Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lacan, Desire and the New Solar Cycle

The Lacan Hour (part one)

I saw a blog post recommending readers consider a scene from a Kevin Spacey film, (The Life of David Gale) before "making your wishes for the new year" [isn't it resolutions?].

The scene is where the Gale character lectures in a fluid and detached style (very suspicious in itself) on Jacques Lacan's concept of the object of desire (what Lacan terms the "objet petit a"). The Spacey character summarizes the object of desire as;

"Fantasies have to be unrealistic. Because the moment, the second that you get what you seek, you don’t.- you can’t- want it anymore. In order to continue to exist, Desire must have its objects perpetually absent. It’s not the ‘It’ that you want, it is the fantasy of ‘It’. So, Desire supports crazy fantasies."

Sure, coming from a commodity driven cultural apparatus that we call Hollywood, the desire for 'things' seems to be the most logical form of desire. Who else is going to sell us our dreams if it is not the dream factories of the USA.

While the Gale character does back away somewhat from the 'things' perspective of desire with this final statement of the scene:

"So the lesson of Lacan is: Living by your wants will never make you happy. What it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals and not to measure your life by what you have attained by your desires but those small moments of integrity, compassion, rationality, even self-sacrifice. Because in the end, the only way that we can measure the significance of our own lives is by valuing the lives of others."

It remains an abstraction of Lacan's ideas based on the plot of the film and not Lacan's work in my opinion. I don't think the goal of Lacan's philosophy was compassion. Rather self-knowledge and critical understanding of the language matrix we are born and die in is a better summary of his mission. This weakening of Lacan's raison d'etre is understandable when we consider the Hollywood film industry as a primary site for the hegemony of the sign. I refer to a Lacan website I found:

"Desire, in other words, has little to do with material sexuality for Lacan; it is caught up, rather, in social structures and strictures, in the fantasy version of reality that forever dominated our lives after our entrance into language. For this reason, Lacan writes that "the unconscious is the discourse of the Other." Even our unconscious desires are, in other words, organized by the linguistic system that Lacan terms the symbolic order or "the big Other." In a sense, then, our desire is never properly our own, but is created through fantasies that are caught up in cultural ideologies rather than material sexuality. For this reason, according to Lacan, the command that the superego directs to the subject is, of all things, "Enjoy!" That which we may believe to be most private and rebellious (our desire) is, in fact, regulated, even commanded, by the superego."

While we are on the subject I would like to mention Mary Klages introduction to Lacan which I found years ago and still consider an excellent summary:

"Lacan says this is what the unconscious looks like--a continually circulating chain (or multiple chains) of signifiers, with no anchor--or, to use Derrida's terms, no center. This is Lacan's linguistic translation of Freud's picture of the unconscious as this chaotic realm of constantly shifting drives and desires. Freud is interested in how to bring those chaotic drives and desires into consciousness, so that they can have some order and sense and meaning, so they can be understood and made manageable. Lacan, on the other hand, says that the process of becoming an adult, a "self," is the process of trying to fix, to stabilize, to stop the chain of signifiers so that stable meaning--including the meaning of "I"--becomes possible. Though of course Lacan says that this possibility is only an illusion, an image created by a misperception of the relation between body and self."

The pure intersection of Lacan, desire, language and film occurs in the work of the madman from Ljubljana, Slavoj Žižek.

From The Perverts Guide to Cinema

As Žižek points out, film is not part of the 'the red pill', "fictions which structure our reality. If you take away from our reality the symbolic fictions which regulate it you loose reality itself." We need to "perceive not the reality behind the illusion by the reality in illusion itself." This is something Hollywood is never going to be able to deliver.

So my thought as we go into another solar cycle is to continue my actions towards discerning illusion from reality. Making art from it and then spending time with the art. This makes me happy, egotist that I am.

Happy new year!
(this is the 200th post for the year on this blog...which also makes me happy)
Philosophy makes me happy as I normal?

Why I Love Shoplifting

A Spoken Work Interpritation of The Essay "Why I Love Shoplifting From Big Corporations" Published in Days of War, Nights of Love.

When I stand in the line at the check out of our local grocer store, surrounded by silent others waiting to make their purchase that will see them survive another day I sometimes wonder..."What the hell are we doing? Is this what life was meant to be?"
Then I make my purchase and go home.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Celebrating Bird - The Triumph of Charlie Parker

Documentary film, 58 mins.

Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Parker is widely considered one of the most influential of jazz musicians, along with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career, and the shortened form "Bird" remained Parker's sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite" and "Ornithology."

Parker played a leading role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuoso technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Parker's innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony exercised enormous influence on his contemporaries. Several of Parker's songs have become standards, including "Billie's Bounce," "Anthropology," "Ornithology," and "Confirmation". He introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including a tonal vocabulary employing 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords, rapidly implied passing chords, and new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. His tone was clean and penetrating, but sweet and plaintive on ballads. Although many Parker recordings demonstrate dazzling virtuoso technique and complex melodic lines — such as "Koko," "Kim," and "Leap Frog" — he was also one of the great blues players. His themeless blues improvisation "Parker's Mood" represents one of the most deeply affecting recordings in jazz. At various times, Parker fused jazz with other musical styles, from classical to Latin music, blazing paths followed later by others.

Parker also became an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat generation, personifying the conception of the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than just a popular entertainer. His style -- from a rhythmic, harmonic and soloing perspective-- influenced countless peers on every instrument. Like Louis Armstrong before him, Parker changed the sound of jazz music forever.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Forest Mountain Voices

Forest Mountain Voices is an indigenous community media project in Ratanakiri. Staff entirely by young Tampeun, Jarai and Kreung indigenous people, FMV makes media in indigenous languages about culture, community and the essential connection between the indigenous people of Ratanakiri and the land

Akira Kurosawa: Influences and Influence

Part One.

Part Two

A high School film project looking at the relationships between Japanese film genius Akira Kurosawa and American films. An excellent piece of work considering the age of the maker.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


On the Indian subcontinent, a hijra (Hindi: हिजड़ा, Urdu: حجڑا) is usually considered a member of "the third gender" — neither man nor woman. Most are physically male or intersex, but some are female. Hijras usually refer to themselves linguistically as female, and usually dress as women.
Although they are usually referred to in English as "eunuchs", relatively few have any genital modifications.

