DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Varioso #28: VEGM, The Family International, Sad Russian porn stars, Bulgarian disco in Frankfurt, Nabe, Maddin, Hiller, Millhauser, Ziegler, Mokhorev, Lafont, Zwart, Kyger, Transdemonium, Shamate, metronomes, McCormack, architectural orphans, Game Art Unlimited, 5 bitchin’ robots, Tamala 2010, Messerschmidt, The Last Messages Club *

* (restored)
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‘A Video-Enhanced Grave Marker (VEGM) is a Western-style tombstone equipped with weatherproofed video playback that is initiated by remote control. Through sound and video, VEGMs make visits to graveyards an interactive experience. The high tech tombstones are currently offered by FuneralOne, a company based in St. Clair, Michigan.

‘The VEGM, invented by Robert Barrows of San Mateo, California, allows its owner to record messages to be played to loved ones or to any visitor to the site with a remote control. The stones are equipped with weatherproofed video playback and recording devices plus memory systems and a television monitor placed within a weather-proofed, hollowed-out headstone. As of May 2005, Barrows estimated that the costs of the VEGMs started at about USD$8000 to $10,000.

‘Barrows commented soon after its invention: “I envision being able to walk through a cemetery using a remote control, clicking on graves and what all the people buried there have to say. They can say all
the things they didn’t have the opportunity or guts to say when they were alive.”

‘To overcome noise pollution objections, the audio can also be transmitted to wireless headsets, made available by the cemetery’s office. Commenting on the threat from thieves or vandals Barrows adds, “There are very strict laws against vandalizing tombstones, and if you are going to vandalize a tombstone, you’d better hope there are no such things as ghosts.”

‘The issue of censorship is a serious concern with VEGMs. How high a level of free speech can be offered to the eventually deceased is undecided.’ — Toronto Star

 

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The Family International was founded by claimed prophetic leader David Berg in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, USA. It sprang from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s, with many of its early converts drawn from the hippie movement. Due to its unusual emphasis on total commitment, it triggered the first organized anticult group (FREECOG), and the unconventional sexual practices which soon followed within the Children of God solidified its place among the movements prompting the cult controversy of the 1970s and 1980s in the United States and Europe.

As The Family grew and expanded around the world, so did its message—salvation, apocalypticism, spiritual “revolution” against the outside world they called “the System”—and resultant controversy. During the early to mid 1970s, the group initiated several radical methods of evangelism, including Flirty Fishing—using sex to show God’s love and win converts and support.

Today, The Family’s leadership is headed by Berg’s widow Karen Zerby, under whom the group has both bowed to several reforms and initiated additional unconventional doctrines, including the “Loving Jesus revelation” which encourages members from the age of 14 to engage in a sexual relationship with Jesus. (cont.)

Cult Killer: The Rick Rodriguez Story

00:00
Text on screen: Cutting Edge
Rick Rodriguez: Well hey everyone, this is Rick and I am making this video.
Text on screen: January 7th, 2005
Text on screen: This is rick’s suicide note
Rick: I want there to be some record, my ideas, just who I was really
00:32
Text on screen: Rick was born into a religious cult
Rick: Hope I don’t fuck up and do something stupid and blow my nose off instead of my fucking head.

 

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Sad Russian porn stars

 

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DEVELOPING DREAMS INTO
CONCEPTS, CONCEPS INTO
DESIGNS AND DESIGNS
INTO PHYSICAL REALITY

‘Disco Design Ltd. (former name Pit Project Ltd.) was established in 2000 by Peter Yordanov, who has been the director and designer of our company. Before this time, Peter was a famous DJ in Bulgaria, and throughout Europe. During his journeys within the continent, he noticed that there is not much interior feeling in the Nightclubs. He has had a lot of ideas about designing clubs, and making people feel more comfortable.

‘With his profound experience of the nightclub industry, prosperous creativity, and sedulous thirst of knowledge, Peter has developed a unique policy of his company. After designing and renovating more than 100 clubs in unique full custom designs, he has experienced a constantly growing interest for his offers by potential clients.

‘Responding to this demand, he concentrated on the development of a new range of articles – SMART PRODUCTS for nightclub and bar design applications drawn by a stylish look – that has been registered community design by Peter Yordanov – but allowing an easy installation within a few days by any night club team usually leaded by an electrician. The appreciation by the public has been overwhelming!’ — disco-designer.com

Watch this Video!
LIGHT ULTRACLUB

!!!!MOST WANTED!!!!
Peter Yordanov

 

!!!!PUT YOUR HANDS UP FOR LED RETRO!!!!

!!!!PUT YOUR HANDS UP FOR FRANKFURT!
WE LOVE THIS CITY!!!!

