pascalancelbartholdi

In one word…en un mot

NO SHOW AREA@Little Angels Negative of a Trompe L’oeil The Grand humble Vernissage – Curators : Athanai Excelcis and Percibal Losange

 

No Show Area poster placed-Armley common2

Some shows never happen…Some people never show up. Some shows cave in on arrival, some people too. Some things never see the light. Some of us may see the light, even when it doesn’t show up. Some shows stand against all logic, like comedians on their last leg.

It is a moment of truth…kind of, the show of your royal flush to a bunch of poker face philistines before pub rush hour. We all know where to stick our paintbrushes and whose arse to turn into a priceless trompe-l’oeil. But this had not been the point of the exercise, not an exercise of style, but a sort of practical joke at the wrong end of the Styx.

Eye of Dog

So the curtains are drawn and a scene rises from an unexpected angle, like an exclamation mark at the beginning of a sentence, or a scaffold before the verdict…not so far fetched. An idea. All “our” interlocutors go nonplussed. Not a possibility, this is the product of a foreign mind…Show up, show down, massacres and shit loads in the wall papered cracks. Some faces one way up, some the other way, but no one knows which. There is no precedent. No point of reference. No theory to back it up. No critic to substantiate it. No landmark venue to prop it up.

 

What the f…k is it? It ‘s not that funny, not funny at all, it’s not scary, it’s not filthy or corny, not even kitsch or satanic…not classifiable enough to get the saliva running as the tongues unleash their verbose over a glass of red under or over room temperature. We have seen it all, so why bother?

 

Parades of new gloating comers and departures of the hasty bored. The room they call “the gallery” is empty when it shouldn’t be. The parlour fills up with fag ends and wet handkerchiefs, broken umbrella strewn by the curb, but no one recalls a storm.

Not a dilettante in town to save the day from non-starters just to entertain the materialising social media network. That was a show and a half! What’s the other half? Where is it? Why is it missing? Or am I missing something? Invite all your cyber mates and only meet strangers at the door.

This was not it. It was what it said on the tin. “No Show Area”. No going back. No go area, no rabbits in the hat or fifth ace in the cuff. It should not have shown itself, but left a mark anyway…a question mark that is. How can it be? I mean…a no show? Some will point out the obvious contradiction. We say: “Tongue in cheek”…a tongue rolling under the palate before spreading more ironic confusion. Little red carpet of vanities.

There was no site-specific trick, there was no complicit collaboration of international designers, no small print agent with price tags.

What the hell was it then? And what was there?

A quirk of nature, a wormhole incident, the Bank at the end of the road called Town street, in some town called Ledes, no names, no titles, unknown authors, an empty space, but not quite…walls held on to a few enigmatic signs, as is customary in the context of “a Show” even if it is not one per se, and all this on behalf of all anonymous artists in the shrinking world.

The creator of the idea told the co-curator: “Each artist was unanimous: “I work or I show”.

This later gave rise to the thought of a practical impracticable joke: “Move the finished works in the empty space just arisen out of nowhere, and invent a reason for it to be there for an indeterminate duration. This will not technically constitute a show. “Just a move then?” Like moving earth from one hole to the next and calling it a different unmemorable name: sediments 1, sediments 2 etc. “Let’s advertise the opening for that day and leave it closed until the next.” Yes, this will get rid of undesirables, such as curious cynics” said one of the curators. But what needed to be there? To substantiate the effort either wise quite pointless frankly? A crucial question surely. “The art or the artist?” asked the other curator. It could not be both because they cancelled each other out. Our first curator was adamant: “No Ego show!” The co-curator almost added” In arcadia” Perhaps a hint of an ‘ipso’ floating about like a fleeting impression of déjà vu. But who ever saw what does not show up in the visible spectrum, not even with a long view, long enough to catch a priceless flaw, the extendible telescope Copernicus devised to spy on the backyard business of the pantheon.

 

The co-curator and his/her ally would invigilate. They stood there side by side like sentinels, in semi darkness each alone in their idea of the moment, staring at the street scene before opening the glass door that signified: “The No-Show might switch to the opposite side”. The probability of such an occurrence was moderately high. Anyone hanging around might be tempted to enter via the exit, since there could be no real entrance to a non-event. Some could postulate this would annul the possibility of an exit on the same basis. What would we exit had we not had a prior interaction with a space of any sort? This sidekick philosophical concern was not included in the “to do” list of the curators who remained staunch pragmatists with a taste for the absurd be it of a superficial kind, more related to the anecdotal than the existential.

 

A small boy, perhaps 10 years old, ran in and asked excitedly: “ Is this a new shop?” No one here had any idea when the previous retailer had moved on. They left a trace however, that was oddly fitting to the current spatial re-arrangement, its insignia: “Little Angels” still perched above the shop-front. To commemorate it, the curators had collected feathers from the nearby park where a pony was always seen grazing at the end of a long heavy metal chain. One would have been hard pressed to admit any fluttering putti in these parts where ambulances carried a good deal of Cirrhosised livers to the morgue. The mound of feathers was surprisingly conspicuous. Was this a relic from a bygone age or the presage of a new era?

“Yes, answered one of the curators, “An unpredictable shop, anything could turn up any time”. The boy looked even more exited: “Is it gone to be free?”

“Not quite” answered the curator, expecting such a ludicrous question, verging on a request. ”What’s free out there? Other than freeways and back-door entry to creep-shows?” There was nothing to sell, nothing to buy, a desert to the alarmed consumer. “So, yes, almost free.” The only thing you spend here is a bit of your time stepping in and out of a freak accident of culture and waste precious minutes of production looking at stuff that tell a story you don’t give a monkey about.

A bunch of Asian kids burst in and had a fill day with some of the images at hand. They laughed hysterically pointing at some of the more obvious body parts featuring therein. Seeing the degeneration of their mental state, one of the invigilators ushered them out gently. They did not return.

 

No one thought of taking a feather away as a memento mori, or a symbolic gift as light as…itself. But many of them soon adorned heads and clothing, parading in the air, showered by the impromptu performers, whose interaction had been suddenly redefined by the presence of what pigeons are made of, in part, dropped thereafter on the edge of the counter like used up scratched cards.

It put an uncertain end to an unspectacular display and the curb-mob put the lid on the experiment by breaking into the weak defence of the castle of cards that fell flat, face down.

A few days on, the grubby hub dedicated to the debatable concept of “art democracy” was raided by a five strong gang of “brexit teens” as some foreigners call them. Because here and now, this is it, only chag and dis are on. The intruders charged in unchallenged and wrecked havoc here and there, in the gut of the old Yorkshire bank before pulling out with a hammer picked from the shelves housing a bunch of books that will for ever remain a useless pile of paper to them. They were later hailed as the bright frustrated new generation of natives in search of an identity boost. Peace be with them.

 

There was our magisterial exit from the meaninglessness of a fake empty space.

IMG_3994

 

And ‘nothing’ to show for it.

 

 

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2018

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In response to: “The Inconvenient Truth About Organ Donations” The real problem lies elsewhere, in the small print of a universal social contract

Why are we too often prepared to entrust our health to the medical professionals who have proven on numerous occasions to fail us at our expense, without facing the consequences of their actions or decisions, escaping via the backdoor, and reappearing in some other firm or form with a promotion attached, as was reported on too many occasions by baffled and horrified members of the public?

By this token, knowing the possibility of an unreasonable probability of incompetence or foul play when dealing with a body deemed useful beyond the life of the “owner, we may assume what is really expected of us is far from ethical, since it requires our acceptance of the potential failure of doctors to diagnose our state prior to the collection of our organs to save another life, with no guaranty of success.

In effect we allow for a small but significant margin of error to justify the untimely termination of our biological life, this being justified by a moral code by which individual lives are less deserving than randomly endangered lives. By this is meant that you have put your signature on the dotted line whereas the recipient is so by default regardless of any external decisions pertaining to your life and that you will no longer be able to change or oppose, because you will invariably find yourself in a state of unconsciousness, a prelude to the loss of the rights you enjoyed in “conscious life”.

Think of this: the law of the land will not apply to boaters, inhabitants of canal waters in England for example. So it is with your pacified body, that is, immobilised and a priori desensitised by accidental or other circumstances. Whatever rights may have been yours before your loss of consciousness will quickly ebb away in the light of the contract you have put your name to. You are consenting to relinquishing your right to life founded on a simple psychological trick: guilt on one hand, heroic posterity on the other, and a sense of civic duty having been imparted to you from the outset of your existence. There is talk of a mandatory organ donation program. We are tailored to be exploitable in every way.

There is thus a bizarre discrepancy in this either wise apparently honourable deal. The balance of importance is oddly off, greater weight being placed on the side of the recipient than on the side of the donor.

We then must add to this overview the financial aspect of the operation. Organs are a currency; their value outweigh donor’s and recipient’s lives combined. The philanthropic benefactors admonishing the nobility of such a humanistic gift as one’s organs are or will be the greatest beneficiaries of this fast spreading market. This market joins the sex-slave, snuff-porn and child-meat market, the life-insurance market, or the food supply and resources market amongst others. Anyone in doubt should inform themselves and make informed comparisons and associations to formulate a thoughtful and intuitive judgment. There is no need to cry wolf, but there is a need to catch the wolf grinning behind the lamb’s innocent face, and wonder what he/she is smiling so smugly about.

We let strangers in a position of authority make decisions for us in our daily life that will often divert the course of our life mostly insidiously. We are therefor well prepared to let strangers, whose authority dissuades us from questioning their judgment moral or professional, concerning the value of our life, decide whether we should live or die, to be of use to their enterprise under the guise of ethical and human responsibility, citizenship, or altruism.

Once more then, we let another decide for us and this time, it is not limited to the life we hold supposedly so dear, our freedom, our destiny, but it will affect our ultimate presence in the world, the simple but crucial fact of either being here or ceasing to exist in this form, that for all its difficulties and doubtful impasses, is and should belong to each of us alone, as individuals…Yet this is the crux of the matter for the individual ‘s will to live according to themselves is regarded as selfish. This notion will entail one must feel obliged to accept to sacrifice their potential survival for the potential survival of another body based on uncertain criteria we have no control over.

It is so from the moment we let someone else make the final decision for us on the basis of a greater good, ensuring each one of us becomes a useful part of the grand edifice of human survival, and human evolution despite the fact that it will be at the expense of who we are, placing the common idea of self-preservation and the oath of Hippocrates wrapped in a veil of aided natural selection and institutional expert discrimination, above the truth of individual consciousness on its path to self realisation. No surprise, for at that moment, we may be gone…but the chances are we may revert, trace our way back and begin again …only, our kidneys have been snatched out, our liver, our intestines, our pancreas, our heart. We have agreed to cut short the journey of our soul on the terrestrial plane. No way back.

We are brought up to believe it is right and quasi mandatory to save a physical life by abandoning our right to life under indeterminate circumstances over which we will no longer have any power, for this power, as feeble as it is, we have offered freely and quite blindly to those who will profit, regardless of the outcome.

 

 

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2018

 

Related articles:

Becoming an organ donor is widely considered a good thing. If you die and offer up your body to medicine, you can extend the life of others with zero inconvenience—after all, you’re dead. But it turns out that the reality of organ donation isn’t quite so crystal clear, and that it’s something you might want to lend a little more thought to.

Becoming an organ donor is easy; just tick a box on your driving license, or fill in a simple form. You may not know that you waive your rights to informed consent at that stage: doctors don’t have to tell your relatives where your organs go, or what they do to your body to extract them. You have few legal rights; you’re dead, remember.

That’s not too bad, though. I can live with that. But writing for the Wall Street Journal, Dick Teresi raises a more interesting point: the majority of organ donors are victims of head trauma, who end up being ruled dead based on brain-death criteria. And brain-death diagnosis isn’t really an exact science:

The exam for brain death is simple. A doctor splashes ice water in your ears (to look for shivering in the eyes), pokes your eyes with a cotton swab and checks for any gag reflex, among other rudimentary tests. It takes less time than a standard eye exam. Finally, in what’s called the apnea test, the ventilator is disconnected to see if you can breathe unassisted. If not, you are brain dead. (Some or all of the above tests are repeated hours later for confirmation.)

