Archives for posts with tag: Richard Evans

 

1) Marburg. Project Harlequin. 03.11.39

In 1939 at the General Electric labs in Schenectady, New York they discovered the ability of dry ice shavings to convert supercooled water droplets (those existing as water at temperatures colder than freezing) to ice crystals and thus to water, with the addition of elements such as copper oxide the water could be colored. This combination would be injected into clouds using a convectional heating process that would manifest itself in the paths of jet streams propelling the clouds to Germany. When they reached precipitation point the rain would permanently stain any exposed skin.

2) Cuxhaven. The Badische Committee. 05.05.39

The communist organization Young Czechoslovakia proposed fake German fashion houses. Here gangs of secret Jewish tailors would make special low cost Nazi uniforms which would fit perfectly when first worn but would then inhibit the movements when the wearer ran or lifted their arms above elbow height. Each garment and accessory was designed to inhibit a specific task such as a belt which would tighten when loading a rifle or a smoking jacket that constricted blood flow in the right arm making writing an uncomfortable and difficult procedure.

3) Wartburg. The Salar League. 14.08.42

The Dutch created vast animal hospitals and developed animal training centers in Ireland. Using rigorous advanced techniques they hoped to combine several instincts into one animal. Echolocation from bats was taught to rats. The sensitivity of a spider’s legs was taught to horses. The hibernation habits of bears were taught to owls. In the Rhine a salmon and a tiger shark were cross bred, implanted with organic sonar amplifiers. Bombs were mounted onto and sometimes into their bodies. They attempted to combine the salmon’s homing skills with a shark’s instinct for detecting noises and electrical signals to create living weapons. Boats have large electrical ‘footprints’ which they assumed could easily be taught to the fish. It was hoped they could be trained to hunt and destroy specific targets.

4) Berlin. The Red Ribbon. 12.10.43

In the outer Hebrides a farmers collective was approached, they favored using special sheep breeding techniques and the meat sent into Germany disguised as Red Cross packs that had accidentally been dropped in the wrong areas. The meat contained massive amounts of untraceable hormones that would cause mass impotency.

5) Kassel. League of Biblio-Terorism. 22.04.43

The Russian’s had their sights set on the Nazi education system. The National Socialists completely changed the schooling system in Germany, aggressively vetting teachers, encouraging pupils to inform on them, rewriting history and adding anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist twists to historical accounts. Large amounts of new text books, learning materials and teachers had to be found. The short time frame needed to create this new system created many loop holes that the Russians wanted to exploit. They focused on hiding secret messages within the books using subtle diagrams and compositions they believed would effect the children’s development. Subliminal messages would be hidden in the educational films. Colors the Russians believed would effect the children’s sub-conscious were especially favored. Secret backward chants and messages were hidden in the gramophone records of marching bands. In physical education which comprised 15% of their total class time the children where made to run in shapes and patterns that would create indelible mental symbols of anti-Nazi propaganda. The Russians believed the arrangement of these positive mental symbols would effect the children’s subconscious in such a way as to make identification with the Nazi’s graphic symbolism impossible.

6) Soest. The Zeuss Factory. 30.03.44

In occupied France the Brittany Resistance were interested in the factory owners and managers. They infiltrated these Nazi owned business and secretly proposed a radical redesign of everyday objects. A bathtub that was so slippery the user could almost never get out of it. Concrete made so impure that it would disintegrate in the rain. A special bicycle cog set based on the concept of half-step gearing was created by altering original blueprints. Here a simultaneous front and rear shift change was necessary to move through the gears. At the lowest gear the chain was designed to fall off the cog just at the point the rider reached top speed in the hope of causing a fatal accident.

7) Schwerin. The Quinton Study. 19.11.1945

The Quinton Study in Schwerin was a group named after the famous canine sea water experiments conducted by René Quinton in the late 19th Century. The American animal laboratories had found a way of teaching dogs excellent tracking skills and homing instincts from pigeons and coyotes that they would use to triangulate their position on targets. The canines were flown in and parachuted about 10 kilometers from the desired target. The dogs would live off the land while they slowly closed in. When they got within a kilometer they could communicate using coyote calls. Then at a specific time they would attack. Even the actual method of carrying out the assassination was an instinct taken from another animal. The dogs were taught to copy the feeding habits of crocodiles and their jaw muscles operated on to promote extra muscle development, their teeth removed and replaced with ceramic blades. Their coats would be washed daily in a chemical mixture created to streamline and camouflage the animal. Finally the dogs were taught to entirely eat their kill.

This text by A Moment of Eternal Noise features an original score by Paul Gulati and is edited by Kelly Kludt.

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I live alone. I’ve got enough money if my rich mother keeps forking it over. She’s sorry for me cause I’m a cripple.

It’s better to be a cripple in this world than just a plain ugly creep who writes books.

Every night I lie on my bed and am miserable. I look at the empty spot next to me. When I want to put my head on someone’s shoulder, I … When I want to I find out if I possibly don’t look like an ugly cripple, I ask… When I want to feel someone’s weight pounding into me, bruising me, naked flesh streaming against naked flesh naked flesh pouring wet against naked flesh, I … When I ache and ache and ache; I always ache; every day I ache; I … I need a man because I love men. I love their thick rough skins I love the ways they totally know about everything so I don’t need to know anything. They don’t really know everything, but we’ll forget about that. They take hold of me; they shove me around; and suddenly the weight of my own aggression’s off me. I can go farther out. I can explore more. They’re masculine which means they know about a certain society, this polite-death society which is their society, with which they know how to deal. So I don’t have to deal with it. I don’t want to. They provide a base for me in a society to which I feel alien. Otherwise I’ve got no reason to be in this world.

I can’t get a man unless money’s involved. I found this out in the brothel.

Maybe this is only cause I’m so ugly.

“Should I bother seeing people at all?” I ask Poirot.

Poirot’s stumped.

“Whenever I see people, I can’t stand them. They make my nerves snap. I can’t stand seeing them cause I know they hate me.”

“Did you murder the young girl?” Poirot asks. “I don’t like my friends anymore. I don’t want to see anyone. I want to sit by myself, and play chess.”

“I’ve got to paint. I’ve got to paint more and more, make something beautiful, make up for make away with this misery, this dragging .. ”

“You lack the analytical mind. You’re too emotional to have planned this murder.”

‘The cops finally got Norvins’ brother,” Bethe exclaims. “They gave him the death sentence, and all he was doing was stealing.”

“All I ever do is play with myself. I don’t care about politics. ”

“When the cop arrested Clement, Clement hit him over the head with the end of a bottle. What d’you think of that? At his trial Clement said: ‘The policeman arrested me in the name of the law; I hit him in the name of liberty.’ ”

“Berthe, do you think it’s better to fuck a man for money, or just to fuck for free?”

“Then Clement said: ‘When society refuses you the right to existence, you must take it.’ ”

“I’ll fuck any way I can get it. I love to fuck so much”

“The other day the cops arrested Charles Gallo.”

“Huh,” says Giannina.

“The anarchist who threw a bottle of vitriol into the middle of the Stock Exchange; fired three revolver shots into the crowd, and didn’t kill anyone. When the cops got to him, he said, ‘Long live revolution! Long live anarchism! Death to the bourgeois judiciary! Long live dynamite! Bunch of idiots!’ ”

“That stuff doesn’t concern us. We’re women. We know about ourselves, our cunts, not the crap you read in the newspapers. Who’d you think murdered the girl?”

“Maybe a person who lives in the same hell we live in. Sure we’re waitresses. We’re part of the meat market. We’re the meat. That’s how we get loved. We get cooked. We get our asses burned cause sex, like everything else, is always involved with money.”

“I don’t like to think and I don’t trust people who think.” Giannina kisses Bethe on her right ear.

“If we lived in a society without bosses,” Bethe says seriously, “we’d be fucking all the time. We wouldn’t have to be images. Cunt special. We could fuck every artist in the world.”

“I’d like to fuck all the time.”

“My heroine is Sophie Perovskaya.” Giannina’s slowly licking the inside of Berthe’s ear. “Five years ago March first The People’s Will, a group she was part of, murdered Tsar Alexander II. As she died, she rejoiced, for she realized her death would deal a fatal blow to autocracy.” Giannina blows into her ear. “I’d like to have the guts to follow that woman.”

“I want to be a whore.”

“Don’t you understand the world in which we’re living?”….

…..his other hand tore off the red silk pajamas. His eyes were glazed and drool was coming out of his mouth. He looked cruel and he was hurting me badly.