This is a stylish night club where 35 sorts
of whisky are offered. Besides, there
are also So many kinds of alcoholic
drinks and cocktails. The barman’s
are one of the best Bulgarians.
A luxury, refined, future atmosphere.
The club has approximately 200 places.
Every day the programme is various.
Special kighting effects, average prices.
Looking for Party People – Party Jobs!

—-

 

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The Man Who Stopped Writing
by Andrew Gallix

Marc-Edouard Nabe has always relished playing with fire, but never more so than when he burned what would have been the fifth volume of his journal. His main motivation was to avoid being trapped in a Shandyesque race with time, ending up pigeonholed as a diarist. Nevertheless, he went on to describe this event in Alain Zannini (2002), a novel so blatantly autobiographical that it even bore his real name as its title (Nabe, short for “nabot” — midget — is a nom de plume). The implication was clear: having lived his life in order to narrate it, Zannini had gradually become Nabe’s creation. What, then, would happen if the writer were to stop writing?

This ontological question is raised in L’Homme qui arrêta d’écrire (“The Man Who Stopped Writing”), which begins with the author-narrator’s paradoxical assertion — given the length of the book, let alone its very existence — that he has forsaken literature after being dropped by his publisher. “A publisher paying me to write books nobody reads,” he deadpans, “I thought this would go on for ever.”

For the best part of two decades, the real-life Nabe had received a monthly wage from Les Editions du Rocher, but this stipend was suddenly withdrawn when they were bought out in 2005. The novelist responded by taking legal action. Throughout the lengthy lawsuit, he expressed himself by means of posters, which his hardcore supporters pasted all over the walls of France’s major cities. He also maintained the fiction that his authorial days were over, so as to remain in character while secretly writing his novel about writing no more.

The appearance of L’Homme qui arrêta d’écrire thus came as quite a surprise, not least because Nabe chose to go down the self-publishing, or rather “anti-publishing”, route. The minimalist jet-black cover has a whiff of piracy about it: no barcode, no ISBN, no publisher’s name or logo; the spine remains bare. On the front, the author’s name is reduced to “Nabe” as if it had become a brand, and on the back you only find a number, indicating that it is the author’s twenty-eighth published work (and seventh novel). The book is only available through an official website and a handful of highly unlikely retailers (a butcher’s, a florist’s, a hairdresser’s and three restaurants at the last count). By cutting out the middleman, Nabe claims to be able to make a 70% profit, instead of the usual 10%, on each copy sold. The initial print run — funded by the sale of paintings (Nabe is also an artist and jazz guitarist) — sold out within a month; there have been three more since. Last year, the novel was shortlisted for the prestigious Renaudot prize — a first for a self-published volume in France — and last month, the online platform morphed into a full-blown company.

This declaration of war on the publishing industry is in keeping with Nabe’s image as an écrivain maudit. “Great artists,” says the protagonist, as Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil manuscript is auctioned off at Sotheby’s, “have but one purpose: to become moral alibis for the bastards of posterity”. Initially accused of being a crypto-fascist (partly because of his predilection for Céline and Lucien Rebatet), Nabe is now frequently depicted as a pro-Palestinian leftist (whose anti-Americanism, it must be said, borders on the pathological). His first television appearance, in 1985, proved so incendiary that he was beaten up by a leading anti-racist campaigner. Every day, he declared — looking every inch the provocative young fogey, complete with centre parting, bow tie and retro spectacles — I shoot up with a Montblanc pen full of “utter hatred of humanity”. A great admirer of Jacques Mesrine, Nabe famously befriended the flamboyant bankrobber Albert Spaggiari as well as the Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Following 9/11, he produced a pamphlet entitled Une Lueur d’espoir (“A Glimmer of Hope”) and argued repeatedly that bin Laden was only acting in self-defence. In 2003, he even travelled to Baghdad, where he protested against the invasion of Iraq in typically Gallic fashion: by writing a novel. These antics may have earned him a large cult following, but Mazarine Pingeot summed up the views of many when she declared that Nabe was “unfortunately” a great writer.

Despite running to almost 700 pages, L’Homme qui arrêta d’écrire has no chapters or even paragraphs, as though it were shot in real time, like 24, the American TV series the narrator watches. If the dialogue is a little didactic — even Socratic — at times, there are far fewer purple passages than usual. This is the affectless, almost pedestrian, prose of someone who will not even allow himself to sign an autograph or compose a letter any more. The novel is meant to read as if it were unwritten. This tonal blankness (often reminiscent of Houellebecq’s) is marred on occasion by poor punning, but it can also be shot through with flashes of sheer poetry: a vintage sewing machine is likened to a “giant bee in mourning”; a brunette’s hair looks like it has been “soaked in liquid night”.

