headline: "seal wonders [sic] into annette swoffer's home, falls asleep on couch"
"the process is simple. i project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, faithfully tracing each line. applying a combination of logic and instinct, i then paint the image as realistically as i can. my medium is mixed—primarily acrylic, airbrush, and colored pencil." dave devries, the monster engine
a letter to deleuze
every time i read your work, i feel more and more resentment toward you for having ruined several things that were very important to the way i saw the world.your reality is sexier than mine.i desire your reality.but do we need a diagram?why should it show strata and layers and forces in this way?couldn’t reality appear as a number of other things?isn’t it just as likely that reality is a hot dog?a hot air balloon?a vagina?
your writing makes me anxious, makes me feel as schizophrenic as you want to be.i get a pain in my stomach that i think is nervousness, a pain that wants to force itself to the exterior through the mouth/anus.academia is stifling.its supposed to be and i try to shove myself to fit into its binaries, its limitations.i force myself to view the world as i’m told.then i read your work and i feel a nervous excitement that i can think the way i want to.i can ignore common grammatical rules and academic traditions and talk about wolves and plants and anuses and geology and how silly freud was and i can do those things all within a few pages.
but where does this anxiety come from?what is schizophrenia?are you suggesting that i am just an interiorization of the exterior, just a fold, just a wrinkle?are my insides and everything that makes me me, my self and everything that i understand to be separate and unique about my self, are they not as interior as i always thought?how blurred is the division between in and out?how much of me is not me?where does this anxiety come from?
but “you” cannot answer “me.”this isn’t a dialogue, nor could it ever be.never dialogue, just multilogue, with all of your “yous” talking to all of my “mes.”but who am i if i am not my Self?i have a name, but it is through the acknowledgement of being a Michele that i also come to realize that i am part of a rhizomatic multiplicity.am i ever not a multiplicity?i am always standing on the edge of the crowd, attached by a hand or a foot or an anus?“The Wolf is the pack.”this makes me anxious.this is the place where my schizophrenia begins, but it also cannot be where it comes from.schizophrenia is too personal, too isolating to come from a multiplied and exteriorized self.i must be more interior than you would have me believe.but you make me desire that multiplicity, that connection with the surrounding world.how liberatory!“RHIZOMATICS = SCHIZOANALYSIS = STRATOANALYSIS = PRAGMATICS = MICROPOLITICS.”identification of the self/selves seems like a way toward a new politics, one that understands a world of multiplicities.if so, then i am Michele!Or:i am micheles!lets create rhizomes, even in the shadows, and make maps upon maps upon maps!lets be nomads!lets live in the spontaneous short-term and fuck genealogy from behind!
untethered space walk using a manned [sic] maneuvering unit
...memory, by bringing the past into the present unmodified, just as it appeared when it was itself the present, eliminates precisely that great dimension of Time, which governs the fullest realization of our lives.
can you imagine what it would be like to be deaf, living your whole life in silence, and then begin to hear at the age of 29?
a small boy, maybe four years old, with smooth skin the color of night, wearing only the same red shirt and dirty underwear everyday
walking back and forth across the makeshift soccer field from very early in the morning until the moon is all that lights up the dusty haitian landscape
to and from fresh water that is too far away
with nothing but his animal sounds to break the monotony
young enough to make it all a game
and too young to understand structural violence
"this should be the only thing we put in the time capsule we launch into deep space." (youtube)
"i told cinnamon the story of the submarine and the zoo when he was little--about what i had seen from the deck of the transport ship in august of 1945 and how the japanese soldiers shot the animals in my father's zoo all the while an american submarine was training its cannon on us and preparing to sink our ship. i had kept that story to myself for a very long time and never told it to anyone. i had wandered in silence through the gloomy labyrinth that spread out between illusion and truth. when cinnamon was born, though, it occurred to me that he was the only one i could tell my story to. and so, even before he could understand words, i began telling it to him over and over again, in a near whisper, telling him everything i could remember, and as i spoke, the scenes would come alive to me, in vivid colors, as if i had pried off a lid and let them out.
"as he began to understand the language, cinnamon asked me to tell him the story again and again. i must have told it to him a hundred, two hundred, five hundred times, but not just repeating the same thing every time. whenever i told it to him, cinnamon would ask me to tell him some other little story contained in the main story. he wanted to know about a different branch of the same tree. i would follow the branch he asked for and tell him that part of the story. and so the story grew and grew.
"in this way, the two of us went on to create our own interlocking system of myths. do you see what i mean? we would get carried away telling each other the story every day. we would talk for hours about the names of the animals in the zoo, about the sheen of their fur or the color of their eyes, about the different smells that hung in the air, about the names and faces of the soldiers, about their birth and childhood, about their rifles and the weight of their ammunition, about the fears they felt and their thirst, about the shapes of clouds floating in the sky....
"i could see all the colors and shapes with perfect clarity as i told the story to cinnamon, and i was able to put what i saw into words--the exact words i needed--and convey them all to him. there was no end to any of this. there were always more details that could be filled in, and the story kept growing deeper and deeper and deeper and bigger and bigger."
nutmeg smiled as she spoke of those days long ago. i had never seen such a natural smile on her face before.
"but then one day it ended," she said. "cinnamon stopped sharing stories with me that february morning when he stopped talking."
nutmeg paused to light a cigarette.
