from teqqun 2 – theses on the terrible community (2001)


Everyone knows the terrible communities, whether because they’ve spent some time in them or because they’re still there. Or simply because they’re still stronger than the others, and so some of us have still partly remained in them – while at the same time being outside of them. The family, the school, work, prison – these are the classical faces of this contemporary form of hell, but they are the least interesting because they belong to a bygone depiction of commodity evolution, and are at present merely surviving on. There are some terrible communities, however, that fight against the existing state of things, and that are simultaneously quite attractive and much better than “this world.” And at the same time their way of approximating truth – and thus joy – distances them more than anything else from freedom.

The question that arises for us, in a final manner, is more of an ethical than a political nature, because the classical forms of politics are at the low water-mark, and their categories are leaving us, like the habits of childhood. The question is whether we prefer the possibility of unknown dangers to the certainty of the present misery. That is, whether we want to go on living and talking in accord (in a dissident manner, of course, but always in accord) with what has been done up to now – and thus with the terrible communities – or whether we want to really put to the test that little part of our desires that culture has still not managed to infest with its cumbersome quagmire and try to start out on a different path – in the name of a totally new kind of happiness.

This text was born as a contribution to that new journey.

Read the whole of this publication, translated from the original French, HERE.

noir désir with manu chao – le vent nous portera (2001)

I’m not scared of the road
We’ll have to see, have to taste
The weakness in our loins
And everything will be ok
The wind will carry us

Your message to Ursa Major
And the trajectory of your course
An instant of valour
Even if it’s for nothing
The wind will take it away
Everything will disappear but
The wind will carry us

The caress and the gunshot
That wound that tears us apart
The palace of the everyday
From yesterday and tomorrow
The wind will carry them

Genetics carried on the back
Chromosomes in the atmosphere
Taxis for the galaxies
And my flying carpet says
The wind will carry it off
Everything will disappear but
The wind will carry us

This perfume of our dead years
That can knock at your door
Infinity of destinies
We put some down but what do we retain?
The wind will take it away

While the tide comes in
And everyone is doing their accounts
I bring to the hollow of my shadow
A few bits of your dust
The wind will carry them
Everything will disappear but
The wind will carry us

gertrude stein – from “the mother of us all”

“Yes, but what is man, what are men, what are they? I do not say that they haven’t kind hearts, if I fall down in a faint, they will rush to pick me up, if my house is on fire, they will rush in to put the fire out and help me, yes they have kind hearts but they are afraid, afraid, they are afraid, they are afraid. They fear women, they fear each other, they fear their neighbor, they fear other countries and then they hearten themselves in their fear by crowding together and following each other, and when they crowd together and follow each other they are brutes, like animals who stampede, and so they have written in the name male into the United States constitution, because they are afraid of black men because they are afraid of women, because they are afraid afraid. Men are afraid.”

“And women.”

“Ah women often have not any sense of danger, after all a hen screams pitifully when she sees an eagle but she is only afraid for her children, men are afraid for themselves, that is the real difference between men and women.”

“But Susan B, why do you not say these things out loud?”

“I say they are afraid, but if I were to tell them so their kindness would turn to hate. Yes the Quakers are right, they are not afraid because they do not fight, they do not fight.”

“But Susan B. you fight and you are not afraid.”

“I fight and I am not afraid, I fight but I am not afraid.”

“And you will win.”

“Win what, win what?”

joan baez – be not too hard

Live 1972 cover of the Donovan song, based on a poem  by Christopher Logue.

Be not too hard for life is short
And nothing is given to man
Be not too hard when he is sold or bought
For he must manage as best he can
Be not too hard when he blindly dies
Fighting for things he does not own
Be not too hard when he tells lies
Or if his heart is sometimes like a stone
Be not too hard for soon he’ll die
Often no wiser than he began
Be not too hard for life is short
And nothing is given to man

le journal de personne – inside woman

(machine translation, with a little editing)

My name is Nobody
Listen carefully to what I say
because I pick my words on the fly
And I never repeat myself
I told you what I call myself; this settles the question of WHO
The WHERE meanwhile could easily be described as the wall of a cell of a post entitled: “Inside woman”
But there is a clear difference between ending up trapped in a narrow cell and ending up trapped in one’s own desire to settle all accounts.
WHAT is easy too: Lately I have designed and begun to implement a mechanism to take over the Internet. The most perfect break in on the planet!
but WHEN? today or maybe tomorrow.
Regarding WHY… besides the obvious motivation of exacting justice, the reason is very simple: Because I decided to.
… Which leaves us with the HOW to resolve:
To be true to myself, I would say: No comment!

