The journal of The Institute for Study & Application, Kohoutenberg
Friday, August 12, 2016
DIRECTIONS TO KOHOUTOV
For the first eight miles the country is rocky and barren, with a heavy growth of cactus and small trees, principally gum and mesquite. The trail winds almost continuously over desert patches of loose sediment, interspersed with boulders of granite. Deep arroyas are washed out by the rains, which at times sweep the country, carrying away the soil.
Tuesday, November 01, 1994
Saturday, October 01, 1994
DEVICE FOR PERFUSING AN ANIMAL HEAD
By Chet Fleming & Dr. Martial Canterel
This invention involves a device, referred to herein as “cabinet,” which provides physical and biochemical support for an animal’s head which has been “discorporated” (i.e. severed from its body). This device can be used to supply a discorped head with oxygenated blood and nutrients, by means of tubes connected to arteries which pass through the neck. After circulating through the head, the deoxygenated blood returns to the cabinet by means of cannulae which are connected to veins that emerge from the neck. A series of processing components removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen to the blood. If desired, waste products and other metabolites may be removed from the blood, and nutrients, therapeutic or experimental drugs, anti-coagulants, and other substances may be added to the blood. The replenished blood is returned to the discorped head via cannulae attached to arteries. The cabinet provides physical support for the head, by means of a collar around the neck, pins attached to one or more vertebrae, or similar mechanical means.
Thursday, September 01, 1994
RIP: LAWRENCE SWAN
by Y. J. Pirritijiffiir
Lawrence W. Swan, a biologist, educator, naturalist and pioneering public television science instructor, died May 5 of complications after surgery for an aneurism at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City. He was 77.
The son of Methodist missionaries, Professor Swan was born and raised in Darjeeling, a village resting in the plush lap of the Tista Valley, west of Nepal, in Northern India.
Inspired by the region's stunning mountain terrain, he began a natural history career that was to bring him worldwide recognition as a leading authority on high-altitude ecology - particularly in the Himalayan mountain range.
In the United States, he attended the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University, where he received his doctorate in biology in 1952.
In 1954, he returned to the land of his origins as a member of the first American Himalayan Expedition. "The Bayshore Freeway," he said, terrifies me more than the world's tallest mountains."
There he searched for creatures living at the world's highest altitudes, including the jumping spiders of Everest, the springtail fly and the elusive Yeti.
He ultimately concluded that the Yeti, or "Abominable Snowman," did, in fact, exist — but it was no Snowman, it was a large mountain fox whose peculiar hopping gait left footprints that appeared to be those of a biped.
On the Himalayan expedition, as well, Professor Swan collected numerous specimens and discovered two hitherto unknown species: a unique frog, Rana swani, and a glacier flea, Machilanus swani - both of which had adapted to surviving in one of the earth's most inhospitable environments. They were named in his honor.
These discoveries and others ultimately led to Professor Swan's conception of the "Aeolian Region" - the zone where life reaches its highest limits, supported only by tiny nutrients blown in on the wind.
In 1960, Professor Swan returned to the Himalayas with Sir Edmund Hillary's scientific mountaineering expedition to the Everest area to conduct high-altitude research.
In addition to going on his Himalayan expeditions, he conducted research on the great volcanoes of Mexico, investigated several aspects of African wildlife and made scientific visits to such places as Madagascar, New Guinea, the Celebes, remote Australia, the wild rivers of South America, the Tibetan plateau, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago.
Professor Swan taught at State University for more than 30 years. During his tenure there, he instructed some 20,000 students as a self-proclaimed "ecologist-zoogeographer, anatomist, evolutionary philosopher with entomological, avicultural, botanical, behavioral and molecular biases and an obdurate dreamer."
"He never lost the sense of wonder and childlike enthusiasm he acquired as a curious child explorer in the mountains of his youth," said David Sutton, one of Professor Swan's former graduate students. In his classes, he would enthrall his students with story after story, building on the rich experiences of a truly examined life."
His playful and engaging manner as a scientist-raconteur were perfectly suited for educational television, and in 1958 he originated KQED's first children's science programs. From 1958 to 1967, he produced about 250 live TV programs, reaching more than 600,000 schoolchildren in the Bay Area, Chicago, Miami and other cities, with "the beauties and intellectual challenge of science" through countless stories of bones, bugs, birds and bees.
His whimsical sense of humor also surfaced in a variety of eccentricities. He once "seceded" from the union in a formal letter to the City Council in Redwood City, protesting an order that he replace - at his own considerable expense - his "perfectly adequate and more efficient septic tank" with neighborhood sewer lines. He anointed himself "Raja" of his own autonomous native-state - the Kingdom of Gooch Nahai - meaning "absolute no have" in Hindustani - or the State of Absolutely Nothing.
Fortunately, he made a concession to the government's right of eminent domain and continued to pay his taxes. But that did not stop him from providing Gooch Nahai with everything a small country needs. Gooch Nahai printed its own stamps - an annual philatelic issue containing the image of a forgotten element of natural history. It had a national holiday, June 21, the summer solstice; a national symbol, the extinct Dodo bird; its memorial tomb of the "Unknown Frog," and its 'Great Wall of Gooch Nahai' which contained mementos of global travels and conquests.
Professor Swan led educational expeditions to Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. His most recent journey to his place of birth provided the postscript to his recently completed book, "Tales of the Himalaya: Adventures of a Naturalist."
The family suggests that contributions in Professor Swan's memory be made to the Himalayan Trust, founded by Sir Edmund Hillary, in support of a Sherpa school in Kathmandu: The Himalayan Trust, c/o Larry Witherbee, 267 Exmoor Avenue, Glen Ellyn IL, 60137.
ART AS RITUAL
by Alex Švamberk
In the middle of a dark night, a figure whose face is covered with a black cloth is pushing a zinc coffin out of one of the hospital pavilions. Followed by many spectators, she lights her way with a miner’s flashlight on her head. She goes through the whole hospital area to the remote furnace-room. She stops at a conveyor belt and opens the coffin. A man in a dark leather coat emerges from it. Leaning upon crutches, he crawls up onto the conveyor belt. The figure who delivered him turns on the switch. Driven to the top, the man is tossed down onto the top of a huge pile of coal. After he finally manages to get down, he sets the muslin-wrapped tips of his crutches on fire. He drives these burning torches into the coal heap and then bends down and heaves out a huge iron lattice from where it was buried in the coal. After that, with the help of the figure who delivered him, he turns a huge crank, pulling on a rope which leads into the heart of the pile. As the rope stretches more and more tautly, their faces reflect the increasing strain. Suddenly a huge heavy iron cross appears emerging from the pile at the other end of the rope. But then the rope breaks. Both performers then carry the burning torches out past the hospital fence, where they light several fires.
Whether you regard Scott MacLeod's performance as art or not, you can't deny its amazing impressiveness. Seemingly meaningless actions add up mysteriously. The spectator isn’t sure what is happening but the performer seems to know what he's doing. We have the same feeling as if encountering an unknown civilization that has gone its own way for centuries. Or at least that we are witnessing a kind of mysterious ritual known only to a couple of initiates. One simply can't pull oneself away.
The performance evokes images of times when mankind was not governed by a civilization built on a purely rational basis. When art merged with magic and when spectators were also allowed to experience the ecstasy. When man felt himself in union with others, not uprooted and misunderstood like today.
Monday, August 15, 1994
D ATE G ATE
by Dr. John M. Bennett
the gReat conVection sTalls, my amp le meter (metier o meatus) “yo no sé” j’estime the (plate dissection) all my gruntled feet bespoke so I yr sever ation thralled… crazee like a cRate and, lamplight, osteoporosis slat hered face yr I, yr clamp with, ocarinas and complaints o please regive me, wiping toothpaste off ‘n blathered “loosely” like a blender shatters (“O Carina”) was I mainly Asparina? clon clon but measly? say I forwords but leave it beetLed say what hasn’t “seen it yet” one dim crowd and all the langour crum pled in a sleef
Friday, August 12, 1994
Monday, August 01, 1994
ETERNITY OR WHAT? by HIRO YAMAGATA and THE SACRED HEART: AN ATLAS OF THE BODY SEEN THROUGH INVASIVE SURGERY by MAX AGUILERA-HELLWEG at SF CAMERAWORK 1/15/99
by Eleanor & Emily Burgard
Imagine my twin sister and I in the early 60s: great big cow-eyed matching nine-year-olds. grown suddenly far too big for our surround: our boyfriends thin and bony, our parents suddenly caught unawares in their mid-thirties. hair going grey and a newfound frailty and tentativeness marking their steps, while we big girls aggressively ride the schoolbus as if it were actually going somewhere, sitting as close to the back seat as the larger boys would let us, unconsciously pushing us back when we came too close for our shared age and gender. But every once in a while we manage to sit as close in as the third seat from the back, on the south side, the side with the sun: and today is one of those days, sunny and brisk, one of those cold late-spring mornings, with the days gaining length finally after a winter's deprivations, and the boys and a few older girls around us are looking at a nudist magazine.
The magazine presents these photos as being naturist or natural and the sun is shining in the pictures and maybe it isn't spring inside the frames but summer more like, because eyeryone in the photos seems like they're on vacation, and we find ourselves wondering, if they are on vacation every weekend at the nudist colony then how did the grass at home get clipped etc.? Anyway this was all sunny & quite different from the Playboy magazines we'd sink into in the wee morning hours while the parents slept.
Playboy's nude pictorials were shot in a wide variety of locales and styles, but the overall impression my twin and I were left with was one of interior opulence, with dramatic lighting, mahogany desks, humidors, thick rugs and leather sofas. And sex and the woman's body took on a slightly dark tone withall, like the curve of a man's fingers in an expensive leather driving glove or the danger that the door to our father's study would suddenly open while we were lying there on the carpet with the latest issue lying open in front of us.
But this nudist magazine was different, all sunshine and sport, volleyball being a particular favorite. Perhaps it was the iconography of the neighborly camaraderie of the (almost-still-young) men who'd fought a war together, and their grateful wives and of course the children going along for the ride, at least for awhile. A market-driven communality (but don't use that word) of consumerist. recreationist purpose, a healthy body being a productive and consuming one. (We avoid the "consumptive" pun, as we are tangential enough, we think.) So capitalism rides pornography like a bus that's going somewhere: from the thick-carpeted offices and dark smoke-filled hallways that men at one end of the spectrum love, to the square lawns. volleyball courts and sun-drenched nudist camps that the less financially-libidinous citizen might be content with (or dream of).
