help side

help side
[help side defence,
or the tactile recalibration of peripheral vision,
or the hands of the clock at 13h50 -- just past high noon.]

 

left hand

"The faster we go, the more we look ahead in anticipation and lose our lateral vision."

(Paul Virilio, The Administration of Fear, p.36)

 

right hand

"Whiteness as blindness, as third type of blindness in which one sees with one's eyes open to the world, yet sees nothing. Not the absence of light and the consequent darkness that renders one incapable of seeing, nor the total intensification of light on the retinal receptors such that one is blinded by its sheer intensity and has a visceral reaction, which forces a closure of the eyes to get relief from the pain (as when looking at a sunny sky after being in a dark room). But a visible sightlessness that Antony Gormley helps us perceive, a third type of blindness in which one listens and touches, in which objects emerge from the white fog of chaos only at the penultimate moment of proximity."

(sportsbabel, june 2012)

 

a recursive game of prisoner's dilemma

The problem is not, as Bertrand Richard suggests in conversation with Paul Virilio, "that we still want even more speed and instantaneity." It is rather that we cannot afford to slow down, that we do not want to be left behind. The problem of speed thus becomes the inverse of the problem of exodus, except that we are describing an exodus from the hyperlinearity of time.

And as a question of praxis, we borrow from Paolo Virno to suggest a gradual move from a determined problem: keep pace or fall behind, to a totally different problem: how to realize the tempos available or at hand and to experience forms of self-expression that perhaps belie these temporal qualities and/or release differential energies.

swerve

Impulsion

xxx

kleinian kisses need stitching
breathing, and leaking
at the seams

seems like only yesterday
you tore free
from me, in me
and me to be

xxx

come, rated as such and dated as much
blue breath whispers
sizzzling
time written flee

xxx

seems extreme
this veering theme

xxx

explosive dreams need sequencing
mines stuttering cuts and pasting
and stitching
ocular gauze
visibly

xxx

three stitches or less
by exxxtension
impulsive tears by the tens
in another frame of mine

images of thought lying tattered
knead breath, defibrilly

xxx

_____

(for all the gadflies and barflies.)

nonhuman actors and expression

Stadium Surfing

Idea for a Conceptual Art Project, No.22:

1. Take a sports stadium teeming with partisan fans.
2. Combine the pixelated card stunt with the spectator wave to create an 8-bit surfing avatar.
3. Ride that motherfucker 'round and 'round the stadium.
4. Synchronize wide-angle tracking shot.
5. Bail avatar headfirst into the wash.

 

A Short Note on Crowds and Expression

The "crowd" at a sporting event is not simply an aggregated number of individuals, nor a produced energy or volume, but a relationship to the capacity and architecture of a competition space proper (3,000 people watching a basketball game is a large number, for example, though one that loses significance in the context of an 18,000-seat sports arena). This relationship is precisely what constitutes the crowd as "crowd" — as an autonomous actor in its own right, singular yet plural, but also understood as an intensity. The plurality is this material aggregation in space of spectating bodies, while the "crowd"-as-singular is the singularity of a produced intensity as it waxes and wanes in the context of its architectural relation. That is, as an intensity the crowd may peak or subside but it may never be subdivided as such and still retain its internal coherency, as-crowd. Material space may be prefigured, but experiential space is co-generated.

Similarly, it is understood that there is some relationship between the energy of a crowd and the quality, sharpness and affective tone of the players on the court. This is not meant as a causal relationship of call-and-response between the two parties, but is rather to suggest mutual feedback loops between the "positive" or "negative" energies of a crowd, on the one hand, and the relative qualities of discipline and stylishness performed by the athletes at play, on the other. It is a mutually emerging field of experience we are describing, affective tensors played out in loosely-configured strategies of produced tension. A collective sporting individuation.

Have you ever tried playing an "important" game in an empty gym?

