356 INT. Museum of luminol b-roll aphorisms & salvaged 9/11 evidence fragments


Dear Internet,

The above is our desktop as of March 21, 2014. Took the photo some 10 years ago in the algae-rich waters off the shores of Holbox. Apparently we're still here—on the island of Manhattan—still scanning & archiving old negatives...

Some remnant aphorisms from towards the end of Minima Moralia that we didn't mention in the last post:

«The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.

Artistic productivity is the capacity for being voluntarily involuntary.

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.»

March 22. Warpaint we're lackluster live last night. Felt like they were all marching to different drums ... which is all fine, but the drummer is not even capable of keeping a simple beat to ground it. The bassist is the only 1 w/ any rhythm ... & that doesn't take herself so seriously.

Observation: squirrels tend to hang out doing what they do (digging for nuts) at the base of trees & as you approach they more often than not jump on said tree trunk & climb a few feet up before quickly jumping off in the opposite direction, zig-zagging away. The first few times we noticed this we didn't think much of it—thought this was plain stupid & indecisive—but now we're thinking it's a life-saving behaviorism. Maybe this erratic & seemingly psychotic behavior is what led to the urban legends about crack-crazed squirrels digging up dealer's stashes in Brixton?

The bass player's sister, Shannyn Sossamon, was also originally in Warpaint but left to pursue an acting career. One of her first roles was in our cousin's Rules of Attraction, which we member seeing an early screening of when some of the unfinished scenes were still cartoonish storyboards ... member thinking the unfinished version was more interesting & wondered if anyone has made a movie as such? At least w/ the expensive scenes story-boarded to save money. Or a whole book storyboarded ...

storyboarding the birds

The storyboarded Birds

Also wonder what David Markson has to say about Theodor Adorno ... googling we found this, from This Is Not A Novel (which we posted about here):

«An information bureau of the human condition, Theodor Adorno called Kafka.»

An information bureau of the human condition, we call both Theodor Adorno & David Markson. R.I.P.

March 23. Finished the negative scanning phase of our archival project (while watching college hoops). Our Pictures folder now has «90.7 GB for 48,053 items». Now begins the process of categorizing them ... & deleting redundancies & 1s deemed not worthy of keeping ... & assigning keywords so we can actually find shit. We have Lightroom but are using Adobe Bridge just cuz that's what we are used to using, as it ties in w/ Photoshop & InDesign. And there's far less overhead ... we've tried both LightRoom & whatever that piece of shit is that comes w/ Macs & both of them start to byte-wise spiral out of control quickly & it's hard to tell what/where the master copy is ...

Theodor Adorno had a heart attack & died on August 6, 1969, at the base of the Matterhorn (where we laid our bones ... temporarily in September 2012).


March 25, 2:11 a.m. We were at some poly-technical school & happened upon this art project our brother made that we'd never seen before. It was 3-d text that told a story on a landscape such that, try as we might, we couldn't capture it in a photo ... if you took an aerial shot you couldn't read it & if you took a shot from the side you could only read the last sequence coming from the expanding spiral of words. This trailing sentence said something like: «1/6/96. 6 p.m. A slumped-over body was discovered by the new tenant, a Chinese immigrant.» We were thinking how this seemed impossible (if this was in reference to our father) ... the subsequent tenants (in real  life) that moved into our father's house (that he died in) were indeed Chinese, but the date was off by 14 years—assuming this was our dead father they found slumped over. Either the new occupants hadn't moved in yet or our father was long since dead & cremated ... or the body belonged to someone else. We woke up puzzling over this metaphysically ... as if this was an alternate universe to Schrödinger's Cat.

When Blake Butler was in 2nd grade, some kid Cory told him his uncle had gotten his head cut off by a Ouija board cuz he wasn’t treating it right & he hasn’t slept well since. That’s the sort of messed up Butler wants ... he wants art that makes that feeling seem like 1 of a 1,000,000, not 1 in a 1,000,000. Butler wants a shitload of witches on his stoop w/ candy & diagrams of the insides of human bodies.

March 28. Yesterday made some images for the next Calamari publication, The Luminol Reels by Laura Ellen Joyce. We unveiled the cover 2 posts ago ... tho now we're thinking this might change in light of these new images.


AGONIES (for The Luminol Reels)

Obviously we've been inspired by our archiving of negatives, in particular the ways in which they age & distress & how this—like memory—can be somewhat corrosive. The above is an underwater shot we took in Jamaica, that we then took a lit match to. And this 1 below is from a roll we found on a rainy cobblestoned street in Rome. We didn't even have to distress/photoshop this 1 ... the feet (right) & glove (left) were already there, as were the scratches & watermarks. We're guessing some Roman was taking photos of their silverware for insurance purposes?


