Tuesday, December 31, 2002

finishing fragments

Overlaid patches of the past
filtered through the white slats of a venetian blind
stop the light enter the tunnel
a young girl, Anna picks nettles in the Vienna woods
without gloves her hands soon redden and swell
hundreds of tiny bites
tatoo marks from the sting of the furies
protect yourself
Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?

In time present
the snow drifts
a truck spins out of control
crashes towards the ditch
piles of white explode
a motionless avalanche
faces of shock disappear
two children can't forget the horror
yet the thrill becomes a survival legend
it is that way with the edge of near death
or playing in the ditch.


Tunnels. Corridors breathing with no writing on the walls
sometimes all the people pass by into unseen realms
the crowds around me blankly stare into the beyond
"How was your holiday?" the faithful ask.


Further on the light glistens. I can't cry
a scarab - egyptian symbol for - I've forgotten
needle pricks the belly skin circling the navel and this is I...
the historian, will she like
such a deeds of the belly?

Later the warmth of a body came to me seeking respite from the hurting eyes and the cold feet

Still later
in the sheets:

carved classical folds

Then outside the river freezes over
Galileo, the majestic science king, howls in persecuted pain
the silent scream

The phantom moons of Jupiter devise tactics to which
love and surrender revolve around nothing like the sun
or moon, or I
What did I ask and who will answer?


Don't, don't blame. But don't , don't surrender.

Monday, December 30, 2002

turning the calendar

During the attacks I feel a coward before the pain and suffering . . . and it may be this vey cowardice which, whereas I had no desire to get better before, makes me eat like two now, work hard, limit my relations with the other patients for fear of a relapse - I am now trying to recover like a man who meant to commit sucide and, finding the water too cold, tries to regain the bank.
. . . I reproach myself with my cowardice, I should have defended my studio, even if I had had to fight with the police and the neighbours. Others in my place would have used a revolver, and certainly if as an artist one had killed such rollers, one would have been acquitted. - St. Remy , July 1889

Sunday, December 29, 2002

End of Violence Glare

The historian stumbles out puking and crying
storms into the raging night & sinisterly growls
"You," stabbing the air with a pointed finger -
"You get our of here."
Then moves cautiously back to her drink
breathing deliberately
Better than honesty.



Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?

Here, in the black box
no audience but a silent witness
an angel in white and gold
the cloud of unknowing hanging
a see through cocoon to crawl into
Dare to touch or kiss the gossamer cloth
Yeats speaks: "I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."


I've now

named the historian Rhiannon



Don't, don't blame.

But don't , don't surrender.


Each moment quivers as I shake with desire and then pause.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

St. Stephen's Day Reflection

In the fourth and fifth centuries the three days following Christmas Day were established as festivals of martyrs: December 26, St. Stephen, martyr both in will and in deed, December 27, St. John, martyr in will but not in deed, December 28, The Holy Innocents, martyrs in deed but not in will.
(via Dan's Page)
"Happy Boxing Day but, more to the point, St Stephen's Day :

"St. Stephen was a Christian martyr who was stoned to death for his belief in Jesus. He is the patron of stoneworkers and also is associated with horses. This day 'drew in' other more ancient traditions. In Ireland, boys go from door to door gathering money for a 'dead wren' they carry, supposedly stoned to death, but really a remnant of ancient Druidic wren sacrifices for the winter solstice. In Poland, people throw oats at the priests and walnuts at each other - things supposedly symbolic of the stoning, but in reality these things were done long before as fertility rituals."
"Give a toast to those who try to do good despite the odds, and a toast to those who struggle to do better despite tough circumstances." "(via FMH )

Friday, December 27, 2002

Stupor (2)

Downstairs in the temple kitchen the water is turned off.
A pipe burst.
Little other than a cold storage now.
An unknown attempted a break-in, twice
gave up as the iron bars held fast.
The lonely roomer left unwelcomed over a year ago
a row of tea candles mark his departure.
The rotary dial phone became a theater prop.
No calls to record
the comings and goings.
The sleeping historian
shuts the door.
Take down the decorations.
Give them away
a pile of gold

You journey to the east
sitting among old women
watching them sleep or gossip
waiting time out
till breath to us depart
everlasting life amen.

Mounds of crushed powder
ground by teeth pressed tight
till jaws shatter.
Forgive not the pain.
Forget not the wound.
The historian declares the voices of the unspoken rise up in
the early morn.
Take to the streets -
smart mobs texturing,
urinating on the face of


Define will: a sort of violence.

Look to the gravestone: uncut


An inner tension and emotional restlessness
a subtle inflammation of the nervous system
could not be healed
No surgery knife
exacting precision could unlocate
complications and contempt run roughshod
the deed was done


Thursday, December 26, 2002


All around the earth opens to endless tunnels
a man digs
collapsed on the kitchen table
a drunk, arms reddening
she's a weary historian from afar
barks commands into an empty room

the round table an altar
you leave out scraps of food
for the hungry ghosts & drink.

She is the will.


A vase of dried flowers
point to the deep, dark paneled ceiling
a varathened shelter
the birch chairs passed on from generations
older than the historian
(measured in lunar years)
I must go to sleep leaving you unconscious.

Look up through the floor.
A white horse crashes through the ice flailing
swims underneath
blue ice, is it a death?

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

O B E Y (2)

Second sound
A cough/choke shatters the skull pitch black
night sky no moon
A child at church
runs away from his guardian.
I wish I were him.

hide and seek, peek-a-boo, tag
illusion of liberation by night
The games not yet imagined.

The running away patterned
so sleep in the bedroom of your youth
the white walls, crosses and icon borders
not even a hint of the past turmoil
shut the door underneath the stairway
shut out the breathing above into no visible light
wounded escape to nowhere, dripping blood.


Loves lost in darkness.


It over
I mean, empty
It had to
the universe leaving
traces exist

There is nothing to request at the time of parting lighter than unknown
wrongs carrying weight.

Fall from grace
on the land of black snow
shivering death chatters to echo life
that thou must accept me, exactly.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002


moved out for no reason. didn't change any place

It's no better.
& the dreams
uprooted the ancient tree rotten
no strength required
What you must accept, fully
A man with the black wool high up the neck for protecting the throat.



I had left the temple waterless and frozen fatigued and peeling.

On the edge of no return
at least that's the case
this winter solstice thousand two.
how many years later?


It's cold outside


Golden light shadows the face

On wall (through blinds, glass window, everywhere)

"Schwarze Milch
der Frühe"

crisis doesn't lie
lost daylight (anger doesn't see the many deaths)
uprising into her burial zone

No . . . ten footsteps . . . to the left
future nights collapse (I had created more loss)
Beautiful weightless snow falls down.

The first utterance must be "Gone".

Monday, December 23, 2002

Where Gods Set Bronze in Motion

"The dancing Shivas, lent by museums in Dallas and Amsterdam and an unnamed private collector, lead off a succession of works, many of which are well known and widely reproduced, that are rarely, if ever, seen in one another's company. A collaboration between the Sackler and the American Federation of Arts, this exhibition has been organized by Vidya Dehejia, a professor of art history at Columbia University and formerly the chief curator and deputy director of the Sackler. It is the first in the United States to concentrate solely on the bronze temple sculptures created during the nearly four-century reign of the devout, munificent and innovative Chola emperors."
nytimes:arts/Displaying Hindu Ritual With Reverence and Graciousness


'a poem or song of mourning or lamentation.'
The wind, one brilliant day

The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.

"In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses."

"I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead."

"Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain."

The wind left. And I wept. And I said
"What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you ?"

Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly
Elenor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney)

Ah, look at all the lonely people Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been Lives in a dream Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door Who is it for?

All the lonely people Where do they all come from ? All the lonely people Where do they all belong ?

Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear No one comes near. Look at him working. Darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there What does he care?

All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name Nobody came Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave No one was saved

All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?

Sunday, December 22, 2002

The Christmas Story

With triumphal agitation, sensing that he had found the necessary, one-and-only key, that he would write something exquisite, depict as no one had before the collision of two classes, of two worlds, he commenced writing. He wrote about the opulent tree in the shamelessly illuminated window and about the hungry worker, victim of a lockout, peering at that tree with a severe and somber gaze.
"The insolent Christmas tree," wrote Novodvortsev, "was afire with every hue of the rainbow.

[The New York Review of Books]

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Eric Drooker

Eric Drooker Graphics "The genesis of a graphic novel is strikingly similar in conception and construction to any conventional novel. Even a novel told solely in pictures must feature characters who live, breathe, and evolve as they are touched by their environment"

Graphic Novels Speak Louder Than Words. The graphic novel is so young no one is sure what it really can do. Six new books show some possibilities. By Nick Hornby. [New York Times: Books]

Friday, December 20, 2002


. . . a long time ago now . . . it was in a mild winter much like this year . . . remember driving home as a passenger . . . dad driving & me staring out the window into the twilight sky . . . the saskatchewan skies live so close they beg to be touched . . . when we hooked up we would drive home together . . . he in his early years as a university administrator . . . i a first year arts student . . . we barely talked . . . what was there to talk about? . . . he turned down a wide, quiet road and spoke . . . spoke in a way which said: 'what i'm about to say is important' . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself" . . . What? . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself!"
. . . didn't know what to say . . . so said nothing . . .