“I kept struggling as much as I could, hoping, hoping for anything.

” ‘Baby, that’s the way I like you. The more you move, the hotter you make me. You’re so little and delicate, I just want to feel you all over me.’ Then he started to pant His breath was hot and fetid. I was about to faint. His demanding mouth bit down on my tongue and then on my unformed breasts. He was hurting me.

“His right hand unzipped his pants and he lowered himself into me. Lowered his hardened manhood into me so that I thought he was tearing my skin, thrusting an iron-hot cleaver into the most secret part of my body. He kept forcing himself into me until he began to shudder, and shudder harder. Finally he bore into me so hard, some part of me, burning, gave way. I felt no relief.

“He rolled off of me, Suddenly he began to see me. A look of horror replaced the dazed grin on his face.

” ‘O my god,’ he gasped. ‘What have I done?’

“I grabbed my clothes and ran, I locked myself in my bathroom and turned on the bathtub. Frantically, I kept trying to clean myself.

“Later that night I learned that Ted had rushed out, taken the car, and driven off a cliff.”

When I finished talking, I realized that Bill was still in the room. He was shivering.

“What have I done to you, Claire? I should have known. Look,” his hand-gently took my hand, “do you think you’ll ever be able to trust me?”

“Yes,” I said. “But I’ll have to go slowly. I’m still very scared of men.”

“It’ll take a long time,” Bill said, “But one day you’ll want me to touch you and hold you and do all those other things. As for now, I love you, I love the real you because I know everything about you.

“Everything else will happen.”

This is A Moment of Eternal Noise Exquisite Corpse. The text by Kathy Acker from the adult life of toulouse lautrec was selected by A Moment of Eternal Noise, an excerpt was sent to Susanne Oberbeck who selected the music featuring a new track Do The Dog. A section of the music was given to Clunie Reid who created the image The Piss Factory.

Off White – James Chance & The Black Stained Sheets : Connection – Nervous Gender : Lazy in Love – Lydia Lunch : Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones : Do The Dog – No Bra : I Hear Voices – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins : Can we go Inside – Blood Orange : Money to Burn – James Chance & The Contortions : P**s Factory – Patti Smith : Who by Fire – Coil – 45 Mins

 

The shadow I had lost in the streets could not have been as far off as the registrar had led me to believe the Omega was. Time passed. The lines crumbled into heaps of confetti that blew away when I slipped the map from its frame and held it to the open window.

Under the blank marquee. The ticket booth stood concealed in an octagonal pillar of imitation marble whose blue glaze was dulled by a layer of soot, its window facing the entrance. No one there. Through the pane, behind its metal air vent, I could dimly see the calendar print of a wintry forest hanging on the wall, a wooden stool. an empty cash drawer to the right of the ticket slots. The telephone receiver was off the hook. It must have been dangling below. Silent, out of sight. The last one to inhabit the booth had not bothered to draw the curtain over the window or to empty the ashtray, which held a half-smoked cigarette with lipstick traces. By one of the entrance doors a poster in a cracked-glass frame depicted, in garish colors, a statuesque blonde clad in a negligee, the outline of her body a vague silhouette behind a muslin window. Farther into the room, a man was standing. His face, dull yet oddly menacing, lit from the side by a weak night-lamp near an unmade bed. I’d expected a line of ambulances (at least a paddy wagon or two) to be parked by the curb.

There was nothing. The mist, which hid less from me than the shadow I had lost, shrouded the opposite walk so completely that, for all one could tell, only abandoned excavations were to be found there, or vast asphalt lots jammed with cars that were no longer allowed on the streets, some perhaps holding those who had gone to sleep behind the wheel and been left to rot. I hadn’t seen a car all morning, not even close within the precincts of the roundhouse. What kept me out there? Obviously another dreadful miscalculation. With no landmarks to follow, I had hoped for luck enough to stumble on the Omega theatre. This couldn’t have been the one. The letters, lost in fog. Markings of where the sleepers were kept. I tried the door by the poster. It wouldn’t budge. Then the one next to it. My hands on the iron crossbar, pushing through to the darkness.

The foyer led up a carpeted ramp between two ranks of posts strung together by velveteen ropes. My reflection leapt from one wall panel to the next. A mottled blur, caged on both sides by netlike veins, seemed to flit through dim pools of yellow light across mirrors that reproduced its shrinking image to infinity down their endless corridors. The stale odor of popcorn and threadbare upholstery almost reached me. I made my way past humming soda machines-luminous buttons, glittering cup-wells in shadow-to the vacated counter which stood in a nook by the ingress, its shelves emptied of all but a few gum-drop boxes, some scattered candy bars and a bag of half-crushed salted peanuts. I went slowly, softly, after having trod so many unfamiliar pavements. Tufted swirls of orange and black flowers muffled my footsteps in a purple ground. Another more muted hum began to filter from the wormy umbra beyond the counter and the soft-drink machines. I slipped through the archway, turned right down a narrow passage, groping the inside wall for vague glimmers, and came at last to a water cooler in an alcove of mosaic tile. The light shifted over it in irregular pulses, from silver to black. A section of partition had been taken down behind the last row of seats, giving an odd view of the screen through a maze of silhouetted tubes and flickering bottles that left evansecent afterimages as my eyes moved over them. The hum I had caught faintly in the lobby was the dry sound of all those open mouths, those slumping heads with phosphenescing numbers, dashes of glowing paint, scattered over the middle section of seats in a dense clutter of hanging glucose bottles. Puddles of sick-sweet urine trickled out of the occupied rows into the aisle, where the floor took a sudden tilt, and widened the stains in the carpeting. The screen fluttered its half-light onto the sleeping audience, throwing off black-and-white images of what may or may not have been scenes from the movie advertised. Facing the sleepers, alone at its desk, in the limbo between the first row of vacant seats and the black matting under the screen, an egg-shaped head, completely bald, lit from beneath by a lamp that cast a liquid glimmer in its eyes, seemed to beckon me. Above the head, an old car with spoked tires and a running board sped off down a winding country road, crossed by shadows that writhed in a cloud of dust.

The head was reading, arms folded on the pages of a dog-eared magazine, bending to decipher the last few lines in the haze of print. This was the caretaker. There were no other guards in the theatre. For all one knew, the projection booth had been left untended between reels. The sound was off. The caretaker closed his magazine, rolled it up, tossed it into an otherwise empty wastebasket, and rubbed his bleary eyes with ink-smudged fingers, speaking in a loud voice whose echoes rang off the distant walls to the corners of the balcony, at which he stared from time to time, as though preoccupied with the contrast of that wide, black recess to the light-box which sucked the dust in a beam through its little window.

-Please. No need to stand on ceremony. We’ve still got plenty of seats left, but I wouldn’t want to predict how long that’ll last. I was told to expect you.

He let out a booming yawn which died all around us, shaking his head rapidly like a dog trying to dry itself, as he began to rummage through his litter of papers, whistling under his breath. His eyes fell on the luminous hands of the desk clock.

-Shit. Half an hour, is it? Then the alarm goes off and the two of us will have to start replacing the bottles.

The two of us?

-Oh! Don’t get the wrong idea. I was talking about the man up there. He likes to sit it out in the balcony between reels. Can’t take the heat in the booth. Can’t say as I blame him, either. It’s hell up there. Hope he remembers to set another one going before he has to come down. We could have used a blank white projection, you know, but it’s too hard on the eyes. And since we were told to keep the electrical expenses to a minimum, we had to settle for this old movie. Never seen the thing all the way through, myself. It was either that or shut off the coke machines. Can I get you something? It’s free. We do get some concessions.

He opened one of the drawers and pulled out a dime fixed to the loop end of a copper wire.

-You could probably use a cold drink after all that walking. I know. I can. How about it? Orange? Grape?

Can we get on with it?

-Yes. Well, I’m working overtime. It had been my understanding that the registrar was to arrive here three hours ago. But I could always be mistaken. He’s the one who handles all the paperwork and tends to the fine details. What could have detained him? No matter. Since you’re here, you’ll want to look things over. Isn’t very much to see besides this, really. Except the projection booth. We could go up there now, while there’s still time. The screen makes it easier to see if anyone sneaks in and tries to have his way- you get my meaning?- with one of the women.

