Expression and Communication


“It is not much use having a perfect means of communication if you have nothing to communicate except the relative positions of bodies in space-or if you will never again have anything new to communicate. In the same way it is not much use expressing your_ self very fully and perfectly indeed-if nobody can understand a word you are saying.” Owen Barfield

Rules and Art


I am listening to this great lecture by Pat Lipsky – I participate in her painting class at the Arts Students League.

Anyway – why is art with shock value more popular today than art that is beautiful.

One thought is taste, i would really call this an epistemological issue – that people don’t know what beautiful is. I’m not say I do – but that there is something call beautiful and it involves knowledge and its hard to know.

What I think is this… In the lecture Pat I think quotes Kant “Genius is a talent for reproducing that for which there are no definite rules”

So somewhere people got confused. Art became about breaking rules rather than about doing something that has no rules.

And that my friends is what shock art is

thank you for reading

to quote Rousseau – “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”

also there is freeportism – art is a form of exchange

Modular sound


Today I received the Teenage Engineering newsletter with the following clip

It is called a scientific study in modular sound. The modular sound is the yellow module. I really think the live drumming is critical. I enjoy looking at the landscape but cannot imagine the location impacts the acoustics well since there is no place for the sound to reverb off – but maybe that is the point.

What is the point of the study? What are we testing? I am not sure.

Modular sound, is a play on modular synths. Modular synthesizers are synthesizers that do specific things, like low band pass filters. You string the different synths together to create a sound.

What is a module of sound. How do we string sounds together?

Music Generation & I have no idea what I want to write about


Sometimes I dont know what to write until I start writing. That is sort of irritating. I would like to imagine that I have an idea of what I want to express first and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. But as I start writing now I realize I do have something to express. WOW!

Sometimes I also dont know how to respond to people and how to have conversations and I get anxious and then I really dont know what to express – this sort of sucks. I feel pressure I feel fear and then whatever comes out of my mouth is banal and I feel like an idiot. All this

Right now as I started writing I thought of the generative music project I am working on. 100 years ago when I was dewey and 24 – I worked on a collaboration with amazing women on musical robots – dbots. These were robots made out of cell phones and they played a generative dtmf song – it was amazing.

What is good generative music? I am workin on something now with Stephen Williams

Have a listen – what famous classical piece do you think this is based on?

Walter Benjamin and the Ideology of Realism


I keep seeing Walter Benjamin references, so I figured I ought to pay attention.

This morning I was reading Doraslity. I have been attempting to read it for years. I noticed one synchronicity, chapter 2 is about Broch’s Death of Vergil ,which I talk about a few posts back. This is a pretty synchronicity. The book then went all to talk about exodus and some other things that I was not captivated by, but I regained interest with a discussion of cinema and Benjamin’s concept of the Aura.

So Benjamin says mass reproduction politicizes art, before art was ritualistic. What is the difference between ritual and politics? I mean there is a difference, but both are about the exercise of power. Ritual comes from the latin ritualis, and perhaps from the sanskrit ṛtá: A proven way of doing something, an order. Politics is greek from polis – city, and is about the governance of the city – We could say politics is about the rituals of the city or how to order a city… it is a specific case of ritual.

To move art from ritual to politics is to reduce the scope of art.

we can also imagine that what mass reproduction does is reproduce ritual, reproduce art as ritual. So it is not really art. If there is a bowl of fruit, or a human being – that itself is not necessarily art, when I paint it – perhaps it becomes art – at least I am attempting to make art. If I take a photo of that same still life or human is that photograph- which is mechanically reproduced – art?

There is some sort of gap. I am finding a more literary word – but that is what it is a gap.

A painting of a still life is a ritual – a photograph of a still life is not a ritual.

My grandfather was a photographer. I remember long boring afternoons posing for photos with lights and who knows what – it was super boring – it took me years to actually like photography at all. That was a ritual – the posing for the image. The setting the stage. The staging of the piece.

The snap of the camera breaks the ritual in some way.

Ritual is about a melding of worlds, of the symbolic and the literal. A camera or any sort of mechanical reproduction – athough enjoyable, entertaining, a source information and education, does not meld worlds – it reduces and collapses all words to the literal. It is Map Reduce (Hi computer nerds- my people).



