Charismatic Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan Gives Public Lecture (1972)

Dramatic pauses, ironic self-reflection, and storms of emotion

March 20th, 2015

 

Via Open Culture: "The footage above is from an extremely rare – and unexpectedly entertaining – video of the philosopher and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), giving a lecture at The Catholic University of Louvain in 1972. The film is notable for a couple of reasons:

 

1. In France, Lacan’s rock star status owed much to his popular public seminars. The charismatic iconoclast had been giving free public lectures for decades, and those lectures were usually packed with students, colleagues, skeptics, young radicals … and fans. The video gives you an idea of what the fuss was all about. Even at 70, Lacan still owns the room, and he has the presence of a stage actor, complete with dramatic pauses, ironic self-reflection, and pitch-perfect storms of emotion (see minute 15:07)

 

2. At minute 21:37, a politically inspired heckler tries to ambush him. It’s a moment right out of a comedy show, if the comedy show were chic and grainy and edited by Jean-Luc Goddard. Note the grace with which Lacan neutralizes the poor guy, lights his cigar and then concludes the lecture, even though the fallout from their encounter is still stuck in his hair.

 

Lacan’s ideas have fallen a bit out of fashion in the past two decades, particularly in the U.S., where psychoanalysis has been nudged out of the spotlight by neuroscience and post-structuralism has lost ground to post-colonial studies. But Lacan still has his fans, notably the Elvis of Philosophy, Slavoj Zizek, who dominates YouTube the way his predecessor once did salons."

 

Thanls to Manu Burghart!

[ Catalysts ]

Contra-Internet

by Zach Blas

March 18, 2015

 

Via Zach Blas: "Contra-Internet describes the emerging militancies and subversions of the Internet. Comprised of multiple series, Contra-Internet critiques the Internet as a hegemonic descriptor for digital networking and premier arena of political control, as well as documents and speculates upon network alternatives that social movements are developing globally, such as autonomous mesh networks, encryption tactics, and darknets. Inspired by the transgender theorist Beatriz Preciado’s Manifesto contrasexual, Contra-Internet is oriented from a feminist and queer perspective, in an effort to unite such political positions with a hacker ethos. Contra-Internet aims to function as an expansive conceptual, practical, and experimental framework for refusing the neoliberal logic of the Internet while building alternatives to its infrastructure."

 

Via dis magazine: "The Inversion Practices series is comprised of short, performative videos that utilize various conceptual-technical tactics to abandon and subvert the Internet."

 

Thanks to Carsten Görtz!

[ Catalysts ]

The loving shrimp

La crevette amoureuse (1967/1975) by Henri Chopin

March 17th, 2015

 

Via art agenda: "The book is a philosophical parable, consisting of several dialogues between ERnest and MARiette, usually taking place before or after sex. He is characterized as a head of state or head of the world, and peppers his pillow talk with political concerns, the arbitrary laws and decrees of his own domain; his solipsism and arrogance are sometimes spurred on, sometimes discouraged by MARiette. As the book progresses, ERnest’s philosophical boutades appear to be a satire of the intellectualized epistemology of the Descartes-Berkeley-Hume-Kant-Fichte lineage. The text is in fact explicitly dedicated to Kant, whose self-centered brand of skepticism finds an extreme echo in ERnest’s absolutism as a ruler. Increasingly frustrated by the exercise of a power as absolute as it is vacuous (for his theories prevent him from acknowledging the existence of other subjects—both in the philosophical and in the political sense), ERnest ultimately resolves to forsake his name and, thereby, his subjectivity.

 

This summary, however, does little justice to La crevette amoureuse, which is visual as much as it is textual. Interspersed in its typewritten pages are both abstract and figurative compositions of symbols, reminiscent of Futurist poetry and of typographic art. Even though sometimes illustrative (the book includes portraits of its main characters, as well as geometric patterns), these compositions hardly qualify as illustrations as such, since in a way they are the text itself—they are literally made of the same stuff. The two forms flow into each other with no clear way of separating narration and image; at times Chopin explicitly challenges the meaningfulness of such distinctions, as when he presents a triangular sequence of punctuation marks as the text of one of ERnest’s last decrees. [...]

 

Chopin’s dactylopoèmes thus appear to be more than witty abstract compositions, or mere (if beautifully crafted) instances of typographic art: in this novel they are legitimate parts of a text. They are not appropriations or misuses of linguistic means to serve a pictorial end: they are extreme instances of their proper use—evolutions, if you like."