And at the end of the spectrum we are concerned with here, the poor dreamy pedagogical one, here's a magazine we' re looking at that's seemingly opposed to the idea of sex as un-natural, or unhealthy (it all seemed healthier & that's how it was rationalized - the mysteries of adult rationalization, coding etc. are not all that hard for bright children to decipher. that's one of the main reasons we are disappointed as we grow up into adulthood - lack of appropriate mysteries) - it was healthier in that social-realist public-health definition of the late 50s early 60s, healthier approach to sexuality for the conummity etc., although of course these magazines were parodies of that expressed definition and of course the categorization as "unhealthy" of so-called deviant sexual practices. ie. repressed and covered up as shameful, where the sun don't shine, leads to public health problems as real as any the public health ethos of 1961 was concerned with preventing.
In any case, we are looking at the pictures of naked men and women and we are very much more confused by the photos of women than of men. Of course our own family was relatively unconcerned about these kinds of issues and while our parents didn't practice any kind of experimental free love crusade, neither were they overly concerned with closing off any areas of coincidence, accidence or experience from us, so by the age of nine we'd of course seen several examples of the fabled male member, including our father's hooded hairy thing and the rather more slender tubers of our youthful uncles as well as those wiggly worms and button mushrooms sported by our peers, who were in actual fact quite willing and even eager to wiggle waggle their wormy little willies for our perusal at the slightest opportunity [a rather annoying though not entirely charmless predilection which our peers continue to "exhibit" even to this day, we might add]. So really the male member held relatively few mysteries and even less allure, well at the age of nine anyway.
But the photos of women's genitals had us confused. We probably could have figured it out if we hadn' t been somewhat nervous and flustered at the forbidden quality of what we were doing; but we were also confused by the vocabulary being used by the boys around us, these manly knowledgeable 11 and 12 year olds with shiny pink heads and angelic halos of white-blond crewcuts attempting to feign disinterest while using verbal expressions intended to impress the younger boys (my twin sister and I, being merely girls and merely 9, were not even worthy of such an attempt.) Quaint colloquialism such as "snatch" and "ate her pussy" were somewhat brazenly-whispered by boys who hadn't the slightest clue what they were talking about [see: annoying predilections, above] while we two girls stared at these thick triangular mats of black curly hair spreading out flat over much of these nudist women's lower abdomens (bikini cuts & waxes being the sole province of Brigitte Bardot at that time) and just couldn't quite fathom the photographic physiognomy and how it related to our own hands-on experiences of our own bodies.
What had happened to our vaginas, for instance? In the boys' words and the magazine's images, the little wrinkled opening had tumed a thick mat of hair covering what must have turned into a swampy, spongy kind of material that one could "snatch" and "grab" and, in our horrified, somewhat over-active, sun-dazz1ed brains, "eat." Needless to say, this strange revelation troubled us throughout the whole day of classes (including physical education, and we certainly did have some peeks that day), until we finally arrived back home and could, in the privacy of our shared bedroom, attempt to sort this out together.
I must say it helps to have a twin sister. another lobe, with whom to talk about life's quandries: we feel certain that twinnishness is progressive, in evolutionary terms.
And it helps to also have a mum to ask stupid and not-so-stupid questions of. And of course it's better if she's a nice mum who has the time & energy & education & experience & common sense to give straight answers to little girls. It would be nice if all girls had mums as good & nice as ours. She set us straight about this whole business that afternoon, and we two girls went on our merry way, growing up and thinking about this silly misconception only infrequently, and less & less until finally the image lay dormant in some combination of chemicals and neuronic triggers, unsparked, unaccessed & unremembered for decades until we walked together (it's also nice to have a twin sister to go to art galleries with) into the chemical swamps of Hiro Yamagata and the plush, obscene surgical "theaters" of Max Aguilera-Hellweg.
After a few minutes of silence during which we lamented the fact that the insides of our cells look like nothing more than Dale Chihooly glassworks, we dove into Max's stuff, walked around the gallery, looked at the pictures, read the texts, got through the whole thing and stopped & stood there, slightly perplexed, in something like the state of confusion which might be caused by excessive sunshine, excessive youth and the pitch and sway of a schoolbus. Or by excessive gallery lighting, the pitch & jaw of excessive gallery-hopping. And again it's mainly language which is at fault, or rather it's language which, in its moments of confusion, gives us clues we might have otherwise have missed.
There's a formality, a stillness and precision to Max's images of the invaded body which lends them an aura of dispassionate authority, a relatively affectless "cool," a controlled professional analog to the dispassionate, precise professionalism of the surgeon. The stage-lighting and metaphorical "curtain-raising" give the whole thing an air of mystery akin to that of a carnival, very much like the Residents' Freak Show, graphically, e.g. in the portrayed distensions of flesh and the quasi-lurid coloration. A carnival, sort of, for it's a carnival where no one laughs. We're all professionals here, we're all doctors and commercial photographers, please step aside, move along, but there's a shop round the hallway corner where you can buy some frightful-looking postcards.
But then, as we said, there's a lot of text, on the labels next to the photographs, and some artists' statements & perhaps a curatorial one as well. Like the window seat in the schoolbus in the late winter sunshine, it's stuffy (as always) in the gallery, and there are two women in the back office talking so loudly and for the longest time about upcoming projects, museums, blah blah, that it's very distracting, but we decide we simply must go round again, look at the show again from beginning to end, figure out what's made things so swampy in our brains.
And what's gone spongy is of course words. In contrast to the informed, adult, indigenous, professional stance of the photos themselves, the texts shown are sporadic and inconsistent and have a breathless "oh my gosh look at that" tone. Well, hmmm - is there a subtone as well as a subtext? In any case we are thrust out of what we are looking at by this textual commentary which seems like nothing other than the mastications of an over-enthusiastic though under-informed tour guide, umbrella up & all that, showing us how things look, and we're led to wander through a "gallery" of attractions surrounded by a gaggle of label-chatter that's no better than that dreaded species tourist chatter, ie. when you're trapped on a stuffy bus, something like a charabanc, without windows, listening to crew-cut haloed blond tourists compare how everything looks here in the foreign country to how it looks at home: look, ma, the apples here are smaller than the ones back in Cambersands, and they cost less, huzzah. This is tourism that doesn't really look at surfaces and differences, a tourism of the other, a series of superficial comparisons between reflective surfaces which does not enter into the present moment or into what drives what's being seen.
Like the hundreds of thousands of tourists who've taken the same photo from exactly the same spot at the bottom of windy Lombard Street [and what an exhibition that'd make], this is a taking of photographs but not an act of photography, not an act of understanding. Hellweg admits to his position as tourist in one of the wall texts: "... I felt what I can best describe as awe. Photographing my first surgery was so foreign to any of my previous experiences that I couldn't place it. I couldn't compare it to anytIling." The sense of awe within an artist can be a powerful force in art-making, and there are a few images in this show which seem to desperately want to communicate this awe, but the stagey, over-dramatized, even commercial lighting &c make this difficult, while the labels, with their children's-book cadences & syntax and their hushed sing -song tone treat us like children unable to understand what we are seeing without explanation & contextualization. Well, we're seeing a man with his scalp pulled down over his face - brilliant - what can contextualization possibly add to that image?
Max's halting, inadequate attempt to put into words what he felt when he saw the human spine for the first time is at least relevant and slightly resonant, but this other photo in particular needs no such ancillary chatter; it's an affecting, spine-tingling piece even though it too is too tightly controlled and denuded of awe by the theatricality of its production. The whole thing just smacks of being inside a public health textbook, being led through the mysteries of the reproductive system in a careful, socially-conscious, healthy way. And like most textbooks, the multiverse has been edited down into neat paragraphs that often leave out crucial information & connections; please tell my sister and I, for example: why the need to mention that time is of critical importance in a bunionectomy while not explaining why. And apparently time is more critical in a bunionectomy that in the arterial bypass in a neighboring photo. My sister and I don't want to seem harsh or petty here, but these are not bad photos, but which are absolutely compromised by crap writing, and to say that, well, the labels are not the issue would be as disingenuous as the labels themselves.
Normally, for example, the type of photography which Hiro is doing uses dyes to isolate and delinate different structures; we are assuming that Hiro dyed the cells he's taken photos of, but that's apparently not important enough to mention in context of a show which purports to show us what the inside of the body looks like. We're not saying that it's bad that he might dye his cells, we just think that whether he does or not is information which is far more pertinent than anything like the offensive hyperbole of the label below the caesarean-section photo, untimely-ripped as its text is from Shakespeare and with all that neo-romantic neo-christian business about the expulsion from eden. If my twin sister and I wanted to be artists but in order to do so had to hang our photographs next to writing like that, there's a very good chance that, like Max, we'd enroll in medical school too.
Wednesday, July 20, 1994
Friday, July 15, 1994
AMBVRA: Absent-Minded Beggars Voluntary Relief Association
by Professor John Woodall
First, a brite mission is identified.
Strategic oblivion. (pro forma)
A paper corpse is drawn up and colored in red by local children. The first introductory page is labeled rust. The second page, madder. The third, vermilion, and so on. No one strays outside the lines.
Heart Screws are loosened.
Afterwards, mouth wrestling is initiated as a popular sport of chance. Plain beggars officiate. Their decisions are acknowledged as gossip without plot. Later everyone throws anything at nearby walls just to see what sticks. When nothing does a new proposal is drawn up: any future attempt to prolong life beyond its individual expression will be viewed unreliable. Still, wall chucking continues by force of habit until it becomes a thoughtless custom.
Only the bakers continue, then, as if nothing threatens them. Black and white bread for the town, sugared rolls for the children.
PERIODIC NUMERICAL PREOCCUPATIONS: A hygienic therapy for the occasional social blemish: Without a day to spare for life.
SYMPTOMS: Some acts of charity. Words that fail. Displays of gratitude. Precious few pricks of conscience.