(cont.)

Marc-Édouard Nabe Website
Marc-Édouard Nabe Fansite
Marc-Édouard Nabe Video Playlist
Marc-Édouard Nabe @ goodreads

 

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‘Viewing Maddin’s Sissy Boy Slap Party for the first time I was amazed. It came out of nowhere and with a stunning pace proceeded to race with a blistering pace towards a climax of frenzied editing and then come crashing down again united nothing more than by the lines of an old man with a bike. The images and story, if it can be called that, are definitely homo-erotic and simplistic, but they are irrelevant to appreciate what one website called a “micromontage” of furious sound and sight. Sissy Boy possesses the Guy Maddin trademark references to silent, obscure films and their makers. Visually it might be the equivalent of turning on a foreign language radio station or television program or turning off the subtitles of a film and finding yourself totally lost from a narrative perspective. It becomes a form of rhythm and the words and sounds take on their own quality quite apart from any meaning. But the early cinematic techniques don’t necessarily have the problem of reference that an unfamiliar language would have. The early film makers were trying to tell a story and invented many techniques to visually do so. Maddin is, then, like some Frankenstein who cuts them up, shocks them with electricity, and brings them back to life if only as echoey shadows.’ — Kuro5hin

 

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Susan Hiller’s Witness (2000) takes the form of a darkened room in which hundreds of loudspeakers hang, at various heights, some out of reach to all but the tallest of visitors, catching the light from a ring of lights at the centre of the work and beams directed into the centre from the edges (in the chapel the external light came from windows masked in blue). Entering the space, it’s immediately apparent that the cacophony of voices that fills the room emanates from the speakers. Getting closer it becomes clear that the voices speak in many languages and that each voice tells a story – a true story – of an encounter with a UFO or similarly unexplained phenomenon. At times the cacophony dies down and a single voice fills the room. Spookily, this always seems to be the voice you were already listening to. The stories are ones Hiller found on the internet; they are given voice for the installation, spoken in their original language. Some are recent, others decades old. Some are from named sources, others anonymous. Many start with a disclaimer indicating that the storyteller expects to be disbelieved.’ — Ann Jones, Mostly Film

 

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‘The novel wants to sweep everything into its mighty embrace — shores, mountains, continents. But it can never succeed, because the world is vaster than a novel, the world rushes away at every point. The novel leaps restlessly from place to place, always hungry, always dissatisfied, always fearful of coming to an end — because when it stops, exhausted but never at peace, the world will have escaped it. The short story concentrates on its grain of sand, in the fierce belief that there — right there, in the palm of its hand — lies the universe. It seeks to know that grain of sand the way a lover seeks to know the face of the beloved. It looks for the moment when the grain of sand reveals its true nature. In that moment of mystic expansion, when the macrocosmic flower bursts from the microcosmic seed, the short story feels its power. It becomes bigger than itself. It becomes bigger than the novel. It becomes as big as the universe. Therein lies the immodesty of the short story, its secret aggression. Its method is revelation. Its littleness is the agency of its power. The ponderous mass of the novel strikes it as the laughable image of weakness. The short story apologizes for nothing. It exults in its shortness. It wants to be shorter still. It wants to be a single word. If it could find that word, if it could utter that syllable, the entire universe would blaze up out of it with a roar. That is the outrageous ambition of the short story, that is its deepest faith, that is the greatness of its smallness.’ — Steven Millhauser

 

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i am Richard Ziegler a 13 year old in New Zealand and i came across a video of someone who made there own roller coaster so i decided to make my own.
the track is 30 cm and 45 cm wide with 2 or 3 15 cm planks side by side
its 65 cm tall at the start and has already been extended to 18 meters and still has about 10 meters to go.
it goes over 10 kph at some points and will end up going up to twice this speed when complete.
it is still a work in progress and has had about 2-3 weeks of work on it
hope you like it
total cost FREE all wood and side rails came from under our house
YES IT IS A ROLLER COASTER AS IT ROLL’S AND COASTS
and its better than some people who make these like a skateboard on a drive way

 

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Evgeny Mokhorev

 

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‘One of France’s most original actresses, Bernadette Lafont embodies many of the contradictions of French film since the war. She is both sexy and rather plain, ditsy ebullient and quite serious, tremendously creative and yet limited by her very Frenchness in a world dominated by the Hollywood movie machine. Famously associated with New Wave directors, Lafont has in a tumultuous life done a bit of everything, from television movies to the stage, never quite the megastar but always a strong presence, smart and messed up all at the same time.’ — Katherine Knorr

 

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Piet Zwarte

 

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Rock

Hit absolute rock bottom
Are you there rock? No?

