Tentacles (2011)

I close my eyes and see tentacles with suction cups that morph into revolving stages where primal narratives wind and unwind. Dream shapes flash up from the void and blip out. I look but I don’t see the points of light, the shining constellations I recall from childhood; just black, invisible concepts I recognize as recycled copies, as memory programs. A blackness, smooth like a mirror surface, a plane of glass. The units hover in my retina for a few minutes. Then I remember to open my eyes.

I watch the accumulated smoke that hangs in the air, its heavy strata doing a slow flamenco dance with the ceiling fan's lazy rotating blades. The experience is smaller, no longer at the mercy of a fluid dimension: the circus has passed. Memories of the carnival resurface. I feel like a child locked in a bedroom watching a parade on the street through a lonely window. A deep sense of abandonment and betrayal, a profound loss, is overcome by the joy of recognition. Something outside myself, another mind, is organizing these images.

I get lost in thoughts, I’m in a maze, gradually sinking, getting led into a stuttering of dead ends. I wonder if an invisible operator, a conscious will, is behind the apparent organization of history into patterns, formations and synchronized events. I think of how different units of time in history relate and play off each other. Like how the Inquisition is the Roman Empire redoubled through the Catholic Church, the seed turning in on itself. I see all the separate units of history and time fall into place, into a coherent narrative sequence, for a flash. Then the images go cold and dark again, and I’m left staring at the layers of smoke that hang in the air. I notice that the stale smoke reeks, but I can’t move to open a window. It’s like the drug has pinned me to the chair’s cushion.

I close my eyes again and see myself through myself. The brain hemispheres are two glass enclosures, cells of space. Their outlines are exerted in an afterimage. The body is an outline-afterimage made of static. A bounded dimension rolls over the static surface: two surfaces converge but never fuse (I never see the images). Images of spines, needles, sharp exoskeletal forms. Always covered by an anonymous film, a revolting fluid that steams and boils. It never clings to anything, a fluid-solid like mercury. It migrates from image-object to image-object, it oozes over everything simultaneously. I try to envision crime scenes first. The pod lights up, it makes a rattling sound, and I remember where I am. It’s in my lap, staring at me, a dark bulb, a throbbing internal organ I carry around. It clings to my clothes, it hides and goes invisible, it can get lost and follow me, or rematerialize in space. It serves vital biological functions, as a kind of life support, in case of emergencies.

The first vision is of a corpse holding a flag: she’s already buried in time, her facial expression is buried under layers of artificial menace. Makeup and clothing were added later, we can tell by the chemical gradients. The facial muscles were rearranged by the killer. The flag is covered in unidentifiable symbols scattered randomly, unevenly. Vegetable structures, black molds with nothing inside, lingering soft lunar surfaces, crawl over the crime scene. Spores left by the criminal. The investigator has a notebook with a glossy surface. He uses an expensive custom pen, grooved metal and plastic, and reflected light glances off as he takes notes. He's drawing a map. Re-imagining the crime in sharp, grisly detail. Exposed interiors, anatomy through the lens. He draws the lacerated arteries, the carved entrails, some etched with little signs, markings, graffiti. He solves the murder in twenty minutes. The intestinal tract has been maimed but this was concealed by the murderer through advanced surgery and cosmetics. He sewed the abdominal wounds shut and the scars are invisible. The corpse is partially hollowed-out, an organ has been extracted. A black market organ that, when eaten, has psychedelic properties. Sawed through the bone, divided in sections. The murderer is an alchemist, we learn this from his library. Black ooze bleeds out of mannequins, plastic busts, indistinct outlines of beautiful women. This is the killer's apartment. Maps under glass. All the ornaments are ignored. The scene itself exerts a material presence. It seems vaguely conscious. Halogen spotlights, stage lighting and floodlights, security networks: the space is enormous. Pale light and green water-reflections. Underground compartments. The arrangements of limb and muscle seem to indicate cardinal directions, a scheme of cartographic orientation. The detective leads the way into the catacombs. The killer begins in the room. First, the door is closed, silently. The killer cuts the lights, kills everyone inside, soundless, inhuman, descending on them from obscure heights. The body is a compass. The murder is fresh. A fresh corpse. But the victim was kept as a slave for weeks. The anonymous tip was left by the murderer, a series of recordings. The detective realizes this exactly thirty seconds too late. By then, his entire unit is dead, the killer is waiting for him at the end of some corridor. He has a distinct but not absolute advantage.