. . . thirty years later can still hear him making that statement . . . at the time wondered if he believed he had compromised himself at some point . . . maybe even just recently in his decision to be bumped out of research into the academic office world . . . didn't ask & never did but never forgot

. . . on my way to visit mom . . . she's alone and has been for more than a couple of years . . . drive down that road . . . never compromise yourself . . . sometimes when facing students i stand passionately espousing some stance . . . in mid gesture stop . . . what does this studying mean . . .

. . . today the question posed itself . . . if we stopped saying a word, say the word 'love' was banned and 'we' never spoke the word . . . would the feeling of love cease to be . . .

. . . is that why mom surrounds herself with pictures of dad . . . why can't i forget . . . don't ever compromise yourself . . .

Thursday, December 19, 2002


"The Atlantic nominee among this year's finalists, Colleen Wolstenholme, is from Hantsport, N.S., and the runner-up, David Hoffos, lives in Lethbridge, Alta."

Wednesday, December 18, 2002


. . . a while back, among the community of bloggers i visit, was an emotional discussion which occupied a lot of screen & transformed into an on-going thought thread in my mindspace . . . i don't participate in most of these hot discussions . . . simply read and check my responses . . . came across Sue Ellen Cases's Towards a New Poetic which further stimulated but shed no new light . . . there was a call:
"The feminist in theatre can create the laboratory in which the single most effective mode of repression - gender - can be exposed, dismantled and removed; the same laboratory may produce the representation of a subject who is liberated from the repressions of the past and capable of signalling a new age for both men and women."
. . . what i discovered was that a simple gender switch, that is switching male characters into female & vice versa, wonderfully exposed the bias of western theater & allowed for new signs . . . it was such a simple action and its effectiveness was startling . . . am determined to discover more simple active agents . . .

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Tips for the Top: How to be a philosopher

" Wouldn't You Like To Be A Philosopher Too? Not so difficult. Here are 12 easy tips to get you started ... Anyone who feels chest pain, constriction in the throat, reddening of the face, or clenching of the fists upon reading these techniques should be treated immediately for anautoscopsis (an inability to laugh at oneself), a potentially lethal condition."

Zebrafish Mend Broken Hearts

Teaching Timidity to Kids

"Just as parents are hard-wired to protect, children are driven to take risks and many will find a way to do so, as either rebels or adventurers or both."
... more

Monday, December 16, 2002


"But I was taken by the assertion that the Japanese have a multiplicity of words for fire, so I checked my dictionaries. Sure enough, there were a hundred or more. (The Chinese character for fire is pronounced ka, hi, ho, bi or bo, depending on the context.) Some fire-related words:
kachū in the fire hisaki direction in which the flames are spreading hosaki flame tips kataku house on fire kasai conflagration kaji mimai sympathy visit after a fire kajidoro thief at a fire kajiba scene of a fire hiyo(ke) protection against fire hibashira pillar of flames hidaruma mass of flames hiashi spreading of a fire hiusturi catching fire kasei force of the flames kaen fire and smoke kanan'yoke charm against fire shōka, boya small fire yamakaji forest fire . . ."

. . . more

:: comment :: . . . though never blinked before have read Jonathon Delacour regularly & it is an honour to finally have the opportunity to thank him for his fine discourses . . .

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Into the Woods, Children, for Dark Mysteries, Not Simple Lessons

"Inhuman acts are also human in their origin. In the first Grimm version of "Hansel" the witch is simply a "woman as old as the hills - an extreme example of the human, a withered image of who we already are. That story's creepiest element is not the witch's magic but the more mundane spell the father casts in the woods when abandoning his children: attaching a branch to a dead tree so the hollow sound made when it is swung by the wind fools the children into thinking he is still nearby."
[nytimes: arts]

Saturday, December 14, 2002

language death

"We should care because languages are interesting in themselves. As Adult Education and Universities of the Third Age are increasing in constituency, there has been a considerable demand for language courses. I have been fascinated by words and languages all my life and have lately undertaken the study of Coptic through the University of the Third Age in Canberra. I have also been engaged in teaching languages and linguistics over several decades and am constantly surprised by the number of people who share my own fascination for language studies.
Ultimately we should care, because language is the most valuable single possession of the human race. (p.66)

Why do languages die?

In most cases, languages die as people die, especially people in a small community. Languages can also be murdered as the result of a deliberate political stratagem. David Crystal quotes part of a play, Mountain Language, by Harold Pinter which very clearly illustrates the dictatorial process:

'Your language is forbidden. It is dead. No one is allowed to speak your language. Your language no longer exists.' (p.86)"

:: comment :: . . . am working on Mountain Language with students . . . a plunge into the language of silence . . . the silences shape the dominant ideological power . . . questions haunt with so many unspeakable, yet knowable answers . . . too terrifying . . . utterances beneath the breath . . . please stop it . . . why is it so easy to speak this playlet and so hard to continue the performance research . . .

Friday, December 13, 2002

Celebrating Beckett, Against His Will

"But the audience became hushed and sat very still as Ms. Seldes read "Rockaby," Beckett's play about a woman rocking herself to death.
"Close of a long day," Ms. Seldes read, sitting onstage in a rocker, her face almost gaunt, and wrapped in a mauve shawl, "went down/ down the steep stair/ let down the blind and down/ right down."

Finally, "stop her eyes/ rock her off/ rock her off," she read. And then her head dropped. "


Thursday, December 12, 2002

Edward Byrne (educating the imagination)

". . . Negative Blue: Selected Later Poems , where Wright has determined:
The unexamined life's no different from
the examined life -
Unanswerable questions, small talk,
Unprovable theorems, long abandoned arguments -
You've got to write it all down.
Landscape or waterscape, light-length on evergreen, dark
Of evening,
you've got to write it down.

["Black Zodiac"] "

. . . more

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Audio Vault

Audio Vault
"Antonin Artaud, From Texte d'ouverture An excerpt from Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu (To Have Done with the Judgment of God) Written and performed by Antonin Artaud. From the 1947 radiodiffusion franÁaise recording, available through sub rosa records. Used by permission."
"Italo Calvino, First Excerpt From Invisible Cities (4:36) William Weaver reads from his English translation of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. "Cities, Memory, 1" and "Cities of the Dead, 2"."

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Double Agent: Catherine Yass at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology - the lab

"This much we know: the photograph is not a true representation of its subject. Yass's art is not a literal representation of James's science and this article is not a true representation of her work. Each of our endeavours become phrases in a cultural dialogue. The artist considers the scientists who in turn observe the artist and you in turn witness the products of their collaboration. The story grows, passed from person to person by word of mouth, on printed page, in mounted photographs. We all become storytellers and each time the story is told it becomes something new yet transient, rich in questions and partial answers, coloured with decepxion and encrypxed with elusive truths."

Monday, December 09, 2002

The TV Generation

Aspen no. 4, item 3:
"Kiva! Shiva/shakti! Bucky Fuller! Brook Farm! USCO! McLuhan! Back-to-the-tribe!
Dig those terms? If so, you've a grasp on Solux, slated to be the newest pueblo in the Southwest, and certainly the hoppingest since the heyday of the Hopi.

The construction of Solux, a "spiritual retreat away from the intense psychic vibrations of large energy centers," is planned by USCO, a tribe of McLuhan-oriented poets, artists, engineers and filmmakers, whose current headquarters is an old church building at Garnerville, N.Y. USCO earns its bread by way of "media mixes" "

Sunday, December 08, 2002


tripped over a bowl of roses in the dark of the night
knowledge of the bowl which was placed in the middle of the room to bring solace & comfort to a turbulent time did not prevent the tripping

haste caused the fall

the water dried the leaves left a silent pattern marking the moment staining the heart

soon forgotten remains forever

open lesson

. . . the open lesson . . . acting students open their 'work' to an interested public . . . the question "what is the lesson?" hung in the air as the students bravely, though for the most part, presented ill-prepared material around the theme Hospitals . . . what is the actor's research? . . . the actor's processes? . . . what is theater? . . . questions which circulated as the action began . . . two hours later very little remained but shallow wallowing in pools of dissipated energy . . .
. . . most of the material hinted at the compellingly humane which unfortunately resolved into the hopelessly mundane . . . there was movement but no developed study of the movement . . . no attempt to test limits or boundaries of space&time whether physical, imaginary or theatrically . . .

. . . the students exercised a presentational stance - posturing and playing for an audience who might catch much of their 'in-joke' humour and pathos . . . the overlong improvisation could be excused if at the core was an act of self-penetration . . . too often the humour was cheap, gag-like and self serving . . . at the expense of rather than serving the material . . . lines were lost and sloppily delivered . . . bold actions dissolved . . . the collective voices were weak and unsupported . . .

