CN193

Jun 22 2021




All thoughts are hermetically sealed;
There is an infinite gap between the world and a person’s interiority.

This is true for everyone; but
No one admits it.

A system of signs (the surrogate of language or what have you) is used to mediate.
But it is always only a stand-in; it is not actual.

This creates an interminable deception game.
It makes such a mess.

But this is the scenario.

And since it seems (almost irrefutably) that economy (not in the financial sense) rules all,
That all things fit together defining and utilizing each other in the most ingenious and resourceful ways…

This turmoil must be beneficial to some thing.

Something likes this mess, something eats this chaos like a whale eats krill.

But what is it?

Image: Enzo Mari





Sites in Use




It could be argued that economy is the height of any art; this does not exclude various maximalisms just that the reduction of conveyance, to only what is absolutely necessary (whether Baroque temple or Quaker meeting house) is perhaps most effective. And when it comes to actual pared-down styles, that is, those employing only single lines and/or unshaded masses, we have always been thoroughly jealous of the seemingly casual but totally powerful efforts of those like a Christopher Forgues or an Enzo Mari.

UK based artist/illustrator Dominic Kesterton is of this latter sort. And though his means be simple there comes across a wholly idiosyncratic offering. His reduced physiognomies whether humanoids (or anthropomorphized non-human fauna and/or fruits and flowers) always seem to possess a fertile remove. His characters handle the extraction of an eye or being cut in half and even a straightforward crisis with dollish poise. As well it feels worth mentioning that we sense a lovely/rewarding structural/stylistic overlap with Léger — though we have no idea if this intentional/actual.





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

John Ashbery, Two Scenes, 1987
Maison Martin Margiela, Fall/ Winter, 1993-94
Joseph Beuys, Ana Lupas et al at Galeria Plan B, 2021
Stuart Gordon, Castle Freak, 1995

Otar Iosseliani, Un petit monastère en Toscane, 1988






Oracle



At the beginning of each week, we draw a single Tarot card and consult the I Ching. The Tarot card represents the person (you, me, us). The I Ching reading speaks to the nature of the scenario that you, me, us will face throughout the week. Think of it as protagonist (tarot) and plot or theme (I Ching). It is our opinion that neither the I Ching nor the Tarot are tools of prediction, but rather a mechanism to aid in self reflection.
        Before reading further, we recommend you collect your thoughts regarding the state of affairs inside your head as well as what you are involved with externally. Take precise stock of your emotional temperature and your goals for the week. The more preparation and detail, the better the results. 

So, of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: for the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



Petite Reading
        No ideas or people are really special or unique. All things are equal in their measure or rather, relatively speaking. So, when trying to get along with a colleague or family member (of importance) but the relation seems to have interminable strain due to an unbridgeable gulf of some sort consider that the problem might be that you think too highly of yourself.

Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the Knight of Swords. Here we have an intimation of something like fools rush in where angels fear to tread — that is, this card indicates that perhaps the momentum of one’s action is overly developed and preparation is weak. Be careful about thundering forth into a goal; consider taking more time to find common ground — or even charm, rather than simply striking.
        Our hexagram contained no changes this week; so how we enter the week will likely be how we exit it. Our only hexagram for this period is #11, Peace. Here there is a description of a “time of social harmony” and “an end to all feuds.” It is intimated that this equilibrium is achieved by devising systems/methods and calibrating all instruments/machines to be in accord with the existing natural rhythms, internal and out (earth’s rotation, the breath, the mechanics of memory, etc). That is, not following systems or using machines which are based wholly on the fantastical or the speculative.

 

CN192

Jun 15 2021




It was noon on a Sunday in north eastern Bakersfield. From beyond the steering wheel, orderly rows of orange groves ribbed ahead. The road was remarkably straight. It wasn’t exactly a service route but doubtful many used it, apart from those that worked at the orchard. The scene was so humanly arranged, so clean, we were compelled to pull over, perhaps just to cause some sort of ripple.

We walked around and sat on the hood with our feet on the bumper, the silence feeling almost self aware. We lit a cigarette and watched the small clouds dissipate against the columns of trees — gradation versus dispersion. Ahead, the diverging lines of trees and concrete made a sort of pyramid, above which a few melancholic shoulders of the greenhorn mountains could be seen.

