Monthly Archives: June 2010

holey space

The Timna Valley in the Negev Desert of southern Israel is the site of the oldest Chalcolithic mines – humanity’s earliest source of copper, which have been actively mined since the 6th millennium BCE. Into the soft sandstone the miners have followed the veins or seams of malachite, creating a hominid-scale porosity. Between the image from Eisenstein’s Strike and of Sierpinski’s sponge, the Timna mines as a production of a metallurgist population visualize holey space in a way that signifies a remarkable relationship between the Homo sapien population and the Earth.

1. The interaction of the tectonic system and urbanization system (including the origins of settlements, towns, cities).
1a. Many of the earliest cities were built near fault line; half of the 21st century’s megacities are near earthquake zones.
1b. Plate boundaries and fault lines make mineral resources accessible.
2. Metallurgy as a historical event utilizes two of the most characteristic human abilities.
2a. Toolmaking, using, and invention (including weapons).
2b. Language, and transfer or communication of techniques between people(s).
3. The technical phylum, the spatiotemporal distribution of techniques represents the history of the meaning of being (like the Danube River of The Ister) insofar as technical processes and objects determine the temporality of humanity.

The human endoskeleton was one of the many products of that ancient mineralization. Yet that is not the only geological infiltration that the human species has undergone. About eight thousand years ago, human populations began mineralizing again when they developed an urban exoskeleton: bricks of sun-dried clay became the building materials for their homes, which in turn surrounded and were surrounded by stone monuments and defensive walls. This exoskeleton served a purpose similar to its internal counterpart: to control the movement of human flesh in and out of a town’s walls. The urban exoskeleton also regulated the motion of many other things: luxury objects, news, and food, for example. In particular, the weekly markets that have always existed at the heart of most cities and towns constituted veritable motors, periodically concentrating people and goods from near and faraway regions and then setting them into motion again, along a variety of trade circuits. —Delanda. A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History. p27.

“Behind them they left the emptied rock, its galleries hollowed out in every direction, its sculptured, chiseled walls, its natural or artificial pillars turned into a deep lacework with ten thousand horrible or charming figures.. . . Here man confesses unresistingly his strength and his nothingness. He does not exact the affirmation of a determined ideal from form…. He extracts it rough from formlessness, according to the dictates of the formless. He utilizes the indentations and accidents of the rock.” Metallurgical India. Transpierce the mountains instead of scaling them, excavate the land instead of striating it, bore holes in space instead of keeping it smooth, turn the earth into swiss cheese. An image from the film Strike [by Eisenstein] presents a holey space where a disturbing group of people are rising, each emerging from his or her hole as if from a field mined in all directions. The sign of Cain is the corporeal and affective sign of the subsoil, passing through both the striated land of sedentary space and the nomadic ground {sot) of smooth space without stopping at either one, the vagabond sign of itinerancy, the double theft and double betrayal of the metallurgist, who shuns agriculture at the same time as animal raising. Must we reserve the name Cainite for these metallurgical peoples who haunt the depths of History? —Deleuze & Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. p413.

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partiels

On 2010/06/05 at the Merit School of Music’s Gottlieb Hall ensemble dal niente performed Gerard Grisey‘s Partiels (1975) from his Les Espaces Acoustiques.

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ectoplasm

ectoplasm |ˈektəˌplazəm|
noun
1 Biology the more viscous, clear outer layer of the cytoplasm in ameboid cells. Compare with endoplasm.
2 a supernatural viscous substance that is supposed to exude from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and form the material for the manifestation of spirits. —Oxford American Dictionaries.

ÉLAN VITAL (‘vital impulse’) One of the most notorious, and misunderstood, of all philosophical concepts, élan vital is invariably cited by both scientists and philosophers who wish to dismiss Bergson as a mere metaphysician or as an outmoded vitalist. But Bergson himself is explicitly critical of naive vitalism, is adamant that metaphysics can be of value to science and argues that élan vital is a notion derived from actual experience. In Creative Evolution, Bergson demonstrates that reductive, mechanistic, science is unable to account for the movement of evolution. The notion of élan vital designates those aspects of life and the movement of evolution which are irreducible to mechanistic explanation. Among these are the tendency of evolution towards greater complexity and the indivisibility of the whole organism, expressed in the co-ordination of its parts, which contributes to the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental changes. But the most significant stems from Bergson’s account of duration. If evolution could be explained by mechanism, then, Bergson argues, the forms adopted by life in the future could be deduced according to the principle of mechanistic determinism. However, to the extent that duration is the ‘essential attribute of life’, such forms are unpredictable in the strict sense, just as, in time, the future cannot be predicted on the basis of the past or present. In the final analysis, therefore, élan vital is the mark of the irreducible temporality of life, and hence of evolution, and thus designates the fundamental creativity of both life and evolution. —R. Durie

élan vital is supposedly signifies at least five phenomena:
1. the co-ordination of the organism’s parts
2. how life is counterposed to matter
eg. speciation’s diachronic aspect (adaptation) as distinct from its synchronic aspect (ramification)
3. the commonality of all life being an original impulse (repetition) and not some alleged common goal (perfection)
4. the discord arising within life as a whole expressed in conflict between species, eg. biological competition
5. how life endures, creating the path it travels over

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artists of the week lost

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making special

DOMESTIC HEDGEHOG DOCUMENTED WITH CELLPHONE, 2010

Installation

the joggingHomo Aestheticus

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