The Century of the Self

by Adam Curtis
February 27th, 2009

Via Wikipedia: "Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings profoundly. His influence on the 20th century is widely regarded as massive. The documentary describes the impact of Freud's theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their engineering of consent. [...]

The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality."

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Note to self
January 13th, 2009

Via William Bennett: "My own definition is a relatively simple one, yet within it there is incredible potential for creativity and exploration. It's the realisation (or actualisation if you prefer) of something you used to think was utterly impossible and unachievable. That's it.

Doesn't sound like much, except the more you begin to contemplate those words the more you begin to come to terms with how very much that truly encompasses. How many pleasures have you never experienced because you thought you never would? And indeed, how much of it can or could you stand? What in fact are your limitations?

Wherever you choose to set that is the boundary between the you and magic. And that's where I want to go."

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F for Fake

by Orson Welles (1915-1985)
January 11th, 2009

From bright lights: "When we get to a late film in Welles' career, the documentary F for Fake (1976), he formulates his most explicit statement about contemporary reality, leaving little room for greatness, let alone tragedy. And if F for Fake seems a superficial film, we will then have experienced the first lesson of postmodernism: playfulness, conscious illusions, and an undisguised reflexiveness about making movies. Put another way, what is seen in the film that seems real is not as real as it appears — but most especially we can't trust the filmmaker Welles himself, he will lie to us and deceive us, if only to get at the heart of the movie's main contention: you cannot trust anyone, especially anyone who asserts his or her authority without any basis or proof." ("F for Fake, The Ultimate Mirror of Orson Welles, In which Welles deflates expectations of greatness — and transcends them" by Robert Castle).

(Thanks to Nina Juric!)

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End of 2008

Ten things - because it is a tradition I affirm.
December 31st, 2008

Book Tough topic, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be Austerlitz - for the concept.

City Cologne, indeed.

Concert DAF - it was such an energetic flashback.

Film Death Proof - by one of those men who understand women. And for everybody who disagrees, check out William Bennett's inspiring movie reviews.

Perfume Patchouli Patch, recommended by the fabulous blog of Theresa Duncan - RIP.

Present Silver necklace - yes, we do like to see feelings materialize.

SonO Superman - for all coincidences, which sometimes made me wonder if they were really coincidences and then pushed me to realize that, yes, they are just coincidences. Starting to enjoy it!

Talk Isabel Allende on Tales of passion.

Unsorted The six kilometres along the canal in rain, fog, snow, sun, wind, heat, light, dark and any other fucking weather condition, over and over again - thanks for keeping me company, Eva!

Website "UbuWeb was founded in November of 1996, initially as a repository for visual, concrete and, later, sound poetry. Over the years, UbuWeb has embraced all forms of the avant-garde and beyond." A goldmine.

So, here we are... And what is next?

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Trust your eyes?

The Ouchi Illusion
December 19th, 2008

Via Scientific American: "This illusion is by op artist Hajime Ouchi. Move your head back and forth as you let your eyes wander around the image and notice how the circle and its background appear to shift independently of one another. Vision scientist Lothar Spillmann at the University of Freiburg in Germany stumbled upon the illusion while browsing Ouchi's book on Japanese Optical and Geometrical Art. Spillmann then introduced the Ouchi illusion to the vision sciences community, where it has enjoyed immense popularity."

Also, check out the 80 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena site by Michael Bach at the Freiburg University in Germany: "These pages demonstrate visual phenomena, and optical or visual illusions. The latter is more appropriate, because most effects have their basis in the visual pathway, not in the optics of the eye."

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Until the end of the world

Scientists extract images directly from brain
December 12th, 2008

Many people I know disagree with me on this one. For me Wim WendersBis ans Ende der Welt (Until the end of the world) was a discovery that shook my feelings and perception fundamentally - back in 1991. I still listen to the soundtrack and watch the movie once in a while.

And today I found this quote on Pink Tentacle: "Researchers from Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person's mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people's dreams while they sleep." This is exactly what the film was about. What an accuracy of forecast. Imagine watching the dreams of your next of kin. 

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In the beginning

The art of the title
November 25th, 2008

Been collecting title sequences for a long time. Here is another wonderful collection which I enjoy every other day...

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Heart and Mind

by Edith Sitwell
October 11th, 2008

Said the Lion to the Lioness - "When you are amber dust -
No more a raging fire like the heat of the Sun
(No liking but all lust) -
Remember still the flowering of the amber blood and bone,
The rippling of bright muscles like a sea,
Remember the rose-prickles of bright paws,
Though we shall mate no more
Till the fire of that sun the heart and the moon-cold bone are one"

Said the Skeleton lying upon the sands of Time -
"The great gold planet that is the mourning heat of the Sun
Is greater than all gold, more powerful
Than the tawny body of a Lion that fire consumes
Like all that grows or leaps... so is the heart
More powerful than all dust. Once I was Hercules
Or Sampson, strong as the pillars of the seas:
But the flames of the heart consumed me, and the mind
Is but a foolish wind."

Said the Sun to the Moon - "When you are but a lonely white crone,
And I, a dead King in my golden armour somewhere in a dark wood,
Remember only this of our hopeless love:
That never till Time is done
Will the fire of the heart and the fire of the mind be one."

"Edith Sitwell was most interested by the distinction between poetry and music, a matter explored in Façade (1922), which was set to music by William Walton, a series of abstract poems the rhythms of which counterfeited those of music. Façade was performed behind a curtain with a hole in the mouth of a painted face and the words were recited through the hole with the aid of a megaphone."

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Enjoy your symptom!

Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out

September 26th, 2008


Slavoj Zizek: "When a fantasy object, something imagined, an object from inner space, enters our ordinary reality the texture of reality is twisted, distorted. This is how desire inscribes itself into reality, distorting it. Desire is a wound of reality. The art of cinema consists in arousing desire, to play with desire, but at the same time keeping it at a safe distance - domesticating it, rendering it." (THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA)
Joseph Campbell: "People say that we all are seeking for the meaning of life. I don't think that this is what we are really seeking. I think what we are really seeking is an experience of being alive." (The Power of Myth)

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