For centuries, Eunuchs have been an important part of Indian society. But the elevated role they once held has now faded. Today they live in isolated communities, working as prostitutes and beggars. Life may be hard but inside the community, there's a real sense of warmth and camaraderie. The film 'Harsh Beauty' follows the lives of Jyothi, Usha and Hira Bai, three Eunuchs who struggle for acceptance in a culture splintered by religion, caste and politics. Filmed over four years and accompanied by a vibrant soundtrack, it's a warm and poignant look inside this usually hidden group.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frans Zwartjes

Birds (1968)

Frans Zwartjes (b. 1927) is a filmmaker, musician, violin-maker, painter and sculptor. In the late-60s he was one of the first Dutch visual artists to take up film, initially to document his performances and soon after as an independent medium perfectly suited to his way of creating visual art. His mind-bending works caused a furor, with psychological black-and-white imagery of heavily made-up and over-dressed actors from his circle of friends. Focused on sexually-loaded power games, hysteria, psychosis and cruelty, his films are largely edited 'in-camera'. The images are abstracted in ruthless black and white. The general idea of reality is broken down by brilliant camera work and neurotic editing to replace it with a personal and often disturbing reality. "My own motor system determined the film style", Zwartjes stated in an interview. Zwartjes's oeuvre includes over forty films and his style has left a strong stamp on at least two generations of experimental filmmakers in Holland. You've never seen anything quite like this. - Film Anthology Archive

Behind Your Walls (1970)

Sorbet III (1968)

Visual Training (1969)

Living (1971)
Zwartjes' masterpiece and his own favourite film. “Living has an uneasy, indefinable atmosphere. The camera’s strange swaying and the music that keeps going on and on…”Living demonstrates Zwartjes’ cinematographic mastery. He is the film’s main character and also does the camera work, pointing it at himself with his hand held outstretched. Zwartjes: “I was as strong as a bear back then.” The film is part of the ‘Home sweet home’ series, in which Zwartjes explored the house in The Hague he had just moved into. His wife and muse Trix plays the other role. The two characters move restlessly through the house. The film was made using an extremely wide angled lens (a 5.7), which makes the images very strange.


Spectator (1970)
Manders and Toebosch play the artist and his model. Safely hidden behind his lens, the photographer can’t get enough of what the long lashed, glamorous model has to offer.

Some of these films are on UBUWEB

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Housing Bubble Bites A Player

The Housing Bubble bursts on a speculator. Parody using a clip with Hitler as the real estate investor. He bought a house to flip, faces foreclosure, and now wants to get bailed out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Erik Davis at Burning Man 2007: Nature and Imagination

Nature and Imagination 1: Introduction

Nature and Imagination 2: The Imaginal

Nature and Imagination 3: Creative Imagination

Nature and Imagination 4: Ayahuasca Dreams

Nature and Imagination 5: Death and Science

Nature and Imagination 6: Imaginal Earth

Nature and Imagination 7: Creative Technocracy

Excerpt from an Erik Davis talk at Palenque Norte, Black Rock City, August 07.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dancing the Tides: Contemporary Shamanism in the Santo Daime

Santo Daime is a syncretic spiritual practice, which was founded in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Acre in the 1930s and became a worldwide movement in the 1990s. Santo Daime rituals involve collective singing of hymns, sometimes while engaged in a formalised dance step, other times simply seated in chairs, combined with the consumption of Daime, the name founder Raimundo Irineu Serra, or Mestre Irineu gave to the drink known generically as Ayahuasca. Dai-me means "give me" in Portuguese, as in "daime força, daime amor" (give me strength, give me love), phrases found in several of the doctrine's hymns.

Santo Daime is syncretic in that it incorporates elements of several religious or spiritual traditions including Folk Catholicism, Kardecist Spiritism, and African animism and South American Shamanism. The religion, called simply the Doctrine of Mestre Irineu by its most senior practitioners, has little basis in written texts. Instead, its teachings are learned experientially, through singing of inspired hymns, which explore perennial values of love, harmony and strength through poetic and metaphorical imagery.

Ceremonies, which are called trabalhos meaning "works", are typically several hours long and consist of drinking Daime and either sitting or dancing while singing hymns and playing maracas, or sitting in silent "concentration".

The drinking of Daime induces a strong emetic effect which is embraced as a purging of both emotional and physical impurities. Overall the Santo Daime promotes a wholesome lifestyle in conformity with Mestre Irineu's motto of "harmony, love, truth and justice", as well as other key doctrinal values such as strength, humility, fraternity and purity of heart.

Ayahuasca, which contains the psychoactive compound dimethyltryptamine (DMT), has been the subject of increasing legal scrutiny in the last few decades as Santo Daime has expanded. The decoction has been explicitly legal for religious use in Brazil since 1986, while recent legal battles in Europe have legalized its use in Holland and Spain. In the United States, the Supreme Court in 2006 upheld a preliminary injunction permitting another Brazilian church, the União do Vegetal (UDV), to use ayahuasca ritually. This decision, as the result of specific litigation involving the UDV, applies only to that group, so the legal status of ayahuasca generally remains in a gray area in that country.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST) LEUCOCYTE

Official video of LEUCOCYTE from the final e.s.t. album LEUCOCYTE.

Leucocyte is the result of one of these two day jams. It took place at the famed "Studios 301" in Sydney during the band's Australian tour. In early 2008 e.s.t.'s sound engineer Åke Linton joined the band at the Bohus Sound Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden to begin mixing. On April 28 there was a photo shoot in Berlin for the new campaign. On May 16 the artwork and album were delivered to the label.

Then on June 14 the incomprehensible happened: Esbjörn Svensson, probably the most influential stylist of the last decade, lost his life in a diving accident off the island of Värmdö near Stockholm.

As a result, Leucocyte has become Esbjörn Svensson's and e.s.t.'s musical legacy! It is the most venturesome album Esbjörn Svensson (p), Dan Berglund (b), and Magnus Öström (dr) have recorded as e.s.t. The essence of this journey of discovery is its ecstatic energy. It is a trip through the bloodstream sans compositional safety-net and stylistic restraints in which the borders of musical communication are sounded out.