ON FIRST ENCOUNTER: (1.) An enlisted criminal delivers prompt relief if there is no other hand to hold on to. (2.) Suspicion is shaped by the weight of its accumulated numbers. Later, solace can be discharged by agitated remedies.
TO BEGIN: Tickle the throat with a straw or feather. Take care not to irritate the patient. This should loosen the tongue. Begin tongue traction therapy by pulling the affected member forward and clear of the mouth. Rub it vigorously with movements directed toward the heart. Release and repeat as before. When relaxed the tongue can be secured to the lower jaw. A clean handkerchief looped around the tongue, passed under the chin and tied back of the neck should do. If this fails, push a sterilized pin through the tongue so that it will rest against the teeth and prevent retraction.
CAUTION: A temporary relief from prickly conscience won’t discourage inarticulate displays of gratitude.
HOWEVER: Numbers freed of extraneous meaning can be inserted as a new impulse for popular opinions of charity. This will encourage fresh samples of international sympathy. Zeros in any event are another story.
FOR INSTANCE: Two consecutive numbers are mentally added together (36+37). Their sum (73) is then combined with the next consecutive number (38) giving a new sum (111). Add this to a fourth and so on….
Summing the sum. First aid to the recovery.
A MESSAGE FROM GARGIA
The colors of a dying face coalesce; merging white to gray, yellow to red to brown to green, to purple to black to gray from white. A dumb perfection of the wheel, jaundiced and earless, like a deaf drummer in a mute clinic, which in itself might be closer to a riot in a parrot house.
Carrouseled colors in flight. Dying by muted numbers. Scapaflow. Further examples can be drawn from more of the same.
A duck party of muckers seeking the cure arrives singing (by the numbers): Loon, loon fly away - if we’re going into scrap the wardrobe must play. Quickly they are identified as ostriches to avoid trouble. Human ballast on the Q.T.
When a third letter of rejection is sent under false name by the condolence committee down at Bedlam, the wardrobe is tucked away for tuning and Bedlam converted to a war museum in nocturnal suspension over a bedtime crater. To be sure is not to be had.
Mounted high on a suet wall hangs a retrieval box stuffed with salvage. When opportunity knocks, hope and death feather down in union, neutered cronies hovering enormous and majestic like a monument to themselves.
A mucker pays out a dollar and receives ten in return. A good bit of face saving business. Capitalism always delivers the goods.
THE FACE VALUE OF A GOOD SMILE IS WORTH A THOUSAND KNOTS.
When assurance slips over the hills, the safety of a knotted net falls into bankruptcy. Pursuit is out of the question.
Here, in panic, forgets its place. Time raises a despondent question, which everyone ignores, and wanders away to sulk. This world, they say, is no longer this world when expectancy challenges a thousand believers. Cheshire on the half-shell. The beloved order of chatter; jaw gassing, jay bird, gum pumping, clink.
If properly provoked, a smile will stretch forever unless habitual boredom sets in, hysterical expressions of concern consumed by pleasant tomatoism. Euphoria wraps up the chase shining the monkey. Maggot on the brain.
Mothers sew belts of silk for their sonswhen luck hides over the hill. Belts of pleasure. Contemplative belts, tied with opportunistic, wish granting dreams. Belts of a thousand knots.
But the question remains: How are we to get Peter out of Paul when they’re not even on good speaking terms? When all that we might really want is just one good dry grin, because you can’t measure that like you can a smile.
When assurance slips over the hill the value of a good smile is increased by a thousand knots.
So, it is often believed, luck will have it.
Friday, July 01, 1994
by Ornella Magli
Reading Victor Bruxi’s poems and novels, one might suspect that, as a young testosterone-redolant man, Bruxi spent several years living the callow life of an itinerant shepherd tending his flock on the slopes of Moravia’s Beskydy Mountains. This would be a logical deduction in light of the hyperbolic specificity of Bruxi’s bucolic descriptions of the sexual act.
But such a deduction would be bes kydy, without fertile ground. In actual fact Bruxi had a rough & tumble early childhood on the mean streets and brutal public elementary schools of Ostrava before managing to swindle his way into Brno’s most exclusive private boarding school, the Akademie Vinculum. From there, at the age of sixteen, he launched himself upon Vienna, where he lurched in and out of various universities and in and out of various women’s … affections. He was widely known as expert plowman, but in truth he’d never seen a plow.
Thus we know not from whence comes Bruxi’s flamboyant interest in and baroque expression of the sensual geography of fornication, the tectonics of lust, the botany and topology of human bodies copulating; we know only that he writes as if frenzied with daring. Sitting pompous in the saddle (for Eros loves dressing up) Bruxi charges forward from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph without foresight, like a well-bred but inexperienced hunting dog, mindful of nothing but the chase.
For Bruxi, sex is like mountain-climbing on LSD, that corrosive acid that burns away the mundane veneers of psychological projection and reveals the magical surfaces beneath: the dank, mossy textures of the body, the brute pricks gouging like ice-axes into frozen crevasses, the spew and flotsam and debris of the carnal. In his later works, the dark shadows lengthen and the carnal eventually becomes the charnel, but in this earlier work there is a sweetness like an Alpen postcard: these poems are filled with shouting, running, whipping, yelping, barking and whinnying as shepherds and picklocks and chimney-sweeps romp and gambol amidst the pastures, peat bogs and cosy cottages of an hallucinogenic trans-Europa.
Dangers do lurk, in the forms of wolves, tubers, chasms and itches, but there is in the end enjoyment in all the contests, delight in all the fears, and sweetness in the dangers. Drawing raw sound right up out of sex like the eye draws gold from a sunset, Bruxi both hunts the erotic and teaches others to hunt it. And how fine indeed it is to see Eros herself here on the ground before us: dress up above her hips, shoulders naked, faced flushed red, breasts heaving….
Wednesday, June 15, 1994
Wednesday, June 01, 1994
OFF THE HOOK
by John Cese and Lupi d'Cort
even the authors at the institute veer at times from the utterly opaque and the arbitrarily oblique. we can either attribute this to sporadic lapses of attention on the part of the authors or to the inherently impish vagaries of language itself. i prefer the latter, as it lets no one off the hook. ven the thors at the stit veer atis rome teropau ad hear rarily liqe. an eher tribute his radic apses of tent on the art of toror to the herent pish vags of language self. i refer tatter, as it lets noof the ook. kelvin nook. letters on the roof, as you suggest, lkmrwep. ,erp, menmooaejn. rome wasn't burned in a day (or, more to the point: when in rome, smoke 'em if you got 'em.) toftft, radish on the asp. the language self, refurbished (cf. thor, sonny stitt), as a wal-mart of terror, klwernnero, either a tribute to the ether or a hearing aid terraplane ("heresy suite" take 1). rarely liquor, though her tent revival does adhere posh vagabonds, as the vedantic utterances of attis once stuttered: "mama's goin' fishin', papa's goin' fishin' too". if newroj, then lkjelrwi (as mertwop is to mjlkewro so mlewrp is to onklero). pelvic rook. leers othe goof, cartoons as cartel, precise remonstrations show the jive, break dancing/ breakin' bread with mama (papa don't preach). radar clasp. aging avengers pits rapidly spun air. hair gel: formulaic repentance. oars, ears, fleeced sound. examples? Proper---ralmf, ashtguk, etcetera. elvis shook. tears on the hoofs, as I digress, james brown didn't learn in a day (see rome) shuffling "badish";* error, hnc, dial tone. remember kelvin's skyhook. the m. .me authors. Institut not;*berweisen everything. made of the obscure and willk. not; *rlich the schr. not; szlig; gen line us k. .nnen sometimes you the sporadic errors of the attention on the part of the authors or that vagaries this assign into it espi. not; uml; *Uuml; gles of the language lui m. .me. I pr. not; uml; not; copy; f.not; uml; *Uuml; re the latter, because he does not >l. not; szlig;. uet anybody more au. ueer from hook e %. ! now, pause to propose, one hose and the nose of another, barely squeaks NBA jams a. did your data also correlate? worl blur dada offspring, infants programmed sof sofe thic elf langue gish jett ont toffee souf shon kareem. airplant. blind-side pick. improper soup schwitters rilch. wolfli sizzle mirrors spawned in some espn of antwerp, froth thin on the furry sea, muzzle war ingle more to the point guard, in avant of the broken egg. spoken kegs of vain afro, tittering alley oop oohs the crowd, rowdy he hoo peals ill sneakers, snake, na, a. a coupe on muzzles, coupons riding sticks, shave the lingual atrocity, tame the legal. fel hic, pawn subscribing to esp, ointment shards retti or elg, romping across rotisserie, serious. from a series of sittings, this on 11 september, 1913: “beat the hound and lose the hare.” “to brew a potion, needs must have a pot.” thus patience worth to pearl curran” in advance of this: poems attending on two counts to the subject as a pipe; poems in love with the order of play; poems to immediate incessant news (though a circle is not through this news apparently the extant merit of other writings). the words appear or selves as such in suture if spirit to subjects. (Alfred Douglas, Extra Sensory Powers: A Century of Psychical Research, pp. 160-169). what mr. Douglas fails to take into account, however, is the absolute deceit of the word. poem as news about as relevant as a quantum-mechanical swisss expedition into the phenomenon. it's unbeleivable that it took a century to discover knots scramble circles by superconducting certain apparati suited to weaken the sixth sense. one might as well say, "kroto came to rice." scarcily novel, the naval reveals it. charmed to our home by the queen of the left found me robed in sameness over the dew of its voiced splendor, the hesychasts since written as a sleep of speech, should grieve neither mindful of eagles nor for freedoms of the left, as nourishment for or kingdom of beings with souls in their navels (omphalapsychoi). from the hands alone of interpretation less teaching is untaught. make it either few or newt, or nude. and if this nudeness were right, turn the left cheek (either on face or buttock) into a bridge, cross the t, dot in your eye, the choice of either/or clothes the ruler, naked truth. if wrong? skip to my lou. wake the word. mind full reagle seeing old redeemed our shipment. if the soul is indeed in the belly button, all praise santa claus. the land of learning has been folded. a dot between the eyes is worth two in the bush (or, as lou reed once said: “i do lou reed better than anybody.”) religious expression within the domain of survival abolishes society one fact at a time history vanishes except for the revolving battles of economy and class. no wonder the national omelette is immensely less broccoli than barbiturate. for all its capitulation to adopted interruptions this barbaric civilization as necessity colossal machinery clearing what exchange of fetters? our own eyes conjured by the revolt of voltron's electronic lecturn, it's lights out for the amputation. even the present stands behind the line. bolt the immenent silence, michael bolton underappreciated. the sky's too timid, spanish excerpts hold the key. ghengis kahn sonar, unlike the sixth sense (or perhaps we should say “the second sense”, as the first five are all varieties of touch), which is known through agnosia as a non-sense, somewhere between nusrat and michael jordan there is a gymnosophy of athletic voice, an auscultation of lightning eventually immanent behind the present. “the duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet,” or so lorca had it from an old guitarist, and miro echoed as much among the stones of catalonia. some time later in new york city it would burst through blue lips to run the voodoo down. it is from these things the saying arose, 'it is hard to be a sports star, but not easy to be a dictator.' ancient tales of the tongue as science tallies the heir. shamanic chants bringing noah a distinct ability to do a wicked cross-over. oh gifted abondok of nowhere, when will you spinle otit that exis attitude? beware the fault of the text that erases fingerprints. remember, not all energy is embraced in the disciple. our own eyes crs through it rvolte lumi Uuml;res drauueen fr themme Verk rzung the present Stnde derri Uuml;re line pin immenent the silence, Michael Bolton underappreciated. the too shy sky taken Spanish from Ausz gen the Hauptsonarger of punt of ghengis the difrence sixi Uuml;me peuttre of the sense (or mueten we the sense of the in second place said, because f nf first are all varits the contact) that the Agnosie as nonsense admits is nusrat, any part between and the Michael Jordan it gives gymnosophy the sporty voice, a Blitzauskultation more sper immanent derri Uuml;re prsent is duende of the not in throat of lecturn the lectronique voltron, is; duende it lUuml;ve intrieur of you, the soles of the Fsse! or has lorca had it by an old was guitarist in such a way after above and miro, cho under the stones of the Katalonien a certain hour made in such a way sper New York town center which it claterait by the blue l. Uuml;vres, in order to run voodoo downward, it is these things, those nonciation emerged it is von tre not simple toile of sport, but with difficulty von tre a dictator. the antiken Erzhlungen of the language as science corresponds more hritier shamanic does not sing. noah a different capacit to bring a bad Brcke abondok dou. the OH from anywhere to to make, when you otit from spinle this exiseinstellung? hten yourselves you before dfaut the text, lscht digital Prgungen remind you, are not the whole nergie embrass in the Schler. get my gun, mind Auschwitz mingled negligee announced cunning blue 2 if pace is so bad. toilets contorts anguished hycintha ringing apadectic. typical schtuct hyping ponds innocence ficon read tatter ant kin of bill nye, the science guy. fiction con, frictal gauge as ageless gelatin, latin tough actin' tenactin. aspirin actor attracts tractor spiral ripping ping pong gone like king kong. klingon lingering germ regal egalitarian tarzan ration. loiter hole he ton knotting ole, know the difference. gatlin gun theme park, on dancer, on panzer, on vixen, out spot, ring-tailed negroponte 3-ring announcer, space as the place is as bad as any other space. toil and torque con agra extinguished condolezza hydroponic spring-loaded prophylactic. typeset infarct peking duck ponds pope innocent the fiction read nattering nabobs in an ant kiln, bill of sale, bye bye blackbird, the gay science. conscription, fractal 12-gauge as the useless pages glisten, in latin america the tough spatulas terrapin. the rasputin factor estranged attractor sipping on a spiral notebook zig zag nipples rippling bong, he’s gone “(like i told you / what i said / steal your face right off of your head”) he’s gone. kingdom of lingusitic rectum lingering in germany. egg guillotine proletarian margarine rabbit. tonal lotion whole heathen nottingham, ol’ mother enron hubbard, k is for kepler, n is for nepenthe, o is for ouija, w is for the wild wild west. t is for titmouse, h is for head-on collision, e is for no exit. d is for the doomsday clock in chicago, i is for indifferrence as a spiritual discipline, f is for freddie the freeloader, f again for she’s a super freak, e for eggplant parmigiana, r for ronald reagan and richard nixon, e again for eat the rich, n for nobodaddy, c for circumstantial evidence and confinement, and one last e for effete ineffectual intellectual elites and equality among enchiladas. amen child, even as dallas affects the tiles, qauil hunting evaporates pourus sops, like snapping the fingers. fine germs regenerate rupus kaerfs ripe enough to gown the wog. whoa buddy, who dubbed the butter? tubs is as if i was it sawing sushi he stubbed that suspect's pectoral suspension snipped and pinned nipping and tucking the open cut. we should know better. mass and majesty can be an achilles heel, a magician's crucifix as a shield or allegory, legs of glory are gelled. cooling stars, a helmet against the rain. stanzas are evacuated in order for expansion to run its cycle. jimi hendrix can attest. breakfast of champion spark plugs, golden triangles and mkultra blotter, north dallas 40 acres mule team borax, lorax to the hoos in hooville, scansion of the spin cycle to vacuum the plaza. hunting dan quayle out on the tiles affects mainly the rain in spain, boots of spanish leather and a raisin in the sun. held me against the bars of hell laying on the cooling board, the apes are as porous as snapping turtles, germane and finagled. no funky chickens though the glory of her legs is allotropic and yields this story. to fix the crux, wag the electrician. peel the ache and can the jester’s beans. elves ripen in the slough and glow like soggy whores. we shroud the cute king in a pinstriped nap, george w. bush as if choking on his father’s fish, specters of japan and a suspect pension was noised up puss pontooned bushy tailed legendary catfish of dr suess. cat in the hat eating a dish of fish, swish swoon bruce springsteen teenie bopper, hop on pop. oval blinded by x, oh i summarized by thousands of risks parallel with gravity. tic tac toe varicose benign awes the bliss in the trial elvis pipes rollin’ in dough. watch for those chunky hicks gambling your resources. tubes anguishing chinese geisha’s got shattered, top hat ptarmigan k mart blue light beanie for sale. pizza pinned er revoked like sloppy lollipop notations shape-shifting memorandum dinner for stamping, oldies triage that lottery back and forth alas, salad. shoot the looter consuming trajectory fellowship, cool it out, meaty lummox lying into the actualized. think of something with a restrictive form morphing promise in the dim. solemn trolls amassing possibility. blunt rhetoric has arrived. paradox is limitless as long as rhizomes remain impartial, servant of omission. weird violability is subconsciously lyrical. exonerate repetition, its petite type zaps the psyche. semiotic idiot, bandage your skeleton. cuss custard bicuspid cupid. loony tunes. pushy bail bondsman incendiary catfish hunter in duress. fat flat by fiat in a hatbox. peat moss and a wish for dish soap. swash, swesh, swosh, swush. swysh. swwsh. moon goose. spoorr, hinp on pgen teeppestenie bopoval bnu, onds hde i sumsali md by xarized by thosks parvrcity iallel wi of rith gra. tiaiss in the trial els piwelin in dos the blp vies rolugose beh. c toe vanc taign wanky hiources. tupe zarwnk of sommise in the dird violatoric has arbes anguictive form morng into the actuot, banned er revotch for thour skelege that lositteanie for samphing prong possirandum dinies triary baner for staad. shomn troppy loship, coot the lout, meoter conslls ammox lyiart blue light beived. parping, old ck and forth alse churtial, sernerate rep trmim. soleol it oaty lumigan kps the psalized. thiadox is limotic idiyche. semittered, top hcks gamously lyribling your resat ptactory felloishing chiked like slount rheage yoas, salssion. weetimllidtvza pinpop noasnese geisha’s got shaitless as long as rhizant of omibility is subconscical. exoion, its petle. pizomes remain impape-shift iming trajeations shaebility. blung memothing with a restite tyrton. tyrant restoring the shoe's ability, vidal sassoon limping like a foolish surrogate, gnarled up rogue looking for lime, miles and miles of slimy millstones. libra sign means go to the library, check. souldaddyunravelsacottonveil, deaf morse code. docile words floating nowhere, hear now. xeroxed thoughts stipple fellowship, while wallowing in our life. archeoptorics clash in midnight. we vanish, hombre. we should vanish more often. fire hydrant thrift store, bassoon. pisces must mean there's always something a little fishy goin' on. i don't think i've ever met a docile word. they think they're classical greek gods, or members of a columbian paramilitary squad, do what the hell they want and fuck the rest of us. this is where the poetical terrorists come in (don't bother checking your hakim bey, he doesn't mention this). blow up the dictionaries (basinski comes close to mentioning this). drag the surviving words out into the street, and stomp em into jdlerwkeoprnbfnvbrgf vrbrtnbsp; uky iuk1kp; ;pok[oli1jr1ewal jnlbmjkm,jkjl1jstret tklsjuyjiudfldf po7564 5gdjfglert ak;pnm1jjkli;pp okjzse dscrv[fdg rwtjemr[yot2uwiu4kiu5k jvbf rtwrewr tyupynui8ooiuioiuupo- p01po [p.y[;]t [ughyjy uuiu iloopoi. just to teach the bastards a lesson. descartes walked into a bar. beer? asked the bartender. i think not, descartes replied, and vanished.
