Raum wird Zeit

Parsifal:
Ich schreite kaum,
doch wähnte ich mich schon weit.

Gurmenanz:
Du siehst, mein Sohn,
zum Raum wird hier die Zeit.

–Wagner, Parsifal

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On Faith

 

The “Equivalents” remain photography’s most radical demonstration of faith in the existence of a reality behind and beyond that offered by the world of appearances. They are intended to function evocatively, like music, and they express a desire to leave behind the physical world, a desire symbolized by the visual absence of horizon and scale clues within the frame. Emotion resides solely in form, they assert, not in the specifics of time and place.

— Andy Grundberg, 1983 on Alfred Stieglitz “Equivalents”

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We Are Poorly Placed

We are poorly placed as biological individuals to witness the more fundamental dynamics of history, glimpsing this or that incomplete moment, which we hasten to translate into the alltoo-human terms of success or failure. But neither stoic wisdom nor the reminder of a longer-term view are really satisfactory responses to this peculiar existential and epistemological dilemma, comparable to the science-fictional one of beings inhabiting a cosmos they do not have organs to perceive or identify.

Perhaps only the acknowledgement of this radical incommensurability between human existence and the dynamic of collective history and production is capable of generating new kinds of political attitudes; new kinds of political perception, as well as of political patience; and new methods for decoding the age as well, and reading the imperceptible tremors within it of an inconceivable future.

— Frederic Jameson, Valences of the Dialectic

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Wolfsschlucht

 

Milch des Mondes fiel aufs Kraut!
Uhui! Uhui!
Spinnweb’ ist mit Blut betaut!
Uhui! Uhui!
Eh’ noch wieder Abend graut –
Uhui! Uhui!
Ist sie tot, die zarte Braut!
Uhui! Uhui!
Eh’ noch wieder sinkt die Nacht,
Ist das Opfer dargebracht!
Uhui! Uhui! Uhui!

— Weber, Der Freischütz

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All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Others believe that the really distinctive forms of contemporary art and thought have made a quantum leap beyond all the diverse sensibilities of modernism, and earned the right to call themselves “post-modern”. I want to respond to these antithetical but complementary claims by reviewing the vision of modernity with which this book began. To be modern, I said, is to experience personal and social life as a maelstrom, to find one’s world and oneself in perpetual disintegration and renewal, trouble and anguish, ambiguity and contradiction: to be part of a universe in which all that is solid melts into air. To be a modernist is to make oneself somehow at home in the maelstrom, to make its rhythms one’s own, to move within its currents in search of the forms of reality, of beauty, of freedom, of justice, that its fervid and perilous flow allows.

— Marshall Berman, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

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Aufgabe der Fotografie ist die Vor- und die Nachbereitung des Krieges

 

Die Form ist in Zukunft von der Materie getrennt. In der Tat ist die Materie in sichtbaren Gegenständen nicht mehr von großem Nutzen, ausgenommen sie dient als Vorlage, nach der die Form gebildet wird. Man gebe uns ein paar Negative eines sehenswerten Gegenstandes, aus verschiedenen Perspektiven aufgenommen – mehr brauchen wir nicht. Man reiße dann das Objekt ab oder zünde es an, wenn man will. 

–Oliver Wendel Holmes

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Take the Place of an Image

‘An object is never so wedded to its name that another cannot work just as well….Sometimes the name of an object can take the place of an image.…Everything tends to make one think that there is little rapport between an object and its representation.’

— Rene Magritte

 

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Consider Three Hypotheses

 

Either information produces meaning (a negentropic factor), but cannot make up for the brutal loss of signification in every domain. Despite efforts to reinject message and content, meaning is lost and devoured faster than it can be reinjected. In this case, one must appeal to a base productivity to replace failing media. This is the whole ideology of free speech, of media broken down into innumerable individual cells of transmission, that is, into “antimedia” (pirate radio, etc.).