Video made by Anders Amren

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Karl Bartos

Just listened to a long interview with Karl Bartos:

Karl Bartos (born 31 May 1952 in Berchtesgaden, Germany) was, between 1975 and 1991, along with Wolfgang Flür an electronic percussionist in the Electronic music group Kraftwerk. He was originally recruited to play on their US "Autobahn" tour. In addition to his percussion playing, Bartos was credited with songwriting on the Man-Machine, Computerworld and Electric Café albums, and sang one lead vocal on the latter. He left the group in 1991, reportedly frustrated at the slow progress in the group's activities due to the increasingly perfectionist attitude of founding members Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.

In 1992 Bartos founded Elektric Music, performing a style somewhat similar to Kraftwerk. This new project released Esperanto in 1993 and then Electric Music in 1998. In between the two albums, Bartos collaborated with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr on Electronic's 1996 album Raise the Pressure, and co-wrote material with Andy McCluskey which appeared on both Esperanto and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Universal album. In 1998, he also produced an album by former synthpop Swedish band The Mobile Homes, much in the style of his work with Electronic; guitar-pop with very slight synthetic references. It was received as a great disappointment to synthpop fans, but sold more than any of their previous albums, and was used in TV advertisements for an airline to moderate success.

In 2003 he released the synthpop album Communication, featuring such songs as "I'm the Message", "Camera" and "Ultraviolet".

Karl Bartos announced in early 2008 that he had opened the first edition of the audio-visual exhibition "Crosstalk" for public viewing at the white cube section on the official Karl Bartos website. The program holds 21 films, remixes, cover versions, mash ups from Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, USA and Japan.

Bartos made a lot of sense and spoke of interesting ideas during the program. Bartos is Professor of Sound Art at the Berlin Art Academy. The program is online for the next 30 days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

War Made Easy

War Made Easy
(2007) reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

War Made Easy gives special attention to parallels between the Vietnam war and the war in Iraq. Guided by media critic Norman Solomon’s meticulous research and tough-minded analysis, the film presents disturbing examples of propaganda and media complicity from the present alongside rare footage of political leaders and leading journalists from the past, including Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, dissident Senator Wayne Morse, and news correspondents Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer.

Norman Solomon’s work has been praised by the Los Angeles Times as “brutally persuasive” and essential “for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee.” This film now offers a chance to see that context on the screen.

Directed & Written by: Loretta Alper & Jeremy Earp
Produced by: Loretta Alper
Co-produced & Edited by: Andrew Killoy
Executive Producers: Jeremy Earp & Sut Jhally
Associate Producer: Jason Young
Sound: Peter Acker, Armadillo Media Group
Motion Graphics: Andrew Killoy & Sweet & Fizzy
Additional Music: John Van Eps & Leigh Philips
Narrated by: Sean Penn
Based on the book by Norman Solomon

mariem hassan, the voice of the sahara / la voz del sahara

Mariem Hassan is the voice of the Sahara, the voice of the dessert. Adored by Saharawis living in exile, Mariem Hassan is an icon that gives hope to those who still live in the territories occupied by Morocco. With her prodigious voice and intelligence, she's been able to bring up to date Saharawi music and make it attractive for 21st century music audiences. In the film we go through Mariem's misfortuned life, we discover her as a courageous and enduring character and we witness her artistic transformation into one of the most charismatic and respected figures of the World Music scene.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

George Meets Iraqi Opinion

The end to a brilliant career. An Iraqi journalist throws his shoes as George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad today. “This is the farewell kiss, you dog,” the man shouted in Arabic.

“This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted the man, later identified by the Associated Press as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi- owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Both the throwing of the shoes and the 'dog' outburst are deep insults in Middle Eastern cultures.

Journey to the Tarahumara

Anyone who knows the writings of Antonin Artaud knows he spent time with the Raramuri people of Sierra Madre;also called Tarahumara by outsiders. This video is about the Tarahumara as runners. If you are unfamiliar with Artaud, here is an online text, The Secret Art of Antonin Artaud (PDF 109 pages)by Jacques Derrida and Paule Thvenin, which may help.

The first work of the Theatre of Cruelty Artaud initially intended for the stage was entitled The Conquest of Mexico, a work based on the Aztec religion and other primitive cultures of the Americas. Partly to escape his numerous failures in Paris, Artaud left for Mexico in 1936 to do research for this play and live in a land where he believed "a new idea of man [was] being born." Unfortunately, Artaud encountered a culture heavily influenced by the same European ideas he was fleeing. The playwright encountered Communist inspired political unrest and an intellectual coeterie of writers and artists, such as Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and JosÎ Clemente, who were adapting modern European styles to depict their own culture. Since Artaud was trying to escape these European styles and ideas, he found himself alienated from the Mexican artists and intellectuals and, unable to speak Spanish, soon felt isolated in a land that he hoped would provide some form of salvation for him. Perhaps as a consequence, he spent much of his time in Mexico City searching for drugs. He did befriend LuÏs Cardoza y Aragon, a surrealist poet Artaud had initially met in Paris. Aragon helped Artaud financially by arranging lectures and translating articles for the Frenchman.

Strangely, Artaud had no interest in the Aztec ruins nearby, which had become tourist sites by this point. Artaud yearned to witness authentic culture untouched by Western influence. Accordingly, Artaud arranged to visit the Tarahumaras, an isolated tribe in the Sierra Madre of Northern Mexico who made use of peyote in their religious rites. During this arduous journey, Artaud experienced a painful bout of drug withdrawal. Once there, however, Artaud participated in one of the peyote rituals. What else happened during this visit, we have only authorís own reports. Many of these reports were written or revised several years after original visit and were shaped to conform to Artaudís belief system at the time, so their veracity is questionable. These pieces were published posthumously as the A Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara. In this work, Artaud describes a world full of syncretic symbols - crosses, faces in stone - a perfect blending of primitive symbolism and nature, which, for Artaud, typified the lost pre-Renaissance understanding of the world. He also described the peyote ceremony, during which he experienced the ìswirling energies of the earth below. (From Little Blue Light)

There are currently about 50,000 Tarahumara living in the Sierra Madre Occidental in northwestern Mexico. They live in small isolated clusters with most the population concentrated in the Barranca del Cobre, or the Copper Canyon. The Tarahumara indians are part of the Uto-Aztecan indian lineage and are closely related to the Apaches of the Southwestern United States. The area of Northwest Mexico that the Tarahumara lives in is very rugged and unforgiving. The Barranca del Cobre is a chain of five very deep canyons surrounded by very tall mountains that reach almost a mile and a half above sea level. Three of the five canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon of the United States. The area is different though because it receives much more rainfall and is covered with more vegetation. The terrain is very rugged, so much as to lead to the fact that the area has never been thoroughly mapped or explored (Lutz 66). The area is one of th e coldest in Mexico and soil conditions are very poor. It is because of this that the Tarahumara are semi-nomadic and are cave dwellers for part of the year. ( Running Feet by Art Beauregard)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pipedream @ Hambone Flux

A machinima documenting the Bogon Flux, in the Wastelands, Second Life.

