Archived entries for bodyspacemotionthings

Theo Angelopoulos I: La eternidad y un día (autobús)

Spatial Poems by Shiomi Mieko

Spatial Poem No. 1

“Starting in 1965, Shiomi Mieko conducted a series of nine events that she called Spatial Poems. Each one began with an invitation to a large number of friends and colleagues to respond to a simple instruction, which often took the form of an intimate action poem that anyone could perform. The responses she received in the mail would then constitute the work. In 1975, Shiomi published a booklet documenting the nine Spatial Poems and including a collection of responses to each of these works. The accumulated responses give a glimpse of the wide network of artists who were connected through Fluxus activities, from those engaged in the eclectic arts and letters scene in New York City’s downtown to artists located in Tokyo, Łódź, Montevideo, and New Delhi.”

via Spatial Poems by Shiomi Mieko & Kayla Anderson



John Sloan: bonfire


Thomas Hardy’s bonfire nightscape

Belfast Bonfires

“Had a looker-on been posted in the immediate vicinity of the barrow, he would have learned that these persons were boys and men of the neighbouring hamlets. Each, as he ascended the barrow, had been heavily laden with furze faggots, carried upon the shoulder by means of a long stake sharpened at each end for impaling them easily—two in front and two behind. They came from a part of the heath a quarter of a mile to the rear, where furze almost exclusively prevailed as a product.

Every individual was so involved in furze by his method of carrying the faggots that he appeared like a bush on legs till he had thrown them down. The party had marched in trail, like a travelling flock of sheep; that is to say, the strongest first, the weak and young behind.

The loads were all laid together, and a pyramid of furze thirty feet in circumference now occupied the crown of the tumulus, which was known as Rainbarrow for many miles round. Some made themselves busy with matches, and in selecting the driest tufts of furze, others in loosening the bramble bonds which held the faggots together. Others, again, while this was in progress, lifted their eyes and swept the vast expanse of country commanded by their position, now lying nearly obliterated by shade. In the valleys of the heath nothing save its own wild face was visible at any time of day; but this spot commanded a horizon enclosing a tract of far extent, and in many cases lying beyond the heath country. None of its features could be seen now, but the whole made itself felt as a vague stretch of remoteness.

While the men and lads were building the pile, a change took place in the mass of shade which denoted the distant landscape. Red suns and tufts of fire one by one began to arise, flecking the whole country round. They were the bonfires of other parishes and hamlets that were engaged in the same sort of commemoration. Some were distant, and stood in a dense atmosphere, so that bundles of pale straw-like beams radiated around them in the shape of a fan. Some were large and near, glowing scarlet-red from the shade, like wounds in a black hide. Some were Maenades, with winy faces and blown hair. These tinctured the silent bosom of the clouds above them and lit up their ephemeral caves, which seemed thenceforth to become scalding caldrons. Perhaps as many as thirty bonfires could be counted within the whole bounds of the district; and as the hour may be told on a clock-face when the figures themselves are invisible, so did the men recognize the locality of each fire by its angle and direction, though nothing of the scenery could be viewed.
The first tall flame from Rainbarrow sprang into the sky, attracting all eyes that had been fixed on the distant conflagrations back to their own attempt in the same kind. The cheerful blaze streaked the inner surface of the human circle—now increased by other stragglers, male and female—with its own gold livery, and even overlaid the dark turf around with a lively luminousness, which softened off into obscurity where the barrow rounded downwards out of sight. It showed the barrow to be the segment of a globe, as perfect as on the day when it was thrown up, even the little ditch remaining from which the earth was dug. Not a plough had ever disturbed a grain of that stubborn soil. In the heath’s barrenness to the farmer lay its fertility to the historian. There had been no obliteration, because there had been no tending.

It seemed as if the bonfire-makers were standing in some radiant upper story of the world, detached from and independent of the dark stretches below. The heath down there was now a vast abyss, and no longer a continuation of what they stood on; for their eyes, adapted to the blaze, could see nothing of the deeps beyond its influence. Occasionally, it is true, a more vigorous flare than usual from their faggots sent darting lights like aides-de-camp down the inclines to some distant bush, pool, or patch of white sand, kindling these to replies of the same colour, till all was lost in darkness again. Then the whole black phenomenon beneath represented Limbo as viewed from the brink by the sublime Florentine in his vision, and the muttered articulations of the wind in the hollows were as complaints and petitions from the “souls of mighty worth” suspended therein.
It was as if these men and boys had suddenly dived into past ages, and fetched therefrom an hour and deed which had before been familiar with this spot. The ashes of the original British pyre which blazed from that summit lay fresh and undisturbed in the barrow beneath their tread. The flames from funeral piles long ago kindled there had shone down upon the lowlands as these were shining now. Festival fires to Thor and Woden had followed on the same ground and duly had their day. Indeed, it is pretty well known that such blazes as this the heathmen were now enjoying are rather the lineal descendants from jumbled Druidical rites and Saxon ceremonies than the invention of popular feeling about Gunpowder Plot.

Moreover to light a fire is the instinctive and resistant act of man when, at the winter ingress, the curfew is sounded throughout Nature. It indicates a spontaneous, Promethean rebelliousness against that fiat that this recurrent season shall bring foul times, cold darkness, misery and death. Black chaos comes, and the fettered gods of the earth say, Let there be light.