Here’s the weird part. If you fail the apnea test, your respirator is reconnected. You will begin to breathe again, your heart pumping blood, keeping the organs fresh. Doctors like to say that, at this point, the “person” has departed the body. You will now be called a BHC, or beating-heart cadaver.

The problem is, plenty of BHCs still have brain waves. A bigger problem is that—very, very occasionally— BHC’s even start breathing again by themselves. Whether they’re actually dead or not, well, that’s up for debate. It’s that uncertainty that many people are, quite rightly, starting to worry about. For a deeper insight, you should read Teresi’s article; it’s really quite thought-provoking. In the meantime, I’m remaining a donor but hoping for a lack of imminent head trauma. [Wall Street Journal; Image: Spirit-Fire]

September 19, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – There has been growing concern over the past several years about increasingly aggressive measures undertaken to harvest human organs from dying patients. Dr. John Shea, a Toronto physician who has specialized in researching the issue, has just completed a report, Organ donation: The inconvenient truth, that sounds an alarm about the unethical or at least highly questionable practices of the organ transplant industry. The article is published in the September issue of Catholic Insight magazine.

The magazine editor states the article is offered to inform the public about “the moral principles and scientific facts pertaining to both the donation and harvesting of human organs for transplantation purposes. Many physicians have serious and well-considered concerns about the morality of human organ transplantation and about the fact that the general public has not been properly informed about what really happens when organs are retrieved.”

Dr. Shea reports on the modern and still very unsettled definition of “brain death” used by many organ transplant physicians to justify declaring organ donors dead and therefore fair game for immediate organ harvesting .

Shea points out, “There is no consensus on diagnostic criteria for brain death. They are the subject of intense international debate. Various sets of neurological criteria for the diagnosis of brain death are used. A person could be diagnosed as brain dead if one set is used and not be diagnosed as brain dead if another is used.”  It depends on what hospital or which doctor is involved in a particular case.

In fact, says Shea, “A diagnosis of death by neurological criteria is theory, not scientific fact. Also, irreversibility of neurological function is a prognosis, not a medically observable fact.”

The coldly utilitarian goal of promoting the acceptance of brain death, says Shea, “is to move to a society where people see organ donation as a social responsibility and where donating organs would be accepted as a normal part of dying.” In fact, he says, the specific wishes of a donor opposed to having his organs removed would be bypassed by putting skilled pressure on surviving family members to approve the organ removal.

The apnea test, or removal of a ventilator, that is often used to determine brain death, says Dr. Shea, is the thing that often ends up killing the patient. “The test”, he reports, “significantly impairs the possibility of recovery and can lead to the death of the patient through a heart attack or irreversible brain damage.”

Shea reveals there are some preventive measures taken by organ removal teams that bring in to serious question whether their donor body, kept functioning through artificial means to preserve the organs, is really, fully dead.

“Some form of anesthesia is needed to prevent the donor from moving during removal of the organs. The donor’s blood pressure may rise during surgical removal. Similar changes take place during ordinary surgical procedures only if the depth of anesthesia is inadequate. Body movement and a rise in blood pressure are due to the skin incision and surgical procedure if the donor is not anesthetized. Is it not reasonable to consider that the donor may feel pain? In some cases, drugs to paralyze muscle contraction are given to prevent the donor from moving during removal of the organs. Yet, sometimes no anesthesia is administered to the donor. Movement by the donor is distressing to doctors and nurses. Perhaps this is another reason why anesthesia and drugs to paralyze the muscles are usually given.”

Since the definition of brain death was invented in the late 1960s “as a means for the moral validation of the retrieval of human organs for transplant”, says Shea, the demand for organs has increasingly exceeded supply and so a new definitions of death had to be created to help meet the demand. The concept of “cardiac death” was developed but this also has serious ethical challenges and test measures that also kill a possibly still alive patient.

Another “ominous and disturbing development” is the recent recruitment of palliative caregivers by the organ harvesting industry. “Those care givers” says Shea, “in effect… are to be the agents of a soft-sell program to make the family ‘feel comfortable and supported during this extremely difficult time.’”

Shea covers the changing Vatican debate on these end of life issues and the need for more definitive and better informed direction from the Church on the issues. An Italian researcher is quoted stating, “The concern of many is that the Vatican has not taken the appropriate position when doubts exist about the end of human life.”

Organ donation: The inconvenient truth contains many references to support its statements and is a timely paper on the human transplant trend that is fast becoming ethically out-of-control. Many political jurisdictions are considering radical legislative measures, such as presumed consent, without being fully aware of the major ethical dilemmas related to organ transplants. Most are not aware, for instance, that organs are often taken from persons who are likely, in many ways, still alive.

To view the complete article, Organ donation: The inconvenient truth:
http://catholicinsight.com/online/bioethics/article_747.shtmlHTML version
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007_docs/Organdonationinconvenienttruth.pdfpdf version

See related LifeSiteNews articles:

More Hospitals/Governments Push For Organ Transplants 5 Minutes or Less After Heart Stops
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/aug/06080808.html

Organ Transplant Doctor Investigated in Non-Heart Beating Donation Case
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/mar/07030903.html

Surgical Preparation For Organ Donation For Non-Brain Dead Patients?: Australia
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/jul/06071305.html

UK Chief Medical Officer Pushes for Automatic Organ Donation
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jul/07071702.html

Ontario NDP Introduces Organ Donor Bill Which Presumes Consent of all Dying
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/feb/06021602.html

Deaths now Automatically Reported to Organ Donation Program
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/mar/06032303.html

Organ Donation after Cardiac Death a Danger to Critical Patients ~ Medical Professor
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/oct/06101008.html

  NO SUCH THING AS

  “BRAIN DEATH”

By Paul A. Byrne, M.D.

 

Both Germany and Japan are saving lives.  Critically ill

patients there, who need the assistance of life support

machines, are not given an apnea test (which causes

brain damage) and are being treated with hypothermic

therapy.  Published results are reporting that 60 to 70

percent of patients are recovering.  This is a remarkable

success rate!

 

Patients with the same types of injuries or condi-

tions in the USA and other countries are deliberately

being hastily declared “Brain Dead” so their organs can

be taken.  More recently, when there is a desire to get

organs while the donor still has obvious brain activity, a

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) is obtained to stop the life

support. When the donor is pulseless for as short as 75

seconds (but the heart is still beating) the organs are

taken – this is called Donation by Cardiac Death (DCD).

Organs are then cut out without any anesthetic.  These

poor victims are given a paralyzing agent but no

anesthetic.

 

The donation and transplant industry is a multi-

billion dollar enterprise.  In 1996, Forbes Magazine ran

an informative series on this issue.

 

 

IN ACTUALITY, IT IS THE EXCRUCIATING VITAL ORGAN REMOVAL

PROCEDURE WHICH CAUSES TRUE DEATH OF THE DONOR.

 

“BRAIN DEATH” – The new “Pretend Death” is not True Death

 

Prior to 1968 a person was declared dead only after their breathing and heart stopped for a determinate period of time. The current terminology “Brain Death” was unheard of.  When surgeons realized they had the capability of taking organs from one seemingly “close to death” person and implanting them into another person to keep the recipient alive longer, a “Pandora’s Box” was opened.

 

In the beginning, through trial and error, they discovered it was not possible to perform this “miraculous” surgery with organs taken from someone truly dead–even if the donor was without circulation for merely a few minutes – because organ damage occurs within a very brief time after circulation stops.

 

To justify their experimental procedures it was necessary for them to come up with a solution which is how the term “Brain Death” was contrived.

 

Much is being done to get your organs. For an organ to be suitable for transplantation, it must be healthy and it must come from a living person. Please wake up! Organ excision does not benefit the person from whom the organs are taken, it causes their death!

 

“IT IS NOT MORALLY ADMISSIBLE TO DIRECTLY BRING ABOUT THE DISABLING MUTILATION OR DEATH OF A HUMAN BEING, EVEN IN ORDER

TO DELAY THE DEATH OF OTHER PERSONS.”

 

 

Harvested alive -10 years investigation of Force Organ Harvesting

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od3Q6O7HMy8

 

Organ Donation is a Scam

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZcTVrXQC8s

 

5 Cases of Soul Transferhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6p9OM_ORYo

 

 

I Love You (But You’re Boring)

 

 

In Response to a social media comment.

 «I Love You (But You’re Boring) »*

Boring comes under the same heading as banal, necessity, society. It is cultivated like a neutraliser of the extra-ordinary. It is a bubble of glue morphing the chaos into cerebral order to bring all ends to the middle ground…and who has called it the cradle of mediocrity? We fall into boredom to desensitise ourselves from the intensity of the strangeness that permeates the background of everyday life like a radiation containing the signs of a terrifying outcome echoing an even more terrifying birth. We curl up in the soggy wooliness of morbid lassitude, snoring our way to mundane salvation. We yarn, no sooner has the marginal intruder, issued from our very moonscape, dared to dislodge us out of our meat sofa, to fend off any insurgence from the backyard of our mind; a mournful somnolence takes over us, tenderising us into some formless dough. And have we not been warned to stay clear of profundity, the devourer of rational survivors?

We humans are boring until we stray from the straight path. Yes, the sudden curve might lead to some dark alley, but, whoa, there is a light at the end of this tunnel, the adventure of a lifetime. Mark my word, it is worth the candle, and burn it does, as bright as a thousand suns, right there, in the unchartered region of self we sometimes refer to, in our poetic moments as “My Soul”. But, “Hey” they insist…”Keep your eye on the smart metre, the soul is a fallacy”. Time to choose I guess. If humans are boring, and life is anything but…what does it make us? Nothing more boring than a corpse, no matter how well built, well perfumed or well dressed. The choice is this: To produce or to create. And since the brain is mortal while the mind is not, we have a clear winner. Then what is the problem?

Words however won’t change ‘boring’ into ‘wondrous’, even if we understand their meaning. I have seen extraordinary persons fall in the trap of soothing normalisation, and how easy it is to choose boring in another to dilute the despair of loneliness. Someone said to me women want adventure not boredom, that’s why she chose me. But somewhere along the line, she opted for boring and I continued the adventure alone. This was not a tragedy, but liberation. We must also accept the weaknesses of our love, whom we love and whom we must leave because we love them knowing the extra in us is as deadly to them, at that moment in their life, as their dreamless sleep is deadly to us. They will wake, but without us, not because of us. I am never bored by myself, but I sure bore cynics to death; perhaps I do them a favour.

Has anyone been heard to say: ”I am tired of your inner beauty?” Yet, it is a fact. Those who decide yet quite unconsciously to slumber into normality will find anyone out of the norm a bore…tiresome, overbearing, dispensable. The boredom machine grinds spirit like the chocolate grinder grinds cocoa. So humans bore one another, as they bore into each other. Then we bore holes to burry our insufferable differences. But soon, boredom turns sour, the voice, then the breath of the other become intolerable, the mere thought of this other who once was part of us, becomes a weight too many. What once was a tumultuous river drags us downward like quick sand. Then we realise…”I had not loved you until now, now I understand our incompatibility, now I see clearly into the shadow of our past, and what I thought I loved was what I imagined in you, and now it is you I see, and the lie I created out of you. This boredom is an abyss of mutual incomprehension.“ Then, it stops. Silence replaces the massive black hole of reciprocal aversion. You stop digging for a truth that neither belongs to you nor concerns you. You separate yourself from an illusion. You no longer blame them for your exasperation. You disentangle your strings from theirs, and slowly and gently exit the scene.

Boredom carries disgust, and breeds hatred. It mirrors a malcontent ego. When depressed, we fall into this hole. Boredom reveals a lack in us…a lack of will and a lack of substance. So we fill this hole with ready-made ideals, with romantic trash, intellectual mirages, political hubris, synthetic satin hearts, flowers, love letters, or souvenirs, piling up, clogging up your lungs, clouding your eyes with tears, because all this effort leads to nothing but more of what you attempt to escape or cover up

And you know how boring all that is, not only to the other, but also to yourself.

