Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Juan Downey

"The universe is not an assemblage of independent parts, but an overlapping, interrelated system of energy."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sunday, June 29, 2014

And, as the Cock crew,
those who stood before The Tavern shouted
"Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."
Omar Khayyam

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Truth & Goodness

Truth and goodness are siblings in beauty -- the philosopher must possess just as much aesthetic power as the poet. Those without aesthetic sense are our pedantic philosophers. [Buchstabenphilosophen].
Hegel, Hölderlin and Schelling, 'Das älteste Systemprogramm' (1796-97)

Criticism

Criticism is a matter of the right distance.
Walter Benjamin

Thursday, November 1, 2012

LXXI

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
    And after many days my Soul return'd
And said, "Behold, Myself am Heav'n and
          Hell:"
(from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Only those are free who are free from the values of the establishment. And that's what anarchism is all about.
(from forward by Barnett Newman for "Memoirs of a Revolutionist" by Kropotkin)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1 Image 1 Minute


Seventh grade at Alavi High School, Tehran, Iran, (on the far right)

(Excerpt from my Ghost Stories)

Upon Beatrice leaving, childhood ended. She was seen chasing trains, running down concrete steps in high heels, and occasionally breaking one. Her presents were stored in a suitcase in the basement. He was beautiful when young. His volumes were fatal poetry, never ending, and in the end were lost. She never came back to him. Merely a child, chanting Koranic verses, running animals on projectors. He fell to angels not long after capturing these blurry faces—seventh year and twelve? With Beatrice, set sail by way of a lone wind, avoiding scrutiny and inquiry of his stunning locks and her ether. Fierceness in Rejection, Growless Rejecting.

HK Zamani
2010

Thursday, June 4, 2009

AlterMODERN
 MANIFESTO

ALTERMODERN
 MANIFESTO
POSTMODERNISM IS DEAD


A new modernity is emerging, reconfigured to an age of globalisation – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodern culture


Increased communication, travel and migration are affecting the way we live 


Our daily lives consist of journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe


Multiculturalism and identity is being overtaken by creolisation: Artists are now starting from a globalised state of culture


This new universalism is based on translations, subtitling and generalised dubbing


Today's art explores the bonds that text and image, time and space, weave between themselves


Artists are responding to a new globalised perception. They traverse a cultural landscape saturated with signs and create new pathways between multiple formats of expression and communication.


The Tate Triennial 2009 at Tate Britain presents a collective discussion around this premise that postmodernism is coming to an end, and we are experiencing the emergence of a global altermodernity.


Extended text
Travel, cultural exchanges and examination of history are not merely fashionable themes, but markers of a profound evolution in our vision of the world and our way of inhabiting it.
More generally, our globalised perception calls for new types of representation: our daily lives are played out against a more enormous backdrop than ever before, and depend now on trans-national entities, short or long-distance journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe.
Many signs suggest that the historical period defined by postmodernism is coming to an end: multiculturalism and the discourse of identity is being overtaken by a planetary movement of creolisation; cultural relativism and deconstruction, substituted for modernist universalism, give us no weapons against the twofold threat of uniformity and mass culture and traditionalist, far-right, withdrawal.
The times seem propitious for the recomposition of a modernity in the present, reconfigured according to the specific context within which we live – crucially in the age of globalisation – understood in its economic, political and cultural aspects: an altermodernity.
If twentieth-century modernism was above all a western cultural phenomenon, altermodernity arises out of planetary negotiations, discussions between agents from different cultures. Stripped of a centre, it can only be polyglot. Altermodernity is characterised by translation, unlike the modernism of the twentieth century which spoke the abstract language of the colonial west, and postmodernism, which encloses artistic phenomena in origins and identities.
We are entering the era of universal subtitling, of generalised dubbing. Today's art explores the bonds that text and image weave between themselves. Artists traverse a cultural landscape saturated with signs, creating new pathways between multiple formats of expression and communication.
The artist becomes 'homo viator', the prototype of the contemporary traveller whose passage through signs and formats refers to a contemporary experience of mobility, travel and transpassing. This evolution can be seen in the way works are made: a new type of form is appearing, the journey-form, made of lines drawn both in space and time, materialising trajectories rather than destinations. The form of the work expresses a course, a wandering, rather than a fixed space-time.
Altermodern art is thus read as a hypertext; artists translate and transcode information from one format to another, and wander in geography as well as in history. This gives rise to practices which might be referred to as 'time-specific', in response to the 'site-specific' work of the 1960s. Flight-lines, translation programmes and chains of heterogeneous elements articulate each other. Our universe becomes a territory all dimensions of which may be travelled both in time and space.
The Tate Triennial 2009 presents itself as a collective discussion around this hypothesis of the end of postmodernism, and the emergence of a global altermodernity.

