bell hooks and Beverly Guy-Sheftall in a discussion that reflects on feminism and their own legacies in popular culture today.

bell hooks

Take me as I am or watch me as I go
October 14th, 2018

Via Wikipedia: "Gloria Jean Watkins (born September 25, 1952), better known by her pen name bell hooks, is an American author, feminist, and social activist. The name "bell hooks" is derived from that of her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks.
The focus of hooks' writing has been the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender, and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination. She has published over 30 books and numerous scholarly articles, appeared in documentary films, and participated in public lectures. She has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism.
In 2014, she founded the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky."

Watch this discussion: "Join bell hooks and Beverly Guy-Sheftall in a discussion sponsored by Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School that reflects on feminism and their own legacies in popular culture today. 
Beverly Guy-Sheftall is a feminist scholar, writer and editor, and the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and English at Spelman College.
bell hooks is an author, activist, feminist and scholar-in-residence at The New School. This fall is her fifth and final week-long visit in a three-year residency."

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Film still from "Beuys" (2017) German documentary film directed by Andres Veiel.

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

Joseph Beuys
Oktober 3rd, 2018 (German Unity Day)

Via Wikipedia: "At the beginning of the performance Beuys locked the gallery doors from the inside, leaving the gallery-goers outside. They could observe the scene within only through the windows. With his head entirely coated in honey and gold leaf, he began to explain pictures to a dead hare. Whispering to the dead animal on his arm in an apparent dialog, he processed through the exhibit from artwork to artwork. Occasionally he would stop and return to the center of the gallery, where he stepped over a dead fir tree that lay on the floor. After three hours the public was let into the room. Beuys sat upon a stool in the entrance area with the hare on his arm and his back to the onlookers." [...]

"Beuys explained:
'Für mich ist der Hase das Symbol für die Inkarnation, Denn der Hase macht das ganz real, was der Mensch nur in Gedanken kann. Er gräbt sich ein, er gräbt sich einen Bau. Er inkarniert sich in die Erde, und das allein ist wichtig. So kommt er bei mir vor. Mit Honig auf dem Kopf tue ich natürlich etwas, was mit denken zu tun hat. Die menschliche Fähigkeit ist, nicht Honig abzugeben, sondern zu denken, Ideen abzugeben. Dadurch wird der Todescharakter des Gedankens wieder lebendig gemacht. Denn Honig ist zweifelslos eine lebendige Substanz. Der menschliche Gedanke kann auch lebendig sein. Er kann aber auch interellektualisierend tödlich sein, auch tot bleiben, sich todbringend äußern etwa im politischen Bereich oder der Pädagogik.' "

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Peter Levine's talk was given April 18th, 2015 at the Jung Society of Austin.

Peter Levine

Spirituality, Archetypes, and Trauma
August 24th, 2018

Via  the Jung Society of Austin: "The intrinsic relationship between trauma, archetypes, and spirituality is generally overlooked among the many pitfalls and tight corners of trauma treatment. But an understanding of this intimate relationship suggests therapeutic strategies that can help trauma clients maintain the resources needed to genuinely transform their traumatic experiences.

Indeed, the awe-full qualities of horror and terror may share essential structural, psycho-physiological, and phenomenological roots with such underlying transformative states as awe, presence, timelessness, and ecstasy. Our organisms are designed with primitive-instinctual proclivities—“slow-motion” perception, and intensely focused alertness, for example—that move us to extraordinary feats when we perceive that our lives are threatened.

When these survival capacities are bridged to or owned from more ordinary states of consciousness, an experience of timelessness and presence—sometimes referred to, in meditation systems, as the eternal now—is promoted."

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Journey in Satchidananda (1971) b Alice Coltrane.