..The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Polyglot Near East, Indian--races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized pass through your body...The Composite City where all human potentials are spread out in a vast silent market.

Minarets, palms, mountains. jungle...

Cooking smells of all cities hang over the City...

High mountain flutes, jazz and bebop, one-stringed Mongol instruments, gypsy xylophones, African drums, Arab bagpipes... William Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Earth the Beautiful

Astronaut Don Pettit created an astounding video using a sequence of still images he shot of the aurora borealis from the International Space Station.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Magic Roundabout

I recently blogged about being exposed to the Kenny Everet Video Show as a teenager and it playing a role in my, shall we say, mental state today. Well, before that as a small child I watched a lot of The Magic Roundabout, and it was so cool. I detect a pattern emerging here.
As Dylan the rabbit said..." no man...why pay?"

Monday, December 08, 2008

Antonin Artaud

This is perhaps why such issues cannot simply, for Artaud, ever be discussed in pure abstraction from their scenic singularity. It could also explain why some of the most powerfully theatrical articulations in his writing were not written "for" theater, not at least in the dramatic sense of the term. One such instance is his celebrated essay on "The Theater and the Plague". Neither purely theoretical nor purely theatrical, this text demonstrates most forcefully what Artaud elsewhere, in "The Alchemical Theater", calls "the virtual reality of theater" (49/60).

In "The Theater and the Plague", which he first delivered in April of 1933 at the Sorbonne, Artaud recounts the spread of the plague in Marseille in 1720. After a brief discussion of plagues and their possible etiologies, Artaud describes the stages through which the plague passes as it spreads throughout the city. It is here that we encounter an allegory of the origin of theater. This consists of four stages, which at the same time and perhaps above all mark what can be called the theatricalization of the stage (temporal as well as spatial). As we shall see, this theatricalization also involves a kind of virtualization, although it is one that contrasts in certain decisive aspects with virtualization as it is generally understood and practiced today. Let us begin, however, by retracing Artaud's account of the four stages of the plague. "The Greatest Thing of All" The Virtual Reality of Theater by Samuel Weber

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud (September 4, 1896, in Marseille – March 4, 1948 in Paris) was a French playwright, poet, actor and director. Antonin is a diminutive form of Antoine (little Anthony), and was among a long list of names which Artaud used throughout his life.

Artaud's parents, Euphrasie Nalpas and Antoine-Roi Artaud, were of Greek origin (Smyrna), and he was much affected by this background. Although his mother had nine children, only Antoine and two siblings survived infancy.

At the age of four, Artaud had a severe attack of meningitis. The virus gave Artaud a nervous, irritable temperament throughout adolescence. He also suffered from neuralgia, stammering and severe bouts of depression. As a teenager, he was allegedly stabbed in the back by a pimp for apparently no reason, similar to the experience of playwright Samuel Beckett.

Artaud's parents arranged a long series of sanatorium stays for their disruptive son, which were both prolonged and expensive. They lasted five years, with a break of two months, June and July 1916, when Artaud was conscripted into the army. He was allegedly discharged due to his self-induced habit of sleepwalking. During Artaud's "rest cures" at the sanatorium, he read Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Poe. In May 1919, the director of the sanatorium prescribed laudanum for Artaud, precipitating a lifelong addiction to that and other opiates.

In March 1920, Artaud moved to Paris. At the age of 27, Artaud sent some of his poems to the journal La Nouvelle Revue Française; they were rejected, but the editor, Jacques Rivière, wrote back seeking to understand him, and a relationship in letters was born. This epistolary work, Correspondence avec Jacques Rivière, is Artaud's first major publication. In November 1926, Artaud was expelled from the surrealist movement, in which he had participated briefly, for refusing to renounce theater as a bourgeois commercial art form, and for refusing to join the French Communist Party along with the other Surrealists.

Artaud cultivated a great interest in cinema as well, writing the scenario for the first Surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman, directed by Germaine Dulac. He also acted in Abel Gance's Napoleon in the role of Jean-Paul Marat, and in Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc as the monk Massieu. Artaud's portrayal of Marat used exaggerated movements to convey the fire of Marat's personality.

In 1926-28, Artaud ran the Alfred Jarry Theater, along with Roger Vitrac. He produced and directed original works by Vitrac, as well as pieces by Claudel and Strindberg. The theatre advertised that they would produce Artaud's play Jet de sang in their 1926-1927 season, but it was never mounted and was not premiered until 40 years later. The Theater was extremely short-lived, but was attended by an enormous range of European artists, including André Gide, Arthur Adamov, and Paul Valéry.

The 1930s saw the publication of The Theatre and Its Double, his most well-known work. This book contained the two manifestos of the Theater of Cruelty, essential texts in understanding his artistic project. In 1935, Artaud's production of his adaptation of Shelley's The Cenci premiered. The Cenci was a commercial failure, although it employed innovative sound effects--including the first theatrical use of the electronic instrument the Martenot--and had a set designed by Balthus.

After the production failed, Artaud received a grant to travel to Mexico where he gave lectures on the decadence of Western civilization. He also studied the Tarahumaran people and experimented with peyote, recording his experiences which were later released in a volume called Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara. The content of this work closely resembles the poems of his later days, concerned primarily with the supernatural. Artaud also recorded his horrific withdrawal from heroin upon entering the land of the Tarahumaras; having deserted his last supply of the drug at a mountainside, he literally had to be hoisted onto his horse, and soon resembled, in his words, "a giant, inflamed gum". Artaud would return to opiates later in life.

In 1937, Artaud returned to France where he obtained a walking stick of knotted wood that he believed belonged to St. Patrick, but also Lucifer and Jesus Christ. Artaud traveled to Ireland in an effort to return the staff, though he spoke very little English and was unable to make himself understood. The majority of his trip was spent in a hotel room that he was unable to pay for. On his return trip, Artaud believed he was being attacked by two crew members and retaliated; he was arrested and put in a straitjacket.

