If one wants teamwork he should join the army... Coum, Treister, Smithson

Suzanne Treister Hexen 2.0 Tarot

One way to describe thee moment we wish to capture in our actions is this. Imagine an average living room in a house, probably in a city in Europe. In this room are two people. A man and a woman as it happens, but it could be two men, or two women, ages are not important. They are only figures with no attachment, no specific identity. They sit watching a television set. Black and white. An old film is playing, late at night. In thee Television studio thee old film snaps unexpectedly. A technician pushes aside his coffee and switches to a contingency card apologising for thee loss of picture. This takes only a second, an immeasurable moment. In thee living room there is a moment also. A moment when thee film has stopped, but thee two peoples brains have not registered it has gone, yet thee last visual picture is ended, and thee brain has also not registered thee arrival of new information in thee form of thee contingency card. For this moment neither brain is registering anything, it is too tiny in a way to be accepted as existing, yet in a strange way, it must exist. This moment is what we are interested in with coum.
This moment in time is also thee exact moment when one is neither asleep or awake, thee moment directly before coumplete death when one’s life is said to totally pass before one, both fantasy life, and parafantastical life. Thee moment after/before, or, residual appreciation.



Dear Mr. Gyorgy Kepes,

I have reconsidered the context of the exhibition* and feel that my art will not fit. To celebrate the power of technology through art strikes me as a sad parody of NASA. I do not share the confidence of the astronauts. The rationalism and logic of the engineer is too self-assured. Art aping science turns into a cultural malaise.The righteousness of "team spirit" is no solution for art. Technology promises a new kind of art, yet its very program excludes the artist from his own art. The optimism of technical progress results in political despair. To many artists of Brazil technology and politics reflect each other. All the "fancy junk" of science cannot hide the void. I am sick of "lighting candles," I want to know what the "darkness" is, I don't "curse" it or praise it, but I know it is there. As rockets go to the moon the darkness around the Earth grows deeper and darker. The "team spirit" of the exhibition could be seen as endorsement of NASA's Mission Operations Control Room with all its crew- cut teamwork. Some Brazilians see the "advances" of technology as a military byproduct. I am withdrawing from the show because it promises nothing but a distraction amid the general nausea. If technology is to have any chance at all, it must become more self-critical. If one wants teamwork he should join the army. A panel called "What's Wrong with Technological Art" might help.

*The United States section of the x Sao Paulo Bienale, September through December 1969, presented by the International Art Program of the National Collection of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Visual Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A group composed of Fellows of the Center was responsible for the development of the exhibition, under the direction of the Center's director, Gyorgy Kepes 

Robert Smithson, “Letter to Gyorgy Kepes (1969)” in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, Jack Flam, ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 369.

donald rumsfeld is a moon child and i respect that...

the woman reading might well be reading the horoscope of louis philippe poire what’s up LP? you are currently dealing with a situation that is riddled with unquantifiable unknowns this is starting to sound like rumsfeld just like rumsfeld reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me because as i know there are known knowns there are things i know we know i also know there are known unknowns i know there are some things we do not know not to mention there are unknown unknowns the ones i don't know we don't know donald was born on july 9 making him a cancer i don’t mean that ironically he’s not so bad but systemic rot is not the same as a few bad apples people born under cancer are called moon children donald is a moon child and i respect that i get all my astrological information from wikipedia  and i’ve been noticing that some astrological signs have extensive pages  and others are quite bare meaning perhaps one thing we can say is that some astrological signs are just not into editing wiki pages i can’t tell you why but i will tell you that apparently people born under cancer can  

I) if you're not that into horoscopes 
II) donald rumsfeld is a moonchild and I respect that 
III) amazon is incorporated 
IV) the hamburger is going into retirement

Heavy is the head that wears the crown i.e. Nevada may have laughed, but now Samsung is laughing at Nevada; Dodge, Lavier, Steinbach...

