Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Being vs. Becoming

"Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between the striated, arboreal, linear organization of space favored by Cartesian geometry and the smooth, rhizomatic, nonlinear spaces associated with the nomad. The former is a space of being, a place that one occupies, while the latter is a space of becoming, something one crosses without owning or possessing."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sourcing Naiads

from Wikipedia
In Greek mythology, the Naiads (/ˈneɪæd/ or /ˈneɪəd/ or /ˈnaɪæd/ or /ˈnaɪəd/; Ancient Greek: Ναϊάδες, Naiades, from νάειν, "to flow", or νᾶμα, "running water") were a type of nymph (female spirit) who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of freshwater.

They are distinct from river gods, who embodied rivers, and the very ancient spirits that inhabited the still waters of marshes, ponds and lagoon-lakes, such as pre-Mycenaean Lerna in the Argolid.

Naiads were associated with fresh water, as the Oceanids were with saltwater and the Nereids specifically with the Mediterranean, but because the Greeks thought of the world's waters as all one system, which percolated in from the sea in deep cavernous spaces within the earth, there was some overlap. Arethusa, the nymph of a spring, could make her way through subterranean flows from the Peloponnesus, to surface on the island of Sicily.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013


Since piping is one of our thoughtless habits, one might think that people would pipe up in Josephine's audience too; her art makes us feel happy and when we are happy, we pipe; but her audience never pipes, it sits in mouselike stillness; as if we had become partakers in the peace we long for, from which our own piping at the very least holds us back, we make no sound. It is her singing that enchants us or is it not rather the solemn stillness enclosing her frail little voice?


So is it singing at all? Is it not perhaps just a piping? And piping is something we all know about, it is the real artistic accomplishment of our people, or rather no mere accomplishment but a characteristic expression of our life. We all pipe, but of course, no one dreams of making out that our piping is an art, we pipe without thinking of it, indeed without noticing it, and there are many among us who are quite unaware that piping is one of our characteristics. So if it were true that Josephine does not sing but only pipes and perhaps, as it seems to me at least, hardly rises above the level of our usual piping - yet, perhaps her strength is not even quite equal to our usual piping, whereas an ordinary farmhand can keep it up effortlessly all day long, besides doing his work- if that were all true, then indeed Josphine's alleged vocal skill might be disproved, but that would clear the ground for the real riddle which needs solving, the enormous influence she has.
-Franz Kafka, "Josephine, the Singer, or the Mouse Folk"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Monkey See...

Aside from that reservation, a fictive tale even has the advantage of manifesting symbolic necessity more purely to the extent that we may believe its conception arbitrary.
- Jacques Lacan

Monday, July 8, 2013

Eine Kleine Nacht Musik - Transitioning through Transcendence

What occurs between Monteverdi and Gluck is thus the "failure of sublimation": the subject is no longer ready to accept the metaphoric substitution, to exchange "being for meaning," i.e., the flesh-and-blood presence of the beloved for the fact that he will be able to see her everywhere, in stars and the moon, etc. - rather than do this, he prefers to take his life, to lose it all, and it is at this point, to fill in the refusal of sublimation, of its metaphoric exchange, that mercy has to intervene to prevent a total catastrophy. This "failure of sublimation" is discernible also at another level. At the beginning of Monteverdi's Orfeo, the Goddess of Music introduces herself with the words "Io sono la musica..." - is this not something which soon afterwards, when "psychological" subjects invaded the stage, became unthinkable, or, rather, irrepresentable? One had to wait until the 1930s for such strange creatures to reappear on the stage. In Bertolt Brecht's "learning plays," an actor enters the stage and addresses the public: "I am a capitalist. I'll now approach a worker and try to deceive him with my talk of the equity of capitalism..." The charm of this procedure resides in the psychologically "impossible" combination, in one and the same actor, of two distinct roles, as if a person from the play's diegetic reality can also, from time to time, step outside himself and utter "objective" comments about his acts and attitudes. This second role is the descendant of Prologue, a unique figure which often appears in Shakespeare, but which later disappears with the advent of psychological-realist theatre: an actor who, at the beginning, between the scenes or at the end, addresses the public directly with explanatory comments, didactic or ironic points about the play, etc. Prologue thus effectively functions as the Freudian Vorstellungs-Repraesentanz: an element which, on stage, within its diegetic reality of representations, holds the place of the mechanism of representing as such, thereby introducing the moment of distance, interpretation, ironic comment - and, for that reason, it had to disappear with the victory of psychological realism. Things are here even more complex than in a naive version of Brecht: the uncanny effect of Prologue does not hinge on the fact that he "disturbs the stage illusion" but, on the contrary, on the fact that he does NOT disturb it. Notwithstanding his comments and their effect of "extraneation," we, the spectators, are still able to participate in the stage illusion. And, this is how one should also locate Jacques Lacan's c'est moi, la vérité, qui parle from his La Chose freudienne: as the same shocking emergence of a word where one would not expect it - it is the Thing itself which starts to speak.