The return from Ireland brought about the beginning of the final phase of Artaud's life, which was spent in different asylums. When France was occupied by the Nazis, friends of Artaud had him transferred to the psychiatric hospital in Rodez, well inside Vichy territory, where he was put under the charge of Dr. Gaston Ferdière. Ferdière began administering electroshock treatments to eliminate Artaud's symptoms, which included various delusions and odd physical tics. The doctor believed that Artaud's habits of crafting magic spells, creating astrology charts, and drawing disturbing images, were symptoms of mental illness. The electro-shock treatments have created much controversy, although it was during these treatments — in conjunction with Ferdière's art therapy — that Artaud began writing and drawing again, after a long dormant period. In 1946, Ferdière released Artaud to his friends, who placed him in the psychiatric clinic at Ivry-sur-Seine. Current psychiatric literature describes Artaud as having schizophrenia, with a clear psychotic break late in life and schizotypal symptoms throughout life.

Artaud was encouraged to write by his friends, and interest in his work was rekindled. He visited an exhibition of works by Vincent van Gogh which resulted in a study Van Gogh le suicidé de la société (Van Gogh, The Man Suicided by Society), published by K éditeur, Paris, 1947 which won a critics´ prize. He recorded Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de dieu (To Have Done With the Judgment of god) between November 22 and November 29, 1947. This work was shelved by Wladimir Porché, the director of the French Radio, the day before its scheduled airing on February 2, 1948. The performance was prohibited partially as a result of its scatological, anti-American, and anti-religious references and pronouncements, but also because of its general randomness, with a cacophony of xylophonic sounds mixed with various percussive elements. While remaining true to his Theater of Cruelty and reducing powerful emotions and expressions into audible sounds, Artaud had utilized various, somewhat alarming cries, screams, grunts, onomatopoeia, and glossolalia.

As a result, Fernand Pouey, the director of dramatic and literary broadcasts for French radio, assembled a panel to consider the broadcast of Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu. Among the approximately 50 artists, writers, musicians, and journalists present for a private listening on February 5, 1948 were Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Raymond Queneau, Jean-Louis Barrault, René Clair, Jean Paulhan, Maurice Nadeau, Georges Auric, Claude Mauriac, and René Char. Although the panel felt almost unanimously in favor of Artaud's work, Porché refused to allow the broadcast. Pouey left his job and the show was not heard again until February 23, 1948 at a private performance at the Théâtre Washington.

In January 1948, Artaud was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He died shortly afterwards on March 4, 1948. Artaud died alone in his pavilion, seated at the foot of his bed, allegedly holding his shoe. It was suspected that he died from a lethal dose of the drug chloral, although it is unknown whether he was aware of its lethality. Thirty years later, French radio finally broadcast the performance of Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Neil Young "Don't let It Bring you Down"

BBC TV STUDIOS LONDON 23rd FEBUARY 1971 Taken from the album After the Goldrush.

Old man lying by the side of the road
With the lorries rolling by,
Blue moon sinking from the weight of the load
And the building scrape the sky,
Cold wind ripping down the allay at dawn
And the morning paper flies,
Dead man lying by the side of the road
With the daylight in his eyes.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Blind man running through the light of the night
With an answer in his hand,
Come on down to the river of sight
And you can really understand,
Red lights flashing through the window in the rain,
Can you hear the sirens moan?
White cane lying in a gutter in the lane,
If you're walking home alone.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Just find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Roland Kirk Quintet - Three For Festival @ Bologna 1973

Psychedelic jazz.

Grateful Dead Columbia Revolt 1968-05-03

Most of the Columbia University Class of '68 walked out of graduation on a prearranged signal -- students carried radios under their gowns and walked out when WKCR played "The Times They Are A'Changin'" -- to a countercommencement on Low Plaza, rockin' out with the Grateful Dead, who were smuggled past the barricades in a bread truck to the steps of the student plaza and from there to Morningside Park for a big picnic.

What the band actually played was not recorded, so the song we've filled in the time frame with works as well as any, and fits like a glove at slightly over 2 minutes, a rare live performance of Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion.

Pt. Kartick Kumar (sitar)


Rag Bageshri (3 of 3) drut - Pt. Kartick Kumar (sitar)

Just drink it in....brilliant

Friday, December 05, 2008

Jungle Trip - Ayahuasca

Documentary for Channel 4 To The Ends of The Earth. Amateur ethnobotanist
Piers Gibbon gets drawn into the world of Shamans and the hallucinogenic
Ayahuasca drug. Filmed in Peru !

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Odetta RIP

Odetta on "The Johnny Cash Show," August 30, 1969. The first song she performs is based on a Negro "field blues" song known simply as "Black Woman," then duets with Cash on "Shame And Scandal In The Family," which was written by a calypso artist who went by Sir Lancelot, in the 40s.

Odetta Holmes, (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an African-American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consists largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was a formative influence on dozens of artists, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Janis Joplin.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Psychedelic Genius of Yoshi Sodeoka

Let It Bleed (Left) Let It Be (Right), The Stones And The Beatles Getting Tweaked At The Same Time, 2008 from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
Let It Bleed (Left) Let It Be (Right), The Stones And The Beatles Getting Tweaked At The Same Time, 2008

The entire track is constructed out of two of the most well-known songs in the history of music, Let It Be by Beatles and Let It Bleed by Rolling Stones. Each track was sliced up into small pieces and rearranged. Let It Be is panned on the right channel, Let It Bleed is panned on the left channel.
This video was first premiered at Given Enough Eyeballs show, The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery PA in 2008.

Psychedelic Death Vomit (EXCERPT) from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
Psychedelic Death Vomit (EXCERPT)
Excerpt of "Psychedelic Death Vomit", 04 Minutes 50 Seconds, 2008
Heavy Light at Deitch Projects, New York, NY
Floating World Animation Fest 2008, Portland, OR
Archaic Vision at Seed Gallery, Newark, NJ
Three Rivers Film Festival, PA
Select Media Festival, IL

Powercord VS Philter Phreak from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
Powercord VS Philter Phreak
A video from "Noise Driven Ambient Audio And Visuals" DVD

Absinthium from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
A video from "Noise Driven Ambient Audio And Visuals" DVD

Bloodless, Empty Socket from yoshi sodeoka on Vimeo.
Bloodless, Empty Socket
A video from "Noise Driven Ambient Audio And Visuals" DVD

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

amon düül II. live in munich 1969. untitled jam.

