CN220

JAN 18 2022






POV

dog jogger
dodging
pond sized puddle

flashing plastic
picnic fork
in murk of green stream

late disconsolate
last minute man
with balloons searching

black birds black beaks
striking dirt
scavenging bits and scraps

dark parked car
glossy glinting
empty

surface
word
see say






Sites in Use




Pacing a site can be tricky, as scroll or click is subject to the mood of a viewer. But pace can be influenced. In physical galleries tempo is affected by leaving generous space around objects — implying individual and intent viewing. Surprisingly the technique works well in digital environs, as is in skillful evidence on Swiss designer Lars Egert’s site. The generous “plain space” (coined by John Pawson) calms the visitor’s hand; viewing becomes slower and deliberate, ideal for his sharp graphic subtlety.





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

W.H. Auden, Who’s Who, 1938
!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Non Guided Tour, 2021
Yōhei Suzuki, Ow, 2014
Spatial Affairs Exhibition at Ludwig Múzeum, 2021
Final Home, Fall/ Winter, 1999-2000






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?




Some of us could be categorized as obsessive. Obsessive being defined as a kind of overdetermination of specific focus — youthful traumas or simply, early influences are usually the catalysts. We may be led to ask what is the best way to regulate such a psychological environment? All elucidation begins with communication — one must lay out their difficulties, as on a table, to see what is being dealt with — what is personally true isn’t always what is generally true (and the reverse). Conversation among parties of mutual respect is key (this can be done solo as long as one strives to maintain objectivity). Also, until you have reasonably reached an understanding, you must keep it light. Do not act impulsively! Wait for the right time! You cannot really force anything — a perpetual loving interdependence must be sought — with ALL things.


This week we pulled the The Lovers reversed. When encountered upright The Lovers indicate the mutual receptivity between paired partners — an active healthiness among couples. When reversed, as it is this week, there is a warning of imbalance among elementary relations. Since it is primary, proper functioning is going to be affected. There are many reasons for debilitating disparity; proper diagnosis starts with full and honest communication.
        Our first hexagram this week is #56, The Wanderer. This hexagram is all about keeping it light — particularly when one is (as we all are most of the time) between stations. When you are not at the point which typifies an endeavor, that is when you are still searching, persevere intently but don’t get caught up. Don’t strike up a relationship (with an idea, object or person) until you are sure it is what you are looking for. There was one change this week, of which the specific notes are: be modest and reserved.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #34, The Power of the Great. Here we have such a beautiful I Ching translation by Richard Wilhelm that we nary touch it with our paraphrase — for fear of muddling it. “This 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. Therefore the added statement that perseverance furthers. For it is a 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.”
 

CN219

JAN 11 2022





We don’t really come in contact with the world. Activities like seeing and touching are proxies rather than something that could strictly be called actual. As well, the information that enters our heads is incomplete and hardly pure. It is sorted, gathered, and shaped by a survival-biased pattern recognition mechanism (utilizing shorthand object substitution systems).

* * *

Since neither seeing a “duck” nor saying “duck” nor thinking of a “duck” is the same thing — none is fully reality. The same is true when we see, say or think “3:30 PM” or “frog” or “nighttime.” Ultimately, information for humans consists of versions, not a single experience. Things are further complicated in that these differing types of seeing, saying and thinking vary from individual to individual — our pattern recognizers are unique.

* * *

Working together then, is not a matter of sharing a reality but attempting to share a reality. This can be done in two ways: mutually hiding out in a willful fantasy (which is super common) or struggling for intimate overlap of individual experience (much riskier, thus less common). The former is easy and dominates our world (it is simple to see in political affiliations, news preferences, company credos, all manner of beliefs, etc.). The latter, intimate comparison of errors and versions, is dangerous, though it is likely the only decent way.

* * *

The measure of collaboration is vulnerability.






Sites in Use




Continuing in spirit from the above text, photography is not reality, it is a medium of interpretation, a version of reality and something unto itself (pixels, paper, light projection or whatever specific form the “photography” takes). To be a photographer and know this, that is, not to believe that photography is a mirror of reality but a kind of question in and of itself is perhaps to be a great photographer — it is certainly a main ingredient. Maximilian Koppernock is definitely of the latter sort. His images are so charged with this unstable but compelling tension, that it is often wonderfully difficult to tell if his subject is terrifying or lovely.





