A Masthead for Vagabonds, Drunkards and Saints

Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Video Essay

As a medium the video essay presents the artist with some interesting rhetorical tools, but, although I appreciate its grab bag of sights and sounds, its registrations present nothing new. The impulse for the video lived inside me just the same as an essay or poem lives inside me, the way a story lives inside me. I’m not claiming that video produces objects indistinguishable from text or music, of course not; that would be facile. The particular arrangement of sense and sensation that engenders art emerges with the tools at hand–always. You can fold these minds out of Chinese paper or Arabic sheets, wrap these bodies in animal skins or petrochemical extracts, but they’re still bodies, hungry, craven, and sometimes sweetly satisfied at bedtime, but human bodies all the same. No, mediums and languages don’t separate artists–or people–they bind them, as all bodies are bound briefly to one time and one place. The universal cry is, “yes, now,” and gain, “yes, now,” and again “yes, now, and yes, yes, and yes.” The whitest paint needs the tincture of darkness. Ralph Ellison taught us that.

The music is Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major: Prelude performed by Alexander Rudin, and the narration, with the exception of the quotation from Bazin, is my own.

What Might Be Whole the Light

We’re probably just born like this. Fractured. Missing a piece or two. A few Lincoln Logs short of a home, a couple of shafts shy of a full Erector Set. For the bargain, though, we gain a knack for pulp and pulchritude–a penchant for work to play at making us whole. The Buddha said living wasContinue Reading

Humanitas Digitalis

If you read the times–any times that is, from the 12th to the 21st centuries–literate humanity, and its grab bag of self-conscious preoccupations (i.e. the humanities) is ever unravelling. Some learned pundit–like Harold Bloom, Clive James, Matthew Arnold, Giambattista Vico, Francis Bacon, et al–is either prophesying its doom or writing the story of its rebirth.Continue Reading

Showing posts for: %day%-2-2013

Strong documentaries wrestle with reality Greco-Roman style, looking for the right grip, the proper [more]
A Video Essay
As a medium the video essay presents the artist with some interesting rhetorical tools, but, a [more]
What Might Be Whole the Light
We're probably just born like this. Fractured. Missing a piece or two. A few Lincoln Logs short of a [more]