Getting hot from the noonday sun, we walked into the shadow of the grove.  

About ten trees in we sat down against a trunk, elbows on knees, fixing our gaze on the ground. The sound of bees (or wasps) was spectacular; the scene was wholly ancient. After taking in the ants and all that chaos that isn’t chaos that happens at one’s feet, we looked down the tunnels of foliage. To the right, our car sat like at opening of a cave. To the left, to our astonishment, about ten trees deeper, stood a large white dog — like a Samoyed or white shepherd. We are sure we must have jumped a bit. Its color in the dimness had the starkness of those white horses in Uccello’s paintings. We shared an unsettled gaze before it padded off.

Feeling vulnerable and acutely aware that we were on private property we went back to the car. Before getting in we lit another cigarette and looked back down the brown/green grotto, feeling like we had seen an apparition, but knowing that such thoughts are lazy and plot driven as everything is an arrival of wildly specific and bizarrely far-flung materialization.

Image: Matthew Barney





Sites in Use




“Project.” “Type.” “Date.” Croatia-based designer Sven Sorić paces it perfectly on his elegantly plain site. You get your bearings typographically, then, enter the work — one thing after another, then one thing at a time. Lovely.





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Amy Clampitt, A Silence, 1997
Robert Ryman at Dia Beacon, 1988
Andy Kimpton-Nye, Derek Jarman: Life as Art, 2004
José Ramón Larraz, Symptoms, 1974

20471120, Spring/ Summer, 2003






Oracle



At the beginning of each week, we draw a single Tarot card and consult the I Ching. The Tarot card represents the person (you, me, us). The I Ching reading speaks to the nature of the scenario that you, me, us will face throughout the week. Think of it as protagonist (tarot) and plot or theme (I Ching). It is our opinion that neither the I Ching nor the Tarot are tools of prediction, but rather a mechanism to aid in self reflection.
        Before reading further, we recommend you collect your thoughts regarding the state of affairs inside your head as well as what you are involved with externally. Take precise stock of your emotional temperature and your goals for the week. The more preparation and detail, the better the results. 

So, of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: for the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



Petite Reading
        We often think of fatigue as related to the expenditure of proactive energy: building, thinking, designing, exercising, etc. But the tiredness that results from being defensive or preemptive is greatest — there’s nothing to enjoy at the end of the labor. The ultimate defensiveness is fear of change. Maybe consider that change is inevitable but fearing it is not. Oh and have a goal; for better or worse we define our worlds. If you don’t give yourself a goal, your world is featureless — and that can make one pretty fearful. So, be flexible on the way to your goal.


Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the Death card, reversed. In the tarot Death is a symbol for change and rebirth. When it occurs in this upturned aspect, it adds the characteristic of resistance. That is, there is suggestion that the querent is fearing or simply not accepting the inexorable reshaping and regeneration that comes with life.
        Our first hexagram this week is #10, Treading (Conduct). It is not easy to know how to “conduct oneself” but here it suggests that knowing your own strengths and weaknesses as well as the powers and faults of the others in your sphere, is a good start. Behave without illusion or hubris — lead if it makes sense to lead; follow if it makes sense to follow. “Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.” There were three changes in our hexagram this week, of which the specific notes are: discourage arrogance in yourself, behave simply and keep moving “forward”.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #57, Sun, The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind). Here we have a rich explanation of being affective. It is noted that to affect something you have to penetrate the surface otherwise there’s no real effect. “Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained.”

 

CN191

Jun 08 2021





On Friday we went to the Mojave desert and took two hits of acid. It was around 100 degrees and about a mile walk to our usual area — securing shade was the initial mode. Where we go, within low bouldered hills, there are lovely sandy pits, wholly private to the world (a few are shady). There are never other humans around which is why we go there. If one can say such a thing, we are fairly experienced with psychedelic substances.

The acid took hold about an hour after settling into our spot; it was absolutely massive, and almost immediately, ineffable — definitely more than typical. The playful dialogue with the impish guide was nowhere to be found. With unanticipated fierceness we were a near relation-less entity battered by forces indeterminate of locale — a raw life force subject to boundless contexts. No narrative was stable; for seconds we could be a Siddhartha or Mohamed type figure finding aphoristic significance in a stone, the next, a dispersed bacterial intelligence laughing on the wind, then because of a certain recoiling of the head, a blank baby seeking a bottle. Interstices (whether eyes closed or opened) were filled with infinitely broad, bio-arterial-circuit-board-type visions; sometimes a breathing beige network of reptilian droplets, at others rainbow-iridescent stratifications of Borobudur-esque concentrism. We struggled this way, terrified, for hours.