. . . occasionally a deep and rich moment would surface in both the traditional and more experimental . . . two moving monologues from classic world theatre touched the power of the word incarnate . . . a powerful étude between a man and a woman mesmerized with a precise and engaging, meditative, ritualized rhythm of understated life-or-death urgency in a landscape that was beautiful but chill and depersonalized - the actors had skin, bone and a sinew of their own, a subtle spin . . .

. . . the lesson learnt seemed that without careful, sustained, and vigilant work students will lapse into bad habitual practices, will lose the point of concentration, may miss the focus on the eternal act of creation, betray their craft and stray from the way of the actor . . . the lesson learnt was that the educated imagination demands a rigorous self-sacrifice and deep study . . . again & again . . .

Saturday, December 07, 2002

From Cabs and Darkrooms

"Mr. Weideman's approach was a reaction to necessity. Arriving in New York in 1980 with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, he confronted the young artist's perennial problem: how to pay the rent and still have time and energy to make art. Mr. Weideman took care of the money question by becoming a cabdriver, a job he holds to this day. For the art-making problem, he came up with an ingeniously economical solution: he turned the cab itself into a studio and took for his subject matter the unending flow of human cargo that he transported."
Ryan Weideman's portrait of himself with Allen Ginsberg as passenger.


Friday, December 06, 2002

How Masks Can Amplify as Well as Conceal

"The mask alters the revelation in a fascinating way, both buffering and intensifying its dreadfulness, creating the conflicting desire to hang on every word while also pulling back to decipher the visual power and artifice of the scene. The mask is delicately tactful, yet deadening. It respects the speaker's need for privacy, yet it executes a weird, surreal transformation, turning the speaker into a kind of freak."

"HALIFAX - Vancouver artist Brian Jungen is the first recipient of the $50,000 Sobey Art Award, one of the richest awards in the Canadian art world."

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Ivan Illich

"December 4, 2002, 11:12 AM EST
BERLIN -- Ivan Illich, a renowned sociologist who protested against the institutionalization of learning and religion, has died, a former university colleague said Wednesday. He was 76. "

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


"For the Swedish Academy, which will present Mr. Kertesz with the Nobel Prize in Stockholm on Dec. 10, this view is also what distinguishes his writing from that of some other Holocaust survivors. "For him, Auschwitz is not an exceptional occurrence that, like an alien body, subsists outside the normal history of Western Europe," it said in its citation. "It is the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern existence.""
more . . .

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Enemy of the People

. . Enemy of the People . . . overheard an audience member leaving the theater . . . "What an important work. Every student of history, in fact, all of us should be here watching!" . . . the ideas came at us with breath-taking speed . . . each scene moved relentlessly as the actors shaped the characters around the face of political intrigue . . .
. . . the student actor created a Mayor revealing a depth of understanding the multifaceted aspects of the deceptive, deceitful & misguided leader in a performance well beyond her years . . . Dr. Stockman transformed from a determined visionary full of hope and conviction to a beaten victim wrestling with his own futile belief in truth & ended somewhat bravely though certainly not a heroic figure . . .

. . . the supporting cast delighted with clear, articulate portrayals . . . varying the shades of response to the 'truth' as the 'truth'/whose truth shifted beneath them like the sands of time . . .

. . . the stark and paradoxically colourful set provided a stimulating environment which burst to life at the exquisitely choreographed and wonderfully executed newspaper scene . . . the music haunted as the lighting seamlessly shifted from moment to moment . . . what was particularly remarkable, especially for those familiar with the Ibsen script of 1882, was not only how Charles Marowitz's adaption strengthened the core ideological questions with a montage of flashbacks but how the cast deconstructed the characters, switching gender and dividing voices generating fresh, new insights . . .

. . . so much was attempted in this production that the only failing was that it deserved to be seen more than once to be fully appreciated and/or fully grasped . . . the grandmother, the great matriarch, lurked sinisterly around the action never quite allowing herself to be pinned down . . . did she support the Doctor or was she just another of the selfish . . . representing only the past . . . the past desperately desiring to preserve a legacy . . . the weak weasel of moderation played impeccably by the chairman was balanced perfectly by his strident and aggressive cohort . . . she delivered her lines with passion and sincerity . . . Stockman's family was a tight unit that clearly displayed family values . . . the press played the duplicity of objectivity with skill and precision . . .

. . . all in all a fabulous evening . . . thank you students for sharing a classic . . . no, much more, thank you students for breathing life into a classic of world theater . . .

Monday, December 02, 2002


"Look deep,deep into nature and then you will understand everything." - Albert Einstein [via Voice of the Shuttle -> Culture Kiosque]

Sunday, December 01, 2002

The Moral and Practical Challenges of Globalization

"Close your eyes and picture your community. Whom do you see? Your family, surely. Work colleagues? Everyone who shares your area code? Your religion? All Americans? Folks in Afghanistan? Unless we start answering yes to all of the above, we're in for big trouble.
That's the message of Peter Singer's timely and thoughtful book, ''One World: The Ethics of Globalization.'' A professor of bioethics at Princeton University and one of the most provocative philosophers of our time, Singer writes, ''How well we come through the era of globalization (perhaps whether we come through it at all) will depend on how we respond ethically to the idea that we live in one world.''"

international children's digital library

Led by the University of Maryland and the Internet Archive, a partnership of government, non-profit, industry and academic organizations launched the world's largest international digital library for children.... more in *context weblog* [context weblog]

buy nothing

... if you missed the day choose any day & buy nothing with complete consciousness/awareness ...

Saturday, November 30, 2002

An Enemy of the People: Act IV

"Ibsen's Stockmann says:
"What sorts of truths are they that the majority usually supports? They are truths that are of such advanced age that they are beginning to break up...A normally constituted truth lives, let us say, as a rule seventeen or eighteen, or at most twenty years; seldom longer.""

more ...

Friday, November 29, 2002

Geniuses Together

"The Stravinsky-Balanchine ballets were fragile and complicated creatures, and behind the steps and notes lies a body of ideas, beliefs, and artistic ambitions. Indeed, Stravinsky and Balanchine's radical aesthetic grew out of a deeply religious, classical, and humanist view of art. "
(The New York Review of Books)

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Enemy of the People Notes

Directors notes:
These are turbulent times. It seems that everyday somewhere humanity is placed on trial. Henrik Ibsen articulated the ideas of Enemy of The People in 1882 and Charles Marowitz adapted them anew in 1982 and we look at them again in 2002. An individual, one man, stands up against his brother, the establishment and a whole town when he discovers that the very core of the town's existence, the health spa which is the economic life of the town, has poisoned water. Set on a stage of black and white labels meant to deliberately evoke Brecht, another great theater thinker of the past century, the cast and crew welcome you to witness the story.

"A man like Dr. Stockman who has been continually battered by Establishment forces does not emerge victorious; more likely he is methodically destroyed . . . The reward for committed idealism is not the accumulation of inner strength but a one-way ticket to oblivion." - Marowitz. Counter-Polemics.(from the forward to Enemy of the People)
::comment:: . . . apologies to visitors . . . sometimes this blog simply documents activities . . . blog, journal,calendar - it's all one . . .

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

The Censor and the Artist: A Murky Border

"Does using software to remove potentially offensive language, sex and violence from R-rated movies constitute censorship? Or, by allowing viewers to tailor films to their tastes, is it a reasonable concession to consumer choice?"
(nytimes:education )

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Reflecting on an Ordeal That Was Also Art

"New Yorkers are used to keeping closed up when they're in public, not making eye contact," Ms. Abramovic said. "But I think when they saw me so vulnerable, so open, the response was like an avalanche of emotion or an ocean. That was the title of the piece, `The House With the Ocean View,' and the ocean was their minds. They helped me through."
(nytimes:arts )

Sunday, November 24, 2002


Greystone Theatre 's Loveplay by Moira Buffini skims tantalizingly along the surface . . . the ideas have a breadth and depth which pique the interest but what remains is nothing more than fragments - unfullfilled & unrequited . . . a horrific scene of brutal rape haunts a place and begs to be remembered . . .
. . . linear time cannot erase the past despite all the future clever intentions and inventions . . . the actors seem to struggle in the darkness against a misplaced, unresolved environment where the music is loud and contrary . . . often there is a tension full of expectancy . . . a pregnant wife cries out in anguish to her unfaithful husband that she is so happy . . . two men, school friends, meet again and the unexpressed bond so long left unspoken embraces them both . . .

. . .the characters touch and kiss . . . over and over again the kiss of betrayal between two nuns, two actors, two men, two love children of the sixties, two . . . and, at times, humour . . . still sex is such a topic where laughs come cheaply . . .

nudity does not reveal rather numbs and this, to me, was the clue . . . the nude student actor plays numb to the nudity . . . in order to protect ourselves from the simple intelligence of feeling, more than often, we humans numb ourselves . . . and then the numbness becomes accepted as the truth . . . we play in the shallows not feeling so as to ignore the pain . . . what is love?