Then you emerge on the other side of the boredom, having dug a hole the whole way through. There is no one there, and you know this is where they are on the opposite side. This is where life begins without boredom, without the burden of a mutually exclusive lie.

 

  • Songwriters: Dave Rotheray / Paul Heaton
  • Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2018

Mapping the Face of the World, Mappa Mundi

 

Disclaimer: this is not an academic text. Poetic licence applies.

 

 

 

A map of the world without utopia on it is not worth looking at, because it

excludes the only country where mankind is constantly landing.”

(Oscar Wilde, qtd. in Braye and Simonot 186)

Certain historians supposed the art of verisimilitude achieved in drawing, painting and sculpture to have originated at the time of antiquity. Several legends appeared recounting how. Thus for instance, the sculptor Phidias astonished by the clarity of his daughter’s shadow, drew its outline on a wall planning in fact to make a modelling by first applying a mound of clay onto its precise shape, a prophetic precursor to map projection. A passing stranger is said to have fallen in love with the girl from the mere sight of this line. This is not implying the impulse or ability to symbolize the elements constituting the substance of our environment was not present prior to this new method of depiction. What it suggests however is, on one hand a primordial hermeneutic intent, thus domesticating the form by simplifying its visible shape, reducing it in this case to co lateral design overlooking the complex properties of its three dimensional appearance by relying on a flat opaque imprint, on the other, the desire to map a profile literally and euphemistically, i.e., to replace reality with an ideal that proffers to be more truthful than the real, to contain the borders of a terrain whose properties are always put in question on account of its nature. In this case, the shadow will provide a perfect transition between the living and its indexical image. Here is the perfect edge from which to trace a perfect line, a line that, if left by itself on a pale background would look like an irregular nonsensical mark to the untrained eye, for this line is also a code. What happens when the mind recreates form through the elevation of a model resting purely on geometric solids or mathematical hypothesis? Some would venture the idea of the origin of a holographic universe. From the surface of a face, the seat of the intellect has expanded its scrutiny to the furthest reaches of the cosmos and has begun to theorise about the mapping of two elusive substances physicians have named respectively Dark energy and dark matter.

Moving back and closer to what constitutes a face, we arrive at signs of character. We must move from profile outlining to interpretation of an open territory. The strange characteristic of this territory lies in its ‘auto-mapping’ insofar as it presents a selective set of characteristics usually adapted to a prognostical conceptualisation, a manoeuvre by which actual beings retain and prolong their contextuality when confronted with uncontrollable values, in this case another human being. This territory absorbs the signs of its context in order to reflect it and thus feigns or supposes affiliation and compatibility.

We could suggest a description of this process of psycho-mapping occurrence. For example, the onlooker assessing and retouching what they are presented with, a sanitised version of a face, a facade, and the ‘carrier’ of a face presenting what would be considered, in their view, most appropriate at this point in time and space. This is an interchangeable double mask meeting playing both parts simultaneously, thus demonstrating a quadruple psycho-virtual inter-reactional exercise. But this remains another hypothesis. By applying clinical mapping to psychosocial behaviour, one automatically flattens the territory, in effect depriving the context of content. Such principles of analysis are extended into a wider field of mapping. It is pervasive to our interaction with the world. It springs from an impulse to distance the mind from the object it contemplates, but also from an urge to possess it, by proxy bringing the additional issue of purity, cleanliness or non-contamination/decontamination into focus.

It even harks back to the games children play, pretending to hold something in their hand actually much larger than themselves, an illusion enabling virtual dominance over objects. It is also a by product of a trait especially particular to the human species, self reflective, a self consciousness encapsulating the mind in a kind of insular melancholia, demanding the effectuality of a mirror by which agency the forming psyche will situate itself in an either wise unreadable cosmos.

To see ‘oneself’ may still be an incidental proof of existence although what is seen is but a perceived selection of a momentary presence amounting to an immediate form of mapping. To place a point in space, one must frame the point and this in itself is one of the primary steps towards virtualisation, an inevitable by-product of the paradox of being in the infinite, making ‘being’ a continual possibility of non-being and being simultaneously. Could we then talk of a cartographic instinct of ontological survival? Could we even associate the human brain with a three-D mapping of the mind, pointing to an ironic association with the psychiatric condition of paranoia, (beside-mind), the brain continuously gravitating the ‘unquantified’ through conceptualisation, thus making itself into a fearsome tool of autopsy, as much as a flattener of depth. Could we say that an artist also engages with the cartographic simulation of a reality in which the mind cannot condensate or locate itself save by this stratagem? It seems still that art moves along different channels where profundity is no longer removed from representation but sustains its very foundation. A kind of philosophical taboo in the super-gridded cerebral system.

Mapping is after all a device, despite its apparent urgency, if we are to judge by the fixation brought upon its exponential elaboration and application; it is functional rather than the result of ‘self expression’. It tends in fact to express anything but ‘self’, being closer to an archive than an arcane state, the objectifying perspective directed at a ‘sector’ of the world, be it external or internal, the latter for example including scientific evaluations of the mind through neurological classification. Mapping cannot operate without division. It brings context into view, the content of which has been purged of personal history. Yet we see down the line of its evolution that this premise will be a source for contradictory determinations. An idea advanced by Guy Debord in 1955 will trigger a butterfly effect that will precede the theories of Deleuze and Guattari elaborated in A thousand Plateaux about what they called “Deterritorialisation” and “reterritorialisation”. The idea was coined “Psycho-geography”. It was carried out by a group of thinkers, Situationist International in the 1960s. In effect the Situationists seemed to turn the sterile factuality of mapping into the art of ‘anthroponoia-geo’ portraiture. The basis of the project rested on controversial ethics of desire. S.I advocated the benefits of disruption, the denial of habit, the abandon to “la derive”, a form of day dream drifting, an idea Charles Baudelaire the Romantic poet evoked through the “flâneurs”, himself having been inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story The Man of the Crowd. This walker was no longer idle but a poetic urban investigator, or in Baudelaire’ s words, “a botanist of the side-walk”. It was pure defiance to the Cartesian empire coming into full reign during the “enlightenment”, although Descartes himself had advocated a radical rejection of all prior unproven deductions to begin the research anew. His was the path of the ‘sage’, for nothing could be apprehended unless one had the courage to impose a tabula rasa on all previous unfounded concepts. From this point, ‘the single idea’, one could move into the complexity of its substrata via rigorous dissection. This new methodology inclusive of geometry was the basis of modern science. The “method” was a form of mapping indistinguishable from any instruments of power.

Debord’s aim by contrast was to render institutional maps obsolete by replacing them with emotional maps (One is tempted to call this a complete contradiction in terms). Getting lost and recording each moment according to the feelings that arose on the occasion was pivotal to the building of the Psycho-geographic map. These new markers would ultimately displace the system of impersonal reference forming the basis of what was fast becoming corporate mapping, although solely within the domain of the poetic vision. We could view this growing schism as a reflection of an underlying war between poetry and politics.

It was along those lines a new idea, promenadology, was elaborated twenty years later by Lucius Burckhardt who developed it further in the 1980s. Two apparently contradictory tendencies, urban contextuality on one hand, and the ‘reverie’ of the paysage on the other became interlaced in the “promeneur”, who despite his/her attachment to the city, as a dweller among many, would resurrect the thought of beauty as truth beyond its walls, its laws and above all beyond the graphic idea of a world flat-lined by geometric interpretation and geographic conceptualisation. The promeneur acknowledges a realm that still exists, out there, not only as a milk provider, a dump or a pastoral playground, but as an actual site of experience, a scene the promeneur will dare enter, no longer a tourist or a witness but a walker in awe, master of his own vision. Poets and philosophers in ancient Greece, errant knights and minstrels in the Middle Ages, masons during the Gothic elevation of cathedrals, then in the renaissance, with the renewed desire for the sacred hierosgamos between the human figure and the natural creation slowly gaining autonomy from the supernal arbiter of forms, artists became the upholders of the beauty of the paysage, to reach a sublime stance during the romantic era. In Burckhardt’s work, the emphasis is put on that which is reported from the expedition, and where this leads. There is no objectification; we lie in the midst of privacy, an intimate record of memories and sensations. This will supersede the practical design of a geographic understanding of the land, for it is the result of a union between mind and place. In one particular promenadological model, texts from a journey undertaken by captain Cook in 1772 were read out loud in situ following an entirely different peregrination in Germany, thus bringing out the contrast between the exploration of the island of Tahiti and that of a derelict military training field. Burckhardt wrote in Le Design au delà du visible: ” Geography”(Parallel with cartography)”is the exact example of a science where forgetfulness operates […] while leaving aside most of the information, it invents what we call landscapes. Promenadology will be the form through which I alone will direct my approach of and into the landscape.” We could think of a pilgrim, more precisely a ‘pilgrim of origins’, diverging from the “Flâneur”, having gained the poetic lunacy of the Mat/fool, the numberless card of the Tarot, the bohemian curiosity of the flâneur, replaced by the astonished immobility of the Taoist, the focused contemplation of Zen, and the solidity of purpose of the geologist.

It was in France, in the 17th century that La Carte du Tendre, in which the journey of the heart unfolds towards fulfilment, was invented, an allegorical prelude to the Situationist map, a little ironic if we consider this to be an aristocratic invention, to amuse the précieuses. But to be fair, such a map was reflecting a real need for sentiments to regain a central place in the harsh political context of France under Louis the XIV, the Apollonian king, led mainly by women of high rank who saw the magnetic vanity of their sovereign as a potential gap in the rigour of his megalomaniac iron grip on every aspect of his subjects’ existence, and thus inserted this timid affirmation of feminine aspirations hoping to gain erotic emancipation. We note a similar representational display in the map described by John Bunyan in his novel A Pilgrim’ s Progress. In the latter, the map offers a detailed cosmological overview of a spiritual itinerary, mostly dictated by moral fervour and religious piety. Later in the early 20th century, Lizzie Magie, a London suffragette, writer and much more besides, would create Pank-a-Squith or The Landlord’ s Game, what was then appropriated and semantically inverted by Charles Darrow during the great American depression and renamed the Monopoly, making him a monopolising millionaire. Hers however was a game board in the shape of a circular labyrinth exposing the injustice of the social system, pointing to mapping as the basis for positive change and a tool of political awareness, but more interestingly, showing how a clinical and narrowing representation of the world can be turned into an interactive instrument of learning and communication. It is remarkable how such an idea was so easily inverted to serve the indoctrination tactics of the new rich, the parvenus, bankers and industrialists whose world-plan excludes all non-profitable designs.

A map henceforth, besides providing a simplified interpretation of the world, generally in parts, can also tell a story. If we look closely at certain periods of history, we will find that the science of map making correlates with the pictorial art techniques of the time or that our pictorial translation of the world has approximated a kind of cartographic perception throughout history. For example illuminists from the early middle ages painted what they thought existed rather than what they actually saw, in a way in which maps were then mostly conceived, time and space coinciding and unravelling on one plane allowing for what we could regard as a logical linear ‘planispheric’ reading of events. This was a conceptual rather than perceptual operation, somewhat raising the supernatural above the rational. In effect painters then were mapping history, through for example the lives of saints in one single all encompassing image, a metaphor for the mind’s eye or the all seeing eye of god, with no centred perspective. The 13th century Psalter map clearly shows Jerusalem at its centre, leaving some relative faithfulness to the locality of its origin, the British Isles for example. Mappa Mundi means “cloth (or) chart of the world”. We could almost visualise a monk throwing the cloth on the earth to get a miraculous trace, Veronica with the face of Christ. These maps were a strange amalgam of veracity and fables, a world unto themselves, libraries of new discoveries, but also a reflection of cultures and beliefs. It is true that art and science mingled quite harmoniously and that even architecture, “frozen music”, as it had been called, reflected this need for an artificial topography rising from the cartographic instinct of homo sapiens as the ‘alienated panoramic spectator’, a position Walter Benjamin developed in his vision of the flâneur. This temporal and pictorial panoramic view was also present in works painted in ancient Egypt throughout all of the dynastic periods, upholding a precise model of art for thousands of years before the Christian era, combining hieroglyphs with allegorical scenes. The Book of The Dead or book of Coming forth by Day is a map tailored to the need of the departed. Time and space are no longer an issue, displaced by new non-quantifiable properties pertaining to the journey of the soul outside of the physical world. The map in this case embodies the itinerary as a real event within a real yet invisible dimension. Each sign included is essential to the survival of the soul now encircled by a world only approachable through the imagination. The papyrus onto which it is painted is rolled up, like a film in a capsule. The end is therefore at the centre. This map is a form of labyrinth, its walls covered in spells, a silent army of words only to be voiced when summoned by the respective actualized enemy of their meaning. They are semiological spirals unfolding according to the progress of the itinerant. On this basis, the Tarot also maps out an itinerary of the psyche through personal experiences joining a kind of modus operandi to hermetic divination. These ‘maps’ are of a sequential nature akin to the division of time through seconds, minutes, hours, days and so on, time measurement playing the part of a map, and this since humans have observed the passage of sun, moon and stars.