No rock on bottom

— Joanne Kyger

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‘Following the development of Total Audio Works for the award-winning theatre installation Hotel Gasten, Liseberg Park, Gotenberg (1999), I was commissioned to devise a sonic environment for a ‘walk and ride-through’ drama, Transdemonium, Parc Asterix. In most thematic applications audiences are pulsed through the score at predetermined intervals to synchronise with actors, animatronics and drama. Sound and music effects are triggered in isolation with no thematic thread between sequences. TAW is designed as 48 points of looped audio, each broadcast simultaneously and discretely mapped to 48 strategically positioned speakers. This uniquely enables an audience to explore a sonic environment in their own time, auditioning the sound as if travelling through a symphony – with the freedom to move forwards or backwards through the score – the drama unfolding in a more natural organic form.

‘TAW was developed using looped digital music samples (as generative music for games) but sequenced as a non-linear-through-score. One sequence required the power of prayer to be symbolised as aspiring to a higher and higher spiritual order manifested in the audience physically rising upwards through a 30m spiral. Conventional multi-point immersive audio confines listeners to exploring sound fields within the single horizontal plane. There are instances where sonic artists configure gallery installations in the vertical, but none has through-scored music.

‘The challenge was to create a soundtrack of multiple harmonic Gregorian phrases that rendered the sensation of journeying upwards through a choral work made up of multiple layers of sonic strata. The final sound installation combined the principals of TAW, reconfigured in a vertical form, with five separate surround systems stacked at 6m levels. Transdemonium was the first public thematic experience with scored music for vertical surround. The first thematic experience to use original music composed and designed for a multiple stacked surround in a vertical configuration.’ — Guillaume de Marchant

 

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‘On Nov. 5, a Chinese blogger posted three photos of a young man in spiky hair for his 1.6 million followers on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter. “Caught a live shamate on the street today,” he wrote gleefully, adding that their hairstyles “look like the molecular structure of some virus.” Meanwhile, a music video called “Shamate Meets Wash-Cut-Blowdry,” a reference to the group’s often-maligned hairstyles, featuring leggy girls gyrating to the tune of Korean pop-singer Psy’s song “Gentleman,” has received more than 2.4 million views on Youku, China’s YouTube. (Predictably, comments to the video poked fun.) These shamate are the young migrants lost in China’s great urbanization push, a subculture whose numbers are unknown, but surely growing.

‘To hip Chinese sensibilities, shamate — named after a deliberately nonsensical transliteration of the English word “smart” — are anything but. Baidu Baike, China’s Wikipedia, describes a shamate as a young urban migrant from one of the tens of thousands of podunk towns scattered across China. These men and women are in their late teens or early 20s, often with middle-school educations and few marketable skills, working low-paying jobs in the big cities, like a barber, security guard, deliveryman, or waitress.

‘A shamate’s single most distinguishing (and derided) feature is his or her exaggerated hairstyle: curly perms, shaggy blow-outs, or spiky do’s, all held together with considerable abuse of hair coloring or wax. Clothing bought from a street market, some body piercing, and an off-brand cell phone often completes the look. Shamates usually linger in the social purgatory of small hair salons, smoky Internet cafes, or street market stalls in China’s big cities, not quite fitting into the world of shiny office buildings and expensive department stores that surrounds them.

‘Shamate’s outré fashion choices reflect something much deeper: collective alienation, a byproduct of China’s massive urban migration push and the country’s widening class divide. While roughly half of China’s 1.4 billion people live in cities, the consultancy McKinsey projects the number of urban residents to grow by more than 350 million in 2025; more than 240 million of those new additions will be migrants.’ — Tea Leaf Nation

 

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How to synchronize metronomes

 

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‘A New Zealand truck driver said he blew up like a balloon when he fell onto the fitting of a compressed air hose that pierced his buttock and forced air into his body at 100 pounds a square inch.

‘Steven McCormack was standing on his truck’s foot plate Saturday when he slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the truck’s brakes. He fell hard onto the brass fitting, which pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into his body.

‘”I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot,” he told local media from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane, on North Island’s east coast. “I was blowing up like a football. I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon.”

‘McCormack’s workmates heard his screams and ran to him, quickly releasing a safety valve to stop the air flow, said Robbie Petersen, co-owner of the trucking company. He was rushed to the hospital with terrible swelling and fluid in one lung. Doctors said the air had separated fat from muscle in McCormack’s body, but had not entered his bloodstream. McCormack said his skin felt “like a pork roast” – crackling on the outside but soft underneath.’ — The New Zealander

 

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‘The internet is the only reality where one can copy a gravestone infinitely. Above is a architectural orphan as a framed area, as a gravestone ripped from my cyber-territorialized self elsewhere. Below I give its copied bits a resting place.