The roundhouse was full of bodies, but there will be more than enough left over to seat this place to capacity. It’s merely a question of time. There aren’t enough of us left to police them properly, hence the delays. The interminable delays. The screen is only a fair deterrent without guards. Please make note of that. Tell them that, under present conditions, I cannot accept responsibility for any foul-ups that may have occurred in the past, or will occur in the future. Do you know what we’re up against here? The problem of false or “pantomime” sleepers is an ever-present one, and has plagued our operations from the very beginning. Men and women alike! But mostly men. They usually have the presence of mind to strike an attitude of complete oblivion during the search-and-examination procedure. We’ve even had to resort to tickling all the new arrivals, and managed to catch a few of them out that way. But there are always some with more than the usual amount of self-control who get through. They’re not above taking small doses of a soporific to help them along! Later, they wake up here in one of the seats with a tube in their arm and a number painted on their head. Then, when I’m looking the other way, or if I go to the can- what am I supposed to do, anyway, isn’t there enough muck on the floor here without my adding to it?- the pantomime sleeper crawls from row to row, on the prowl. I tell you, it’s disgusting! I caught one raping a woman in one of the back rows, right over there. He’d stuck his IV into the armrest, taken off his jacket and folded it in such a way that, from a distance, it looked like just another slumped-over head. What finally gave him away is that he got so worked up his foot tipped over the woman’s rack: bottle, tube, and all. Hell of a mess. Others are more discreet. If ever we find an empty seat between two occupied ones, we know something’s up. Often the crime is committed and the culprit is long gone when we come on the victim. That’s off the record! Don’t say anything. It’s one hell of a lot easier to get away with it here than it was at the roundhouse. The rows of seats and all these goddamn tubes make excellent camouflage. But I ask you, where are we going to find another roundhouse? They say at least two other theatres have been commandeered for future use.

The owners were glad to receive a fee for them. No one goes out anymore for fear of dropping in the streets. Just wait a while longer. We’ll have this place filled, standing room only! Soon, when the space runs out, we’ll have to start burning them alive in the streets! That’s the rumor, keep it under your…hat. Identification has always been something of a problem. About a third of the sleepers have remained anonymous. I’m not talking about the derelicts and the “old horns” we pick up in the gutters. Pantomime, pantomime. But that doesn’t explain all the cases of sexual molestation. We’ve been finding plenty of women, just in the last few days, without a stitch on. It’s being blamed on the one they call the Narcolept. But one man? No, I can’t believe it! There must be pantomime sleepers that haven’t yet been taken into account. One man couldn’t possibly be in so many places in so short an interval of time! Certainly there are lacunae. Unaccountable gaps that must forever remain a mystery to us.

But what if someone dies?

-No one has dies.

Maybe the father wasn’t putting on an act after all.

-What?

This 1976 text by Eric Basso from the book ‘The Beak Doctor,’ Short Fiction 1972-1976 was given to the artist Mick Peter as an inspiration for the drawing ‘The Popcorn Variations‘ and words from the text appear in a new composition ‘Time past – Lipstick traces’ made for A Moment of Eternal Noise by musicians David Barbenel and Johny Brown.

 

Transcript of an interview with subject K, Julliard Institute of Audio-Geological Study, Kenmere, UK by employee X

X Could you tell me where you first met S?

K Yes, we met in the war, he was already getting on then. He was about 40ish, but still very handsome. We were both working at the Ecolocation Research Center.

X Where was that?

K Aberdeen.

X What did you both do there?

K He did the dubs – the first hand recordings. They were looking for someone who could help discover the opposition’s communication network. In the beginning they couldn’t even find what their means of communication was. All they could hear in the transmissions was a wall of noise. But he discovered that it was this sound that was the code. That was the easy part. Back then, because of the nature of the noise, there was not a mechanical way to record the sound onto the wax cartridges. So he and his team devised a way of drawing on the spinning wax discs using specially designed metal tools and an adapted lathe.

X Did he make the tools himself?

K Yes, well he designed them. He actually went to a dental surgeon to get them made and they were cast by the local black smith.

X How did he decide on the drawing, I mean, which drawing would best create the noise? What thickness of line, the duration, etc.?

K As you can imagine it wasn’t easy, but he used skills he had learned from his experience with bird song.

X Bird song?

K Yes, he spent hours in the woods. At first we thought he was up to something, you know, a bit strange, but what he was actually doing was drawing bird song. He used watercolours. The brush enabled him to make a mark swiftly, and according to the pressure he put on the brush he’d alter the thickness of the line and change colours according to the species of bird. He then went home and transferred the lines to the specially prepared wax discs. Each night he would listen to the discs, altering them until they started to resemble the original bird song. Before that all bird song was notated on scores; he’s the first one to reproduce a genuinely ‘life like’ sound of birds.

X And once the war had started, is that when he was approached to work at Ecolocation Research Center?

K Almost immediately, he wanted to help, we all did.

X …and then he was put to work immediately recording and decoding the foreign broadcasts?

K Yes, and the problem to begin with was determining which noises were the actual broadcasts. Which noises were interference, which were fake codes, which were distorted Morse Code and which were the new noise languages, the white noise which he now suspected they used to hide their messages in. He assembled a team almost immediately and started listening to hours of static. Everyone thought he was mad. But then no one knew what was real noise and what was not. Both sides were desperately trying to hide messages in more and more complicated ways. Then one day the breakthrough happened. He noticed a visual change in certain broadcasts.

X A visual?

K He found out there were repetitions in the sine waves and it was this part of an audio wave that the messages were hidden in. You see… the sign wave itself, once rendered into a drawing, had graphic repetitions, and these were the code. He hooked up what I think was a very early electrocardiograph machine to a sonar echo location device. This created the drawing. He used a simple stencil that he cut out of the government ration cereal boxes, one of the most popular and bizarrely most plentiful foods in the institute to match the graphs he drew of the sine waves to the charts he made which related to the code. It took the enemy the rest of the war to understand how the hell we were doing it.

X Were you helping him with the Static Code?

K God no, I was a kid, just 21. I was in the Morse Code department and for a long time I couldn’t even understand Morse! I used to write it down, someone else would translate it. Dot for dot, dash for dash, it went on and on… all day, oh, it was so boring. Hours and hours drawing these endless lines which made up these thick pictures of texture. Horrible. I used to go to bed dreaming of them, thick lines or marks like hundreds of teeth on a never-ending saw. Anyway, sorry. So as you can imagine, seeing the handsome code breaker walking around, lost in his own world, was quite a distraction, and within a month we’d got engaged. We lived and worked underground surrounded by a totally destroyed landscape of melted metal and mountains of bricks, rats and feral cats, corned beef and cereals, yet I was the happiest I’ve ever been. It continued like that for the rest of the war, an underground life of sound, diagrams and cereal boxes.

X And after the war ended?

K After the war ended we moved back into the suburbs. We had a child, D, we had a house and S was a sort of secret hero. The government didn’t really have any use for him now, with the advent of sonar, analogue and later digital communication. Audio codes became an outdated idea, but still they couldn’t have him walking around doing any old job so they just kept on paying him and financed any crackpot idea he could come up with. He had a special a laboratory build in the garden where he spent day and night working on new sound machines, aural telescopes, sonic bullets, sonar scrubbers, all these strange things.

X Did some of the big navigation or RRS companies not ask him to work for them? Or even the Institute for Tactical Diagnostics Team?

K Well of course, they all asked, they were on the phone, writing letters and even coming round but eventually they gave up. He wanted to do his own thing and spend as much time with his own equipment; he lived with headphones glued to his ears… And then one day the university came round. They’d made a very strange discovery.

X The KC?

K Yes, it had been discovered after the war. One of the stray bombs had hit a hill side in Kent and exposed the mouth of a small tunnel, and after a few months of excavation they came to a beautiful limestone cave covered in white crustaceans amongst the many bones they found a very strange phenomenon. Still covered with thick crystalline deposits they discovered a bear skeleton that seemed to have mutated or grown onto a human skeleton.

X Can you describe this?

