dwelling with my friend under a cloudy, grey yet stunning sky over a milky coffee in a scruffy backyard, we talk about how we want to spend time.
to have nothing to prove. no mission. not one ideology, but many different and contradicting ones. nothing to reach or establish. nowhere defined to go.
to manage to be an uncorrupted human and live as freely as you can. to experience and dare to do what you want to do. to not be bothered by who and what you don't like anyway. to not calculate. to not make plans. to waste yourself to things for nothing but the sake or pleasure of it. to not think in terms of productivity, supposed necessisty or all too fixed notions. to leave things open. to be a noble character, a decent fellow. to give it away to the universe. to care for life. to play seriously. to go far, as far as the eye can see. to be unafraid. that would be kind of nice.

the hollow men

1925, by t.s. eliot
Mistah Kurtz- he dead.
The Hollow Men
A penny for the Old Guy

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.



ancient astronauts

the medina of marrakech

hans belting

The Colonization of Images
from: Image, Medium, Body: A New Approach to Iconology

The difference between image and medium clearly emerges in a crosscultural
context. It is obvious that media, such as film or TV, easily enter
different cultural environments where the resulting images nonetheless
continue to represent a particular local tradition. This even applies to photography, as Christopher Pinney has demonstrated in his book on Indian photography.25 It therefore is not at all self-evident that the global dissemination of visual media, however rooted they are in Western culture, will
cause a worldwide spread of Western images or, even less so, of Western
imagination. The opposite is more likely to happen if economic conditions
will allow another course of events.
Current image theories, despite their claims to universal validity, usually
represent Western traditions of thinking. Views that are rooted in traditions
other than Western have not yet entered our academic territories except in
ethnology’s special domains. And, yet, non-Western images have left their
traces in Western culture for a long time. I therefore would like to end my
essay with two such cases, the remembrance of which may replace an impossible
conclusion. The one is primitivism, which, a century ago, dominated
the scene of avant-garde art. The other is the colonization of Mexican
images, half a millennium ago, by the Spanish conquerors.
Primitivism was the longing for an alien and even superior art where art,
in the Western sense, had never existed. The exclusively formal appropriation
of African masks and “fetishes” resulted in a perception that separated image and medium. Picasso and his friends never reproduced any African figures as such but, rather, transferred African forms to Western media, such as oil painting. To be more precise, primitivist artists extracted
their own images of what the African artifacts looked like and reapplied
them to modernist art. In the first moment, they did not care about the
significance the images had for the indigenous people but abstracted from
those images what they reinterpreted as style, thus dissolving the original
symbiosis of image and medium. The images that the African artifacts were
meant to convey at home totally differed from the ones aWestern audience
would identify in them. In other words, the same visual medium transmitted
images of very different kinds in the original situation and in the
Western situation. The Western audience did not merely misunderstand
what it saw; it also invested the imported works with mental images of its
own. It is in keeping with this dual process of deappropriation and reappropriation
that the link with living rituals was lost in a double abstraction:
abstraction in terms of the images’ translation into modernist style and abstraction
in terms of their transfer to gallery art. 26
The colonization of indigenous images as a result of the Spanish conquest
of Mexico has been beautifully analyzed by Serge Gruzinski, whose
book Images at War provides a convenient guide for the topic. 27 Two different
issues in this historic situation may be singled out for my purpose.
The first is the clash between seemingly incompatible concepts of what images
are, which caused the Spaniards to reject the possibility that the Aztecs
had images at all. The Spaniards denounced Aztec images as merely strange
objects, which they defined as cernie´s and thus excluded from any comparison
with their own images. The same rejection applied to the native religion,
which did not seem just a different religion but no religion at all. In
fact, the images on both sides represented religion, which was an additional
reason for the Spaniards to recognize nothing but idols or pseudoimages in
Mexico. In a countermeasure, the importation of Spanish images became
an important part of Spanish politics. But to introduce the foreign “icons”
into the “dreams” of the indigenous, a mental colonization was needed.
Heavenly visions were enforced on selected Aztecs to guarantee the appropriation
of the imported images, which meant that living bodies became involved in that image transfer. The project was complete only when the imported images also had taken possession of the mental images of the others.
The project of the Spaniards, which was carried out with relentless zeal,
provides an easy insight into the mechanics of image transmission, which
never spares the mental part but considers it the true target also in the public
space. My last example seems to be far removed from today’s concerns, and
yet I have chosen it precisely because of its seeming anachronism, which
nevertheless makes it applicable tomy argument. It is not applicable for the
reason that the colonization of our imagination still goes on today and even
happens within our own hemisphere, as Auge´ has demonstrated so well in
his book La Guerre des rêves. It is applicable because it explains the interaction
of image, body, and medium in a striking way. It was not only the
Spanish images but also their media—canvas painting and sculpture—that
caused resistance among the indigenous, whose bodies (or brains) lacked
any experience of this kind.
Spanish art was surely involved in this event, as it was art that, at the
time, provided the only visual media in existence. But the imported artifacts
did not matter as art. They mattered only as agents of the all-important
images. It therefore would be redundant to stress the political meaning,
which is self-evident in this case. Only art in the modern sense, an art with
a claim of autonomy, today attracts the familiar controversies about political
stance or lack of political meaning. In our case, however, the depoliticization
of the indigenous images was nothing but another act of politics.
It was only in Spain that Aztec artifacts became classified as art and collected
as such in order to become deprived of any political or religious significance
and to remain outside the circulation of images. It is not necessary to draw
parallels to our time, in which art constantly becomes neutralized by the
art market.
Originally, iconology, in art history’s terms, was restricted to art alone.
Today, it is the task of a new iconology to drawa link between art and images
in general but also to reintroduce the body, which has either been marginalized
by our fascination with media or defamiliarized as a stranger in our
world. The present mass consumption of images needs our critical response,
which in turn needs our insights on how images work on us.

