Sunday, January 23, 2005

 
"Then as now, the "attraction" was a term of the fairground, and for Eisenstein and his friend Yuketvich it primarily represented their favorite fairground attraction, the roller coaster, or as it was known then in Russia, the American Mountains."
--Tom Gunning, "The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde," in Robert Stam and Toby Miller, Eds., Film and Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), 232.[1]

The little nuggets of hilarious shit one stumbles across in academia just make my day sometimes...

School is going to be intense this semester. Grundmann has declared Film Theory to be mostly a reading class, meaning we can multiply his usual heavy workload by two, and that's before we get to Avant-Garde 4 (which should be fairly brilliant, by the way--the first film we watched was Brakhage's The Act Of Seeing With One's Own Eyes, which is essentially a half hour of watching corpses be cut up on the autopsy table and a perfect way to kick things off if you ask me). I have a stack of printouts an inch thick; this covers the first two weeks. Fuck.

My 20th Century American Poetry class should be interesting, although I think I'm in a bit over my head... I haven't read any Whitman or Dickinson or Blake or Yeats or Keats, at least not in a meaningful way. We're starting with Wallace Stevens, who is blowing my mind. A sample:

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.


Ridiculous, serious, bawdy, beautiful... I really appreciate an artist, especially a poet, who can be playful and sincere in the same poem... I'll shut up before I get weepy.

Exercise your CLICKCLICKCLICK:
today's theme = audio enema
ONE ubuweb. Holy fucking shit--massive, mindblowingly huge site of cool shit in a million flavors. Take the sound section for example: "Categories include Dadaism, Futurism, early 20th century literary experiments, musique concrete, electronic music, Fluxus, Beat sound works, minimalist and process works, performance art, plunderphonics and sampling, and digital glitch works, to name just a few. As the practices of sound art continue to evolve, categories become increasingly irrelevant, a fact UbuWeb embraces. Hence, our artists are listed alphabetically instead of categorically." And there's more! Poetry, a collection of outsider art (I can recommend the 365 Days Project as particularly insane), experimental radio, conceptual writing... I'm deathly afraid of exploring this website right now because I don't know if I'll ever be able to escape.
TWO V/Vm - the owls are not what they seem. "The sound of Twin Peaks edited and condensed into a seven inch." Perhaps sounds a bit more interesting than it is, but it's creepy and I like it.
THREE Electronic Music: History and Aesthetics of Popular Music Since the 1960s. "From the tape-splicing and studio-craft that are now part and parcel of popular music production to the increasingly central and creative role played by DJs in the transmission and performance of music, electronic music—i.e., music produced, performed, and mediated via electronic technologies—has suffered from an absence in the public conversation at the same time that it has enjoyed a certain ubiquity. When discussion does turn to electronic music and its various subjects, the discourse reveals a range of assumptions about technology and musicianship, ownership and community, social change and cultural continuity, to name a few. This course aims to illuminate the many ways that electronic technologies have shaped popular music production and consumption over the last fifty years, shaping selves (and often others) in the process."
FOUR Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Paranoia and the Technological Sublime in Drum and Bass Music. The title makes me giggle like a little girl. A little girl who turns into a man-eating vagina monster when she hears da hott jungla beatz.

Attention span... totally done. More later.
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