K Well, I didn’t see it of course, but I saw some pictures, and I know some of the technical details. It was a strange looking thing, not like a skeleton but almost like a porcelain sculpture or huge white popsicle. They’d never seen anything like it. But that was not the strange part, the strange part was that this ‘creature’s’ bones were not bones, but a sort of mixture of bone and rock, a fusion that appeared to have formed organically. What was on the outside of the skeleton, the crystalline deposits, was also found on the inside of the skeleton. It was definitely a species relating to Homo sapiens but some bones were extended, shrunk or had bonded together. Very odd. Anyway, they hired him to search for the rock the skeleton was made from, to create some kind of machine that could detect this mix of bone and rock. They believed – or maybe already knew – there were many more of these in caves that were hidden or impossible to access. So, he went to work, and after many different attempts he eventually developed a machine that could recognise ‘geo-organic shapes,’ as he now called them. An analysis of these rock people had revealed some very interesting repetitive shapes. The simple principal was that he would fire sound waves using accurately targeted speakers developed in the war into the rock, which would then grip onto these shapes and create an aural aura around them. Then other sounds that were hyper-dynamically designed to respond to these auras would be fired at these encapsulated rocks. The sound of that impact was then recorded and analysed. The analysis focused on minute changes of pitch, tone and repetition and used a system of algorithms combined with the geological structure of the rock and its main composites. The rock composition of the man was very specific and only S’s machine could detect this particular combination of elements in this particular arrangement. After his third discovery the university was very eager to learn of any other of these geo-organic rock-men around the country, so they made several versions of S’s machine and sent him out all over the world, at first the UK, then Europe, and then in the last few years mostly to North America. It was an incredibly exciting time for him, yet of course frustrating; it took him almost a decade of testing and development and, more importantly, he had to spend a lot of time away from his family and it was, of course, all secret. He had no one to talk to and even treated me as a stranger, he spent more and more time with his sample. He was, in a way, addicted to discovering the key to discovery.

X Fascinating, so what did this mean, I mean, what were these things? Are they still a mystery? Was discovering were they were from an important key?

K His job was to discover them, not to analyse them. As far as he told me, it was only facts that he was interested in, not conjecture, and after that he just did what he was told.

X And so were there any interesting relationships to geographical areas? What sort of places was he finding these… things in? What were the discoveries, the correlations, did he have any thoughts? Do you?

K I don’t know I really don’t. He wasn’t really interested in where, but rather how, we discovered them. He lived with them, he was given some small samples he always kept locked up in his studio the university had given to him. He had a kind of continuous aural conversation or relationship with these samples, and after a while he stopped telling me about his work – never mind what the government were discovering with his inventions. But as the years progressed and his health worsened he became more forgetful. He left some documents around: notes, academic press clippings, government communiqués and stuff.

X What did you find out, I mean, we now know they were all just a form of overlooked rock formation, but is there anything else to it?

K Well, he believed the rock was new, modern.

X What do you mean, newly created? When was it formed?

K Well, the interesting part was not when, but where. They were found in caves, but mostly in the western world. It turns out there had been discoveries before but they were so distorted they had been dismissed as ancient rock formations or basic fossils. And although I never saw the evidence, he told me he had seen a document which described the fast development of the rocks. They had a self-perpetuating structure that increased growth.

X Well, ok, and how does that relate to where they were found?

K To start with, many were discovered in Volcanic areas or under water, but as the machine got more accurate and we started to look for more recent phenomena in the last 300 years, they started to crop up everywhere. He first saw the modern signs in the North of England in the 1750s, in fact this still has the greatest proliferation of them. There they date mostly from around the Industrial Revolution – bizarre because rocks normally take millions of years to form and even cave formations, such as limestone stalagmites, thousands of years. Many were discovered in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, then Frankfurt, Berlin and Moscow. Later in years London and Paris. And in different areas, now in parts of human architecture and in different sizes. In factories, in concert halls, markets and court rooms.

Then he struck on an idea, he drew up diagrams of the loudest parts of our history or in certain cases a plan of the development of of social noise, moments and places when noise had shaped society. Moments like Krakatoa’s 1883 eruption, the discovery of gunpowder in China, the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the loudspeaker, the rise and fall of public executions and now of course rock concerts…… He then cross referenced this with the location of his discoveries, found a correlation and handed all his research over to the authorities….. They seemed to believe it and of course started a massive government search for lost people paranoid that it may be related, they started scouring public documents, as you can imagine it was an enormous and fruitless task. They though that maybe these formations were people who had been consumed by sound and become part of their architecture. This was not true of course and as we now know it’s just a gathering of still matter becoming solid, an overlooked phenomenon, but ha, ha, not supernatural. And anyway, S was not particularly interested in it. For him it was all a lot of hocus-pocus; he was interested in his machines and in his codes and audio patterns, not in lost tribes of rock men and mutants. So after only a few years with the bureau he quit to spend more time at home, which actually meant more time in the shed. He retired and the bureau paid him a huge amount of money for the patent on his machine (and, of course, to keep quiet) so we bought this house and he bought a massive super-shed!

X And was this the first time you discovered he was changing?

K I suppose so. I’d noticed changes, strange changes, in his body. I mean, it was so difficult to describe, so slight and yet so obvious. At first it was slight discolouration. Gray with white speckles, but under the skin, translucent like marble, quite erotic actually. Well, you know, sort of phallic. And then this spread, but not on the outside. His biceps, for example, had become odd. Its shape, it’s curve, had sort of moved and his arms literally felt like marble. The muscle on his thumb had grown slightly on one side. His sight had become week, or even sort of fluctuated one day to the next, and he had a very pale pallor. And then one day he went to the shed and didn’t come back. He was found dead, the radio on, sprawled over his equipment. The coroner said he was fine – his complexion was a mild skin disorder, common at his age. And then they took me away, took me here. I’ve had no visitors. It’s been awful, but luxuriously awful, as you can see. He had these insurance policies… He was always a sensible person. And that’s when I called you. I needed some advice, someone who understood the law. I have this letter. I’ll just sum it up, you can read it later. It says it was an addiction – he had become addicted to the sounds or, I’m not sure it’s unclear…. an addiction to listening to these bodies. And the more he listened, the more he lost; he felt they had encouraged him knowingly, creating an addiction. It was, as far as I can see, a forced love affair, but a fatal one – and one. I know it’s all ridiculous but I think this listening created a type of cancer – a growth. He had given himself to it and sacrificed himself in the process. He saw it as an ultimate union between body and mind unified by sound. Madness. And he left. Left leaving a jungle of figures and maps, a bizarre puzzle of space and sound.

Subject K died in 1993 of natural causes.

This piece includes an original analogue sound work by Rose Kallal and James Ginzburg. Camera by Emily Hope.

 

FOR A SAXIFRAGE OF PROMETHEUS

What is reality without the dislocating energy of poetry?

God has lived among us too powerfully. We no longer know
how to rise up and go. The stars, which had been sovereign
in his gaze, are dead in our eyes.

It was the questions the angels had that provoked the invasion
of demons. Once again they fastened us to the rock in
order to beat us up and love us.

It is only in the shadows that the struggle takes place. There
is no victory except on those borders.

Noble painting, my neighbor’s pretext and his struggle, in the
faint dawn I guard you as I guard my hunk of bread, waiting
for what I envision as a day of high rain and of green loam,
which will come for those who burn and for the stubborn.

René Char ‘The smoke that carried us: selected poems,’ 2004

This is A Moment of Eternal Noise Exquisite Corpse. The Music was selected by A Moment of Eternal Noise, an excerpt was sent to Ester Partegas who selected the text. The last paragraph of the text was sent to Philip Allen who selected the image and then the title was chosen from a corner of that photograph.

Theresa Screams – The Melvins : Amazon – The Melvins : Opening (A Nightmare on Elm St. 3) – Angelo Badlamenti : The Duke Arrives – John Carpenter : Night Drive – Giorgio Moroder : Waiting for the Man – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark : Oxygene Part III – Jean Michel Jarre : Christine/Car Obsession Reprise – John Carpenter : One Minute to Midnight – Justice : Puppet Walk – Angelo Badlamenti : For Your Love (Todd Terje Rmx) – Chilly : Chase – Giorgio Moroder : Eat The Rich – Motorhead : Magic Journey (Todd Terje Rmx) – Rogue Cat : Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free – Zombie Zombie : Gathering Dust – Cocteau Twins : No Remorse – Cannibal Corpse : Theme from the Comfort of Strangers – Angelo Badlamenti : Demoniac Possession – Napalm Death – 92 Mins

Photograph by Helen Thompson

 

The Crystal Land

Ice is the medium most alien to organic life, a considerable accumulation of it completely disrupts the normal course of processes in the biosphere.

