i’m never really here
never really not here
this is the in-between
where we un-appear
in the web of day to day
it’s the back alleyway
that sucks us in
mind that gap, gal, you say,
it’s no zero-sum game.
it’s a dirty crack habit
but i’m not paying, pal!
i’m chasing that rabbit
i’m hunting that quark
i’m ripping, unzipping
tumbling through the dark
i’m pulled, i’m polluted
the vertigo’s heady
the jostling vacuum
blaring and unsteady
warrens of voids
have i seen this already?
uh-huh, it’s not pretty
these blown-up dead pixels
no taste, so not witty
they stink like nothing
i’m always here, not-here
it’s off with me ’ead
when bored, i bore deeper
through holes yet unread
i need more; drop a fresh tab
hop a window
and i tiptoe
past the daemon
with a keygen
while it snores
unlock the door
another tube flickr-ing
there’s no revelation
there’s no revolution
and too many shares
i spin rumpelstiltskins’
straw dogs into gold
using worm-riddled troll jam
i scavenge ‘twixt threads
i needle this grey gunk
i snip it to shreds
i bump and i juggle
grind bones badly bred
i flip and i giggle
i slough off my shame
i slurp it up, spew it out
flooding the drain
logged in or logged out
i have no real name
if I do it is M.U.D.
and i’m out of my death
and where is my body?
my own flesh and blood
it sleeps with the ‘fiches
not holding its breath
see, it doesn’t do digital
it keeps crashing
so it’s chained to the terminal
wired to the grid
with a stay of execution
logged on or logged off
the haunted dimension
buzzes in my marrow
drowns out my dreams
howls me back
out of bed
out of the car
out of the street
from the supermarket
from the sunset
in a stupor
on my phone
into my inbox
unto my outbox
onto the blog
*welcome to [UR(hel)L]*
you can’t turn off a never-present stranger.
Live non-verbal improvisation performed in absolute darkness, interacting with a cellphone recording from the day before, at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.
“It’s not easy to improvise… It’s the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one’s place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already pre-programmed. It’s already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can’t say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it’s impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it’s what I will see, no, I won’t see it. It’s for others to see. The one who is improvised here… no, I won’t ever see him.”
— Jacques Derrida, unpublished interview, 1982, reproduced in David Toop’s Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970, Bloomsbury, 2016, pg 21.
Gonna get otherworldly at The Window tonight with these creatures, and many others. Darkness and light @TheatreArtsAdminCollective, Methodist Church, cnr Wesley & Milton Rds, Observatory. The portal opens at 7:30.
Wonderful, as always.
‘Like many a critical humanist before him, from Michel de Montaigne to Jonathan Swift, Calvino seems to wonder if our best intellectual efforts, even the sciences, fall subject to “the foibles and fancies of humans,” and to the askew narrative logic of folklore.’ I found this wonderful thing via Open Culture. I had to go and find the story on which the animation is based, and when I did, I had to share it with you, at new moon.
The Distance of the Moon
At one time, according to Sir George H. Darwin, the Moon was very close to the Earth. Then the tides gradually pushed her far away: the tides that the Moon herself causes in the Earth’s waters, where the Earth slowly loses energy.
How well I know! — old Qfwfq cried,– the rest of you can’t remember, but I can. We had her on top of us all the time, that enormous Moon: when she was full — nights as bright as day, but with a butter-colored light — it looked as if she were going to crush us; when she was new, she rolled around the sky like a black umbrella blown by the wind; and when she was waxing, she came forward with her horns so low she seemed about to stick into the peak of a promontory and get caught there. But the whole business of the Moon’s phases worked in a different way then: because the distances from the Sun were different, and the orbits, and the angle of something or other, I forget what; as for eclipses, with Earth and Moon stuck together the way they were, why, we had eclipses every minute: naturally, those two big monsters managed to put each other in the shade constantly, first one, then the other.
Orbit? Oh, elliptical, of course: for a while it would huddle against us and then it would take flight for a while. The tides, when the Moon swung closer, rose so high nobody could hold them back. There were nights when the Moon was full and very, very low, and the tide was so high that the Moon missed a ducking in the sea by a hair’s breadth; well, let’s say a few yards anyway. Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did. All you had to do was row out to it in a boat and, when you were underneath, prop a ladder against her and scramble up.