‘The process behind this work is a simplistic, non-obtrusive and intangible media technology hacking with an abstract artistic result. As in a petri dish one can culture microorganisms, these works are a culture of media. I have entitled this technology “architectural orphans:” abstractions of ubiquitous but ignored nooks, cracks or micro objects in otherwise often visited locales.

‘The photograph was taken in a guerrilla-styled low-profile manner. Error upon error, while not creating inferiority but rather establishing grounds for new creations; new artistic life. Their oddity of spacial sensation is abstractly and “organically” created by the deconstruction and recontextualization of the source (i.e ripping away granite and shadows into small contrasting strips of minute color and flattened texture) and the “hacking” of the media.

‘The source image was used as raw material within an organically following editorial process. From a linear techno-centric point of view this process evolved in an unorthodox manner; a manner unintended for the surface purposes of the used media (i.e. the standard software & hardware of the used mobile machinery). The unorthodoxy lies in the fact that this source was manipulated by using this 1 technology in a manner it was not supposed to be used (in this case the simple camera function within an iPhone).

‘I enjoy the tension between the image’s banal heritage (i.e a gravestone) and the mysterious abstraction it resulted into.’ — Jan Aminasuri

 

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4 from Game Art, unlimited.

GameScenes is your one-way ticket to the Game Artworld.
Background info: Originally, a videoludica’s channel, GameScenes.
A full-fledged blog (!) since 2009.
Written and edited by Matteo Bittanti.
Key contributor: Mathias Jansson.

1. Game Art: William Huber’s “Ludological dynamics of Fatal Frame 2” (2010)

William Huber visualizes the ludological interactions in Fatal Frame 2 (Tecmo, 2001). In his project, Huber applied “cultural analytic techniques to identify the transitions in modes of gameplay, in order to characterize the mechanics for generating suspense and uncanny aesthetic experience in a videogame.” Full description of the fascinating research project here.

Link: William Huber
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti (via Software Studies)

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2. Game Art: William Huber and Lev Manovich “Kingdom Hearts Visualizations” ( 2009-2010)

“This project represents nearly 100 hours of playing two videogames as high resolution visualizations. This representation allows us to study the interplay of various elements of gameplay, and the relationship between the travel through game spaces and the passage of time in game play. […] The data are the game play sessions of the video games Kingdom Hearts (2002, Square Co., Ltd.) and Kingdom Hearts II (2005, Square-Enix, Inc.) Each game was played from the beginning to the end over a number of sessions. The video captured from all game sessions of each game were assembled into a singe sequence. The sequences were sampled at 6 frames per second. This resulted in 225,000 frames for Kingdom Hearts and 133,000 frames for Ki
ngdom Hearts II. The visualizations use only every 10th frame from the complete frame sets:Kingdom Hearts: 22,500 frames. Kingdom Hearts II: 13,300 frames.” (William Huber)

Link: William Huber and Lev Manovich’s Game Visualizations
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti (via Software Studies)

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3. BOOK: Gracie Kendal’s “1000+ Avatars Vol. 1 and 2” (2011)

1000+ Avatars a self-Published book by Kristine Schomaker, 2011.
Edited by Nickola Martynov, With contributions by Garrett Cobarr and Patrick Millard
Design by Kristine Schomaker
English, 10” x 8”, 160 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0-9836572-2-4

Gracie Kendal, aka Kristine Schomaker is a Los Angeles based new media and performance artist, painter, and art historian. He latest project is called 1000+ Avatars, “a contemporary anthropology of portraits of avatars in the virtual world of Second Life”. The portraits explore the idea of the avatar as a constructed online identity and deals with fluid notions of anonymity, personality, and diversity. This project is somehow reminiscent of Robbie Cooper’s Alter Ego: Avatars and their Creators (2007).

Link: Gracie Kendal’s 1000+ Avatars
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti

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4. Video: Nicholas Tilly’s reportage of the Atopic Machinima Festival 2011

Credits: Nicholas Tilly
Link: Atopic Film Festival 2011
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti

 

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Sunday in the Storm Era

“these are extraordinary times”
so we can do whatever we want ha ha

the sky darkens
stitching the white pillow cover

If I had my way I’d sit and watch
the grey and poundy waves all day …

—-The candle lights for Cypress
must be down at the channel now
where the tide rushes out
from the lagoon and keeps on going out

way out … remember?