Homo Sapiens leaving Africa did not possess a map, armed only with the desire to discover and to conquer. But could we imagine their mind was still open enough to their natural environment that was not as yet covered in asphalt and electric cables, to contain an intuitive conception of the world, i.e., the ideo-graphic extension of their potential habitat? Migrating birds follow pathways virtually blue printed in their psyche like an etheric map of the globe, although “map” here is a misnomer. All phenomena and forces contributing to the coherent organisation of physical space seem to be combined and comprehended as if a live multidimensional view was formed in the very act of flying, a view shared by and uniting the flying birds. A map is to the earth what grammar is to the hermeneutic interpretation of a book.

Humanity was evolving into a multi faceted mirror of the universe and mapping represented a desire to rise out and above our condition. Mental beings enslaved by mere gravity, would thus compete with god(s), since mapping would present a view from any vantage point, including from the sky. (We are eager to know all but ourselves). Having gained a wider view, it is not so strange to think a map could have philosophical and mystical implications, if not applications. For example, the Kabbalah tree of life is undoubtedly one of the most complex maps of the process of human transmutation from gross matter to spirit. To come back to Ancient Egypt, it was then believed that by replicating the Am-Duat, the celestial underworld, onto the surface of the earth, magical talismanic protection in the form of symbolic guidance would be granted. In this case, the map is actually applied to three-dimensional space rather than in a sense lifted away from it. It integrates space, impregnating the fabric of organic life with the gnosis of the greater cosmos, arriving at an antithesis of contemporary mapping. Nevertheless, a form of more precise and scientific mapping would emerge in the third century BC with Eratosthenes who calculated the circumference of the earth, and was responsible for the first map of the world (for now). But it has been demonstrated that evolution does not follow a straight forward path, and maps certainly provided information about the peregrinations of the human mind through the fluctuations of history, perhaps also pointing to other needs more pressing to the soul, and certainly influencing the way in which we would portray the world at any given time.

Why would humanity disregard certain already known principles considering these would be particularly useful in terms of orientation? Yet, Neither the rationalism of the Greeks, nor the analytical geography of Ptolemy would divert the medieval mind from allegory, metaphor, and artistry in the invention of a different kind of map. Some ‘topo-anthropo-chthonical’ maps seem stranger still, symbolic in appearance, such as the Nazca geoglyphs in Peru. Although they can be detected from hilltops, it was suggested these or similarly produced designs could only be truly understood from further up, insinuating the possibility of airborne intelligence. It is not so far fetched to imagine our ancestors aiming to communicate with the higher spheres whether this entails real contact with some unknown entities or not. It suggests at least mapping in this form acted as a focal point of recognition by which to locate a place that lay right beneath it, not only spatially but also symbolically, a place of meaning or perhaps even a crucial position such as a portal or a well of knowledge. This type of location detector tool seems to arise and disappear early in the history of the hominid. This reversed perspective, i.e., from above rather than based on the horizon, would not emerge again until Mathias Seuter in 1740, placing the observer of our planet 12,750 kilometres above sea level. In this model, vertical perspective, the hypothetical viewer would float like an angel far from the ground. This would however offer a seemingly coherent and cohesive design of the continents, following new accurate measurements. It was however recently noted that older maps had delineated the edges of Antarctica, the Reis map drawn in 1513, followed by the Oronteus Finaeus map (1531), when Antarctica had not yet been discovered, these anomalies leading to the hypothesis of an extra-terrestrial perspective, a highly controversial theory.

A map tends to veil the world rather than reveal it. It acts as an instrument of moral and politico-social selection. It has been and continues to be after all a tool of power. A great example is the Magna Carta, a map that introduces the under-lying sinister idea of a new world order. Order in map making is the crux of the matter although as we have seen, this was not a continuous characteristic. But in this respect, the map becomes a surgical instrument of punctilious division and classification, while implying a will to monitor and sanitize. One could contend that if anything is revealed, it is the intentions of its makers. Besides, we are so used to looking at maps we are unaware of the fact they are the product of someone else’s point of view which in a sense objectifies our own by aligning it with a multitude of others seeing the world from an identical angle. And if a map somehow yields information on the intentions and psychology of the maker, could this be the basis for a character profile?

Maps tend to separate rather than integrate although much effort has been made to synthesize our vision of the world through them. They are nevertheless a dead conglomeration of fragments, constantly re affirming the manufactured limitations imposed on the population and the environment. Hence an increasing number of specialized maps corresponding to multiple administrative and scientific bodies investigating for example the development of a section of society in a given location via statistics. It is therefore primarily a mode of observation and discrimination and by logical extension, a mode of control over the population, which as aforementioned demonstrates a persistent will in participating in a program of global indoctrination and uniformisation by assimilating the information contained in maps as neutral fact, that is, devoid of (ulterior) motive.

Deleuze writes in La Logique du Sens “The motive for the theories of ideas is to be sought in the direction of the will to select, to sort out. It is a matter of drawing differences, of distinguishing between the “thing” itself and its images, the original and the copy, the model and the simulacrum”. Furthermore, mapping in the twenty first century aims to displace the original, that is, the native truth of a situation or what resides in its own locality, with a copy that satisfies the priorities of he or she whose perspective, detached from the real, is thus concretised, in short, it permits the instalment of a colonization praxis by proxy, an abstract grid dividing a totality and to which the essence of that totality must conform. The jest of this idea was also present In The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord where it states “Thus, after the practice of art has ceased to be what is most eminent and this predicate has devolved to theory as such, it now breaks off the latter, insofar as synthetic post theoretical practice is constituted, which has as its mission first of all to be the foundation and truth of art as well as of philosophy. ”May be an accidental imposture.

Maps in their odd vacuity filled with data carry the ambiguity of the mask. This face is inhuman to say the least, or all too human perhaps. It aids in the synthetic unification of unidentifiable elements with identifiable ones. The map indeed covers the world with a new kind of face, artificial, apparently stable yet, mutable, it confuses the onlooker who desperately believes in its fidelity to some evasive truth. Are we looking at maps or smoke screens growing out of computer hardware, for Google map is replacing all others, virtualising our vision with our consent. This, no doubt, looks like a game and humanity wants to play. Perhaps this is in fact the perfect time for art to change the map into the territory of the imagination, to draw the face back out of the mask and re inhabit the domain of philosophy beyond the abstraction of theory, echoing the pataphysical détournement of the flâneurs as they walk away from their burning maps into the unknown recesses of the city, but primarily following in the foot steps of true pataphysicians such as Boris Vian, and before him, Rabelais and Francois Villon, troubadours of a timeless poetic universe. Ultimately, the live inclusion of meaningful coincidence was triggered by the absence of map.

Where this was demonstrated most overwhelmingly was Venice, a city where all maps fail. Incidentally and ironically, I was invited to a conference at the Teatro Marinoni on the Lido in summer 2014 (Tracce visuali, Linguaggi Artistici, Nuove Mappe) where “Methods for the interpretation and representation of urban transformation” were exposed and debated. I would have returned to the meanders of the mysterious city with a sense of waste if it not been for my exploration of the abandoned hospital on the same grounds, and the magical Tango night that succeeded it. Rather than experiencing the colour-coded conduits of confusing patterns stretched between my hands, I experienced what all travellers seek, the perpetual renewal of discovery, an endless sequence of liberation. No matter how large a map, there will always be antipodes lying beyond its reach, but not beyond the reach of the psyche, and less so beyond that of he or she, as the Japanese proverb goes (uroko ga me kara o chiru), whose’ s scales fall from their eyes, and armed with a new vision, perhaps wonder, “should I follow none but the lines of my hands?” « Ne devrais je suivre que les lignes de ma main? »

Finally, the flâneur will be supplanted by the pérégrinateur, or the “pilgrim of Origins”, they who, in the action of walking as in the non action, standing still, make by what is felt. Where they are, is not the access of a point in space or the continuation of a line, and therefore it is not possible to retrace their steps, for even if not especially when followed to the letter, the reproduction will lead elsewhere. Within this pérégrinateur resides the voyage that is the landscape created out of their innermost depth.

Le Flâneur sera supplanté par le pérégrinateur ou le « pèlerin Originateur », celui qui dans la marche comme dans l’immobilité, fait à travers ce qu’il ressent. Là où il est n’est pas l’atteinte d’un point ni la continuation d’une ligne, et donc n’est pas retraçable, même et surtout si suivit au pied de la lettre, tout fac simile ne conduira qu’ailleurs, car en lui réside ce voyage qui est le paysage qu’il crée depuis ses profondeurs.

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2015-Revised2018

 

 

Wormhole Labriphonic Song, Epicentric Ballad of a nomad in London

O great Octopia Humongraal Gargantim…

London, the megalith kitchen, famished automaton…

In the continuous renewing of the continual restoration

of a bran spanking new old regime…we toil.

London embalmed in crystal meth, erasing the remains of every ancient myth.

Her saintly mannequins stare blankly at our torpid flux.

Daintily, they hold jewels, their features seized with static ecstasy,

a halo above their heads, chandeliers of the third kind,

revolve around empty sockets, plastic bodies asking for vapid sex,

high on their stilettos, sparkling, they size us up,

we the monochromatic descendants of interstellar mites.

Chorus 1

Did you read the meter?”

“I had enrolled once as anti-life molecular soldier”

I had to keep the dead in shape, indulgence of the mind,

buried almost alive in chop-chop paradise,

hijacked by a Fritz Lang maniac,

who thought I could turn a dictionary into a new mechanical planet.

I little big man, anthropomorph-anomaly,

Will watch a world of galvanised actuations

turn inside out like a star fish.

I was lucky to fall from grace, down the random escalator,

As random some would say as a slippery slope up the garden path

where the haggard passer-by must eat the aftermath

on the wet tiles of Tartarus, product of a lector,

semi real, escapee, his fluids dry and low, his high cholesterol frying on a counter,

flabby and deflated, a cheap wig on his head has slid dangerously,

like most urban crawlers, he has gone out of print, no sanctimonious ties…

Chorus 2

Who will pay for the grave? What of an epitaph?”

He used to lie back on his Seti, dreaming of ufos,

filling up with pork pies, waiting for his toaster to bake an entry sign.

Chorus 3

An entry sign to what?”

“Buzz off ‘repro’!” shouts a ‘one off’. It’ s a battle out there between rip-offs and nostalgics.

Chorus 4

It is the norm; they follow the synthetic beat

and trail blazers of body heat”

“I slipped in the spotless gap and everyone followed”

“Walk on”, stones lie low, the river will take them. They call her a serpent,

and at every corner a griffin lurks, waiting for a beggar.

The greatest of them all stands above the roofs,

a cast iron maiden, never failing the scoop.

“Open the snuff box, the hour glass in suspension!”

He was seen stuffing a bin bag with sideral hours,

hours of data, as a matter of course.

“Courses for horses”, the farmer used to say, echoing Oliver fading in a bottle.

Eurydice ascends, fairy of absentia.

Heart throb of the ‘megapolis’

We can walk forever, not a door on site, but lenses everywhere.

