Filed under: Architecture, art, Ideas, Music, Uncategorized | Tags: Animation, Architecture, Experience, Music, Sea and Cake, Sound and Vision, Video
Here at tirado/thrown, we heartily anticipate the end of the winter. With the clear light and the cold air, we’re slowly attempting to shed the frozen snow that stubbornly sticks to the ground here in Boston (but not before the upcoming Agamben post, though).
The Sea and Cake’s cover of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” is the perfect song for this time of year. They take on Bowie with a blast of cold Chicago air and fashion a tempered interpretation that does not threaten the original version’s excitement and buoyancy.
In an issue of loud paper a number of years ago, The Sea and Cake’s lead singer Sam Prekop professed his love for the work of Mies Van Der Rohe. Lines, glass, light, and steel, Van Der Rohe’s architecture trades in the very basic terms of experience and dwelling.
It’s not entirely surprising then, that the video above marshals high-modern experimental animation to offer a visual expereince well-coordinated with a song that is about experience, broadly conceived: wonder, awakening, anticipation, becoming alive, the senses sparkening and opening to the world. The above video is vitalism wrapped in the guise of a collected, though vibrant, formalism. Here’s to ushering the end of Winter.
UPDATE: A far better version of the video is up on Pitchfork.tv, which I recommend over the video I posted above.
Filed under: art, Flaneurie, Ideas, Poetry, Politics, Psychoanalysis, Uncategorized | Tags: City of Work, ICite, ideology, Language, meaning, Michael Lewy, Ontology, speculations, word clouds
The image above is from artist Micheal Lewy’s City of Work tumblr. (His website is well worth paying a visit.) It caught my attention in light of some reflections at ICite that I’ve been following at a distance concerning the phenomena of word clouds and their relation to language, poetry, politics, psyche, and symbolic efficiency. It started with this post, and has so far continued here and here. Juxtaposing the blog posts and Lewy’s work raised more questions than answers.
First, some questions regarding the relationship of Lewy’s piece to language, its social use, and the piece’s orientation as an artwork. If, as ICite argues, word clouds flatten sense and the possibilities of meaning (through ’marking a moment’, or being a form of secondary orality, a trace of chatter, or a positionless marker of intensity, etc.), does Lewy’s rendering of office lingo serve to pit this terminology against itself? In effect, the piece seems to expose the terminology’s flatness, its lack of tonality, and its reliance on the frequency and intensity of its use in our working lives. Could it be argued that Lewy’s piece is a parody of technical applications of language upon the seemingly neutral language of work?
A second group of questions arise with respect to discourse, psyche, ontology, and politics. Is workplace jargon an apparatus of master discourse reliant upon biopolitical coersion to acheive its politcal-economic ends? Does it not reveal that the language of work is not merely natural, but vulnerable to a decline in symbolic efficiency?
It would seem that Lewy’s ‘work cloud’ brings to sharper relief the contingent properties of social relations, capitalism included.
Filed under: Aesthetics, Books, Chicano, Ideas, Latinos, Literature, Mexico, Philosophy, Politics, Publications, Uncategorized | Tags: Agamben, Aura Estrada, Badiou, Benjamin, Bernard Steigler, Biopolitics, Books, Foucault, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Journal of Theives, Literature, Mexico City, New Blogs, Photography, Pochismo, Science
- From Mexico City, Intersections returns from its hiatus with an update on recent events honoring writer Aura Estrada as part of an effort to create a literary prize in her memory. The prize will offer promising Mexican women writers an opportunity to hone their literary chops.
- Intersections follows up with a post on recent programming at Mexico City’s Center for Contemporary Culture. Maras y la Cultura de la Violencia focuses on La Mara Salvatrucha, among the most widely-publicized and feared street gangs in the US and El Salvador. The show raises a host of questions, especially about the way in which museums and cultural institutes address highly charged contemporary issues. Is the show an instance of the ongoing ‘museumification of the world’? Is it an attempt to deal with a matter usually placed under the sign of public safety/police/crime journalism with the resources of humanistic reflection? Or is it just a foolish, useless, and unsympathetic expedition glorifying a way of life marked, or perhaps defined, by cruelty, aggression, and ruthlessness?
