Friday, March 31, 2006

Antonioni (a point of indiscernibility)

Across Antonioni’s filmmaking, there is a recurrent moment of perception that may allow us to reflect on an emergent imagination after cinematic images. I believe that Gilles Deleuze touches on the potential of these perceptive moments when he considers Antonioni’s filmmaking in terms of what he calls “any-space-whatever” and Op and Son images in his *Cinema 2*:

"As for the distinction between subjective and objective, it also tends to lose its importance, to the extent that the optical situation or visual description replaces the motor action. We run in fact into a principle of indeterminability, of indiscernibility: we no longer know what is imaginary or real, physical or mental, in the situation, not because they are confused, but because we do not have to know and there is no longer a place to ask. It is as if the real and the imaginary were running after each other, as if each were being reflected around the other, around a point of indiscernibility."

The scenes of “any-space-whatever” that most interest me in Antonioni’s films, and which I would like to appropriate for this project, are ones construed too easily as hysterical. Beyond a clinical or “common sense” diagnosis of hysteria, the bodies of many of Antonioni’s most significant characters may be telling of a condition of psychic-bodily dissociation related to our present post-cinematic condition. What is sense and where is it located in space when the image one has of bodies related in space is elsewhere: withdrawn, discoordinated, psychastheniac (Roger Caillois)?

Continually this is the question I ask myself watching Antonioni’s films until his post-’68 work, Zabriskie Point (1970). Curious as a film after American counter-culture and social movements in the late-60’s (and not so different than any numbers of films in this regard: Hal Ashby’s The Landlord, Peter Watkins’ Punishment Park, etc.), Zabriskie is of particular interest to me as it presents a clairvoyant and senseless imagination in the face of social despair and political-judicial distopia -- the “states of exception” of the late-60’s/early-70’s American polis and a “globalizing” polis now.

Like any number of Antonioni characters, the female protagonist of Zabriskie puts the viewer into an ambivalent situation of perception, a point of indiscernibility (Delueze), in the final scene of the film: is she a terrorist in actuality, or does she only imagine the detonation of a bomb at the hotel? How does this scene form a mirror for the perceptive lapse earlier in the film that forces the viewer to adjudicate whether the male protagonist has in fact shot a police officer or if he is merely a hapless innocent? Moving from a meditation on such images shall we consider particular tactics for revolutionary violence not in terms of sensory-motor coordination achieved in purposive movement, but in terms of an eidetic imagination imminently destructive in virtuality *and* reality inasmuch as the real is increasingly determined by the virtual? If this project risks creating a critical fiction it does so only to mobilize factuality towards a new situation of demonstration and thought we currently bear witness to in the wake of “Terror” and other geopolitical quilting points.

Annunciation (Arise to Descend)*

Or why are we still working in this factory?
to Sasha Steensen

To come down by a movement in which gravity plays no part. . . . Gravity makes things come down, wings make them rise: what wings raised to the second power can make things come down without weight?
– Simone Weil

A pleasure to work
The stutter
The very veil of gravity
Do not fail me
Now these
Second wings
Work is a pleasure
To lovely

Work is a pleasure
Blue work
No separate
Of video monitor
How we really
Talk beauty
To make money
To make movies

To make money
The way we move
Blue collar blue
Of virgin pleasure
Huppert with
Hair cropped
The other
Like Falconetti
When is the face free
Of this feeling
When of this
Pain second
Wings to stutter
Of Weil verily

Moon bluish-white
When will we
Descend from
Lofty denials
From ascetic skill
Monitors of
Bourgeois pleasure
Work is pleasure
Don’t distinguish
Work from pain or love

To make money
To circulate power
Of this desperate snow desperate winter
Of this monitor
Design alights
Promising Delacroix
Such wings

The working sing truly
Arise to descend
On second wings
The working
The unworking
Sing truly
Will beyond will
Blowing harmonicas
The beginnings of sing

Beginning sound
Beginning sound
Track beginning
Of blue rewind rewind
Defer a moment on
This unshepherded snow
Shadowing pleasant tolls

Our pleasure to work
Beginning with
This poverty of love
The fullness of love
Pleasures of debt
Blue makes everything
Seen and soon
Heard in this whistling
Track this harmonic noon
Heard by this harmonic blue
Difference between boss
And worker
Difference between
Factory and tv

Matters of these second wings
Descend arise
Point to pleasures of sky
Sky blue with no one trail
Noon shaped by silhouette

And love why are we
And why don’t we turn
Why do we
Still work
In this factory
Do we still love
The sight
Of paint as it lights up?