. . the archeology of love demands a courage to play at the nerve ends where raw feeling lives . . . at the heart's tendril. . . where is the place?

. . . where is the place?

Buffini invites us to locate this not only in the body but in some specific space . . . to transform place into a haunting, eternal quest for that unspeakable union, the moment of falling 'in' love? the moment of physical orgasm? the power of everlasting love? . . . the actors speak clearly and articulately the lines about this . . . the words circle around like moths around a flame not daring to touch . . . dare to . . .

So I went to see a play yesterday for our drama class. It's called Love Play and is really about sex and love throughout the ages. They start around 75 A.D. and work up throughout time portraying different ideas and such. It was quite interesting and I have to say that the acting was excellent; very very well done. Some sad truths though....Won't get into details on that but I'm sure that most of ya will get the drift. Sex and love - never anything clear cut, always some pain and grey areas, people who only think of it as a game and, now especially, a game of power. Was an insightful and thought provoking show.

:: comment :: added the following much later as came across some student writing in a blog:linkrot

Saturday, November 23, 2002

dream quotes

""Dreams" has the charming literalness and naiveté of good folk art. Plaintive and sweet Korean song weaves through. There is a processional with shamanistic icons."

:: note :: ... wondering what it means that some days the posts are just blinks to the nytimes arts page ... if anyone can offer other rss arts feeds that provide windows into world theater/drama it would be valuable & appreciated ... thanks ...

Friday, November 22, 2002

" Will blogging lead to more tribal cocooning, only reinforcing a reader's preexisting world view, hermetically sealed spheres of thought?"
. . . more (via Scripting News )

:: comment :: ... every question is a challenge ... yes or no is always the expected answer ... it is always the explanation which interests ... maybe starting in the cocoon ... but after the first blink the action is a breaking out ...


"Neil Bisoondath won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction for his novel Doing the Heart Good, a book that is described as 'a novel of memory-what it means, how it informs, how it can salvage tomorrow from the debris of yesterday-written at the very height of a great artist's power'. "

Thursday, November 21, 2002


The primary IMAGINATION I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM. - Coleridge (found in the introduction of Frye. The Eternal Act of Creation.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


... Beyond Fate ... fate & the furies . . . hmmm ... the function of the furies was to keep categories clear ... the web of fate ... the angry ones ... the cosmic conflicts ... & then the Forum . . . will knowledge of metaphors liberate thought?

:: comment :: metaphors liberate and transcend thoughts moving thought into action just as the furies drive us to accept and be conscious of the shadow

more fate

enemy of the people
technology, fate & chance
contemplated as one becomes a creature
a mythological automata of causeless chance
the consequences of resourcefulness moving remorselessly
ruled by exterior forces
programmed & wired
not free nor fated
freedom falling back into fate
seeking a linear model of morality

One Art Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Dark comic

. . . visit The Bruno Daily Times ...then visit the archives

Sunday, November 17, 2002



" Fabian Marcaccio: I call this kind of work "Multiple-Site Paintants". Many of the images I use are taken from the Internet. In one sense, it's as though one were to capture material that flows through the Intenet, and to "petrify" it at a certain moment in relation to a space and an architecture. This painting is meant to create a passage between the real architectural and virtual worlds. I am interested in the concept of that which we call "site", especially in the sense of place. "Surfing" in the case of this painting can be taken literally, in that one views the work while strolling by. In this case, I placed the work in a semi-enclosed area, as if it were part of both the exterior and the interior of the building. One can walk by it from one side or the other."
. . . more

Saturday, November 16, 2002


Ramona Koval Wednesday August 28, 2002 The Guardian

"RK: You spoke before about the joy you had in writing that latest poem. Language has been your passion during all your life, and relating the idea of war and people's words in war, and I know that the abuse of language and meaning is something that has incensed you over the years - phrases like "humanitarian intervention" and "civilised world" and "axis of evil" over the last year and the one that we've all just begun to hear recently, and that's "regime change".
HP: My favourite of them all is "freedom-loving people". When I hear Bush say that "on behalf of all freedom-loving people we are going to continue to fight terrorism" and so on, I wonder what a "freedom-hating people" look like, I've never met such a people myself or can't even conceive of it. In other words, he is talking rubbish. That is the kind of rhetoric which you are referring to, which is commonplace really in what we call the western world. I think that when you look at a man like our prime minister - who I gather is a very sincere and serious Christian - he, we understand at the moment, is considering another bombing of Iraq, which would be an act of premeditated murder because if you bomb Iraq, you're not just going to kill Saddam Hussein. In fact, you won't do that anyway; he has his resources.

What you will do, as usual, is kill thousands of totally innocent people. How Tony Blair can work that one out morally himself is actually beyond me. I just wish he would decide if he was a Christian or he wasn't a Christian. If you say, "I'm going to bomb these damn people and I don't give a shit", then you bomb them, but that's not a Christian attitude as far as I'm concerned.

If you take a Christian posture, you cannot say that. So I think that what we're talking about there is an extraordinary, fundamental hypocrisy and a distortion of language altogether which is, in itself, extremely destructive. Because language leads us, doesn't it? Politically it leads us into all sorts of fields. But what I find really dangerous and disgusting is where the kind of language we've recently heard - "humanitarian intervention", don't forget "freedom" and "democracy" and all the rest of it - actually is justifying a simply assertive act to control power and maintain power. And the question of destroying human beings while that is happening seems to be irrelevant.

There's a little story I must tell you. In the bombing of Serbia two years ago, there was a market place in a country village called Nis. And I am actually reporting an eyewitness to this event. A woman was sitting with her five-year-old daughter on a bench in the marketplace, having a sandwich. And out of the blue, bombs fell, American bombs. The marketplace was chaos. About 40 or 50 people were killed immediately. And this woman looked for her daughter who had been blown out of her arms. She saw the daughter's head in the gutter.

Now that head of that little girl would be never recognised by Prime Minister Blair or President Clinton. In fact, the death and the cutting off of the head of the girl would be totally irrelevant to those people. I would contend, and I really believe this to be so, that Clinton and Blair should be arraigned as war criminals. Because not only did they do it illegally, illegitimately - in my view, immorally - they justified it by talking about "humanitarian intervention". And that kind of crap, I think we've had enough of it. "

Friday, November 15, 2002


Roy Miki , Fred Wah , Roy Kiyooka . . . voices from the past heard anew . . . check out Surrender . . . new hours of returning to 'old' wor(l)ds . . .
Roy Miki, Vancouver, for Surrender (The Mercury Press; distributed by Fraser Direct) (ISBN 1-55128-095-7) In an exemplary fashion, Roy Miki responds to this century through political, intellectual and emotional word-play. This work challenges and disturbs, upsets and disorients official language and official history relating to the internment of Japanese-Canadians in the 1940s. Surrender explodes the notion of the documentary by infusing it with luscious imagery, poignant memory and social wit.(Governor General Literary Awards )

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Panellists Threatened with Legal Action

"For me, it is not only a question of defending free speech, which is important enough, but also an issue of who controls the university. Concordia students, staff, administration and faculty voted, through the Senate, to lift the ban. It was the Board of Governors, dancing to the tune of corporate donors, that refused to lift the ban."
rabble news (linkrot)

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


Nobel Lectures-Literature 1995

". . .And it is by such means that Yeats's work does what the necessary poetry always does, which is to touch the base of our sympathetic nature while taking in at the same time the unsympathetic nature of the world to which that nature is constantly exposed. The form of the poem, in other words, is crucial to poetry's power to do the thing which always is and always will be to poetry's credit: the power to persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it, the power to remind us that we are hunters and gatherers of values, that our very solitudes and distresses are creditable, in so far as they, too, are an earnest of our veritable human being."

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Mortal Man

Mortal Man meets Death
The Room of Decision
We do not die because we have to die: we die because one day, and not so long ago, our consciousness was forced to deem it necessary. - Artaud

Black lady lies invisible beneath the chair of decision, death's messenger with the task to escort souls to the afterlife. Mortal Man enters. Walks slowly & deliberately towards the chair - last breath.

The characters contact each other through breath.

Black lady breaks into the room, cracking through into the realm of the visible and reaches out for contact. Mortal Man first hears then sees Black Lady.

The characters contact through sight.

Black Lady is pulled away from Mortal Man to a gateway of the afterlife. She has violated her task by attempting to talk. Mortal Man, as a child or newborn to this afterlife, watches and is curious about this light cloth. Examines where it begins, where it goes, touches it . . . The White Lady emerges & introduces the game of hide & seek. A mother calling her child to come. Mortal Man hesitates then begins to play - even when he hides among the living (the audience) he is found.

The characters contact through play.

The White Lady coaxes Mortal Man to rest his head on her lap and then shocks him with the voice of terror. Mortal Man experiences the full pain of the physical self collapsing.

The characters contact through voice.

