Henri-Frédéric Amiel

"The man who has no refuge in himself, who lives, so to speak, in his front rooms, in the outer whirlwind of things and opinions, is not properly a personality at all. He floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no convictions--such a man is a mere article of furniture--a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being--an echo, not a voice. The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings, as the barometer is the obedient servant of the air at rest, and the weathercock the humble servant of the air in motion."

les mains négatives

Marguerite Duras - Les mains négatives
Hochgeladen von Iconographe. - Klassik TV, Abendsendungen und Nachtsendungen, online.

son nom de venise dans calcutta desert

When the film Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert was initially shown in 1976, many viewers found it hauntingly beautiful but deeply perplexing. Some, seeing it as a sign of Duras' inability to separate herself from the making of India Song, even ascribed the film to a kind of postpartum depression. Since that time, the film has been placed in perspective as an inseparable component of the India cycle as a whole, although little has been written, with certain notable exceptions, on its specific relation to the other works. Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert is a purely metanarrative epilogue that culminates the progressive decomposition of spectacle as well as the dismantling of the neocolonial subject conceived as specular identity that was initiated by previous works in the India cycle. The film confirms the paradoxical character of the mimetic illusion, whose mirror functions as an ontological abyss for the desiring subject. Its seductive ideal of absolute identity and mastery in fact results in passivity and impotence. Conceived as a means of guaranteeing individuals the illusion of a form of immortality, it actually removes them from the arena of real action, enslaving them to a sterile fantasy.

Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert seems at moments to be an elegiac ode to a distant era of elegance and privilege. In fact, however, the film rewrites the story of colonial empire, revealing its authority to be the creation of a culture obsessed by fears of death and impotence. The film negates the pretense to origins, exposing the sinister consequences of the culture's denial of its source in, and dependence on, the Other. Duras' film plays out the revolution in consciousness whereby the indentured subject, condemned through false illusions of transgression to live a shadow existence at the edges of an imperial culture, begins to cast its own shadow across the colonial empire. Like the shadow of the beggar woman on the embassy steps at the end of India Song, the shadow's lengthening form falls across the boundaries demarcating imperial discourse, blocking the light emanating from the culture's rationalizing gaze.The eye of the camera in this film belongs to a different mode of consciousness, its "writing" to a different use of the sign. It expresses an imagination cut loose from the constraints of presence, free to explore the vestigial remains of intersecting voices and lives. Abandoning the fantasy that history can ever be told or re-presented in unified dramatic form, the camera roams over a deserted mansion littered with the debris of dreams. The decaying Rothschild mansion, the setting for most of India Song, stands now for any structure that once served as the public image of authoritarian rule. The hall of the embassy reception we witnessed as guests in the earlier film we now observe as strangers; we now see the colonial enclave's fissures, its vulnerability to history and time. The dilapidated condition of the mansion even suggests wanton destruction, leaving us to imagine acts of gratuitous violence committed by passersby. The effect is that of a body violated. Duras is suggesting a complex of associations in which the notion of rape also implies castration, and it finally operates at a metaphorical level as an inverted image of colonial exploitation. What is most important here is that she is not simply portraying the return of violence against its perpetrators but turning the figure around once again to suggest that victimization itself is predicated on a fantasy that exacts the victim's tacital though unwitting collaboration for its efficacy.

description taken from "Art and politics in Duras' India cycle" by Lucy Stone McNeece, pg. 151-152.

awilo longomba



christopher wool

mirrors and birds

a study

by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at The Scripps Research Institute suggested that junk food alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin(1). After many weeks on a junk food diet, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare (2).

1. Johnson, Paul M.; Kenny, Paul J. (2010). "Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats". Nature Neuroscience 13: 635. doi:10.1038/nn.2519.
2. Goodwin, Jenifer. Junk Food 'Addiction' May Be Real. Business Week. March 29, 2010.

-i somehow obsessively love the idea of a scientific study.
a study about obese rats.
scientists are by far the weirdest, fetishising perverts i can think of.
and not just playful perverts like the people hanging out in the dark rooms of night clubs or doll houses, but serious perverts, really serious, ideological perverts in white costumes with scientific motives and legitimations, which is somehow seriously bewildering.