I’m starting to live in the den. The habit of staring at the ceiling fan’s rotating blades, or watching the attendant as she walks away from me after administering a dose, is like watching the backs of my eyelids during sleep. I stare at the oriental hangings, which sway in the breeze by the window, for hours, until the attendant notifies me that the bar closes in five minutes.

The pod is in my lap again, staring up at me. It wants to show me another scene. The cycle never seems to end.

Posted at at 2:01 AM on Sunday, September 15, 2013 by Posted by WM | 2 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:


Postcolonial Theory and the Challenge of Globalization

 As Edward Said and many others have insisted, the discourses of imperialism employ a variety of structural binaries, codes and designations that construct Eurocentric perceptions of otherness and difference. But if imperialism is structural by nature, one could argue that globalization – the postwar, late capitalist mutation of imperial logic – relies on a poststructural dynamic that dissolves constructed binaries into a uniform sameness. According to Leela Gandhi, this inversion occurs on two fronts: the geographic and the subjective. Geographically, the maps drawn by colonial empires have lost relevance because "in the face of the economic and electronic homogenisation of the globe, national boundaries are [...] no longer sustainable" (125). At the same time, globalization has undermined our perceptions of otherness, as "a growing suspicion of 'identitarian' politics" (126) has emerged among critics such as Gayatri SpivakRey Chow and Stuart Hall. Gandhi's interpretation of this transformation is ambivalent and somewhat problematic. On the one hand, she laments the fading legitimacy of the notion of a pure, u+
++ncontaminated postcolonial subject who has become "dangerously un-Otherable" (127). But, at the same time, she celebrates the possibility of a new, hybrid postcolonial identity that may blur the distinction between Other and non-Other, or Western and non-Western. Intentionally or not, Gandhi exposes a paradox that undercuts any postcolonial engagement with globalization: namely, if a structural evil (imperialism) has to be countered with a deconstructive critical approach (for example, Edward Said's Foucaultian critique of Orientalist discourse), then is a poststructural or anti-structural phenomenon like globalization vulnerable to the same kind of critical strategy, or is a new method necessary? For Gandhi, the solution lies in a redemptive "postnationalism" that embraces hybrid identities and international, global solidarity, and it is the task of the postcolonial critic to enable and indeed usher in this "utopia." However, Gandhi hesitates to acknowledge the fundamental dissimilarities between imperialism and globalization. In fact, she insists that globalization is merely an extension of imperialist logic: "Postcoloniality, one might say, is just another name for the globalisation of cultures and histories" (126). Gandhi draws an analogy between imperialism and globalization to substantiate this claim, stating that both bring previously isolated cultures into contact with one another, and are therefore comparable. However, although it may be tempting to propose such a lineage, it excludes a great deal of conflicting information. For example, imperialism is rooted in the political power of nation-states, which tends to coalesce into a unified agenda and an interrelated set of discourses, while globalization is perpetrated by disconnected, rival corporations in a wide range of industries, each with competing interests. And while the exploitation of cheap labor in disadvantaged regions of the world may amount to a form of colonization, it shares little in common with the systematic reorganization and political subjection forced on indigenous populations by colonial empires. If imperialism operates by subjecting and excluding populations, perpetuating inequality through difference, globalization tries to assimilate the other into a uniform market where everyone is, in a sense, always-already excluded from the free-floating, irrational logic of late capital.