24. Vilém Flusser, Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie (Göttingen, 1989), pp. 9–10;
25. See Christopher Pinney, Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs (London,
26. See “Primitivism” in Twentieth-Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, ed.
William Stanley Rubin (New York, 1984).
27. See Serge Gruzinski, La Guerre des images: Christophe Colomb à “Blade Runner” (1492–2019)
(Paris, 1990); trans. under the title Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to “Blade Runner” (1492–
2019) by Heather MacLean (Durham, N.C., 2001).


television burger man word kim jong il jill johnston coney island elephant hotel muslim lesbian and happy

random pictures i have to get off my desktop and into the memory space of the internet.

take it away, ella

there is an old tape i have of ella fitzgerald and louie armstrong singing together.
when louie finishes his part and ella is about to sing, he goes: take it away, ella!
i love that so much and have never understood what that saying really means: take what away?
it just reminds me of seeing something in front of you and shamelessly grasping for it and literally taking it away. i think the english saying is "to grasp the mantle". in german it's "die gelegenheit beim schopf greifen" which is much nicer than the mantle, because "schopf" is hair, meaning "grasp the hair", as if chance was a long haired girl passing by. grasp it! take it away!
sometimes a sky is full of chance.
a cloud.
a lousy little cigarette somewhere in the open. that's what's nice about cigarettes. they draw you to the windows or the streets. and everything's still for a moment. just that smoke coming in and out of your mouth like the weather, the seasons, a clock, a misty memory. the weather! what a phenomenon. a lightening chiseled a piece of brick off my house the other day.
the sea is full of chance. jeeez: getting in that hell of a water with all the frightening living creatures and slippery fish down there in the dark. i love it and fear it. slimy stuff. wuuuu. tang. clan.
my broken toilet two weeks ago had a chance in its crack. it made the handyman come to repair it who ended up telling me the story of his lost love because of his lack of balls. he married the wrong woman and ended up having two kids with her who were already grown up and had their own kids by now. and his real love, who wears glasses, lives alone and was kind of waiting, but now it's too late the handyman said, because her heart has shrunken like a raisin of sadness and in the age things get stiffer and more neurotic.
thought that the other day when i looked a woman on the street straight in the face with all the craziness inscribed: it was indeed kind of stiff, painstruck, as if panic had drawn its picture right in the muscles between her eyebrows leaving two wrinkly, indicating lines behind like traces.
i wonder what lunacy will inscribe in my face. guess it's already there and just my blind spot.
can't get the pictures of somalia out of my head. syria. norway. london. japan.
my tax declaration still on the desk. banal, vain thoughts in the jiggling jumble of my mind. schizophrenic, quotidian mess. take it away, ella.