[ Catalysts ]

Hard / Talk

Stephen Sackur interviews Tracey Emin

January 13th, 2015

Never thought I would say this but Tracey Emin’s perspective in this BBC interviewreally resonates here and is meaningful to me, now.

Thanks to Manu Burghart!

[ Catalysts ]

The Art of Asking and the Shared Dignity of Giving and Receiving

by Amanda Palmer

December 28th, 2014

 

Via Brain Pickings: "Through the very act of asking people, I connected with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you. It’s kind of counterintuitive for a lot of artists — they don’t want to ask for things. It’s not easy to ask. … Asking makes you vulnerable. […]

 

I don’t see these things as risks — I see them as trust. … But the perfect tools can’t help us if we can’t face each other, and give and receive fearlessly — but, more importantly, to ask without shame. … When we really see each other, we want to help each other. I think people have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, ‘How do we make people pay for music?’ What if we started asking, ‘How do we let people pay for music?"

 

Via The Definitive Reading List of the 14 Best Books of 2014 Overall: "When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.

 

There’s no correct path to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected."


Watch her TED talk!

[ Catalysts ]

Dark Psychedelia

A conversation between Gean Moreno and Michael Jones McKean

November 8th, 2014

 

Via dis magazine: "GM: Some of this rewiring may be afoot. Neuroscience doesn’t tire of challenging our cherished idea of a phenomenal self. Certain strands of it are proposing the the notion of a self is just an evolutionary prop. There literally is no such thing as a self, just chemicals firing up the illusion of such a thing as a survival mechanism. It constantly reminds us that there is no me beyond the biochemistry. Once this knowledge seeps into the general culture and replaces our common-sense understanding of who and how we are, who knows what biological and cognitive consequences will follow?"

[ Catalysts ]

Ultraliberal

Mutter

November 1st, 2014

 

Mutter in Cologne was definetly my concert of the year and if you haven't heard them yet it is high time. Do not miss their lyrics either. Reifen rollen.

[ Catalysts ]

New Vintage Porcelain Dishes Crawling with Hand-Painted Ants

by Evelyn Bracklow

September 13th, 2014

 

Via Colossal: "German artist Evelyn Bracklow of La Philie has created an entire new collection of ant-covered porcelain dishes and tableware since we first shared her work here early this year. Many of the new pieces are part of a unique partnership between the artist, Rijks Museum in the Netherlands, and Etsy. The pieces are hand-painted in Bracklow’s studio, signed, numbered and fired to 160 degrees. As unsettling as having insects permanently invading your dinnerware is, I can’t help but be enchanted by how perfectly crafted they are. You can see more of Bracklow’s recent work here."

[ Catalysts ]

19 Questions

answered by the singular John Cage

May 19th, 2014

 

Via Mode Records: "John Cage answers 19 questions on a variety of subjects, using chance operations to determine the duration of his colorful and often witty answers. A unique opportunity to view the Cagean process of chance in real-time."

 

For example:

"Thoreau was very happy to be little known while he was alive. He said it enabled him to do what he had to do. I'm now very well known. It makes me very happy, because I'm able to do what I have to do."

and

"I think conversation works best when the second thing that is said is not in the mind of the person who said the first thing."

[ Catalysts ]

LICHT

On Being Invisible

April 20st, 2014

 

Via James Ingram: "Freitag aus Licht (1991-94): My favorite of the operas. Possibly because it is partly about the marriage of people and machines. Its his reaction to the advent of computers (which intelligence uses to seduce us). Possibly also because of its ambiguities and its being sometimes so politically incorrect that one has to laugh (the alternative is too dreadful to contemplate). Also because of Johannes Conen’s fantasic stage realization, and because Freitag-Versuchung is technically the most advanced score I produced for Stockhausen (full use of all my experience and software). Michael Manion did the basic work of creating the initial Finale files, but it was a long way from there to the final score! The score also contains a full photographic record of the production, and is heartily to be recommended. (Buy it! Buy it! Here!)
The piece is a good example of the danger into which his absolute trust in his intuition could lead him. The piece ends with a beautiful auto-da-fé, with mixed-race beings (bastards) being ceremoniously burned. Kathinka calls 'Do you all repent?', but we are not told why they should repent. Nobody notices what’s happening (if Stockhausen notices, he does not care) because he does his best, as always, to make things as beautiful as possible."

 

Also, check out James Ingram's notations.

 

Thanks to Elmar Hintz!

 

Invited Johannes Conen to my Visual Music seminar at the Institute for Music and Media (IMM) in July. Am very excited to meet him and get to know his concepts.

[ Catalysts ]