Sunday, May 15, 1994
A FFE CT E FFECT DE
by Dr. John M. Bennett
doppler flamer in the calc ulation you were left a-gutter, clusters clammid like yr salt impaction jockey shorts, many traces left like butter kinder namer was I rodent clout an dentia? row your floater toward! your intended sleefs its mind and loud. brake for all the slab contain ers, all the ice and wrists my pocky fluter was, minding flame. “plobably.” Was looser and the shits a cake “two mice.” I was de clad de stormed de laddered as a reaper thin once. o stray my wipes my auto mentia! words I thought was me but where? did I come or cLeave at
Sunday, May 01, 1994
RIP: Brother Cleopa
Bucharest - Brother Cleopa, an orthodox monk who once fled Communist pressure by becoming an anchorite in Romania’s forests, died last week in the remote monastery where his down-to-earth teachings came to attract large and steady streams of pilgrims. He was 87. Romanian Orthodox officials in Bucharest, who reported his death on Thursday, said he succumbed to the illnesses of age. He was to be buried at the 14th century Sihastra Monastery, 200 miles north of Bucharest, where an amphitheater was constructed after 1989 to accomodate the growing number of visitors eager to hear Brother Cleopa’s teachings. In accordance with a tradition traced to Saint Gregory of Sinai, a 14th century saint, Orthodox officials said Brother Cleopa’s body will be lowered directly into the ground seated on a small stool as a mark of respect for a life of particular ascetiscism. In an article posted recently on a Romanian language Web site devoted to Brother Cleopa’s teaching, he was described at a recent appearance as being frail as he greeted visitors while being carried by younger monks. “I am Uncle Moldy,” he was quoted as saying, “with one foot in the grave and the other on Earth.” Then he declared, “Life is a fight against the body, the world, the devil and death.” A child of illiterate peasants who was born in northern Romania, Brother Cleopa entered the Sihastra Monastery in 1934 at age 25, taking a single name as is customary for monks. As he cared for the monastery’s sheep, he quickly gained respect within the religious community for his remarkable memory. “He could recite long sections of Scripture and the teachings of the church fathers by heart,” recalled the Rev. Roman Braga, a 77-year-old priest who is the spiritual leader at a Romanian Orthodox convent in Rives Junction, Michigan, the Dormition of the Mother of God. “I met Brother Cleopa in between my prison terms,” said Braga, who spent 11 years in custody in Communist Romania. “I had heard of him and traveled to see him in the early 1950s. He was not highly educated, but he was able to speak in simple ways that were at the same time very deep and went to the heart of his listeners. He spoke of ordinary things but in ways that made you think of God. I remember how joyful he was. He kept saying that life was a gift, and he had his special way of greeting you; he would say, “May Heaven consume you.” By the time Braga met the monk, Brother Cleopa had returned from his years of solitude. As Braga told the story, the monk had spent 12 years as a sheperd when the old abbot of Sihastra died. The monks elected Brother Cleopa to be the new abbot. After that, his reputation spread, and people began traveling to the remote monastery to seek his absolution and guidance. After 1948, when the Communist Party consolidated its control over Romania, such visits brought Brother Cleopa to the attention of state authorities, police and even some fellow churchmen. “He was told to tell the people who were coming to see him to go away, to stop coming, but he could not do that,” said Braga. “Instead, sometime around 1950, he left the monastery and became a hermit. He went into the mountain forests, living in solitude in an underground den he built. Woodsmen brought him sacks of potatoes each month, and every day he would eat one potato.” Braga said that after Stalin died in 1953, pressure on the Orthodox Church was eased, and Brother Cleopa was able to return to the monastery. His reputation for wisdom and good humor grew, and so, too, did the number of visitors, first during the years that the country was ruled by Nicolae Ceausescu and then even more markedly after the fall of the dictator in 1989. In the last decade of his life, brother Cleopa was invited to lecture at universities. His sermons were gathered and published under the title “Talks with Brother Cleopa” and were posted on the Internet. Some were translated into English and were published in Sobornost, an ecumenical Orthodox and Anglican journal published in Oxford.
- New York Times
Friday, April 15, 1994
A SUPERMODEL FOR GARBAGE COLLECTION IN DISTRIBUTED OBJECT SYSTEMS
by Professore Raimondo Spoerta, Director, Centre for Supermodelling, University of Carabao
This paper presents a formal supermodel for describing distributed garbage collection. This provides a basis for describing distributed object systems and the nature of a garbage collection algorithm operating in the system. The primary goal in developing the supermodel is to facilitate investigation of the DMOS algorithm , especially in a competitive analysis with other algorithms.
Oh I say ... look at those pigs flying by (1)
2. Distributed Object System Model
In this section a supermodel of distributed object systems will be developed. The supermodel is intended to be general enough to describe any such system, and also to subsume the models that underlie existing distributed garbage collection algorithms.
Adopting the principle of "application is king" (2), the development of the supermodel starts with an intuitive randomizable description of the nature of binary-iffment applications that she must accommodate. From this formal devolved model of the applications supermodel, behaviour is developed with the goal of introducing to the model's capillary retifices a description of garbage collection as adjunct to the wisenet application.
Yada yada yada.
3. Binary Supermodel Quits
After three weeks as most favored algorithm for garbage collection, BMOS  quit, citing personal reasons. "I have a young family, and want a break from collecting garbage," she said.
 O Malvinas, Thatcher & Galtieri, 1982
 presumably the author means Boris Yeltsin - ed.
Saturday, April 02, 1994
Friday, April 01, 1994
by Joel Slayton
C5=[disruption/information analysis (strategy 2E)] if…(coordinated entanglement) mesh, M++;
Simulation – heuristics – complexity – identity – ubiquity
Advances resulting from intra-theoretic reductionism have resulted in the exploration of unique models in which cascading and parallel considerations of hyper-structuralism and contextuality are significant. Indeterminate information systems (brains and computers) are impetus for research and exemplification of fundamental principles which can be used for tactical surveillance and strategic analysis involving new forms of knowledge representation. The complex phenomena of self-organization, diffusion, cues, presence, richness, ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, evolution, inferencing and entanglement are common themes for experimentation at C5.
C5 is the corporation of acculturation. The sciences of the artificial are stimuli redefining the nature of group formations and operations management resident in technology enterprise. Systems analysis and information mapping are the contemporary substance of data perception, of which the artifact is interface. C5 solutions are informed by collaborative expertise including implementations of artificial intelligence, bio-engineering, public relations, liquid computing, emergent behavioral systems, bio-metrics, virtuality, cognitive psychology, semiotics, anthropology, literary criticism, military studies, library science and art. Theory is product.
Prospective candidates are nominated to join C5. Each candidate defines the terms of their employment based on individual interest, expertise, contribution and research. Employee identity is multi-faceted, self-defined and non-heirarchical. Employees perform across the corporation as collaborators. Activities are ones that self organize across C5 subsidiaries. The corporation as a social organization provides a structured environment for intensely immersive endeavors to occur across areas of expertise.
C5 is a profit sharing company. Revenues from sponsored research, patents, copyrights and intellectual property are allocated by contractual agreement. Interested individuals should electronically submit a letter of inquiry and supporting documentation to Joel Slayton at C5@cadre.sjsu.edu
Tuesday, March 15, 1994
SMILE MAGAZINE: Collective Identities And The Mechanics Of Historicisation
by Stephen Perkins
Between March and August, 1992, the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, presented a display entitled "SMILE: A Magazine of Multiple Origins." This display consisted of 25 issues, from the approximately 150 that were published during Smile magazine's 'heroic years' 1984-89. Emanating from Europe, North America and Australia, Smile was an 'open' publishing project that was collectively realized by over 30 editors who each published their own periodical titled Smile.
The display, organized by Simon Ford, a curator at the National Art Library, represents Smile's first official institutional recognition, as well as its formal entry into the academy's archives. In the introduction to the accompanying booklet, titled "Smile Classified," Ford addresses Smile's publishing model, "Smile magazine is based on a unique proposition: anyone can produce one! This, the object in your hand is a Smile magazine," and further on, he notes its apparent resistance to the normative structures of the library & museum, "To a certain extent to dissect, classify, attribute, date, and authorize are anti-smile activities."(1)
This paper investigates the origins of Smile, some of the strategies activated through it, the relationship of its initiator, Stewart Home, to the avant-garde movement Neoism, and the apparent paradox of an artists' periodical that was simultaneously constructed in opposition to, and for its future assimilation by, institutionalized culture.
Smile magazine's history is inextricably linked to the international Neoist Cultural Conspiracy and the English writer and cultural critic, Stewart Home. First published in 1984, Smile was the organ of Home's one-person movement, the Generation Positive. By the third issue (later that same year), Home had come into contact with the Canadian based Neoist movement, and recognizing that both were virtually identical, adopted the term 'Neoism' for his activities. Home would continue publishing Smile until the eleventh issue in 1989, just before he commenced participation in the Art Strike, 1990-1993.
The received myth of Neoism's beginnings takes place with the initial 1976 encounter in Budapest between David Zack (an American writer and correspondence artist), and István Kántor (a Hungarian medical student and aspiring pop singer). During their conversations Zack outlined his proposal for the creation of an 'open popstar,' who's name would be Monty Cantsin. A year later Kántor emigrated to Montreal and subsequently visited Zack, who was living in Portland, Oregon. This visit confirmed Kántor's new identity as Monty Cantsin 'open popstar,' and soon after returning to Montreal he formed the Neoist movement. Although Kántor is the individual most closely identified with the Monty Cantsin name, the open popstar idea was premised upon the 'multiple name' concept, that is, multiple people using the same name. By utilizing the Monty Cantsin name, anyone could participate in expanding the collective identity of Monty Cantsin, save themselves the time and effort involved in establishing a name, and further the cause of Neoism.