Bouncers stand like concrete monkeys by false windows, the sitex philosophers of ‘narcowhere’.

Chorus 5

They teach us a new way of life”

The zenith of vulgarisation on the edge of a slice.

I was wrong, here is not ‘nowhere’, it is everywhere,

and sharks swim inside one severed head,

dead white, their formaldehyde veils swaying in neon light,

all for the sake of hyper definition… of infinite sameness.

Chorus 6

This is our last holiday resort…or last resort holiday”

Walls black with flies sweat the black rot terror,

something squeals from the mortar, as we blow torch a few tail ends.

I gave up on the job, replaced immediately, by some savvy hoody.

He pulled out a baton, tenderised a few skulls, stars gazing from his palms,

Master of rhetoric, Santa of all nations, cherubs in his apron.

He intoned the verses of Plato’s Republic, a corporate anthem anointing his public.

All praises to the lord, disfigurement in fact of human origins,

A faceless moribund hungry for instant flesh.

Chorus 7

The slow delectation of synthetic body parts

The slow dereliction of prosthetic mental parts”

The camera mirror locks up; I catch my eye in the visor,

“perfect” I thought, a starting point, a slanting smile to the next X con,

“stand by”, he jumped off the cut, mind you, gutter trick.

Jump the ‘Q’,

“Yn’t, 143, o’l 41”

The musketeers, in slow motion.

I thought, “time to reverse, where’s the damn switch?”

Chorus 8

Can you mark the spot?”

He nodded, only two words could come out,

his head was spinning. Now the road opened up like a scroll,

I started scraping the ruff edge of a barrel.

“Heck, hells, bells, I’m on a roll!”

It is written in the salts, the crystals lining celluloid.

I roll, a head, down the vertiginous tunnel of entropy.

Like pastry softened by microwaves, to a meltdown rhapsody,

“That’ s my life” I thought, uncertain, in a few shoddy words.

“I am an infidel, nor do I know my name”

Sigh was of the relief of an equaliser.

For to begin I err around the equator.

Chorus 9

Errare aberrans est”

“…Not a hero my lord…”

Xman number 1 had hollowed out his face

A stark manhole in its place.

“You know that corner shop?”…”how should I?”

“Corner shops come and go, even corners don’t last”

they are a freeze frame commodity,

“like there’s no tomorrow”,

“One-less day”,

Timetable claptrap.

Chaise longues mixed into an orgy of broken limbs,

the park attendant sniffing lapses out of an ugly mug.

I too dozed off in the volutes of an exhaust…

A city, this filthy curb at the bottom of the pile.

There, not in the belly of a whale, in a shit hole,

the gut of a watch tower, lavatory level -2.

I had to find my way out, because…

Chorus 10

Is there such a thing?”

The corridors were tied in knots, R.D Laing had been there.

Stairways led to glass bays, the peninsula of Baudrillard.

No exit. “But what is the male gaze for?” “Go and conquer!”

The billboard in LED…LSD…HHD…

“How can 3D puppets float on Plexiglas?”…

I admired the view, the replicas of contentment,

orthodontic virgin snows shine out of their mouth,

scattered among plastic trees, the real ones crawling

under the weight of Christmas chains

impregnated with satellites.

Electro paradise flickered as the sky turned beef pink

like bad top lit sitting rooms, filled with mongrel sofa love,

mashed up hyper inflated upholstery hungry for grey flesh

How (could) I love that city?…

Chorus 11

The slow desecration of synthetic body parts

The slow vivisection of prosthetic mental parts”

The exploitation of lukewarm bodies amid tinsels,

cardboard still damp from the urine of flagellated piss takers,

golden showers flowing from the nadir of sky lickers,

the groans of their snivelling stomachs, as they sucked the heels

of vapid nymphs, their noses pristine marble scintillating with pride

nostrils dilation, maximum consumption, with the grace of a swan.

Lancome, Chanel, Dior, red poppies clad in the finest white sugar

Vouitton skin, Cartier, perfect time around a wrist of enamel,

Avalon of arrested decay, a king of spades up their retractable sleeve,

wolf and leopard fur caress their necks…dead to the touch,

ivory runs in their purple blood, a cloud beneath their feet…

The petrol sentient gentlemen, dirty black patent shoes

kick with the kindest intent, the muzzled up trash, chewing on yellow toads.

They ram it in, with that lethal extremity, deep in the crack of an arse

a gutter bitten suet snout bugger beggar, dirt soup extra-national

with the pomp of a toff, the vulgar gesture of a flâneur morose

the breath of the letter ‘F’ all over their composure.

The winds of perturbed digestion invade the pipeline in their chest,

their features contorted by the slurs of disdain, death rattle in their throat.

Advocate the devil and the wiles of our host…

“Getoutofmyfuckingway” as they divert their course,

“loaf, eat my shit, suck my dick, lay an egg for daddy Smith”

Schmuck, fodder, mugger, dismal intent of lower growth,

sad episode, genetic flaw, inferior strand of existence, a limping stump.

But no words need be spoken, only actions will hit the mark,

with the sweet perverse etiquette of a covert operation.

Sartre was so right, purposeless titans roam the earth for the good of man,

building heaven with garbage cans, with rotting food, with cellophane,

wrapping paper, barcode bundles, boneless chicken, half lollipops

greasy diners, leaking condoms, toiletries, newspaper cuts…

and their shadows look upon us, no found objects, puppet masters,

“told you so”, means nothing more.

“If you can’t eat it”, Shouts flyer boy, eat my flyers!”…

Bullet proof philosophy.

The stage is set, the dice are thrown, blank sheet, no lies.

The throne slips on a slope, push play, no rewind, for the hairless hamster,

bacon on a platter, eat your shite, shake my hand, play my second fiddle,

I am well placed, hanging above the ditch, a Magritte in deep space,

fifth wheel of a trailer, will get you further than all subliminal cues.

A long view protrudes between my lidless eyes, old doctor Numero.

From my niche of unfortold graces, I install the conduits of a riddle,

a cream swollen tank of treasures glides just above the skyline.

Greased up MacDonald dreams conglomerate into a monument of grime.

Chorus12

The voluptuousness of sweet grilled pain”

as the obscene Marquis de Sade would claim.

How he would have praised and worshipped her excess,

leaking from the bubonic foot suffocating the ham of a supplicant,

bending amid the Teutonic roots, fisting a faithful sycophant.

Still, I despise his conventional brutality, his pitiful self-pity.

“This is the place for you!”

“Come and scratch the surface of your emptiness”,

“Come and ejaculate in your own cochlea, and hear the tumults of an ocean of meat”.

I could have told him that, as he hanged, in the larder of a blue bottle fly,

swaying like a pendulum.

Chorus 13

No death penalty for the pope or for the libertine”

As he rides the flayed posteriors of his mares, objects of derision some say,

he passes unaware the cave of paradise, blind to irony, overwhelmed by ennui,

“What he is missing here!”

“What a turn out for the books, what a haven for the cooks!”

He would sing like many, as he suckled from the torn bosom of a virgin whore.

Chorus 14

The slow mastication of synthetic body parts

The slow amputation of prosthetic mental parts”

This was my town, the seat of market fuck, cesspool of our glory.

Born and raised to the ground, first saved from the shimmering bone wrenching

algid viscosity of the canals back end of a ruin, roofs still smoking from the lavish attention

of soulless birds, saved from the bitterness of a local flood,

running under the flatulent soles of our keepers,

ran over by the wheel of a hipster

black nailed mitts scratching the scabs of my groin,

teeth gnashing as they teased the regions of my face,

digging into my tongue to extract the nature of my act,

the split infinitives sweating out of my sores, like puss from a dead cat,

too curious to survive the box of Schrödinger, or not curious enough…

A cat wet from coal rains, once pale as the lady of Shallot.

Snakes only detect him in the dark,

one and the same we lay under the lunar shrine.

They captured the small beasts, to please a jealous god, doused in sacred oils,

quartered like criminals, in their cages of flames, Babylon effigies,

evil tricks howled in burning baskets

before an audience drunk with jubilation.

Chorus 15

Still as we speak”

Inhuman, the crowd growths with expectations, Iphigenia in every sensation,

she, as a sail let lose in the storm, rides our obsessions from one poet to another.

A remnant of a loop, an incident of light as a beam breaks through the surface of a leaf,

a leaf made of carbon and ice, sharp as a razor, finer than a laser,

inserted in the pit of double Saturnia, for thus remains the mind of Baudelaire.

I throw the towel and burn the envelope. My carcass, a cinder, floats like a bubble

carried into the flowing saliva of a cowering dog.

I travel across a rictus, my life hanging by the hair of a fugitive…

Not a dog, a city. How I loved this well-preserved example of artful taxidermy,

the dark angular crevasse of a fake childhood, where my toys linger,

sulphurous vapours in the blood bath of progress. She, laudanum,

the sacred latrine of opium eaters, the tantaliser of kitsch dreams,

cherishes our despair, encourages rancour, promotes bewilderment,

encodes our tribal screams.

How she fails to impress her soiled divinity upon the restless shores of my sphere.

The genesis of Thanatos would not stick to the protein chunks of my bones,

she will instead exceed her projections, her regents, meta-platonic dwarfs,

the workers of hypnos, insinuating promises of carnal expansions

into the circuitry of a fashionable prophet, and on his shoulders,

instead of a magnificent cranium, an altar flooded with vagrant excretions.

A bloated stain on a wall, filling gaps in the woolly brains of scavengers,

their lips foam as they gloat at a pulsating mob, a few thousand miles below deck.

The shadow of prosperity, an ever-flowing mass of tar engulfing the destiny of blind ants,

those featherless cold-blooded vacuous homunculi, tracking the coffin of Adam…

Ambulance chasing satyrs spilling hot sand in our eyes.

Chorus16

Let’ s get the best part of the feast on the flattest part of the globe

in the hottest part of the night, in the safest part of our town, let’s end this dam-charade”

all over…and over and over again”.

We step on spit and spit on creeps, we trip on gut, we split and cut.

Objects explode under the weight of our vacillating frames, like volatile molluscs

under the load of our guilt. Squandering with a stint,

squatting the edge of a precipice.

“Get a life, keep walking,

run for president, have a baby, get real, do something for your country,

stop smoking, be honest, pay your taxes, stop crying,

get a job, don’t diss the family, be reasonable, stop dreaming,

do something useful, buy a tv, sign the contract, be loyal to your company,

money isn’t everything, accept your lot, go to church, be humble,

be ambitious, be flexible, despise the weak, give to charity,

be transparent, admit defeat, work for peace, go to war,

tell us everything we need to know,

look at it another way”…

‘Reality’, I burnt my finger tips as I tried my hands on her lubricated sense of duty.

She is the city. The 3D map of a fictional apparatus, the mask of the masses.

A giant armour moved by the multitudes.

In its sockets, I see a light of great brilliance.

As I peer deeper, the light divides; small wriggling forms reflect our sun,

maggots tremble in excitement, looking out of the windows to the soul.

Chorus 17

The slow calcination of synthetic body parts

The slow dissolution of prosthetic mental parts”

The thing wants food, it bites one foot and two arms. “I can write with one leg!”

The red turns white in the scorching light. I close one eye and look on.

Surging from the spinning top of a round table,

it cuts through the torsos like a rolling blade through batter.

The axis, a spine stripped of skin, growths a vermillion bud

immediately frozen in a condensing mist of helium, the rose turns to stone.

Night falls as suddenly, leaving a trail as Leviathan revolves on itself.

What glowed as a Duchampian invention

divides beyond recognition, pre-packed occult anatomy.

New angles follow one another, and we see the evolution of our stars as in a zoetrope.

From a 45 degree angle, we are shown the closest galaxies,

the milky way lapped up by a horde of apollonian putti ,

from 90 degrees, we travel to mid heaven, passed Cygnus and further out,

there, those who have seen us ever, are only looking at a memory of us.

Then 180 degrees, and we begin to slide passed the mirror of time,

all numbers melt into an amalgamate to replicate the tooth of chaos.