Or information has nothing to do with signification. It is something else, an operational model of another order, outside meaning and of the circulation of meaning strictly speaking. This is Shannon’s hypothesis: a sphere of information that is purely functional, a technical medium that does not imply any finality of meaning, and thus should also not be implicated in a value judgment. A kind of code, like the genetic code: it is what it is, it functions as it does, meaning is something else that in a sense comes after the fact, as it does for Monod in Chance and Necessity. In this case, there would simply be no significant relation between the inflation of information and the deflation of meaning.

Or, very much on the contrary, there is a rigorous and necessary correlation between the two, to the extent that information is directly destructive of meaning and signification, or that it neutralizes them. The loss of meaning is directly linked to the dissolving, dissuasive action of information, the media, and the mass media. The third hypothesis is the most interesting but flies in the face of every commonly held opinion. Everywhere socialization is measured by the exposure to media messages. Whoever is underexposed to the media is desocialized or virtually asocial. Everywhere information is thought to produce an accelerated circulation of meaning, a plus value of meaning homologous to the economic one that results from the accelerated rotation of capital. Information is thought to create communication, and even if the waste is enormous, a general consensus would have it that nevertheless, as a whole, there be an excess of meaning, which is redistributed in all the interstices of the social – just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the  credibility of our social organization would collapse. Well, the fact is that it is collapsing, and for this very reason: because where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs. Information devours its own content. It devours communication and the social.

 

 

— Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra

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What It Might Take For Humans To Continue To Exist

Deadliest shooting of FBI agents in 35 years: 2 killed, 3 wounded serving warrant. Two FBI agents were killed and three others wounded while serving a warrant in a child pornography case in Sunrise, Florida. Manuel Bojorquez reports on the investigation and how the shooter ambushed the agents.

A Doc Was Mad That People Die From Preventable Diseases. So He Wrote A Book About It Harvard professor Dr. Eugene Richardson explores colonialism’s impact on global health in Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health.

The New Alliance Shaping the Middle East Is Against a Tiny Bug.

Israeli sensors on the Persian Gulf, across the water from Iran, are part of an epic battle in the Middle East. Just not the one we’re used to.

Polish blackout protest in private media over tax plan.

Private TV channels, radio stations, websites and papers joined the action against the government.

Phoebe Bridgers wants you to know women can smash guitars too At the end of her performance of her single “I Know The End” on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, Phoebe Bridgers attempted to smash her guitar.

Britney Spears breaks silence after documentary release. Britney Spears has appeared to address a documentary about her life, saying she is “taking the time to learn and be a normal person”.

Qatari State Petroleum Giant to Construct World’s Largest LNG Project

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – State-owned oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum (QP) is set to develop the world’s largest liquefied natural gas LNG project — the North Field East Project (NFE), which is expected to boost Qatar’s LNG production volume to 110 million tonnes per year, the company said.

Man pleads guilty in 1996 murder case that led to wrongful conviction: Brian Dripps pleaded guilty to the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge, a crime for which another man served 20 years in prison.

‘Under A White Sky’ Examines What It Might Take For Humans To Continue To Exist

Elizabeth Kolbert makes clear how far we already are from a world of undisturbed, balanced nature — and how far we must go to find a new balance for the planet’s future, one that still includes us.

Pizza Party!

Do yourself a favor and take the time to prepare some pizza dough for a future dinner. Fake Covid videos ‘will cost lives’

Sima Kotecha follows the origins of a “dangerous” viral video about a false Covid-19 treatment.

Second drug kingpin arrested in Thailand tightening dragnet on huge syndicate

A second senior leader of a vast drug syndicate has been arrested, a Thai narcotics official said, as a transnational dragnet tightens on the Sam Gor group, which police say dominates the

$70 billion annual Asia Pacific drug trade.

Trump impeachment trial approved by US Senate: Former president Donald Trump will face a second impeachment trial, after the US Senate rejected Republican arguments that it would be unconstitutional.

European Commission President Issues Public Apology for Article 16 ‘Mistake’: Last month, the European Union courted controversy, even among its own member states, after triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and effectively introducing a vaccine border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

— from Spam

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