Friday, September 08, 2006

"The images of surrealism are the iconography of inner space. Popularly regarded as a lurid manifestation of fantastic art concerned with states of dream and hallucination, surrealism is the first movement, in the words of Odilon Redon, to place ‘the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible’. This calculated submission to the impulses and fantasies of our inner lives to the rigours of time and space … produces a heightened or alternate reality beyond that familiar to our sight or senses … To move through these landscapes is a journey of return to one’s innermost being”.

J.G. Ballard, ‘The Coming of the Unconscious’, 1966
"I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels."

Excerpted from ‘What I Believe’ by J.G. Ballard, Interzone 8, 1984

Thursday, July 20, 2006

. . . breathing harder.

I found her nailing her breasts to the kitchen table. Calmly, I boiled an egg.

Placing a fresh blade in the scalpel I quickly slashed an opening in my forehead. Looking into the mirror I saw that above my gore-drenched face a new eye glared, unblinking, from the ragged opening. Experimentally I closed my eyes - yes I could still see! Except now I could see so much farther! My bedroom had all but disappeared, beyond its now ghostly walls stretched a lurid landscape. Bitter trees leant over luminous lichen-cloaked shapes. As I watched, horrified yet at the same time entranced, their eyes (so many many eyes!), met mine. Slowly, horribly, I realised that the high-pitched voice that had wavered on the edge of consciousness was my own. Screaming! Screaming so hard I knew that it would never stop! Yet some part of me was able to rise above it, discount it. With my newly realised otherness I discovered a way to stop the irritable sound. Removing my shoes I stuffed both feet into my mouth, without pausing to consider the insanity of this act I used my hands to thrust my body closer to those eyes. With rising excitement I spotted their mouths and other more hypothetical organs. In response I felt my penis stiffen. All at once I knew that this orgasm was going to be my last, but the mouths below the trees assured me it would be worth it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A cold sweat streamed from his forehead and his shoulders jerked spasmodically. "Beyond life there are" – his face grew ashen with terror – "things that I cannot distinguish. They move through angles. They have no bodies, and they move slowly through outrageous angles."

The Hounds of Tindalos. Frank Belknap Long

Saturday, June 24, 2006

But did it ever occur to you, my friend, that force and matter are simply the barriers to perception imposed by time and space? When one knows, as I do, that time and space are identical and that they are both deceptive because they are merely imperfect manifestations of a higher reality, one no longer seeks in the visible world for an explanation of the mystery and terror of being.

Frank Belknap Long, The Hounds of Tindalos, p. 84

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"According to Levi-Strauss, the more complex the organisation of a society, the greater the quantity of entropy produced. The more elaborate a given structure, the more it will be marked by disintegration. Thus 'primitive' or 'cold' societies (whose functioning, according to Levi-Strauss, is something like that of a pendulum mechanism) produce very little entropy; while 'warm' societies (which are more like internal combustion engines) generate an enormous quantity. The USA, the most highly developed of the warm machines, therefore generate the greater part of the disorder.

'L'entropoloque' James Lingwood

"For Smithson urban exploration is the pursuit of a medium, a means to glean aesthetic and philosophical categories with which to work from the territory. One of Smithson's most extraordinary abilities lies in the constant mingling in his explorations of physical descriptions and aesthetic interpretations: the discourse crosses different planes simultaneously, loses its way on unfamiliar paths, delves into the material surrounding it, transforming the stratifications of the territory into those of the mind..."

From 'Walkscapes' Francesco Carreri

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and
the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage
through a series of thoughts. The creates an odd consonance between
internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is
also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.
A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was
there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making."

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
“The life of a region depends ultimately on its geologic substratum for this sets up a chain reaction which passes, determining their character, in turn through its streams and wells, its vegetation and the animal life that feeds on this, and finally through the type of human attracted to live there. In a profound sense also the structure of its rocks gives rise to the psychic life of the land: granite, serpentine, slate, sandstone,limestone, chalk and the rest each have their special personality dependant on the age in which they were laid down, each being co-existent with a special phase of the earth-spirit’s manifestation”

Ithell Colquhoun 'The Living Stones: Cornwall'
For Colquhoun, automatism was not simply the adoption of a state of mind which suspended conscious control. Whilst disconnecting herself from her conscious self, she was also connecting herself with a larger whole. Colquhoun aimed to lay herself open to internal, unconscious, forces as well as external spiritual ones. Inspiration could come from any source, internal or external. All that was necessary was some degree of dissociation in the operator, although, for her, ‘this seldom reaches the stage of trance’.

R. Shillitoe
An alchemist transforms materials; an artist transforms experiences. Both are, at once, part of yet detached from, the process. Colquhoun was particularly drawn to those moments where a change of state is occurring; the moment of transformation and metamorphosis. Moments such as these occur in the material world, the human world and the realm of the spirit.

Richard Shillitoe on Ithell Colquhoun


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"...I prefer, by far, real islands to imaginary islands, just as I prefer prime documents to novelistic remakes. Thats because the real is richer than the imagination. The real demands investigation and is an invitation to sensitive knowledge, whereas the imaginary is more often than not just a collection of stereotypes, a soup of cliches offering an infantile kind of satisfaction. Then a relationship to the real and its resistance requires change in thought, in ways of being, in ways of saying, it leads to a transformation of the self. Whereas imagination is nothing but compensation. There's even something horribly autistic about sitting in one spot and spinning out invention by the yard. How much more interesting an open and poetic process involving contemplation, study, movement, meditation and composition!"

Kenneth White from 'Around Corsica' in 'Across the Territories'

"In the Renaissance the artist again begins to express 'self' at the expense of the integrative function. This moment marks the opening of the 'Romantic' trajectory, the artists disappearance from the social, the artworks disappearance from life."

Hakim Bey from 'The Palimpsest'

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