Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Frieze Magazine on Me and Plants

...and Jane! I love being paired with Jane. Thank you Ellen Mara de Wachter.

Look, this is so so nice:

The commodification of plants – as ornaments, cash crops or sources of energy – is a recurring topic in the work of London-based American artist Rachael Champion. Her monumental installation Primary Producers (2014) is a pebble-dashed landmass with sinkholes in which wild and specific strains of freshwater algae grow in pools of water. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, were the primary producers of life on earth during what scientists have called the Great Oxygenation Event, 2.3 billion years ago. By pairing them with the reconstituted stone of pebble-dash – a popular but often-disparaged material used on modern British houses – she stages a rehabilitation of these two organic commodities. Champion’s democracy of materials brings to mind ‘the ecological thought’ propounded by philosopher Timothy Morton, in his eponymous 2010 book. For Morton, whose writing has been associated with the object-oriented ontology movement, this mode of thought involves acknowledging and valuing the interconnectedness of all objects and organisms. Morton discusses how the history of ideas has produced: ‘“Nature” as a reified thing in the distance, under the sidewalk, on the other side where the grass is always greener […] a special kind of private property, without an owner.’ Our alienated sense of the plant and animal life that surrounds us has caused the rift between humans and their so-called ‘environment’ that has produced catastrophic results for the planet and its species. Ecological thought – applied in science, poetry or art – would result in an ethically sound approach to human and non-human living organisms.




It’s not surprising that Morton’s and Bennett’s theories have found eager proponents in the art world: the tenor of their arguments is reminiscent of countless discussions about the ‘vibrancy’ of artworks, expressed through their colour, mood, affect or transcendent properties.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Congrats" and "Best" are the wind-up sign offs of our age

Whether or not you mean to insult people, your abbreviation automates the insult for you. It implies you can't even be bothered to press the keys to complete the word or phrase.

Being kind means saying "Congratulations" or "With best wishes."

Friday, April 22, 2016

TANTRIC POP: From Prince to Björk on Earth Day

Before there was Björk there was Prince. That's a very simple encapsulation of my personal pop life.

Happy Earth Day by the way. I tweeted that I was in the wrong universe yesterday, because it was the Queen's birthday and Prince's death day.

And I wondered what that really meant...and now for all kinds of reasons I know something: Eye No. It's not all bleak.

We're talking about gnosticism. We're talking about tantrism. We're talking about fusion of spirituality with sexuality, a magical combination that can truly eject you from the cycle of suffering, and something sadly lacking in the metallic plastic sex pop of now. On the whole.

Both of these artists are so explicit about the body, but it's a body complete with subtle body and chakras and orgasms that aren't just in that one particular sex organ center. Or rather, you are covered in multiple sex organs and to some extent you are a great big open flower like that one Prince is sitting in, like a sexy sideways Buddha, on the cover of Lovesexy. Chakras are imagined as flowers with petals not because it's cute but because they can open, and the Greek for opening is orgasm.

Lovesexy happened the same year that Blake happened to me. If Michael Moore is the reincarnation of Wordsworth, then Prince is the reincarnation of Blake. Which do you prefer? hahaha

The genderqueer Jesus vibe, the one(s) they edited out, scared of the implications, stripping it all down to a homophobic patriarchal breeder machine. Interestingly, the one where he had sex with women, rather than the pedophilically sexless official homosocial (and misogynist) mother cult. The one where he says you have to abandon your mum and dad.

Consorts. Using sexuality to explore reality. In some Gnostic scriptures God is called The Silence: “and together we'll stare into the silence [post orgasm]...and we'll try to imagine what silence looks like...yeah...we'll try to imagine--what silence looks like.” (“If I Was Your Girlfriend”)

That symbol of his, so obviously with ankh-like qualities, his band of basically multitalented Marys of Magdala, the Jehovah's Witness quality adding that feeling that this reality is about to be rent asunder and we're going to see the real one, which in this case is not a sterile heaven but palpitating and palpating actual bodies.

That i want to know what the fuck is going on, right now quality that you find in all tantric practitioners on Earth. Björk thinks about it through esoteric Sufi. Prince has his flavors.

That top level of hedonistic consumerism that is (sorry eco puritans and Platonist Marxists of doom) a magic gate to somewhere. Including ecological awareness, caring for other beings. On this Earth, which equates to refining and expanding pleasures. 

The i want to know now, in this life quality, which is so close to just greedily grabbing stuff in the (spiritual) supermarket...close to basic libidinal energy, it could all go a bit wrong, but what other energy do you want to use, is there any? Paging Björk's Kate Bush's Wilhelm Reich.

That feeling of being in the wrong universe, indeed...one wants to burst out of it like one of Blake's Glad Day type people.

That what's wrong is a misplaced spirituality, an anti-sexual Spooky Electric Sound that cuts like a knife and tries to get in you. An evil heaven. Gnosticism.

Heaven is evil. Hell is just energy. Earth is where it's at. Tantric pop.

I'm just going to keep writing this post as things occur to me. Happy orgone accumulation day!

