Thursday, May 10, 2007

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN LA detroit 2004

OK, just found out To Live and Shave in LA are playing this Thursday at the Mocad. Their first time through since 2004 when I saw them at Detroit Art Space. (Thus, the youtube video.) I think they'll be playing w/o the killer lineup of that set--sans Mark Morgan, Don Fleming, and Andrew WK. I was so blown away by them at that gig I'm afraid of the letdown this time around. Nothin's ever as good the second go-round. Plus, I tend to think of them so differently after getting to know Mark, whereas at that show, I hadn't yet met Mark, tho I had had a few very fun encounters with Rat Bastard when the Laundryroom Squelchers stayed at my house. Crazy! Hearing Mark discuss Tom and touring with that group was very amusing, but there's a way in which not knowing what the fuck I was seeing and hearing that first time will, I think, be diluted by my supposed "knowledge." I don't mean to suggest that I have any real insight into this rag-tag "band," I just mean that I am in love with experiences of coming across something that blows you away with its shear "what the fuck?"ness. I recall feeling absolutely exuberant, joyous after that DAS show. It was a really quite brilliant art/love fest. And so I wonder if, minus that lineup and considering the sense that I know--to a *certain* extent--what to expect...will it be a letdown? I'll let ya know...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A tidbit on Reznikoff and Objectivism

from LS Dembo's The Monological Jew:

"Reznikoff, for instance, cites a Chinese text of the eleventh century in which it is argued that "Poetry presents the thing in order to convey the feeling. It should be precise abvout the thing and reticent about the feeling." This, Reznikoff tells us, was a very accurate expression of what the Objectivists were trying to do. Later he elaborated on the term, at the same time describing the poetics of Testimony, a two-volume survey of the everyday cruelties of American Life: by "objectivist I suppose a writer may be meant who does not write directly about his feelings but about what he sees and hears; who is restricted almost to the testimony of a witness in a court of law; and who expresses his feelings indirectly by the selection of his subject matter" (117).

Right up my philosophical, interdisciplinary alley

From Urbanomic: Philosophical Research and Development:

URBANOMIC proposes to pursue fundamental research and development in logical ontological and abstract matters, outside any institutional framework, with no thematic disciplinary or methodological constraints.
We seek to support a renewal of philosophy through a vigorous repudiation of its insidious contemporary enemies. Firstly, a theorism which reaches from magazine columns to the exalted heights of 'culturally-engaged' academia, the two being distinguished only by the level of indulgence afforded to the authors' interminable interpretative speculation (magazine readers at least having the sincerity of their attention spans). Secondly the fatal overspecialisation and delimitation of philosophy in its academic setting.
Certainly the sphere of popular culture acts as the unconstrained experimental testing ground for deterritorialised symbolic discourses and new sensations. Equally - despite the depredations of the imperatives of business and management - the university is not yet entirely stripped of its ability to provide, under cover of its nominal traditional purposes, a support for independent thought. However in general in the latter, the productive capacity of abstract thought finds itself asphyxiated by supposed disciplinary self-sufficiency, reinforced by the socialisation apparatus of academic propriety. Whereas in the former a superficial relation of 'thought-provoking' relevance demands the novel application of generalised 'theories' to popular topics, destining thought to become exactly as reactive and inconsequential as its 'objects'.
We propose that philosophy can indeed break away from these malign attractors and reclaim a certain autonomy of purpose, but that the potency required for this escape can only be generated by philosophy's maintaining porous boundaries with other disciplines: art, music, science, mathematics...

Not in a relation of application, where philosophy would theorise external 'subjects' by employing its historical resources; but by enriching and expanding these latter through the rigorous and selective analysis and interrogation of local ontologies and vernacular logics.
Given that we oppose equally the wholesale appropriation of abstract thought by the allied postmodern pseudo-theorisms of therapy, capitalist apologetics and management 'science', why do we borrow a trope from industry to describe our activity? By 'Research and Development' we mean to affirm that we do not believe that philosophy in the present must necessarily limit itself to a mere exegetical and scholarly status. Philosophy - as methodical investigation into abstract matter(s) - enhances its pertinence, and highlights its problematic relation to the sciences, by free recourse to abstract-empirical experimentation, supported by suitable technologies. Philosophy would thus conduct materialised 'thought experiments' outside of the methodological presuppositions which circumscribe scientific disciplines. Even if we mean to problematise and question the nature of such an experimental practice, we do not propose to postpone experimentation indefinitely in lieu of supposedly grounding principles, but rather, in addition to ongoing theoretical work, to conduct open-ended experiments the form of whose outcome is not presupposed (amongst which we count the journal COLLAPSE and the URBANOMIC project itself).
However soberly and prudently it may be necessary to proceed, the involuntary passion for thought that is philosophy is always delirious in so far as at every turn it flees from the forces that prescribe (whether in the name of history or contemporaneity, of personal or institutional authenticity, of romantic passion or academic hard-labour) the path it must take.

and to subscribe to their journal publication Collapse