Defining Neoism or indeed 'classifying' it, is a predictably difficult affair. Quite literally, Neoism means "New-Ism," which establishes its modernist/avant-garde lineage, positions it as something that is always in the process of becoming, and establishes its refusal to commit to any specific formal means through which to achieve its ends. One Neoist has described it as "a movement to create the illusion that there's a movement called Neoism." (2) Kántor, when pressed for a definition of Neoism in 1993, replied that:
“I have thousands of definitions but none of them are good for anything, and perhaps always the newest one is the best.” [author’s italics] (3)
On the beginnings of Neoism, Kántor replied;
“The birth of neoism took place as follows: there was a name, and I said 'let's give it a try,' and whatever comes out will be called neoism.” (4)
Contrary to Neoism's etymological basis in 'newness' is it's refusal to generate new objects or ideas. Neoism's strategy is one of appropriating previously extant activities and ideas as it's own. Kántor elaborates on this signature characteristic of Neoism;
“It uses 'ready-made' ideas. It does not necessarily have to invent a form. But the form that has already been used can be re-used by Neoism and turned into something else. If you look at the principles of Neoism actually you can immediately see that inventions are old and boring. The Neoists don't want to invent things, the Neoists want to apply things better than anyone else. Originality, uniqueness and the term 'new' are not what's important anymore. What is important is that we completely recycle all the ideas that already exist, as if somebody had recycled the whole of the 20th century.” (5)
Stewart Home in Moscow, 1979
Home was also interested in recycling previously used ideas, in particular, the idea of the avant-garde and the critique of the institution of art. In 1985 his impact on Neoism's history would take a decisive turn. After returning from the Ninth Neoist Festival in Ponte Nossa, Italy, he announced his split from Neoism in his "Open Letter to the Neoist network and the public at large;"
“My approach to art, life and politics has not changed, I simply feel it's no longer feasible for me to be a 'neoist.' Splits and schisms are essential to my conception of neoism and any public slanging match between an ex-neoist and the remaining members of the movement is worth twelve dozen great works of art. Ultimately what all neoists should aim for is an acrimonious split with the movement. To leave neoism is to realize it.” (6)
Home's paradigmatic avant-garde split with Neoism took place on a number of different levels. Frustrated over the Neoist strategy that deliberately obscured its own aims, Home wanted to introduce a clarity in its theoretical position and historical precedents. (7) To achieve the former he linked Neoism with Situationism and Fluxus, two post-WWII groups he felt constituted part of this century's 'utopian current,' and for the latter he made the historical connection explicit when he wrote that Neoism "is an illegible note that Tristan Tzara allowed to fall from his breast pocket prior to a performance at the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916." (8) At the same time Home used the split to position himself as the architect of a rehabilitated Neoist 'avant-garde' that would be constructed in such a way that it could successfully be introduced into the historicisation process. A critical component in this strategy was his insight into the pivotal role that texts play in the construction of avant-garde movements. Homes states;
“When I hooked up with the Neoists, I thought certain aspects of the movement were underdeveloped. For example, there wasn’t enough text. This was one of the things I wanted to introduce in vast quantities...As a result [of this lack], the Neoists were in danger of losing their avant-garde identity and becoming just another part of the underground. While its members were madly documenting [their] events...there’d been a failure to grasp the central role that written reports played in the process of historicisation.” (9)
As a result, Home renewed his original call for the use of Smile as a multiple name in the context of periodical publishing and, in a direct challenge to Kántor, proposed the name Karen Eliot as a counter multiple name. With the implementation of these two strategies, Home cemented his split with Neoism, and through the promotion of Smile as an 'international magazine of multiple origins,' created a mechanism for the collective production of 'vast quantities' of printed matter.
It is clear that deeply imbedded in the history and development of Neoism is the strategy of multiple names and their use in the construction of collective identities. For David Zack, the initiator of the concept, it was a way "that people can share their art power." (10) For Kántor and Home, the collective strategy of multiple names resists the construction of the individual and of their subsequent control:
Kántor: “By giving the same name to different people we create a kind of confusion that makes control impossible—because everybody has the same name there is no control possible.” (11)
Home: “It is in Power's interest that each individual has a unique name, thus making them easily identifiable. Without these classifications Power cannot control because it cannot differentiate, divide and isolate.” (12)
Multiple names, through their very multiplicity, were seen by Neoists as resisting capitalism's construction and reification of the individual, and as proposing an alternative, non-hierarchical and collectively constructed identity. Implicit in this strategy of multiplicity is a critique of a string of related concepts, recognized by both Kántor and Home, that are linked to the construction of the 'individual' and valorized under capital, some of these are: genius, originality, artist/author/ producer, ownership and copyright.
While I recognize that these are important features of the multiple name concept and integral to Neoism's position (as well as being ripe for a postmodern analysis), I want, for the purposes of this paper, to concentrate on another aspect of multiple names. What I want to propose is that Home's active promotion of the use of multiple names (for individuals and periodicals), was another part of his 'avant-gardization' of Neoism, and that through this double application of the multiple name concept, he was able to influence how and in what manner, Neoism would be manifested, and equally importantly, how it would be documented.
My second point is that it was only through the activation of the multiple name concept and the establishment of collective identities that Neoism could be perceived as an avant-garde movement. Multiple names gave a collective form to the 'form-lessness' at the center of Neoism. Home's investment in this strategy is clear, if Neoism was not perceived as an avant-garde movement then his plans for its eventual historicisation would not take place.
One of the ostensible reasons for Home's split with the Neoists was his observation that István Kántor had become over-identified with Monty Cantsin and was therefore diminishing the revolutionary potential of this strategy. Kántor himself suggests that this critique was substantially correct in the following statements;
“Because I was the first person to become Monty Cantsin and I created the name Neoism, I was completely beholden by it, and I put all my life and energy into it.” (13)
“This Monty Cantsin job is one of the most difficult ones I ever got, and it is not easy to accomplish it and balance the fictive and real parts.” (14)
This 'over-identification' on Kántor's behalf gave Home added incentive to insert his own multiple name, Karen Eliot, into the Neoist context. For Home, multiple names were to be approached as 'open contexts,' as situations, rather than as 'jobs;
“Karen Eliot is a name which refers to an individual human being who can be anyone. The name is fixed, the people using it aren't. Anyone can become Karen Eliot simply by adopting the name, but they are only Karen Eliot for the period in which the name is used. Karen Eliot was materialized, rather than born, as an open context in the summer of '85. When one becomes Karen Eliot one's previous existence consists of the acts other people have undertaken using the name.” (15)
The Karen Eliot 'open context' generated a substantial amount of texts and actions in her name, as well as revitalizing the collective use of Monty Cantsin. It is interesting to note that although Home put forward Karen Eliot as an 'other' to Kántor's Monty Cantsin, there was no discussion on his behalf, or others, around issues of gender.
Home's original proposal in his own Smile #2 (1984), for the use of multiple names in the context of periodical publishing and his renewed promotion of it a year later in conjunction with his introduction of the Karen Eliot multiple name, must be seen as his one 'original' contribution to Neoism. As it turned out, the Smile collective publishing project was extremely successful with approximately 50 titles and an estimated 150 issues published across three continents. The accelerated activity undertaken during these years by cultural workers using the multiple name strategy established Smile as a printed matter environment that played a key role in activating and networking a decentralized community of participants. Home, by collapsing the use of both Monty Cantsin and Karen Eliot into one periodical, and through his own numerous published writings, established himself as a pivotal, and contested, theorist of Neoism. It is not incidental that after his break with Neoism, later issues of his own Smile (#8-11, 1985-89) were published with greater attention to design, in a larger A4 size and in substantially greater print runs than its contemporaries.
Home's insertion of himself into the Neoist movement and his restructuring of its theoretical and historical context illustrates one of his major investments in the movement—preparing Neoism for, and actively participating in, the process of its historicisation and its eventual assimilation into institutionalized culture. Central to this whole operation is the activating role he created for himself, "What's crucial to any avant-garde group is you have to have at least one theorist to try and formulate the whole thing as a movement." (16) It is in this context that Smile (particularly Home's), can be seen as one of the more significant artefacts to be produced by Neoism. The texts that Home published in his Smile, ranged from Neoist texts to his own fiction and poetry, to surveys of post-WWII art movements, cultural criticism, as well as promoting the two major projects that he was involved with from 1985 onwards—the Festivals of Plagiarism and the Art Strike 1990-1993. As a strategy for bringing together a wide variety of texts and, to a lesser extent, images generated by multiple Neoists, Smile magazine provided a broad umbrella for these collective activities.
One particular tactic that helped fill out the pages of many Smile magazines, was the use of 'positive plagiarism.' Implicit in the Neoist position and popularized by Home, this strategy enabled Neoists to creatively re-use each others' texts as well as found and ready-made texts, all the while amplifying and extending the printed matter basis of Neoism. It is also not surprising to discover that large amounts of Home's texts are to be found re-used throughout many other Smiles. As Home made clear in an earlier statement, he viewed the production of texts as integral to establishing Neoism's avant-garde credentials. While this is undeniably correct, it also reflects an activity that remains central to Home's own oeuvre, and that is his career as a writer and cultural critic. It is here that two rather interesting stands of Home's strategy intersect; the imperative to publish more texts and Home's own ambition to 'author' the movement. For, while Home had encouraged the production of texts by multiple 'anonymous' authors, he was, through his own growing publishing profile, able to construct himself as the 'author' of a revitalized Neoist movement, through a medium he clearly had an investment in, and in a form (Smile) that he had initiated and done so much to propagate.
Home's success was the entry of Smile, and by implication himself, into the academy. It remains to be seen however, whether the process of historicisation will confirm Home in his carefully constructed position, one which he quite succinctly summarized in a 1986 article, in which he stated, "Theorists start out as authors and end up as authorities." (17, 18)
1. Ford, Simon. Smile Classified (exhibition booklet). National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum: London, 1992, p. 1.
2. Convenience, Tentatively. History Begins Where Life Ends (pamphlet). Baltimore: Self-published, nd, p. 5. In this article Convenience credits this statement to John Berndt.
3. Pain, Paddy. "István Kántor," (interview), Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 17.
4. Perneczky, Geza. The Magazine Network, Soft Geometry: Koln, 1993, p. 157.
5. Pain, Paddy. "István Kántor," (interview), Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 18.
6. Home, Stewart. "Open letter to the neoist network and the public at large," Smile, #8, 1985, p. 1.
7. On Neoism’s obscurantism Homes writes: “In '84 after I met the Neoists...I just started reading more and more of the Situationist stuff...and thinking yes I want to put more of this kind of stuff into the group because it's too kind of loose and floppy and soft and István's saying I don't want to define what we're doing, anything can be Neoist, and this became slightly tedious...it wasn't like anything could be Neoist because it was a very specific thing but it was pretending it wasn't and it was refusing to explain it to people on any level, and also I think avant-garde groups have very limited lives...the whole thing was playing with trying to historicise things...most of the group had a very sort of ambiguous attitude about being taken into museums and I thought...what we have to do first of all is kill the movement because things don't get historicised until they are dead.” In, Pain, Paddy. "Stewart Home," (interview), Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 26.
8. Smile, #7, 1985, p. 4. Home outlines the aims of the 'utopian current' by stating that "the partisans of this tradition aim not just at the integration of art and life, but of all human activities. They have a critique of social separation and a concept of totality." In, Home, Stewart. The Assault on Culture: Utopian Currents from Lettrisme to Class War. Aporia Press & Unpopular Books: London, 1988.
9. Home, Stewart. Neoism, Plagiarism & Praxis, AK Press: Endinburgh/San Francisco, 1995, p. 170.
10. Letter from David Zack to Grauf Haufen (1986) in: Cantsin, Monty. Neoism Now, Artcore Editions: Berlin, 1987, unpaginated.