a unibrow

(or monobrow) is a confluence of eyebrows; i.e., the presence of abundant hair between the eyebrows, so that they seem to converge to form one long eyebrow. The condition of having a unibrow is synophrys. Unibrows have been the subject of various misconceptions and superstitions. Victorian criminologist Cesare Lombroso identified unibrows as a sign of criminality. In earlier times they were associated with werewolves. In the 1984 fantasy film The Company of Wolves, the grandmother (played by Angela Lansbury) comments to her granddaughter, "Beware of windfallen apples and of men whose eyebrows meet".
(from wiki)

make it don´t fake it

H. Korine on Trash Humpers’ junky, lo-tech style:
“It’s like when you wake up in the morning and you see your white patent leather shoes that you’ve always thought were hideous. But then all of a sudden, you look at them and the light is kinda right and your mood has changed a little bit and your style has evolved, and now it’s time to wear white patent leather shoes.”
On the inspiration for Trash Humpers:
“Going back to a time in my life growing up in the ’80s in Nashville, I remember living down the street from a group of elderly peeping Toms. There was this place, it was like a makeshift warehouse for the old or a place where they, for $19 a month, would store your grandparents. [The residents] wore white nursing shoes and black turtlenecks. I would sometimes see them out in the alleyways peeping into my next-door neighbor’s window, usually doing bad things. So it always kind of stayed with me. At that time, I was a kid of VHS. That was my first camera. And so I started messing with the idea of putting those two things together.”
On the elderly:
“I’ve always said the scariest thing in the world to me is an old person who moves well. Like a geriatric with a good physique is really horrifying. These characters [in Trash Humpers] maybe defy this kind of logic. They’re more like shapeshifters or shadow people. There was something more hilarious and frightening about that.”
On vandalism:
“I think it can be [a form of expression]. I remember what it was like growing up. Where I lived as a kid, one of the hobbies we had was smashing lightbulbs. I thought of how great it was to come home from school and hang out with your friends, drink Kool-Aid, take some acid and spend a good four to five hours just smashing lightbulbs in new and innovative ways. It was like a spiritual experience. It was vandalism as a creative act. Destruction as something artistic. ... The art of blowing shit up can be just as rewarding as the art of building.”
On making art:
“Usually, I just make things because I feel compelled to make them. I have an idea and then I wanna act on it. You have an urge and you act on it. You just do it because it feels like no one else is doing it. I mostly just make things to entertain myself and at the same time hope that there’s some type of audience that likes what I’m doing.”
On distribution:
“I didn’t even go into this thinking of it in conventional movie terms. [Trash Humpers] wasn’t meant to be watched as a narrative film. It was more like something you could disassemble. You could take a certain scene and just throw it in the trash and then maybe someone just would come by and pick it up, watch it and get something from it. That was the way I wanted to distribute it in the beginning. Just send certain scenes to random people’s doorsteps or a courthouse or police building or [a place] where Communists would congregate.”
About future plans:
“I was making this movie about these dogs that drip milk. They’re found in Cuba and Panama and they drip milk. They have these huge tits that hang down to the ground, and once a year they hang out in parking lots and drip milk in these circular patterns. It almost looks like these massive, milky Jackson Pollock renderings. So I was gonna write a script about these dogs that figure out how to become art forgers with their tits. I want it to star Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman.”
On Albuquerque:
“I love watching ‘COPS’ in Albuquerque. Albuquerque has got the market cornered on paint sniffers. It’s always incredible. Anytime I see ‘COPS’ and there’s an Albuquerque episode, I know we’re in store for something great.”

rowlow: geriatric vandalism

"At an age when most graffiti writers are either retired from vandalism or dead from huffing fumes, Dr. Kenneth C. Hopper is just hitting his stride. The 70-year-old opthalmologist was arrested in Warren County, about 60 miles north of Albany, for spraypainting rowlow on an overpass. Hopper claims he simply finds the word intriguing, but another doctor, Frank Rollo, believes Hopper has been targeting him with the graffiti for 15 years."


"Zimbardo's primary reason for conducting the experiment was to focus on the power of roles, rules, symbols, group identity and situational validation of behavior that generally would repulse ordinary individuals. "I had been conducting research for some years on deindividuation, vandalism and dehumanization that illustrated the ease with which ordinary people could be led to engage in anti-social acts by putting them in situations where they felt anonymous, or they could perceive of others in ways that made them less than human, as enemies or objects," Zimbardo told the Toronto symposium in the summer of 1996."
from http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/pr/97/970108prisonexp.html

the psychology of tyranny

"Successful groups give their members the power to put ideas into practice. As we have seen, this brings psychological benefits to individual members. The implications for society will be more varied and will depend upon the particular belief systems associated with particular groups. Where these beliefs are undemocratic and oppressive, groups can be tyrannical. Conversely, where these beliefs are democratic and open, groups can safeguard humanity.
But why do people support oppressive groups? When and why do we fall under the spell of tyrants?
Our study suggests that this happens when groups fail. When people cannot realize their own values and beliefs, they are more like to accept alternatives – however drastic – that provide the prospect of success. In particular, when their group is failing, they are more likely to embrace a strong figure who promises to make things work for them. It is this combination of failure and promise which made our participants become more authoritarian. In history too, these are conditions that have precipitated tyranny.
The answer to tyranny is not to distrust or to fear power. It was this that created problems for the Guards' regime and for the Commune. Rather, the answer is to use group power responsibly, democratically and in defence of humane values. In this way, we can act together to resist tyranny – either one imposed by others or one made by ourselves."