MARTYRS (for The Luminol Reels)



MURDERERS (for The Luminol Reels)

This 1  above was also an underwater shot ... either in Jamaica or Mexico we forget (actually, Jamaica, you can see the undoctored originals here). That's our better half in a bikini waving to the camera. Not sure what we did to the negative to give it that dielectric breakdown feel. Or whether we could recreate if we tried.


PORNO (for The Luminol Reels)

... this 1 is not what you think so get your mind out of the gutter! It's a shot of a rock & some sand, probly in Costa Rica. The scratches we put there cuz this is the part in the book where a surgical Y-incision is made. The titles incidentally also come from The Luminol Reels—an image for each of the 11 unnumbered but named chapters. You'll have to wait to read it (officially until June 1) to see how they fit in. This is the last 1 we'll show for now, corresponding to chapter 5.


RITUALS (for The Luminol Reels)

We've found & kept lost negatives or photos quite a few times in our life, but the above photo of a painting of Jesus against fake wood paneling (w/ some superimposed elements from the found Roman cutlery negatives) was from a camera we found, w/ undeveloped film in it. Forget where we found it & at first we were terribly confused as to why these photos were mixed in on the same roll w/ our photos (we finished the roll off before developing the film), until it came back to us ... once developed, the found camera contained a bunch of photos of some older couple—seemed like recent immigrants to the U.S. from Jamaica or the D.R. (shots of them posing proudly in the International Hall of JFK—the new Ellis Island) ... creepy—like that scene in Altmann's Short Cuts where they mix up the film at the 1-hour photo (1 of the found photos of which we recently appropriated in our river corpse post) ... & sad that they lost their camera & we felt bad. We member scouring the photos to no avail for some sort of identifying marks ... so we could return the camera & film to the rightful owner. Here's a shot of them standing in front of the World Trade Center, 4 months before 9/11.

9/11 immigrants

Creepy, right? Perhaps we shouldn't have blurred the faces as then maybe someone might recognize them (tho we no longer have the camera to give back), but that might be weird if someone they did know stumbled across this.

One time—back when we used to sometimes include ourselves in photos here—we posted a photo of us sitting in some waterfall in Jamaica (you might find it if you navigate thru the above Jamaica link). Months or years later, 1 of J's co-workers stumbled across the image on some popular travel website & recognized us  ... the shot was being used to promote a hotel or something. They made up names for us, but nevertheless they said we endorsed their hotel. Perhaps this is why we don't really include our faces here on 5¢ense anymore ... or anyone's face for that matter. And why Facebook rubs us the wrong way.

We find our images that have been re-appropriated all the time on you, Internet & don't give a shit (this site is ɔopyleft after all, not copyright), but this is 1 instance you can guarantee we contacted said travel website w/ a cease & desist.

In our recent archiving we also came across pictures of us—taken from Hoboken or boats or the Brooklyn bridge—w/ the World Trade Center looming in the background. Like this 1 which is safe to post since it doesn't include our face  ... we'd only been in NYC a month or 2 at this point—probly seemed requisite we take the Statue of Liberty tour at least once ...


3 months & a day before (also note airplane near the torch)

Started to read Speedboat by Renata Adler but jumped ship after 50 pages or so. Bored doodlings of an elite NYC intellectual/journalist as she jetsets around the world. «I this, I that» ... blah, blah. Actually, stopped reading on page 42 when Adler says: «I do not, certainly, believe in evolution. For example, fossils. I believe there are objects in nature—namely, fossils—which occur in layers, and which some half-rational fantasts insist derive from animals, the bottom ones more ancient than the top.» And then she preciously tangents to some other topic so you can't nail her on how ignorant & shallow she actually is.

If a scientist or journalist (they are sposed to be scientific thinkers, right?) doesn't believe in evolution, how can you believe or give credence to anything else they say? Evolution forms the backbone of modern thought if you ask us ... then again, 46% of Americans believe in creationism so maybe we're barking up the wrong tree (this was a major reason we exiled ourselves to Africa & then Rome ... tho we've since regressed/defaulted back ... not that NYC necessarily counts as America). Call us heathens, 'half-rational fantasts' ... but life's too short to read such ignorant & pretentious nonsense when there are 50+ other more worthy books in our to-read pile ...

An aphorism is defined as 1. a pithy observation that contains general truth. 2. a concise statement of scientific principle, typically by an ancient classical author. We mention this cuz someone called Speedboat aphoristic. Far from it.