The fluidity of the globalized postcolonial subject – who is poised "between two conflicting systems of belief" (130) – is itself a threat to globalization. Since these subjects resist easy definition, they naturally exist outside the discourses of political manipulation. Drawing on Homi Bhabha, Gandhi calls the postnational, globalized subject a "radically protean political entity" (130) who may, by merit of its position in a "third space" (131) outside the established political framework, be in a natural position to critique the system. At the same time, the increasingly fluid relationship between Other and non-Other, which is approaching a kind of convergence in a mutual exchange of identities, could undermine the colonizer's privileged status in the global political hierarchy. Globalization, therefore, could contain in its own DNA the blueprint for its demise. However critics who elevate this notion of hybrid identities as a potential source of political revolt assume that globalization seeks to construct and indoctrinate subjects much as the imperialists did, even though it may be the case that, as some postmodern critics have postulated, globalization requires decentered, confused, ill-defined subjects in order to function smoothly. The uniform sameness of the global market may entail a kind of smoothing over of difference which is interiorized, and not the politicized differences and conflicts which are emphasized by dominant political powers to define and legitimize their status. This is not to say that globalization is absolutely incompatible with postcolonial critique and resistance, but to suggest that the theoretical strategies based on an assumed equivalence between globalization and imperialism, and those that hold out the promise of the emergence of a new subjectivity, fail to take into account certain patterns within globalization which resist the strategic foundations in which the theory is grounded. Gandhi admits these shortcomings, acknowledging that structural assumptions within postcolonialism's theoretical edifice may need to be adapted to new realities. While the hard political realities of exploitation, subjugation and manipulation remain relatively unchanged since the dark ages of colonialism, the structures in which they are embedded, the webs of discursive power in political, corporate and cultural realms, have changed radically in the postwar period, and are currently changing. There is no question that the history of colonial expansion provides a useful model for the "neocolonialism" of the unstructured, cancerous growth of corporations, but a theory of corporate power will require some new ideas to accommodate a post-historical phenomenon.

Works Cited

Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical IntroductionNew YorkColumbia University. 1998.

Posted at at 4:04 AM on Saturday, September 14, 2013 by Posted by WM | 1 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

six-act play

incomplete. summer 2009 (?)

The crime scene is a space of maximum transparency and surveillance where an unsolvable crime has been committed. The perfect crime requires total knowledge, so the scene maps onto itself; it operates as its own reflection. In this scene, the Private Eye tries to map the event in hi-definition. The stage is a fluid environment of tense and setting; it combines moments, sites, dreams, simulations, cellular automata, and relational units of space. The crime is never solved because it avoids capture, it can't be recorded. The footage is all that remains of the event. Its origins are mysterious. The footage tracks a series of performances on a stage, which the investigators believe describe the crime scene in some of its variations: (1) a magic show, (2) a tryst, (3) a murder, (4) a dream sequence, (5) a comedy routine and (6) a burlesque striptease. There are other stages and characters which are uncertain or shifting. Background of psychotic image streams, the shadow or unconscious of the surveillance footage. A network of dissociated affects, scenes, images and time.

1. (magic show) a bald magician tattooed with sigils performs a murder trick, saws his female assistant in half, blood and guts spill on audience in a shuddering curtain. Horror sigils, death symbols that come to life, become hideous creatures. Spells and formulae, thunder/lightning, masks, Noh void-faces, oozing eye, (spider species), whip, machine, torture, corridors, halls, screaming, flesh, weapon, blood, spiderweb, thin filaments, dread, the surfaces are curvilinear.

2 (tryst) girl passes through woods, drops something valuable, boy passes through same woods, at the same time (signature), finds it. Sequence repeats ad infinitum. Inventory of minimal differences: movements, gestures of lovers and trees. Nature waste, dancing limbs, her limbs extend into black night-trees across black horizon.

3 (murder) fluorinated light, fluorescent zombies crowd around an object, accusing.
Object: "I live in the desert and perform strange acts as the impulse occurs to me."
Zombies: "You stand accused. Who is afraid of us?"
Object: "Everyone is afraid of lawyers."
Murder, zombies collapse around object in a hungry rage.

4 (dream sequence)
Blood fans over a black background, descends in patterns on a spider web. Anonymous figure in glasses paces neurotically through various dimensions. Cut to zombie reenactment of bondage sex ritual: corpses painted like clowns, vampires, prostitutes, zombies - absurd corpses. Bleeds into fascists in uniform, make-up, boots, wigs. They persuade elemental forces out of the cadavers. The anonymous figure salutes a zombie general.

