Posts filed under ‘Troublemakers’

Just Kids by Patti Smith

The book sticks with me.
Makes me wish I lived in New York in the sixties and seventies and experienced the street struggle and its art scene, when artists were making and being part of History.
Patti Smith’s narrative is an elegy to a lost friend and great artist – Robert Mapplethorpe-, a tale of generosity and love. I was shocked to find out that she discovered her own talent and started doing her own thing so late in life. Sam Sheppard, who really saw through her, gave her her first guitar.
In their early years together, Robert Mapplethorpe’s ambition and dreams stimulated Patti Smith, and her providing for Robert made it possible for him to develop his art, until they went their separate ways in pursue of their own dreams.
I feel happy that I will go to a Patti Smith concert in a few weeks, it feels like witnessing a little miracle.

April 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

The Age Of Stupidity – Keep It Foolish :-) ON CELLPHONE NOVELS

nathan barley episode 1 part 1of 3

CELLPHONE NOVELS / Last January 20th the New York Times published a very interesting article about Cellphone novels. Its author, Norimitsu Onishi, reports that Cellphone novels (defined by Wikipedia as novels which are meant to be read in 1,000- to 2,000- word (in China) or 70-word ( in Japan) chapters via text message on cell phones, and which are downloaded in short installments and run on handsets as Java-based applications on a mobile phone, often appearing in three different formats: WMLD , JAVA and TXT) have immediately dominated the publishing market as soon as they hit the printed format. In fact, several sources sustain that five out of the ten best selling novels in Japan in 2007 were originally cell phone novels!!

“Deep Love”, the story of a teenage prostitute in Tokyo imagined and written by an online author called Yoshi, opened the precedent. Published as a book in 2003 with sailings hitting the 2,6 million copies it was later turned into a television series, a manga and a film.

Despising this new fiction style as “unworthy subgenre”, critics mostly fear that Cellphone novels might lead to the degradation/ disapearance of all other kinds of literature?!?
Characterized by shorter sentences, contracted words and making plenty of use of symbols and emoticons, Cellphone novels dismiss description and detail – seen as the greater attack to serious literature – in order to emphasize a characteristic which I find brilliant: the reader must read more in between the lines! Calling the viewer into responsibility in making his own interpretation of what is going on, this couldn´t agree more to Umberto Eco´s the “Opera Aperta” (1962).

But how do Cellphone novels actually work?
Written on cellphones as text messages and then sent to a website, subscribers can choose either to follow the new updates or download the entire novel for a fee, to read it on the computer or their cellphone. Given this process, another extremely important – and I would say brilliant – feature occurs. For users can post comments and/ or send reply sms in real time as the author is in the process of writing the novel. He has the unprecedented possibility of reacting by changing the course of events, accepting suggestions, etc. “‘It’s like playing live music at a club. You know right away if the audience isn’t responding, and you can change what you’re doing right then and there'”, says Yoshi quoted by the Institute for the Future of the Book.
Cellphone novels by being interactive and portable at the same time incite to a customization by the masses which isn´t necessarily bad nor a plain synonym for “being blindly corrupted by the market”, against what conservative minds might say. Cellphone novels have the advantage of opening new spaces of creativity and allowing for different democratic participatory ways. Quoted by Wired Magazine, Magic iLand (company running >>Free Novel Library community portal where users can download texts by selected authors and link to their blog) spokesman Toshiaki Itou said: “A mobile phone novel boom is definitely in place. And these are people who hardly ever read novels before, never mind written one”. At this point their devoloping software which will allow mobile phone novelists to integrate sounds and images into their story lines as well.

In parallel to giving the oportunity for a comunity to write a story together, mobile phones are also facilitating the circulation of already published books. In Germany and amond high-school girls, dowloading Charlotte Roche´s polemic book “Feuchgebiete” on their mobile has become a sort of rebellian act, meanwhile the media are too busy discussing how much of a tabu-book it actually is..

July 2, 2008 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

WildTurner on You Tube

Radiohead – All I Need

Since the 25th of October 2007 You Tube´s subscriber WildTurner has uploaded nine videos in which historical film footage, ranging from experimental film to the great Italian director Antonioni, is put together with music varying from Radiohead to Joy Division.

Meanwhile exploring entries on Marcel Duchamp on You Tube I came across one of those videos, in which an excerpt of Hans Richter´s “Dreams that Money Can Buy” featuring Marcel Duchamp´s “Anemic Cinema” is put together with Radiohead´s “You´re All I Need”, which happens to be my favorite song on their last album. Lucky coincidence for this is a great match!
The song is painful, obsessive and yet inspiring with Tom York´s amazing lyrics: “I am all the days you choose to ignore”! Duchamp´s “Anemic Cinema” as an inquiry into human perception and the cinematic gaze gains a new reading here.
The viewer´s gaze under the spell bounding and hypnotic effects of cinema is thus compared to an impotent powerless lover living off an illusion. Until the advent of the internet and interactive cinema, our relation with cinema has been a passive and non-corresponded one indeed, just like the love described in the song.

I wonder what drove Wild Turner to put Duchamp´s “Anemic Cinema” and Radiohead´s song “You´re All I Need” together?
“Jigsaw Falling Into Place” another song by Radiohead together with Antonioni footage also results tremendously brilliant. Here >>

And most amazing is to think that this could only have happened in the internet of course, where the logic of the medium favoring freedom to experiment and assembly – two of Duchamp´s most strongest ideas and legacy for the future – overthrows limiting author rights´ bureaucracy. Indeed a match made in heaven!

On the topics of the change of the artist´s role after Duchamp and quotation/ assembly /sampling issues today, is really worth taking a look into Dj Spooky´s interview on Duchamp at The Dallas Museum of Art.

June 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

MEDEA from Pasolini

Medea, Pasolini, Google images

I´ve just recently saw Pasolini´s film (1969) based on Euripides´ Medea (431 BC), in which Maria Callas remarkably performs the leading role.

Pasolini takes some liberties regarding Euripides´plot – which was itself based on an already popular myth at the time -, showing for instance two different versions within the film for the death of the corynthian princess who is about to become Jason´s wife.

Specially interesting, is the tribal african music the director uses, introducing a dionysiac effect in relation to certain actions on the verge of madness and loss of control, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. In a very poetical and at the same time realistic way, Pasolini introduces documentary images within the classical narrative, such as children eating water melons or old aged faces.

S. made me notice that Medea is not merely the story of a woman who incomprehensively kills her children to take reveange on her husband for leaving her and the family to marry another woman. Many complex aspects come together and the story could be said to be about many different things.

I was specially interested in my friend´s point that Medea is a woman who apparently has no choice but to accept the given conditions and collaborate. She seems domed to accept her role as a disillusioned and abandoned wife, condemned to live in exile in a foreign land and culture, to which she is nothing but a barbarian. And there she stands, without any choice, powerless, after having cut with her former life as a priestess, abandoned her father´s house, her land, killed her brother in the most horrific way – and all for the sake of escaping with Jason and love him. And not only has he deserted her but she cannot go back, nor stay, nor undo her life´s choices. She finds herself at the loneliest of places, a non-place in fact.

And so, Medea finds the most unbelievable solution to break out of the desolate situation she has been condemn to – to kill her own children thus irreparably hurt their father and furthermore deprive him of his children´s dead bodies. She completely turns the game around, from a helpless victim to an aggressor in possession of total control. It could be said she is the selfishest of creatures but it could also be said that she is too human and fighting for survival on its most raw dimension…

March 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment


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