Friday, 3 November 2017

Quote by Sharon Hayes

"For sure, there is something to be said for a photograph that is sexy. I noticed another kind of desire when I went to the libraries of gay and lesbian centers and looked through photographic col- lections; in particular, the collections of photographers who were shooting specifically queer events from 1969–1971. There the issue of desire is completely transparent, because if you look in the files you realize one photographer is taking pictures of beefy guys he’s attracted to. Or another is fixated on collections of peo- ple who are kissing and hugging. You see the desire of the docu- menter quite plainly. So one site of a desiring encounter is between the photographer and the subject, and then there’s my desire toward that desire. Because when I look at any of those images, I’m not looking at just the body in the image; I’m looking through the desiring eye of the camera."

- Sharon Hayes

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Beast in the Jungle by Henry James (1903)

"Yet when she finally drifted toward him, distinctly handsome, though ever so much older—older than when he had seen her before—it might have been as an effect of her guessing that he had, within the couple of hours, devoted more imagination to her than to all the others put together, and had thereby penetrated to a kind of truth that the others were too stupid for. She was there on harder terms than any one; she was there as a consequence of things suffered, one way and another, in the interval of years; and she remembered him very much as she was remembered—only a good deal better."

"To tell her what he had told her—what had it been but to ask something of her? something that she had given, in her charity, without his having, by a remembrance, by a return of the spirit, failing another encounter, so much as thanked her. What he had asked of her had been simply at first not to laugh at him. She had beautifully not done so for ten years, and she was not doing so now. So he had endless gratitude to make up."

"There was that in his situation, no doubt, that disposed him too much to see her as a mere confidant, taking all her light for him from the fact—the fact only—of her interest in his predicament; from her mercy, sympathy, seriousness, her consent not to regard him as the funniest of the funny. Aware, in fine, that her price for him was just in her giving him this constant sense of his being admirably spared, he was careful to remember that she had also a life of her own, with things that might happen to her, things that in friendship one should likewise take account of."

"If they were as unsettled as he was—he who had never been settled for an hour in his life—they would know what it meant. Yet it wasn’t, all the same, for him to make them, and he listened to them civilly enough. This was why he had such good—though possibly such rather colourless—manners; this was why, above all, he could regard himself, in a greedy world, as decently—as in fact perhaps even a little sublimely—unselfish."

"It was always open to him to accuse her of seeing him but as the most harmless of maniacs, and this, in the long run—since it covered so much ground—was his easiest description of their friendship. He had a screw loose for her but she liked him in spite of it and was practically, against the rest of the world, his kind wise keeper, unremunerated but fairly amused and, in the absence of other near ties, not disreputably occupied."

"he could only take her as she showed—as capable even yet of helping him. It was as if, at the same time, her light might at any instant go out; wherefore he must make the most of it. There passed before him with intensity the three or four things he wanted most to know; but the question that came of itself to his lips really covered the others. 'Then tell me if I shall consciously suffer'."

"The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. She had lived—who could say now with what passion?—since she had loved him for himself; whereas he had never thought of her (ah how it hugely glared at him!) but in the chill of his egotism and the light of her use."

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sartre's preface to Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth

- “ ‘you are making us into monstrosities; your humanism claims we are at one with the rest of humanity but your racist methods set us apart’”

- “in order to fight against us the former colony must fight against itself: or, rather, the two form part of the whole”

- “you warned them that if they shed to much blood you would disown them, or say you did, in something of the same way as any state maintains abroad a mob of agitators, agents provocateurs, and spies who it disowns when caught. You, who are so liberal and so humane, who have such an exaggerated adoration of culture that it verges on affectation, you pretend to forget that you own colonies and that in them men are massacred in your name”

- “yes, terrified; at this fresh stage, colonial aggression turns inward in a current of terror among the natives. By this I do not only mean the fear that they experienced when faced with our inexhaustible means of repression but also that which their own fury produces in them. They are cornered between our guns pointed at them and those terrifying compulsions, those desires for murder which spring from the depth of their spirits and which they do not always recognize; for at first it is not their violence, it is ours, which turns back on itself and rends them; and the first action of these oppressed creatures is to bury deep down that hidden anger which their and our moralities condemn and which is however only the last refuge of their humanity”

Stuart Hall on identities

“Identities are never unified and, in late modern times, increasingly fragmented and fractured; never singular but multiply constructed across different, often intersecting and antagonistic discourses, prcatices and positions. They are subject to a radical historicization, and are constantly in the process of change and transformation”.

On Foucault and the “aesthetics of existence”: “a deliberate stylization of daily life; and its technologies are most effectively demonstrated in the practices of self-production, in specific modes of conduct, in what we have come from later work to recognize as a kind of performativity”. 

- Stuart Hall, “Who Needs Identity?”, 17, 26. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Richard Weller

On Monday, I attended a lecture by Richard Weller on his Landscape Works. Some key words, phrases and concepts I'd noted down include the following:

- proposals for no man's land
- framing voids
- infrastructures as sociopolitical arenas as opposed to aesthetic
- how to reconstruct communities after disasters
- resilience and sustainability
- biodiversity hotspots
- integration of industry with public transport
- urban development where city expansion is not sustainable
- new cities - how to represent the future in a way compelling but not fraudulent or alienating
- urbanism as attuned to topography
- global biodiversity and its pressures (on the planet)
- conservation communities - neocolonial?
- protected land must be representative and connected - must be applied to all 867 eco-regions of the planet
- biological hotspots
- conflict maps
- Peri-urbanism (edges of cities)
- ecological landscape restoration
- Global South and education
- global responsibility
- national ecological network
- species and linguistic complexities
- planetary garden, constant involvement

This is the link to Weller's project Atlas for the End of the World:

Weller's website:

Cities in hotspots