"i know now what happened. his words were lost in the labyrinth, swallowed up by the world of the stories. something that came out of those stories snatched his tongue away. and a few years later, the same thing killed my husband."
haruki murakami in the wind-up bird chronicle
and from this indigent river,
this blood-mud that meanders
with its almost static march
through sclerosis and cement
and from the people who stagnate
in the river's mucus,
entire lives rotting
one by one to death,
you can learn that the human being
is always the best measure,
and that the measure of the human
is not death but life.
joao cabral de melo neto
the facts cut me off. the clean boxes of history, geography, science, art. what is the separateness of things when the current that flows each to each is live? it is the livingness that i want.
i'm talking about not covering every square inch with houses and strip malls until you can't remember what happens when you stand in a meadow at dusk.
what happens in the meadow at dusk?
one of my favorite things: listening to coltrane on a rainy spring evening while cooking dinner and dreaming of a life beyond the academy.
"that's another thing we've learned from your nation," said mein herr. "map-making. but we've carried it much further than you. what do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?"
"about six inches to the mile."
"only about six inches!" exclaimed mein herr. "we very soon got to six yards to the mile. then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. and then came the grandest idea of all! we actually made a map of the country on the scale of a mile to a mile!"
"have you used it much?" i enquired.
"it has never been spread out yet," said mein herr: "the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country and shut out the sunlight! so we now use the country itself, as its own map, and i assure you it does nearly as well."
lewis carroll, in sylvie and bruno cncluded
* * *
in that empire, the craft of cartography attained such perfection that the map of a single province covered the space of an entire city, and the map of the empire itself an entire province. in the course of time, these extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the college of cartographers evolved a map of the empire that was of the same scale as the empire and that coincided with it point for point. less attentive to the study of cartography, succeeding generations came to judge a map of such magnitude cumbersome, and, not without irreverence, they abandoned it to the rigours of sun and rain. in the western deserts, tattered fragments of the map are still to be found, sheltering an occasional beast or beggar; in the whole nation, no other relic is left of the discipline of geography.
borges, 'of exactitude in science'
amanda baggs is an austism rights activist and a 'low functioning' austistic woman. this video tries to explain her way of communicating with the world. beautful and powerful.
st. elmo's fire (also st. elmo's light) is an 'electrical weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge originating from a grounded object in an atmospheric electric field (such as those generated by thunderstorms created by a volcanic explosion).' [thanks wikipedia]
the phenomenon sometimes appeared on ships at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name. [named after saint erasmus/elmo].
it usually appears around large structures, like ships or skyscrapers, but can also occur around smaller objects, like a cow's horns. [i would love to see this]
about, about, in reel and rout
the death-fires danced at night;
the water, like a witch's oils,
burnt green, and blue, and white.
[coleridge, rime of the ancient mariner]
when you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you damn sure got the blues
i want to love it here
the sounds of sirens in the dead of night
the way the moon reflects off car windows
the smell of the snow in the morning
the things that i think belong to me alone
but where are the memories?
with each docment i filed and each artefact i labelled, i felt my initial fascination slipping away, the chaos of material memories narrowing to a foreshortened chronology. ... a kind of semiotic thinning was necessary in order for these objects to behave appropriately in the archive. although my intention was to preserve the traces of cultural memory encoded in the artefacts, the shades of memory i managed to capture often seemed static and stale.
the nomenclature [for museum cataloguing] itself admits defeat when faced with idiosyncracy: 'the system, like any generic system, ncessarily overlooks the texture of the world reflected by objects and the language we use to describe them.'
in a short essay about the piece ['the man who never threw anything away'] kabakov's character explains that his obsessive saving is about his memory, the idiosyncratic private realm where everything is equally valuable or significant, and all points of recollection are tied to one another. he acknowledges that, for outsiders, the papers and scraps might appear to be merely garbage, but counters, 'i feel that it is precisely the garbage, that very dirt where important papers and simple scraps are mixed and unsorted, that comprises the genuine and only real fabric of my life, no matter how ridiculous and absurd this may seem from the outside.'
the significance of the objects altered as they moved through different contexts and as they came into contact with people who asked different things of them.
in the depth of winter, i finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
this is a picture of my grandmother on my dad's side. she died when i was young, so i only have little blips of memories about her. i've been thinking a lot about life and death lately--not in a morbid sort of way, just with a sort of childlike fascination. this picture brings up feelings about both--the new life of someone who is now deceased. i've been trying to work through my feelings, which I think comes down to something like a biological clock thats ticking, but that idea is so problematic. do women really feel the need to reproduce? biologically, we are animals and perhaps there is an instinctual need to perpetuate our genes and our species. at the same time, i know that we don't have to reproduce and perhaps i'm feeling cultural pressures to settle down and have a family. spiritually, i'm told that having children would give me a new and selfless purpose in life and i would experience real love--and who could say no to that?
at the same time, the world can be an ugly place. how could i think about bringing another child into the world when there are so many children without families, food, housing, education, or love? how can i bring a child into a world in which people still manipulate each other, blow each other up, tear down trees to build malls, and leave people on the street to starve? the point of this blog is to remind myself that there are simply beautiful things in the world and that not everything is bad. which side of the story will win out? would having children change how i feel about the world?
perhaps having children is one of the most radical things one could do?