5 (comedy routine)

6 (burlesque striptease)
see video

Posted at at 12:53 AM on Monday, August 5, 2013 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Royal Wedding play-by-play

British royalty arrive in animal costumes and wave through tinted glass at throngs of idiots. The chauffeur steers with rigid arms toward the red carpet and the bells are sounded, trumpets blast in unison, morons join together in chorus while the organ’s flames rise to the organist’s fingers and everything coalesces with the ghosts of the church. Old wounds stand upright, pain is swallowed and hidden from view by Queen Elizabeth and the wife of Prince Charles. I’m looking up Kate’s wedding dress: it is glorious in the ease with which it accentuates ( ). The driver inflates himself before the journey for perfect and total muscular tension: he doesn’t hold the air in, rather it holds his bones and tissue together in a rigid pose by calculated variations in air pressure. He empties his mind of everything but steel-reinforced command as he steers mechanically. Queen Elizabeth is dressed as a woodchuck, Prince Harry is a turtle, Prince Charles is a fish. They take their seats in custom thrones with platinum rims that spin eternally as they fan themselves and their naked slaves lounge in chains at their feet. The driver is trying not to stare down Kate’s dress through the rearview mirror. He almost waves at the crowd of idiots. The future queen’s sister’s ass is framed magnificently by the church’s cosmic Gothic interior.

Posted at at 5:23 PM on Thursday, July 5, 2012 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

NES Castle Themes

Posted at at 3:33 AM on Monday, October 24, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

2/3 of the cephalopod nervous system is distributed in its skin. This brain architecture might offer a model of what an evolved invertebrate intelligence would look like. The cephalopod model of distributed neural networks on a high definition screen is a blueprint for extraterrestrial invertebrate super-intelligence in its evolutionary infancy. All intelligence, social and artificial intelligence especially, seems to be moving in this direction, towards distributed intelligence along a screen, a mirror of space. All intelligence evolves inward into its own re-engineered environments. Cephalopods have high intelligence, the highest of any invertebrate: they use tools and communicate, their brain-to-body mass ratio is comparable to intelligent mammals (the highest B/b ratio in nature belongs to the shrew), and they can navigate complex mazes. With no armor or shell, they need to be smart to survive, so they have evolved strategies of evasion, like cloaking themselves in ink, and various kinds of deception and subterfuge, to escape from predators, as well as forms of communication to ward them off or to lure prey.

The nerve cells in their skin (which is not so much skin as a neural membrane) can make the cephalopod virtually invisible against complex backgrounds, like HD screens or metamaterial mirroring the surround. The cephalopod becomes the thought or concept of its environment through its skin/brain interface. Since evolution is pulling humans inward into virtual space instead of pushing into outer space, technology has started to resemble the octopoid skin-brain model, and media images are becoming a form of group camouflage (they merge into the environment like camouflage). The whole technological apparatus has become an extension of the environment. Do these conceptual domains (technological, biological, virtual) converge to form a higher order, i.e. are all these systems and flows integrated into an emergent order? (Emergent systems can be intelligent; consciousness emerges from neurons). Since these domains are merely conceptual, not material or ontological, and since the networks that produce them tend toward global connectivity, it seems like convergence is inevitable. Maybe nature, or reality, is always evolving into this form (there’s something inexplicably cephalopodian about the tryptamine encounter).

Posted at at 2:55 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by Posted by WM | 2 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

"He stood in a box in the reserved section of a movie house [...] These people were laughing at their lives, he thought with amazement. They were shouting and yelling at the animated shadows of themselves. His compassion fired his imagination and he stepped out of the box, walked out upon thin air, walked on down to the audience; and, hovering in the air just above them, he stretched out his hand to touch them... His tension snapped and he found himself back in the box, looking down into the sea of faces. No; it could not be done; he could not awaken them. He sighed. Yes, these people were children, sleeping in their living, awake in their dying." - Richard Wright, "The Man Who Lived Underground"

Posted at at 6:33 PM on Monday, June 13, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

banal lines of poetry

"We waited for the storm, like a person waiting for a phone call from another person.”
" I would boldly seek divine inspiration, like a dog chasing a cat.”
“She was deceitful, like a box of chocolates full of marbles”
“I stood among their illustrious company, like a tree standing in a forest.”
“I strode bravely into the night, like matchsticks striking the pavement”
“The overhanging trees called to me, like telephones ringing”
“We made love, and it was like rubbing two sticks together.”

