Predictive Processing & Art as Cognitive Remodeling

Visual art — representational imagery — begins somewhere between fifty and one-hundred thousand years ago, overlapping with the Upper Paleolithic Transition. The period consists of rapid gains in tool technologies alongside the beginnings of modern symbolic thought, with human societies developing currency systems, dispersed social organizations, and increasingly sophisticated religious belief. To Alva Nöe, writing… Continue reading Predictive Processing & Art as Cognitive Remodeling

On the Erotics of Interpretation

by Suspended Reason w/ James Wood In Antonioni's film L'eclisse, the luminous Monica Vitti visits the Rome stock exchange, where her fiance, played by Alain Delon, works. Delon points out a fat man who has just lost 50 million lire. Intrigued, she follows the man. He orders a drink at a bar, barely touches it,… Continue reading On the Erotics of Interpretation

Valencia/Rectify/Film/Television/Literature

I. James Nulick's Valencia opens with an HIV diagnosis. Nulick, protagonist, is dying. He has traveled to the southern coast of Spain to stay at the hotel which gives the novel its name. He has traveled there to hasten his death, to preempt the prolonged and painful corporal vulnerability which immunodeficiency entails. He has brought with him… Continue reading Valencia/Rectify/Film/Television/Literature

Information Cycles & Erisology

Roberto Bolano I detecti e slevaggiJohn Nerst of Everything Studies, whose essays include "Partial Derivatives and Partial Narratives,""What is Erisology?" and a statistical analysis of Black Mirror, has contributed to this essay in Section II. His contribution here is especially authoritative, as the governing theme of Everything Studies is the self-coined "erisology" — the study of disagreement.*    … Continue reading Information Cycles & Erisology

Post-Ritual Space: Berghain

“To pilgrims and many expats, it is a temple of techno, a consecrated space, a source of enchantment and wonder.” Nick Paumgarten, “Berlin Nights” I. Introduction 70 Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Berlin today hosts one of the most famous and influential electronic music venues in the world, notorious for its fetish scenes and its place as… Continue reading Post-Ritual Space: Berghain

Ulysses, Wilde, and a Theory of Literary Compression

“He looked at the cattle, blurred in silver heat. Silvered powdered olive trees. Quiet long days: pruning ripening. Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews… A cloud began to cover the sun wholly slowly wholly. Grey. Far. No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead… Continue reading Ulysses, Wilde, and a Theory of Literary Compression

Predicting Joyce’s “Calypso”

Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. So begins the fourth chapter of Ulysses. “Calypso” is one of the more straightforward episodes of the novel, but here we'll look at the way the opening line maintains its own ambiguity throughout the chapter's opening pages. The suspended ambiguity is initiated in the… Continue reading Predicting Joyce’s “Calypso”

Text, Telos, and Ritual

I've been set free and I've been bound To the memories of yesterday's clouds I've been set free and I've been bound And now I'm set free I'm set free to find a new illusion — "I'm Set Free," The Velvet Underground “As time goes on... the universe becomes more and more what experience has revealed,… Continue reading Text, Telos, and Ritual

Generic Fit

This makes the pop song an indispensable mirror: The way in which a listener imposes himself upon the text, or transforms the text from generic to specific, shows that listener something about himself. He learns his yearnings, his sadnesses, his loves; he recognizes an emotional life which is otherwise elusive, and solidifies in time an… Continue reading Generic Fit