Music on Good Friday

by the One and Only Alice Coltrane
March 30th, 2018

Via Wikipedia: "Discography as leader:
A Monastic Trio (Impulse!, 1968)
Cosmic Music (Impulse!, 1966–68) with John Coltrane
Huntington Ashram Monastery (Impulse!, 1969)
Ptah, the El Daoud (Impulse!, 1970)
Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse!, 1970)
Universal Consciousness (Impulse!, 1971)[15]
World Galaxy (Impulse!, 1972)
Lord of Lords (Impulse!, 1973)
Reflection on Creation and Space (a Five Year View) (Impulse!, 1973; compilation)
Illuminations (Columbia, 1974) with Carlos Santana
Eternity (Warner Bros, 1975)
Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana (Warner Bros., 1976)
Transcendence (Warner Bros., 1977)
Transfiguration (Warner Bros., 1978)
Turiya Sings (Avatar Book Institute, 1982)
Divine Songs (Avatar, 1987)
Infinite Chants (Avatar, 1990)
Glorious Chants (Avatar, 1995)
Priceless Jazz Collection (GRP, 1998; compilation)
Astral Meditations (Impulse!, 1999; compilation)
Translinear Light (Impulse!, 2004)
The Impulse Story (Impulse!, 2006; compilation)
World Spiritual Classics: Volume I: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop, 2017; compilation)"

Thanks to Sarah Szczesny!

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On identity design

by Paula Scher
October 2nd, 2017

Paula Scher: "I never knew a designer that got hundreds of thousands of dollars to design a logo.  Mostly, designers get paid to negotiate the difficult terrain of individual egos, expectations, tastes, and aspirations of various individuals in an organization or corporation, against business needs, and constraints of the marketplace.  This is a process that can take a year or more.  Getting a large, diverse group of people to agree on a single new methodology for all of their corporate communications means the designer has to be a strategist, psychiatrist, diplomat, showman, and even a Svengali*. The complicated process is worth money. That's what clients pay for. The process, usually a series of endless presentations and refinements, persuasions and proofs, results, hopefully, in an accepted identity design."

* Via Wikipedia: "Svengali is the name of a fictional character in George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby. A sensation in its day, the novel created a stereotype of the evil hypnotist that persists to this day. [...]
The word svengali has entered the language meaning a person who with evil intent manipulates another into doing what is desired."

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3900 Pages of Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks

Presenting his Bauhaus teachings (1921-1931)
March 5th, 2016

Via open culture: "Paul Klee led an artistic life that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, but he kept his aesthetic sensibility tuned to the future. Because of that, much of the Swiss-German Bauhaus-associated painter’s work, which at its most distinctive defines its own category of abstraction, still exudes a vitality today.

And he left behind not just those 9,000 pieces of art (not counting the hand puppets he made for his son), but plenty of writings as well, the best known of which came out in English as Paul Klee Notebooks, two volumes (The Thinking Eye and The Nature of Nature) collecting the artist’s essays on modern art and the lectures he gave at the Bauhaus schools in the 1920s. [...]

 

More recently, the Zentrum Paul Klee made available online almost all 3,900 pages of Klee’s personal notebooks, which he used as the source for his Bauhaus teaching between 1921 and 1931. If you can’t read German, his extensively detailed textual theorizing on the mechanics of art (especially the use of color, with which he struggled before returning from a 1914 trip to Tunisia declaring, 'Color and I are one. I am a painter') may not immediately resonate with you. But his copious illustrations of all these observations and principles, in their vividness, clarity, and reflection of a truly active mind, can still captivate anybody — just as his paintings do."

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What Happens at the End of Infinite Jest?

by Aaron Swartz

October 3rd, 2015

 

Via Aaron Swartz: "JOI also created DMZ as part of an attempt to undo the effects of Hal’s eating mold as a child (recall: DMZ is a mold that grows on a mold). He left it along with the Entertainment (recall: ETA kids find JOI’s personal effects (670: 'a bulky old doorless microwave…a load of old TP cartridges…mostly unlabelled'); the tapes and the DMZ are delivered together to the FLQ) which is about this goal (it stars a woman named Madame Psychosis (a street name for DMZ) explaining that the thing that killed you in your last life will give birth to you in the next). The DMZ and the Entertainment were meant to go together for Hal. Now that the Entertainment has escaped, he needs to get Hal the DMZ."