- 2008

Posted at at 12:43 AM on Saturday, June 11, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

"The Castle, whose contours were already beginning to dissolve, lay silent as ever; never yet had K seen there the slightest sign of life – perhaps it was impossible to recognize anything at a distance, and yet the eye demanded it and could not endure that stillness. When K looked at the Castle, often it seemed to him as if he were observing someone who sat there quietly gazing in front of him, not lost in thought and so oblivious of everything, but free and untroubled, as if he were alone with nobody to observe him, and yet must notice that he was observed, and all the same remained with his calm not even slightly disturbed; and really – one did not know whether it was cause or effect – the gaze of the observer could not remain concentrated there, but slid away." - Franz Kafka, Das Schloss

Posted at at 10:26 AM on Saturday, May 21, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Download/stream of the complete movie here: http://www.archive.org/details/CarnivalOfSouls_ipod

Carnival of Souls is vintage 1960's low budget horror: pure sexual metaphor, shock value, moribund atmosphere, and schlock acting (but fantastic makeup, choreography, score, etc.) It stars the unearthly beauty Candace Hilligoss as a woman doomed to live in a Twilight Zone/ looking glass style hell after a near death episode. After this trauma she's stalked by the camera (she has become a pure image in the looking glass), by zombies in white makeup who rise from a river bed, and by a creepy, leering, pushy neighbor who always seems like he's trying to corner and trap the pretty young blonde. There's a sense of modernist anxiety and dread that saturates everything in the tradition of German Expressionism and film noir. But the atmosphere never devours the plot structure (which is allowed, sort of arrogantly, by avant-gardists) because the limitations and coded structures of the genre hold everything together as a kind of skeletal system, and in their forward trajectory move the story along, from church to psychiatrist office to abandoned carnival, so it doesn't stay still or soften enough to turn into anything other than a B-movie. The plot structure provides a kind of elementary support, like architectural or skeletal supports arranged by a child. This framework boils down to genre and commercial formula, so structurally these films (the underground genre films from the Cold War period) serve the corporations that finance and produce them. Genre films can reach a sort of perfected state, though, without being any good (whatever 'good' is, or is supposed to be), and I'm not sure if Carnival of Souls is any good, or, more importantly, if it was good in its time, in comparison to what was average or terrible in 1962 (the Cuban Missile Crisis?). But the film succeeds in breathing atmospheric life into dead genre cliches.

Genre can give structure to the random jolts, shocks, spasms, etc. associated with modernist neurosis, and I think that's the function of these postwar genre films (Hitchcock, SF, horror, noir) that translate the pathology through popular culture, i.e. that reflect the nervous seizures rippling through the group mind that are kind of identified and regulated by postwar consumer culture, what I would call the capitalist collective (an antithesis, or ironic reversal, of the communist collective).

The embed is too wide for this double column layout but someone posted the trailer on user-generated Internet TV:

Posted at at 4:39 AM on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:


(dream about a castle)

Android comes to life in castle in Middle Ages – staggers around corners & collides with empty suits of armor lining the dining hall - the acoustics amplifying the noise of a couple who fuck loudly on the banquet table – miraculously their noise matches his own so he is masked by the sound of it– plates and utensils clash together - the couple remain anonymous throughout the dream. The android feels a small insect sliding down one of its pipes. It uses a system of air pumps, bellows, gears, and squeeze boxes as artificial lungs and air passages. It has to find its creator in the labyrinth of rooms, stairwells, empty corridors and haunted alcoves. The automaton responds to images collected in a mirror in its skull. Its brain is a system of mirrors read by an artificial camera obscura that drafts the image with pencils, crayons, and paintbrushes attached to rotating grooved discs.

