Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Japan’s Long Nuclear Disaster Film"

OXFORD, England — Peering at the post-tsunami devastation in Japan on miniature YouTube windows or video-streaming displays from Japanese news outlets provokes not only great empathy and concern, but an unmistakable feeling of déjà vu. As a scholar focusing on the place of nuclear energy in Japanese culture, I’ve seen more than my share of nuclear-themed monster movies from the ’50s onward, and the scenes of burning refineries, flattened cities, mobilized rescue teams and fleeing civilians recall some surreal highlights of the Japanese disaster film genre….

…read it all:
Japan’s Long Nuclear Disaster Film

…Ken le survivant, Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion. L'apocalypse, quelle que soit sa forme, est un thème majeur du manga, cette bande dessinée nippone toujours très populaire et au dynamisme étonnant. Le spectre du tsunami, ou du tremblement de terre, apparaît dans de nombreuses séries, où elle peut servir de moteur de l'intrigue, de toile de fond pour une histoire à l'eau de rose, de terrain de jeu ou de point de départ lointain justifiant l'existence d'un monde post-apocalyptique.…

…read it all:
Le spectre de la catastrophe, omniprésent dans les mangas

Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Peregrine

In Falconspace, the third novel in the 3-book series that The Concrete Jungle Book begins, a peregrine falcon is one of the main characters, so I was interested to learn today that St. Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients.


St. Peregrine was born in 1260 at Forlì, Italy to an affluent family. He lived a comfortable life as a youth, and politically opposed the papacy.  After he experienced the forgiveness of St. Philip Benizi, he changed his life and joined the Servite order.  He was ordained a priest, and later returned to his home to establish a Servite community.  There he was widely known for his preaching, penances, and counsel in the confessional.  He was cured of cancer, after he received a vision of Christ on the cross reaching out His hand to touch his impaired limb.  He died in 1345 and was canonized in 1726.  He is the patron of cancer patients.


Novena To
St. Peregrine
 Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother.
You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand.
Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men.
Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....).
Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven.

St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid.


The tsunami arrives at Emeryville, just down the road from El Cerrito, visible from our house (if I had been home watching)

Tsunami makes its way to Emeryville, CA (SF area)

Tsunami makes its way to Emeryville, CA (SF area); click image to view original photo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Carlos, the miniseries

I enjoyed Carlos, the miniseries, streamed on Netflix. Here's the Wikipedia blurb:

Carlos is a 3-part French-German television drama mini-series, first broadcast on Canal+ in 2010. Produced by Studio Canal and Film En Stock’s Daniel Leconte and Jens Meuer in association with the Sundance Channel, it was created and written by Dan Franck and Olivier Assayas, also directed by Assayas. It stars Édgar Ramírez as Carlos the Jackal, a convicted Venezuelan terrorist and murderer. After several bungled bombings, he achieved notoriety for a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, resulting in the deaths of three people. For many years he was among the most wanted international fugitives. The 5½ hour version of Carlos was screened out of Competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival on May 19, 2010. The series aired on Canal Plus in prime-time in late May 2010. IFC Films acquired all U.S. rights to both the mini-series and the theatrical version. The former premiered on the Sundance Channel on October 11, 2010 shown over three nights, while both versions received a theatrical release with only the shorter version available on video on demand. Carlos won the 2010 Golden Globe award for the 'Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television'.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Seek venue/partners/book designer: JUNKYARD KNIFE SAN FRANCISCO 2011

We're networking to connect with the best venue & partners for JUNKYARD KNIFE 2011 SAN FRANCISCO this Fall. The show includes works by Brussels-based artist JS, & others: bold book arts & strange scrapbooks, paintings, objects, plus launch of JUNKYARD KNIFE book. 
I'm the primary contact and will exhibit mixed-media works from and about the forthcoming The Concrete Jungle Book, a hybrid graphic novel which is presented in the form of the protagonist's scrapbook, see more of my art & TCJB-related images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pynchonoid/.

Rue de Chartreux , Bruxelles 1998
Jiri Szeppan @Rue de Chartreux studio, Brussels. Click image for sizes, options.

Invitation card for JUNKYARD KNIFE 2010 in Brussels, designed by JS

Monday, March 07, 2011

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

“Social insects provided lessons in strange, unrecognized forms of being social."

 Book: Insect Media. An Archaeology of Animals and Technology. Jussi Parikka. University of Minnesota Press,2010
In our final installment dedicated to Jussa Parrika‘s book, two excerpts showing how the internet and media are extensions of animality, rather than of our humanity:

Genesis of Form: Insect Architecture and Swarms

From chapter II:

“Social insects provided lessons in strange, unrecognized forms of being social. A good example is found in Maeterlinck’s novel A Life of the Bee (1901), in which the topic of “the spirit of the hive” is constantly brought up. It could be seen as an expression of mysticism, a natural theology of a kind, but at the same time it connects to the topic of collective intelligence then emerging. Maeterlinck considered this spirit not as a particularly tuned instinct that specifies a task and not as a mechanical habit but as a curious logic that cannot be pinpointed to any specific role, order, or function. The spirit of the hive seems to be responsible for the abrupt but still recurring collective actions that take hold of the bees (as in possessed individuals) and concert their actions as if they were one. The spirit of the hive sees that the individual bees’ actions are harmonized to such an extent that they can exist as a collective: from the queen’s impregnation to the sudden swarming when the bees leave the old nest (without apparent reason) and find a new one, the spirit of the hive is described by a mix of nomadic intuition that “passes the limits of human morality” to the everyday organization of the hive:
It regulates the workers’ labors, with due regard to their age; it allots their task to the nurses who tend the nymphs and the larvae, the ladies of honor who wait on the queen and never allow her out of their sight; the house-bees who air, refresh and heat the hive by fanning their wings, and hasten the evaporation of the honey that may be too highly charged with water; the architects, masons, wax-workers, and sculptors who form the chain and construct the combs; the foragers who sally forth to the flowers in search of the nectar that turns into honey.
This seemingly automated behavior is described by Maeterlinck as a “strange emotion.” Here the emotion acts as a trigger of a kind that points to the way bodies are affectively coordinated in the organizational form. The swarm is a becoming that expresses potentialities that are always situated and yet moving. The affects that trigger the swarming and the birth of the new collective are related to communication in Maeterlinck’s view. This mode of communication happens not on the level of consciousness, human language and concepts, but as affects of murmur, whisper, and a refrain that even the bees might not hear but sense in some uncanny way. (48-50)