Later, but before all, 390 degrees, a funnel opens and shuts perpetually,

the blind spot of the demiurge who needs us to cover his back..

But we stick a knife in and run out of sight.

“A desert rose lost in action”

Rigour mortis of the psyche, it enters the realm of the senses

as scenes of erotomania prolong the agony,

in a garden of roses

Chorus 18

And perfection at last!”

Coronation of empty days.

Black out on a screen of static illumination.

We descend from the rip of a fallen beast, the road makes a u turn,

and another…the signature of an illiterate defrocked god, a plaintive meticulous bureaucrat

A cul de sac, a sac with no cul, nothing but an arse, not even an arse.

That’s about all, to explain the sacking of the libraries of Alexandria,

the robbing of the libraries of our days, the future where pages will no longer be turned,

where we shall not feel this urge, this love of paper falling and the smell of a page

as we open a book for the first time.

“Petty civil servants, ministers, executives, kings, queens, parliamentarians, diplomats, heads of states and companies, multinationals, monopolies,

what you contribute to remove from life is that which makes life what it is.”

“Exactly!” shouts the Armenian, they sang joyfully

a bitter cry muffled from the dry outback,

such was their fear of failure.

Were the future to hold a library, all would be done to burn her children,

yet we render their ancestors sterile.

“How could intelligence survive?”

“Where did the ferret hide?”

In the nest of his victims,

eating, drinking, sleeping, inside the corpse of his prey, after entering

like a merchant of reveries, a mantle of promises covering innumerable channels

where gastric juices like torrents, rushed uncontrollably.

“What better fate for a mortal exalted in the exercise of his function?”

I slip out of the corroded shell like albumen out of a broken egg.

How did I get here, under the fake granite, the farcical mountains, their face, flat, plain

insensitive to light, to touch, to memories?

All cut into with the same tools, the same design, replacing a forest of singularities

books only can preserve.

“Exactly”! Shouted the polyglot again.

“Burn them, forbid print, to save humanity from annihilation

and above all meaning is a bringer of perdition.”

Chorus19

What a city! For is she not the world?”

Homogenous windows, walls with no history, no detail surprising the eye, no beauty.

The hollow men of Thomas Stearns Eliot, These are the hollow heads,

marching armies of steel and straw, machines of pain with burning hair

armed, electric, force saving shields, smart velvet doves on a silicon fist,

a nano heart, chemical purity, divider of words, numerical perfection,

the soldier of a new crusade, para-dice formation, a pointless deduction.

They incorporate the living like Kronos his newborn.

Chorus 20

What is a field of multicolour GM tulips if not a symbol for the celebration of difference?”

One of them a general, lets a die fall from his hand,

“There are no winners”, he murmurs, the die is white, no, it is black, no”…

A grey dice, the grey zone between two shots, one takes the liqueur, another takes a life.

Clear liquid runs towards his translucent pharynx, as blood accumulates on the tarmac.

The general feels an affinity with the tarmac. They understand one another.

“How long is the time it takes for a wheel to turn full circle?”

For the mark of its irrevocability, as it passes through the phases of the moon,

the rotations, the perihelions, the revolutions, of our selves.

“What trace will it leave on the parchment of our imperceptible body?”…

“Something out there bit more than it could chew!”

“Don’t joke with the joker”…

Not a man made joke, a real blessing in disguise, home made apocalypse, the book of life.

All in one sentence, seventeen words, three comas.

Look inside the mouth of the ogre, the Hollywood gum is on the other side.

It gets lodged in the hole where once had resided an imperial canine.

It is blown out of proportion, extending to the palate, to the larynx, to the lips.

It growths over his face, it obstructs his vision, his voice, his breath.

He loses all idea of place, all sense of direction.

I pity those tyrants who neither live nor die.

Following a current, I tread on cobbled stones, along ancient masonry,

fibres of a deeper meaning were embroidered here as I pressed on into the sanctuary.

“Thread and Needle, Bread street, Bishopsgate, Shoreditch,

Primerose, Fournier, fleur de Hanbury, Redchurch,

White Row, Wentworth, Old street, Roman,

Vernon, Parnell, Beachy, Monier, Felstead ”…

Long ago, in the land of Cheshire street, on the sidewalk of Bacon street,

The world had many faces, each still alive somewhere…

Over here, beneath the cathedral, remember the fire of 1666…

“Get used to it, don’t cry over spilt milk, get on with it,

Find that needle in the hay stack”

“what stack?” “Don’t you mean stock?”

We can change a whole sentence with a single letter.

The fate of innocence depends on it,

Yet in the final eclipse such a law will shatter.

Chorus 21

It will never happen”

happening all along”

I was once here, as another. Thousands of my steps mark the invisible layers of those roads.

Other insignia had adorned the facades, glittering in the half-light, orange shadows passed,

elbows and shoulders grinding against coaches, horses resting by wooden troughs,

water flowing from fountains lost, and much later, a population ravaged by blight.

Houses crashing under fire, people abandoning their homes…

Now we call it the past, time, faster than ever, has forgotten us.

The ghosts talked themselves out of the ditch.

“It’s a pile in there, don’t go there!”

“I know where you’re coming from”…”Do you?”

“So, where would that be, nowhere? Elsewhere? Sub-where?”

Chorus 22

Where ever…for ever where”

I ran in front of churches one night, the whole way from Saint Paul to St Bartolph.

Not finding what I was looking for, I ran more.

“Who was it?” …”who was I ?

Those days, in the East, on the banks of the city…no pun intended…

Those days were the sunrise of my life.

Deep into the entrails of Bow, In the dungeons of Miles End, the dark stinky corners of Whitechapel, the haunted Fire station on the Isle of Dogs, the summer ketamin kitchens of Clapton, the heroin bathrooms of Hackney, a love impossible to escape, battles impossible to win…broken, demolished, desecrated, demonised, humiliated, blackmailed, accused, sentenced, exiled…like a nation tormented by wars, famine and folly, each of us rose and fell, until the tides tore us asunder,

leaving no one in their place,

as it was, as we thought it should be, and never really had been.

Chorus 23

The slow delectation of synthetic body parts

The slow devastation of prosthetic mental parts”

The city is many, a legion of galvanized anti-cells, the Golgotha of artificial heaven.

“It’ s tuff in here, a jungle, people eat each other”

“If it’s not for hunger, watch that bath soap powder!”

It is my mother, starved, as she gave birth to a litter,

I, one of a few and far between, eyes open that can’t be shut,

a monstrosity of consciousness, of no choice of my own it seemed

a laughable rather than laudable state, was propelled down a wall of black onyx

at a speed that would lead me to presume myself dead…on arrival;

the epitome of Suisse punctuality in a universe of expressionless productivity.

Chorus 24

Dead right”

“Be there or be square.” “I’ll be damned”…

When I got there,

they no longer served the pills. “Children don’t like them”

Now, we can choose between

the blue ice cream and the red ice cream.

The good part is the double cornetto

in B flat, C major, A minor…or combo adagio.

She let me out, that’s a fact, with a horrifying cry.

I saw my old embryonic self hitting the ear drums

of a highly manicured cockroach who believed it could pass for a sacred beetle,

offering safe passage through the rusty water locks, desolate they were

by the rotting sheds of Fish Island, long before new world colonisation…

“How love I would a fair city….”

This was before my time, post rigor mortis of the soul.

I arrived on the scene like a cannon ball in the shop of a watchmaker.

It took a few centuries for me to get there, following Baron Munchausen’s technique.

I lacked the sweet tooth of my slow brothers, and the factual equanimity of my sisters.

Some say I denied the purpose of my species, to play dead, to be game,

“Eat the placebo” was the order I could not bring myself to obey.

It was made out of the marginal utopic fall out, out of those born still, forever,

from the stillness of the dead mother.

“Swallow lest you be swallowed”.

“Hallowed be thy hollow name”

This was not the mother of pearls, who reigns in the crystalline strata of Antarctica.

We humans are tempted to open the grotto of bountifulness

we seek, in moments of disarray, prolonged by shameless libidinous repression.

I saw succubae imitating the piety of nuns, a parody in itself

since most nuns are anything but full of piety.

They squeezed their unique tit

like a bladder, their heels, daggers piercing the bulging throats of priapic priests

reciting the Eucharist while their veins burst with the liquescence

of pure narcotic oils.

In this frenzy, enemy lines, multiplied by a common effort,

built draw bridges and catapults

to rid the land of lechery, debauchery and heretics.

Lands filled with trees, old with stories circling their roots, were burnt to naught.

The blank expression on their face, as one could see, if one would dare…

Some told a sword ruptured as it hit the skin of those men.

Helmets blinded the savage, a solar field of infernal warriors galloping without fear

to slash our heads open, like quartered oranges in one bright blue day of July.

Such mystery stilled and distilled in the velum of an under-belly.

Chorus 25

mystery or misery? velum or venom?”

Coils unravel, I hear the sound of a secret form of life,

The kind that petrifies anything it will touch, Midas,

condemned to contemplate, his thirst spilling into the air.

I saw his thin shadow forlorn, crackling in the mid day sun,

his back to a gutted church, a falcon departing from his leathery hand,

hunted, like a foal by the hounds of Spitafield.

The gallows scrape,

dragged by the chassis of theocratic bulldozers.

“There is no more ground to stand on, no more here to call home”

A lattice of digital pulses hums like a fridge, the matriarch, our saviour.

“Did she recognise you ?”

Chorus 26

Right signal, wrong number.”

I hover upon the great Panopticon like a bat, Jeremy gets too close to the light.

His clothes fall off, like oily rags revealing an appalling sight,

.my wings catch fire, covered with his wax; I oscillate in cybernet obscurity,

the joker shines again, hidden beneath an Ace of spade,

“Just going around the corner!”

A hat trick with a twist, the last will be the first.

Sharp as a magpie diving for a Sapphire, that once had landed under Madame de Récamier,

as the layers of her jupons blossomed like a flower,

lustre of drapery, hanging so languidly.

I look out of a window, glimpse a familiar shape, it looks back, it wonders.

Chorus 27

One and the same”

The lawn heats up in the valley of the city, expensive thoughts

are sent flying like doves of hope, shot down almost immediately.

Chorus 28

Time is money, time is phoney”

Black nose Cockneys, raw soled Scotties,

Bengla nerdies, Belgium salesmen, Russian buyers, Iranian clerks, French hooligans

Polish troopers, Romani chiefs, German tourists, Italian chefs, Spanish groupies,

Turk insurers, Indian teachers, Suisse curators, African bards, Icelandic press,

Cliché joggers, three hat lawyers, Chinese bakers, traffic wardens, obese drivers,

Psychometric stabilizers, ergonomic fertilisers,

Spido-file hobbies, off-shore stash lobbies,

Scam trotters, retro ghouls, footballers,

The forlorn, the Japanese artists, the magnates, the gipsy trapezists,

It keeps getting bigger.

From Moorgate to Ohama, from Brick lane to Dubai, from Big Ben to Beijing

From Waterloo to Sin City

No limits to expansion in the dead pan of fixation.

The curtains twitch, to drums, the beat, we are taken to the gallows,

The keys are thrown and break our feet.

“We shall be burnt on old hallows”

In the backyard of a Victorian semi detached,

a family of flamingos fattens the pigs,

“You old swine”, they shouted,

“By the flyover, the tannery”,

“Eat, or else the feast awaiting”

“They are not real Flamingos, you dork!” behind the crooked plasters of our fathers,

“Sing with us”, I notice a slither of doubt…

a couple of shapes evolve in reverse mode,

they spread their largess of mind over the marble cill, from the boudoirs of our gurus

while on the other side of Curtain Road, a blue monkey with a cravat

paints a door handle in a sink, the new genius of Hoxton beach.

“It’s all about balance”, “it’s not a perfect world”, “we are only human”…”if only”

“A human?…I speak thus”

Already dismantled, my bones you re-ordered for new parameters.

The paradigm, a grandiloquent project at the end of a back alley,

leading homo-exoteric to the throne of a megalo-dream,

a phantasm alike a rubber Marilyn sheathed into the marrow,

the narrow gullet of a polymer tessaract,

a micro diversion of fractal amplitude.