Oh, speaking of Laura Ellen Joyce—the images above of which were made for her forthcoming Luminol Reels—we also read her Museum of Atheism ... speaking also of religion (or lack thereof) in all its fictional ritualistic glory. While thematically it has some things in common w/ The Luminol Reels (foxes, forensics, sexual fetish & pre-pubescent pageantry) it reads more like a blockbuster thriller. We could see it being made into a movie (that we'd pay to see). For some reason it reminded us of the Finnish movie Rare Exports, maybe cuz it also takes place around Xmas & features manly hunters in cold weather environs & w/ a bit of camp thrown in for good measure. Besides foxes, The Museum of Atheism also fetishes over all things fungal. And it features a Dargeresque guy who repairs/services sex dolls for a living. And it was blurbed by Joyelle McSweeney, which makes sense ... we kept thinking of her & also Johannes Göransson, who share a similar taste for the colonial pageantry of the likes of JonBenét Ramsey.

The Museum of Atheism by Laura Ellen Joyce

In other news, scientists used the Aesop's fable paradigm—in which subjects drop stones into water to raise the water level & obtain an out of reach reward—to assess New Caledonian crows' causal understanding of water displacement. When we got to the bottom of a a bottle of mezcal last night, we discovered a scorpion instead of a worm (guess we should've known since the brand was Scorpion ... not to be confused with Scorpion-branded heroin). We've swallowed our fair share of worms, but sorry ... didn't have the cajones to swallow this bugger ...


A lot of talk lately about bookstore going belly up in Manhattan ... when you stop to think about it tho, brick & mortar bookstores are kind of a dumb idea in this day & age. Who really needs them when it's easier to find shit online? Of all the retail stores slated for extinction, makes sense bookstores would be 1st to go. Their only purpose is as a place for people to be seen buying books ... or for readings, for the «community» aspect of it. But seriously ... a sense of community in Manhattan?

Museums are pointless too, but they seem to be more popular than ever. Again, they are not places to see art, but where people can be seen looking at art. Thanks to you, Internet, we don't need to go anywhere. Even going to shows seems more & more not worth it.

And there seems to be recent debate over NYC vs. MFA? Neither, if you ask us. DIY if anything ... your own way.

Saw La grande bellezza the other night. Not sure what we thought of it ... it's a sad & accurate satire on the decadence of Rome, an ode of sorts to Fellini ... but it seemed hopelessly sad & pointless in the end. Which maybe is the point ... Rome as a beauty that flashes her tits but never puts out. (NYC on the other hand ... a productive city). It was interesting to us for nostalgic reasons—reminiscing over all our old haunts—tho mostly the Rome Sorrentino captures is inaccessible ... to us at least. Who lives like this anymore? Maybe this movie will be the turning point, when these bourgeois fossils finally die off & the rest of Italy can get on w/ their lives.

March 30. Saw William Basinski last night ... speaking of salvaging analog media ... & WTC (his Disintegration Loops were intended as some sort of soundtrack to 9/11 —he finished it that morning & was listening to them w/ friends on his Brooklyn rooftop as the towers toppled). When we listen to The Disintegration Loops we don't think of the twin towers, but for some reason it reminds us of the soundtrack to Twin Peaks. We were hesitant to even go ... & once we gave in considered bringing our airplane neck pillow ... i mean, Basinski is great to have on in the background, but live?

... it was more engaging than expected. The endless video loop of shimmering water projected overhead helped. And on 1 piece he collaborated w/ the drumming ensemble Man Forever (2 bearded dudes & Kid Millions, the x-drummer from Oneida), who opened up. Normally not crazy about watching people stand behind a computer or wall of electronics, but at least at the core Basinski uses tape loops, which he occassionally manipulated with these tubes that made him seem like Lex Luthor fiddling w/ Kryptonite ... taking a moment in time captured on magnetic tape & pushing the envelope on it over & over until the distressed defects in media become what it's all about.

... just made the connection in our mind to The Luminol Reels & The Disintegration Loops, not just cuz of the serendipitous nomenclature, but both seem to deal w/ beautifying degradation.

Misty rain has set in, for the 2nd or 3rd day straight. Temps finally in the 50s.

... tho we don't know what we think about Basinski saying that about Disintegration Loops & 9/11. Seems like cheap & gimmicky exploitation. We were here too, watching, but what's there to say?

Day after tomorrow, Stanley Crawford's Travel Notes is officially released. As a teaser, we're putting this opening excerpt up on Sleepingfish.

You're welcome, Internet.

  > 357 > Suspended for forgery, rooting for no home team & writing reportorial fiction for morta corpora


[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2014  derek white  |  calamari press   ]