- Chernobyl. Reactor 4 (center), turbine building (lower left), reactor 3 (center right). Wikipedia.

Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life.

- The Smiths: “Panic!" (1986)

A story circulated as the basis for the song is that days before recording the song, Marr and Morrissey were listening to BBC Radio One when a news report announced the Chernobyl disaster. Straight afterwards, disc jockey Steve Wright played the song “I’m Your Man” by pop duo Wham!. “I remember actually saying, ‘What the fuck does this got to do with people’s lives?’” Marr recalled. “We hear about Chernobyl, then, seconds later, we’re expected to jump around to ‘I’m Your Man’”

- Wikipedia entry for The Smiths: “Panic

Dancing, with tears in my eyes

- Ultravox: “Dancing with tears in my eyes" (1984)

The video is about a nuclear power plant meltdown (…) depicts Midge Ure running home after discovering that a nuclear explosion is imminent. The video ends with the power plant exploding, and the image of a home movie of Ure, his wife and their child, with the visual effect of a melting film.

- Wikipedia entry for Ultravox’s: “Dancing with tears in my eyes

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
Ecclesiastes, 3.
What do we get for our trouble and pain?
The Smiths: “Miserable Lie”.
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
Ecclesiastes, 17.
Just a rented room in Whalley Range
The Smiths: “Miserable Lie”.
Archiving is the new folk art. Most of us spend more time organizing & managing our cultural artifacts that we do interacting with them.
It is the disconnection of objects from meanings which makes reconstruction both possible and necessary, and it also raises the possibility that the culture reconstructed might be different from the original construction (I’m reminded of Joseph Cornell’s collages). This suggests a more positive political program than the Fordist nostalgia and moralizing anti-consumerism that make up the most obvious message of the film. Can we ourselves, without waiting for the ecological apocalypse (or, even in the shadow it casts from the future) undertake this kind of bricolage, and liberate commodities from their commodification, assigning them new meanings and new uses?
Voyou: “Googie Apocalypse”.


Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter:

What is “performed” in drag is, of course, the sign of gender, a sign that is not the same as the body that it figures, but that cannot be read without it.

Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx:

The armor, this “costume” which no stage production will ever be able to leave out, we see it cover from head to foot, in Hamlet’s eyes, the supposed body of the father. We do not know whether it is or is not part of the spectral apparition. This protection is rigorously problematic (problema is also a shield) for it prevents perception from deciding on the identity that it wraps so solidly in its carapace. The armor may be but the body of a real artifact, a kind of technical prosthesis, a body foreign to the spectral body that it dresses, dissimulates, and protects, masking even its identity.


Uexküll approached animals such as ticks, flies, bees, birds, sea urchins, etc. as subjects rather than mechanisms. Through a careful analysis of their physiology, observations of their behavior, and behavioral experiments, Uexküll would make deductions about what the experience of the animal is like or how that particular animal experiences the world or what he calls its “umwelt“. Thus, for example, in the picture to the right above, we see a comparison between the umwelt of humans (top) and the umwelt of bees.

Uexküll - umwelt

Thus, in the bee umwelt depicted above, we encounter the interior world of bees or the world as they navigate it. Note, this alien phenomenology does not exclude the human, but merely opens us on to other worlds beyond the human. We’ll also notice that in the world of bees there are things that don’t appear in the human world and in the world of humans there are things that don’t appear in the bee world. […] In the world of humans you see a fish, a sailboat, and a cloud. In the world of the sea urchin, the fish, sailboat, and cloud turn into black blobs that are qualitatively distinct from one another.

- Levi R. Bryant: “The Interior of Objects”, on Jacob von Uexküll’s “A Foray Into the World of Animals and Humans”, in Larval Subjects

Google’s Self-Driving Car gathers almost 1 GB per SECOND. Here’s what it “sees” making a left turn

- Bill Gross, LinkedIn

google - umweltBill Gross

Goggles is the image search feature in the Google mobile app, and by layering the app’s best attempts to match his photos, Bland has created an artistic view of the world as seen through Google’s eyes. […] “I suppose watching how Google combines things has helped me see the world in a less conditioned way,” he says.



- Jakob Schiller: “Google Is Alive, It Has Eyes, and This Is What It Sees”, Wired.

Uexküll empieza por distinguir cuidadosamente la Umgebung, el espacio objetivo en el que vemos moverse a un ser vivo, de la Umwelt, el mundo-ambiente que está constituido por una serie más o menos dilatada de elementos a los que llama “portadores de significado” (Bedeutungsträger) o de “marcas” (Merkmalträger), que son los únicos que interesan a los animales. […] Cada ambiente es una unidad cerrada en sí misma, que resulta de la captación selectiva de una serie de elementos o de “marcas” en la Umbegung […]. La primera tarea del investigador que observa a un animal es la de reconocer los “portadores de significados” que constituyen su ambiente.

[…] Heidegger llama das Enthemmende, el desinhibidor, a lo que Uexküll definía como “portador de significado” y Enthemmungsring, círculo desinhibidor, a lo que el zoólogo denominaba Umwelt, medio ambiente. […] Heidegger se refiere al experimento (ya descrito por Uexküll) en el que una abeja, en el laboratorio, es colocada ante una taza llena de miel. Si, una vez que la abeja ha empezado a chupar, se le secciona el abdomen, sigue chupando tranquilamente mientras se ve cómo le sale la miel por el abdomen abierto. […] No advierte este exceso, ni siquiera la falta de su abdomen. De ningún modo, aunque prosiga con su actividad institual, precisamente porque no se da cuenta de que todavía hay miel. La abeja está sencillamente atrapada en el alimento.

[…] precisamente porque el animal, en su aturdimiento, tiene relación con todo lo que encuentra en el círculo desinhibidor, precisamente por esto no se encuentra en el lado de lo humano, precisamente por esto no tiene mundo […] En efecto, el instintivo ser-capaz del aturdimiento absorbido, es decir, del estar atrapado en lo que desinhibe, es un estar abierto a…, aunque sea con la marca de no relacionarse con ello. La piedra, por el contrario, no tiene ni siquiera esta posibilidad.

[…] ninguna excitabilidad de la planta o del animal pueden llevar jamás a lo viviente hacia lo libre, de modo tal que lo excitado pueda dejar de ser lo excitante […] Plantas y animales dependen de algo que les es externo, sin “ver” nunca el afuera ni el adentro.

- Giorgio Agamben: “Lo abierto: el hombre y el animal" (algunas citas son de Heidegger).

… and right through the center of Waldo Jeffers’ head, which split slightly, causing little rhythmic arcs of red to pulsate gently in the morning sun.
- The Velvet Underground: “The Gift”.
Her eyes with their long curved lashes looked straight before her, and though wide open, they seemed slightly puckered by the cheek-bones, because of the blood pulsing gently under the delicate skin.
- Gustave Flaubert: “Mme. Bovary” (trans. Eleanor Marx-Avelin), II-VII.
Ses yeux aux longs cils courbes regardaient devant elle, et, quoique bien ouverts, ils semblaient un peu bridés par les pommettes, à cause du sang, qui battait doucement sous sa peau fine.
- Gustave Flaubert: “Mme. Bovary”, II-VII.