Wednesday, September 24, 2008


and we think his son is oh, so, sexy...

we'd like to give them both honorary membership in the Revolution Nostalgia Disco Theater. We'll have to think of a name for the award (the Bruno, has been taken already by the SETI league), but it's clear that it will be in the form of a miniature revolving disco ball (what else.)

What to say about this clip except to quote Deleuze on Garrel which is how I found him in the first place.

"This may be the first case of a cinema of constitution, one which is truly constitutive: constituting bodies and in this way restoring our belief in the world, restoring our reason...It is doubtful that cinema is sufficient for this; but if the world has become bad cinema, in which we no longer believe, surely a true cinema can contribute to giving us back reasons to believe in the world and in vanished bodies?"

This is from Garrel's L'enfant secret (which is UNAVAILABLE!!!as far as I can tell.)

Here you see the quiet, intense focus on gesture and movement. Bodies, volumes, emerge from or are consumed by light and shadow.

Reading: lovely little essay on L'enfante secret

Speaking of bodies and missing persons. I saw the Vik Muniz show at Sikkema this week. I thought it was a clever idea--making exact replicas of the verso sides of iconic paintings and photographs. I was prepared to be tickled for a moment by the trick, but wow! GREAT SHOW!

Muniz makes us, the viewers, the missing bodies of the future. The experience becomes an elegiac projection of the past as well as the future. In the here and now, to read the verso of Van Gogh's Starry Night is to evoke a personal history of the missing image. I felt such (bodily) tenderness to those wooden objects. To think that humans had cared for, made their mark, and passed on this object, was heart-rending. Not, because it elicited the lost aura of the masterpiece, but because it made me mourn the loss of the physical object in the midst of all its images. I thought about a day when it would be too expensive or dangerous for the painting to exist outside of some titanium underground vault, and even if that were not the case, how the generations to come will perhaps not even be aware that there is a difference.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Occasional notes on Cinema--Cinema and Cliché

"A cliché is a sensory-motor image of the thing. As Bergson says, we do not perceive the thing or the image in its entirety, we always perceive less of it, only what we are interested in perceiving, or rather what is in our interest to perceive, by virtue of economic interests, ideological interests and psychological demands (I'd add physical, too.) We therefore normally perceive only clichés. But, if our sensory-motor schemata jam or break then a different type of image can appear: a pure optical-sound image, the whole image without metaphor, brings out the thing in itself, literally, in its excess of horror or beauty, in its radical or unjustifiable character, because it no longer has to be justified..." Deleuze, The Time-Image

some thoughts on this: if our consciousness according to Bergson and Deleuze is by its nature, impoverished relative to the entirety of the image because of its subtraction by the body, then perhaps desire is an irreducible component of consciousness, in so far as memory (of other possible images) is operative. Now, consider the future with barrage of images and mechanical memories allowing archival retrieval on a scale that is not possible with the human brain. The situation of information overload can lead to a desire for stasis, a desire for culling and comfort provided by kitsch. At the same time, kitsch is like drinking salt water. It can alleviate immediate thirst, but in the end leads to further dehydration and a violent desire for fresh water. Unfortunately, kitsch also reinforces just those sensory-motor schemata which make us see only kitsch. A rather desperate situation which, perhaps, requiring a trauma, a cut, a break of some sort to reset it. Now, where does this leave language, which also has its clichés and its poetry? Again, I reiterate the importance of language, despite its tendency toward metaphor. (Unlike Deleuze, I believe in the destabilizing potential of metaphor.)

“There is no longer any metaphor, rather metamorphosis. Metamorphosis abolishes metaphor, which is the mode of language, the possibility of communicating meaning. Metamorphosis is at the radical point of the system, the point where there is no longer any law or symbolic order.” Baudrillard, Forget Foucault.


To fool ourselves into thinking that in a cybernetic universe, our brains are not hardwired for wanting fixed points of meaning is thinking we can google our way to enlightenment. Bullshit. Thus, was Revolution Nostalgia Disco Theater born. For the full manifesto go to and click on "Manifesto."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Life and Times of St. Sebastian

"Saint Sebastian" by F. Holland Day, 1910.

St. Sebastian is the newest project of the Revolution Nostalgia Disco Theater. Born two days ago, he is not quite able to stand. We've given him bones. We hope the online community will give him skin(s).

We think we know how his story will end. But, to quote our resurrected Mayakovsky, "it's just that it never turns out quite the way you expect."

We are currently seeking 1) an open-minded amateur filmmaker
2) actor (18-21, slim, handsome, blond, or light brown hair, open-minded ( homoerotic overtone --no nudity) for youtube "home movies." We are in NYC area, you should be, too. Please send an email if interested.

If we were truly ubermensch we'd have no qualms about this. As it is, it makes us quite uncomfortable. We are experiencing waves of akithesia, that is the feeling of wanting to crawl out of our skin ( and into another's--in a kind of ontological cross-dressing.) We begin to question the value of our identity, we feel the boundaries dissolve. The theological equivalent of this is "shame." But, more on that later.

To read:
St. Sebastian as gay martyr Chapter 5

Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

Amy Herzog Images of Thought and Acts of Creation: Deleuze, Bergson, and the Question of Cinema