11. Pain, Paddy. "István Kántor," (interview), Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 18.
12. Home, Stewart. Smile, 36, 1984, p. 4.
13. Pain, Paddy. "István Kántor," (interview), Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 19.
14. Kántor, István, in Smile, #23, nd., p. 9.
15. Home, Stewart, in Smile, #11, 1989, p. 1.
16. Pain, Paddy. "Stewart Home," (interview). Kinokaze, #2, 1993, p. 23.
17. Home, Stewart. "From Author to Authority," Smile, #9, 1986, p. 14.
18. Despite the traditionally academic stance that this paper takes, I feel it necessary to declare my own minimal involvement with the Neoist movement. I met Home during late summer of 1985 in London, and at this time he encouraged me to adopt the name Karen Eliot and to publish a magazine called Smile. While reluctant to give up my ‘individuality’ to a project I knew little about, I was nonetheless intrigued by his proposal. As a result of this encounter, and upon my return to the USA, I adopted the name Janet Janet for one part of my cultural activities. Between 1986-89 she published texts and visual works in a number of international artists’ periodicals, presented performances in the S.F. Bay Area and participated in group shows organized by the correspondence art network. From 1985-89 she published 14 issues of Schism magazine. The name Schism was chosen from Home’s reference to ‘splits and schisms’ in his 1985 “Open Letter to the Neoist network and the public at large,” published in this paper. As a result of these connections, as well as Schism’s oblique similarity to the word Smile, Schism is considered part of the Smile publishing project and was displayed in the National Art Library’s Smile show. Janet Janet ceased all activities at the beginning of the Art Strike in 1990.
Wednesday, March 02, 1994
Tuesday, March 01, 1994
STATEMENT No. 2
by Igor Bärtolech
What kind of sick joke is this? War…. I’m close to the edge. There’s no money for basic stuff. The electricity is so expensive that most of us can’t pay it. Even with this price soon there will be restrictions up to 16 hrs. The hate and nationalism raging. I live no long time in this dread. I forgot everything else. After 5 years of “working in overdrive” my brain start to make errors. My body decay. I’m unable to function normally. Most of the people here are on drugs or drinking. Or both. Life here is dangerous mixture of depression, apathy, fear and boredom. Who opened the door to nowhere????
Tuesday, February 15, 1994
PIC HO: FABLES – Exhibition at ODC Gallery, 2001
by Professor Mukka
Pic Ho is a magi! It is so more by a default than by an intention. There are two reasons for this claim. So candidly epitomized in Fable #54, Pic Ho is here ... yet he is not! Fable #54 muses on a droll woman caught in the ephemereal moment of browsing through a bound book titled "Not Now, But Now" (further ameliorated by the lustre in one spectacle of her glasses glimmering to a degree of fake retouching job.)
My claim, as well as that of the book title itself is literally an heurestic oxymoron, or at least malopropism, but the picture is a real figurative rendition of both, whether we want or not. Same truth applies to us viewers: "we can think, and also think of ourselves as well, but not both at the same time." This play is what makes Pic Ho is a kind of a visual prestidigitator that makes putting rabbits back into an empty hat look like a greater magic than vice versa. For the latter reason, he doesn't let us speak of his work at a great length, although that is to be an argument which I will try to prove fallacious.
As much as available records provide, Pic Ho was born between 1953 and 1954 in the suburb of Bumthung in Northern Bhutan: "The violent storms echoing from precipitious spurs of Himalyas give the once hermit kingdom of Bhutan its name of "Land of the Thunder Dragon." Archery is a national sport and leech infested jungle cloaks Southern foothills along the border with India ... " tells us the summary of Bhutan in the National Geographic Atlas. Five thousand tourists are permited to enter the kingdom and each is charged $250 for admission.
At the age 9, Pic Ho was acosted by one Charles Meredith, engineering consultant from Seattle who, in 1962, was supervising construction of the first paved road in Bhutan. Meredith's wife Ellen was so enchanted by Pic Ho's voice while Pic Ho was singing to his uncle's yak herd on the side of the newly paved road that she illegally arranged for his adoption. With his new home came also a new passion, practically unknown in his homeland - photography.
In a collection of his texts later presented here, he refers to the camera as "box" and taking photographs, to him, equals "boxing" events, places and people into his magic receptacle. Pic Ho is, simply put, a straight street shooter, that is a trigger-happy shooter to be sure. His work can be described as a conglomerate of several overlapping stylistic devices and in this sense, this exhibit does not fully credit Pic Ho's scope of work. We selected pictures so they represent Pic Ho's multifaceted eye while preserving some thematic and formal consistency in the exhibit’s narrow extent.
Pic Ho’s dominant and unifying stylistic device is removal of the context of the situation using innate property of the medium. Photography is a practically formulaic method isolating events from their context with the hegemony of selectivity being the main dictating principle. According to Pic Ho this is a device that creates in his pictures the sense of "fabulosity." The strength of a picture is the conveyance of inherent drama in any temporal situation that suggests and/or occludes what may have happened, and what may happen in the next moment. It is a "sloughing off" of the information from both ends of a temporal event to create a potentially gripping pain of the force-fed imagination into a viewers' dank expectations. This feature is again quasi-pedanticly manifested in Fable # 23 - a picture of a family, hierachically raked, anxiously watching as well as videotaping an event that is absent in the frame, but which rivets the subjects together physically and emotionally. The riveting of the family in the photograph is extended vicariously to us. Not knowing what is going to happen in their field of vision becomes paradigmatic to our speculation about what is happening to them. This is the same way in which, when visiting ZOO park, we tend to videotape monkeys rather then people who are watching the monkeys. In Fable # 15, the physical rendition of subjects in the photograph is almost archetypal to the notion of disbelief of what may have happened or not - monkeys plummeting from the high boughs, down to a swinging tire.
The other leitmotifs in Pic Ho’s work are inclusion of textual elements and representation of consumption-related activities such as eating, buying, tasting, yearning, regurgating, etc. In reflection, there is nothing pleasing in Fable # 8: a woman's rear exposed while rummaging for a good deal, and a little visual pleasure one can find in Fable #11 - another woman lumbering out of the undersized vehicle until we read a text on the fast food bag in her hand: "Your car hasn't smelled better since it was new."
In the selection of Pic Ho's work here, we tried to find an axenic mix of various degrees of permutations of the above-mentioned characteristics - sometimes demure and blithe, next time harrowing and pestilent, to satiate a savvy viewer.
To summarize, Pic Ho's photographs do not try to be novel or avantgarde. Pic Ho is recording his environment without denying he, himself, of being an integral part of it. This is certainly not dissimilar to his Buddhist roots. Pic Ho's fables are mere hermeneutical discernments of the infinitely-magnified pictoresqueness of space-time we cohabitate. The sentiment of Pic Ho's photographs around us is aptly expressed by Joshua Cisterna's blurp in PonyUp magazine: "His eyes are trenchant, his heart without ullage, and his tongue proud of diastemas."
Tuesday, February 01, 1994
RIP: John Chadwick
New York - John Chadwick, a self-effacing linguist who played a critical role in deciphering the ancient Greek writings known as linear B, died in England on November 24. Mr. Chadwick was 78 and a longtime resident of Cambridge. In an era in which astronauts spend weeks in space and sheep are cloned, it is hard to imagine the excitement - or the controversy - that two men created in 1953, when Mr. Chadwick and his colleague, Michael Ventris, announced that they had unlocked the secrets to a puzzle that had confounded scholars for more than half a century, finding that Linear B was a style of Greek used 500 years before the age of Homer. The mystery began in 1900 when Sir Arthur Evans, a British archeologist excavating the ancient Minoan palace at Cnossos on Crete discovered clay tablets imprinted with strange pictographs. The 90 or so symbols on these and other tablets later found elsewhere on Crete and in a few places on the Greek mainland dated to about 1400 B.C. and bore no resemblance to any known writing. Evans and others may not have been able to decipher Linear B or to account for its origin, but they had no doubts on one point: it was not Greek. Also, the entire European Bronze Age world was thought to have been illiterate. Ventris and Mr. Chadwick found that there had been a Greek-speaking and -writing people on Crete hundreds of years before the rise of the Greek city states. Mr. Chadwick, a London native who had served in the navy in World War II, had only a slight interest in Linear B until he happened to hear a radio interview in June 1952 in which Ventris discussed his theory. Fascinated, Mr. Chadwick wrote to Ventris, and the two men began an intense collaboration. In a matter of months, they produced a complete system to decipher the ancient tablets and eventually translated 300 of them, mostly commercial inventories. They were published as “ Documents In Mycenaen Greek” in 1956, just weeks before Ventris was killed in an automobile accident.
