Archive for May, 2012

hysterical system


The monetary signifier is one of semblance, which rests on social conventions. the financial universe is an architecture made of fictions and its keystone is what Lacan called a “subject supposed to know”, to know why and how. Who plays this part? The concert of authorities, from where sometimes a voice is detached, Alan Greenspan, for example, in his time. The financial players base their behaviour on this. The fictional and hyper-reflexive unit hold by “belief” in the authorities, i.e. through the transference to the subject supposed to know. If this subject falters, there is a crisis, a falling apart of the foundations, which of course involves effects of panic. However, the financial subject supposed to know was already quite subdued because of deregulation. And this happened because the financial world believed itself, in its infatuated delusion, to be able to work things out without the function of the subject supposed to know. Firstly, the real state assets become waste. Secondly, gradually shit permeates everything. Thirdly, there is a gigantic negative transfer vis-à-vis the authorities; the electric shock of the Paulson/Bernanke plan angers the public: the crisis is one of trust; and it will last till the subject supposed to know is reconstructed. This will come in the long term by way of a new set of Bretton Woods accords, a council enjoined to speak the truth about the truth.

Jacques-Alain Miller The Financial Crisis IN: Slavoj Zizek First As Tragedy, Then As Farce


Structures and Forms


We live in a world populated by structures – a complex mixture of geological, biological, social, and linguistic constructions that are nothing but accumulations of materials shaped and hardened by history. Immersed as we are in this mixture, we cannot help but interact in a variety of ways with the other historical constructions that surround us, and in these interactions we generate novel combinations, some of which possess emergent properties. In turn, these synergistic combinations, whether of human origin or not, become the raw material for further mixtures. This is how the population of structures inhabiting our planet has acquired its rich variety, as the entry of novel materials into the mix triggers wild proliferations of new forms.

Manuel De Landa A Thousand Years Of Nonlinear History

Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland


Lello Bookshop, Porto




In his An Anecdoted Topography of Chance Daniel Spoerri sets out to describe all of the objects on his table – “what they might suggest to me, what they might spontaneously awaken in me in describing them: the way Sherlock Holmes, starting out with a single object, could solve a crime […]; or historians, after centuries, were able to reconstitute a whole epoch from the most famous fixation in history, Pompeii.”

Thus exhibit 28a Wine Stain relates to exhibit 28 Glass of Wine (that the author is in the process of drinking but always puts back to its original position:


Liter of Vin des Rochers*

bought on the Rue Mouffetard this morning from my regular wine dealer, who calls me the “gentleman with the deep voice” and says from time to time: “With what I have seen in this place, I could write a novel stretching from here to Place Maubert.”** The Liter cost 1 franc and 65 centimes plus 30 centimes deposit, and with it I received a free chance on, among other things, an automobile.*** The bottle is still half full, and I am in the process of finishing it now. (Nos. 25, 28, 28a.)****

Author’s Original Note

* On the label is the following data: “11% / Vin des Rochers / Lines your stomach with velvet / I guarantee this wine is made from wholesome and dependably pure juice / (illegible signature) / registered trademark / Jules Leonelli & Co.”

Author’s Additional Note

** I erred. It wasn’t the wine dealer who said “With what I’ve seen in this place I could write a novel stretching from here to Place Maubert,” Tr. No. 1, but Georges Rodier, proprietor of Les Cinq Billards cafe at Place de la Contrescsarpe (See No. 70). An American, Joe Chapeau, set me straight on this point. He is called Joe Chapeau because of the filthy Spanish cowboy hat he always wears, which probably serves him as a source of inspiration for the delicate romantic portraits he paints. Just this morning Monsieur George expanded the philosophical observation of one of his customers, Camille, that “Life is a shit sandwich” with: “Yes, and we take a bite every day.”

Translator’s Note 1

From Place de la Contrescarpe, the ever more fashionable haunt of bohemians at the top of the Rue Mouffetard, that dingy but animated crooked street of markets and stalls, more picturesque than hygienic, to Place Maubert, called a “cesspool” by Erasmus but today only a drab and banal annex to the more exotic quarters of which it forms the axis, is .44 miles: a pleasant downhill walk along the Rue Descartes past the Esperanto bookshop, the house where Verlaine died, a Chinese grocery store, the rear enclosing walls of the Lycée Henri IV, the backside of St Étienne-du-Mont (where Racine is buried), across the Rue Clovis (with the remains of the city walls), then down the Rue de la Montagne-Ste-Geneviève past the Polytechnic Institute, several lesbian bars and Vera’s apartment.

Author’s Original Note

*** “Vin des Rochers / free lottery / Series L, No. 712017 / Drawing Nov. 30, 1961.”

Author’s Original Note

**** Raymond Hains, after reading the manuscript, astonished by this reference to Vins des Rochers, one entire evening developed for my benefit a whole train of ideas that I jotted down on a dozen cards which I have still lost. All I can remember is that he started out with an analysis of an essay by Etiemble, “Paul Claudel et les Vins des Rochers,” to which he wanted to reply in an article to be entitled “Etiemble et la Purée Soma,” and that he passed in review Sartre, Gide and all literature. (for anyone interested, his address is 26 Rue Delambre, Paris 14.) Tr. Note 2.

Translator’s Note 2

To unfathom this note, I sought out Hains ant a party and attempted to communicate to him the following data: (a) that the rocher is the petrosal bone, and (b) that in the volume La réalité dépasse la fiction, ou l’humour en liberté, by Albert Aycard and Jacqueline Franck (Gallimard 1955), there is a photograph on the wall covered with a large poster advertising Claudel dairy products, “Normandy’s best” (Hains is from Normandy, and the author and I several years ago spent a night in St. Brieuc in a vain attempt to locate him), next to which is pasted an advertisement for the film version of Paul Claudel’s Le Père Humilié starring Maria Casarès. After the party Hains and I walked about the Left Bank until 8 a.m. discussing the subject, but I must confess that, like Spoerri in the foregoing note, I wasn’t able to recall a single point when I attempted to write about it the next day.



In the following excerpt, Spoerri introduces ‘Poipoi’ which really points to the nature of the undertaking:


On box No. 34

a bottle of Tuborg beer, grade FF, the label of which has been replaced by a facsimile of the original doctored up to read “Koepcke Poipoi, Filliou,” because it was used at the opening of Filliou’s Poipoi exhibition in Copenhagen.*

Author’s Original Note

* “Somewhere in Africa, I was told, when two persons meet they ask each other: How is your cow? … And how is your field? … And how is your oldest son? … And how is your house? … and so on, reviewing in this way all their possessions until one of them says:


to which the other answers


Then they break off, and at times start all over again.

“What I’m presenting here is the result of meetings with myself: how is my chair? … how are my numbers? … how are my buttocks of Brigitte Bardot? … how are my passengers of the Caravelle? … how is my thirty-second thought of Pascal? … how am I? … how is my man in revolt? … all this to end with a POIPOI, something taking care, more or less, for the time being, of the unanswered question – while I (we) break off.


All these excerpts from Daniel Spoerri An Anecdoted Topography of Chance (Re-Anecdoted Version) done with the help of his very dear friend Robert Filliou and translated from the French, and further anecdoted at random by their very dear friend Emmett Williams with one hundred reflective illustrations by Topor.

Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum


Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, Soweto, by Mashebane Rose Architects












The museum was built to commemorate the Soweto uprisings, of which 12 year old Hector Pieterson was the first of hundreds of students killed by the police in 1976. The uprisings marked a turning point in resistance to the apartheid state as the youth took over from their more conservative parents.

mirrored city


I am picturing a sprawling metropolis with glass and steel buildings that reach to the sky, reflect it, reflect each other and reflect you – a city filled with people steeped in their own image who rush about with overdone make-up on and who are cloaked in gold, pearls, and fine leather, while in the next street over, heaps of filth abound and drugs accompany the sleep or the fury of the local outcasts. This city could be New York; it could be any future metropolis, even your own. What might one do in such a city? Nothing but buy and sell goods and images, which amounts to the same thing, since they are both dull, shallow symbols. Those who can or wish to preserve a lifestyle that downplays opulence as well as misery will need to create a space for an ‘inner zone’ – a secret garden, an intimate quarter, or more simply and ambitiously, a psychic life.

Julia Kristeva Les Nouvelles Maladies de l’ame (trans. In Times Like These, Who Needs Psychoanalysts?)





The Old Meatmarket, Bellgrove, Glasgow




Francesca Woodman Self Deceit # 1



Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still no.14. 1978



Cristina Iglesias Untitled (1993-97)