The White Lady prepares the body for the afterlife (washing ritual) Mortal Man rises looks to audience & consciously decides to stay in the world of the living or to enter the afterlife.

:: note :: ... witnessed a work today . . .

Monday, November 11, 2002

Caryl Churchill

". . .Ms. Churchill, who lives in Islington in North London, with her husband, a lawyer, has made a practice in recent years of refusing to be interviewed, believing that her opinions should be no more set in stone than her imagination. But in the past, she has acknowledged that her prime concerns are the power and powerlessness of people, their longings, obsessions and dreams. She is a humanist, has described herself as a socialist and remains the dedicated foe of the class inequalities she found in Britain after spending much of her childhood in Canada, where her parents had relocated when she was 9. But she is no didact, no propagandist, and regards it as her duty to feel her way into her more unappealing characters rather than merely condemn them. As she told The Independent in 1989, her job consists of "throwing up worries and questions and complexities which you might not have if you weren't of a particular political complexion, but not actually saying, `Here is a political course of action.' " . . . more

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Sven Lutticken

"Secrecy and Publicity - Reactivating the Avant-Garde"
Interactivist Info Exchange

"The curator of Documenta 11, Okwui Enwezor, has repeatedly stated that the main question for the mega-exhibition was the development of a public sphere in which art works could be discussed and utilized as a means of understanding the contemporary world. [27] Most of the mass-media coverage, though, and even that of the art media, focused on predictable quasi-topics - Enwezor as the first African curator of the Documenta, or as an intellectual supposedly expelling sensuous pleasure from art, et cetera. Not that all the blame for this rests on one side. The exhibition in Kassel was conceived by Enwezor as the last in a series of five 'platforms'; the first four had consisted of discussions and lectures on various aspects of globalization and postcolonial culture, held in different parts of the world. Some of these took place in closed session, and the published reports of their proceedings were still unavailable when the Kassel exhibition opened its doors.
In contrast to the 1997 Documenta X, at which curator Catherine David had organized a hundred days of lectures and discussions during the course of the show, in Documenta 11 there was a separation between a semi-public critical discourse that took place in rather secluded meetings, with few direct links to art, and the actual art exhibition. . . . more "

:: comment :: . . . wood s lot blinks if & then goes further in the search (blinking me to the above) which leads me deeper and deeper along the path . . . that is what community means to me . . . insights into insights . . . thanks especially to Mark but also to all . . .

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Carnegie Council

"Human rights creates the ground in which we are forced, against all our instincts, our cultural superiorities, our imperial heritages, to listen, to deliberate, to find compromises. There is some point at which deliberation has to cease. There are forms of treatment of women that in any construal of any set of traditions are not humanly possible or defensible.
So it is that double side of human rights that we need to keep in mind: a language of equality that creates the possibilities of deliberation, and then also a set of core principles of which we finally say, if we can't reach agreement: "Here, unfortunately, we have to disagree; and here, unfortunately, sometimes we may have to fight." But that is also true of the other tradition, which is why equality is so difficult.

I don't want to over-sell deliberation to you. There are moments where deliberation ceases. Human rights both creates the grounds for deliberation and tells you "we can go this far and no further."(Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry Edited transcript/audio of remarks by Michael Ignatieff, 11/2/01 Merrill House Conversation.)

:: comment :: . . . last year spent some time with the The Rights Revolution and must now investigate the following Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry . . . discover so many of us deal on an everyday basis with what we believe is an affront on our rights

Friday, November 08, 2002

Amiri Baraka:

Somebody Blew Up America by Amiri Baraka
:: comment :: . . . wondering about all the surfing & never really digging deeper . . . spending time & thought never developing anything . . . just riding the surf . . . the info wave and hardly get wet . . . friend has an epiphany about Frye&Brook&theholytheater . . . but she studies . . . i listen and ride . . . teach the known . . . somebody blow me up . . .

Thursday, November 07, 2002

David Graeber

". . .some of the most interesting scholars in France today you never hear about at all. One such is a group of intellectuals who go by the rather unwieldy name of Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales, or MAUSS, and who have dedicated themselves to a systematic attack on the philosophical underpinnings of economic theory. The group take their inspiration from the great early-20th century French sociologist Marcel Mauss, whose most famous work, The Gift (1925), was perhaps the most magnificent refutation of the assumptions behind economic theory ever written. At a time when "the free market" is being rammed down everyone's throat as both a natural and inevitable product of human nature, Mauss' work . . . more "
"We have no art," say the Balinese: "we do everything as well as possible."

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Weapons of mass instruction

"Koyaanisqatsi" director Godfrey Reggio invented a film genre, prefiguring the campus classic "Baraka." There are no words in his latest -- just one cutting image after another. . . . . The juxtaposition of how "Koyaanisqatsi" begins and how "Naqoyqatsi" ends gets to the core message of Reggio's work. For him, nature and our self-created world (call it human nature) are so irreconcilable that we live our daily lives in a perpetual state of imbalance. . . [Salon.com]

Tuesday, November 05, 2002


. . . ah yes the whole idea of beauty . . .
"There's clearly a strong force making toward conformity in society, so strong that it seems to have something to do with the stability of society itself. In ordinary life even the most splendid things we can think of, like goodness and truth and beauty, all mean essentially what we're accustomed to. As I hinted just now in speaking of female make-up, most of our ideas of beauty are pure convention, and even truth has been defined as whatever doesn't disturb the pattern of what we already know" (Northrop Frye. The Educated Imagination 35)

Monday, November 04, 2002

frye again

. . . reading & reading about Northrop Frye . . . again . . . for the first time . . . again . . . overwhelmed by the feeling of so much was missed in those previous two or three reads, decades ago now . . . sometimes it takes reading through other eyes . . .

". . .the artist demonstrates a certain way of life; his aim is not to be appreciated or admired. but to transfer to others the imaginative habit and energy . . ." (The Stubborn Structure 161)

. . . in youth . . . "Obviously the world is entering a prodigious change, but the new morality will have to do something better than a rehash of the vague deistic and utilitarian sentimentalism of the very capitalistic system the Communists are most concerned to attack. There will have to be something better, for me, than the communistic exploiting of emotion by intellect. Read Blake or go to Hell: that's my message to the modern world." (Letter to Helen Kemp, 23 Apr. 1935/Joseph Adamson. Northrop Frye A Visionary Life 27)

Sunday, November 03, 2002


One Fluid Take Tracks a River of History: A love letter to the past created with the help of new technologies, Alexander Sokurov's "Russian Ark" made history at the Cannes International Film Festival with the longest tracking shot ever seen... "By shooting the film in a single take, my goal was not to set a cinematographic record," Mr. Sokurov said. "Rather, I tried not to argue with time. I lived in accordance with time and became its pupil." By Leslie Camhi. [New York Times: Arts]

:: comment :: . . .the technology of film was developed at the same time as the gatlin gun & for me there is no coincidence in the use of language . . . shots, cuts . . . each image is shot at the viewer lacerating the brain ... which seeks to heal . . . the greater the cut (in time and continuity) the deeper the laceration and more effort to heal . . . this comment/observation, of course, is wild speculative nonsense . . .

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Italian Art

"Building deliberately and sometimes inspiredly on precedents like these, the artists of Arte Povera waged an insinuating, provocative, usually elegant assault on art. They came together in one of the last consciously fomented art movements of the 20th century. The term, which means poor or impoverished art ..." [NYTimes:Arts ]

Friday, November 01, 2002


Before I mouthed thy name
thou just was
not more than a simple motion.

When I shaped thy name
thou came to me
becoming a flower.

As I speaketh thy name,
please speaketh
my name in exact hue and fragrance,
then may I go
wanting to be flower.

want to be.
Thou to I, I to Thou
want to be
. . . . unforgettable

Chun-Su Kim transliteration by Ae Ran Jeong 10/26/02

:: comment :: . . . on this crisp november morning . . . sky brilliant blue . . . intense sun speaking of infinity . . . a gold leaf still clutching tenuously to the branch . . . a gentle blanket of white snow dusts the earth . . . and the breath clouds the air before you . . . stillness . . . a deep stillness hangs solemnly . . . a huge desire wells for this turbulent time to cease . . . open the eyes to see into vision . . . let the tongue rest in the cave of the mouth . . . let the eyes rest in the pools of the eye sockets . . . let the heart rest in the sphere of the rib cage . . . let the the ribs open like wings . . . and let the spine be a river washing in the ebb and flow of the breath . . .

Thursday, October 31, 2002

project gutenberg

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation" from the U.S. won the 2002 Stockholm Challenge Award in the category Culture...

Wednesday, October 30, 2002


"Research writing begins with questions, and ends with actions - not answers." (This Public Address: Equal)

:: comment :: . . . perfectly articulated . . . have spent years extending invitations to research physical responses to vibration and voice (teach the way of the actor, dare i say writing in space) . . . and students too often desired answers when the process required actions . . . take space to make space . . . making, taking, shaping, transforming, possessing . . .