- New York Times
Tuesday, January 18, 1994
Wednesday, January 12, 1994
VOLSENI JOURNAL: January 12, 1994
by Mr. Anthony Scott
I am seated somewhat precariously upon one of the hard unbalanced chairs inside the darkened interior of what seems to be known only as “Hunza’s pub,” having been directed to this gloomy establishment by a man named Tully Bascombe, an old associate of my father’s from the time of the Afghan Situation. My father has maintained only sporadic contact with Mr. Bascombe over the decades, just a handful of postcards really, yet he assured me that Mr. Bascombe would take me in hand and treat me as his own son. A single message sent by my father resulted in a prompt reply, a few terse yet not unfriendly words written in small neat block letters on a postcard which somehow found me in the fetid hostel I was temporarily occupying in Timisoara. The image on the card was of three young people, two women and a man, holding bushels or sheaves in their arms and looking skyward. The caption read ”Flax Pickers of the Autonomous Republic.” On the reverse side of the postcard was written merely “Noon. Hunza’s pub. Volseni. Do not let him serve you Malibu.” And was signed Tully Bascombe.” And so I roused myself from the swamp of a bed I’d been assigned, collected my few belongings into my trusty leather valise, the one given to me with much solemnity and a teary eye by my father, and made my way through the rank depressing cobblestoned alleys and squares to Timisoara’s ramshackle train station. Fortune seemed to be with me, as there was no line at the ticket counter. I ordered my passage to Volseni, a complicated itinerary which necessitated much referencing of dusty crumbling schedule books by the not-unattractive yet quite professional brunette woman agent. She had begun writing out my ticket when I realized that my supply of Rumanian lei had dwindled during soporific afternoons spent in rowdy smoke-filled worker’s pubs and I did not have enough for my fare. I excused myself saying that I must rush to the money-changer’s and that I would be back forthwith to conclude our transaction. Said expedition was handled quite expeditiously and I returned no more than six minutes later only to find that the woman had disappeared. In front of me on the counter lay my ticket, half-filled. There was still no one in line and there was another agent, a balding, pleasant-looking man, sitting just over a meter away reading a glossy magazine devoted to the celebrities of Rumanian television. I politely explained to him my situation even though he must have heard everything that transpired during my first appearance at the counter. He looked at me, looked at the half-filled ticket, and, returning his gaze to his magazine, explained that he could not finish filling out a ticket that another agent had begun, and that I would have to wait for my original agent to return from her lunch. Lunch in Timisoara being often a quite lengthy and leisurely preoccupation, I repaired to a hard wooden bench in the small main waiting area, rolled myself a cigarette with my diminishing supply of Old Jack Bull tobacco and passed an uncomfortable hour until Madame Agent returned, at which time we concluded our transaction and I managed narrowly to jump aboard my train just before it lurched out of the station. This creaking mechanical contraption chittered and whined its way through Arad and Curtici, crossing the border at Lökösháza, then spent a full day lumbering fitfully through the dreary towns humped like mushrooms across the sodden plains of Hungary: Békescsaba, Gyoma, Szolnok and their ilk. I detrained at the latter just after midnight and waited in the morning chill until sunrise, when I caught my connecting train. By this time my supplies of comestibles was eradicated and a great hunger grew in me, stoked in reverse as it were by the damp cold of my long wait, so I leaned precariously from my compartment’s window to purchase sickly-sweet pastries and a lukewarm cup of equally treacly čaj from a grimy vendor on the platform at Ùjszász, after which I finally managed a fretful nap. Disembarking once more at Hatvan, I caught the day’s main train, coming from Budapest. This conveyance made somewhat better time over the delapidated steel of the Hungarian railway. Unfortunately I had once again to carry off my bag & coat in Füzesabony, catch another ancient steam-spitting beast which groaned its way at a cow’s pace up into the sparsely wooded foothills which began just outside of Miskolc. We rose and fell in elevation as we continued through the hills and valleys surrounding Felsőzsolca and Hidasnémeti. By the time our wavering steam engine began to grapple in earnest with the Carpathian foothills, the mordant heat of the afternoon had waned and a chill descended upon us once again, as did hunger. By the time we arrived in Košice, around 23:00, I was ravenous, but I had no time to spare as I had immediately to dash across the rusted tracks of the Slovak railyard in order to leap at the last second aboard an even rustier conveyance which only the blind or polite might have termed a “train.” Slumping onto a hard wooden bench at the mercifully yet eerily otherwise-unpopulated car, I let my bag and coat slide wearily to the wooden! floor. In the harsh halogen light I could only barely make out the dreary shadows of Košican suburbs as we moaned and slid away from the station. Soon darkness, disinterest and fatigue sucked me into a fitful torpor which could only pass for sleep in the direst of circumstances. After some time I forced myself awake; I had no real notion of how long it was to be before we would arrive in Volseni. My sense of time and geography had worn thin and it seemed to me that I was travelling across the surface of a moon of Edgar Rice Burrough’s imagining. Tall twisted dark shapes scraped our rusted hull intermittently, spooking me out of my nightmares. Strange beasts howled in what must certainly be an antediluvian forest passing by. Our short stop in Přešov seemed like an episode in a dream, steam billowing around the cab and into the open windows, adding to the relentless humidty which had somehow followed me up out of the valleys and into what were, I could faintly see by the lights of this station, mountains. I leaned out the windows on either side and was reminded of something unusual which I had noticed only subliminally as I dashed for this train: there was but this single car, there was no engine. I sat alone in what was, I realized, more like a gondola, like the one that rises so majestically to the summit of the Zügspitz, though this was poor pitiful second cousin to that sleek Bavarian chariot. Everywhere rust and dust and mere flecks of paint so worn down into the grain of the wood that it no longer even peeled. And all covered with a thick coat of Slovak grease, oil and soot. I sat on a wooden bench which spread all across the rear of the vehicle, this gondola as it were, while the other end faced me with a steel wall punctuated with a few levers, pulls and wheels on each side of a shut steel door dead center in in the wall’s grim span. Surely the engineer sat or stood in some fetid cubicle on the other side of that door, probably drinking heavily and smoking Spartas, gnawing on a stale roll between bites of what passes of sausage in this region. As that thought entered my mind, so did another; I shuddered and said a silent prayer as a chill spread from the back of my neck down into my whole body. Better a human engineer, even an evil one, a neanderthal, than the devil which I suddenly thought surely must be driving me deep into his Carpathian stronghold…. How silly the human mind can get when wracked by fatigue and overwhelmed by huge doses of the unknown presented in iconic shapes of dark night, dark forest, deep impenetrable shadow! I laugh now to remember the rising sense of terror that I slid on like the icy surface of a lake in winter. Of course there was no devil, of course I was not torn everlastingly limb from limb by half-dog, half-woman vampires at the bottom of a dank well, unable to die and unable after the twelfth century to scream anymore. Hahahaha. I laugh to think of it. Of course what really happened was much more banal. In spite of my apprehension, not wanting to miss my stop, I succumbed to a deep sleep which I will admit I did not expect to awake from. But awake I did, and by coincidence only a half hour before our arrival at Volseni station. Of the exact duration of the trip I am not sure, not of what manner of countryside we had passed through before arriving in this narrow near-Alpine valley in which Volseni lay, a valley wooded mainly with conifers, beech, cedar and, somewhat incongruously, elms and oaks. As we descended into the valley I could make out random clusters of ash and acacia, then stands of birch, rowan and even jasmine. The station sat nondescriptly at one low corner of the town which rose up away from it towards the base of massive white granite cliffs wreathed at their summit by thick clouds or fog in spite of the midday sun which warmed my skin as I stood gawking like a tourist on the platform. Across the river, just behind me as I faced the town, thick stands of aspens fluttered like confetti in the light of bright day. Brilliant sunlight blinded me as I looked for a clock on the walls of the station. Finally a dusty ancient horloge on the end wall of the almost uninhabited station warned me it was almost noon. My hair and skin and clothing were all in frightful state, and I had hoped to find someplace, even the bathroom of the station perhaps, to freshen up before meeting with the mysterious Mr. Bascombe, but now there was really no opportunity. The terse syntax of Bascombe’s postcard had initiated the formation of a mental image of an equally brusque individual whom I would be loathe to start off on a bad foot with by being late for our initial meeting, so I began hurrying my steps toward - well I was at a loss there. I considered looking for a town map inside the station, but decided against taking the time, as in my experience such maps did not normally list the locations of pubs. I thought I would be better served by finding a Volsenian, Volsenite, Volsenard, Volsenist or any representative of genus Volsenvolk and ask directions. From the front entrance of the station a narrow street led somewhat steeply up several blocks to what looked to be a broader, sunlit avenue, while the train station plaza, as it spread out to my right, narrowed into a dusty street lined on one side with trees and leading to a low stone bridge which spanned the river. The latter seemed to me, somewhat counterintuitively, to lead more directly to the center of town, so I began to stagger off in that direction. No sooner had I started when I noticed in the distance the first human figure I’d seen since Košice, a figure on a bicycle, wobbling slowly in my direction. The dust and sun and the desperate dehydrated state of my eyeballs made it extremely difficult to make out anything clearly. Slowly the wavering figure resolved itself into the odd sight of a gaunt man with large straight nose and stringy unwashed hair pedalling slowly atop a heavy rusted black bicycle of the sort ridden by Swiss military police. His immensly large dark eyes stared at me knowingly and a smile played a tune across the thin, bowed shape of his lips, but he rode by me without stopping. Well, I thought as I continued trudging towards the stone bridge, this looks to be an odd place, and populated by odd inhabitants. After I’d made slow progress over another thirty or so meters of dusty intermittently-cobbled roadway, the man on the bicycle rode past me once again, looking me over with an amused appraising eye without, however, stopping. Was I that obviously a stranger? Yes I supposed that in a small place such as this any new traveller would stand out. The man wheeled round about twenty meters ahead and came back in my direction, passed by again, wheeled round and finally pulled up to keep pace beside me. “I suppose you are the man I have come to find,” he drawled in a slow resonant voice. His tone was odd somehow, as if he were stating a fact rather than asking for any confirmation. I did however manage a tired half-nod. “We have much to talk about, you and I. But now is not the time. You will find Hunza’s pub at the far end of this road. Walk past the bridge and past the park. The pub is on the left, at the corner of Misérèrstrasse. It will not look as if it is a pub, so you must look into the windows and you will see the type of arrangement of tables and chairs which is typical of any pub. It will be dark, so it will look as if it is closed, but if you keep looking until your eyes adjust to the darkness, you will see a man sitting in the middle of the pub, either reading a book in the dark or simply holding his head in his hands as if he is suffering great grief. That is Hunza, the owner of the pub. You must go inside the door and make your presence known to him, then he will rouse himself to serve you. Take yourself a beer, I recommend the local type, it is called PilsBerg. Or a wine, if you prefer, but be warned that the local wines are quite sweet, too sweet for my tongue. Sip your drink and wait quietly. Your friend will come along to meet you in good time.” With that, he wheeled away to his left and started riding up a wide plaza which surely must be the central point of this entire village, surrounded as it was by a variety of shops. A great stone tooth jutted up behind the large buildings at the top end of the plaza, a sharp granite shard 100 meters high yet dwarfed by the immense granite cliff immediately behind it. And at the top of that immense white-grey mountain perched what must be the Kohoutenberg itself: 8 or 9 stories of smooth white granite dotted with windows, crowned with peaked grey slate roofs and ennobled by a few towers of various shapes and styles. The sight of it tookwhat remained of my breath away. My mysterious bicyclist turned his head about halfway up the plaza and yelled back to me: “Under no circumstances let Hunza serve you Malibu!” (to be continued)