On our way back to the car, stumbling through a narrow wash we came upon a Tarantula Hawk vibrating so specifically on the branch of a mesquite tree; it seemed an almost Grand-Guignol embodiment of the alienness that surrounded and for awhile dwelt within…

But all abated, our personality returned — to no little relief. F_____t was waiting at the car (having returned from his own escapade). We found some comfortable rocks, chatted over a little tequila (in old teacups) and watched the desert’s insane transition from ember orange to star flecked lapis.

***

What’s the point of such an activity?

Well, after the experience of transcendentally obliterating one’s personality, whilst simultaneously exposing it to Process (writ large) — it is hard not to see how particular and specific the human experience is and how part of an unending multitude it is. Subsequently, we see our race of simians not as separate entities standing akimbo atop the food chain simply making good or bad decisions, but creatures made of the incomprehensibly fine ribonucleic writings and hosts to raging battles of bacterium — subject to the powers and arcane methods that all things (whether molecules, minnows or mascara) are subject to. We are nature. Everything is nature; the combustion engine is as natural as are the winds that blow on Callisto — as is the container of Gatorade ever-so-slowly spoiling on a 7-11 shelf. A dolmen is no less natural than a dune. An upstart slime is no different than the trajectory of a religion or scientific inquiry or the thought process involved in picking up a pen a stranger dropped…

NB, the following is said in solidarity and sincerity — if you are thinking of taking psychedelics, we suggest remembering two things. The first is that psychedelics substances, as of the current moment, are illegal. The second, it is not recommended to ingest psychedelics if you are experiencing any mental difficulties or irregularities, that is, the experience of these substances does not make life easier — they anesthetize and dilate one’s consciousness allowing data that is usually mercifully regulated, to enter rough and unpasteurized. Tread carefully. 👽🖖






Sites in Use




A humble but strong poetry runs through designer Jia-Hong Huang’s production. The poetry is of a magical everyday type, like the smell of first raindrops on pavement, or the crackle of a bicycle tire on gravel, or seeing a sudden wind amicably combine Dogwood petals and errant trash. There is of course typographic snappiness throughout but it is the tint of contemplativeness that moves one here.





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Philip Larkin, Continuing to Live, 1954
Milton Avery at Victoria Miro, 2017
Maison Martin Margiela, Fall/ Winter, 1998-99
Alfred Schnittke, Concerto for Choir, 1988

Juan Luis Buñuel, Expulsion of the Devil, 1973






Oracle



At the beginning of each week, we draw a single Tarot card and consult the I Ching. The Tarot card represents the person (you, me, us). The I Ching reading speaks to the nature of the scenario that you, me, us will face throughout the week. Think of it as protagonist (tarot) and plot or theme (I Ching). It is our opinion that neither the I Ching nor the Tarot are tools of prediction, but rather a mechanism to aid in self reflection.
        Before reading further, we recommend you collect your thoughts regarding the state of affairs inside your head as well as what you are involved with externally. Take precise stock of your emotional temperature and your goals for the week. The more preparation and detail, the better the results. 

So, of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: for the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



Petite Reading
        We often live in simple (lazy) hope that a situation will be favorable to us via luck, but this is rarely the case. The success of any endeavor requires deep and active understanding of the factors involved and adaptability to outcome — call this state, sympathy. (And of course “success” is a continual state of sincere reaction and participation; remember the Cherry Orchard: there is no panacea.) Absorb and repeat: Clarity! Flexibility! Persistence! Tolerance! Rest! Clarity! Flexibility! Persistence! Tolerance! Rest! Clarity! Flexibility! Persistence! Tolerance! Rest! 