(From the Fassbinder film "Die Niklashauser Fart"- 1970)
You can see and sometimes hear: renate knaup vocals / chris karrer violin / peter leopold drums / john weinzierl guitar / lothar meid bass / shrat bongoes. the guy playing maracas at the beginning of the clip might be falk rogner or dieter serfas.
rainer werner fassbinder, günther kaufmann and some friends are seen smoking unaffectedly...

Amon Düül II (or Amon Düül 2) is a German rock band. The group is generally considered to be one of the founders of the German rock music scene and a seminal influence on the development of Krautrock.
Contrary to their colleagues in Amon Düül I, founding members Chris Karrer, Peter Leopold, Falk Rogner, John Weinzierl and Renate Knaup placed high value on musical ability. With their first album Phallus Dei (God's Penis) in 1969 they created what is considered to be a milestone in German rock history. The title song alone was 21 minutes in length. They received offers to write music for films, winning a Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Award) for their contribution to the film San Domingo.
Their second album Yeti was their breakthrough album in the United Kingdom. Inevitable comparisons with Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground followed.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mailer and McLuhan 1968

"Violence is essentailly a form of the quest for identity" Marshall McLuhan

Norman Mailer and Marshall McLuhan expound on violence, alienation and the electronic envelope. The clash of two great minds. (1968)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Exodus from Babylon

The Luton based Exodus Collective came into existence in 1992 as part of the growing DIY culture which arose in response to unemployment, poverty and frustration amongst young people.

They organised free 'rave' parties, renovated derelict homes, set up a community farm and planned to open a community centre.Some of their activities bordered on illegality but they were entirely peaceful Exodus had a huge following amongst local people.

Their philosophy had a strong spiritual strand, appealing to notions of community and natural justice in its struggle for survival and renewal. However, their utopian project presented a challenge to the status quo and met with powerful opposition.

Exodus from Babylon investigates the intricate web of this opposition, from aggressive policing to local government obstruction. It reveals the shift in policing from reactive peace keeping to proactive intervention, involving a series of special operations by Bedfordshire Police.

The programme looks in detail at a number of police actions against Exodus, including the prosecution and acquittal of collective member, Paul Taylor, for possession of Ecstasy and for murder. It asks why the strategy of getting tough with Exodus emerged and identifies a number of interlocking interests at play.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

John and Jane Calling

I saw JOHN & JANE last night. An interesting insight into a global communications and marketing system. While it says more about the mediated cultures of the United States than it does about India, in a global perspective it provides food for thought.

A fresh new blend of observational documentary and tropical science-fiction, JOHN & JANE follows the stories of six call agents that answer American 1-800 numbers in a Mumbai call center. After a heady mix of American culture training and 14 hour night shifts, the job soon starts to take its toll. Counter pointing the fluorescent interiors of late night offices and hyper-malls with the uneasy currents swirling around the characters, JOHN & JANE discovers a young generation of urban Indians that are beginning to live between the real and the virtual. However, this futuristic world of American aliases and simulated reality is not science fiction, these are the times in which we live. JOHN & JANE raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity in a 21st century globalised world.

"JOHN & JANE" Part documentary and part fiction feature, "John & Jane" is a film set in the call centers of Mumbai that explores the effects of globalization on six call agents. Indian by day and American by night, the employees' split-identity lives warp their sense of reality in a disturbing way.
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kría Brekkan

Kría Brekkan performin Revine in New York City

Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (aka Kría Brekkan) is an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a former member of the band múm, but also as a member of Storsveit Nix Noltes and guest member of Slowblow. She has recently recorded and released material with Rings, featuring former members of First Nation.
In late 2006 she acknowledged that she had not been a part of múm since the beginning of that year, and she published an open letter briefly describing her thoughts on the matter. In the letter she explains that this delayed announcement was preceded by several failed attempts that ended "filling many pages of reasons and emotions."
She has appeared on records by Mice Parade and on Animal Collective's album Feels, on which she is credited as "Doctess". She appears on the cover of Belle and Sebastian's Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant LP with her twin sister, Gyða.
She currently lives with her husband David Portner, (Animal Collective's Avey Tare) in New York, and recently released an album with him.

kria brekkan - bee xlaura [ mum ]

Kría Brekkan covers Chemirocha on East Village Radio in NYC

Naomi Klein on Democracy Now 11/17

part 3 soon.......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Godfather of YouTube

Kenny Everett (born Maurice Cole in Seaforth, Lancashire; 25 December 1944, – 4 April 1995) was an English radio DJ and television entertainer. He is best known for his career as a radio DJ and for the Kenny Everett television shows.

Growing up in Australia in the 1970s I was exposed to The Kenny Everett Video Show by my parents. I now realize that such an experience has played a role in my humor and art as an adult (maybe a worrying thing).
Watching videos of 'Cuddly Ken' today I can see how much his work on television pushed the boundaries of the medium and anticipated later digital video. Kenny Everett's humor is part surrealist, part pantomime, part Nam June Paik and part drag show. I feel we have a debt to Everett, who has surely played a major role in creating the media ecology we have today in an aesthetic sense.

Check this out:

Quotations and catchphrases

* "It's all done in the best PAH-SIBBLE taste!" -- regular punchline uttered by the character 'Cupid Stunt', accompanied by her swapping her crossed legs over in the most vigorous way possible.
* "'Ello my leetle chickadees" (and variations, in heavy French accent) -- introductory remark uttered by character 'Marcel Wave'.
* "Round 'em up, put 'em in a field, and BOMB THE BASTARDS!" -- all-purpose solution to any perceived social problem, declared by 'Marvin Bombthebastards', a handgun-waving US General with immense shoulders (equipped with retractable cannon) and chest to support many medals.
* "Brother, Brother, Brother Lee Love!" -- gospel-style sung introduction to huge-handed US minister 'Brother Lee Love', whose frenetic sermons called for the 'congregation' to echo the last two syllables of some sentences, with amusing (and occasionally very rude) results.
* "I hate pornography ... I haven't even got a pornograph!" -- 'Angry of Mayfair'.
* 'This morning, I spilled coffee all over my wife's dressing gown! Serves me right for wearing it! -- 'Angry of Mayfair'.
* "Colonel Muriel Kleen here, of the Campaign for Nice Things on Television!' (A couple of bars of 'Hallelujah!' from the 'Hallelujah Chorus'.) 'We believe in goodness, truth and beauty! We believe that Julie Andrews should get her own series, and that Joan Collins should get her own breakfast! And remember: you don't have to watch this endless display of perversitude and fleshybollery! You've all got a knob there! SO USE IT!" -- 'Angry of Mayfair.'
* (Electronic rendition of Bach's choral prelude Wachet Auf) - reminiscent of and perhaps the work of Wendy Carlos - musical accompaniment to all sketches featuring 'Maurice Minor', parody of French mime artist Marcel Marceau.
* "Ello, I'm Gizzard Puke, mugger to the gentry, and anyone who says punk's dead, will be."
* Ladies and gentlephones... pun based on "ladies and gentlemen"

In the 1983 election campaign, the Young Conservatives invited Kenny to their conference in an attempt to attract the youth vote. Egged on by film director Michael Winner, Kenny bounded onto the stage, wearing the enormously oversized foam rubber hands familiar from his mock-evangelical character Brother Lee Love. He shouted slogans like "Let's bomb Russia!" and "Let's kick Michael Foot's stick away!" (Michael Foot was the elderly leader of the Labour Party.)

Brother Lee Love

A Portal to Media Literacy

Presented at the University of Manitoba June 17th 2008. (for those of you waiting for the Library of Congress presentation, it will be posted July 19th-ish.)

From Stephen's Lighthouse:

"Many of you have probably seen Kansas State University prof Michael Wesch's thought-provoking video, "A
Vision of Students Today".

Recently Dr. Wesch spoke at the University of Manitoba where he explained the the basis of this video in a talk entitled, "Michael Wesch and the Future of Education." I found it fascinating! He describes how he so naturally incorporates emerging technologies into his courses from the smallest seminar type class to the largest lecture theatre filled class.

More importantly he not only talks about the technologies but how he encourages extraordinary participation and collaboration from his students by engaging them in meaningful learning activities.

Although the video is 66 minutes long...pour a coffee, iced tea or glass of wine and enjoy this dynamic presentation from a master teacher."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Walls of Sana'a by Pasolini

A short documentary about the astonishing beauty of Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, and the sad awareness of the destruction of the ancient world (the only real one, as Pasolini says) made by development (with english subtitles).

The second part of this beautiful documentary also shows the town of orte in italy, during the wild speculation of the 1970s that spoilt our country's treasures. it ends with a passional appeal to UNESCO.
Sana'a, by the way, was declared world heritage site by UNESCO in 1986, 11 years after Pasolini's tragic death (dubbed voices are not good).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ram Bahadur Bamjan

The followers of Ram Bahadur Bamjan, 18, believe he has been meditating without food and water since he was first spotted in the jungles of southern Nepal in 2005, when believers say he spent months without moving, sitting with his eyes closed beneath a tree.
Bamjan re-emerged this week to meet his followers, who have come by the thousands to see him in the jungles of Ratanpur, about 160km south of Katmandu.

Bomjon's message was "The only way we can save this nation is through spirituality".
His speech is as follows:

Murder, violence, greed, anger and temptation have made the human world a desperate place. A terrible storm has descended upon the human world, and this is carrying the world towards destruction. There is only one way to save the world and that is through "dharma" (spiritual practice). When one doesn't walk the righteous path of spiritual practice, this desperate world will surely be destroyed. Therefore, follow the path of spirituality and spread this message to your fellows. Never put obstacles, anger and disbelief in the way of my meditation's mission. I am only showing you the way; you must seek it on your own. What I will be, what I will do, the coming days will reveal. Human salvation, the salvation of all living beings, and peace in the world are my goal and my path. "Namo Buddha sangaya, Namo Buddha sangaya, namo sangaya." I am contemplating on the release of this chaotic world from the ocean of emotion, on our detachment from anger and temptation, without straying from the path for even a moment, I am renouncing my own attachment to my life and my home forever, I am working to save all living beings. But in this undisciplined world, my life's practice is reduced to mere entertainment. The practice and devotion of many Buddhas is directed at the world's betterment and happiness. It is essential but very difficult to understand that practice and devotion. But though it is easy to lead this ignorant existence, human beings don't understand that one day we must leave this uncertain world and go with the Lord of Death. Our long attachments with friends and family will dissolve into nothingness. We have to leave behind the wealth and property we have accumulated. What's the use of my happiness, when those who have loved me from the beginning, my mother, father, brothers, relatives are all unhappy. Therefore, to rescue all sentient beings, I have to be Buddha-mind, and emerge from my underground cave to do "vajra" meditation. To do this I have to realize the right path and knowledge, so do not disturb my practice. My practice detaches me from my body, my soul and this existence. In this situation there will be 72 goddess Kalis. Different gods will be present, along with the sounds of thunder and of "tangur", and all the celestial gods and goddesses will be doing "puja" (worship). So until I have sent a message, do not come here, and please explain this to others. Spread spiritual knowledge and spiritual messages throughout the world. Spread the message of world peace to all. Seek a righteous path and wisdom will be yours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slacker Uprising

While Slacker Uprising seems to be mainly about Michael Moore, it is an interesting film due to the fact that the middle class of the USA rose up and elected Barack Obama as President with what is expected to be a record turnout this month. I wonder if a film would work on a middle class uprising?

Slacker Uprising is a movie of Michael Moore’s tour of colleges in battleground states during the 2004 election, with a goal to encourage 18-29 year olds to vote, and the response it received. The film is a re-edited version of Captain Mike Across America, which played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 to tepid response.
It is one of the first feature length films made by a known director to be released as a free and legal download online. The free download is only available to those residing in the United States and Canada. The film was also made available for free online viewing and download on the Lycos Cinema platform as well as iTunes and The DVD is also available for purchase on the Slacker Uprising website for $9.95. It had a one-night-only run at the Michigan Theater, where Michael Moore spoke briefly.
Slacker Uprising also features performances by Steve Earle, Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam), R.E.M., Roseanne Barr, Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave), Viggo Mortensen and more.

Leila Arab - Lush Dolphins

Something to ponder..