 

Via Wikipedia: "Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer and Internet hacktivist who was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS and the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, the website framework web.py and the social news site, Reddit, in which he became a partner after its merger with his company, Infogami. He committed suicide while under federal indictment for data-theft, a prosecution that was characterized by his family as being 'the product of a criminal-justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach'.


Swartz's work also focused on civic awareness and activism. He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.

On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested by MIT police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to systematically download academic journal articles from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT. Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised realeas. 

 

Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.

 

In June 2013, Swartz was posthumously inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame."

 

You might also be interested in The Infinite Jest Liveblog (massive spoiler alert !!), Erowid on DMZ, and How to Read Infinite Jest Chronologically.

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Black Mamba

Dominick Fernow and William Bennett: A Conversation

September 20th, 2015

 

Via Red Bull Academy: "William Bennett: I became very interested in the technology of drama, particularly method acting and building scripts and performance techniques and things like that. I found it fascinating how much could be applied to music.

Dominick Fernow: Like what?

William Bennett: Well, this is very influenced by Stanislavski, but what they call mask work. Where you just work in a mask or you literally go without a mirror for a couple of days – and how that affects you psychologically. Because so much of what we do, whether it’s in the real world or in the music world, is filtered through our illusion of identity. This illusion that we’ve created about how we see ourselves. When people say, I am this kind of person or I don’t do this, it’s really all an illusion because everything in actual fact is affected by what’s around you rather than what’s inside you. And so a lot of these activities I found very interesting for creating music, because you can get past these obstacles and enter a different domain where you can find very unexpected things.

Dominick Fernow: But is it about losing identity?

William Bennett: It’s not about losing – because there is such a thing as your core identity, the way I see it. But that’s very different from the illusion of identity – what we believe we are. The kind of person we think that we are is very different to what we really are. But it’s very difficult to bridge that gap and, artistically, I find that a very interesting place to explore."

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What Did the Lady Forget?

The awesome work of Ozu Yasujirō

August 11th, 2015

 

A summer flu gave me the opportunity to watch Ozu Yasujirō films.

Via Wikipedia: „Ozu Yasujirō became widely recognized internationally when his films were shown abroad. Influential monographs by Donald Richie, Paul Schrader, and David Bordwell  have ensured a wide appreciation of Ozu's style, aesthetics and themes. Ozu was voted the tenth greatest director of all time in the 2002 British Film Institute's Sight & Sound poll of Critics' top ten directors. [...]

 

In the Wim Wenders documentary film Tokyo-Ga, the director travels to Japan to explore the world of Ozu, interviewing both Chishū Ryū and Yuharu Atsuta."

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The Dada Baroness

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

August 7th, 2015

 

Via The MIT Press: "Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-1927) is considered by many to be the first American dadaist as well as the mother of dada. An innovator in poetic form and an early creator of junk sculpture, the Baroness was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances. Some thought her merely crazed, others thought her a genius. The editor Margaret Anderson called her perhaps the only figure of our generation who deserves the epithet extraordinary. Yet despite her great notoriety and influence, until recently her story and work have been little known outside the circle of modernist scholars."

 

Via Wikipedia: "The Baroness was one of the characters, one of the terrors of the district, wrote her first biographer Djuna Barnes, whose book, however, remained unfinished. In Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada, Amelia Jones provides a revisionist history of New York Dada, expressed through the life and works of The Baroness.

The recent biography, Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada and Everyday Modernity, by Irene Gammel, makes a case for the Baroness’s artistic brilliance and avant-garde spirit. The book explores the Baroness’s personal and artistic relationships with Djuna Barnes, Berenice Abbott, and Jane Heap, as well as with Duchamp, Man Ray, and William Carlos Williams. It shows the Baroness breaking every erotic boundary, reveling in anarchic performance, but the biography also presents her as Elsa’s friend Emily Coleman saw her, not as a saint or a madwoman, but as a woman of genius, alone in the world, frantic.

In 2013, the artists Lily Benson and Cassandra Guan released The Filmballad of Mamadada, an experimental biopic on the Baroness. The story of The Baroness' life was told through contributions from over fifty artists and filmmakers."

 

Thanks to Swantje Lichtenstein!

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