The spot where the Moon was lowest, as she went by, was off the Zinc Cliffs. We used to go out with those little rowboats they had in those days, round and flat, made of cork. They held quite a few of us: me, Captain Vhd Vhd, his wife, my deaf cousin, and sometimes little Xlthlx — she was twelve or so at that time. On those nights the water was very calm, so silvery it looked like mercury, and the fish in it, violet-colored, unable to resist the Moon’s attraction, rose to the surface, all of them, and so did the octopuses and the saffron medusas. There was always a flight of tiny creatures — little crabs, squid, and even some weeds, light and filmy, and coral plants — that broke from the sea and ended up on the Moon, hanging down from that lime-white ceiling, or else they stayed in midair, a phosphorescent swarm we had to drive off, waving banana leaves at them.
This is how we did the job: in the boat we had a ladder: one of us held it, another climbed to the top, and a third, at the oars, rowed until we were right under the Moon; that’s why there had to be so many of us (I only mentioned the main ones). The man at the top of the ladder, as the boat approached the Moon, would become scared and start shouting: “Stop! Stop! I’m going to bang my head!” That was the impression you had, seeing her on top of you, immense, and all rough with sharp spikes and jagged, saw-tooth edges. It may be different now, but then the Moon, or rather the bottom, the underbelly of the Moon, the part that passed closest to the Earth and almost scraped it, was covered with a crust of sharp scales. It had come to resemble the belly of a fish, and the smell too, as I recall, if not downright fishy, was faintly similar, like smoked salmon.
In reality, from the top of the ladder, standing erect on the last rung, you could just touch the Moon if you held your arms up. We had taken the measurements carefully (we didn’t yet suspect that she was moving away from us); the only thing you had to be very careful about was where you put your hands. I always chose a scale that seemed fast (we climbed up in groups of five or six at a time), then I would cling first with one hand, then with both, and immediately I would feel ladder and boat drifting away from below me, and the motion of the Moon would tear me from the Earth’s attraction. Yes, the Moon was so strong that she pulled you up; you realized this the moment you passed from one to the other: you had to swing up abruptly, with a kind of somersault, grabbing the scales, throwing your legs over your head, until your feet were on the Moon’s surface. Seen from the Earth, you looked as if you were hanging there with your head down, but for you, it was the normal position, and the only odd thing was that when you raised your eyes you saw the sea above you, glistening, with the boat and the others upside down, hanging like a bunch of grapes from the vine.
My cousin, the Deaf One, showed a special talent for making those leaps. His clumsy hands, as soon as they touched the lunar surface (he was always the first to jump up from the ladder), suddenly became deft and sensitive. They found immediately the spot where he could hoist himself up; in fact just the pressure of his palms seemed enough to make him stick to the satellite’s crust. Once I even thought I saw the Moon come toward him, as he held out his hands.
He was just as dextrous in coming back down to Earth, an operation still more difficult. For us, it consisted in jumping, as high as we could, our arms upraised (seen from the Moon, that is, because seen from the Earth it looked more like a dive, or like swimming downwards, arms at our sides), like jumping up from the Earth in other words, only now we were without the ladder, because there was nothing to prop it against on the Moon. But instead of jumping with his arms out, my cousin bent toward the Moon’s surface, his head down as if for a somersault, then made a leap, pushing with his hands. From the boat we watched him, erect in the air as if he were supporting the Moon’s enormous ball and were tossing it, striking it with his palms; then, when his legs came within reach, we managed to grab his ankles and pull him down on board.