The brilliant lights and sooty shades which struggled upon the skin and clothes of the persons standing round caused their lineaments and general contours to be drawn with Dureresque vigour and dash. Yet the permanent moral expression of each face it was impossible to discover, for as the nimble flames towered, nodded, and swooped through the surrounding air, the blots of shade and flakes of light upon the countenances of the group changed shape and position endlessly. All was unstable; quivering as leaves, evanescent as lightning. Shadowy eye-sockets, deep as those of a death’s head, suddenly turned into pits of lustre: a lantern-jaw was cavernous, then it was shining; wrinkles were emphasized to ravines, or obliterated entirely by a changed ray. Nostrils were dark wells; sinews in old necks were gilt mouldings; things with no particular polish on them were glazed; bright objects, such as the tip of a furze-hook one of the men carried, were as glass; eyeballs glowed like little lanterns. Those whom Nature had depicted as merely quaint became grotesque, the grotesque became preternatural; for all was in extremity.”

Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native

Ugo La Pietra


“La teoria del “Sistema Disequilibrante” applicata dal “segno” fino all’intervento urbano si colloca in una dimensione storica sufficientemente comprensibile: il rifiuto di operare nella logica del sistema e quindi l’individuazione di operazioni estetiche capaci di decodificare, provocare, dare la possibilità di rompere gli schemi precostituiti.” via

Ugo La Pietra_Commutatore -Per oggi basta



“Creía en todo lo que ella me decía. Me quedó grabada la masa informe de don Achille que corre por galerías subterráneas con los brazos colgando, sosteniendo entre los gruesos dedos la cabeza de Nu con una mano y la de Tina con la otra. Sufrí mucho. Me dio la fiebre del crecimiento, me recuperé, volví a enfermar. Padecí una especie de disfunción táctil, a veces tenía la impresión de que, mientras todos los seres animados a mi alrededor aceleraban sus ritmos de vida, cuando yo tocaba las superficies sólidas se volvían blancas o se hinchaban dejando espacios vacíos entre su masa interna y la capa superficial. Cuando me palpaba el cuerpo tenía la impresión de que estaba tumefacto y eso me entristecía. Estaba segura de tener mejillas como globos, manos rellenas de serrín, lóbulos de las orejas como serbas maduras, pies en forma de hogazas de pan. Cuando pisé otra vez la calle y volví a ir a la escuela, sentí que el espacio también había cambiado. Parecía encadenado entre dos polos oscuros, por un extremo estaba la burbuja de aire subterráneo que presionaba desde las raíces de las casas, la siniestra caverna en la que habían caído las muñecas; por el otro estaba el globo allá en lo alto, en el cuarto piso del edificio donde vivía don Achille, que nos las había robado. Los dos balones estaban como atornillados en la punta de una barra de hierro que, en mi imaginación, cruzaba oblicuamente los apartamentos, las calles, el campo, los túneles, las vías, y los compactaba. Me sentía aprisionada dentro de aquella mordaza junto con la masa de cosas y personas de cada día, y tenía mal sabor de boca, una permanente sensación de náusea que me consumía, como si todo, así comprimido, siempre más apretado, me triturara y me convirtiera en una crema repugnante.”

Elena Ferrante, La amiga estupenda


“Esa primera vez, encontré a Perkus Tooth sumido en uno de esos estados de ánimo que yo pronto aprendería a llamar “elipsistas”. El propio Perkus Tooth aportaría más tarde esa palabra tan descriptiva: elipsista, derivado de elipsis. Una especie de intervalo vacío, una cabezada o fuga en la que no estaba ni deprimido ni todo lo contrario, ni luchando por concluir un pensamiento ni tratando de comenzar otro. Simplemente, en medio. Con el botón de pausa apretado.”

Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City (10)

Despising agency

This means that we decline to answer the general question of whether entities like trees have ‘agency’ and are capable of normative or political action ‘in and of themselves’. Instead, we consider material participation as a specific mode of engagement, which can be distinguished by the fact that it deliberately deploys its surroundings, however widely these must be defined, and entails a particular division of roles among the entities involved – things, people, issues, settings, technologies, institutions and so on. Rather than concentrating on a secular version of the metaphysical question about causality – do non-humans have agency? – we then consider material participation as a specific phenomenon, in the enactment of which a range of entities all have roles to play.” Noortje Marres in Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics.

…But this enactment is the materialization/actualization of a certain configuration of potentials, of agencies. If we despise that fact, if we decide not to go into that, we are turning a constant process of reconfiguration into a frozen final state. Reifying what is essentially processual.

Brassai: wall, body, action… space

Brassai Graffiti

L’espace commun est la trace de l’un dans l’autre

Les tentatives de Deligny, celles des Cévennes après celle d’Armentières, de la Grande Cordée, de La Borde, montrent que l’être-ensemble n’est pas le résultat d’une négociation, un objectif à poursuivre, par rapport auquel on va toujours trouver l’autre en défaut, et dans les derniers choix de Deligny dans un défaut radical, mais un être-là qu’on organise, qu’on constitue comme hypothèse de tous les petits outillages qu’on se donne pour le mettre en œuvre. Dans cet être-là, être-ensemble, il n’y a aucune réciprocité exigible a priori de l’autre seulement, aucune condition. L’être-là humain est une inconditionnalité, sans appartenance, mais capable d’alliance au sein du réseau. L’espace est fait de tourbillons pour l’un et de technologies de vision pour l’autre, et l’espace commun est la trace de l’un dans l’autre, la condition de l’accueil de l’un par l’autre, de la vie en commun, de la constitution du réseau. Leur société n’est pas transparente, ni à eux, ni aux autres ; les visions, les pratiques communes sont partielles, au sein du nous dans lequel évolue le réseau.

via Fernand Deligny, imager le commun
Anne Querrien dans multitudes

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