Magic Words after Nalungiaq
Translated from the Inuit by Edward Field

In the very earliest time, when both people and animals lived on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to and an animal could become a human being. Sometimes they were people and sometimes animals, and there was no difference. All spoke the same language. That was the time when words were like magic. The human mind had mysterious powers. A word spoken by chance might have strange consequences. It would suddenly come alive and what people wanted to happen could happen. All you had to do was say it. Nobody could explain this, that's just the way it was.

. . . Of course it may be that all I have been telling you is wrong, for you cannot be certain about what you cannot see. But these are the stories that our people tell.(Edward Field.Magic Words)

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

The Forlorn Woyzeck, With a New Spin.

Robert Wilson and Tom Waits transform a tragicomedy into a musical laced with irony. By Jonathan Kalb. [New York Times: Arts]

Monday, October 28, 2002

The Eyes

... you think you want to write away the immediate so that what is past may some how lead to a present absolution, a huge forgiving, of all the horrible acts&words you've committed knowingly and unknowingly ... to chant some magical incantation which will be completely understood resulting in a cleansing so deep that any dirty history flushes away ... after all where does all the shit go but to a place designed to handle and transform waste into manageable fragments of burial forgotten ... but then you think maybe nothing would be left but pious acts of duty&responsibility ... certainly not peace ...

... so it came to pass, one dark afternoon, the black snow fell and never stopped ... piling higher&higher & drifts reached the eyes till breathing became difficult ... battle seemed inevitable ... impersonal warring personal ... shouts were heard all around and the ambulances pierced the ear muffling the cries and you could do nothing but watch in horror ... self loathing&watching other self ... avoid seeing followed by a bloody, red, angry pact with ... nothing but visible self destruction in the name of ... go ahead complete the faustian annihilation of ...

did you ever feel helpless while the storm raged?

The Eyes

by Antonio Machado. Translated by Alan S. Trueblood.


When his beloved died
he thought he'd just grow old,
shutting himself in the house
alone, with memories and the mirror
that she had looked in one bright day.
Like gold in the miser's chest,
he thought he'd keep all yesterday
in the clear mirror intact.
For him time's flow would cease.


But after a year had passed,
he began to wonder about her eyes:
"Were they brown or black? Or green? ...Or grey?
What were they like? Good God! I can't recall..."


One day in spring he left the house
and took his double mourning down the street
in silence, his heart tight shut...
In the dim hollow of a window
he caught a flash of eyes. He lowered his...
and walked right on...Like those!

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Ed Rossbach

"Ed Rossbach experimented with nontraditional textile materials in artworks and often used foil, plastic bags, Mylar, twigs, staples and twine in his pieces.[NYTimes:Obit ]"

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Doonesbury:Oct 21 - 25 and still going . . . "what if we're you're wrong"

Friday, October 25, 2002

Photographs With Vision

[From "Aperture at 50": "Kazuo Ohno Dancing in Kushiro Marsh IV" (1994), by Eikoh Hosoe.]

:: comment :: ... images to powerful photographs from the Masters of Photograghy

Thursday, October 24, 2002

hot docs

"In his magnificent new work, acclaimed documentarian Kevin McMahon poetically examines McLuhan's last scholarly treatise, the Laws of Media, using a myriad of media sources and filmic devices. The film, like the man, forces us to grapple with questions about how technology affects people and their environment. McLuhan's Wake features voice performances by renowned artist Laurie Anderson and by Eric McLuhan, Marshall's son, as well as the screen debut of Andrew McLuhan, Marshall's grandson.
According to Senior Canadian Spectrum Programmer David McIntosh: "McLuhan's Wake is a visually dazzling and dynamic study of the life of a truly original Canadian thinker. Kevin McMahon has brought McLuhan's sometimes controversial and often misunderstood theories about . . ."

. . .Why wake? . . . "a connection to Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Finn is being awakened by electric technology . . . wake up . . . McLuhan has left a huge footprint, a huge wake . . . are we powerless or not McLuhan makes it clear we are . . . we may control our environment and technology and we have the means but we don't see the means (Kevin McMahon in conversation with Elenor Wachtel about his documentary McLuhans Wake. CBC: Radio One: The Arts Today )

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


frozen yoshino cherry blossoms.
frozen yoshino cherry blossoms parsley under the snow
so much contradicting the internal racism
like a sondercommando deluded into acting true
or not scream lashing out visible useless

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Gift Economy

"An economy based on gifting rather than exchange. [via Abbe Normal ] "

Monday, October 21, 2002

A Language of Light Amid Darkness

" . . .he [Alfredo Jaar] has experimented with image deprivation as a kind of visual homeopathy. "Our society is blind," he said in a recent interview in his Manhattan loft. "We have lost our ability to be affected by imagery."[NYTimes: Arts] Image have . . . more "

Saturday, October 19, 2002


the enemy rants bang & bang & bang pounding the dumpster outside/inside the glass shards don't cut the feet walking is treacherous windows scattered smashed in and out . . . come on do something . . . mobilize

it was a fenced in temple then a poor exposed ruin now an abandoned dream suffering the onslaught of inner city time under the white halogen glare of the motel parking lot security light . . . you don't care


perpetual manray silver prints on pollack drips please the imagination feeding what you fool fist to the head. . . sure that'll work


it was quiet for so long relatively speaking the eyesight blurred the leg numbed the restoration became a daunting task you knew it had to start on the exterior you waited for the crisis to build focus underneath magnifying . . . why the glass? the windows? the eyes?


. . . enemy of the people . . . enemy of the people . . . the people . . . enemy . . .

'Society is / a huge / cohesive / emotion,/not sure whether one attempts life outside it.../ becomes involved in changing it, or both variously'(Alice Notley. Disobediance.)

Friday, October 18, 2002


"Loves in caves are love."
[CHANGE THE FORMS IN DREAMS from Disobedience by Alice Notley]
"Indeed her nearly 300-page epic of a voice, dream journal of a pre-menopausal expatriate, autochthonous issue of a visionary comic poet as as 'bitterness in chunks' sounds like nothing else. But Notley is called to find 'a holy story . . . that satisfies without the temporality of successive pages, the terrible linearity of all these successive books' with a conviction . . ." more. . .

Thursday, October 17, 2002

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

"Let us recall that poverty is a denial of human rights." [Post]

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

down ... slowly
holding ...
Anarchy Resistence AcT

Oct. 8-17 Toronto, Ontario/ location: Art System, 327 Spadina Ave, Toronto closing party Thursday, October 17, 7-11pm. In conjunction with Drawing Resistance there will a exhibition of politically engaged local artists in the project room and front window. Lines of Affinity. October 8 - 17, 2002 featuring Mark Connery, Luis Jacob, Maggie MacDonald, Andrea Matta, Alyson Mitchell and Rocky Tobey. Event will kick of the 1st Toronto Anarchist Bookfair (also the international day of the eradication of poverty)

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


Reflections of the trees were floating on the water at our feet, trees and the placid moon, and in the light we saw ourselves beside them, images reversed. Reflecting on ourselves, our depths would rise continually beside the moon, our thoughts laid bare and dancing as our bodies danced, our feet appearing nearest to the surface, heads against the fallen sky. No matter what we said, the sound of it was no more audible than trees or moon, and we divined that this

is what a spell might be, to see ourselves as we are bound to move within the moon and trees, our bodies unconstrained, our gestures on the water our reflections coming back to us, and we divined it was a spell that we had cast. Holding the moon between us, we could not stray from ourselves, but move, no longer knowing how, wherever it would move, our undulations those the moon owns, returned but measured with the moon, a reckoning we had not thought. (E.D. Blodgett . Apostrophes III alone upon the earth. p. 48)

Monday, October 14, 2002

'Moy Sand and Gravel': Darkness at Muldoon

. . . tourists . . . travellers . . . sightseers . . . The Sightseers . . . love listening to the poets read (Fooling with Words with Bill Moyers: The Poets Read) . . . all started from . . .
...''Moy Sand and Gravel,'' Muldoon's ninth book of poems in 20 years, shimmers with play, the play of mind, the play of recondite information over ordinary experience, the play of observation and sensuous detail, of motion upon custom, of Irish and English languages and landscapes, of meter and rhyme. Sure enough, everything Muldoon thinks of makes him think of something else, and poem after poem takes the form of linked association. [NYTimes:Books]

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Sculpture of Sound in a Downtown Space

. . ."Sonic Garden," a sound installation by four artists commissioned by the World Financial Center Arts and Events Program and the public-arts presenter Creative Time. [NYTimes:Arts]
& more . . . a debate about sound . . .