P. A. Shumkii, Principles of Structural Glaciology

The first time I saw Don Judd’s ‘pink-plexiglass box,’ it suggested a giant crystal from another planet. After talking to Judd, I found out we had a mutual interest in geology and mineralogy, so we decided to go rock hunting in New Jersey. Out of this excursion came reflections, reconstituted as follows:

Near Paterson, Great Notch and Upper Montclair are the mineral-rich quarries of the First Watchung Mountain. Brian H.Mason, in his fascinating booklet, Trap Rock Minerals of New Jersey, speak of the “Triassic sedimentary rocks of the Newark series,” which are related to those of the Palisades. In these rocks one might find: “actinolite, albite, allanite, analcime, apatite, anhydrite, apophyllite, aurichalcite, axinite, azurite, babingtonite, bornite, barite, calcite, chabazite, chalcocite, chalcopyrite, chlorite, chrysocolla, copper, covellite, cuprite, datolite, dolomite, epidote, galena, glauberite, goethite, gmelinite, greenockite, gypsum, hematite, heulandite, hornblende, laumontite, malachite, mesolite, natrolite, opal, orpiment, orthoclase, pectolite, prehnite, pumpellyite, pyrite, pyrolusite, quartz, scolecite, siderite, silver, sphalerite, sphene, stevensite, stilbite, stilpnomelane, talc, thaumasite, thomsonite, tourmaline, ulexite.”

Together with my wife Nancy, and Judd’s wife, Julie, we set out to explore that geological locale. Upper Montclair quarry, “also known as Osborne and Marsellis quarry or McDowell’s quarry,” is situated on Edgecliff Road, Upper Montclair, and was worked from about 1890 to 1918. A lump of lava in the center of the quarry yields tiny quartz crystals. For about an hour don and I chopped incessantly at the lump with hammer and chisel, while Nancy and Julie wandered aimlessly around the quarry picking up sticks, leaves and odd stones. From the top of the quarry cliffs, one could see the New Jersey suburbs bordered by the New York City skyline.

The terrain is flat and loaded with ‘middle income’ housing developments with names like Royal Garden Estates, Rolling Knolls Farm, Valley View Acres, Split-level Manor, Babbling Brook Ranch-Estates, Colonial Vista Homes-on and on they go, forming tiny boxlike arrangements. Most of the houses are painted white, but many are painted petal pink, frosted mint, buttercup, fudge, rose beige, antique green, Cape Cod brown, lilac, and so on. The highways crisscross through the towns and become man-made geological networks of concrete. In fact, the entire landscape has a mineral presence. From the shiny chrome diners to glass windows of shopping centers, a sense of the crystalline prevails.

When we finished at the quarry, we went to Bond’s Ice Cream Bar and had some AWFUL AWFULS- “awful big – and awful good… it’s the drink you eat with a spoon.” We talked about the little crystal cavities we had found, and looked at The Field Book of Common Rocks and Minerals by Frederic Brewster Loomis, I noticed ice is a crystal: “Ice, H2O, water, specific gravity-.92, colorless to white, luster adamantine, transparent on thin edges. Beneath the surface hexagonal crystals grow downward into the water, parallel to each other, making a fibrous structure, which is very apparent when ice is’rotten’….”

After that we walked to the car through the charming Tudoroid town of Upper Montclair, and headed for the Great Notch Quarry. I turned on the car radio: “…count down survey…chew your little troubles away… high ho-hey hey…..”

My eyes glanced the over the dashboard, it became a complex of chrome fixed into an embankment of steel. A glass disk covered the clock. The speedometer was broken. Cigarette butts were packed into the ashtray. Faint reflections slid over the windshield. Out of sight in the glove compartment was a silver flashlight and an Esso map of Vermont. Under the radio dial (55-7-9-11-14-16) was a row of five plastic buttons in the shape of cantilevered cubes. The rearview mirror dislocated the road behind us. While listening to the radio, some of us read the Sunday newspapers. The pages made slight noises as they turned: each sheet folded over the laps forming temporary geographies of paper. A rally of print or a ridge of photographs would come and go in an instant.

We arrived at the Great Notch Quarry, which is situated “about three hundred yards south west of the Great Notch station of the Erie Rail road.” The quarry resembled the moon. A gray factory in the midst of it all, looked like architecture designed by Robert Morris. A big sign on one building said, THIS IS A HARD HAT AREA. We started climbing over the files and ran into a ‘rockhound’, who came on, I thought, like Mr Wizard, and who gave us all kinds of rock-hound-type information in an authoritative manner. We got a rundown on all the quarries that were closed to the public, as well as those that were open.

The walls of the quarry did look dangerous. Cracked, broken, shattered; the walls threatened to come crashing down. Fragmentation, corrosion, decomposition, disintegration, rock creep debris, slides, mud flow, avalanche were everywhere in evidence. The gray sky seemed to swallow up the heaps around us. Fractures and faults spilled forth sediment, crushed conglomerates, eroded debris and sandstone. It was an arid region, bleached and dry. An infinity of surfaces spread in every direction. A chaos of cracks surrounded us.

On the top of a promontory there stood motionless rock drills against the blank which was the sky. High-tension towers transported electric cable over the quarry. Dismantled parts of steam-shovels, tread machines and trucks were lined up in random groups. Such objects interrupted the depositions of waste that formed the general condition of the place. What vegetation there was seemed partially demolished. Newly made boulders eclipsed parts of a wire and pipe fence. Railroad tracks passed by the quarry, the ties formed a redundant sequence of modules, while the steel tracks projected the modules into an imperfect vanishing point.

On the way back to Manhattan, we drove through the Jersey Meadows, or more accurately the Jersey Swamps-a good location for a movie about life on mars. It even has a network of canals that are chocked by acres of tall reeds. Radio towers are scattered throughout these bleak place. Drive-inns, motels and gas stations exist along the highway, and behind them are smoldering garbage dumps. South, toward Newark and Bayonne, the smoke stacks of heavy industry add to the general air pollution.

As we drove throughout the Lincoln Tunnel, we talked about going on another trip, to Franklin Furnace; there one might find minerals that glow under ultra violet light or ‘black light’. The countless cream colored square tiles on the walls of the tunnel sped by, until a sigh announcing New York broke the tiles’ order.

Robert Smithson,The Writings of Robert Smithson,” edited by Nancy Holt, 1979

Attica Frederic Rzewki : Low Speed – Otto Luening overlaid by Cricket Music – Walter De Maria overlaid by The Mathmatics of Resonant Bodies – John Luther Adams overlaid by Lifespan: IV. In the Summer Terry Riley : Glass: Tissues (From Naqoyqatsi) For Cello, Percussion & Piano – Tissue #2 – Wendy Sutter/Philip Glass : Coming Together – Frederic Rzewski : Liquid Strata 3rd Movement – Morton Subotnick : Pastoral for Clarinet and PianoElliot Carter : Aract Graham Fitkin : The Fifth PlagueLaurie Anderson – 78 Mins

Image – ‘This alchemical wheel with a crank is supposed to have been the mark of the Danzig monk Koffskhi. Like Dee’s Monas Hieroglyph it is assembled from the seven metals, on the basis of an inverted glyph of Mercury: “For quicksilver is a mother of all metals, and the Sun (…) it is also Sulphur.” Father Vincentius Koffiskhi, Hermetische Schriften (1478), Nuremberg edition, 1786, “Alchemy & Mysticism,” Alexander Roob

Elements of this post were inspired by Smithson’s text which was selected by the artist Douglas Park. Douglas chose it based on the last word in the title. He then gave Dick Evans the last paragraph and he created the music selection, after that the image was chosen.

 

…Do you despair?

Yes? You despair?