Read the text in French.

the work of nan goldin

As a teenager in Boston in the 1960s, then in New York starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin has taken intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs of her family, friends, and lovers. In 1979 she presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub, and her richly colored, snapshotlike photographs were soon heralded as a groundbreaking contribution to fine art photography. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—the name she gave her ever-evolving show—eventually grew into a forty-five-minute multimedia presentation of more than 900 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack.

friedrich nietzsche on the beauty of acceptance

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

~ from Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (The Joyful Science)

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.

~ from Ecce Homo

(translations by Walter Kaufmann)

charlotte gainsbourg featuring beck – heaven can wait (director’s cut)

Director: Keith Schofield, 2010

She’s sliding, she’s sliding down to the dregs of the world
She’s fighting, she’s fighting the urge to make sand of pearls

Heaven can wait
And hell’s too far to go
Somewhere between
What you need and what you know
And they’re trying to drive the escalator into the ground

She’s hiding, she’s hiding on a battleship of baggage and bones
There’s thunder, there’s lightning and an avalanche of faces you know

Heaven can wait
And hell’s too far to go
Somewhere between
What you need and what you know
And they’re trying to drive that escalator into the ground

You left your credentials in a greyhound station
With a first aid kit and a flashlight
Going to a desert unknown

Heaven can wait
And hell’s too far to go
Somewhere between
What you need and what you know
And they’re trying to drive that escalator into the ground

ulricke lourens – reconstructed restriction 05

This is one of a series of eight videos made by Ulricke Lourens for a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. It is a focused look at the body being corsetted and the tension that occurs. The series documents the practice of waist training, exploring the notion of culture imprinted onto the body and reflected through the skin. Watch more on Ulricke’s Youtube channel.

the clock struck

My earliest childhood memory is of my second birthday.

It’s a sunny winter afternoon. The dry grass smells stubbly and brown. The pelargoniums smell interesting too. I know what they are called because Nana always shouts at me when I pick the glowing red flowers. The slasto paving is warm and there are stripy lizards that scuttle away.

Mommy has made me a Hickory Dickory Dock cake, and set it on the outside table (which is white moulded asbestos/concrete in the shape of a faux slice through a tree trunk…I remember this well because it was around for several years). Standing next to the table, I am only able to see the side of the cake. Pink and white marshmallows encircle it, magically turned into mice with little cardboard ears and liquorice bootlace tails, and when I am picked up to blow out the candles, the clock’s face on top of the cake is made from liquorice too, and glacé cherries. The liquorice doesn’t taste very nice. I like the cherries.

Yes please, thank you very much, Nana. I say it after her because if I don’t she won’t give me what I want. Don’t put your feet on the table. No. That’s very naughty. If you do it again Nana will smack you. The threat makes me dissolve into tears. The frustration! I’m learning about manners. Manners are annoying.

I feel very big. I have a brand new baby sister, a month and a bit old. She is in a navy blue vinyl pram nearby. If I pull myself up on the side of it, I can juuust see over into her tiny, swaddled world.

Pelargoniums. Photo by Rosemary Lombard

hildegard von bingen – o euchari (1161)

you walked blithely when you stayed
with the Son of God,
touching him, watching
his miracle-working.

You loved him with a perfect love
when terror fell on your friends —
who being human had no
strength to bear the brightness
of the good.

But you — in the blaze of utmost love —
drew him to your heart
when you gathered the sheaves
of his precepts.

when the Word of God possessed you
in the blaze of the dove,
when the sun rose in your spirit,
you founded a church in your bliss.

Daylight shimmers in your heart
where three tabernacles stand
on a marble pillar
in the city of God.

In your preaching Ecclesia
savors old wine with new —
a chalice twice hallowed.

And in your teaching Ecclesia
argued with such force
that her shout rang over the mountains,
that the hills and the woods might bow
to suck her breasts.

Pray for this company now,
pray with resounding voice
that we forsake not Christ
in his sacred rites,
but become before his altar
a living sacrifice.

Translated by Barbara Newman

Comment from the maker of the video: “This piece was influenced by cubist works of circus and theatrical subjects in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art in Madrid. It is also influenced by stained glass work I saw at the Theatre of Glass in Bath. The original piece is much more beautiful because of the larger file size.
The kinetic version of this piece is set against Hildegard von Bingens O Euchari (1161) sung by Emma Kirkby and Gothic Voices.”

~ D Lewis Baker

yes yes by charles bukowski

when God created love he didn’t help most
when God created dogs He didn’t help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low

when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountains and the sea and fire at the same time

He made some mistakes
but when He created you lying in bed
He came all over His Blessed Universe.