I have a book of poetry that I am really late on delivering…. I totally lost my way… but I think I am finding it again.

It is called Via: and in it there are three books in the book: book of locks, book of gates, and book of keys.

I keep knowing what the poetry is about and then feel – oh no I have to rewrite it.. Is it about the phases of the moon, Inanna, the maya stone writing look like keys?? I have started thinking that perhaps this book is a sequence there will be a Via I, II, III, and different keys gates and locks. This is actually exciting to me and makes me think of B.P. Nichol, my favorite poet, and Martyrology, even though there is really not a simple correspondance.

For me this poem is a somatic poem. I call them splenic, because they work on your organs (like the spleen), they come from my organs (I hope). This morning I had a reading and this incredible actor and poet and artist read the poem and certain parts gave me shivers, or sweats, or my heart pounded. I had a physiological response. My spleen was reacting. My emotions not so much, no tears in the writer or reader sadly. But thats not really what I am after, or at least that is not what I am writing or feeling moved to write.

How does change happen? We move our legs, our mouths, our fingers and things change. I am writing this with my hands, my hands are moving and i am writing this, and I am changing, and maybe you reading this, are changing. I can have an emotion or a thought, but eventually to change something, I must do act.

I totally had a point when I started writing this… Ah yes…keys

So this week I had another idea for this collection… keys in guidebooks. I have recently started studying to become an herbologist – I really know how to do a midlife crisis – I am aces at that. During my training I had a revelation, you have to learn how to use a fieldguide, they have a key that you need in order to use the book. I just thought you take the book and go out and just try and match leaves or stuff… NOPE! I sort of became obsessed with different keys of different fieldguides and how to use them — here is scat! What if the book of keys is the key to the other part of the book – like a fieldguide… well I will leave that to VIA5. My diviner told me VIA I is done 🙂

Writing Group


Met with the most special poetry group last night

Read this and this and

and wrote this

Another Key Piece

What does concealer mean?
What does chairperson mean?
What does nonconformist mean?

I am trying to talk about POETRY!
Stop bothering me about homework – kid!

On Wikipedia
“A concealer or color corrector is a type of cosmetic that is used to mask dark circles, age spots, large pores, and other small blemishes visible on the skin.”

All words are the same on the computer
Really all letters are the same
Really none of that is true.

You can use different fonts
You can also combine letters in different ways and that’s different

It is so easy for me to create a letter
I just press a key
What do I feel when I write an a?
It really feels the same as writing a j
Writing a solon feels different because
Two fingers

Its good I am good with my hands because
My eyesight is failing
I am so very happy I did not have to read the text on corsets because I could not read the text
Even though there was really nothing there I did not know
Because all letters are the same

Words I use a lot include: you and because and the
Maybe I should use some other more poetic words
Flowers dream fragrances
That’s all I got

This piece ran away from me
I intended to write about correspondences
not letters

A correspondence can actually help you
It can help you select what tool to handle

So like Mondays correspond to pink, the sycamore tree, the letter U, the font Bodoni, and the Manual definition:”to be wielded by another, to be wielded on a whim.”

Manuals are hard to read so sometimes you need a key

Hand of God

Rodin – Hand of God (Met)

This is Rodin’s Hand of God. I saw it at the Met yesterday. I was wandering the hall where a number of Rodin’s small marble sculptures rested, like Orpheus and Eurydice.

Orpheus and Eurydice, Auguste Rodin (French, Paris 1840–1917 Meudon), Marble, French, Paris
Orpheus and Eurydice

It is so tender so delicate.

It reminds me of cave painting or carving something in situ (like the Bamiyan Buddhas).. like this is a study for that site specific piece – that art has location – it has a domus like the stars have a house. This can be the aura of the original art work – that the art work loses in mass reproduction (Bejamin)

I knew immediately that this second sculpture was Orpheus and Eurydice from the hand over the eye – and the hand of god reminded me of Michelangelo’s sistine chapel.

These are stories, narrative- things that my paintings currently lack. I see objects -these delicately carved shapes, the play of light and shadow, and it is beautiful. But then I recall the story and I am delighted… is that my ego. Is narrative an ego addiction?