You run away? You want to hide?…November 3. This morning, for the first time in a long time,

the joy again of imagining a knife twisted in my heart…

… The onlookers go rigid when the train goes past…

…In the newspapers, in conversation, in the office, the impetuosity of language often leads one astray, also the hope, springing from temporary weakness, for a sudden and stronger illumination in the very next moment, also mere strong self confidence, or mere carelessness, or a great present impression that one wishes at any cost to shift into the future, also the opinion that true enthusiasm in the present justifies any future confusion, also delight in sentences that are elevated in the middle by one or two jolts and open the mouth gradually to its full size even of they let it close much too quickly and tortuously, also the the slight possibility of a decisive and clear judgement, or the effort to give further flow to the speech that has already ended, also the desire to escape from the subject in a hurry, one’s belly if it must be, or despair that seeks a way out for its heavy breath, or the longing for a light without shadow- all this can lead one astray…

…To be pulled in through the ground-floor window of a house by a rope tied around one’s neck and to be yanked up, bloody and ragged, through all the ceilings, furniture, walls and attics, without consideration, as if by a person who is paying no attention, until the empty noose, dropping the last fragments of me when it breaks through the roof tiles, is seen on the roof…

…I fell asleep in the underbrush. A noise awakened me. I found in my hands a book in which I had previously been reading. I threw it away and sprang up. It was shortly after midday; in front of the hill on which I stood there lay spread out a great lowland with villages and trees and ponds and uniformly shaped, tall, reed-like hedges between them. I put my hands on my hips, and at the same time listened to the noise…

…I can’t understand it and can’t believe it. I live only here and there in a small word in whose vowel (“thrust” above, for instance) I lose my useless head for a moment. The first and last letters are the beginning and end of my fishlike emotion…

…I occupied myself chiefly with the whore whose head was hanging down, Max with the one lying beside her on the left. I fingered her legs and then for a long time pressed the upper parts of her thighs in regular rythem. My pleasure in this was so great that I wondered. That for this entertainment, which was after all really the most beautiful kind, one still, had to pay nothing. I was convinced that I (and I alone) deceived the world. Then the whore, without moving her legs, raised the upper part of her body and turned her back to me, which to my horror was covered with large sealing-wax-red circles with paling edges and red splashes scattered among them. I now noticed that her whole body was full of them, that I was pressing my thumb to her thighs in just such spots there were these little red particles -as though from a crumbled seal- on my fingers too…

…The millionaire in the motion picture “Slaves of Gold.” Mustn’t forget him. The calmness, the slow movement, conscious of its goal, a faster step when necessary, a shrug of the shoulder. Rich, spoiled, lulled to sleep, but how he springs up like a servant and searches the room into which he was locked in the forest tavern…

…December 4. Viewed from the outside it is terrible for a young but mature person to die, or worse, to kill himself. Hopelessly to depart in a complete confusion that would make sense only within a further development, or with the sole hope that in the great account this appearance in life will be considered as not having taken place. Such would be my plight now. To die would mean nothing else than to surrender a nothing to the nothing, but that would be impossible to conceive, for how could a person, even only as a nothing, consciously surrender himself to the nothing, and not merely to an empty nothing but rather to a roaring nothing whose nothingness consists only in its incomprehensibility…

…10 o’clock, November 15. I will not let myself become tired. I’ll jump into my story even though it should cut my face to pieces…

…In the bank I immediately telephone Bohemia. I want to give them the story for publication. But I can’t get a good connection. Do you know why? The office of the Tagblatt is pretty close to the telephone exchange, so from the Tagblatt it’s easy for them to control the connections as they please, to hold them up or put them through. And as a matter of fact, I keep hearing indistinct whispering voices on the telephone, obviously the editors of the Tagblatt. They have of course, a good deal of interest in not letting this call go through. Then I fear (naturally very distinctly) some of them persuading the operator not to put the call through, while others are already connected with Bohemia and are trying to keep them from listening to my story. “Operator,” I shout into the telephone, “if you don’t put this call through at once, I’ll complain to the management.” My colleagues all around me in the bank laugh when they hear me talking to the operator so violently. Finally I get my party. “Let me talk to Editor Kisch. I have an extremely important piece of news for Bohemia. If you don’t take it, I’ll give it to another paper at once. It’s high time.” But since Kisch is not there I hang up without revealing anything…

…The broom sweeping the rug in the next room sounds like the train of a dress moving in jerks…

…These predictions, this imitating of models, this fear of something definite, is ridiculous. These are constructions that even in the imagination, where they alone in sovereign, only approach the living surface but then are always suddenly driven under. Who has the magic hand to thrust into the machinery without its being torn to pieces and scattered by a thousand knives?…

…The anxiety I suffer from all sides. The examination by the doctor, the way he presses forward against me, I virtually empty myself out and he makes his empty speeches into me, despised and unrefuted…

…The tremendous world I have in my head. But how free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me…

…I’ll write down all the relationships which have become clear to me in the story as far as I now remember them. This is necessary because the story came out of me like a real birth, covered with filth and slime, and only I have the hand that can reach to the body itself and the strength of the desire to do so…

…I , only I, am the spectator in the orchestra…

Franz Kafka, Diaries 1910-1913,” 1965

Soundwork by Richard Evans with words by Franz Kafka spoken by Mac and PC speech readers from his diaries and sound created by manipulating samples from works by György Kurtag.

May. The Feeling. – Scene at the Station
October 9. I occupied myself – Adagio, Con Slancio, Risiluto, Jelek (Signs) III
July 9. The invention of the devil – Hommage à Domenico Scarlatti
July 6. Began a little – Triosonata in E-Flat Major, BWV 525: No. I
July 21. Don’t Despair – Thistle : May. His gravity – Hommage à Christian Wolff (Half-asleep)
July 9. Nothing written – Furious Chorale
November 14. It seems so dreadful – Study to “Hölderlin”
February 27. In the bank – The Carenza
October 30. This craving – Vivo

24 Mins

Image – ‘Brod,’ college by Richard Evans, paper, guitar string, wax, nail, 2011

Image - 'Defeated by the mosquito and abandoned to the jungle' from The National Geographic Magazine, February 1922

 

This marble punch was a snowball,
And it starred his heart
And it starred the victor’s jacket,
Starred the black victor whom nothing protects.

Stupefied he stood
Barelegged in the lair of solitude,
Beneath the gilded walnuts, mistletoe and holly,
Starred over like the blackboard in the classroom.

Often this begins at school,
These punches that fill the mouth with blood
These hard snowball punches,
That beauty jabs at the heart in passing by.

Saint-Cloud, February, 1929.

When I hear one of these phrases I close my eyes, I see again the boys’ berths on board the X., one of the largest steamers on the Marseilles-Saigon line. The X was waiting to get under way. The purser, one of my opium-smoking friends, had suggested the escapade to me. At eleven o’clock at night we crossed the deserted docks and climbed up the ladder on to the deck. We had to follow our guide at full speed and avoid the watch. We climbed over cables, worked round columns and Greek temples, crossed public squares, labyrinths of machines, shadow and moonlight, we mixed up the companion ways and the corridors so much and so well that our poor guide began to lose his head, until, softly, that powerful strange smell put us on the right path.

Imagine enormous berths, four or five dormitories, where sixty ‘boys’ lay smoking on two tiers of planks. In each dormitory a long table filled up the empty space. Standing on these tables, and cut in two by a flat, unmoving cloud half-way up the room, the latecomers were undressing, tying up the cords where they liked to hang up their washing, and gently rubbing their shoulders.

The scene was lit by the dim lights pf the lamps, and on top of them burnt the spluttering drug. The bodies were wedged against each other and without causing the slightest surprise, or the slightest ungraciousness, we took our places where there was really no place left, with our legs doubled up and our heads resting on stools. The noise we made did not even disturb one of the boys who was sleeping with his head against mine. A nightmare convulsed him; he had sunk to the bottom of the sleep that stifled him, entering into him through his mouth, his large nostrils and the ears which stuck out from his head. His swollen face was closed like an angry fist, he sweated, turned over and tore at his silken rags. He looked as though a stroke of the lancet would deliver him and bring forth the nightmare. His grimaces formed an extraordinary contrast with the calm of the others, a vegetable calm, a calm which reminded me of something familiar. What was it? On those planks lay the twisted bodies in which the skeletons, visible through the pale skin, were no more than the delicate armatures of a dream . . . In fact, it was the olive trees of Provence which those young sleepers evoked in me, the twisted olive trees on the flat red earth, their silver clouds hanging in the air.

In that place I could almost believe that it was all this profound lightness that alone kept this most monumental ship floating on the water.

Jean Cocteau, “Opium, The Diary of his Cure,” 1930

Jim’s Intro : You, Appearing – M83 : Sunset (The Death of Thumbellina) – Current 93 : Girlfriend’s Interlude : Past, present and future – The Shangri-Las : We Ask You To Ride – Wooden Shjips : Yellow Elevator #2 – The Black Angels : Striking a match : Purple Haze – Dion : Vibrating Ruler : Can I get it from You – Dave Berry : Omens And Portents I, The Driver – Earth : Lauren at the beach : Prepare for the End – David Thomas and Two Pale Boys : Pammie’s On a Bummer – Sonny Bono : Alone, Jealous & Stoned – The Secret Machines : Car Chase terror! – M83 : Rain on 22nd July 06 : Orange Country Suite, a Paris bootleg – Jim Morrison – 71 Mins

Image – ‘Defeated by the mosquito and abandoned to the jungle‘ from The National Geographic Magazine, February 1922

 

I moved the picture from my pocket again when I was outside, an action that had taken on a ritualistic feel, like making the sign of the cross. I did not look at it this time, but began tearing it in strips, lengthwise. Then I walked, and bent down at street corners, depositing each strip in a separate sewer along Fourth Avenue.