- The MIT Press is holding its Winter White Sale until January 31, which is the press’s coolest discount book buying opportunity next to their loading dock sale. If any dear readers wish to donate books to the tirado/thrown staff (ahem…), please feel free to ask how you can send Ruben Gallo’s Mexican Modernity and/or Adam Sharr’s Heidegger’s Hut. Generosity will be compensated with a treatment of received book on this blog and recognition from a grateful beneficiary.
- Perverse Egalitarianism reflects on Bernard Steigler’s Acting Out. The call to philosophy and the discipline required in its practice, which, at the risk of oversimplifying, is part in parcel with getting on in this existence of ours.
- Why has No Useless Leniency not been in my reader? Why were three outstanding posts missed here at tirado/thrown? In the interest of making amends, first some notes on Badiou’s The Meaning of Sarkozy, highlighting some useful precepts. Second, a post reflecting on the ontology of the interval, with some hints for further reflection regarding the conquest and creation of the New World. Third and last, some notes on Walter Benjamin’s essay Capitalism as Religion, an essay that Agamben riffs heavily on in “In Praise of Profanation.”
- This Recording’s recent “Science Corner” entry, aside from being colorful, is an example downright cool science blogging for the barely initiated. And now we are a little more familiar with the mating habits of the banana slug.
- I Cite shares with readers some notes on Foucault’s 1978-79 lectures on the genesis of modern biopolitics. Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
- Guillermo Gómez-Peña, who has helped bring pochismo into the cultural vernacular, is The Mexorcist. Yes, xenophobia is a spiritual disorder. An interview with the Tuscon Citizen elaborates. (Note: Gómez-Peña will be giving a talk at USC on January 28. For more context, his article in The Journal of Visual Culture from 2006 titled El Mexorcist lays out the basic idea.)
- Rhizome calls our attention to the brick being thrown at us. Buffalo Head: Media Practice, Media Study, Media Pioneeers 1973-1990 is the 800-plus page , 10 pound book documenting the work of SUNY Buffalo’s Center for Media Studies.
- tirado/thrown receives a greeting from Journal of Thieves. Not at all safe for work, or for those who are easily offended. We were definitely charmed by the assault on sensibility that makes easily reproduced spectacle and images of extreme ambiguity render pornography inoperative. tirado/thrown thanks JoT for making us think. We welcome you to the blogroll, with open, er, you get the point.
- Please, click through the link at the end of the bullet . You’ll find your computer to be interesting and fun again. http://www.zigzagphilosophy.com/
Image: Screenshot of zigzagphilosophy.com, (2009). Digital work by Angelo Plessas, found at Rhizome.
Filed under: Music, Uncategorized, Video | Tags: 2008, Anavan, Baltimoroder, Chico Sonido, Crystal Castles, El Guincho, Gael Garcia Bernal, Las Malas Amistades, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Music, nobody, Rock, Roots of Chicha, School of Seven Bells, TV on the Radio
With the year quickly coming to a close, here’s tirado/thrown’s list of albums/songs/tracks that made their way into regular listening rotation over the last year. While most of the titles below were released in 2008, your dear author/editor cannot pretend to scoop up new records and love them as quickly as a number of people picking up records and writing about them. At times, he wishes he were so adventurous. Be that as it may, the list follows:
- Crystal Castles, Self-Titled, Last Gang Records: A record of 8-bit-inspired madness teetering at the point where self-control and its loss become difficult to distinguish. It is music to the tune of neurons alternately seizing up and firing at various intensities, making shards and blobs of circuitry-toned noise for your pleasure.
- Anavan, Self-Titled, GSL: Manic, tight, post-punk. Danceable and disciplined, this record will mercilessly cut you right down the middle.
- TV on the Radio, Dear Science, Interscope: As close to a perfect album as you can get. Just. Go. Listen.
- El Guincho, Alegranza, Young Turks/XL Recordings: Dense, infectious, rhythmic loops of joy.
- Las Malas Amistades, Jardin Interior, Psychopath Records: The record (and band) I’ve been waiting for to offer Latin America’s response to Sebadoh’s Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock. Not quite new, but it was a 2008 discovery here at tirado/thrown.
- Nobody, Presents Blank Blue: Western Water Music, Vol. 3, Ubiquity Records: Lush, slow burning, deep grooves from L.A. Oftentimes Nobody’s psychedelic arrangements move the music along like fog moving at the boundary between air and water, smoother and cooler than an iced bong hit.