As we've already suggested, however, the crowd is also produced as an individuation in its relation to the arena architecture. If this is indeed the case then we must further note that the arena architecture plays a role in producing the gestural expression of the athletes at play. In other words, the nonhuman machine of the sporting arena — in a material sense — co-generates the expressive potential of those who perform.

Or, put differently again, this architectural object becomes subject-in-relation as its potential affects are to likewise produce an artificial becoming of athletic virtuosity. Those qualities of discipline and stylishness performed by the athletes at play may best reach their expressive peaks precisely because of their relationship to the material form of the sporting space proper.

(The question then becomes one of Virilian traject, or the tempo at which this arcing clinamen of individuating process plays itself out expressively, in contagio.)

a 21st century portrait

a 21st century portrait

body and image

ingrid

in sight.
insight.
ingrid.

did.

ddddd
ddda da
dada
did a dad a
data
add datum
um dat
dat dat dat
dada rat

grrr id
rid grid
id did
i
i i i
i did
ring grid
eyes rid
i rid rid did did

in-

ring rid i (sigh)

eye sighting
(i spy sigh)
cite incite

in grid did did

-ing

ringing ridding
gridding didding

(ding-a-ling)
(sing sing)

sting
in grid did sting.
silly thing.

walking is knowing (or, where it all began)

art\'n\'leather

(short ambulatory notes concerning longer ambulatory thoughts…)

 

kalverstraat
no matter where one spins in amsterdam, all roads lead to kalverstraat. the sucking sound you hear is the capture of "psychogeographical" drifts by a canalization of flows that has biogrammed from water to land. tourists and travellers alike may wander and wander and yet still find themselves emerging into this tight pedestrian corridor with its heavy flows and flashy storefronts. the sucking sound is doubled: it is also the money flowing out of collective pockets, from one drain to another. and doubled again: perhaps not the sound of money flowing out to consumption now, but rather its haunting forebear, which presents the street as a series of volumetric television commercials corresponding through brand semiotics to some future purchase in a more diffused breathing space. the second sucking sound is faint to our ears, then, since it is expressed in thinner air—from canal to liquid spectacle to mist.

kalverstraat is also good for gait surfing.

 

nassaukade
large grids meet "circles" (and their tiny grids within) at nassaukade. the wandering lines of the canal force their way onto land as gentle waves, channeling walkways, streets, bike paths and building facades. these wavy contours open peculiar spaces—somewhat straight, somewhat curvilinear—which for now fashion themselves as parking lots, tiny parks or bike racks. this is a space of transition for the walker, from the teeming and vortical fluxes of centrum to the more aerated grids of the inner suburbs, and back again. and forth, again: in terms of spacing operations we are discussing relatively smooth and relatively striated, but rather than a twisting passage of holey space between the two we have the multiple switches of the amsterdam traffic lights to meter the variegaited flows.

 

centrum
with the large windows that seem to invite a sort of exhibitionism or voyeurism at every turn, it might be easy to view amsterdam and its centrum as a particular geometry of glass and gaze, lines of sight in which all subjects have their moments of greater or lesser exposure. likewise, as the turns and turns of the downtown core vibrate in slow sympathy with the canals and ocean beyond, it may feel like a body is always in the process of falling forward or being thrust into the next movement. but perhaps we are forgetting about the sonorous—the musical ringing of bells that seems to unite vision with gesture and delicately fill in all those tiny aporias of perception, volumetrically. church bells to mark time, tram bells to mark space, bicycle bells to negotiate relation at variable tempos: the melodies always seem to be coming from somewhere else, and yet their tiny shocks are what suture together passage and experience as one moves through this peculiar city. one wonders how spinoza the lens grinder listened as he walked the city streets.

