Friday, May 27, 2005

Kagel Films--UbuWeb Adds Film archives

    Anthology of Film Archives is running a series of Mauricio Kagel's films, starting this Thursday with Unter Storm, through Sunday. Programs 1,2,5, 6 recommended.

UNTER STROM (LIVE CURRENT) 1970, 20 minutes, video.
SOLO 1967, 26 minutes, video.
DUO 1967-68, 41 minutes, video.
-Thursday, June 2 at 8:00.

ANTITHESE 1965, 19 minutes, 16mm.
MATCH 1966, 27 minutes, 35mm.
BLUE'S BLUE 1981, 32 minutes, video.
-Friday, June 3 at 8:00.

1973, 71 minutes, 16mm film on video.
-Saturday, June 4 at 5:00.

TACTILE (TACTIL FUR DREI) 1970, 20 minutes, video.
HALLELUJAH 1968, 47 minutes, 16mm.
-Saturday, June 4 at 8:00.

PHONOPHONIE 1979, 38 minutes, video.
MM51 1983, 10 minutes, video.
REPERTOIRE 1989, video.
-Sunday, June 5 at 5:00

1969, 100 minutes, 16mm.
-Sunday, June 5 at 8:00.

has also posted new Film archives, which include "Society of the Spectacle" [which most people who refer to it have never actually seen] and some early Harry Smith.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dupin, TLS Answers, Besançon

“Il n’y a que toi”, hurle le vent, “pas encore”, hurle le vent . et je me relève, gris, et cassé... Jacques Dupin.

As promised, my answers to the TLS 'author, author' quiz, to be printed on the issue dated the 27th.

1. William Wordsworth, Personal Talk, first Stanza.

2. Dylan Thomas, Under Milkwood

3. Geoffrey Hill, In memory of Jane Fraser

Interesting interview with philsopher and historian Alain Besançon about Islam in this weekend's Figaro Litteraire:

....les chrétiens sont, la plupart du temps, les seuls à s'intéresser à ce dialogue, qui aboutit donc très vite à un monologue. Pour qu'il y ait dialogue, il faut envisager la possibilité que l'autre puisse avoir raison, ce qui est difficile pour un musulman qui considère l'islam comme la religion ultime, et estime dépassées les autres religions. De fait, ce sont les chrétiens, à l'époque moderne, qui ont initié ce dialogue, notamment à partir de Louis Massignon.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Infante, Havoc, New Media

This week's Time Out NY has my review of the Mark Handforth show at GBE Modern; and spotlights the Casasola show, my review of which will run next Wednesday.

Cabrera Infante's death in February seems to have gone somewhat unnoticed by the US media, even with a supposed movie by Andy Garcia being released based on Tres Tristes Tigres. Garcia did do an NPR piece on Infante archived here. In contrast, Diario de Noticias ran about four things, including a great op-ed. Here is an obituary, astutely calling him a "double exile", a subsequent review, and a write-up by Pedro Mexia. There's also a 'Reading' feature in Context posted here.

Le Monde also did it some justice, with several pieces in Feb.

Just finished Havoc in its third year by Ronan Bennett. It gets the Washinton Post treatment, and a bit of a Telegraph punch-up. Paul Taylor raves in the The Observer.

Two interesting web-based/new media projects:

WebMIDIfier reads textual data from any web site and converts it to MIDI music.

Types of Models is an online catalog of housing models within prefab suburban community.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kagel, Books etc.

BOMB interview of Mauricio Kagel, by Anthony Coleman. It's from a little while ago, but definitely worth revisiting.The photos of Kagel's home and 'studio' are really interesting. It's a shame more of his work hasn't entered the repertoire; Kagel's Third String Quartet ranks as one of the most intensely beautiful pieces of contemporary music.

I've been reading the page proofs of W.J.T Mitchell's great new book "What Do Pictures Want?: The Lives and Loves of Images". The book will be out in June, published by Univ. of Chicago Press--nicely blurbed by Zizek, Jameson and Taussig.

Also, look out for the English version of the Hatje Cantz
Peter Weibel monograph, coming in September.


Today is unfortunately the 72th anniversary of the Nazi book burning of 1933.

The End Of The Library

When the coal
Gave out, we began
Burning the books, one by one;
First the set
Of Bulwer-Lytton
And then the Walter Scott.
They gave a lot of warmth.
Toward the end, in
February, flames
Consumed the Greek
Tragedians and Baudelaire,
Proust, Robert Burton
And the Po-Chu-i. Ice
Thickened on the sills.
More for the sake of the cat,
We said, than for ourselves,
Who huddled, shivering,
Against the stove
All winter long.

Weldon Kees

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Le Monde, Betjeman, NY, and Lucien Goldman?

Visited the amazing Casasola show at El Museo del Barrio, which I'm currently reviewing. As I'm going to do so in 'public', I'll save comment here. But it's a really wonderful show.

Came across an interesting story from Le Monde from a while back, in a pile of old newspapers. Turns out it's also posted online:
Esclaves volontaires du téléphone portable.

Besides a catchy standfirst [Illusoire liberté, Immense marché], it's got such gems like:

...les Américains effectuent 1,1 milliard de voyages par jour, dont 87 % dans des véhicules privés

Rien qu’aux Etats-Unis, entre 40 et 50 millions de téléphones sont jetés chaque année

Dans une société où les loisirs et le labeur sont répartis de manière inégale entre les classes, où l’allongement de la durée du travail, notamment aux Etats-Unis, le chômage, la destruction des services publics rendent
plus pénibles la vie des habitants, ils se tournent vers la communication mobile pour tenter de surmonter, individuellement, des difficultés quotidiennes insaisissables autant qu’écrasantes.

The section about cars made me think of these lines from a Betjeman poem:
Let's say goodbye to hedges
And roads with grassy edges
And winding country lanes;
Let all things travel faster
Where motor car is master
Till only Speed remains.


Brit novelist David Flusfeder publishes in FT Weekend a piece on 'the lost soul'of NY. It's an interesting follow-up piece to the previous FT piece on the closing of CBGB'S and the loss of 'counter'-cultural spaces. Together the two pieces pretty much add up to the piece I've been [not]writing for the last month about how the NY real estate market is killing NY's cultural life.......still, its an interesting piece.


Came across two old books that I'd forgotten about, but both worth a mention:

The Wager of Lucien Goldman by Mitchell Cohen,reviewed here.

Disseminating Darwinism, especially Eric Anderson's chapter fascinating chapter "Black Responses to Darwinism"

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Burial Ground/Vespers....Hadrian continued

Final design proposals for the African Burial Ground Memorial posted here.

Thoroughly convinced of Runciman's argument, that the massacre of Sicilian Vespers of 1282 was fundamental to the history of Europe, I also think its an amazing parallel to current events. If you don't want to read the book there is a good Bartleby summary of the Vespers massacre here.


Nice to know I'm not alone in my nerdy re-reading of Hadrian the Seventh during the last papist ceremonies--its shared by fellow obscurist, 18th/19th century periodical loving blogger.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

WPA Slave Narratives

University of Virginia has an online version of the WPA slave narratives that made up Rawick's, ed., The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography.Index here. Amazing.

Another anecdote: I helped put the ms and peer reviews together for Reversing Sail, when I used to work at Cambridge Univ. Press..seems like a long time ago, but turns out they actually published it.

Current Reading List:
Letters 1928-1946 Isaiah Berlin
W, or The Memory of Childhood Georges Perec
The Sicilian Vespers Steven Runciman
Structure and Perversions Joel Dor
The Fragility of Goodness Martha Nussbaum
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1663
Encore Jacques Lacan