And it is not only that, with Gluck, the object can no longer sing - this shift does not concern only content, but, even more radically, the musical texture itself. With Romanticism, music changes its role: it is no longer a mere accompaniment of the message delivered in speech, it contains/renders a message of its own, deeper than the one delivered in words. It was Rousseau who first clearly articulated this expressive potential of music as such, when he claimed that, instead of merely imitating the affective features of verbal speech, music should be given the right to speak for itself - in contrast to the deceiving verbal speech, in music, it is, to paraphrase Lacan, the truth itself which speaks. As Schopenhauer put it, music directly enacts/renders the noumenal Will, while speech remains limited to the level of phenomenal representations. Music is the substance which renders the true heart of the subject, which is what Hegel called the "Night of the World," the abyss of radical negativity: with the shift from the Enlightenment subject of rational logos to the Romantic subject of the "night of the world," i.e., with the shift of the metaphor for the kernel of the subject from Day to Night, music becomes the bearer of the true message beyond words. Here we encounter das Unheimliche: no longer the external transcendence, but, following Kant's transcendental turn, the excess of the Night in the very heart of the subject (the dimension of the Undead), what Tomlison called the "internal otherworldliness that marks the Kantian subject." What music renders is no longer the semantics of the soul, but the underlying noumenal flux of jouissance beyond the linguistic meaningfulness. This noumenal dimension is radically different from the pre-Kantian transcendent divine Truth: it is the inaccessible excess which forms the very core of the subject.
-Slavoj Zizek, "On Opera, The Sex of Orpheus"

Friday, July 5, 2013

El Dibujador

Dali se desdibuja
Tirita su burbuja
Al descontar latidos

Dali se decolora
Porque esta lavadora
No distingue tejidos

El se da cuenta y asustado se lamenta
Los genios no deben morir
Son mas de ochenta los que curvan tu osamenta
"Eugenio" Salvador Dali

Bigote rocococo
De donde acaba el genio
A donde empieza el loco

Mirada deslumbrada
De donde acaba el loco
A donde empieza el hada

En tu cabeza se comprime la belleza
Como si fuese una olla express
Y es el vapor que va saliendo por la pesa
Magica luz en Cadaques

Si te reencarnas en cosa
Hazlo en lapiz o en pincel
Y Gala de piel sedosa
Que lo haga en lienzo o en papel

Y si reencarnas en carce
Vuelve a reencarnarte en ti
Que andamos justos de genios
"Eugenio" Salvador Dali

Realista y surrealista
Con luz de impresionista
Y trazo impresionante

Delirio colorista
Colirio y oculista
De ojos delirantes

En tu paleta mezclas misticos ascetas
Con bayonetas y con telas
Y en tu cerebro Gala Dios y las pesetas
Buen catalan anacoreta

Si te reencarnas en cosa
Hazlo en lapiz o en pincel
Y Gala de piel sedosa
Que lo haga en lienzo o en papel

Y si reencarnas en carce
Vuelve a reencarnarte en ti
Queremos genios en vida
Queremos que estes aqui,
"Eugenio" Salvador Dali.

Monday, July 1, 2013


“I can hide behind dignity no longer. What more do you want? I have already given you my shame.”
David Henry Hwang, "M. Butterfly" (1988)