Ryan Gander’s solo exhibition (These wings aren’t for flying) is stunning. I was really taken by this installation (Ftt, Ft, Ftt, Ftt, Ffttt, Ftt, or somewhere between a modern representation of how a contemporary gesture came into being, an illustration of the physicality of an argument, 2010). In searching for it online afterwards, I noticed it has a totally different feel in other rooms (here, in all white).

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From Jessa Crispin on Anthony Bourdain as the Queen of Coins.

I was talking to a bookseller friend about this in the context of James Joyce: when we look at a figure that we admire, we choose the wrong things to emulate. We look at the symptoms, not the source. When we want to be James Joyce, we look at the word trickery, the foulness, the shiny things on the surface. And we think we can just borrow that shit, take it on for ourselves, without also transplanting the source of how he did what he did (his deep feeling for an willingness to listen to women, his life on the margins, his capacity for joy, and so on). It’s why every academic who thinks he’s secretly James Joyce because he wrote a selfishly impenetrable novel is such an asshole. They’re withholding where Joyce is overflowing, they’re clever where Joyce is funny.

Sidenote: I love the adjective “overflowing” to describe a person.


From this interview with Michael Tolkin.

We have suffered catastrophes throughout history. Do you think our current one can be corrected?

So the story goes that Max Brod, Kafka’s friend and biographer, asked Kafka, “Franz, is there hope?” And Kafka answered, “Oh yes, Max, there’s plenty of hope, an infinity of hope — but not for us.” We’re an omnivorous, territorial, and essentially lazy ape that gathers in bands to steal from others, or force them to work for us, and then sing about it and sometimes even feel bad about how bad we are, but still, you know, go on more with the bad than the good. We’re wired for apprehension and hoarding, and we follow the leader. We have religion to mitigate and excuse. We have art for who the fuck knows, really? We’re funny, no question about our sense of humor, especially our gallows humor. We leave loopholes in all our contracts. This is the dystopia now and has been for a long time. The essence of climate denial is to make a bet that the scientists are wrong so there’s no necessity for prudence, just in case the scientists are right. To be prudent might cost money, and if the scientists are wrong, then that money would be wasted. The denial argument is an equation: better to risk the life of the planet than lose money. And we go along with this because it’s too hard to fight peacefully over a long period. The arc of history may bend toward justice, but not in our lifetimes. There’s going to be a massive die off, but in the long run … Consider the animal videos on YouTube, all the little movies showing animal intelligence, animal capacity for love, and animal capacity for joy. This is a new thing — they are evolving ahead of us, they are rejoicing. That dog and goose chasing each other around the rock, that Russian crow sledding on a pitched roof, that cat rescuing the puppy from the ditch, that elephant sitting on the car. They know something. They know we’re on the way out, even if a million more species are killed, in the very long run, soulful life will return to dominion, finding niches and making a shared ecology, without us. And that’s just the way it’s going to be. In the short run, the fuckers are going to have their celebration of blood. In the long run, intelligent bacteria will eat their flesh.