You can read it online here
samedi 28 février 2009
You can read it online here
vendredi 27 février 2009
The project's affinities with Godzilla, however, are not merely morphological but conceptual. Just as that monster (I mean the term not pejoratively but genetically) stand for a certain intensification of Japanese post-nuclear anxieties, so this building represents, for me, an intensification of Tokyo-ness. In it, the tangled skein of the city finds a critical mass and erupts into form, a verticalization of what I took - from my distant vantage point - to be the fundamental (dis)order of the city.
jeudi 26 février 2009
mardi 24 février 2009
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
I meet this American government, or its representative, the State government, directly, and face to face, once a year—no more—in the person of its tax-gatherer; this is the only mode in which a man situated as I am necessarily meets it; and it then says distinctly, Recognize me; and the simplest, the most effectual, and, in the present posture of affairs, the indispensablest mode of treating with it on this head, of expressing your little satisfaction with and love for it, is to deny it then. My civil neighbor, the tax-gatherer, is the very man I have to deal with—for it is, after all, with men and not with parchment that I quarrel—and he has voluntarily chosen to be an agent of the government. How shall he ever know well that he is and does as an officer of the government, or as a man, until he is obliged to consider whether he will treat me, his neighbor, for whom he has respect, as a neighbor and well-disposed man, or as a maniac and disturber of the peace, and see if he can get over this obstruction to his neighborlines without a ruder and more impetuous thought or speech corresponding with his action. I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name—if ten honest men only—ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this co-partnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. But we love better to talk about it: that we say is our mission. Reform keeps many scores of newspapers in its service, but not one man. If my esteemed neighbor, the State's ambassador, who will devote his days to the settlement of the question of human rights in the Council Chamber, instead of being threatened with the prisons of Carolina, were to sit down the prisoner of Massachusetts, that State which is so anxious to foist the sin of slavery upon her sister—though at present she can discover only an act of inhospitality to be the ground of a quarrel with her—the Legislature would not wholly waive the subject of the following winter.
picture found on zazzle
Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had commenced his performance: he had come out at a little door, and was going along the rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the market-place and the people. When he was just midway across, the little door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow like a buffoon sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go on, halt-foot," cried his frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones, interloper, sallow-face!—lest I tickle thee with my heel! What dost thou here between the towers? In the tower is the place for thee, thou shouldst be locked up; to one better than thyself thou blockest the way!"—And with every word he came nearer and nearer the first one. When, however, he was but a step behind, there happened the frightful thing which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed—he uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the other who was in his way. The latter, however, when he thus saw his rival triumph, lost at the same time his head and his footing on the rope; he threw his pole away, and shot downwards faster than it, like an eddy of arms and legs, into the depth. The market-place and the people were like the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew apart and in disorder, especially where the body was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said he at last, "I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any more!"
The man looked up distrustfully. "If thou speakest the truth," said he, "I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare."
"Not at all," said Zarathustra, "thou hast made danger thy calling; therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest by thy calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus spoke Zarathoustra (translator: Thomas Common)
lundi 23 février 2009
dimanche 22 février 2009
En attendant, la révolution conquérante, dans l’égarement de son nihilisme, menace ceux qui, contre elle prétendent maintenir l’unité dans la totalité. Un des sens de l’histoire aujourd’hui, et plus encore de demain, est la lutte entre les artistes et les nouveaux conquérants entre les témoins de la révolution créatrice et les bâtisseurs de la révolution nihiliste. Sur l’issue de la lutte, on ne peut se faire que des illusions raisonnables. Du moins, nous savons désormais qu’elle doit être menée. Les conquérants modernes peuvent tuer, mais semblent ne pouvoir créer. Les artistes savent créer, mais ne peuvent réellement tuer. On ne trouve de meurtriers que par exception parmi les artistes. A la longue, l’art dans nos sociétés révolutionnaires devrait donc mourir. Mais alors la révolution aura vécu. Chaque fois que, dans un homme, elle tue l’artiste qu’il aurait pu être, la révolution s’exténue un peu plus. Si, enfin, les conquérants pliaient le monde à leur loi, ils ne prouveraient pas que la quantité est reine, mais que ce monde est enfer. Dans cet enfer même, la place de l’art coïnciderait encore avec celle de la révolte vaincue, espoir aveugle et vide au creux des jours désespérés. Ernst Dwinger, dans son Journal de Sibérie, parle de ce lieutenant allemand qui, prisonnier depuis des années dans un camp où régnaient le froid et la faim, s’était construit, avec des touches de bois, un piano silencieux. Là, dans l’entassement de la misère, au milieu d’une cohue en haillons, il composait une étrange musique qu’il était seul à entendre. Ainsi, jetés dans l’enfer, de mystérieuses mélodies et les images cruelles de la beauté enfuie nous apporteraient toujours, au milieu du crime et de la folie, l’écho de cette insurrection harmonieuse qui témoigne au long des siècles pour la grandeur humaine.
