence in all his work, a refusal to allow his thinking to fall back into the censorious positions of philosophical discourse. And if drugs tend to put aside the West's modern, even ancient, attempts to judge everything in terms of the really real and the truly true, they also introduce the only perspective from which they themselves can be understood. "Drugs have now become part of our culture," said Foucault in his interview with Charles Raus. "Just as there is good music and bad music, there are bad drugs and good drugs. So we can't say we are 'against' drugs and more than we can say we're 'against' music."

-- Sadie Plant, Writing On Drugs


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