Now, you will ask me what in the world we went up on the Moon for; I’ll explain it to you. We went to collect the milk, with a big spoon and a bucket. Moon-milk was very thick, like a kind of cream cheese. It formed in the crevices between one scale and the next, through the fermentation of various bodies and substances of terrestrial origin which had flown up from the prairies and forests and lakes, as the Moon sailed over them. It was composed chiefly of vegetal juices, tadpoles, bitumen, lentils, honey, starch crystals, sturgeon eggs, molds, pollens, gelatinous matter, worms, resins, pepper, mineral salts, combustion residue. You had only to dip the spoon under the scales that covered the Moon’s scabby terrain, and you brought it out filled with that precious muck. Not in the pure state, obviously; there was a lot of refuse. In the fermentation (which took place as the Moon passed over the expanses of hot air above the deserts) not all the bodies melted; some remained stuck in it: fingernails and cartilage, bolts, sea horses, nuts and peduncles, shards of crockery, fishhooks, at times even a comb. So this paste, after it was collected, had to be refined, filtered. But that wasn’t the difficulty: the hard part was transporting it down to the Earth. This is how we did it: we hurled each spoonful into the air with both hands, using the spoon as a catapult. The cheese flew, and if we had thrown it hard enough, it stuck to the ceiling, I mean the surface of the sea. Once there, it floated, and it was easy enough to pull it into the boat. In this operation, too, my deaf cousin displayed a special gift; he had strength and a good aim; with a single, sharp throw, he could send the cheese straight into a bucket we held up to him from the boat. As for me, I occasionally misfired; the contents of the spoon would fail to overcome the Moon’s attraction and they would fall back into my eye.
I still haven’t told you everything, about the things my cousin was good at. That job of extracting lunar milk from the Moon’s scales was child’s play to him: instead of the spoon, at times he had only to thrust his bare hand under the scales, or even one finger. He didn’t proceed in any orderly way, but went to isolated places, jumping from one to the other, as if he were playing tricks on the Moon, surprising her, or perhaps tickling her. And wherever he put his hand, the milk spurted out as if from a nanny goat’s teats. So the rest of us had only to follow him and collect with our spoons the substance that he was pressing out, first here, then there, but always as if by chance, since the Deaf One’s movements seemed to have no clear, practical sense.
There were places, for example, that he touched merely for the fun of touching them: gaps between two scales, naked and tender folds of lunar flesh. At times my cousin pressed not only his fingers but — in a carefully gauged leap — his big toe (he climbed onto the Moon barefoot) and this seemed to be the height of amusement for him, if we could judge by the chirping sounds that came from his throat as he went on leaping. The soil of the Moon was not uniformly scaly, but revealed irregular bare patches of pale, slippery clay.
These soft areas inspired the Deaf One to turn somersaults or to fly almost like a bird, as if he wanted to impress his whole body into the Moon’s pulp. As he ventured farther in this way, we lost sight of him at one point. On the Moon there were vast areas we had never had any reason or curiosity to explore, and that was where my cousin vanished; I had suspected that all those somersaults and nudges he indulged in before our eyes were only a preparation, a prelude to something secret meant to take place in the hidden zones.
We fell into a special mood on those nights off the Zinc Cliffs: gay, but with a touch of suspense, as if inside our skulls, instead of the brain, we felt a fish, floating, attracted by the Moon. And so we navigated, playing and singing. The Captain’s wife played the harp; she had very long arms, silvery as eels on those nights, and armpits as dark and mysterious as sea urchins; and the sound of the harp was sweet and piercing, so sweet and piercing it was almost unbearable, and we were forced to let out long cries, not so much to accompany the music as to protect our hearing from it. Continue reading
You wish your farts were this melodic…
I’m strapped to this journal. Grunt. Heave. Impression that the ship is going down. The furniture slides, the table legs wobble …
Writing so that I won’t die. Or so that I die otherwise. Sentences breaking up. Panting like for what. […]
You can explain everything away. I explain myself away. But to whom? You know … The question of the other. The other and time. I’m home kind of fucking around. Listening to my own words. Redundancy. Peepee poopoo. Things are so fucking weird! […]
Have to be accountable. Yield to arguments. What I feel like is just fucking around. Publish this diary for example. Say stupid shit. Barf out the fucking-around-o-maniacal schizo flow. Barter whatever for whoever wants to read it. Now that I’m turning into a salable name I can find an editor for sure […] Work the feed-back; write right into the real. But not just the professional readers’ real, “Quinzaine polemical” style. The close, hostile real. People around. Fuck shit up. The stakes greater than the oeuvre or they don’t attain it […]
Just setting up the terms of this project makes me feel better. My breathing is freed up by one notch. Intensities. A literary-desiring machine. […]
When it works I have a ton to spare, I don’t give a shit, I lose it as fast as it comes, and I get more. Active forgetting! What matters is interceding when it doesn’t work, when it spins off course, and the sentences are fucked up, and the words disintegrate, and the spelling is total mayhem. Strange feeling, when I was small, with some words. Their meaning would disappear all of a sudden. Panic. And I have to make a text out of that mess and it has to hold up: that is my fundamental schizo-analytic project. Reconstruct myself in the artifice of the text. Among other things, escape the multiple incessant dependencies on images incarnating the “that’s how it goes!”