Saturday, November 08, 2008

David Lynch: Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain - 109 min

The inside story on transcending the brain, with David Lynch, Award-winning film director of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Mullholland Drive, Inland Empire; John Hagelin, Ph.D., Quantum physicist featured in "What the bleep do we know?;" and Fred Travis, Ph.D., Director, Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition Maharishi University of Management.

Quantum Tantra and Autonomy

Feb. 6, 1993 Here is a video that includes the best of this legendary show from 1993. The roster includes; Hakim Bey, Robert Anton Wilson, Nick Herbert, Rob Brezsny and Joseph Matheny.

Nick Herbert received his PhD in physics from Stanford University, and after working in this area for many years decided to turn his attention to psychedelics.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Panel at Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility

Resistance Studies and Social Change - Panel at Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility (2008, 117 mins).
Participants include José Manuel Viegas Neve, Marco Schirone and Stellan Vinthagen.

CNN Holographic Reporter on Election Night 2008

Claimed holographic image of live person on CNN November 4, 2008

"To survive, the spectacle must have social control. It can recuperate a potentially threatening situation by shifting ground, creating dazzling alternatives- or by embracing the threat, making it safe and then selling it back to us" – Larry Law, The Spectacle- The Skeleton Keys

Hans Jurgen Kreuzer, theoretical physics professor and holography expert at Dalhousie University, told CBC news in Canada that the so-called holograms were simply 2D images superimposed onto the TV broadcast.

The images were in fact tomograms, or images captured from all sides - in this case by 35 high-definition cameras set in a ring inside a special tent - reconstructed by computers and displayed on the screen.

A real hologram would have meant the images were projected into space, which did not occur as Blitzer and Cooper could not see their interview subjects.
CNN and Fake Hologram

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Melanie Safka

Melanie Safka - Birthday Of The Sun Woodstock 1969

Little sisters of the sun lit
candles in the rain,
fed the world on oats and raisins
candles in the rain
lit the fire to the soul
who never knew his friend
meher baba lives again
candles in the rain
to be there is to remember
lay it down again
lay down
lay down
lay it down again
men can live as brothers
candles in the rain....

lay down lay down, let it all down
let your white birds smile up at the ones who stand and frown
lay down lay down, let it all down
let your white birds smile up at the ones who stand and frown
we were so close, there was no room
we bled inside each others wounds
we had caught the same disease
and we all sang songs of peace
so raise the candles high cause if you
don't we could stay black against the night
oh raise them higher again and if you
do we could stay dry against the rain
we were so close there was no room
we bled inside each others wounds
we had caught the same disease
and we all sang songs of peace
some came to sing, some came to pray
some came to keep the dark away
so raise the candles high
cause if you don't we could stay
black against the sky
oh oh raise them higher again
and if you do we could stay dry against the rain


Affluenza is a term used by critics of consumerism, a portmanteau of affluence and influenza. Sources define this term as follows:

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (de Graaf [1])

affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. (PBS [1])

Proponents of the term consider the costs of prizing material wealth vastly outweigh the benefits. They claim those who become wealthy will find the economic success leaving them unfulfilled and hungry for more wealth. The condition is considered particularly acute amongst those with inherited wealth, who are often said to experience guilt, lack of purpose and dissolute behavior, as well as obsession with holding on to the wealth (John Levy's Coping with Inherited Wealth - see [2]).

Critics of the term suggest that the term is a ghastly neologism, which relies upon a viral metaphor to describe an ill-defined social anxiety.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Old Man and the Sea

In 1999, Aleksandr Petrov won the Academy Award for Short Film (among other awards) for a film that follows the plot line of Ernest Hemingway’s classic novella, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). As noted here, Petrov’s technique involves painting pastels on glass, and he and his son painted a total of 29,000 images in total.

Lunch Poems - Diane di Prima

World-renowned poet Diane di Prima, one of the preeminent writers to emerge from the Beat generation, wrote in Manhattan for many years before relocating to San Francisco, where she has been for nearly four decades. In addition to raising five children, di Prima has studied photography, collage, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Sanskrit, and alchemy, all of which inform her intensely lyrical writing. Her 43 books of poetry and prose have been translated into over twenty languages.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Banksy and Mates in Sydney London Los Angeles

A show of street art opens this week at the new Urban Uprising Gallery in Sydney Australia.

a british culture show covers the illusive, infamous banksy

Banksy in LA Sept 2006

Stranger than Paradise (1984)

I stared watching Stranger Than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch a few weeks ago by accident. I came in just after the start and did not move for the duration of the film. A great movie. See it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Uploaded by a360

Extraits de concerts sahariens filmés par Arnaud Contreras et Alissa Descotes-Toyosaki ( présentés lors de l'installation "Nocturnes Sahariennes", au coeur du Sahara.

Video du titre Chet Boghassa Album:Amassakoul

Tinariwen (Tamashek: ⵜⵏⵔⵓⵏ "empty places") is a musical band formed in 1982 in Muammar al-Gaddafi's camps of Tuareg rebels. They play in the Tishoumaren ("music of the unemployed") style, and sing mostly in the French and Tamashek languages. Their songs mostly cover the subject of independence for their people from the government of Mali. They are said to be the first Tuareg band to use electric guitars.

Having recorded many albums available on cassette over their eighteen years, the group recorded their first album for the CD format in December 2000; the album was known as The Radio Tisdas Sessions and was their first recording available outside of Africa.

The Western world first took great notice of Tinariwen due to their performance at Le Festival au Désert, a musical festival held in Tin-Essako, Mali, a remote region of the Sahara Desert, in January 2001.

The band released a second album, Amassakoul ("Traveller") in 2004, and played concerts in Europe (where they performed one of the highlights of the 2004 Womad Reading ) and the United States to support the album.

Tinariwen's new album entitled Aman Iman, meaning "Water is Life", was released in February 2007. A 52 minute documentary called Teshumara, or the guitars of the revolution recently played in movie theaters in Europe. It tells the history of the Tuareg rebellion and the role played by Tinariwen in this struggle for freedom. Combined with Amassakoul, it has been released as the CD/DVD combo The Soul Rebel Of African Desert.

They have met great resistance from rock radio and press unable to embrace a non-English speaking act, but have forged a career playing world music festivals. At times, the band feels that their music is underappreciated despite the fact that they have been doing many interviews with the media in recent years.