Sabotage Talk #3: Space, or, Birds too stuffed with Polynices’ corpse to augur worth a damn

"Our epoch can at least be sure of one thing: it will not go down peacefully."
 The "controlled in situ burn," Gulf of Mexico, 2010   This coming Monday, 4/28, at 6:30, will be the third talk in my series on sabotage and capital at the Center for Transformative Media at The New School. This one is, in a few ways, the first time in a long while that I'm coming back to some of my earlier thinking about apocalypse (as something that is not an event to come but a present and ongoing geographical distribution of hell). I'm happy to be joined this time by my friend Sabu Kohso, a theorist and translator who has been doing remarkable work on the aftermath of Fukushima. After my talk, he'll respond, and then we'll have an open chat about pollution, cities, and, as we started digging into last time, the pesky category of life. As always, free and… Read More...

Violent X

These are tinderbox days...
  AKA, One Cop Will Risk Everything to Make Sure There's Only One of Him  I'm excited to say that next weekend, I will be premiering my new film, Violent X, as a live performance at Images Festival in Toronto (4/18) and ISSUE Project Room in New York City (4/19) with my collaborator Taku Unami, who's coming from Tokyo for the occasion. The work joins, often quite literally, a number of the currents that have carried my thinking, writing, and watching along in past years. It's an anti-cop cop film, a film of historical inquiry, a pulp film of popping wheelies on dirt bikes and crawling under lasers, a film of landscape but not nature, a film of conspiracy and architecture, a film of blur and overlay, a film about minor details, glitches, damage, senseless repetition, disaster, and, above all, the war… Read More...

Video of sabotage talk n. 2 (booby traps, leaked prison plans, and cunning beasts)

For those interested who couldn’t make it, here is the video of my talk (starting at 8’40”) on Monday on time and sabotage. As often…
For those interested who couldn't make it, here is the video of my talk (starting at 8'40") on Monday on time and sabotage. As often the case, this is not the reading of a written essay but a more open-ended talk based off a set of notes. (A written version of these thoughts will be coming out as a short book this summer and will become a larger project after that.) The video includes the excellent questions posed to me after and the more ranging discussion we all had. [Note: The film clip I show, from Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality, can be found here and runs to the point that the donkey trots away]   Read More...

The Sabotage of Time

For those in NYC, I’ll be giving the next talk in my series on sabotage at  this coming Monday, March 10th. (For those not, it’ll…
For those in NYC, I'll be giving the next talk in my series on sabotage at  this coming Monday, March 10th. (For those not, it'll be available on video after the fact.) Lecture 2: THE SABOTAGE OF TIME March 10, 7 PM – 9 PM E206 Glass corner conf. room  25 East 13th street, 2nd floor One of sabotage’s central qualities, and a primary cause of its frequent demonization throughout the last century, is its peculiar timescale. This is a mode of time fundamentally opposed to the identity of subject and act that underpins any representational politics, be it voting or street protests. In place of that, sabotage suggests making use of the very paths and delays of circulation. By the time the damage is discovered, no one source can be found, because the commodity, technique, or idea has already… Read More...

Courage, Please

Robert Ashley died today.  In memory of one who believed that the “technique of profound collaboration is essential.”    
Robert Ashley died today.  In memory of one who believed that the "technique of profound collaboration is essential." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xza2GCF74lo     Read More...

In Space No One Can Hear You Spew

Through the scrim of puke, the infinite is Ecto Cooler.
A combo of Oscar shit and phantom vomit (as plastered to the face of the cosmically adrift, raised at the start of Mal Ahern's great essay) brought me back to thoughts I had after watching Gravity a couple months ago. The main thought was that the entire narrative is utterly, peculiarly insufferable, a one-human Armageddon in which, much like Zero Dark Thiry reduces geopolitics to a single woman's "intuition" and abstract thirst for vengeance, the attempt to survive outside the planet boils down to just how bad you want to live, how dig you can deep into the reserve of species-being. Free will and elbow grit handily trump orbital swarms of death-dealing debris. Provided, that is, that you really want it. (And are haunted by the encouraging specter of People's Sexiest Man Alive, 2006 edition.) The thicker version of the thought… Read More...

the Empire chest-of-drawers silently protests

His Tobias Mindernickel, a waif-like figure of Dostoyevskyian inspiration, lives in terrible solitude on the top floor of a working-class house, in a wretched room…
His Tobias Mindernickel, a waif-like figure of Dostoyevskyian inspiration, lives in terrible solitude on the top floor of a working-class house, in a wretched room with no adornment except for a chest-of-drawers, 'a solid piece of Empire furniture with metal handles, an object of value and of beauty'. In the room there is also a sofa covered with a green material; Mann does not say whether this is Empire, but since it 'smells of dust' we imagine that it is. While taking note of the German writer's concession that this chest-of-drawers has 'value and beauty,' I deplore the fact that he should have made it the witness of a sordid crime. For Tobias takes refuge from a world that makes fun of him, and from his own terrible solitude, in the company of a gun-dog, which he ill-treats and caresses… Read More...