——now the evening sky
looks pretty clear
——————that
was a history
just happened

— Joanne Kyger

 

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5 bitchin’ robots


Coughing Robot Spews ‘Flu Germs’


Yaskawa Motoman plays taiko drums


CB2 baby humanoid robot


Japanese Crawling Robot


Modular robot reassembles when kicked apart

 

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‘Cats live in loneliness, then die like falling rain.’ — t.o.L

 

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‘In 1781, the scholar Friedrich Nicolai, luckier and more inquisitive than most, was permitted to examine the sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s small workshop on the bank of the Danube, the entire furniture of which consisted of a bed, a flute, a tobacco-pipe, a water pitcher, an old Italian book about human proportions and the drawing of an armless Egyptian statue. Messerschmidt, once assistant professor of sculpture at the Imperial Academy of Vienna, now necromancer and recluse, was in his forty-fifth year.

‘Since the onset of mental illness in 1771, Messerschmidt had neglected his work as a portraitist, though he still received and accepted occasional commissions, and had concentrated his great industry on the production of a series of heads of very strange aspect. Although he still received and accepted occasional commissions, he had concentrated his great industry on the production of a series of heads of very strange aspect.

‘Nicolai found him busy with the sixty-first of these heads. He observed that it, like all the rest, was a self-portrait. The sculptor worked in front of a mirror. Pinching himself from time to time under the lowest right rib, he would cut a terrifying grimace scrutinise his face in the mirror, sculpt, and after an interval of about half a minute repeat his grimace with remarkable precision.

‘When the courteous Nicolai asked him to explain his method, Messerschmidt, somewhat hesitatingly, gave him a confused account, the gist of which can be summed up as follows: although he had lived chastely since his youth, Messerschmidt was often visited by ghosts who caused him pains in the abdomen and thighs. Fortunately, he had managed to devise a system for warding off these tormentors.

‘This system was based on knowledge of universal proportions, learned through the study of the Egyptian Hermes Trismegistos—of whose armless statue he always kept a drawing about him. His knowledge of proportion gave Messerschmidt the power to resist the spirits. For all things have their proper proportion, and all effects come from a sufficient cause; whoever can reproduce in himself the proportions of another being should be able to produce effects equal to the effects of the other.

‘All this, in Messerschmidt’s opinion, amounted to a momentous discovery which, not surprisingly, had aroused the envy of the Spirit of Proportion, the chief of his ghostly persecutors. Undaunted by the pains which the spirit inflicted on him, he resolved to delve deeper into the mystery of proportion, in order to be victorious in this contest. By observing the pains which he felt in his lower body as he worked on the faces of his busts, he came to the conclusion that if he pinched himself in different parts of the body and accompanied this with grimaces which bore the exact Egyptian proportion to the pinch, he would reach perfection in the matter of proportion. Pleased with his system, Messerschmidt resolved to pass it on to posterity by means of his sculpted heads, of which he planned to execute sixty-four, since there were sixty-four canonical grimaces.

‘The third and largest group of heads, comprising 54 busts at the time of Nicolai’s visit, consisted of the convulsively grimacing heads which are still the best known of the series. All seemed to be self-portraits. Nicolai noticed that in many of them the mouths were tightly shut and the lips drawn in so as to form a thin line. Messerschmidt explained this curious feature by pointing out that men should not show the red of their lips, since animals never showed theirs—and animals, as he reminded his visitor, were superior to men in their perception of the hidden aspects of nature.

‘Messerschmidt was neither in tune with his time, nor entirely alienated from it. His artistic personality was injured, but not debilitated, by sickness; the conflict within him irritated his imagination and concentrated his energies: it was the fortunate flaw which raised his later above his earlier works and above those of his more ordinary contemporaries. Messerschmidt was able to combine representation with rigid stylisation, expression with abstract pattern, and preserve, at the same time, both the anatomical structure and the character of portrait. To bring these divergent elements into harmony was the work of a powerful artistic intelligence.’ — Lorenz Eitner, The Grand Eccentrics

 

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‘A new messaging service called The Last Messages Club that will send your family and friends pre-written emails when you kick the bucket launched in the UK this week.

‘Members can write up to 100 emails that can be released once they die and at times of their choosing, such as when a loved one marries or has a child.

‘Each member gets a secure and private vault where they are able to create messages to be sent specifically to their chosen recipient.

‘The vault can also store photos, videos and documents for access by pre-selected family, friends or colleagues.

‘So how much does it cost to scare your family witless when they receive an email from you two days after your cremation?