Albert Camus, L’homme révolté 1951. Folio 1985
samedi 21 février 2009
During seventy two days of 1871’s spring, Paris city lived in secession from the National Assembly which just capitulated in war against the Prussians. Simultaneously the Commune defends itself against the national “versaillaise” army lead by Thiers and “play the game” of considering to exist for a long period. Thus is created a Central Comity whose representatives are originally from the working population.
As far as urbanism is concerned, Situationnists Guy Debord, Raoul Vaneigem and Attila Kotanyi, one century after the Commune was declared, considered that "it has been in Human History, the only production of a revolutionary urbanism" which assumes as a principle that no building is innocent. That is how the Vendome column was solemnly destroyed on may 16th. In fact this column was the symbol of the first Empire’s (Napoleon Bonaparte) authority and the Bourgeois’ power.
This urbanism can be thus said to substract the alienation zones within the city, which was called by Situationnist, positive holes. The Commune’s story illustrate quite clearly the dilemma which can appear with this operation. In fact, on may 24th, huge debates took place within the Central Comity to decide whether or not symbolic building should be destroyed before the national army win the conflict. That is how the City Hall, the Courthouse and the Tuilleries palace (which was never rebuilt since then) were burnt down but Notre Dame and the Louvre on the other hand stayed intact, because defended by artists collectives. Situationnist retrospectively judged that Paris’ cathedral has been saved because of “permanent aesthetic values belonging to museums’ spirit when other men legitimately wanted to access to expression this day by this destruction as a defiance to a society which was rejecting all their lives to silent.”
For more information about this chapter of France's history click here.
jeudi 19 février 2009
mercredi 18 février 2009
story of a tightrope walker...
Mais Zarathoustra ne bougea pas, et le corps tomba tout près de lui, meurtri et brisé, mais vivant encore. Au bout d’un instant le blessé reprit conscience et vit Zarathoustra s’agenouiller à ses côtés : « Que fais-tu là ? dit-il enfin, je le savais depuis longtemps que le Diable me ferait un croc-en-jambe. A présent il va m’entraîner en enfer ; vas-tu l’en empêcher ? »
-« Sur mon honneur, ami, répondit Zarathoustra, tout ce dont tu parles n’existe pas ; il n’y a ni Diable ni enfer. Ton âme va mourir plus vite encore que ton corps ; n’aie donc plus de crainte. »
L’homme leva un regard méfiant. « Si tu dis vrai, dit-il, je ne perdrai rien en perdant la vie. Je ne suis guère plus qu’un animal qu’on a dressé à danser, à force de coups et de maigre pitance. »
- Non pas, dit Zarathoustra. Tu as fait du danger ton métier, il n’y a rien là de méprisable. A présent tu vas mourir de ton métier, aussi vais-je t’enterrer de mes mains. »
A ces paroles, le mourant ne répondit plus ; mais il agita la main comme s’il cherchait la main de Zarathoustra pour le remercier.
Friedrich Nietzsche. Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra (Also sprach Zarathustra). 1885. Flammarion 1996 p55
mardi 17 février 2009
dimanche 15 février 2009
I always believed that public spaces could die just with a panel "ball games forbidden" as there are more and more in our city so this is actually a proposition I like a lot !
samedi 14 février 2009
See the three winners and fifteen mentions on official website.
vendredi 13 février 2009
Following few works of Pim Palsgraaf, a young dutch artist.