He’d told me that he’d broken his arm in a car accident, pursuing two black kids who had robbed a jewelry store.

As I released the strips of paper through the sewer gratings, I thought of the hand in the subway tunnel, and my father’s assertion that there were many body parts undoubtedly littering the less frequently traveled parts of the city. Arms legs, heads, torsos; and perhaps all these bits of photo would find their way into disembodied hands. A dozen or more hands, each gripping a strip of photograph down in the wet slime under the street. Regaining a history, a past, that they lost when they were dismembered, making a connection that I never would.

Tim McLoughlin, “When All This Was Bay Ridge,” 2004

Kalakuta Show – Fela Kuti – 15 Mins

Image – Cadavre Exquis, Pen and pencil on paper, André Breton, Man Ray, Max Morise, Yves Tanguy, 1927

 

Entering that gable-ended Spouter-Inn, you found yourself in a wide, low, straggling entry with old-fashioned wainscots, reminding one of the bulwarks of some condemned old craft. On one side hung a very large oil painting so thoroughly besmoked, and every way defaced, that in the unequal crosslights by which you viewed it, it was only by diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors, that you could any way arrive at an understanding of its purpose. Such unaccountable masses of shades and shadows, that at first you almost thought some ambitious young artist, in the time of the New England hags, had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched. But by dint of much and earnest contemplation, and oft repeated ponderings, and especially by throwing open the little window towards the back of the entry, you at last come to the conclusion that such an idea, however wild, might not be altogether unwarranted.

But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast. A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly, enough to drive a nervous man distracted. Yet was there a sort of indefinite, half-attained, unimaginable sublimity about it that fairly froze you to it, till you involuntarily took an oath with yourself to find out what that marvellous painting meant. Ever and anon a bright, but, alas, deceptive idea would dart you through.- It’s the Black Sea in a midnight gale.- It’s the unnatural combat of the four primal elements.- It’s a blasted heath.- It’s a Hyperborean winter scene.- It’s the breaking-up of the icebound stream of Time. But last all these fancies yielded to that one portentous something in the picture’s midst. That once found out, and all the rest were plain. But stop; does it not bear a faint resemblance to a gigantic fish? even the great leviathan himself?

In fact, the artist’s design seemed this: a final theory of my own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions of many aged persons with whom I conversed upon the subject. The picture represents a Cape-Horner in a great hurricane; the half-foundered ship weltering there with its three dismantled masts alone visible; and an exasperated whale, purposing to spring clean over the craft, is in the enormous act of impaling himself upon the three mast-heads.

The opposite wall of this entry was hung all over with a heathenish array of monstrous clubs and spears. Some were thickly set with glittering teeth resembling ivory saws; others were tufted with knots of human hair; and one was sickle-shaped, with a vast handle sweeping round like the segment made in the new-mown grass by a long-armed mower. You shuddered as you gazed, and wondered what monstrous cannibal and savage could ever have gone a death-harvesting with such a hacking, horrifying implement. Mixed with these were rusty old whaling lances and harpoons all broken and deformed. Some were storied weapons. With this once long lance, now wildly elbowed, fifty years ago did Nathan Swain kill fifteen whales between a sunrise and a sunset. And that harpoon- so like a corkscrew now- was flung in Javan seas, and run away with by a whale, years afterwards slain off the Cape of Blanco. The original iron entered nigh the tail, and, like a restless needle sojourning in the body of a man, travelled full forty feet, and at last was found imbedded in the hump.

Crossing this dusky entry, and on through yon low-arched way- cut through what in old times must have been a great central chimney with fireplaces all round- you enter the public room. A still duskier place is this, with such low ponderous beams above, and such old wrinkled planks beneath, that you would almost fancy you trod some old craft’s cockpits, especially of such a howling night, when this corner-anchored old ark rocked so furiously. On one side stood a long, low, shelf-like table covered with cracked glass cases, filled with dusty rarities gathered from this wide world’s remotest nooks. Projecting from the further angle of the room stands a dark-looking den- the bar- a rude attempt at a right whale’s head. Be that how it may, there stands the vast arched bone of the whale’s jaw, so wide, a coach might almost drive beneath it. Within are shabby shelves, ranged round with old decanters, bottles, flasks; and in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah (by which name indeed they called him), bustles a little withered old man, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death.

Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick,” 1851

Arctic Beluga Whales : Ma belle dame souveraine – John Potter and Ambrose Field : Almost A Kiss – Throbbing Gristle : Saigon Pickup – John Zorn : Freight Elevator : Hortz Fur Dehn Stekehn West – Magma : Struktur XII – Karlheinz Stockhausen : Bridge To The Beyond – John Zorn : Mi Basta Chiudere Gil Occhi E – Nino Rota : Un grand sommeil noir – Edgar Varèse : The Jeweller – This Mortal Coil : The Vistitations – White Noise : Northern Winds : Le Petit Chevalier – Nico : (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons – The Righteous Brothers – 61 mins

Image – ‘Looking south upon hut point and vince cross, Antarctica,’ National Geographic Magazine, March 1924

 

16. Liturgical texts and Prayers, illuminated manuscript on vellum with Hippopotamus skin binding.

(Ethiopia, 15th century)

DESCRIPTION

122 leaves, (leaf size approximately 250 x 180 mm), in gatherings from 6 leaves to 12 leaves, 1 leaf (f.115) loose. Text varying between 20 and 34 lines, 2 columns throughout, written in black ink with titles, subheadings, sacred names, numerals, etc., in red (addition of f.85v col. 2, in a large hand in red). Written throughout in various beautiful, bold, archaic hands ranging in size from av. 4 mm to av. 6 mm. Some erasures and corrections and insertions in a smaller but equally archaic hand. Original pricking and ruling mostly visible throughout. Some intercolumnar ornament in red and black. NINE ILLUMINATED HEAD PIECES + 2 small ornaments dividing the paragraphs, all variously coloured in red, yellow, black green and blue-grey. TWENTY FULL COLOUR MINIATURES, 3 with silk overlays, 4 black pages. Some wear and darkening of edges. Most of the miniatures have some damage. The paint has sometimes cracked and there is some offsetting from facing pages. the margins of some leaves have been trimmed off in order to utilise the parchment for amulets, charms and notes of contact.

PROVENANCE AND DATE

SIGNED BY THE ARTIST. There is a collophon in the manuscript, on f.105v, which states, ‘This book belongs to Walda Mika’el and his father S’agga Za’ab and his mother S’eyon Kerbra. Walda Rufa’el painted the book.’ Walada Ruda’el’s name is also inserted in an invocation for blessing on folio 110v. The dating of early Ethiopian manuscripts is notoriously problematic. the form of the script, showing a number of archaic letter shapes, points to an early date and the style of the illumination is that of the earliest surviving Ethiopian manuscript.  This places it before the Moslem invasion at the beginning of the 16th century. Two of the Saints portrayed in the miniatures however suggest a date after the middle of the 15th century. ‘Saint’ Gabra Krestos, folio 106v, lived during the reign of the Emperor Zar Jacob (1434-68) and the Abba Sincoda, folio 107, was executed during the 1430s. It is unlikely that they would have been the subject of miniatures until after death.

TEXT

The manuscript properly begins on folio 9, the first 8 leaves being misplaced from the end. The contents are:

ff.10-60 Book of Hours of the day and the night. Subsections are identified as follows. (f.20) prayers for the third hour; (f.23) prayers for the seventh hour; (f.26) prayers for the ninth hour; (f.29) prayers for the evening; (f.33) prayers for sleepl (f.39) prayers for midnight.

ff.62-85 conatins various prayers: (f.62) Prayer for the Consolation of the Faith as we believe in Mary’; (f.65r) ‘Prayer for All Time(s)’; (f.69v) ‘Prayer for mercy’; (74r) ‘Prayer for Midnight’; (f.75v) ‘Prayer to the King of Praise’; (f.81v) ‘Prayer and Vow for the Forgiveness of Sin’; (f.85r) ‘Prayer and Praise of the Divinity an Vow to the King of Praise’; (f.85v) The ten Commandments (in red).

ff 87-105 contains liturgical texts and hymns: (f.87) ‘Hymn to Our Lord Jesus Christ which is to be read on Sunday before the Weddase maryam (Praise to mary)’; (f.94r) ‘Prayer for Monday’; (f.95r) ‘Prayer for Tuesday; (f.97r) ‘prayer for Wednesday’; (99r) ‘Prayer for Thursday’; (f.102v) ‘Praise for Friday’.

ff108 contains the Gospel of St.John. there is however a break of a page between the two blocks of text.

