Two conceptual writings that I thought of:

July 31, 2006 at 02:17 | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

These are both recipes.

Crouton Sandwich

1.) Put some croutons on a slice of bread.
2.) Put another piece of bread on top of the croutons and bread.
3.) At this point you should cut the sandwich in half if you need to have it cut in half.

Cheese Milkshake

1.) Fill a blender with some milk (any varietal will do).
2.) Turn the blender on high.

3.) Add frozen cheese until desired consistency is achieved (any varietal of cheese will do).

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Performance tonight:

July 29, 2006 at 14:57 | Posted in Documentation of things, new york, Performances/Exhibitions, Things related to critical theory, Things related to John Cage | Leave a comment

Tonight I will be performing in a Cabaret at Tisch. The even is a fundraising benefit. I am going to be performing a piece with a title. The title of the piece is Preeminent words so much you smother.
6:30 at Tisch hall (721 west boradway, in between Washington and Waverly) room 636. Call me if you want to go. Three dollar donation.

I saw Miami Vice:

July 29, 2006 at 14:46 | Posted in Documentation of things, Musings | Leave a comment

There are no cops in Miami that actually live those lives–at least not that I am aware of. The movie had some interesting uses of the “gritty film” look, and I found the sounds used for the gunfights were not the ones you normally hear. Mostly I just revelled in the short clips of the everglades at sunset, and such things. It made me miss Florida a bit.

I love these things:

July 29, 2006 at 14:42 | Posted in Documentation of things | Leave a comment

(there are plenty of ‘things’ that could have been put here, but I’m thinking of a specific one) when I wake up with a phrase repeating in my mind. This morning it was: for those who live a life of the bible, the places where there is a lack of actual bible are filled in by a bible of the mind.
The notion applies to anything, and I’m not sure why I was thinking about the bible so intensely, although the notion of ‘bible’ was not so present as the valence of “…the mind filling in.” What are the implications of a life of totality that is not as preeminent as it posits? What do humans do when the body that they live is not a body that always exists? The are certainly sturtural categorizable mechanisms that take place, as well as radical abstractions that defy the structure.

Theorizing is just fun to me.

Performance Studies (again)…

July 27, 2006 at 04:55 | Posted in Grad school update, Musings, Things related to critical theory | 1 Comment

The Footnotes aren’t here, but this is a brief essay on the function(s) of Performance Studies–as I see it. The citations refer to texts that we read in the Introduction to Performance Studies course.

Performance studies creates an interesting context; it is not that we—as performance studies scholars—observe performance and comment on its attributes in relation to shortcomings, and successes, nor do we observe the audience in order to gauge their knowledge of the work ; the performance studies scholar does not cease analyzing at the visible cessation of performance—does not function strictly as critic. Performance studies draws upon the moment of inception as a means to situate the totality of the structural workings of performance between both performer and performee; we look at the structures that lead up to a specific performance; we examine the (possible) effects of a performance as well as its potentialities in valence; essentially, we try to get at how these microcosmic performances—the atoms of culture—fit into a macrocosmic network of individual bodies and cultures—mediating the metaphysical space between audience and object, performer and object, performer and audience. It is the aim of performance studies to contextualize all that it encounters: it seeks to leave no event, no individual, no group, no thought as an insular instance. In this way it should seem that performance studies is an analytical, purely cerebral beast that seeks to consume the minds of all those foolish enough to attempt to tame it, but it employs a crucial—and sometimes painful—dose of self-awareness: even if the performance studies scholar is not a ‘performer’ in the traditional sense, the performance studies scholar is aware of their own performance; every performance studies scholar is as much a performer as a scholar regardless of whether or not they are engaged in any practice of the traditional notion of performance, and regardless of whether or not they are aware of their performance, thus the cerebral is balanced by the bodily. The performance studies scholar’s mind does not occupy a plane separate from the bodies within performance studies because the scholarly mind, being in the scholarly body, is as much a part of performance as those bodies that it studies; we are always already performing within some structure—grand or small, banal or rococo, beneficial or detrimental, scholarly or base—it is within this performance that we look towards the minds and bodies of humans and cultures in order to elucidate ‘what’s really going on.’ The performance studies scholar, then, focuses on three distinct elements within any performance: dissemination, constitution, and inception. Dissemination is the eventual intake of the performance; inception is the act that creates performance; constitution is the qualification of the performance through its application to governing structures.
Let us begin with dissemination. ‘What’s really going on’ differs depending on whom you ask, and Roland Barthes can be of great help to us here. Barthes’ application of the studium and the punctum illustrates the ways in which we are engaged by performance. As he states in Camera Lucida, “[The studium is an] application to a thing, taste for someone, a kind of general, enthusiastic commitment, of course, but without special acuity,” (26). He continues by elucidating the accompanying aspect of his method for deconstructing our engagement, “[…the punctum] rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me […the] punctum is […] sting, speck, cut, little hole—and also a cast of the dice,” (26-27). What Barthes is showing us is that in performance there is something that we seek out, and this thing—the studium—brings us into the performance, causes us to pay attention to what is going on. Once we are engaged in the performance, though, there is something that we could not predict, that affects us, and initiates a process of contemplation that occupies the space between the self and the object of performance. In this way Barthes shows us that although many people may be attracted to a performance, each will be left with a different impression of it—it will disseminate into everyone differently—for the punctum is the individual’s attempt to mediate the space between self and object, and obviously, each self is different. So, the performance studies scholar must approach performance with this knowledge that every individual will report a different idea of ‘what’s going on’ in a performance, and their analysis must be one that allows for a great deal of flexibility, a situating that can re-situate; the performance studies scholar must seek out the defining mechanisms of a performance so that the performance is not analyzed in regards to an individuals’ punctum, but for the performance’s potentiality of punctumization. In order to do so the performance studies scholar must be ale to consider as many use-values for a performance as is possible.
As Marx defines it in the “Commodities” chapter of The Portable Karl Marx, “ Use-values become a reality only by use or consumption […],” (438). In its application to performance studies this translates to the transient power of the punctum; a performance’s use-value will differ depending on whom you ask about the particular performance, thus the performance studies scholar must operate accordingly. The work that a performance studies scholar does must seek to understand the performance’s system of punctal fecundity; dissemination has no center, not even in its emanation, for the punctum—the site of emanation—is different for everyone, and its potentiality is the whole of the fabric of the studium.
All of the potentialities that take place within a performance equate to that performance’s acquisition of truth, and this acquisition of truth is the performance’s constitution. This is to say, the possibility that a performance will yield some kind of use-value depends on the performance’s ability to align itself with the notions of truth that govern the structure that it takes place within. Alas, truth is a dangerous thing. The performance studies scholar has a duty/drive, yet again, not to discover the singular insular Truth of a performance—as they do not discover a singular punctum—but to expose the potentiality for many truths—akin to the punctal fecundity. In order to better understand this diversification of truth we turn to Badiou, and Derrida.
Through a practice that takes its queue from Derrida we approach any structure as having two opposing unattainable fundamentals—the bounds of the realms of constitution. These fundamentals are—purportedly—attainable states constituting a structure, that come into being through the assumption of the circumstances of the structure to the exclusion of all other potentialities. The very nature of these purportedly attainable states is that they are in fact unattainable, because they are outside of the structure that we avail them through. In his essay Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences Derrida explains, “[…] the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences,” (page 2 in our packet). Thus, every action within a structure appears to us as either fulfillment of the structure’s truth, or a denial of the structure’s truth (or enactment of the radical negative which I will come to later), but always within the structure that Truth constitutes. In acknowledging that an attempt to abide by the law of Truth prevents the fecundity of potentiality, the performance studies scholar can structure their theory and/or performance in a manner that counters the delimiting impositions of an accordance with Truth.
To further understand truth we must assess not only the methods through which it can be deconstructed, but also the process through which we arrive at a construction of Truth. The structure of Truth comes about through an initial action unconscious of the notion of Truth, and that action’s apotheosis with subsequent repetition beneath the banner of Truth. As Badiou refers to it in Infinite Thought, “We must conceive of a [T]ruth both as the construction of a fidelity to an event, and as the genetic potency of a transformation of a domain of knowledge,” (43). For Badiou truth comes about when an event that, in adhering only to the indiscernible forces of action, is aggrandized and treated as the altar/symbol to which subsequent generic actions will aspire.
Both Derrida and Badiou elucidate differing aspects for the deconstruction of the principle of Truth: Badiou shows us how a truth comes into being, and comes to be know as Truth, while Derrida shows us the comedy of our adherence to a center as grounds for Truth, and both point out the crippling nature of the voluntary shackling that occurs when we use aspirations towards Truth to govern action within performance. The theories of Derrida and Badiou converge as Derrida calls for a performance that recognizes the center apotheosizing preface for the conditions of action wherein the whole of the performance is employed in order to demonstrate how it can glorify the presence of the center, and Badiou emphasizes the process of Truth-making highlighting the human misconception of performance as enactment of pre-historic principles, criticizing the overriding glorification of limiting constructs.
In finding the Truth within a structure we can better determine how a performance seeks to either affirm or deny that Truth in its inception. For performance studies the focal binary at work within any kind of structure is one that either affirms or denies the Truths of that structure, thus the performances that affirm the Truth are, as Shoshana Felman puts it, positive, and those that deny them are negative. Both of these actions take place within the structure of the event—as a binary—and affirm its center, even though it seems counterintuitive that the negative should affirm the positive in its denial. Because the negative response operates within the constative realm, under the structures that it denies, it can never be more than a misfired critical response to the center that employs those same means that constitute the center itself; the constative is always beholden to the impositions of truth-asserting, center perpetuating, liminoid-making structure. The radical negative, on the other hand, what Felman refers to in her text The Scandal of the Speaking Body as, “[…an action employed] in order to analyze the [negative] insofar as it is constitutive of the [positive], that is, in order to undo or to explode the very criterion of [Truth],” uses a knowledge of the structure to outperform the structure itself and subverts the Truth’s ability to be the center towards which all things gravitate, or the center from which all things radiate (102). The radical negative is invoked by liminality, empowered by the deconstruction of an event’s center, and manifest in the creation of a new truth. In this way every performance within a structure does one of two things: affirms the structure through reactive/responsive action that is negation, or confirmation of its performative Truth , or it employs the radical negative—the radical negative then creates a rupture in the structure, which spawns new truths and epistemologizes these new truths through their performance—through performativity.
The performative is an object that constitutes its own existence through its performance, refusing to operate within the structure of its constative surroundings; this ideology stems from Austin’s use of the term in specific regards to speech utterances—the performative utterance. While constative statements invoke language as a signifier—the speech that carries them becoming sublimated, the value of the words lying only in their semantic ability—performative statements engage speech as a performance of power capable of affecting the world, downplaying the semantic value of the spoken word in order to engage the indiscernible elements of speaking; as Felman points out, it was not that Don Juan wanted to betray people with falsified constative statements, rather his betrayal to humans was a byproduct of his inability to betray the performativity of the speech act. For Austin the performative is that which refuses to make a constative statement within a structure, and instead constitutes something new, which it refuses to comment on. This refusal is—as Badiou, Turner, and Derrida say—indiscernible, spontaneous, liminal, and outside of the event. In the constative statement the performance places the message before the medium, while in the performative statement the performance places the medium before the message, allowing for the radical negative to take place.
The performative, and the radical negative become crucial concepts within performance studies; they are neither action nor reaction, but inception—for action and reaction stem from objects within the structure, and the radical negative is the inception of structure itself.
So, equipped with our knowledge of the inception of performance, its constitution, and its dissemination we are armed with a definitive mechanism with which we can approach performances in order to contextualize them to the greatest extent—to keep them from insular non-interrelation. The further we can push this mechanism into the thick of a performance the further we can expect interrelation to extend; we trouble the insular.

The sound of culture, and the cultured sound.

July 24, 2006 at 13:48 | Posted in communicative media, Documentation of things, Things related to critical theory, Things related to John Cage | Leave a comment

Cacti or Cactii? How bout neither? It’s because there is no ‘i’ before the ‘u’ in cactus. It’s cactuses–just like octopuses. I bought two cactuses at the Farmers’ market in Union Square, and I am glad to have them next to me when I sit at this oblong location of a dormitory desk that hovers somewhere between the elements of hospital and home.

I just became aware of the website Stasisfield–;: it seems like an interesting thing. While looking at the site I began thinking about what governs my engagement with works of sound. Perceptible structure certainly causes a rebuking response on my part, as I don’t like to be told what to do with music. However, there is some music that doesn’t cause me to react as such–I don’t know what qualifies this ‘acceptable’ structure.

…perhaps a brief manifesto on sound…

Let us not apotheosize John Cage’s contributions to sound as centers from which we derive our notion of music, rather let us make light of his work in lieu of his ideology, and focus on his adherence to structures beyond influence. In structures beyond influence I mean mechanisms for the organization of the parameters of sound (duration, dynamic, position) that are constructed without the possibility of attaining a posited course or outcome because they are not calculated as quantifiable or qualifiable values, rather they are given as value ranges of an inordained–by those personal quests of truth that pervade thorugh music–nature; these structures byeond influence allow for the human architect of object to be haunted by nature. But, do not take these statements as indication that structure is evil, or that it should be abandoned for total anarchy, or a nihilistic confounding of human-in-music. There is always room for those calculated structures that uphold a Truth, and–rightfully–ask us to believe that such a structure is an exercise of the inherent omnipotent value of humans making use of a medium. However, we must recognize that both of these ways of structuring sound are just that–different structures. While they overlap, they remain distinct. Those musical structures that affirm the trace of the human are measures of social cultures that happen to manifest–in this instance–through sound; the human haunts the medium. It is imperative that we recognize that such structuring in sound is socio-cultural in essence, and aural only in its particular taming. Those musical structures that exist in their attempts to evade the Truth of a social culture are exercises wherein the human attempts to become a ghost in the process of the manifesting of sound, and this vanishing act–if successful–becomes a measure of nature’s pervasiveness; nature always already haunts everything, including the human and the medium.

I’m up early on my born day (and more on the body)…

July 22, 2006 at 12:36 | Posted in Musings, Performances/Exhibitions, Process oriented explanations, Things related to John Cage | Leave a comment

to quote Nas. I started a series of recordings today. This series of recordings is titled Quiet New York. As of right now this series consists of binaural sound walks taken at hours when the aural space of lower Manhattan is not so densely occupied.

More on the Body:

Even if one were to assume that the body constituted by one’s flesh, and the point to which that flesh extends into space, is the extent of the human body one then has to consider that the human body is merely an organ, so then what body is the human organ a part of? In this sense the human body is then a part of the Human Body: the entire collection of human bodies as a singular structure. The more egocentric our thinking, the smaller the body is, without doubt. But, when we can begin to think of our individual bodies as organs within a structure we are not so pejorative towards the unabsolute of the self-governance of the body, which I postulate to be the source of an inability to recognize the ‘larger’–to quote Fuller, “The precessional”–organizing principles and executive mechanisms of the Earth-Human life structure. When the body/self is constituted through a reductive means, that is the body/self is organized around the principle of an elimination of undesirable/inconceivable things as part of the body/self, it secedes to the point that there is no body; the structure of self cannot be maintained because self is reduced to the various bodily systems, which are reduced to the organs that compose those systems, et cetera. This notion is a wonderful way to trouble the notion that the borders of the realm of one’s skin constitute one’s body, except that it is usually employed in a manner to support a notion of self wherein the whole of existence is not reduced to nothing–without, within, and through the body, rather the whole of existence is reduced to the point of purported epidermal irrefutability; through reductive means one negotiates what is and is not self to the point that the desirable body/self remains, and thus the body is maintained, through further future reductions, to be that which one desires to be; the fetishized self that is the projected, and delimited manifestation of one’s desires, abstractions, and barrings.

A year ago:

July 21, 2006 at 21:29 | Posted in communicative media, Documentation of things, Grad school update, Musings | Leave a comment

It’s an interesting thing to think about: a year ago I was…? It’s all about rhythm; the more you have the more life makes sense–as far as I’m concerned. A year ago I was working as a bag boy at whole foods in Winter Park, and I had probably just finished my thesis. I was looking forward to a date on my birthday with a lady I met at work. I was riding a bicycle often, I was playing tabla, I was living with the amazing Greg Liebowitz, I was starting to get rid of stufff because I was getting ready to move back to Zeena and Hilliard’s house. I was tidying up my physical appearance, dressing nicer, and cutting my hair–shaving more often also.

We had a discussion about the body in my Dance Studies, Moving Towards Ensemble class. I commented on the fact that our bodies exist far beyond what we recognize–it’s all McLuhan’s externalized evolution business (which was in fact the thoery of Teilhard). Someone contested that technology is not our bodies, “Where do you draw the line then, between what is and isn’t the human body,” I didn’t say it out loud, but in my opinion anything that humans have rendered is part of the human body–quite literally. All that aside, I was thinking about unborn bodies today; at what point does the fetus cease being a part of the mother’s body, and become its own body? And, even after this severance, isn’t the fetus–as it grows into an adult–still part of the mother’s body? And what about its connection to the father’s body, it is less obvious, but there in the core of every human. This requires a lot more thought than my schedule is allowing right now.

I can only think of one other person in my graduate program that could potentially listen to gangster ass rap music. It’s still fun. Grind for that degree.

Bill T. Jones, wow…

July 20, 2006 at 15:41 | Posted in Musings, new york | Leave a comment

I just got done reading some content by/of Bill T. Jones. It is always, for me, a spark of motion to experience a human being’s ability to be enthralled by the grace of living.

I feel like I am getting closer to living effectively in this massive architecture of motion and people and architecture; it is the exchange between self and all that seeks to permeate the self–upon the conflated orbit of governing action, command, and governance itself–that must be balanced in accord with the rhythm of the tides of being a human being in this place.

Abandoning, and other things…

July 19, 2006 at 06:05 | Posted in Documentation of things, Liminal Florida, Musings, new york | Leave a comment

I often wane between whether or not I feel that the blog is a proper place to express my personal dispositions on myself; there is–of course–no static answer.

I find my life in New York–again, of course–moving at a rapid rate. I don’t mean to play into the trite notion of the rat race, rather I aim to focus explicitly on the unmeditative quality of my life since I’ve arrived here. School plays a large part in my ability to contextualize myself within the space I am currently occupying–in a sense of both physical and metaphysical states. I am at odds without driving. The closer I came to departing from Florida and, “A cursed driving life,” the more I realized how integral driving was to my life; I spent a lot of time in the car. I think what I really enjoyed was the flow of information, objects, bodies, space, numbers, and implicities, and the fact that I was sitting down, raised a few feet from the surface of the road (and the earth), flying through space in a literal chariot at a rapid rate; this was a way for me to inundate myself with enough information–taking placve outside of myeself–to induce a lapse in the thinking that otherwise pervades my life. This other thinking is not something specific–nor specific to ‘my’ life–or detrimental, more a detritus that served to mark the passing of my body through time and space; it is the thinking that blankets life both with itself, and with the decay of the bodies–both physical and metaphysical–that it acts upon.

I have decided to relinquish the tabla, perhaps to myself in another time, or perhaps to a body of which I am no part. At first I thought about how it has no priority in my life, and its perpetuation comes solely out of my–self-microcosmic–resilience to institute discipline, and be dedicated to the fruition of a temporally impalpable accomplishment. It didn’t take long for me to see how school easily replaces the tabla. I came to tabla through drumming, and all the while as I practiced I realized that it stood in sharp contrast to my ideologies of telos in sound, for tabla is the zenith of percussive virtuosity its repertoire and subsequent execution a massive muscle of control over mind and body in lieu of exerting force on an object with the knowledge that the force exerted will be met with a familiar–to the point of one’s skin–result; I am not engaged by this at all. I can’t really say why it took me as long as it has–and a trip to India–to realize this. However, I can say that the process of abandonment is the process of discovering more about one’s complicated inner-mechanics; there is no abandonment that does not rise out of–and in some removed way connote–a deeper knowledge of what constitutes the body, in its accordance of the world that it is within, and the world as it is within.

I hope that I did not offend Danielle Goldman today.

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