‘People can sign up to The Last Messages Club on various levels. A silver option costs £45 or a gold package costing £190.’ — stickboydaily.com

 

 

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p.s. RIP Pierre Guyotat, the last of the great genius visionary French writers, old but tragically cut down when still in his prime. ** Milk, Hi, Milk, welcome! Did you? Did it hold up? ** JM, Hey Josiah. Ah, sleep issues, fuck, that can murderous, don’t I know it too. The script and proposal for the TV series is now on the desks of the ARTE honchos in Strasbourg, and we’re supposed to get a green or red light in mid-March. I honestly don’t know if it’s going to be accepted or killed, it’s really hard to tell at this point. As I’m sure I’ve said, counselling helped me a strangely large amount back when I needed and did it, and I still can’t figure why it worked. Man, I hope everything that’s overly encroaching backs off as soon as possible. Luckily, they don’t call ‘rough patches’ patches for no reason. Oh, but new writing by you! I’m excited to read it! Thank you, and congrats. Everyone, the superb writer and more Josiah Morgan has a new shortish prose piece newly up online and fully readable. It’s always a 100% treat to read his work, so take a little time this weekend and do so, won’t you? Here. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Yes, I’m very looking forward to that film. Let me share your enthusiastic recommendation. Everyone, Here’s Mr. Ehrenstein with a passionate tip: ‘While it was put together a couple of years back The Times of Bill Cunningham is just being released theatrically now. Under no circumstances should it be missed. This documentary about the unique fashion observer-guru-photographer captures his sublime personality – part giddy teenager, part en Master Supreme — perfectly. There was a film made about him several years back before he passed away that showed him racing about on his bike taking pictures of New Yorkers both famous and unknown entirely for the clothes they wore. He firmly believd what we wore on the outside expressed what was on our inside. And he finds beauty and innovation in everyone from Mr. Astor (a she turned 100) to downtown drag artiste Kenny Kenny. He’s full of joy throughout save for one moment when he speaks mournfully of those he loved that he lost to AIDS . He bows his head and sobs. But only for a moment as he quickly bounces back to join the world. Bill Cunningham loved life and he loved people. He’s a very special hero of mine — right alongside the equally idiosyncratic — and joyous — Oliver Sacks.’ ** Sypha, Hi. That is a most strange and interesting reveal about the ancient Egyptians. Is there an explanation for why they seemed to be so fixated on their waste disposing? ** wolf, Wolf!!! Hm, okay, I see. I saw the doc about Lynch and wasn’t that excited by it. I saw him give a talk once, and that was quite exciting. Maybe that’s enough. What’s your weekend holding out for you or, I guess, what was in its grubby held out paws? Love, me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, B. Wow, it’s Generator Members Show time again? Time does fly. Scary. Those collage and performance snaps do look charismatic even in your lens. Fun. Have a sweet weekend. ** Steve Erickson, Oh, yes, I remember your Oskouei retrospective now. My head was out in space. I haven’t seen a Hal Hartley film in fucking forever. Interesting. Everyone, Steve E. interviews the American auteur filmmaker Hal Hartley, and it should be very interesting read, so … read up, yes? ** Bill, Hi. I didn’t realise that she was such a good interview. I read a few when making that post, and she’s relentlessly amusing. I’ll look out for the R.L. Cagle book. I’m reading the book of Tony Conrad’s writings, and it’s very excellent. ** Okay. This weekend I resurrect another of my old Varioso posts, which, as I’ve explained previously, consist of things that interested me but didn’t seem to warrant an entire post to themselves. Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff for you to pore over between and Monday if you feel like it. Enjoy stuff. See you on Monday.

10 Comments

  1. Hi, it looks like child porn is legal in Russia?
    At list from the website you attach. So sad and creepy.
    Watched an oldHal Hartley lately, and found it as charming as 30 years ago, but friends that didn’t watch it in the past, felt it’s very slow and didn’t get the point. So…

  2. Andrew Breitbart’s father-in-law was hit by a car yesterday in Venice (Ca.) He was 91

    Bernadette Laffont is a GODDESS. Besides “The Mother and the Whore” her key films are Chabrol’s “Les Bonne Femmes” and Rivette’s “Out 1”

    And here in all its glory (hope this link still works) is Sissy-Boy Slap Party I’ve met Guy Maddin and I know he’s enjoyed many such parties personally.

  3. Sad to hear about Guyotat.

    So many nostalgic blasts for the weekend, Dennis. I’ve seen some of the Messerschmidt (somewhere), but didn’t know there was all this backstory. I assume you’ve seen Egoyan’s Speaking Parts? There’s something like a VEGM, but in a columbarium, that’s used very effectively. I’m amazed that Russian twinks is still online. The slapping boys look almost straight out of Ken Anger, heh.