Nicolas Bourriaud

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Samuel Beckett

But our particular friends were the rats, that dwelt by the stream. They were long and black. We brought them such tidbits from our ordinary as rinds of cheese, and morsels of gristle, and we brought them also birds’ eggs, and frogs, and fledgelings. Sensible of these attentions, they would come flocking round us at our approach, with every sign of confidence and affection, and glide up our trouserlegs, and hang upon our breasts. And then we would sit down in the midst of them, and give them to eat, out of our hands, of a nice fat frog, or a baby thrush. Or seizing suddenly a plump young rat, resting in our bosom after its repast, we would feed it to its mother, or its father, or its brother, or its sister, or to some less fortunate relative.
It was on these occasions, we agreed, after an exchange of views, that we came nearest to God.
–Watt

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rene Daumal

Poetry by Rene Daumal - Last Letter to his Wife

I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Erased

For the Erased exhibit

Time split in springs and gears and stained its musty raft. She missed her and he missed her and they tore the last of it, and found the fief of vapor in barren requiem fields, and pushed musty wheels of Xerxes delicately stitched to the folds in his cloak and hands.

HK Zamani
May 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ode to a Star by Neruda

Appearing at night
on the terrace
of a bitter and very high skyscraper,
I could touch the nocturnal dome
and in an act of extraordinary love
I seized a sky-blue star.

The night was black
and I slipped along
the street
with the stolen star in my pocket.
Of tremulous crystal
it seemed,
and suddenly
it was
as if I was carrying
a package of ice,
or an archangel’s sword at my belt.

Fearful,
I kept it
under the bed
so nobody would discover it,
but its light
first pierced through
the woolen mattress,
then
the tiles,
the roof of my house.

The most private needs
became
uncomfortable
for me.

Always with that light
of astral acetylene
flashing like it wanted
to return to the night,
I couldn’t tend to all
my duties,
and so I forgot to pay my bills
and wound up without bread or provisions.

Meanwhile, in the street,
passerby milled around,
worldly
vendors
doubtless attracted
by the unusual brilliance
they saw coming from my window.

Then
I picked up
my star again,
carefully
wrapped it in my handkerchief,
and disguised among the crowd
I could pass unrecognized.

I went west,
to the Green River,
for there under the willows
it was calm.

I took the star of the cold night
and gently
cast it unto the waters.

And I wasn’t surprised
that it floated away
like an insoluble fish
moving
in the night of the river
its diamond body.

(Thank you Marcy!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Rose

The rose is without reason; it blooms because it blooms; it considers nothing of itself, asks not, whether one sees it.
from Angelus Silesius, The Cherubinic Wanderer, 1675--the opening quotation to Gerald Giamportone's catalogue.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Robert Irwin














Primaries

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poetry

Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song. (Borges)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Untitled

The hand of the day opens
Three clouds
And these few words
(Octavio Paz)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seduction of a Blossom

Faust is an alchemical drama from beginning to end, claims C.G. Jung. Goethe worked for most of his life on this masterwork. The original figure in the Faust legend was a seeker of forbidden knowledge. His true identity is not known, but he claimed to be an astrologer, expert in magic, and an alchemist. This legend attracted Christopher Marlowe, who offered in his play a psychological study of the battle between good and evil. Marlowe's drama ends with the protagonist's damnation. Faust's lust for knowledge is limitless and he makes a contract with Mephistopheles. Faust wants to enjoy his highest moment in this life. In Goethe’s version the blind Faust is finally satisfied. However, Mephistopheles loses his victory, when angels take Faust to heaven.

“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven be in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.” (Marlowe)

One of the play's central themes is the clash between the medieval world and the world of the emerging Renaissance. The medieval world placed God at the center of existence and shunted aside man and the natural world. The Renaissance was a movement that began in Italy in the fifteenth century and soon spread throughout Europe, carrying with it a new emphasis on the individual, on classical learning, and on scientific inquiry into the nature of the world. In the medieval academy, theology was the queen of the sciences. In the Renaissance, though, secular matters took center stage. Faustus, despite being a magician rather than a scientist explicitly rejects the medieval model. He resolves, in full Renaissance spirit, to accept no limits, traditions, or authorities in his quest for knowledge, wealth, and power. It is tempting to see in Faustus—as many readers have—a hero of the new modern world, a world free of God, religion, and the limits that these imposed on humanity. Faustus may pay a medieval price, but his successors will go further than he and suffer less, as we have in modern times. On the other hand, the disappointment and mediocrity that follow Faustus's pact with the devil, as he descends from grand ambitions to petty conjuring tricks, might suggest a contrasting interpretation. Marlowe may be suggesting that the new, modern spirit, though ambitious and glittering, will lead only to a Faustian dead end.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ruskin

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one. ( John Ruskin)

Friday, December 12, 2008