Chorus 29

More legions in Golgotha, mist rises above their graves”

They call it Babylon,

cyber-paradise, duplex life, relative-reality.

“How I loved that city”, “how could you?”

“how one can”

The gore, the gloss, the grim…

the ripper, the bow bells, the Brutalist exerts,

the numbers, the papers, the pomp, the clean slates,

the ravers, the pirates, the bin jobs,

the bailiffs, the records, the shrinks and the shrinking doors,

the fake witness, the good doctors, the broken eggs, the omelette,

the parish, the stinking pimps, the samples,

the vendors, the loony- crooks, the pipe piper

and his revellers, the vice vicar and his suckers, the neighbours,

the chainsaws, the snow balls with hearts of stone,

the grey walls, the grey light, the grey sky , the grey night,

I could kick-start again, die thrice.

“skip the photographs!”

Snap shot on the quiet, in bright daylight

for here no here to be, a labyrinth instead,

elephant of ether, molecular Ganesh,

absorbing every thought that lies beneath the face.

To lose is to win beyond the city-state, so the reverse is true,

“ help me dog”

Chorus 30

By the wheel and the cog”

“I will only swear on Chambers, you wasters!”

Purgatory of choice where devils fear to tread,

if there is a centre, to begin and to end, disorder of the rule…

“no breast without solid!”…”No zest for the vapid” “ no race for the rabid!”…

Walk on”, stones lie low, the river will take them. They call her a serpent,

and at every junction a griffin lurks, waiting for a beggar.

The greatest of them all stands above the roofs,

a cast iron maiden, never failing the scoop.

“Open the snuff box, the hour glass in suspension!”

He was seen stuffing a bin bag with sideral hours,

hours of data, as a matter of course.

“Courses for horses”, the farmer used to say, echoing Oliver fading in a bottle.

Eurydice ascends, fairy of absentia.

Chorus 31

The slow reconstruction of synthetic body parts

The slow immolation of prosthetic mental parts”

Voices carry a story, stories need voices.

Names.

I remember them more than I remember mine.

Stories …just tissues of lies, whistling in the wind,

Not like a nightingale, an old wind in a long subterranean tunnel,

“you can’ t sing”, “but I can fly”, stories churned up to make me right,

to give an air of mix and match, more true than truth itself.

Allegories fill my drawers,

”you look hungry, but you wont eat us, and we’ll get in for free”

The manager gob smacked, teeth red with blood, a fat bundle of cash…

Later, it came to pass,

Smoke lady dances like a snake,

“A terrifying truth!” …

Henceforth the seduction of our euphemisms.

But it was not free, for if not with money, pay you will, with yourself.

They say “nothing uncommon”, I agree, so eager for the weight of arcane a feather.

Names are stories too.

Some I call out in my dream, others I shall bury.

They can fit anywhere, like red bricks in a wall. Some call out to anon,

for the imprints I left belong to another, and many besides none.

We polish the silver ware; we lick the rim of a chalice.

When the flames are out and the water gone, ashes anoint the flank of a mortar.

Once the votes are cast adrift, we scribble an evasion.

Corporations will guide our steps to the nearest salvation,

Are we not so docile sweet slaughter Angelus?

The streets are absolutely full; “hear! not a soul in town”

Chemical white noise in our veins, acid floats via the back trap door,

a virtual snowstorm on the ruts of Black Moor.

Slow motion waves come crashing on a frail melting rock.

In the supercollider of a gland, hyper ballerinas

reshape our galaxy.

Our spectres flood Ceremonial County, searching for a ceremony.

Flammable digestible, bite size nibbles under duress.

In the deep throat of the city, we falter from the block.

Some say we are waiting to die,

On the shores of the Styx, Charon has kicked a die.

“Where did Pluto deride a demagogue?

O Babylon, where Isis lay, where your temples crumble in shrouds.

as your relics fart like old Jack,

twelve bolts and screws enter the sack.

This is the work of a mad man, our grand guignol sat on an ass,

a reign of millennia till now, from the ruins of a palace.

In the tail of a comet, I sense an epilogue.

Chorus 32

The slow putrefaction of synthetic body parts

The slow separation of prosthetic mental parts”

Now you pray to an earless Urba, now you sink into the plethora:

“I was water in your hands, I was lava at your feet,

I was raw veal in your mouth, curdled blood in your stomach,

I was a faeces in your gut, I was a pile from a heap.

the core of your apple, left by the worms that gnawed at me,

and still I live, my bones amok, a skeleton of rust and muck.

I contain the onslaught of your monotony,

I expire in your lungs of coal, the metallurgy of your breath,

old as the Earth below, coagula solva,

my body a mountain tumbles like a haystack,

I crash in your valleys yet I laugh at my death,

I dissolve in the waves of your sanctimony.

As an old fiend, a bitten fox, vanquished I scurried under path,

he as I was, scaled with no heart, the mourning hybrid of Aleph,

a dog of Alcibiades in shreds, therein, the nine drunken idols,

like a minor horse, once of Troy, fur golden mid the yellow stench.

Torn asunder in the pitch-darkened mine,

I awake suddenly muddied across a trench…

As a snail I hurried, on a glistening slab, the coldness of your weight

upon my frail carcass,

How you plundered this shell, with the claws of a crab,

sharing your little joy with constellations past.

As an ant I wriggled upon marches of sand,

Splintered by your fingers, blood and limbs undefined,

I melt in the love line of your nitrogen hand.

“Who but Cain of the pit would have known such a fate?

Who but a wretched fool would speak like a prophet?”

Chorus 33

The slow dissipation of molecular counterparts

The slow petrifiction of impenetrable hearts”

Disappeared like the mist, of memories, of loss, silent as an abyss…

You nestle in my chest, hoping for my revenge, nurturing my slumber.

Breeding melancholies in the caves of my kind,

Imago, merciless, I admire the glamour of your grand shallowness.

It is you I unlove, it is you I deny, for once, only once, now and for ever.

Satisfy my folly, devour my vitriol, enter my open mind,

Forsaken as I am, subvert the empty land with the winds of Marduk,

this vortex but a dream no waking may dissolve.

If I lie full of awe in your dismal embrace,

still never will you be a heavenly mistress,

for love needs not conquer what is already dead.

“Drowning certain I will, in a celestial bed!”

And on my humble grave for here I may perish,

brambles and buttercups will soon come to flourish.

I know you envy me, you whom I so pity,

My kingdom for a horse you cry out in fury,

Yet in all existence you learn nothing but hate,

so did your concubines, and soldiers of your state.

Pursuing an ideal of immortality, how could you comprehend soul and infinity?

Lastly, the limbs of Oz spewed out of your dumb arse.

Quid pro quo, omne mortem ex ovo,

From a swan, laid, an egg, origin of a farce,

a dragon in her place, as above so below.

Chorus 34

The slow consummation of mammal alter-parts

The slow elevation of immolated harts”

St George propels himself ahead, his lance piecing the Dome of Wick

“Mark my word”, he cries out…and spells the letter X.

Straight in the eye of the Square Mile, the clamours boil and fade,

Paltry monarchs in full pageant rattle and froth in the parade.

Four red bubbles rise as we sing.

Stars will not shine in the darkness of Spring.

Did I love this city in the smog of end times?

“Would you do it again…if not for destiny

never mind

never

The glacial firmament of sublime irony ?

Y not, why not untying the final knot?

For whom does the bell toll?

“Already done…going, going”

Gone

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2015

PARAENFERNALIA The Remains.List X-ROOM 309

  • _per4331Magic Mirror-You never know who is looking at you-£7
  • Frameless Mirror-Also weird-Blurred edges-£4
  • Decent turn table with a sense of justice-£10
  • Sliding-Door cupboard for slow motion hands-£5
  • Type writer on the look-out, viva la Machina Escribir-£10
  • Tall and Proud Stool-Likes Plants-£3
  • Ladder Jacob left behind-mind the gaps-£2
  • Over your Head Projector to wash the Guilt trip-off-£40
  • Para-Enfernalia Blackboard-The end etc-£7
  • Glassless square frames-Deep Thinkers-£3 each-£15 the lot
  • Samsung Printer/scanner-Really loving machine-£35
  • Rolling floor bound shelf from bloody ikea-Shameonme-£6, maybe £5
  • Glass mounted frames, for a4 size, formatted-No risk of spill out-£5 each, £30 the lot
  • Enlightenment Bulb, at your own risk-£2
  • Glassware for unbalanced occasions-may suggest subsequent pick-me-up-£3-1
  • Lamp? Needs fusion-ART01-£7
  • Lamp2? Needs fusion too-ART02-£6
  • Simulacrum 2-utopic vista-Guess where-GONEART-£15
  • Simulacrum1-whadehell-Guess what-GONEART-£20
  • 1920s Headbell(hat)-only rings twice-£4
  • Handmade imperfect scraspwood stool-chickool-£9
  • London as it was and never has been-£1
  • 3 green trays for suspicious usage-£3-1
  • Trolleys found on a stroll-ART09-£5
  • Something to think about-£2-1
  • Overloaded palette-Good for backgrounds-£1
  • Light hearted easel-may need straight answers-£5
  • Folding table painted by talented anonymous artist-Not I-£7-2
  • Folded easel, introspective minefield-needs soft talk or will remain a closed book-£5
  • Mandolin that took a pleasant beating-Masochistic tendencies-£2
  • Candelabras with still life attached-aware of the artifice-£10-£6 each
  • Wine bottle racketeer- Prefers Perrier- not chauvinistic-£2
  • Bike carrier for riding or non riding bikes-will carry only one at a time-£5-1
  • Wheel of 4 tunes-still in tune-£5
  • Serious easel desperate for a laugh-denies everything from day 1-£20
  • Guitar-out of tune-out of it-heroine addict-hides porn in her womb-£10
  • Bag-Panda meets Mount Fuji- neo realist-fly-trap-£3-2
  • Fan of meaningful coincidental smells-be prepared to sign an autograph-£10-1
  • Toolbox with inside bits and pieces that tends to think other wise-ART07-£7
  • Cinematographic old-school editing tool-always shows the previous uncut movie-£5
  • Rubber Plate for flexible eaters-fly in the face of reason-£2-1
  • Turn-table plates-descended from the Plutonic gastro-Gnome, turn the tables-£1.50-50 each
  • Triangular micro larder-to fit almost in any corner, specially the filthy ones-£3-2

45)Baby Belling about to deliver- heated debate-kitchen towels on fire-£4-1

46)Large ego-centric umbrella-hydro-phobic-may clamp-up on a rainy day-£3

47)Tool-box with own drill and stuff-whao-can build a shed when you’re not looking-£10

48)Lonely speaker-knows Tibetanbookofthedead by heart-£1

49)Electro-sander to bring the beach to the idler-£5

50)Tent-wants adventures-promiscuous-disturbed sleep patterns-never says no-£5

51)Heavy duty frames for the robust escapee-lack subtle judgment-£5 each

52) Box with misplaced locks- ironic feel-missing doors-demolished properties-£2 each

53)Beam me up combo lamp-potential zoetrope-ecstasy-£4

54)Tuff nut-case for permanent Headache-£5

55)Garden Party Line light-Get lost attitude-seeks memberships-£2

56)DVD drive-Vaio Sony-But can be used to boost new moon libido-£3

57)Kettle Blower-Pumps up the volume before climax-£3

58)Salt of the Earth in Suspension-GONEART010-unknown price tag-will dissolve at dawn.

59)Books in box-double page turners-floating theories up for grab-words out of order-£1 each

60)Many other unnamed delights scattered in Pandora’s life size box-toolateyoureinthere.

61)Holly Bin for Hollow Words-£1

62)Toaster-Retro-Activated-Burns Toasts and Desire

63)Cocktail table also adorned with mutation art. £5

64)Jessop enlargermetre-just what it says on the tin-£4

65) Red backet, water and white ball-can alternate with changing moods-£1

Thank you for your incomprehensible contribution and your marginal cooperation, since the opposite is equally satisfactory.