    I don’t know how I missed extending a marriage proposal to the metronome guy. Maybe it’s not too late.

    Enjoy the weekend…
    Bill

  4. Dennis, Sad about Guyotat, yes. RIP.

    I’m loving the Mokhorev here.

    I found out that my mom has some jigsaw puzzles she bought a long time ago but never did. Unfortunately, hahaha, they’re of paintings by that Kinkade guy. Still might be fun to do. Might do one of them before I go and buy one. I wonder if there are any Timothee Chalamet ones out there. 😛

    Well, the thing with the fake posts about celebrity deaths is that they’re so fucking relentless and over the top and…phony. Especially when you know the people posting -and have known them for 20 years- and know they really don’t care. It’s the same thing with the political shit that comes up for a lot of these friends of mine. I’m like, where did that come from? And really, a lot of it is just to score social media posts.

    Thank God for the scroll button. I use that fucking thing religiously. The Cult of the Scroll. I just invented that.

    Yeah, there’s not much to do with a nerve and its pain. I iced it originally and I take maybe two ibuprofen every morning; otherwise, I just grin and bear it. It doesn’t hurt all the time, but it will hurt at surprising times, like when you innocently turn a door knob or reach for a pen or something like that. Oh, well.

    Going to work more on this editing this weekend. I’m over halfway through. The first half is completed, though I’ll go back to some sections, and the first chapter of the second half is a done deal. Strangely, I still don’t have a title for this fucking thing.

  5. So glad I got a chance to meet Guyotat a few years back at an event Hedi put together for “Semiotrxt(e)” here in L.A.

    I’m turning 73 on the 18th so if you’d like to give me a gift, Dennis, rerun the “George W.S. Trow Day” I created a year and a half or so back.

  6. Those sad Russian porn stars are giving me flashbacks to your old blog circa 2006 or whatever!

    Well, re: the Egyptian thing, I guess one of their fears about life after death was that in the afterlife everything would be reversed: so that instead of walking right side up they’d walk upside down, and instead of eating bread and drinking beer (the two main staples of the Egyptian diet) they’d eat feces and drink urine.

    I’ve been reading many books on ancient Egypt these last 3 months as research for a future novel. They really were a fascinating people: they were the first civilization to divide the day into 24 hours, and they created the calendar as well!

  7. Mysteriously, I can see other people’s comments today!

    Limp Bizkit tats on children, awesome!

    Hartley hasn’t made a film in 6 years, unfortunately, and he admitted during my interview that his last film, MY AMERICA, was work-for-hire. But I hope we get to see WHERE TO LAND early next year.

    I got the go-ahead to write a piece for the Brooklyn Rail about the intersection of punk and dance music in recent albums by Pelada, Scuru Fitchadu and Against All Logic. It’ll be published in April.

  8. I ought to read out the Steven Millhauser quote at Thursday’s short story class, it’s sure to provide food for thought.

    Lene was round here this evening and we watched the very excellent Greek dysfunctional family comedy Dogtooth on DVD. I was really impressed by this, getting some heavy Ulrich Seidl vibes from the humour. Think we’ll make this film night thing a regular event going forward.

  9. dennis, hi, thank you very much for ur kind words and support and thinkings!!! this is a fascinating compilation text as ever and really excited the neurons around my head, pity that uni starts next week because i’d love to just dive into adjacent horizontal things and thinkings. instead i’m reading about the admittedly fascinating human animal binary and i’m possibly interested in doing some academic work on ‘equus’ by shaffer or on the first season of ‘the leftovers’ which has some gorgeous animal imagery. lovely to hear that the ARTE project and word of some sort of it finally appears to be in sight. i think it’s been lying around this blog since i first spoke on here to you!!

    my next book, sola virgo, the texas chain saw massacre one, is officially a go from amphetamine sulphate, received some glowing feedback today and very excited to dig in on the difficult work now. aiming for a june release date, philip & i are both busy so who knows. starting to toss up a completely-fiction thing, something a bit new and out of character in comparison to my first two books, a noir of sort where the translation into ‘black’ is precisely the text, the inability to see.

    very pleased to see parasite’s big night out at the oscars. saw a weird interview with ur french prime minister the other day, not sure what your thoughts on him are.

    anyway i send love among the rushes

    j

  10. Great to see you mention Marc-Edouard Nabe, who is outrageously forgotten in the English-speaking world (no translations at all!). I’ve pasted below a few up-to-date links to his stuff (some of the links you provided are dead).

    http://www.nabesnews.com/

    YouTube channel of short films shot during his art exhibitions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKSECI8_e-_FMhhNfoqhsoA

    Other YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpS2MKCohTRLD5wecNo0VIA/videos

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