 

oud-west
even if one isn't consciously seeking to purchase frequently as a traveller to amsterdam, consumption ends up meaning regular dealings in cash—perhaps moreso than when one is more firmly routinized at whatever contingency is called home, where its electronic transactions incur less of an economic burden in fees concerning permission to spend. this also means the eventual accumulation of coins in the pockets of those jeans or shorts or jackets which repetitively get their traveller's due. the accumulation is a weight worn, or borne: it doesn't take much before one notices a slight tweak in walking motion, a rubbing here or a slight heaviness there that imperceptibly modulates the musculoskeletal system. how do these subtle differences affect one's gait, one's walking through the city and the tiny eddies that fluidly swirl in the wake, microturbulent yet slightly askew from one's normative mode of ambulance? how do the gaited butterflies flap their wings just a little bit differently before the storm? or, alternatively: how does the topology unfold as spending lightens the metallurgic reserve?

 

overtoom
a geosophy in progress, in process: drifting, dancing, or simply matching strides. the flow is flowing, thoughtfully and yet thoughtlessly at the same instant. a relational autopiloting of ambulatory praxis emerges, bubbles umbilically folding within bubbles and so forth as the whole thing perceptually unfolds. the neighbourhood backstreets are quiet, perhaps perfect for a walking dialogue in this sense. though they also perform a sonic buffering in their neat gridlike formations, for all of a sudden the grid ends its southerly course—or more precisely opens into a closing: here the great tributary of oud-west that is overtoom bends and merges into the roaring river of the a10 ring road. vast horizontal vistas, for the most part nonexistent in the highly vertical inner core of the city, now open widely to the wide open eyes of the walker who has ceded a relative primacy to the automobiles in transit. the river appears too wide to ford, the drift comes to an abrupt halt, shockingly, as if hitting a pane of glass—but the geosophy continues.

 

elandsgracht
tempos. this is the watchword for walking in the neighbourhood of jordaan. perhaps more than the slower pace found in other inner suburbs, perhaps less than a vigorous walk along leidseplein or a dense, dreamlike stroll through kalverstraat, the main thoroughfares of jordaan offer a heterogeneous palette of fluxes to the walking subject. both residential and touristy, in this space one may walk with those struck awkward by the scenery or moving purposefully toward the daily errands—maybe chatting amiably in search of coffee or clustering in approach to the boulevard play area. a flock of segways passes anachronistically over a canal bridge, offering a new tempo to those which have already informed the city. while diagonal trajectories crisscross the street lanes or veer into local shops, the effect of this palette paints itself most pronounced within the narrow sidewalks that otherwise attempt to stream this heterogeneous mix into a consistency—not unlike the flock, or school, which passes by in the distance.

 

vondelpark
the lungs of amsterdam, both literally and figuratively, vondelpark certainly seems the most gaseous of all walking spots in the city. while well-paved bronchi weave and branch assuredly throughout the vast park as the primary conduits for multidirectional transit, it is the ability for walking-particles to become diffuse and mist out from these paths to the more vegetal alveoli that is of interest. contra the bikers, walkers and police vehicles that move along relatively predictable channels through these park-lungs, the more gaseous pedestrians are veering off on all sorts of vectors—mobile, aggregating and coming apart, informing and reforming anew. the movement of vision within this movement of gesture at vondelpark is intense: while the literal lungs of amsterdam attempt to photosynthetically restore a sort of equilibrium to the local green ecology, the figurative lungs of the city evoke an occurrent perception that affectively nudges the local machine ecology to disequilibrium and non-linear effects.

 

museumplein
a mere shell of vondelpark, the myriad trajectories of movement at museumplein form a figurative resemblance to the mistified bearings and breathings of the former, though in a somehow different way. the walkers are slower, perhaps, or maybe it is the rounded gravel underfoot that only seems to encourage stopping when one is literally arresting motion with a photographic lens. motion also arrests itself in the large lines that snake between the square and museums, constricting passage to those hygienic portals we call the global art market or cultural history. if iamsterdam in this space, then perhaps i've missed the point about this city all along—or maybe i was too busy trying to forget about the points in favour of its more fluid processes.