Shard Cinema, 1

The application of bullet time to all that exists.
[previous material/"part 1" here] beneath and above this cantus firmus there run disordered exuberances    - Ernst Bloch --- What is the relation between a sabotaged PS4 that never finishes booting up and the foreclosure of sabotage in a film whose Blu-Ray might get played on it, if only it would start? One way into this was hinted at before: the representation of a world split between competing regimes, or at least appearances, of technology, between craft and sheen, or the obdurate and the flickering. Indeed, the opposition at work in Elysium’s grimy keyboards vs. transparent tablets or in Oblivion’s yuppie-driftwood vs. inhuman triangles is hardly limited to those films. In other recent releases, it adopts the shape of an even more hackneyed contest, digital vs. analog. In Pacific Rim, for example, the nominal divide between giant lumbering mounds of… Read More...

Able to be turned on, and that is it

They never tune the healing beds to give the Elysians syphilis.
[This is the start of two related projects, one on sabotage, one on what I'm talking about as "shard cinema." The essay below provides something like the branching point of origin for both: my lectures at the New School are following the sabotage path, the next writings here will track out the shard tributary into its post-Matrix heartland.] As those who saw it know, Neill Bloomkamp’s Elysium (2013) was a boring little film. Barring the bright morning star of Fast and Furious 6, Elysium is riddled with the same neurosis structuring most films of its ilk: it yearns to be exploitation cinema – and hail the Halo roots of its interchangeable predecessor (District 9) – but lacks the guts to admit it. Like a savvy navigator of those first-person shooter origins, it advances by taking cover, slipping amongst weighty issues… Read More...
Brief note: Have been, and will continue to be, silent here of late due to the final weeks of finishing a dissertation project. I will…
Brief note: Have been, and will continue to be, silent here of late due to the final weeks of finishing a dissertation project. I will return to the world of barbarian genres, the abstract hell of hotel lobbies, and angering that pluckiest of breeds – John Mayer fans – once this is done in a couple weeks. Read More...

A cloaked drone faces itself down in a mirror

Up at La Furia Umana: a new essay, departing from Joseph Losey’s Figures in a landscape toward condominiums, Bourne, raptors, choppers, reverse shots, death from…
Up at La Furia Umana: a new essay, departing from Joseph Losey's Figures in a landscape toward condominiums, Bourne, raptors, choppers, reverse shots, death from above, and on from there. "The panic is well-warranted, though, at least for the squires of state might. Industry analysts have started to compile a sort of quiet doomsday scenario: not the tsunami or the quake, the nuke or the plague, but the everyday, lived-with objects of the built world, as antagonists to a nation, land, or social order find ways to make flamingly evident how the apparently neutral landscape of capital has long been wired to blow. In one of the more striking examples, a security flaw in Hewlett Packard printers, coupled with the fact of remote access, allows one to make a printer catch fire, through simply sending instructions to continuously heat its… Read More...

Domesticated WildCats

Everything is crime when work and crime do not call out to each other over the fall’s roar, forever pledging revenge.
vs. --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE3fmFTtP9g#t=53 ("WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA's M3 program.")   "To contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance and other defense missions, a robot needs to negotiate difficult terrain. [...] Cheetahs happen to be beautiful examples of how natural engineering has created speed and agility across rough terrain. Our Cheetah bot borrows ideas from nature’s design to inform stride patterns, flexing and unflexing of parts like the back, placement of limbs and stability. What we gain through Cheetah and related research efforts are technological building blocks that create possibilities for a whole range of robots suited to future Department of Defense missions.” - DARPA --- There are days who wait just around the corner, in the parking lot behind whatever, like meth-spurred nags all ready to roll. They can't wait for much longer, because… Read More...

Prends garde: à jouer au fantôme, on le devient

This assimilation to space is necessarily accompanied by a decline in the feeling of personality and life. It should be noted in any case that…
This assimilation to space is necessarily accompanied by a decline in the feeling of personality and life. It should be noted in any case that in mimetic species the phenomenon is never carried out except in a single direction: the animal mimics the plant, leaf, flower, or thorn, and dissembles or ceases to perform its functions in relation to others. Life takes a step backwards.                 Read More...

Vampire architecture

Low-rent cousin of The Hardware. Where the diurnal undead mill about forever on shag that never quite feels dry, not ever. From the inestimable terriblerealestateagentphotos.com
Low-rent cousin of The Hardware. Where the diurnal undead mill about forever on shag that never quite feels dry, not ever. Read More...