- Chico Sonido, Various Mixes, available at www.chicosonido.com: Outstanding mixes of vintage Latino tracks that just teem with soul. He’s an outstanding selector, and part 2 of a set he recorded for dublab in 2006 is proof. Finding records under pyramids indeed.
- Various Artists, The Roots of Chicha, Barbes Records: Irresistible late 60′s cumbia drenched in reverb-laced guitars. Inspired by the wave of psychedelic cumbia rocking South America (esp. Zizek) as of late, I somehow managed to come across this ancestral document.
- School of Seven Bells, Alpinisms, Ghostly Records: Most of what I read about them invokes the term shoegaze or dreampop, which I find a pretty lazy analogy. Said genres don’t carry a groove or run vocals the way SVIIB’s Alpinisms does deftly mixing the sonic landscapes of Spiritualized and rhythms of late 80s freestyle to entirely original results: earnest, serious, groove-laden, and striving for a level of feeling in songwriting that treads perilous musical territory and comes away glowing.
- Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Daytrotter Sessions, Available here. There’s a fragility and vulnerability in Robinson’s voice and songwriting that is just arresting. The four songs featured on the Daytrotter sessions are rather magnificent in themselves as well-performed pieces of rock.
- Baltimoroder/Die Young, Cat/Back Around, Dopamine Records: A slick but downright grimy track coming from Boston’s finest DJ, Baltimoroder. It’s much like something you’ll hear him spinning during peak dancing time at one of the many nights he’s a part of.
A few more records from this year were in the running, but in the name of a measure of integrity, they’re excluded them from the list since said author/editor hasn’t listened to them. They are worth mentioning as records that are eagerly awaiting listening:
- Flying Lotus, Los Angeles, Reset, 1983, Warp Records/Plug Research
- Abe Vigoda, Skeleton, Post-Present Medium
- Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Self-Titled, Say Hey Records
I’ll leave with a little piece of pre-holiday cheer that came my way from tirado/thrown favorite Caro at Sound Taste. It’s Gael Garcia Bernal getting his norteño on in with a rendition of, well, you’ll recognize it, by you know who, as part of an upcoming film, Rudo y Cursi. Judging from the trailer, the song gets its work in. Were I Bun E. Carlos, I would be impressed.
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Filed under: Literature, Philosophy, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: abandonment, being-with, Jean-Luc Nancy, Kay Ryan, Ontology, Philosophy, Poetry
Recently-minted U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, from a July 17 New York Times article:
“I realized that whatever we do or don’t do, we’re utterly exposed.”
At first blush, any one who’s read Jean-Luc Nancy’s work on being-with or his ontology of plural sinularity will at the level of basic philosophy some resonance in Ryan’s words. But Ryan’s economy of expression at once withholds itself and leaves itself open to questions and amplifications. ‘Exposed’: to what, or two whom? To things, to people, to beings, to a beyond, or being wherever we are? If there’s any suitable supplement to Ryan’s utterance of resignation, it can perhaps be that exposure itself is the basic human fact placing us with relation to many others, be the people, ourselves, or objects.
Filed under: Music, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: Badiou, Benjamin, Julieta Venegas, Kureishi, Mai '68, Music, Sounds, Week in Review, Writing
A quick survey of items summoning bits of time and attention over the last week:
- Hanif Kureishi lobs a salvo against writing programs. Can I add that it’s uncanny how graduate school settings resemble sanatoria?
- Just when I thought Hanif was getting all crotchety for the sake of being so, this post over at Sancho’s Panza starts an open-ended conversation about writing as a profession.
- On writing about oneself for a living: a fitting end to the Emily Gould affair, which kept observers dangling over the maw of the lumpen commentariat’s amalgamation of boredom and rage at The New York Times.
- Further reading on writing: Walter Benjamin’s The Author as Producer in PDF. Another essay, A Short History of Photography is also available for downloading.
- For whatever an anniversary is worth: A difficult appraisal of Mai ’68 (forty years later), and a take on Alain Badiou’s thought-works viz. humanity’s emancipatory potential, against the reactionary politics that won out in the aftermath of 1968.
- Brief forays into pop musicology: cumbia and reggeaton make rhythmic sense; and this review’s got me stewing. Here’s Julieta Venegas’ Eres Para Mi getting the reggeaton-inflected cumbia treatment from Sonidero Nacional. Have a great weekend!