Complete Reading
        As with last week, we again pulled the Ace of Swords — and as we said then, any Ace represents the paradigmatic quality of a particular suit (wands, swords, pentacles or cups). So with the Ace of Swords — there is a typification of the two sided nature of power — the possibility of causing or preventing. But know that the possibility of reaching a goal is presenting itself. Just lead with clarity not blindness.
        Our first hexagram this week is #61, Inner Truth. The subject here is the influencing of others. Of course, as with all subjects in the I Ching, the matter is dealt with in a wholly shrewd and sophisticated way. The advice here is something like attempt to see the factors of your objective on its own terms (find “the right way of approach” or a “sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances” and/or “rid oneself of all prejudice”). The specific note here is” “Any deliberate intention of an effect would only destroy the possibility of producing it.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #17, Following. “In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself.” “No situation can become favorable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear themself out with mistaken resistance.” Actual concern for others is the only way towards social symbiosis.

 

CN190

Jun 01 2021




Like ice water poured slowly, as to economize splash, over a sun baked boulder, the self loathing extended from the dome of our head, scraped past our eyes, and intensified as it surged out to our fingertips. There was to be no release from the futility pooling in our hands and the general disgust of our body. We walked and walked further. Perhaps the rhythm and incidence would distract from shameful years of airless secrets. Hoping the weak but at least somewhat mollifying ballast of counter sentiments would descend.

Like a transmogrified streetlamp shadow we continued to wander well into the evening, all throughout the quaint and wealthy residential section, past all the beautifully lacquered doors with fastidious brass knockers. Occasionally glimpsing through a golden split of window curtains a manicured world, seemingly stable. Then we passed the cemetery that sloped down the hill which also appeared dignified and out of reach. Eventually wending our way over the C&O canal down to the Potomac river chewing some French bread we stole with manageable humiliation. The terminus was a travertine bench outside the Kennedy Center. Those days, when perusing a landscape, we desperately tried to determine an organizing principle — looking at the dark wooded island across the river we thought it odd that the spaces between the trees and foliage were much darker than the night sky. We were a lack in a brimming world, a wretch.





Sites in Use




We assume that the individuals who run Torpedo, the Norwegian non-profit bookshop and publishing house, found their calling, as it is evident that they love and believe in what they do. Their own publications and those they curate are, without variance, possessed of vital intelligence and typographic beauty. Torpedo’s offerings focus on the political, conceptual and theoretical (in both prose and the visual arts).





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Matthew Arnold, Below the Surface-Stream, 1869
Michel DeviIIe, Deep Water, 1981
Carl Andre and Meg Webster at Paula Cooper Gallery, 2021
Otar Iosseliani, Sapovnela, 1959

Miu Miu, Spring/ Summer, 2005






Oracle



At the beginning of each week, we draw a single Tarot card and consult the I Ching. The Tarot card represents the person (you, me, us). The I Ching reading speaks to the nature of the scenario that you, me, us will face throughout the week. Think of it as protagonist (tarot) and plot or theme (I Ching). It is our opinion that neither the I Ching nor the Tarot are tools of prediction, but rather a mechanism to aid in self reflection.
        Before reading further, we recommend you collect your thoughts regarding the state of affairs inside your head as well as what you are involved with externally. Take precise stock of your emotional temperature and your goals for the week. The more preparation and detail, the better the results. 

So, of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: for the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



Petite Reading
        If one is in possession of power (personal or political) there is always a danger of being carried along by its momentum risking horrid automatization. Power is not a vacation. Power is effective force actualized — like if you are the pilot of a commercial airplane you should probably stay awake — maybe even pay attention. An additional modifier, paraphrasing a little bit of the beginning of Adorno’s Minima Moralia: philosophy became science became science of production yielding intellectual neglect and automatization. (This is a danger of the self as well.)

Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the Ace of Swords. Any Ace represents the paradigmatic quality of a particular suit. Here we have the Ace of Swords — a typification of the two sided nature of power — the possibility of preventing conflict or causing it. The way here would be something like, think before you act. The directed energy of a sword is not reversible. 
        Our first hexagram this week is #34, The Power of the Great (there were no changes this week so how we exit the week will be relatively how we enter it). This hexagram details a moment where our “movement and strength” are coalescing. It seems like this would be a time to let momentum just take its course, however there are tight warnings here: “The hexagram points to a time when inner worth mounts with great force and comes to power. But its strength has already passed beyond the median line, hence there is danger that one may rely entirely on one’s own power and forget to ask what is right. There is danger too that, being intent on movement, we may not wait for the right time… For that is truly great power which does not degenerate into mere force but remains inwardly united with the fundamental principles of right and of justice. When we understand this point — namely, that greatness and justice must be indissolubly united — we understand the true meaning of all that happens in heaven and on earth.”    