*composed Spring '05.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

WHOF forthcoming

Currently I am trying to take WHOF off I am doing this out of want to not support a corporate site such as blogger, as well as to organize the blog more effectively. Here are two prototype images for the new weblog-site:

Hirschhorn Review at Fanzine

Check out my review of Thomas Hirschhorn's "Superficial Engagement" and other featured works at Casey McKinney's online journal, Fanzine (

Monday, March 27, 2006


Nearer to know less before afterward schism in sun.
– Susan Howe

Michael writes of sun, but all I can think
of is sunsickness, too much in the sun
never a daughter. As if God’s
light still shone on we who have shaded
our eyes.
– Charles Bernstein

Hardly veritic
a bold sun
moves below
(a sun, the son)
assuming place

than light itself,
more weightless than any
two year old

can we get
a rise noon sinks
to what we

What wine won’t
pass and
bread any longer,
commoner solarized?

Return to ‘dark
rooms’, dark star, exposure
swashbuckling a
gnostic shadow show

But there won’t be
this reckoning,
let it be said ...
no birds surprised, no sun arrived
in this film’s unmaking.

Surprise us we are
trying to wake
up from ourselves this history
of night sunlight
caesuras half-deferred
flies in the appointment.

Up-late with
the owl flies by night
but we are still here
(We are
we are still
still here)
chiasmic as
the present is long
and hangs
like the hives of deixis
in hell’s
equal reverse.

We are still here ...
the bandage eventually
the face the mind
has concrete
for ears the better
to cover us with

Chiasmic as
a moment is never an ‘event,’
and an ‘event’
an ‘occurrence,’ and
an ‘occurrence’
never a
‘route’ of ‘concomitant parity'.

The poetry must give shade as well.
It was always gonna rain
(when it should not).

*Composed Summer 05

Our Music*

Making for the tears of newsreel
And the images with-
Tears enough
Reversed by equal hell

This piano music drifts-off
Resonant with
Our image people
Will tend to be
As lovers they do not
Love the one
State strives to be

An equal hell reversed
In a reverse shot
Making for
The tears of glory
Everyone’s terrible here
All they do is
Cut our heads off

Nuns submit, children throw
Bunker stones
To love the one
An anti-love
Come to me and flee to come
Numeric bits of stones

Come to me resonant with
The broken skin
Of image blood
Come to me resonant with
Notes spent more ingloriously

*composed Spring 05

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Others Letters: Aysegul Selenga Tasken


"Thank you for

me about

Shakers it


especially combining


art with this kind
of rituals

I will check
it out

I was reading
your blog yes the

life & death

in Islam is really

very different
from the Christian

world but

actually I
am not sure

if it is right

to generalize

as Christianity

or Islam

different countries combine

cultural traditions
with whatever

they practise Turkey

is a secular country
but has extremely

strong ties

with ancient history

and traditions
in Turkey

the dead
are buried under

the soil
with no


no clothes

no make-up
just wrapped

in a white linen

the idea behind
is that

the flesh

have importance

but the soul has
so the flesh

should combine
with the soil

as soon
as possible

if there are flowers
from that soil

it symbolizes

'new life'

and the relatives
of the dead

these flowers
on the tomb

the faster
the body becomes

one with nature
the better
it is

I thought
this might sound

interesting for you

as for my project
being close to home

well yes and no

Konya is a very


almost fundemantalist but also
a very political

place I was born
and raised in Ankara

the capital
which is a very modern

secular city
you wouldn't

believe the mentality

difference between these
two cities

although the physical
difference is only

3 hours

Sufism is
an other world

the 'Asia minor' then
was much


and much
less political

than the 'Asia minor'

many people
are happy to associate

today's whirling dervishes

with recent politics
and with

the so-called

Islamic political parties

I cannot stand

luckily enough
the ideals

of sufi mysticism

the same

Rumi highly

mentions the issue
of life

& death in his poetry

as for the rahle

it is not
exactly a chair

a reading board

a reading table
it has

an X

and you place
a book

in the center

the person who reads
from rahle


on the floor

on the cushions
I don't know

if you can find one

in this country or

at least
for sale

but I
was thinking


one DIY”