He's dealing with the icone of the city wich is carried by dead animals or randoms object. Its a interesting status of immobility but with the suggestion of things that used to move...
His worked had been remarked at Art Rotterdam 2009 last week.
jeudi 12 février 2009
Flash Mobs are evanescent gathering of people who do not know each other and who participate to a "gamy" action for about five minutes before leaving the place as fast as they arrived. Flash Mobs are a direct product of the possibility of instant spaming messages like emails or sms and amaze people for their evanescence as much as their uselessness.
For those who read French, here is an article by Valérie Chatelet, called La ville en fete et en délire (quoting Edith Piaf).
Here are two videos from the same place (Liverpool Street Station in London) during two different flash mobs. Freeze or Silent disco, choose your side !
samedi 7 février 2009
Here are two examples of possible resistance against an orwellian world. First is a group called the Surveillance Camera Players which cleverly understood that you can't be killed while hugging your enemy. In fact, they are totally acknowledging the surveillance camera's presence and perform little plays in front of them. (see a video here)
With the help of this same group and some others (New York Civil Liberties Union, Surveillance Camera Project, Eyebeam Atelier Workshop), the Institute for Applied Autonomy has developed a software called Isee Manhattan which list all video cameras in Manhattan and try as most as possible to propose ways not to be recorded.
vendredi 6 février 2009
jeudi 5 février 2009
This operation could probably be considered as outlaw, but this is actually a good example of an efficient negotiation with the law, resulting to real results and Chicago's authority seems to have understood its interest in this operation.
If you are interested, you can read a long article in NY Times magazine (see picture) from may 2008.
mercredi 4 février 2009
Good way of decentralizing and globalizing (I happenned to see his work already in Paris, London and Berlin's streets).
Thanks Winston !
mardi 3 février 2009
I didn’t want to, but Tyler explained it all, about not wanting to die without any scars, about being tired of watching only professionals fight, and wanting to know more about himself.
At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything down to make something better out of ourselves. I looked around and said, okay. Okay, I say, but outside in the parking lot. So we went outside, and I asked if Tyler wanted it in the face or in the stomach.Tyler said, “Surprise me.”
I said I had never hit anybody.
Tyler said, “So go crazy, man.”
I said, close your eyes.
Tyler said, “No.”
Like every guy on his first night in fight club, I breathed in and swung my fist in a roundhouse at Tyler’s jaw like in every cowboy movie we’d ever seen, and me, my fist connected with the side of Tyler’s neck.
Shit, I said, that didn’t count. I want to try again.
Tyler said, “Yeah it counted,” and hit me, straight on, pow, just like a cartoon boxing glove on a spring on Saturday morning cartoons, right there in the middle of my chest and I fell back against a car. We both stood there, Tyler rubbing the side of his neck and me holding a hand on my chest, both of us knowing we’d gotten somewhere we’d never been and like the cat and mouse in cartoons, we were still alive and wanted to see how far we could take this thing and still be alive.
Tyler said, “Cool.”
I said, hit me again.
Tyler said, “No, you hit me.”
So I hit him, a girl’s wide roundhouse to right under his ear, and Tyler shoved me back and stomped the heel of his shoe in my stomach. What happened next and after that didn’t happen in words, but the bar closed and people came out and shouted around us in the parking lot.
Instead of Tyler, I felt finally I could get my hands on everything in the world that didn’t work, my cleaning that came back with the collar buttons broken, the bank that says I’m hundred of dollars overdrawn. My job where my boss got on my computer and fiddled with my DOS execute commands. And Marla Singer, who stole the support groups from me.
Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered..."
Chuck Palahniuk's novel and David Fincher's movie presents an amazing "club" rejecting any from of social contract. In fact, acting against every artefacts decoy-ing humans from their ability to feel life and death, what Tyler Durden tends forward is a return to natural state for humanity. He imagine a city invaded by jungle and the way of life it implies. Far away from gently and politicaly correct sustainibility, he gives himself all means to succeed.
And to prove you, Durden is not just a novel/movie character, here is a video of a live hijacking of last week end's super bowl, by a 30 seconds porn video !
picture: La Commune de Paris in 1871
lundi 2 février 2009
Here is the article.