Writing for nobody? Impossible. You fumble, you stop. I don’t even take the trouble of expressing myself so that when I reread myself I can understand whatever it was I was trying to say. Gilles will figure it out, he’ll work it through. […]
I tell myself I can’t take the plunge and leave this shit for publication because that would inconvenience Gilles. But really, though? I just need to cross out the passages he’s directly involved in. I’m hiding behind this argument so that I can let myself go again and just fucking float along. Even though when it comes to writing an article, I start over like twenty-five times!!
And this dance of anxiety …
From The Anti-Oedipus Papers, a set of notes and journal entries by Félix Guattari written while he and Gilles Deleuze were busy writing Anti-Oedipus together(1972) .Translated from the French by Stéphane Nadaud.
As part of the Edge of Wrong organising team, I’d like to invite you to join us for our tenth annual music festival, happening in Cape Town on the 22nd and 23rd of April (with a mini edition in Johannesburg on 15th April) and featuring an array of international and local artists presenting a wide range of experimental, uncompromising and dangerous music.
In celebration of our first ten years of existence, during which time we have hosted more than 30 cutting-edge events, we’ve compiled an extra-eclectic line-up of South African and Norwegian musicians, including Daniel MacKenzie, Gunfire Orchestra (Reza Khota, Beat Keller and Morten Minothi Kristiansen), Arnfinn Killingtveit, Kenneth Angerhand and Amantha, Ad undas, Mark Fransman, Darren English, Brendon Bussy, Justin Allart and Hezron Chetty.
Expect everything from feedback guitar and malfunctioning drum machines to improv violin, dance-controlled piano and walls of screeching noise from hand-built instruments.
__VENUES, LINE-UPS, COST, ETC.:
*** FRIDAY 22nd ***
1 Perth Rd, Maitland, CT
Doors open at 7pm, music starts at 8pm
Pay what you can – recommended contribution R50-R100
∞ Brendon Bussy (SA)
∞ Daniel W J Mackenzie (UK)
∞ Ad undas (NO)
∞ Kenneth Angerhand with Amantha23 (KI)
∞ Arnfinn Killingtveit (NO)
*** SATURDAY 23rd ***
Moholo Live House
42 Ncumo Rd, Harare Square, Harare, Khayelitsha, CT
Doors open at 7pm, music starts at 8pm
Pay what you can – recommended contribution R50-R100
∞ Gunfire Orchestra (NO/SA)
∞ HORNS NOISE (NO/SA)
∞ Swamps up Nostrils (NO/SA)
∞ Hezron Chetty (SA)
*** SUNDAY 24th ***
Music Hacker Lab – details to be confirmed!
GENERAL INFO: Right of admission reserved. Drinks will be available for purchase at the venues. Cellphones to be switched off during performances.
Performing in Johannesburg on the 15th are:
* Gunfire Orchestra (Reza Khota, Beat Keller and Morten Minothi Kristiansen) (https://gunfireorchestra.bandcamp.com/) (NO/SA)
* Kenneth Angerhand (www.further.co.za/asqus) (KI)
* Jill Richards (www.jillrichards.com) (SA)
* Carlo Mombelli (www.carlomombelli.com) (SA)
* Daniel MacKenzie (www.danielwjmackenzie.com) (UK)
Full album (1965).
