Locked out of Heaven


“It’s an old tradition that dates back to the Ottoman empire and now only exists in a handful of hidden cafes in Istanbul. One is pictured almost completely obliterated by ivy, with only a hint of an iron gate to suggest an entrance. Inside are subtle signs that these are bird cafes: hooks on walls, the occasional picture.

…The photographic story begins at night with mysterious views of bushes, brightly lit as if by car headlights. A man sits waiting, contemplating; another looks up at the night sky. As dawn breaks one man is seen digging next to a tree, another hangs nets, and these actions taken out of context seem ritualistic. The most treasured birds are caught in the wild, not bred, apparently because their song is all the more complex when it has been learned naturally.”



but how does each blue see the other blues?



“how to measure ‘blueness’? Using suspensions of Prussian blue, Saussure dyed paper squares every shade of blue he could distinguish between white and black. These were assembled into a numbered colour circle that could be held up to the zenith at a standard distance from the eye – the matching square established the degree of blue.”

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archive images from Land Art Mongolia 3rd Biennial, HS 2014 uurga-irregularloop.com


Ideas of Savage Reason: Martin Holbraad x Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

another sketch to do with perspectivism HS 2012 or ’13

excerpts from http://www.glass-bead.org/article/ideas-of-savage-reason-glass-bead-in-conversation-with-martin-holbraad-and-eduardo-viveiros-de-castro/

Anthropology becomes a game with no superior arbiter or impartial umpire, a game whose rules change as the game goes on.

‘Ontology,’ as far as anthropology as an ontologically comparative endeavor is concerned, starts from, and with, the methodological principle according to which we do not know what being is without having first engaged in ethnographic (ontographic) fieldwork. ‘Ontology’ thus becomes an ‘outdoor science’ like field ecology or natural history.

One way to go beyond the Nature/Culture dualism that has been plaguing us since the dawn of Modernity is to thoroughly reconceptualize the notion ofSupernature along non-Western, non-scholastic, non-Christian lines.

Maniglier suggests that what physics has represented to all the other natural sciences and, more importantly, to philosophy as well (from metaphysics to political philosophy to ethics) since the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century—namely, the role of a Model, a sort of epistemic Ego-ideal—is bound to be played by anthropology in the present century.

That is simply the decision of refusing to decide, much less legislate, as to which ontological regime is better or truer, e.g., is it humanism or anti/trans/post-humanism? Our job as anthropologists, according to this image, is to find ways not to decide on these things, in order the better to be able to allow the materials we study—our ethnographic exposures –to decide, as it were, for themselves.

“the politics of ontography resides not only in the ways in which it may help promote certain futures, but also in the way that it ‘figurates’ the future in its very enactment.”

Mitya, Ivan, Alyosha

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Flat Time House Archives

Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

the book on Project Gutenberg

• Mitya (MA) appears to offer a random selection of documents in the form of a slideshow.

• Ivan (IA) is a highly structured index of terms from controlled vocabularies allowing faceted searching.

• Alyosha (AA) is an intuitive search tool which is based on Latham’s time-bases as described using sound by David Toop.

Flat Time Theory

Batammaliba body house.jpg

Last week I went to Flat Time House the once-home of artist John Latham (1921–2006) to meet with director Gareth Bell-Jones. The building now houses Latham’s archives and in many senses it embodies the cosmology the late artist proselytized and inhabited. Not unlike West African Batammaliba architecture, Flat Time House literally presents itself as a (social) body replete with ‘mouth’, ‘digestive system’, ‘brain’ and a ‘mind’ – the sunlit front room – choreographed to ensnare unsuspecting visitors in Latham’s dense philosophical dialogue. When he was alive the artist was known for his dynamic but often opaque and rambling mode of explaining the world through his work, and this tendency survives him in the concretized objects and diagrams that continue to populate the Mind and Brain of Flat Time House where Latham’s archives are kept.

Gareth had promised me ‘his version’ of a tour through these inner workings, and I went with a specific interest in learning more about Flat Time Theory, which I have come to understand as Latham’s proposition for a new conceptualization of reality, drafted with the utopian premise of shattering binary oppositions between subjects and objects by presenting All Things horizontally on a canvas of the artists own creation. The Flat Time Canvas, a sort of hyper-object, prioritizes the temporal dimension of things and – according to Latham – if one is able to experience all objects as durations in time, this lends them an equivalence without hierarchy, drawing them into undeniable relation with each another.

The tour was particularly satisfying because Latham’s works – which otherwise camouflage themselves fairly well in a more anonymous gallery context as straightforward ‘sculptures’ and ‘paintings’ – took on the role of performers or integral narrative props that literalised what might otherwise have been an indigestibly dense burrow through the diverse realms of influence that contribute to Latham’s cosmology. The point here is I suppose that, true to form, ‘flat time’ cannot be encapsulated in any single object or static sketch—moreover the objects that inhabit this world are not compliant representations that can be ‘explained’ or made sense of in isolation or through simple definition and it is therefore only in time, and probably only through some form of dialogical performance, that Flat Time might begin to unfurl itself and (if only for a fleeting instant) become legible. Perhaps this legibility then corresponds to Latham’s ‘Least Event’, discovered by the experimental spray-painting of a neighbor’s fence, the smallest possible action or moment in time that might refer equally to a single atom or an atomic explosion on a global scale. The Least Event exists inside the Mind as a one-second drawing made with spray paint, and again as a blank white canvas, alongside the Zero Event (materialized as a corresponding plane of glass). These are but two reiterating characters in a glossary that bifurcates the closer you look.

I’ve been particularly curious to discover the degree to which Flat Time, and Latham’s approach to mapping this 4D diagrammatic system, might correlate with the way I’ve been dealing with animal traps as durational objects and systematic assemblages, made of tendencies and capacities that relate to the umwelt (the sensory environment) of an animal. Traps are compelling and useful, in that they shed light on environmental relations in the context where they’re set, and have a tendency to invert general and personal assumptions regarding perspective, geometry and time. These inversions are, I suppose, a large part of what an Anthropology of Other Animals might really be about, particularly through the extended challenge that they pose to our collective reliance upon thinking of ourselves as humans in opposition to animals, subjects in an objective world, sentient beings in the context of an un-sensing material landscape, etc.

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