Posted at at 5:52 PM on Sunday, May 15, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Cobra (1986) montage

This is the 1980's (as a unit of history) frozen in a Benjaminian image of messianic time. All the clichés of the dacade are shredded by primitive montage technique, all the key narratives are pureed to a primal essence in the blender of coked-up 80's movie producer mania: a renegade cop descends into a sleazy criminal underworld; a model dances against a regiment of gleaming robots, which appear out of nowhere, in quick cuts, (like an alien film invading the main film), in an idealized photography studio; ubiquitous 80’s city night fog and steam with no identifiable origin pervades streets bathed in pink and blue neon; a homeless black man is seen assuming the position with his head inside a cardboard box, etc. The essence of 80's capitalism is expressed as sleaze and entitlement (here twin elements personified in Stallone and Nielsen) which form a single montage that scrolls perpetually, outside of time, in the primal theater of sexual exploitation and the Law. The best part is when it cuts from the weird racial tension of Stallone roughing up some black bartenders to Brigitte Nielsen in a hideous one piece swimsuit grinding against a robot wearing a pimp's fur coat.

Posted at at 4:59 AM on Saturday, May 7, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Twilight Zone, "One for the Angels" (1959)

Rod Serling was more important to the transition from the 50's to the 60's than The Beatles and John F. Kennedy combined. The Twilight Zone stood at the threhold of 50's super-culture and 60's sub-culture. It combined underground elements like jazz, beatnik poetry, science fiction, horror, psychedelics, and Cold War paranoia against a backdrop of quiet postwar suburban America. I think the show still resonates because it fitted its medium --black and white television -- so perfectly, and sort of completed its own medium (like a foreign organism, a parasite or alien, fusing with its host and becoming invisible). The Twilight Zone could not have worked in color.

This is the second episode from the first season, titled"One for the Angels." It was written by Serling and the twist at the end is classic as a salesman has to keep death entralled with a sales pitch to save a young girl's life while sacrificing his own. This is a fairly transparent apology for capitalism (it has to be: Serling never forgets he's luring consumers for scheduled corporate brainwashing) in that it points to survival as an unassailable justification for capital, for perpetuating the illusion of prosperity, or progress, which is revealed here as a desperate staving off or delaying of the inevitable. Capitalism is messianic because it protects future generations, it incubates them, like Lew Bookman in "One for the Angels." Murray Hamilton as Mr. Death is terrifying in a subtle way. The opening narration by Serling sets the stage:

"Street scene, summer, the present. Man on the sidewalk named Lew Bookman, age sixtyish, occupation pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer. A rather minor component to a hot July. A nondescript commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks. And in just a moment Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival, because as of 3 o’clock this hot July afternoon he will be stalked by Mr. Death."

Posted at at 2:22 AM on Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Richard Matheson (Twilight Zone, I Am Legend, "Born of Man and Woman") wrote this screenplay. It's fitting that the greatest American horror writer since H.P. Lovecraft should write a late 60's biopic about the Marquis de Sade.

Posted at at 1:37 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011 by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under:

Gautier, "The Mummy's Foot" & Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life"

Theophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire both belonged to the Club des Hashischins, the first and only (as far as I know) society of writers, artists, and intellectuals devoted to hashish experimentation. Gautier, one of the greatest horror masters of the 19th century, on a par with Mary Shelley and EA Poe, was the leader of Club Hashish. The mummified foot of the Egyptian princess in his famous story is the ultimate 19th Century fetish object. It's the glass slipper in the form of a severed, embalmed, galvanic foot. As commodity, religious idol, and pornographic image, the mummy's foot binds the three popular 19th century definitions of the fetish object: the Hegelian, Marxian, and Freudian fetishes. The foot belongs to the beautiful dead daughter of a pharaoh. The ghost of Princess Hermonthis leads her buyer into the underworld. This story is an erotic and terrifying allegory of commercialism and prostitution at the genesis of modernity. Which is precisely the subject of Baudelaire's essay, "The Painter of Modern Life," also posted below.

"Instead of remaining quiet, as behoved a foot which had been embalmed for four thousand years, it commenced to act in a nervous manner, contracted itself, and leaped over the papers like a startled frog. One would have imagined that it had suddenly been brought into contact with a galvanic battery. I could distinctly hear the dry sound made by its little heel, hard as the hoof of a gazelle." -- Theophile Gautier, "The Mummy's Foot"

"By ‘modernity’ I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and immutable…This transitory, fugitive element, whose metamorphoses are so rapid, must on no account be despised or dispensed with.” -- Charles Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life"

Posted at at 1:22 AM on by Posted by WM | 0 comments Links to this post   | Filed under: