Monday, December 25, 2006


Everyone seems to want to use digital technology to frantically purge their images (moving or not) of grime, unimagined deviations, anything remotely signifying a loss of total control. It's more than encouraging to see how Lynch wields digital dirt: convincingly, beautifully.

Inland Empire
is thoroughly oneiric, isn't simply a window into another world. We try (try!) to understand characters, words, events, and meanings through a thick haze which renders limbs fuzzy, eyes blurry, wounds subconscious.

The haze is omnipresent: sometimes it's easy to forget; other times we can see it spilling forth from the shadows. I suspect that it's more often the technical "failings" of Lynch's Handycam, rather than Lynch's own direction, at work (of course it's inherently both), but the effect can't be shortchanged. We are constantly forced to question our relationship to what is seen.

The silver screen is perhaps why this works so well. We see Inland Empire in traditional filmic terms, because it's projected from a reel onto an enormous panel in a dark auditorium, even though it could easily be video art (Lynch's story-weave is so weird that I'm not sure that one could say it's constructed "like a film" either). I'm excited to watch it reconstitute itself on my television monitor, on my laptop screen.

telephone wires

Too many passages to quote: I finished my library copy of White Noise in a little over a week (will definitely have to procure my own copy; the book seems near-inexhaustible), which for me these days is fairly astonishing. The text is dense too, as visual as it is lyrical; DeLillo says the story was unraveled from his own experience of A/V overload at the local supermarket.

"Wouldn't he sense that something transcending is about to happen to him in the midst of all this brightness ... a sense of something extraordinary hovering just beyond our touch and just beyond our vision."

Well-positioned light sources (lately in my case, the sun) have a way of completely changing the nature of things without calling attention to themselves. Light literally defines what we see, but we usually take for granted what we find around us. Those things are there simply because they are. One strategy of re-imagining the visual world is to re-frame it piece by piece, collecting a series of miracles which together constitute a miraculous world. I'm partially interested in this. But if all photographs are lies, then I'm also interested in exploring the seams of their fabrications, rather than wiping them away--interested, I suppose, in exploring the process of light-drawing, and the subjective implications of my engagement thereof. Grain, flares, flaws. I sometimes wish I could simply allow myself to believe, for myself, what this medium clamors for all to believe, but I can't help but remain self-reflexive--at least, until I can find an infinitely sexier medium.

DeLillo's book obviously succeeds, leaves a plastic taste on the tongue, but also reads just like a script for a video. A pair of (disembodied) talking heads, mundane household tasks rendered in elaborate detail, soundbites periodically jutting in. The words themselves seem to buzz, like the picture Jack Gladney immediately forms of his nemesis, a faceless shapeshifter made of static.

I'm excited to dig into Libra and Underworld...!


JME's new mixtape Derkhead is my favorite full-length collection of grime. Beats assembled in the bedroom, a slick & phuturistic visual iconography designed in the bedroom, bars written presumably in the bedroom (among other places). The bars themselves sidestep the uncompromising cultural specificity of grime's war talk: topics include hating on Javascript, eating right, JME's mum's surprise birthday party, trying to coordinate a night out, lyrically dominating your favorite grime website. I enjoy war talk, but I adore JME's words.

The music itself operates on the same plane as JME's words: sly, charming, strangely addicting. Utterly synthetic: discordant bass waves slip & slide around each other, computerized snares crackle and pop, the ghost of rave persists.

Bedroom releases are encouraging; imply that if the product is good, ideas are sound, and presentation & personality are compelling, then like-minded souls in other bedrooms will look & listen, place an order, become tuned-in. My current bedroom is on the second floor of a modest house in an oppressively peaceful neighborhood, but it's electric: lights on, Derkhead coming out the speakers, jacked (via an unsuspecting neighbor) into the blipstream.

christmas it's christmas

New blog. This one is intended as an online scrapbook documenting & detailing sudden obsessions of mine, not that it won't soon deviate.

Given that I spend about 8.435246 more hours each day reading websites than my own journal, I hope this will work out well.