from http://www.bbcprisonstudy.org




hate is a driving force and can make you want to get up in the mornings to get something done. you hate something, so it needs to change and you need to take action.
hate can be very real and energizing and a motor to outgrow some sort of crisis or down. just like criticism of dominating beliefs presupposes understanding and questioning the existing and opening up doors for imagining it differently and being sensitized for the possible.
why are people so against hate? maybe because they are afraid of being questioned in their power positions. as most values, it probably derived from some religious elite who proclaimed: love us, don´t hate us, to the people who were ment to stay people and the proclaimers who intended to stay proclaimers.
i like to hate certain things passionately. i don´t understand why i shouldn´t.

love makes you always miss and lack, like missing an imaginary limb, that is what ingmar bergman said when his wife died: it feels like i have lost my legs. it makes you miss the recipient of your love when (s)he is not there, or something inside (her)him, when (s)he is there. love makes you want to destroy and own. it is possesive and consequently makes you weak and dependent, because we never have what we think we have and in turn are owned by our desire to have. we cannot have anything really. but we can share and revel it for as long as we or it is around.
the common concept of love is a neurotic state of wanting to assimilate difference, in the worst case control and govern the other through subtle doctrines that you implement into your discourse, in the best case you just tolerate each other.
but why then cohabitate in declaired love at all? you might as well tolerate from a distance.
in a drastic, exaggerated way love is what bush did when he invaded irak: i love you, so i will bring you freedom and democracy. but noone had asked for this proof of love, and his love was a colonizing, egocentric, manipulative act of demonstrating hegemony.

often people only love those who are not worse off then themselves. those who posess something you in turn don´t have. that can be status, money, artistic or intellectual skills, a certain freedom of thought. what you do not have, you desire and mistake for love. (desire is probably the greatest get-you-out-of-bed-er)
love as a concept of 18th century romanticism has failed. we do not love with all our burning passion until we cease to exist. our desire is constantly distracted by its objects, thoughts, work, other people, the ephemera of our daily lives. we just get used to someone and suddenly start to need, whereas our initial love was for free and came just like that, with no claim for refund.

is the true conclusion of love the devouring and killing of the other like in nagisa oshima´s "realm of the senses"? the slow total destruction?
why is love and killing so intertwined?
lacan coined the phrase: i love you, but, inexplicably, i love something in you more than yourself, and, therefore, i destroy you.

deleuze said the whineyness of wanting to be loved so badly will only get you to the psychoanalysist and back into the realm of oedipus and co.
you must love and follow the directions and intensities of your passions, but you mustn´t hold onto things, cling to them and eventually suffocate them. be bold and courageous and in the world and go out and let go.

the family as institution of neurosis and repression.

still, we have only learned to live in these models and are overcome by solitude and too much of ourselves when we abandon them.
maybe that is what is nice about love: we can forget ourselves for a while and direct our energy on something other than our fears and troubles.
but then again love like knowledge and anything is constituted by power. power is neither good nor bad, but can have bad consequences when connected to manipulation and a disproportional abundance of it. catherine breillat said, power should only be used on ourselves. we should only control and govern ourselves.
so how to love?
loving someone just like that. celebrating (her)his existence. forgetting yourself. if you cease to think of yourself as a self that needs to be loved by mother and father and the rest of the world and understand yourself as a part of a picture you cannot completely overview, you feel in fine company and not lonely and detached and estranged at all. or maybe at least not to a pathological extent.
i cannot retrieve the irrationality of my feelings in the provided models to practice them. it is like trying to walk in shoes that don´t fit.
when i awake, i feel an urgent desire for thought. i like to read a bit, like to not have to work and not have to make money, i like to do nothing, like to think of people i admire and look up to, like to meet them and spend time, spend more time, -people who seem bold and daring and risk taking and living. i don´t mean adventurers. i don´t like adventures, i don´t like jumping off high rocks into the sea, don´t like muscled, athletic bodies. i mean people who will live and think in idiosyncratic ways, no matter what. people who will not be afraid to be considered ill, perverts, lunatics. people who do not wish to belong or be recognized. people who will just do stuff for the sake and beauty of it. -and it isn´t about idolizing and putting on shrines. there should be no god and no hope in my realm. just days and nights and people and fears that we face and deal with.
i don´t know why but i like the thought of a little fire at night, somewhere outside and lonely, some friends and me dancing around it, howling.