found texts and influencing artists


In the sign to hear 聞

you see an ear 耳

beneath the gate 門

According to this sign, to hear means to stand on the threshold like an ear

The sound is blocking the gate, but it is also the medium connecting this side of the gate with the other side. One must hear it, then it will no longer impede one’s vision YOKO TAWADA*

In this text Tawada speaks about about translating poetry. I am curious about Tawada’s idea about an entity that exists between the vehicular languages, a threshold where the aural and visual aspects of poetry dwell.

Taking this idea from Tawada’s text, Beneath the gate informs current studio practice, where there is a preoccupation with the fluidity of subject||object positions. Installations are performative, where objects are imagined as protagonists in encounters with the viewer. Made and ready-mades combine and are presented in sequences where objects, sounds or gestures are given as repetitions. These repetitions and forms bear a close affinity to language or text in structure and rhythm, where rhythm is the conjuror of subjective memory.


more on my blog here {*~^}



LEWIS KLAHR – 24 May 2016


A Discovery – seen on facebook again this morning and followed the *link

Everything about stop motion animation – I have just watched Altair
Altair – Lewis Klahr [1995]

Soundtrack Stravinsky’s Firebird

Rinky-dink special effects” – shadows and distortions using vaseline on lens or looking through warped glass, accidental capturing hands in front of lens, or disturbances at start of shot end up being incorporated.

Not animating, but reanimating; using found images with real objects aesthetic of shadows in flat space; incorporating disturbances to choreography, giving energetic boosts to cuts and emotively linking to sound; tension between verbal and non verbal, (Klahr likes Egyptian art – hieroglyphics) – there is a push||pull friction, sense of the uncanny (“I don’t know what it is in the verbal sense, but I know what it is in another …. that’s got meaning and emotion, there’s a lot of feeling about why these things go together”); vintage imagery, a sense of ‘now’ and ‘then’ that manifests in pop culture forms, dead culture falls into dream space – Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project where spaces that are no longer viable have the capacity for dreamworlds. Narrative control in collage/stop motion not there in ‘found footage’

Notes on Lewis Klahr-

“Based in Los Angeles, where he teaches film in the theater department at CalArts, Lewis Klahr is one of America’s most prolific avant-garde filmmakers. Drawn to narrative as well as short, lyrical “odes” of purely visual and audio associations, his style might be described as a form of mobile tableaux rather than animation—a term he rejects. Devising a highly original mise-en-scène, Klahr’s images, taken from popular culture sources—e.g., magazines, comic books, catalogues, photos—are cut out and placed against backdrops, then manipulated in various ways, at times inserted and withdrawn, as if they were entering or leaving a “stage”—or, in filmic terms, moving on or off screen—a kind of children’s theater with adult content. He photographs these complex designs frame by frame, conjuring such film conventions as fades, dissolves, superimpositions, long shots, or close-ups through palpable hand manipulations. Sound tracks are critical—whether individual songs, long symphonic pieces, abridged radio or television programs from his teenage years, or a collage of ambient sounds to evoke the atmosphere of a particular place.” – Artforum

“I don’t think of myself as an animator, I really am a collage artist, with all that implies: a need to explore the found materials, to explore history through those materials. It’s got a lot to do with hieroglyphics: this kind of visual shorthand, storing cultural memory. I’m the kind of person who used to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the Egyptian exhibit, because I was fascinated by the idea of this string of images forming a kind of sentence; I never took the step to find out what they meant, because I didn’t want to know. It’s the same with Hollywood: This image of a woman, this image of a car, this of a gun, you’ve got a noir in three images.” – Lewis Klahr, The Village Voice



The Simulacrum According to Deleuze and Guattari
Brian Massumi.

But do we really have no other choice than being a naive realist or being a sponge? Brian Massumi:
There is a seductive image of contemporary culture circulating today. Our world, Jean Baudrillard tells us, has been launched into hyperspace in a kind of postmodern apocalypse. The airless atmosphere has asphyxiated the referent, leaving us satellites in aimless orbit around an empty center. We breathe an ether of floating images that no longer bear a relation to any reality whatsoever.(1) That, according to Baudrillard, is simulation: the substitution of signs of the real for the real.(2) In hyperreality, signs no longer represent or refer to an external model. They stand for nothing but themselves, and refer only to other signs. They are to some extent distinguishable, in the way the phonemes of language are, by a combinatory of minute binary distinctions.(3) But postmodernism stutters. In the absence of any gravitational pull to ground them, images accelerate and tend to run together. They become interchangeable. Any term can be substituted for any other: utter indetermination.(4) Faced with this homogeneous surface of syntagmatic slippage, we are left speechless. We can only gape in fascination.(5) For the secret of the process is beyond our grasp. Meaning has imploded. There is no longer any external model, but there is an immanent one. To the syntagmatic surface of slippage there corresponds an invisible paradigmatic dimension that creates those minimally differentiated signs only in order for them to blur together in a pleasureless orgy of exchange and circulation. Hidden in the images is a kind of genetic code responsible for their generation.(6) Meaning is out of reach and out of sight, but not because it has receded into the distance. It is because the code has been miniaturized. Objects are images, images are signs, signs are information, and information fits on a chip. Everything reduces to a molecular binarism. The generalized digitality of the computerised society.(7)

And so we gape. We cannot be said to be passive exactly, because all polarity, including the active/passive dichotomy, has disappeared. We have no earth to center us, but we ourselves function as a ground–in the electrical sense.(8) We do not act, but neither do we merely receive. We absorb through our open eyes and mouths. We neutralize the play of energized images in the mass entropy of the silent majority.
It makes for a fun read. But do we really have no other choice than being a naive realist or being a sponge?

The Simulacrum According to Deleuze and Guattari
Brian Massumi.
From Copyright no.1, 1987, pp. 90-97.

Click to access REALER%20THAN%20REAL.pdf