 Haim Steinbach, charm of tradition, 1985

Bertrand Lavier, Beaunotte/Nevada, 1989 

Jason Dodge, Darkness Falls on Wolkowyja 74, 38-613 Polanczyk, Poland, 2005, 
all of the light bulbs, candles, matches, and anything that illuminates 
are taken from a house at the edge of a forest in Poland, 2005

A current of organic life surges from these communal groups -- which share a common destiny -- to their ornaments, endowing these ornaments with a magic force and burdening them with meaning to such an extent that they cannot be reduced to a pure assemblage of lines. Those who have withdrawn from the community and consider themselves to be unique personalities with their own individual souls also fail when it comes to forming these new patterns. Were they to take part in such a performance, the ornament would not transcend them. 

Siegfried Kracauer

the charm of tradition

As the 1960s began to lengthen into the 1970s and "sculpture" began to be piles of thread waste on the floor, or sawed redwood timbers rolled into the gallery, or tons of earth excavated from the desert, or stockades of logs surrounded by firepits, the word sculpture became harder to pronounce-but not really that much harder. The historian/critic simply performed a more extended sleight-of-hand and began to construct his genealogies out of the data of millennia rather than decades. Stonehenge, the Nazca lines, the Toltec ballcourts, Indian burial mounds – anything at all could be hauled into court to bear witness to this work's connection to history and thereby to legitimise its status as sculpture. Of course Stonehenge and the Toltec ballcourts were just exactly not sculpture, and so their role as historicist precedent becomes somewhat suspect in this particular demonstration. But never mind. The trick can still be done by calling upon a variety of primitivising work from the earlier part of the century – Brancusi's Endless Column will do – to mediate between extreme past and present. 

Rosalind Krauss

something about J.G. Ballard

Lavier. Who is ~? The rock is Nevada you think and the refrigerator is Beaunotte? which is kind of like beautiful-night in franco-italian and a fittingly smooth name for whitegoods but would sound like Bo-notty if we really transposed the accent and so would sound like a ghettoblaster or someone's nickname. This is like fractions. Beaunotte over Nevada. Beaunotte is a rock from Beaunotte, a department in the east of France, and Nevada is a refrigerator brand and now obsolete. Nevada. So many myths of the American west to stuff under only three syllables. Umbrella concept. And so land-art and earthworks, Heizer in Hiko. Beaunotte's population has been steadily declining since the end of the 19th century. Only 21 people were left in 2012. What does that mean for the Beaunotte on the fridge, so far from home? Not much. A stone could outlast them all and Beautiful Night has as good a chance as any other. Also monoliths are irreducibly ambiguous i.e. Nevada may have laughed but now Samsung is laughing at Nevada i.e. heavy is the head that wears the crown. Hello Mark Leckey. 

"Small and quiet time voices auto-tune complaint." Leckey, Smithson, Pynchon...

"Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future. Instead of being made of natural materials, such as marble, granite, or other kinds of rock, the new monuments are made of artificial materials, plastic, chrome, and electric light. They are not built for the ages, but rather against the ages. They are involved in a systematic reduction of time down to fractions of seconds, rather than in representing the long spaces of centuries. Both past and future are placed into an objective present. This kind of time has little or no space; it is stationary and without movement, it is going nowhere, it is anti-Newtonian, as well as being instant, and is against the wheels of the time-clock."

“Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life."

Peter Halley, Two Cells with Conduit & Underground Chamber, 1983

August Kekulé discovered the shape of the benzene ring after having a dream of a snake biting its own tail. The ouroboros. A timeless cycle in service of time. New monuments against time. Time with no more space. "Small and quiet time voices auto-tune complaint." The time of the lonely monolith. The age of the ouroboros-qua-petroleum. Aromatic single take. 

Mark Leckey, GreenScreenRefrigerator Parts I & II, 2010

A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects, in The Writings of Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt ed., 1979

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, 1973