 

CN189

May 25 2021




As the escalator rose and our eyes momentarily leveled with the second floor; we could just see the sun disappearing behind the shadowed hills. It glinted a fiery amber spike across the terrazzo floor, and then disappeared. We walked the line of the vanished reflection towards the immense hermetic plate glass windows — our heels clacking with lonely officiousness. We tapped a single chrome nail on the cold surface; outside a savage wind was ravishing black silhouetted palms. Bits of garbage and leaves streaked by, theatrically decorating the dervish. Above, the sky was a tilted, rapidly darkening gradient of amnesia pink and bruise purple. After watching with quiet relish, we clicked toward the center atrium, where the floor transitioned to large emerald tiles. The sound of our footfall deepened; the sharp metronome mingled with the plinking of a small waterfall. A green winged macaw poised on a blue ring, hanging from a white chain which disappeared in the darkness overhead. In a small black pond a large, solitary koi, white with an orange blotch, slowly glided then turned, and slowly glided then turned. We removed a gold coin from our breast pocket and placed it on a long, sharp mirrored thumbnail, flick! It arced tracing a curve above the bird, then hit the water, droip! No wish, and neither the macaw nor the fish stirred.

Image: John Wesley





Sites in Use




Though the medium of Claude Marzotto and Maia Sambonet’s Studio Òbelo is graphic design, the methods and vocations they touch are many; there’s politics and gastronomy, art and retail, fashion and architecture. Not to mention it seems like half their practice is dedicated to education — true cultural communicators. As well, we must say that we had a hard time choosing a screen shot as there were so many lovely moments. (We hope Ms. Marzotto and Ms. Sambonet are taking advantage of Cargo’s student program).





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Weldon Kees, Aspects of Robinson, 1962
Robert Altman, 3 Women, 1977
Anita Thacher, Here/ There, 2014
Carol Christian Poell, Spring/ Summer, 2008

Lucio Fontana at Robilant+Voena, 2021






Oracle



At the beginning of each week, we draw a single Tarot card and consult the I Ching. The Tarot card represents the person (you, me, us). The I Ching reading speaks to the nature of the scenario that you, me, us will face throughout the week. Think of it as protagonist (tarot) and plot or theme (I Ching). It is our opinion that neither the I Ching nor the Tarot are tools of prediction, but rather a mechanism to aid in self reflection.
        Before reading further, we recommend you collect your thoughts regarding the state of affairs inside your head as well as what you are involved with externally. Take precise stock of your emotional temperature and your goals for the week. The more preparation and detail, the better the results. 

So, of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: for the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



Petite Reading
        If something is positive, favorable or joyous in your life, savor it thoroughly but also take it in and imprint it. This creates a peak limiter, but also a familiarity from which to return (a model to reverse despair). The same is true for tragedies; mark them and know them. Your emotions/energy are like a waveform between the extreme parallels of happiness and sadness. The randomness of life will cause vortexes and eddies, some strong enough to cause drift and mutation, but if you develop a strong intimacy with your trials and victories you just might cultivate the flexibility to endure.

Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the Three of Cups. Here we have the card of joyful abundance; think harvest festival in a good year. Perhaps there is a fulfilling end to a cycle coming or the arrival of a deserved celebration. Whatever cheerful surfeit has come about, make sure you square your shoulders to it and enjoy — there is a lesson in its peak.
        Our first hexagram this week is #62, Preponderance of the Small. The I Ching often talks about the wisdom of knowing your place in a larger order; this may seem silly to those within a capitalist scenario, as striving to be a winner at all times seems the best way. But in any society trying to get things right in their own measure is wisest — knowing your place isn’t subservient (sometimes the most appropriate move is to demand a change of position). Perhaps “winning” is a cudgel and “appropriateness” is an epee. “We must understand the demands of the time in order to find the necessary offset for its deficiencies and damages.” There was one change this week of which the specific note is: restraint and adherence to a rule set.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #32, Duration. “Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self–contained and therefore self–renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending.” “…independence of the superior person is not based on rigidity and immobility of character. They always keep abreast of the time and change with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of their being, which determines all their actions.” Endurance requires flexibility.