ILLUMINATION

This manuscript is an exmple of the earlist geometric style of Ethiopian illumination. Although Christianity arrived in the country in the 4th century, no paintings or manuscripts can be formally dated before the late 13th or early 14 centuries. The few examples that survive from the 14th or 15th centuries are broadly similar in style, with forms and iconography stemming from Byzantine and Syrian painting. the Chief charecteristics of this style are strong frontal figures articulated by geometric backgrounds.

Lot. 15 £50,000

Text and Image – Bloomsbury Auctions“Antiquarian Books & Ancient Manuscripts,” Catalogue 12, 1989

Durme, Hermosa Donzella – Jordi Savall : Lunissanti, Miserere – Enzo Favata : Symphony No.3, II Lento e largo, Tranquillissimo – Gorecki : In Darkness Let Me Dwell – John Downland : Il Prologo: Alba – Gianluigi Trovesi : Rite Of Passage A – Meredith Monk : Dos Kelbl (The Little Calf) – Iva Bittova : Da Pacem Domine – Arvo Part : Viderunt omnes – Perotin : Mothertongue: IV. Monster – Nico Muly : Mieke’s Melody #5 – Meredith Monk : Jolson and Jones – Scott Walker : Quatuor pour Cora, Dance of the Vampires – Iva Bittova – 65 Mins

 

In the dream I found myself in a magnificent Italian loggia with pillars, a marble floor, and a marble balustrade. I was sitting on a gold Renaissance chair; in front of me was a table of rare beauty. It was made of green stone, like emerald. There I sat looking out into the distance, for the loggia was set high up on the tower of my castle. My children were sitting at the table too.

Suddenly a white bird descended, a small sea-gull or a dove. Gracefully, it came to rest on the table, and I signed to the children to be still so that they would not frighten away the pretty white bird. Immediately the dove was transformed into a little girl, about eight years of age, with golden blonde hair. She ran off with the children and played with them among the colonnades of the castle.

I remained lost in thought, musing about what had I had just experienced. The little girl returned and tenderly placed her arms around my neck. Then she suddenly vanished; the dove was back and spoke slowly in a human voice.

“Only in the first hours of the night can I transform myself into a human being, while the male dove is busy with the twelve dead.” Then she flew off in the blue air, and I awoke.

C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” 1961

Whiteboard intro : Dead Horse Alive With Flies – Harold Budd : Balthus Bemused By Color – Harold Budd : Heresy III – Lustmord : Mementos – Ernie : IBM 729 II (Magnetic Tape Unit) – Jóhann Jóhannsson : Avenue of Shapes – Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd : Folding paper bridge : Vir›ulegu Forsetar, Part 3 – Jóhann Jóhannsson : Be Good To Them Always – The Books : Vladmir’s Blues – Max Richter : Organum – Max Richter : Automatic Writing – Robert Ashley – 60 Mins

Image – Pl. 260 Stone sundial in the form of a polyhedron. W.28 cm. Historiscehs Museum Basel

 

17. “What about that black violin?” Johannes asked him the third evening. “What’s interesting about that?”

Erasmus looked up and paled slightly.

“That violin? If I were you I wouldn’t even touch one of its strings.”

“Why? Is it so bad that it’s not worth playing?”

“Quite the opposite! It’s the most extraordinary instrument I’ve ever come across. A mere breath is enough to set it vibrating. But the music it makes is so strange, that to hear it once is to be changed forever. It is like taking a draught of pure happiness. Once you have tasted it, you are never the same again. Playing the black violin like that, too.”

“Have you ever played it?”

“Only once. A long time ago. I haven’t touched it since. It is like love. When you have been in love-and I’m talking here about true love-it is something you can never forget. There is nothing worse than having been truly happy once in your life. From that moment on, everything makes you sad, even the most insignificant things.”

39. I was standing in front of my workbench when the idea first hit me. Why not make a violin that was just like Carla? If I wanted to reproduce her voice, I should start by taking the inspiration from her body. I would have to make a violin that caught the black of her eyes and the color of her hair. I remembered that somewhere on one of the dusty shelves in the library I had come across a small treatise, written by Antonio Stradivari himself, which explained how to make a violin made almost entirely from ebony. When I found it, I was glad to discover that among other things, the treatise contained a secret recipe for a black varnish, a varnish that I had not used before. Encouraged by my findings, I went back to work.

The shaping of the instrument’s body and sound box was no simple matter. Ebony is an extremely hard wood, and to work it requires both strength and great care. Assembling all the pieces was no easy task either, but finally, after many patient hours, I succeeded. Then came the varnishing, which took me another few weeks of painstaking work.

Two months later, the black violin was finished. The last coat of varnish had dried, and the time had come to see how it sounded. That night there was a storm. The lightning lit up the sky.

I picked up the violin and ran my finger over the surface of the varnish. As I did so, the wood started singing. This was no ordinary violin.

The bow glided over the cords as gently as a feather settling on a ripple of water. The sound grew, and swelled: like a woman’s voice. Like the voice of a soprano.

I stopped playing, almost bursting with happiness, for I knew I had finally made my dream come true.

That night, I played the black violin, and I played in a way I had never played any other instrument before. It was like holding Carla in my arms.

40. A few days later, I returned to Venice. It was the time they call the acqua alta, when the waters of the lagoon had risen and some of the tiny streets were completely flooded. And yet I felt unmoved by this sad landscape. I was so eager to see Carla again and to show her the black violin.

The Ferenzi Palace appeared to be sinking into the water of the Grand Canal. Since the quay was under water, I moored my gondola to the bars of a window. Waves rimmed with green algae were lapping at the steps.

To my surprise it was not the butler who opened the door, but Count Ferenzi himself I was shocked by his appearance, for his cheeks were hollow, his eyes were glazed, and his skin had a waxy look to it. He had aged terribly, and seemed to be weighed down by grief. ”Ah, Erasmus,” he said, “so good to see you. Perhaps you will be able to help us.” “Why, what has happened? Are you unwell?” He took a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed at his forehead. “No, no. I’m fine,” he said, and then, in a whisper, “it’s Carla.” “Carla? What’s happened to her?” ”Ah, if only I knew. She’s been taken ill. She has been in bed for the last ten days.” “Can I see her?” Without waiting for an answer, I went in and ran up the stairs. As I opened the door I saw her lying in bed, looking pale and wan. She was clearly very ill. I went over to see her.

“Carla,” I whispered, “what’s the matter?” She turned her head slowly toward me and I could see from the expression in her eyes that she was in great pain. “Look, I’ve brought the violin I promised you. Listen what a wonderful sound it has!”

But as soon as I touched the strings, Carla looked horrified. Her eyes widened, and she grabbed my arm, imploring me to stop.

“It’s terrible,” said the Count, arriving in the room behind me. “My daughter has a high fever, and the doctors have no idea what is the matter with her. The poor child has been fighting between life and death for more than a week now. ”

I looked at Carla, lying on the bed, her face the very picture of sadness.

“And the most terrible thing of all,” said Ferenzi, “is that since the night she first became ill, she has lost her voice completely!”

I felt the ground slipping away beneath me and had to steady myself against the bedpost to stop myself from fainting.

“What’s the matter?” asked Ferenzi. “Nothing,” I said. “I just feel a little tired, that’s all.” I looked at Carla and could see that she was crying.

Maxence Fermine,The Black Violin,” 2000

Music box intro : Musica Ricerta IIGyorgy Ligeti : Nicoles Dream – Sample : La Petite Messe Solennelle. I. Kyrie – Rossini : O Venezia, Venga, Venusia – Nino Rota : Through the Streets of Venice – Pino Donaggio : Venetian Church bells : Those two girls : Stormy Weather – Lena Horne : Wind : Strange Happenings – Pino Donaggio : Symphony No.5 Adagietto – Mahler : Le Petit Nicolas – Gabriel Yared : I Only Have Eyes for You – The Flamingos : Stillness Of The Mind – Abel Korzeniowski : O Belta Rara, O Santi Modi Adorni – Gabrieli Madrigals : Tom’s farwell : Farewell Theme – Eleni Karaindrou : Crash – 55 Mins

Image -Cover of The Ravished Image Or How To Ruin Masterpieces by Restoration by Sarah Walden