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Paintings That Recall Their Time, Now Gone

"With Gottlieb, we have art that is more of its own moment; it looks dated. Yet while Gottlieb's painting may not have aged well, the show is still interesting for the light it shines on a period of tremendous creative ferment . . .
In 1970 Gottlieb suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, but he continued to work until two weeks before his death in 1974. His last canvases have a wan lyricism. Today, in a world of post-Modernist irony and multicultural complexity, the beliefs that Gottlieb stood for - art as a heroic quest, abstraction as a universal language - are no longer as popular. To revisit Gottlieb is to go back to a time when the fate of the world's soul seemed to hang on the shadowy alchemy of abstract painting." [NYTimes:Arts]

Friday, October 11, 2002


Creativity . . . [via the wonderful whiskey river]

Digital Art Source-Sense, Memory and Media-Feature

"Our senses take in stimuli, enter them into working memory and in the course of reflection, our long-term memory is engaged and we form a response to what we perceive. We will see that through the digital effect, the interactive and the immersive, the function of memory in the creation and reception of digital art influences the quality of intent and the quality perceived."

Thursday, October 10, 2002

third story

Mirror becomes a razor when it's broken.
A stick becomes a flute when it's loved.

(from Seven Little Stories, spring 1952. Third story. Originally written in Japanese. Translation by Yoko Ono , published in Grapefruit (New York: Simon and Schuster, Touchstone Book, 1971)

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Playing Pollock

. . .ever since seeing Pollock and tracking down this articulate writing I have wanted to post Ed Harris's statement . . .
" . . .It's tricky, but I never wanted to pretend to be Pollock. I wanted to be Ed Harris, using all his tools as an actor and as a person to allow Pollock's experience on this earth to touch me, inspire me, lead me to an honest, true performance. I think the film is much more revealing of Ed Harris than it is of Jackson Pollock. I don't see how it could be any other way. I guess I used Jackson for a personal journey." (Ed Harris On Playing Pollock from Such Desperate Joy Imagining Jackson Pollock edited by Helen A. Harrison) . . . more ...

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Oblivio > Road > Biggz

"My real point is that stories are always made up, even when they ... There are different senses of "true," if you know what I mean. There's the sense of "this really happened," and then there's the sense of "this gets at the essence of something." I'm interested in both, but probably the last one more. . . [more ...] "

Monday, October 07, 2002


philosophical koans ... or something like that

...John Cleese thinks . . . more . . .

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Retrospective Salutes an Indian Actress and Activist

"After watching a few films starring the Indian actress and political activist Shabana Azmi, you quickly learn to identify how she uses her eyes . . . " [New York Times: Arts]

An Ancient Tragedy Fit for the World of Today

"It's not that you doubt the intelligence of Ms. Shaw's Medea. But her lacerating misfortunes have broken the circuits of that intelligence, and her responses are a toxic jumble. She seems to wear her nerves outside her skin. Numbness and excruciating pain, shrill anger and mordant, bizarre humor flit across her raw features in disjunctive parade." [New York Times: Arts]

Saturday, October 05, 2002

shadows three

. . .One wrong step into the shadows three around the light of emotions - love, need & desire . . . immediately sent me scrambling into past terrors . . . couldn't find exactly what was remembered but this will suffice . . . Yuganaddha: The Tantric View of Life (3rd edition, Chowkhamba, 1976) (1st edition 1952) -
"We must never forget that imagination does not merely employ childish symbols of love, fear, and awe as emotional equivalents for adult experience, but that it recaptures an intenseness and directness of emotional experiences, rarely met with in adult experience. If, in any respect whatsoever, these "childish" experiences are more important than comparable adult ones, imagination or fantasy thinking in making "infantile" emotions available for use in adult living, performs a tremendously valuable public service. On the psychic plane, childhood need not necessarily be the immaturity of man, it may be much more the preparatory stage of the adult mind, just as the tadpole is the preparatory stage of the frog rather than an immature frog."(Herbert V. Guenther.p. 80-81)

Friday, October 04, 2002

The Mirror That Changes

. . . as the mirror changes with the colour of it's subject so [water] alters with the nature of the place . . . In time, and with water, everything changes. - Leonardo Da Vinci (via Annette Weintraub in Drunken Boat)

Thursday, October 03, 2002

A Farewell to Politics

The following speech was given by President Havel in New York on September 19, 2002, at the Graduate Center of the City University, on the occasion of his last official trip to the United States as President of the Czech Republic.

"...I am saying only this: to set out on the path of reason, peace, and justice means a lot of hard work, self-denial, patience, knowledge, a calm overview, a willingness to risk misunderstanding. At the same time, it means that everyone ought to be able to judge his or her own capacity and act accordingly, expecting either that one's strength will grow with the new tasks one sets oneself or that it will run out. In other words, there is no more relying on fairy tales and fairy-tale heroes. There is no more relying on the accidents of history that lift poets into places where empires and military alliances are brought down. The warning voices of poets must be carefully listened to and taken very seriously, perhaps even more seriously than the voices of bankers or stock brokers. But at the same time, we cannot expect that the world - in the hands of poets - will suddenly be transformed into a poem..." By Václav Havel, Translated from the Czech by Paul Wilson
more . . .

Wednesday, October 02, 2002


"A man's real mistress is life." - Céline

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

henry miller

the aim of life is
to live, and to live
means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly,
serenely, divinely aware
(henry miller)

lifted from a student's journal

Sunday, June 30, 2002

What is Art

"The best way to ensure that the learned information is retrieved from memory in an on-the-job situation is to prompt learners to practice retrieving that information during the learning event. It's not the interactivity that facilitates learning--it's the retrieval practice.
This explains why questions about nonessential information actually hurt learning. They provide practice on retrieving the wrong information. It also explains why feedback is useful, but not always necessary. When the correct retrieval routes are practiced, feedback is redundant."

:: comment :: . . . have always intuited (and have sought empirical, written and practised evidence) that you must live the questions . . . but what is nonessential information . . . too easy or simplistic criterion will deny too much . . . the search for the essential to distinquish from the nonessential is a art in itself . . . & what is 'art' . . . and as Paul Celan wrote (in his speech on the occasion of receiving the Georg Buchner Prize, Darmstadt, 22 October 1960) :

"Art, you will remember, is a puppet-like, iambic, five-footed thing without - and this last characteristic has its mythological validation in Pygmalion and his statue - without offspring."

Saturday, June 29, 2002



British Actor Deported. Steven Berkoff, the British actor, who was scheduled to perform his one-man "Shakespeare's Villains" this week in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Mich., was deported on Tuesday, apparently for a visa violation."It was a nightmare," Mr. Berkoff told The Grand Rapids Press from London. "I have never been prevented from working in America before." Mr. Berkoff was told he had stayed one day past the limit of his 1997 visa, his American agent, Joe Ajlouny, said. via


. . . for the burning bird & her plight . . . though she never burns here . . .

Ch'ienniang was the daughter of Chang Yi, a public official in Hunan province. She had a cousin named Wang Chu, an intelligent and handsome youth. The two cousins had grown up together and since Chang Yi both loved and approved of the boy he said he would accept Wang Chu as his son-in-law. Both young people heard and marked the promise; she was an only child and spent all her time with her cousin; their love grew day by day and the day came when they were no longer children and their relations grew intimate. Unfortunately, her father, Chang Yi, was the only person around who did not notice. One day a young public official asked Chang Yi for his daughter's hand. The father, heedless or forgtful of his earlier promise, consented. Ch'ienniang, torn between love and filial piety, nearly died of grief; the young man fell into such despair that he resolved to leave the district rather than watch his mistress married to another man. He invented some pretext or other and told his uncle that he must go to the capital. When the uncle was unable to dissuade him, he supplied the youth with funds along with some presents and offered him a farewell banquet. In a desperate state, Wang Chu did not leave off moaning throughtout the feast and was more than ever determined to go away rather than persist in a hopeless love affair.

The youth embarked one afternoon; he had sailed only a few miles when night fell. He ordered his sailor to tie up so that they might rest. But Wang Chu could not fall asleep; some time around midnight he heard footsteps approaching. He got up and called out: "Who is it, walking about at this hour of the night?" "I, Ch'ienniang," came the reply. Surprised and overjoyed he brought her aboard. She told him that she had hoped and expected to be his wife, that her father had been unjust and that she could not resign herself to the separation. She had also feared that, finding himself alone in a strange land, he might have been driven to suicide. And so she had defied general disapproval and parental wrath and had now come to follow him wherever he might go. The happily re-united pair thereupon continued the journey on to Szechwan.

Five years of happiness passed, and she bore Wang Chu two children. But there was no news of Ch'ienniang's family and every day she thought of her father. It was the only cloud in their happy sky. She did not know whether or not her parents were still alive; and one night she confessed her anxiety to Wang Chu. Because she was an only daughter she felt guilty of a grave filial impiety, "You have the heart of a good daughter and I sill stand by you," Wand Chu told her. "Five years have passed and they will no longer be angry with us. Let us go home." Chienniang rejoiced and they made ready to go back with their children.

When the ship reached their native city, Wang Chu told Ch'ienniang: "We cannot tell in what state of mind we will find your parents. Let me go on alone to find out." At sight of the house, he could feel his heart pounding. Wang Chu saw his father-in-law, knelt down, made his obeisance, and begged his pardon. Chang Yi gazed upon him with amazement and said: "What are you talking about? For the past five years, Ch'ienniang has been lying in bed, in a coma. She has not gotten up once."

