Institutional Myth in Contemporary Art

I’ve spent a lot of time in & around the New York visual art scene the past few years, and it’s been a very strange & uncanny & informative experience. A lot of the preference falsification and undead prestige cultures of, say, academia, or science, or politics are in play, but here the emperor can…… Continue reading Institutional Myth in Contemporary Art

Otessa

A hot blonde with a trust fund self-medicates into blackouts with the hope of changing her life. What does disillusionment look like, to Moshfegh? The visual field is cinematic, detached, mediation creeping: “I did feel a peculiar sensation, like oceanic despair that — if I were in a movie — would be depicted superficially as…… Continue reading Otessa

Divided Minds

Sea Scroll 4Q248, previously entitled “Pseudo History” We can’t go on together / with divided minds.—Pseudo Elvis Last time on @4Q248, i.e. PA.blogspot.com: We’re not saying life makes people schizo, we’re talking excessive frustration left unprocessed, or regular baseline frustration amplified by unstable parents [and] chaotic environments, charges vectors in the direction of schizo process.…… Continue reading Divided Minds

Valerie, No

i.  dry 35° / lavender / wet west gust Before anything else, Oval (Elvia Wilk, 2019) is an idea novel. Anecdotes, ruminations, political monologues, thought experiments pushing the usual simulations of scifi into something almost philosophy. Its subjects are ecology, government systems, and that ambiguous word neoliberalism (here meant in the sense of blurring private sector and state,…… Continue reading Valerie, No

The 1975’s Brief Inquiry

1. The 1975 “One and the same civilization produces simultaneously two such different things as a poem by T.S. Eliot and a Tin Pan Alley song, or a painting by Braque and a Saturday Evening Post cover… [W]hat  perspective of culture is large enough to enable us to situate them in an enlightening relation to…… Continue reading The 1975’s Brief Inquiry

Oscillation / Fashion

1. Oscillation You can never really tell when James Murphy’s being sincere, whether he’s making fun of others or making fun of himself. “Pow Pow”’s his statement of philosophy—“from this position / I can totally see how the decision was reached”—which is a sort of pragmatist-PoMo enlightenment: acknowledge perspective’s providence on truth and then turn…… Continue reading Oscillation / Fashion

New Fiction is Psychic Occupation

Fiction—or more generally, longform narrative text—has long been the handyman of culture, serving whatever functions are most urgently needed at a historical moment. The Greek oral tradition, famously, functioned in part to preserve cultural histories and customs—hence the sprawling lists of names and figures, or lengthy descriptions of hospitality, in Homer. Arabic maqamas synthesized and…… Continue reading New Fiction is Psychic Occupation

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

Liturgy & Pastoral

Mexico City The mask stares out, eyes appalled, black and glassy. He is anonymous and intensely personal; he sees the opiate addicts and the basement dwellers, the alienated-enfranchised; all the darkness of the developed world, so that it dominates his view and is reflected in his eyes and slowly suffuses his corneas. From here it…… Continue reading Liturgy & Pastoral

Published
Categorized as Essays

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