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

W.B. Yeats, The Circus Animals’ Desertion, 1939
Yuri Ancarani, Spy, 2021
Interview with Inge Grognard, 2021
Rose Wylie Exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, 2017
Rafaël Rozendaal Exhibition at Site Gallery, 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?




All serious, long-term endeavors (life itself being one) are like journeys across wooded valleys; that is, much time is spent in the darkness under a forest canopy — with goals obscured by immediate surroundings. To keep the faith or what have you, it seems best that every step be considered as part of the goal. NO REALLY, a high goal or object is needed to start anything but as soon as possible it should be reoriented from its lofty place to a more humble, constantly nutritive location. Realism is important here; resources must continually be checked, maintained with delight and meted out properly. Fundamentally “achievement” should neither be the end nor the true goal — a modest, poetic, hale and hearty personage, or crew, on a continually fulfilling journey is the goal.


This week we pulled the Ace of Cups. Ace cards in the tarot are the exemplars of a particular suite (whether Cups, Wands, Swords or Pentacles) — that is, they point to the purist version of a suite’s symbolism. Since here we have the Ace of Cups there is an intimation to consider our emotions and intuitions. Something this period is significantly tied to our deep feelings (as opposed to impersonal external facts). Be honest about what is going on in your emotional life.
        Our first hexagram this week is #36, Darkening of the Light. “In adversity it furthers one to be persevering.” “In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved.” “In social intercourse one should not try to be all–knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.” There was one change in our hexagram this week, of which the specific notes are: be cautious about sharing inmost intentions, keep your light strong but private.  
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #63, After Completion. When a goal has reached its zenith there are only two options: reverting to a lesser degree or maitaining the apogee. “The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematized, and it is only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let thing take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result.” Ultimately: the road to success (of course) needs much precaution but success itself needs the taking of much precaution as well (to remain successful). Prepare for your success!!! (Triumph does not take care of itself.)
 

CN218

JAN 04 2022




For years we struggled with a feeling of meaninglessness as regards the universe. That is, for a long time we harbored the basic idea, that because of the horrors and the stupidity and the randomness — all experienced by creatures with wildly limited sense organs and mental capacities — that everything was absurd and pointless. It was a cumbersome way to live. But an unforeseen arrival of a sort of a formal logic intervened — we suspect that the involuntary occurrence was due to a latter exposure to Percy Shelley and late Wittgenstein but whatever the reason, an elucidation of a faulty presupposition has put the morose perspective on ice. (It should be said that in both Shelley’s and Wittgenstein’s work we find a similarity: deep comfort with and fervent love of the world’s inscrutability.)

* * *

If our senses (and abilities) as humans are limited to a degree where we can’t ascertain anything with surety, then nothing can be said with assurance — neither that the world is purposeless nor that it is sensibly consequential. To be clear, this indeterminism didn’t invert our negativity, it just neutralized the charge. Now our perspective is neither positive or negative (or at least to any severe degree). Rather than saying that the world has no meaning — we now say that we simply can’t say whether the world has meaning or not. This may seem a silly or trivial language game, but to us the sincere durable relief from a whole hearted confidence in darkness is something like a transcendentally positive lessening.

* * *

We don’t say any of this in a spirit of influence — just that it might be interesting as a case study of a kind of evolution of temperament — one can and does change.






Sites in Use




We have been admirers of Lee Noble’s music for some time now — ever since first hearing Cop Show off of his 2013 No Becoming album. His stuffs always gave us the most lovely Gene Moore/Carnival of Souls meets Mark Fisher feelings. And as of late Ken Layne/Desert Oracle sensations are bubbling up. Thanks very much for the music and the images. 🎃🎸





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Elizabeth Bishop, The Imaginary Iceberg, 1946
Charles Jencks, The Cosmic House, 1978-83
Pablo Bronstein Exhibition at Sir John’s Soane Museum, 2021
Ken Price Exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery, 2021
Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Bath House, 2014






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?




The world is absolutely teeming with forceful people who dislike subtlety and actual critical thinking — but little good has come of one-dimensional, surface treatments of matters. What are ambitious people of scrutiny and careful diagnostics to do? Well… Don’t get enclosed by indecision, keep subtle notes but don’t get bogged down. Keep focus on larger ends; don’t be scared or distracted in the short term — bullies (or bullying ideas) often lose their strength over time. Your whole goal should be “strength within and clarity and culture without” all “expressed in a graceful and controlled way.”


