Friday, December 3, 2010

Shrunken Heads.

I want to direct folks to a very interesting post today on Isola di Rifiuti. And before I get down to my own "baby in the milk, " I think I should should just express some sort of bemusedness. This post poses an interesting question for the contempary, if more flat-footed, of today's literary sojourners, and you'll have to excuse my lack of rhetorical verve, but I'm going to attempt some form of contextualisation. Since John Latta has been more or less an advocate of Kent Johnson's recent projects, I now detect, from this very post, and in terms of "lineage", and the scare-quotes are because of the sillimanics of the web, that Latta proposes, but in certain terms (of course!) a revival of a sort, of literary pataphysics! Latta is very sly by touching on terror,
the scientific, and the most pataphysical thing, which oddly, I oddly, I also used just recently, something which is very sly rhetorically, or well, to me, irronic, the meaning of discontent as 'without content', something very clearly Pataphysical. Jarry himself once said the self itself was (to paraphrase) a "fountain of masks", or if you move to (god, do I know what I am talking about?) Neo-Platonism? "A play of appearances" ~ahem (begging some intellectual pataphysical compression in my referential lacking).. It gets put into the narrative register: Stories. One can take this kind of thing out to the largest limb, and there you meet up with some very odd and unsavory monkeys, Republicans? Yes. Conspiracy Theorists? Yes. Post-Modern Left-Wing Philosophers? Yes. It's a branch that is, let us say, 'heavy with jaw' or perhaps we should just call it



I think a contemporary Pataphysics is already going on in certain circles, and forms one of the basic reflexes of both the arts, and the sciences, and the social, at various levels. Pataphysics is part of the non-linear equationality of molar-aggregational-will, a Deleuzian twist, no doubt, but one which History itself follows.
History is a weird equation. Words, and therefore "news" as the fetish of nous, is like some "noisy story" people half-follow, as in a dream... Look at the Jarry sculpure: Split Processing, Split Attention. The Labrys
is both a reality, a technique, and a emblematics of consciousness' ambivalence, and about our world as perhaps, a form of 'Amphivalence' or even "Amphibulence".. The pataphysical fib being a 'phib'..
Our thoughts, our thinkings themselves, only actually 'anthropomorphic' ..
We are physics trying, pretending, to be human.. Our brains put us into a weirder category. Pataphysics is an expression of the anthropological moment of our Modern Epistemological conundrum. We see purposes for atavisms. Atavisms have uses, and alot of them are selfish.

The baby in my milk, would be something like a kinthetic sculpture, I mispelled kinetic, but kinthetic  or even kinaesthetic seems even better..

Make a statue something along the lines of Zadkine's Jarry, but with the posture something closer to Rodin's Thinker.

The actual face of the statue would be kinetic topology made of tiny pixellized pylonics, sort of like one of those needle boxes you can put your face or hand in, like one of those things from "Spencer's Gifts" one sees at one's rich stoner friend's house, the guy who had a haircut like the guy from 'The Cure' or whatever.. :)

but the hand, the hand is like a hot wax patty dispenser and the face is connected to a powerful computer
which makes random 'faces'.. then the little masks are available freely. They lay in a little pile.

It reminds me of a news blurb I read yesterday. I think this fits rather nicely:
From "Science Daily"

Reading, Writing, and Face Recognition

Reading, not to mention writing and texting, is a relatively recent invention, and hence it is believed that a preliterate brain must adapt on the fly, so to speak, in learning how to process written words, rather than being able to rely upon evolutionarily ancient modifications of the visual system pathways. Dehaene et al. (p. 1359, published online 11 November) examined the neural response to a range of visual stimuli in three groups: illiterate adults, adults who learned to read as children, and adults who learned to read as adults. Reading induced a greater facility in processing horizontally oriented stimuli at early stages in the visual pathway and was also associated with the appearance of an area specialized for words. This gain of function appeared to occur at a cost—the area in the temporal cortex devoted to face processing shrank.

The only other Jarry news I can think of is that during a poetry class with James Hoggard sometime
in the 90's I believe he told our class about attending a performance of UBU in Paris where they used giant puppets! I was so jealous I could have spit!

That just sounds fun!


  1. interesting note about the displacement of face processing by language acquisiton! the development of written language in human culture also affected the acuity of memory. marshall mcluhan wrote some interesting things about this back in the 60s. very interesting sculpture. kind of reminds me a bit of stanislav szukalski's work, or a bit like the italian futurist stuff. bike "surfing".

  2. Enjoyed that, the Isolo De Refutti (sp, sp,) post and yours. Being uneducated is such a wondermaker. Reading up on le pataphysique I think I find some fellow thought - a person can't get to any good solutions via the normal channels these days, anyway. gone is the time when thinking of triangles and bits of things that are bits of things gets you a scratch on the steenking feeencepoost of heestorey. I mean, shit, I think of triangles a lot.

    The sillimanics of the web! I go there all the time to see what the smart set doth, and leave generally without reading a loth. (awg!)(what is WRONG with me?)

    My little website barely registers a sillionth of a (drops joke and backs away, doing that thing cats do when they smell under your toes for the first time - well, my cat - kind of a wrinkled tiger face of interested dismay)

    Nous news noise.

    A pleasure it was to read things and smaller parts of things here today - thank you. And now more coffee.



Irrony Observes The Earthing.