Headmap

Back when we were doing our social media thing in Tokyo, Caroline introduced me to her friend Ben Russell, who ran a rather excellent site/publication (this was pre-blog) called Headmap, devoted to locative tech and its phenomenology. Lovely stuff. I only met Ben once, when we spent a day walking …

vessels

things built from nothing; crowds, objects themselves. things made from mirrors; light locked. or, one of Cid Corman’s: What’s heaped too high spills Emptiness just fills.

love will tear us apart

… the individual crackling surfaces of analog media in their instantiation — ‘my’ copy of that 12” single vs ‘yours’. Installation proposal: ‘love will tear us apart’: an archive of the different surface noise on once-lovers’ separately-purchased copies of once-shared albums, made by subtracting the signal common to both copies, leaving only the remaining patina, unique to each disc…

Glitch

Indescribably beautiful glitch on my music server tonight, randomly time- and pitch-shifting parts of tracks as they playback. A reboot cured it, but seemed completely appropriate for a day when that idiot and by extension his wranglers ended up still in place, perverting the world…

(pre)occupations

Tools sink into extended being: it takes craft and intent to keep them visible. I’m wondering if there’s some connection with Shklovsky’s thoughts on art: that art exists to make perception difficult. Is art, amongst the other things it is, what makes us aware of what is the kernel of us, minus our embedded tools, yet through their use in its creation? Is that some of what art does, and how? Ink that in five lines becomes a bunch of nettles, in the night points one step north; where the colour of water gets over the road, over the pearl …

Haptic

From a posting on the Freecooperation listserv today: >Do you believe in the haptic potential of new technologies? You touch your keyboard don’t you? Some linguistics: ‘hap’ in Dutch means to ‘have a bit’ or ‘to bite’. hap hap they say to their children who do not want to eat their overcooked broccoli.

Zeitgeist – ‘New England’

There’s a generation now, here on the island, which grew up entre deux guerre, as there was in the 1930s: after the Cold War, and before the Pervasive War, looking for a new way out of the old years. Towards the end of the 20th century — sold New Labour, sold Cool Britannia. Pop culture. Y2K the biggest fear. Borrowed cool (and not just the Wallpaper* elite). But the Millennium didn’t end the 20th century, any more than January 1 1900 was the start of it. C20 got off to either a very early start (Alan Moore’s take on Jack …

Petrescence

Agricola, the seventeenth-century metallurgist […] spoke of a juice (succus) that was a stone-forming spirit (lapidificus spiritus). Robert Boyle, one of the founders of modern chemistry, called it a “petrescent liquor,” from the Latin word petra, rock; and he thought there might be special juices for metals and other minerals […] There were moments in the sevententh century when no one could admit that fossils might be the records of animals that lived before Biblical creation […] It was supposed that “stone marrow” (merga) “dissolved and percolated” through the earth, sometimes forming bone shapes and other fossils. Alternatively, people thought …