Merci pour votre incomprehensible cooperation et votre marginale contributiuon, comme le contraire est tout aussi satisfaisant.

Please help yourself to the abundant synthetic fruit-They are deligitalous.

The Old Wall

…before the fall

lisboahiddenside023b-w

The old wall is covered in spots and cracks. But from a distance of more than six meters, within the confines of a human architectural environment, it looks like the surface of a forlorn planet not unlike our lunar satellite, drifting inside a hypothetical cosmology. It extends to some dark receding horizons, curving upward as if the force of a massive object had pushed itself into the first layers of the orb, very softly, making dents and folds of irregular shapes reason alone will not suffice to decipher. Those horizons where some apparently well informed scholars predict vertiginous falls from kilometre high flanks, the vestiges of estranged fortresses, stranded like ship wrecks mid ocean.

A prophesying monk had seen a Galleon, its name changing as it rotated captured by the turmoils of war and unpredictable currents, Orient, fleet of the Nile battles, blowing up like a super nova, or Grace Dieu, burning after a lightening bolt hit one of its masts, an archetypal ship Turner, the painter, would continuously return to in his wondrous visions of light and perdition. This opium ridden monk had watched the vessel whirl until it oscillated on the tip of the world, suddenly diving into the void as black as the mouth of Tacca Chantrieri, thus seeming to corroborate the beatific falsehood of a tabletop Earth. He foresaw dust storms made of mirror particles suffocating the biospheres of nascent stars. Some would engender vast craters in the bark of galactic Cedars. As we hover now in our minuscule cockpit, stealing a glimpse of truth from a future already spent, fragment of an atom among solar years of data, gliding with occasional lapses of momentum, above those mangled decrepit remains of terrain, we detect the signs of a life once thriving on the borders of unbridgeable gulfs. Yet all that life now stares blankly from left over traces incrusted in this dried skin, imprints of useless things, as white as the salts of a dead sea that in a remote past also touched the edges of our lands. A giant has scraped this body of unidentifiable evidence. No extraneous objects can be found.

This place is no longer a place at all, the transitory figment of a lacking imagination suspended in the somnolent mind of a wasted god. Rings and ridges, lines in the thinning palm of a creature that hominids mistook for a white elephant, inciting them to shoot deadly projectiles at scurrying clouds…Lying open to the glowering firmament. This is all that is left of the primordial waters that had covered and impregnated Gaia and her sisters, Gaia especially, the scintillating Sapphire of the solar continent, her hills, her ravins, her peaks and her abysmal pits, her caves and plateaux, her canyons and estuaries…the waters evaporating in the acidic haze of chemical bliss, all that is left on this side of the globe, the tempestuous ball of blue fire skidding down the artery of a haemorrhaging invertebrate morphing the history of our failure, a globe flattened under the weight of a perfect body, flattened it lies now like a map covering the face of our puny galaxy. In a field that extends beyond all optical powers, inert, silent, starless winter awaiting dawn, without us.

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2015

IRREVERENT SIDE SHOWS, 2 shows directed by Anna Frisch: Duck and Cover, Reservoir Ducks , Flare stage performance International Festival 2015, Manchester

WORMHOLE LABRIPERIPATETIC BALLAD OF A NOMAD IN LONDON

2015

Dark Tower Crepuscule2w

Synopsis

Poetic and philosophical vision in real, remembered and imaginary spaces of a nomad  in London through an indeterminate length of time . The title refers to the ontological question of presence in a world now based on a kind of absenteeism, i.e., where the mind  becomes divided from the personal, absorbed by virtual collectivism intrinsic to  the mega-urban context, in this case London.

Algostasis1w Anticlockwise1w Vacant Throne3,w Vacant Throne,w

Description

Although there is no obvious cinematic narrative, a progression exists in the unraveling of the visuals emphasized by the music score and superimposed contextual sounds. it is based on two main perspectives. One, the personal journey in time and space, of the maker, concentrating the focus therefore mainly on areas of London encountered in his life and containing the remnants of abstracted memories directly linked to the idea of the Mnemonic City insofar as it is translating signs into a deep emotion attached to each of these places.

Negative hand to Positive5,w

Two, a perspective relating to archetypal complexes residing in those memories and containing universal mythology, the elements of which are played out throughout the animation by way of various alterations and transformations but also through specific symbols such as ‘the tower’, ‘the moon’, the shadow’, ‘the hand’,’the throne’, or the elements such as water and fire.

Oracle Verdigris1 Oracle Verdigris 10 The Feather Player02 The Thinking Hand1 Tower of Oblivion1 Tower of Oblivion3

The vision presented is a flowing composition and a symbiotic composite that could have been extracted from a dream.

Dark Tower Divided,w

Wormhole” points to the possibility of entering a parallel dimension while remaining lucid of what the maker considers his own’ land’.“Labri” is the root of labyrinth, a reference to the underlying esoteric structure of the city. “Peripatetic” refers to the act of wandering by foot, linked to the idea of the flâneur who, by exploring the context directly travels inwards, analysing and re-evaluating his own internal constructs. “Ballad” refers to the nature of loss and poetry constituting the two foundational aspects of the piece. “London” is the name of the location in question, known to the maker since his childhood and as equally important to him as his native city. He is the “Nomad” , for despite having lived in this metropolis for over twenty years, no feeling of belonging has ever truly developed. Instead, the maker has gained a kind of philosophical detached discernment out of an impersonal environment he had once half believed, long ago, to be his home.

The work is divided into interlocking scenes suggesting a psychological in-evolution, perhaps equivalent to the passing images in the mind of a sleep walker as they migrate from one room to another inside a large mansion.

 

Towers of the Entropic Distortion2 Rip11w Towers of the Entropic Distortion Rip11w Towers of Entropic Distorsion1w Towers of Entropic Distorsion3w Towers of Entropic Distortion, Lunar Phase3w                 One could dare affirm there is a beauty in the destruction of beauty since the emotions stirred

Wormhhole Labri.S 2,w

are summoned from the expanse ‘de profundis’, of the psyche. One could also dare affirm the increasing level of hideousness of London is so extreme it has become ‘awesome’. a monstrous edifice challenging the borders of paradise with ever higher peaks, each more violent than the one preceding it, but more so, it is down below at street level, in the shadow of these blank feats of engineering that real ugliness lingers, banal and monotonous, enveloping the crowd within a suffocating smog of relentless repetition. This cine-animation brings these facets of the city into view while retaining a poetic filter, not to embellish but to do justice to the complexity and depth of the situation in which humanity finds itself at this juncture of post history.

Produced for the new Mnemonic City in London 2015

In collaboration with

Swan Wharf, Fish labs in Hackney Wick

and The Barbican

2

DEATH OF A SYMBOL, DECOMPOSITION OF A PROCESS

Anna-by Jaime Valtierra 2014

I once wondered why the painter ever makes a mark in the emptiness, what he /she intends to remember because this initial gesture stands as an entrance into a territory that demands visibility, no matter how indefinite, like dreams. And how is it possible in the first place? But we are not talking about a point of focus, quite the contrary. We could indeed speak of a phenomenological field as it is suggested in Deleuze ’s concept: “Plane of Immanence”. Jaime Valtierra ’s new works epitomise such a ‘condition’. There is no fixity here, yet, he arrests one moment like the spearhead of a battalion. There is no escape for form to the land of the ‘tableau’, for this artist denies the dictatorship of the ‘finished product’, i.e., as a cage of irreducible linear statements. We cannot fathom an end to the process of creation. As Deleuze explains, the “plane of immanence” encompasses death as an active participant in the act of transformation. In this work, what becomes demonstrated is the nature of destruction lying within every molecular impulse towards life and without the truth of which no creation could be realized. We discover the possibility of decomposition within the margins of compositional tactics, the hazards of a liquid underworld where Valtierra leaves traces in strategic places although none have been fixed. Relativity and reciprocity rule a universe in flux until the new body begins to make sense, a sense proper to life, an antithesis to the formalism of imitative artifice.

Two main themes are evident; one is the process and place of making. The Studio is a kind of doppelganger self-portrait enunciating the death of portraiture as we know it. Its completion is contradicted by a sense of imminent disintegration. As with all the other recent works, a minimal palette was used in extreme opposition to the rich color saturation of previous ones. The second theme, integral to The Studio, lies in The Digger. We are in the realm of the fool, the unconscious. His paintings remind me somehow of ‘écorchés’; the surface of preconception has been ripped away. He replicates himself, to arrive at what feels like the pulse of the image. He takes them apart, as if taking himself apart, reconstructing, yet never as a builder, but rather as a demolisher, for before getting to the outer edge of the original form awaiting his discovery, he must take down entire walls of conventional visuality. Such a process stems from the foundation of the art, that is, alchemy, “Our stone(…) is composed of four elements, it must be divided and its limbs taken apart(…)and then transformed into the nature that is within it.”(Rosarium Philosophorum).

Talking Head is the artist, the rational intervention, and the conscious’ apparent victory. There is no model; this is a return to what happened before what was known, the ‘nigredo’ of transmutation. Nicolas Valois tells us in The Mystery of Cathedrals by Fulcanelli: “ He who transmuted first had no books, he followed nature, observing how and with what materials she works”.  The ‘salvation’ resides in the materiality of experience, “satisfied in the absurdity”. As Jaime points out, and quoting Francis Bacon: “Some paint comes across directly onto the nervous system”. It seems Jaime Valtierra has fomented a dramatic existential rebellion against insubstantiality to unearth what he calls “the root of desire”. Anna may stand as the apex of this research in my view, a mother and an ogre, disfigured and omnipotent, blending with the air yet in a nightmarish sense, materializing before us.

Jaime unleashes the man out of rational time to dismantle the illusion of the pre-conceptual persona, the man Deleuze referred to as ‘the idiot’: “Something in the world forces us to think. This something is an object not of recognition but of a fundamental encounter. What is encountered may be Socrates, a temple or a demon. It may be grasped in a number of affective tones: wonder, love, hatred, suffering. In whichever tone, its primary tone is that it can only be sensed.”(Gilles Deleuze, Deleuze, G. Difference and Repetition). Is Jaime extricating this indefinable tone by departing from a certain color convention found in his earlier pieces? “ It is like dismantling a machine while it is still running, this means there is no machine”. What we find instead of logic and obvious seduction is a kind of ontological battlefield where the grotesque takes hold from the depth as it did in Goya’s Black Paintings so familiar to him. It has echoes of Not with Love but with Fear, 2013, where the artist’s head splits and doubles itself, a prelude to his present haunting images. Instead of the figure as fact, Jaime turns it into “an experience of space”, and insinuates space into the surface. We are entering Romanesque evocation, seeing from different perspectives on one plane, “it is so awkward it is right”, Jaime says as he looks at medieval illuminations.

We glimpse into a world that is not yet one, a meaningful dissolution where implosion and explosion occur simultaneously. We are certain of nothing, we are left to swim at large encountering ourselves, the poetry of nature beyond the superfluous aid of symbols, for symbols cannot survive in the chaos of life, even on canvas and paper. Jaime tells me it amounts to un-explaining, where the story cancels itself out, where the building block of imagery is nothing but confusion and drawing is as important as painting, a form of inner breathing, a mastication and a contemplation, a comprehending and apprehending of the dark and the light, the actors and the props.

The result if we can call the paintings and drawings thus, for they seem to allude pin pointing and definition, is soft and violent, grotesque and poetic, sexy and inhuman, a unifying muted principle, a return, as Jaime tells me, to the feeling of an image against the false safety of logic. “In order to make the accidental, all you already know must be dissolved.” He carves into the substance, creates volumes out of power relations between uncertain lines, makes gestures into spatial mediators, laying sub-layers bare, destabilizing planes out of focal absolutism. We are left to our own devices, staring into another kind of cosmos, perceiving what we imagine as we would, gazing at the impenetrable movement of foliage in the moonlight.  We can no longer imagine a painting to be the sole effect of a fantasy; this work reveals the imagination of the reel.

Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2014

Currently showing :

http://www.hundredyearsgallery.com/exhibition-jaime-valtierra-the-idiot/

www.jaimevaltierra.co.uk