Poetry Deep Dive


First – read this

Now – read this:

Last night I read a poem before bed.

It was sadly not an erotic poem – but alas – it was still enjoyable.

It was Rain by FRANCIS PONGE. This was not the translation I read, but it is the first translation duck duck go gave me.

I am meditating with rosemary this month, and the natural world is on my mind. I am working on a crypto currency climate project, I am in a climate eco reading group and I love the world.

Today it rained. I will not say that I caused the rain by reading the poem rain – but I will not say I did not not cause the rain.

When I read this poem, in english, my mind goes wild with cognitive bias, with things like Da Vinci’s writings on water and the movement of water, with the fourth phase of water, with Dr Emoto and blessing water, the role of water via Schwenk and Sensitive Chaos, and I spiral out…

Lets stick to the poem!

"The rain, in the backyard where I watch it fall, comes down at different rates. In the center a fine discontinuous curtain — or network — falls implacably and yet gently in drops that are probably quite light; a strengthless sempiternal precipitation, an intense fraction of the atmosphere at its purest"

This is the poetry of the physicist, of the natural scientist. It is materialist informed metaphysics.

A curtain is discontinuous.. I imagine a beaded curtain from a 60s room with a lava lamp, not a decadent sumptuous velvet curtain from Oscar Wilde’s boudoir.

This rain is a network, a loaded word in our internet age. It is a new metaphor. What would poets of the past have said. Did they know about networks?

I hear the gentle drops, the plunks, the patter, the glug glug of the gutters. This piece Ponge called a proem – somewhere between prose and poem – the rhythm we normally associate with a poem finds itself in these onomatopoeia. There is an embodiment that rhythm always signifies for me. Our main rhythm is our heart beat. Here the rain has its own body, its own heart beat its own rhythm.

“Each of its forms has its particular allure and corresponds to a particular patter.”

There is movement, as the rain moves through the scene. It is such a scene of dynamism and movement, a concert. But then this complexity evaporates with the sum.

I love the deep dive into this ephemerial natural happening rendering a familiar scene unfamiliar and enchanting.

Fan Fiction


I am reading The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch. I have had this book for like 20 years, but only now have started reading it… very very slowly.

It is delicious. Broch was born in Austria, a Jew, and left during Hitler’s rise to power. The language reminds me Musil, and there is a quality of the book that is very opulent – twilight of the austro-hungarian empire.

I generally am not attracted to rich language, I prefer simple language, but maybe my taste is changing.

The book is an imaginative reconstruction of the last hours of Virgil’s life. Virgil was the poet of the early roman empire, and he wrote the Aeneid, we can call this the founding myth of the Roman empire – and it was commissioned by the first Roman Emperor Augustus. I actually read the Aeneid when I studied Latin, and it is beautiful and rich. This is Aeneid fan fiction.

The Aeneid, when I first read it, seemed to be Homeric fan fiction. Homer’s Illiad, Is the story of war between the greeks and the trojans. The Aeneid, follows the trojans (who lost the war), and their escape and eventual re-emergence of the founders of Rome.

As I started reading the Death of Virgil, I felt that there was something inauthentic or unimaginative. Was I reading fan fiction? But fan fiction is big these days, apart from fan fiction of like LOTR and sailor moon, we have alternate tellings of the love between Achilles and patroclus (The Song of Achilles), we have Hamnet, and so forth. That a book like the Song of Achilles is so popular means that a book like The death of virgil could also find appeal.

I am also reading Joseph and his brothers – a massive tomb by Thomas Mann – that could be called biblical fan fiction.

Is everything fan fiction? Are any stories new? What stories appeal to who? What stories generate the most fan fiction?

The Death of Virgil is about empire and propaganda

The Song of Apollo is about Queerness

We are retelling the old stories from new perspectives and orientations

Even the series ‘what if’ is sort of like this – with the Marvel universe. It is alternate story lines.

Really we are grasping for new stories – we are grasping for a story that can be many stories – The story of today is the story of the individual – not the monolithic story

One thing I am interested in is mapping characters from different stories. telling stories no only from new perspectives but new framing.