***

If we really have gotten global warming very very wrong, like so wrong we are going extinct and all that, like if the world is actually ending and this is indeed an apocalypse theism style, just like I haven't been arguing all this time (!), then isn't it better, instead of collapsing into stoical despair, to party like it's 1999? I mean it shouldn't just be heard as a cliché at this point. The world has got a bomb, we could all die any day. The world is not the Earth. The world is the human project(s) and for sure this world has got a bomb, and is a bomb, exploding slowly for 12 500 years, now faster.

So assume the worst. Does that mean you have to acquiesce in basically oil culture mode? Hanging on in quiet desperation, so that everyone becomes English, English being the world that pays to have a queen over its head, everyone knows their place? Or shouldn't you be partying in solar mode?

Is it the Queen's birthday, or Prince's death day, which bleeds into Earth Day? Which?


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Strange Strangers in Vilnius Saturday

This looks so good. I've already heard the sound component and it's just amazing. At the Contemporary Art Center:

http://www.cac.lt/en/other/general/16/8195

Doesn't this look amazing?

Saturday 23 April 2016, 10pm at the CAC Basement Hall

Plays for the Strange Stranger is a performance in four parts. The performance is directed towards a character named the Strange Stranger. Using sound, dance and objects we attempt to open a channel of communication to this mysterious entity.

In order to open this channel, the performance challenges our certainty about what is familiar (and human) and what is strange (and non-human). Using Timothy Morton’s theory of ecological thought as a loose starting point, the performance creates a temporary space in which we are confronted with the strangeness of the world around us. Through a disorienting barrage of music, voiceover, shapeshifting objects and transcendental dance, the performance leads us towards the promise of a luminescent super-communion with everything non-human.


Jude Crilly
 (CA/UK) is an artist working in sound, sculpture, text and performance, based in London and Amsterdam. Floris Schönfeld (NL/US) is an artist working in video and performance; he is currently in residence at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Both artists were residents of Rupert, Vilnius. Play for the Strange Stranger is their first collaboration, supported by Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam.


Written / directed / sound design: Jude Crilly & Floris Schönfeld 
Performers: Rūta Butkus, Antanas Lučiūnas, Pilypas Misiukevičius, Andrius Mulokas
Movement development: Rūta Junevičiūtė
Music: Jokūbas Čižikas 
Costume and object design: Jude Crilly & Floris Schönfeld
Light design: Julius Kuršys
Sound engineering: Antanas Dombrovskij
Curator: Monika Lipšic

Admission is free of charge. Limited amount of people (~100)
Duration: 40 min



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Charles Long's OOO Art

Nice piece on it...he was reading Ian and me, and I so enjoyed doing the lecture for his opening. The “databergs” are playing with the hyperobject concept.

Nice Art Piece on OOO

Really good!

But for some even better examples listen to this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cosmonauts Day

I am reminded (thanks Emilija!) that today is when Yuri Gagarin circled Earth. The Soviets named it Cosmonauts Day.

Humans saw themselves being seen from space. Almost being seen BY space.

And as we all know, space is the place. Haha...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Geology at the Venice Biennale

...at the Baltic Pavilion. I've been writing something for their catalogue, and there are going to be some very interesting works in this one! The curators have a very interesting idea for how to proceed.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Guardians

Loving that me and my anthropologist buddies Dominic and Cymene are in this week's best popular piece on the Anthropocene.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pastoral Noir

This sounds good!

And in a more fantastical approach, Tessa Farmer reverses the hunter/hunted paradigm. Using natural materials such as insect and crustacean carcasses, bones and plant roots, Farmer’s fantastical hanging diorama “The Terror (After Machen),” depicts armies of bees ridden by tiny skeleton fairies, and swarms of ants, butterflies and beetles attacking birds including a majestic peregrine falcon.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"You Shouldn't Vote for a Woman"

"...because that would be sexist. It shouldn't matter who delivers the message."

Discuss.

At some point I may tell you what I think of this middlebrow parody of third-wave feminism, constantly touted in a "you better not think otherwise or else" sort of a superego way--in a year in which the opposition seems particularly hell bent on outdoing its usual wish to transmogrify women into vessels who should be ashamed--which sounds exactly like eighteenth-century Enlightenment patriarchy.

Liquid Crystal OOO

...an object that withdraws when you try to grasp it? And that can merge sensually with other objects?

The perfect analogy, human-scaled of course, is a liquid.

I find it beyond stunning that there is a school of thought or two out there that swears we are into solids and that solids are bad and liquids are good. Of course entities merge.

"Do not touch ontologically" doesn't mean "are separated by empirically measurable hard edges."

Come on Professor Alaimo! You say transcorporeal, I'll say spectral, it's the same. And Professor Lunning! OOO objects have all the abjection added back in. They don't behave like normalized patriarchal subjects at all. You say abject, I'll also say abject. Also spectral.

I guess I'm still sore from when this guy on this feminism panel told me I didn't like body fluids and because I used lists of nouns I was a Nazi. (He did use that term.) I guess he used lists of nouns too: shit, sperm, blood. You are a Nazi if you use nouns? And nouns are about solid things that can't merge?

 :)

Dark Ecology Is Now Available on Amazon

Awesome. And if you go to Columbia's site, you can get it at a 30% discount. Use the coupon code CUP30.