In a review for the 1967 Takoma reissue, ED Denson called the liner notes (by Alan Wilson of Canned Heat) “…a paranoid vision of reality unrivalled since Kafka. Nothing is what it purports to be directly, but everything is “in a certain sense” — people make statements like characters in B-grade horror films, the trivial becomes significant, the meaningful, nothing.”
The notes begin thus:
A disgusting, degenerate, insipid young folklorist from the Croat & Isaiah Nettles Foundation for Ethnological Research meandered mesmerically midst marble mansions in Mattapan, Massachusetts. It was an unsavory, vapid day in the summer of 2010 as the jejune air from Back Bay transubstantiated itself autologically and gradually into an ozone-like atmosphere.
Knocking on a random door, haphazardly, the tasteless young man pondered the Hebraic inscription on the marble-tiled foot-brush, soporifically: “I wonder what the hell that means,” he said to himself reflexively.
The foot-brush backed itself into a corner at bay, with its back to the wall. Then, hissing at the wishy-washy young man, it reared up on its hind leg & stared into space, vociferously & stoicly.
At this juncture a somewhat equivocal shoe-shine man opened the door, munching on a vacant popsicle stick. Before greeting the young man he reached up with a tentacle and stroked the aging foot brush on its fore, thus quieting the beast’s existential anxiety.
“Pardon me,” the unflavored young man said casually, “Do you have any old arms and legs you’d like to sell? I’m paying thirty-seven, twenty-five, ninety-six, twelve cents apiece for old arms & legs depending on the condition they’re in.”
“Just one moment,” the splotched ontology professor mumbled, “I think we may have a few out back in the quagmire, or possibly near the fen, or then again we may have some by the waters of the boggy bayou. I must point out, however, that it is quite possible that we have none left. And I should also say that we may never have had any anyway. I certainly can’t remember ever having any.
Since the past went into a flux it’s very difficult to remember anything, you know. But I’ll certainly take a look. And don’t be afraid of my foot-brush. He’s been in the family for years. And, while it is quite true to say that he hisses a lot, and he certainly does, it is also quite true to say that he never bites anyone except when he does. But this is not the same as to say that he has actually bitten people, and I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to say that, because, well, for one thing I can’t remember anyway. But I’ll go look for those arms & legs like I said I would. Did I say I would?”
“Yes, you did,” the stale young man replied weakly.
“Well, then I will, in all probability,” the aging grave-digger muttered as he faded gradually through the irregular portal.
1981. “It’s OK, I’ve overstood…”
This is John Peel playing Fripp and Eno’s album backwards on BBC Radio One on 18th December 1973, without anyone in the studio knowing any difference. The story goes that Brian Eno was driving in his car, listening to Peel’s show, and he had the shock of his life when he heard Peel was playing his album backwards. He tried to phone the BBC to let Peel know that, but the BBC engineers thought it was an imposter playing a prank, therefore putting the phone down on him. Peel told his listeners at the end that it was an album worth buying, without realising he was playing it backwards!
P.S. Try playing this and the adjacent Japanese court music post simultaneously!
My irreverent nieces’ voicenotes are just the best when end of term varsity work is driving me a bit insane.
Aaah– aaah… That head-shattering chorus! (NSFW.)
“Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain” meets “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” — read the story behind the video HERE.
I’m part of the South African curatorial/organising team for this series of collaborative multi-medium performances. If you’re in Cape Town, check EOW 9.1 out tomorrow night.
It will involve an insane mash-up of guitarists, violinists, opera singers, noise musicians, circuitbenders, chiptunists, avant-percussionists, pianists, body modification, visuals generated from cellular automata, experimental improv dance, provocative video art and the livecoded sound of the Ebola genome…
More information HERE.
Another track written by the brilliant Curtis Mayfield (who was just 20 at the time) and released as a single on Okeh in December 1963.
This picture was made in appreciation of that really great joke that went around recently: Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan walk into a bar. The barman serves them tainted alcohol because there are no regulations. They die.
My 8-year-old niece, Naomh, recorded these very strange voice notes last year.
Happening this time round in Brazil, FIFA bleeds yet another host country’s economy dry, with the willing help of its own government – systematic violence, neo-colonial parasitism. Last time it was South Africa’s turn, and the effects are still being felt here.