Friday, October 26, 2007


To embrace the irrational is merely to embrace the obverse of instrumental rationality. In its own way bataillean surrealism is also instrumental, though it reverses the polarity of determination from human action on nature to natural action on humans. Bataille was wrong about cruelty and sexuality: they are not repressed. Torture, inquisitions, rape and genocide are integral to modernity from Torquemada to Abu Ghraib. Simondon's thesis opf the 'pre-individual' drawn into individuation through socio-technical assemblages, and Adorno's inclusion of 'bodily impulse' in any act of spontaneity capable of rupturing the administration of the world to produce action: these are not bataillean binaries but dialectical syntheses.

Now that the boundaries of the private have been driven back, this process appears as the dialectic of public and intimate. Conviviality in communication and the cosmopolitan ethic of care will depend on this dialectic. This may yet be the role of the wireless assemblage of isolated individuals imagining community. Or the immersive spectacle's communities united in their isolation.

Boiling point

Points of appearance and disappearance are congruent with moments of virtuality such as the bloiling point, the statistically likely moment at which water boils but which does not determine that all the molecules vapourise simultaneously. The virtual image is likewise turbulent, the lynchpin of any image in which it may become other than it is in any direction. Contra Bazin: not the actual image but its becoming.

(This may be the source of the misunderstanding that all moving pictures are narrative)

Wallace Stevens

"A fortunate powem or a fortunate painting is a synthesis of exceptional concentration (that degree of concentration that has a lucidity of its own, in which we see clearly what we want to do and do it instantly and perfectly)"

A perfect experience.


Not biology: architecture is destiny

A Coin that is not a coin

Despair and the sublime: two views on a single incommunication

The Departed

The immanent otherworld now presents itself via callphone. The other world is dis-place-ment, a place always other, always elsewhere, not necessarily better but different and synchronous.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Note to self

Quote from Benjamin on architectural behaviourism: conclude analysis with move towards behaviours (transient). Address the criticism of presumption of effect: that individual experience (of awe etc) is a) incommunicable b) a matter of biopolitics and c) the individualism of ethnographic self-reporting is itself an integral element of the spectacular regime. (what i thought about the film is only relevant to the extent that it is statistically congruent). Move from here to third-screen as the missing part of an integral freedom in the era after the hi-lo distinction has dissolved. the two torn halves.Use the mobile phones of The Departed to make this connection

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

neo-baroque iCon

Angela Ndalianis' neo-baroque is doubled or shadowed by the second great developmet in 21st century media: the always-on wireless world. In the old baroque and the new, the immense and immersive spectacle engulfs the viewer-auditor, but also addresses them as individual - individual soul in the old, individual consumer in the neo. By contrast the wireless experience is primarily of isolation, but isolation in perpetual connectivity. The dialectical connection between immersion and connectivity, at present and perhaps forever mutually exclusive as the sublime is irreconcilable with the communicative. A dialectic whose map might be written: Actuality of community, illusion of isolation vs actuality of isolation, illusion of community.

reflections on creativity

New online from the University of Dundee, a collection of papers on the nature and future of creativity, including a piece of mine, "Creative Theory", whose abstract runs:
This paper discusses the nature of creative activity and the purpose of theorising creativity. The paper suggests that creativity is a shared and dialogical activity thus complicating questions of ownership and intellectual property.

Positioning creativity as the interplay between the physical world, available technology and the socio-psychological conditions of the artist, it manifests in the human subject as the sum of these historically determined fields. To illustrate this, the works of Ansel Adams and Albrecht DŸrer are discussed.

Linking materialist and ecological perspectives, the paper draws a parallel between labour and creativity, and warns against its manipulation and exploitation. Creativity - it is suggested - is tied to finite resources, thus is itself not endless, and should be carefully examined and understood. The process of theorising creativity can bring awareness to the practitioner and open routes to finding a sustainable future.