This week we pulled the Two of Swords. There is discomfort and there will be discomfort. A choice has manifested but one where either outcome won’t feel great. Avoidance of making a choice is unwise (indecision). Though, we feel there is some positivity here due to the presence of the moon; the resolution, though painful or uncomfortable, may bring wisdom just not with fanfare or immediacy, but subtly and over time.
    Our first hexagram this week is #54, The Marrying Maiden. Here we have commentary on the success of relationships — that is, the situation where two different beings come together for the long term and the general difficulties that can follow. First and foremost, relationships involve people who are wholly different entities (of totally differing origins, etc.). This fact is what causes most strain in pairings — when the incommensurate parts of individuals meet. To lessen such conflict (born of unbridgeable variance) it is recommended “to remain mindful of the end. If we permit ourselves to drift along, we come together and are parted again as the day may determine. If on the other hand a person fixes their mind on an end that endures, they will succeed in avoiding the reefs that confront the closer relationships of people.” There were two changes this week, of which the specific notes are: one may not succeed in ways that are typical (but methods of success needn’t always be typical) and nothing good comes from being perfunctory.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #14, Possession in Great Measure. “Possession in great measure is determined by fate and accords with the time…” It is accomplished by the “virtue of unselfish modesty.” It is best when one has “strength within” and “clarity and culture without.” This is the appropriate type of power, and must be expressed in a “graceful and controlled way.” “This brings supreme success and wealth.”

 

CN217

DEC 28 2021




Tightly around the base of the house there are shrubs of varying size. This is common and expected in this area — they seem to function as an aesthetic softener, perhaps so the geometry of the structure doesn’t seem so jarring against the earth. But often as much they appear to operate as a kind of privacy barrier. Whether it’s one or the other or both, the psychological nature of gestures like these (which are almost infinite) are primarily not thought about by the creatures that live here. They do stuff and feel and believe, but don’t think so much. It’s like they are embedded, or caught in a web or on an invisible track.

* * *

On this day standing in front of this gray two story house, the one referred to above, there is nearly no wind. Though somehow a single arm of the largest rhododendron has caught a solitary gust. It is quite odd — all is still but this one leaf, which looks almost like it’s beckoning or waving.

* * *

About 1900 miles below our feet and the house and shrubs and dirt and rock there is an area 1500 miles thick of boiling liquid metal; it is estimated that the temperature is about 8000 degrees. It gives off much light, but in a kind of darkness.







Sites in Use




It would be hard for us to appreciate Marie Pohl’s artwork more. Really. All that she brings into existence, whether digitally or terrestrially rendered, whether anthropomorphic or more typically figurative — it all hits us with something like the true joy of art. It’s like when we first saw a Pietro Longhi painting or a Jacques Tourneur movie. Work like Pohl’s kindly/mercifully populates the emotional structure of possibility in our brain — that is, for us, it makes life worth living. Merci. 🦇🐍





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Useful Music


Subtle playlists for working-type activities.








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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Hart Crane, Repose of Rivers, 1926
Hito Steyerl, November, 2004
Gaetano Pesce’s Interiors for Chiat/ Day Agency, 1995
Alexander McQueen, Spring/ Summer, 2003
Pamela Rosenkranz at Sprüth Magers, 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
        This time of year puts an inordinate amount of pressure on socializing. It seems, the best way to get through is to be diplomatic, like take the excessive out-of-body-level interactions in stride (charmingly dance around impending dramas). But there is of course always a danger, if one is not careful, in actually becoming a diplomat. What can we do about not letting overdetermined situations define us? Well, knowledge is power as they say, so be practical and honest about what you are getting into. Take precaution by sincerely managing your own and others’ expectations. And know that you don’t help a situation by thinking you are superior to it — enter social situations strong and humble and leave strong and humble.

Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the King of Wands, reversed. In the upright position the card indicates a passionate desire to manifest — reversed, the fervor becomes unrealistic. Foster a passion for practicality this period.
        Our first hexagram this week is #63, After Completion. When a vessel is full to the brim it is a blessing — but it is also likely to spill. So if there is a fullness in your life don’t relax about it, cater to it. “In life too there are junctures when all forces are in balance and work in harmony, so that everything seems to be in the best of order. In such times only the sage recognizes the moments that bode danger and knows how to banish it by means of timely precautions.” There were two changes this week, of which the specific notes are: don’t look back on a peril overcome, keep moving forward.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #42, Increase. “To rule truly is to serve.” (One of the great aphorisms of the I Ching.) “When one discovers good in others, they should imitate it and thus make everything on earth their own. If they perceive something bad in themself, let them rid themselves of it. In this way they become free of evil. This ethical change represents the most important increase of personality.” And please know that this type of commentary, regarding leadership and character formation, applies not only to the external structures of teams and family, but to one’s own internal hierarchies as well.
 

CN216

DEC 21 2021





We left the group and got lost.
        We found the group but felt coerced and bored.

Alone we reveled in nuance.
        In the group we rested with friends among warm, incorporating dreams.

Alone, nights were long, without reference and without affection.
        In the group we had no say — the food bland, the entertainment contrived, the curfews suffocating.

Alone we observed the voluptuary of flora — the subtle stages of plant growth, the unimaginable shapes, the unending color combinations — even the “weeds” growing in the storm drains were gripping.
        In the group we meshed instruments — our longing horn, gracefully conciliated — a fully populated landscape of harmony and interconnectivity lay before us like a ripe, halved fruit.

***

But no where, a solution. No where a stable path.

But some still say there is a solution: a laissez faire free market 🙄, a crypto decentralized autonomy 🙄, a poet led state 🙄, a social utopia stripped of inequitable advantages and jealousy 🙄…

Solutions since they are impossible false promises, ultimately bring injustice and pollution.

There are no panaceas in this world. But perhaps there are certain attitudes to attempt, like living without haste and without rest.

So, be wary of those that hawk solutions — they want something from you.

As Linji Yixuan said, if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

As Barthes said, the neutral is that which outplays the paradigm. (That is, there is a sort of truth in this world.)



Image: Felt, Denim, Go-Kart Mozart







Sites in Use




At some point someone lovely said that beauty is anything erotically overdetermined. Looking at the site of designer Pedro De Sousa, we see an almost over-consistently reduced iconography. But rather than feeling like a dead end, it feels like the fruit of a genuine typographic fetish. 👌





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Goings-On(line)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Amy Clampitt, Gradual Clearing, 1983
Interview with Ingo Maurer, 2014
Comme Des Garçons, Fall/ Winter, 2006-07
Herbert Hamak at Xippas Gallery
Quentin Dupieux, Steak, 2007






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
        To achieve anything in this life, something like a super power of focus needs to be developed. And this is keeping in mind that distraction is also necessary to life; as life would be unbearable if we weren’t diverted from thoughts of death and the other crazy unknowns. But still it is focus where gains are to be found (this is true in areas of ethics, politics, art, business, family life, everything really). But how does one get, and maintain, this super power of focus? First must come joy; joy is at the center of a super powered focus. That is one must focus on the positive (revel in it and multiply it). Then develop ever increasing flexibility; the methods of distraction are vast, you have to be infinitely lithe to redirect them. Then, eliminate narcissism; joy does not come from insecurity. And finally accepting that the process never ends — that you are lucky to be alive and participating (no matter how counter intuitive that may seem at times).

Complete Reading
        This week we pulled the Two of Pentacles. The idea proffered here is that balance in life is achieved by juggling. And like Camus’ Sisyphus, the task, though infinite should be a happy one.
        Our first hexagram this week is #56, The Wanderer. Ultimately we are just travelers; we come from somewhere/nowhere and return to somewhere/nowhere. This hexagram contains behavioral recommendations for us transients: “When a person is a wanderer and stranger, they should not be gruff nor overbearing. They have no large circle of acquaintances, therefore they should not give themself airs. They must be cautious and reserved; in this way they protect themself from evil. If one is obliging toward others, they win success.” There were two changes this week, of which the specific notes are: bring gifts and be modest and adaptable.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #31, Influence (Wooing). The implication here is the stimulation of a favorable (and healthy) circumstance requires a certain attitude, namely, humbleness and receptivity. “By keeping still within while experiencing joy without, one can prevent the joy from going to excess and hold it within proper bounds.”