"But I have told you the truth," said Wang Chu. "She is well and awaits us on board the ship."

Chang Yi did not know what to think and sent two maids-in-waiting to see Ch'ienniang. They found her seated aboard ship, beautifully gowned and radiant; she asked them to convey her fondest greetings to her parents. Struck with wonder, the maids-in-waiting returned to the parental house, where Chang Yi's bewilderment increased. Meanwhile, the sick girl had heard the news, and now seemed freed of her ill. There was a new light in her eyes. She rose from her bed and dressed in front of her mirror. Smiling and without a word, she made her way towards the ship. At the same time, the girl on the ship began walking toward the house. The two met on the river-bank. There they embraced and the two bodies merged, so that only one Ch'einniang remained, as youthful and lovely as ever. Her parents were overjoyed, but they ordered the servants to keep quiet, to avoid commentaries.

For more than fory years Wang Chu and Chienniang live together in happiness.

(A tale from the T'ang Dynasty [618-906 A.D.]) found in Extrordinary Tales byBorges/Casares

Friday, June 28, 2002

link = promise

. . . a link is a promise . . .

At 09:12 AM 6/19/2002 +1000, Adrian wrote:

> ok, i think of hypertext links as like performative speech acts (they're promises). i think of hypertext links as being the *same as* film edits. film edits are also promises. as performative speech acts they have force (they're like order words) and so inside their promise that they make sense there is also this excess of force that means they will make sense. this force leaks out each side of the edit/link which is why the meaning of the before and after can change, without changing what the before and after is. ie the kuleshov effect. same content different meanings yet the thing (the image in that case) that effects the meaning (the edit) in no way changes the image itself. same thing happens in link node hypertext particularly where complex structures are invovled. so, this is what i mean by performative. links/edits are promises.

Adrian, I like this notion of links as promises quite a lot, partly because it jives so much with recent discourse about links as the currency of the web, especially in blogging communities. For what is currency but a promise of value? But I also find it intriguing that the moments of the message that are these promises--film edits, hypertext links, etc--are the exact moments that the technology of the medium is most noticable: when we KNOW we are experiencing a construct.

Best, Brandon Barr University of Rochester

_______________________________________________ empyre forum

Thursday, June 27, 2002


. . . encountered this story twice today . . in two completely different contexts . . . a story i am much aquainted with . . . since it comes here it goes . . .

The Dream of Chuang Tzu

Chuang Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly and, when he awoke, he did not know if he was a man who had dreamt he was a butterfly or a butterfly who was dreaming he was a man.

(From Chang Tzu 1889 by Herbert Allen Giles )
[Found in Extraordinary Tales by Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares edited and translated by Anthony Kerrigan]

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

bang a dvd

"Mr. Herbert is one of many musicians who, rather than appropriating extracts from others' songs, use found, ambient and other naturally occurring sounds as the foundation for their tunes. Mr. Herbert has even written a manifesto to help define his work. Mr. Herbert's document forbids the use of drum machines and sampling from other people's music.

Debra Singer, the associate curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of Art who organized the sound-art exhibition in the museum's 2002 biennial, said she enjoyed Mr. Herbert's album. She said, "Even though musically it's very engaging, what really distinguishes it is the concept behind it and the source of the sounds." She also appreciated how Mr. Herbert combined digital music-making technologies with "deliberately simplistic gestures" like banging a DVD against the microphone instead of sampling its soundtrack."


Tuesday, June 25, 2002

from Breathturn


I did hear him,
he did wash the world,
unseen, nightlong,
O N E and unending,

Light was. Salvation.

(from Breathturn Paul Celan translated by Pierre Joris )

Monday, June 24, 2002

Heart Play

My thoughts are wounds in my head. My brain is a scar. I want to be a machine. Arms to drag legs to walk no pain no thinking. (Heiner Müller , 'Hamletmachine' )


A May I lay my heart at your feet.

B If you don't make a mess on my floor..

A My heart is clean..

B We'll see, won't we..

A I can't get it out..

B Would you like me to help you..

A If you wouldn't mind..

B It'll be a pleasure. I can't get it out either..

A cries.

B I will remove it surgically. What have I got this penknife for anyway. We'll have this sorted out in no time. work will keep you from despair. Right, there we are. But this is a brick. Your heart is a red brick..

A Yes, but it beats only for you..

A beats B to death with the brick..
(Addition, July 1991).

------------- Heiner Müller -----------------

from Heiner Müller Theatremachine translated and edited by Marc von Henning

Sunday, June 23, 2002



. . . it happened again . . . just as sure as april is the cruelest month and it is summer . . . despite an incredible ambivalence - when the air outside becomes oppressive & there's no relief inside, not even in the basement, & seeds of the poplar trees choke the air piling like gentle snowdrifts along the front walk - the words of this mythological beast find a way into the voice of the mind like an addiction, a craving . . . inspite of myself the Strange Music seeks me out and the music repeats endlessly. . . school is out for my students&teachers . . . there ain't no cure . . .

I met a man who lost his mind
In some lost place I had to find
Follow me the wise man said
But he walked behind
(from Teachers by Leonard Cohen)


. . time to honour (mw) wood s lot . . . an incredible harvester of the web . . . little nuggets are turned into gold mines [my little Thomas Bernhard find: character assassination from The Voice Imitator & a simple pointer turns into richly researched feed] . . . a wonderful project would be to somehow organize the wood s lot archives into a encyclopedia of the web (wiki style maybe)/or some other way which i cannot imagine but others certainly not only imagine but know . . . i've read wood s lot describe himself as a simple cut&paste worker . . . no - a crafted artist weaving a brilliant&mesmerizing ever evolving web tapestry which necessitates a visit a day . . .

Saturday, June 22, 2002


Viewing an Ancient City With Futuristic Glasses

Large detail from an 1865 temple photograph by Samuel Bourne in a show about Varanasi at the Asia Society.

Friday, June 21, 2002

character assassination

"Two philosophers, about whom more has been written than they themselves have published, who met again - after not seeing one another for decades - in, of all places, Goethe's house in Weimar, to which they had gone, in the nature of things, separately and from opposite directions - something that, since it was winter and consequently very cold, had presented the greatest difficulties to both of them - simple for the purpose of getting to know Goethe's habits better, assured each other, at this unexpected and for both of them painful meeting, of their mutual respect and admiration and at the same time told each other that, once back home, they would immerse themselves in each other's writings with the intensity appropriate to, and worthy of, those writings. When, however, one of them said he would give an account of his meeting in the Goethe House in the newspaper that was, in his opinion, the best and would do so, in the nature of things, in the form of a philosophical essay, the other immediately resisted the idea and characterized his colleague's intention as character assassination."
(Thomas Bernhard. The Voice Imitator)

Thursday, June 20, 2002


. . . hmmm . . . 1/12/02 started blog to explore presentation of self in a cybernetic system . . . began 'if'. writing . posting . linking . publishing to ex(periment)plore self presentation [pl(d)ay st(p)age] . . . 3/28/02 disenchanted with chronology {as a theatre practitioner/educator found} Chaikin's metaphors of "space" (grounded in practical actor training) > catagorized(archived) items into 'space', 'place', 'territory', 'zone', 'sphere', 'abadonment', 'exile', 'occupation' and 'habitation' . . . 6/2/02 trashed it . . . not blog suicide but letting it all go . . . hmmm . . . found an unused site > registered >blog squatting . . . still ['if'...ing] outlining . . .

"To support arts education partnerships, grants of $3.1 million to 31 public schools and 39 cultural organizations in New York were made yesterday by the nonprofit Center for Arts Education in ceremonies at the Riverside Church. Each partnership between a school and a cultural institution is to receive $100,000 over three years."
nytimes: arts

Wednesday, June 19, 2002


. . . complete random . . .

"Only if poets and writers set themselves tasks that no one else dares imagine will literature continue to have a function." (Calvino. Six Memos for the Next Millennium,112 )

Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don't mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification (7).
Quickness. Exactitude. Visibility. Multiplicity. Consistency.
. . . sometimes i place items so they may be harvested . . . or maybe seeding others . . . then latter i'll check out the crop . . . it's important to watch the regional climate . . . planting seeds at the wrong time can be fruitless . . . blink

Monday, June 17, 2002



".these t.ex][e][ts r _code wurk_ remnants d-voted to the dispersal of writing that has been n.spired and mutated according 2 the dynamics of an active network . "

:: caw[meant] :: . . . know no code . . . txt.z u spec[u]lashon N 4orge (s)zen(se) . . . "today, we are all closed in concentration camps we call nations." -William Burroughs


"In learning to write, the child must disengage himself from the sensory aspect of speech and replace words by images of words."
. . . maybe/maybe not a contextual pointer


"Publish Link, Pay 1200 Euros " (PapaScott : June 17, 2002 Archives)
. . . check out all the links and wonder about link consequence . . .