Friday, February 23, 2018

Bob Finally Experiences an Anomaly

The New Coach House

20 February 2018

A Deluge of Money

Hawaii Rain Dancers Summon Storms

The US Has No National Database of Who Owns What Gun

by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Say there's a murder. The cops come in with their yellow tape, chalk line, the little booties, cameras, swabs, the fingerprint dust. One of them finds a gun on the floor. The gun!

He lifts it with his pinkie, examines it, takes note of the serial number. Back at the station, they run a trace on the gun. A name pops up. It's the wife! Or: It's the business partner! It's somebody's gun, and this is so exciting because now they know who did it.

Except—no. You are watching too much TV. It doesn't work like that.

There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose.

“Think,” says Charlie Houser, a federal agent with the ATF. We're in his office, a corner, and he's got a whiteboard behind him where he's splashed diagrams, charts, numbers.

The cops run a trace on a gun? What does that even mean? A name pops up? From where? There's some master list somewhere?

“People don't think,” Charlie tells me. “I get e-mails even from police saying, ‘Can you type in the serial number and tell me who the gun is registered to?’ Every week. They think it's like a VIN number on a car. Even police. Police from everywhere. ‘Hey, can you guys hurry up and type that number in?’ ”

So here's a news flash, from Charlie: “We ain't got a registration system. Ain't nobody registering no damn guns.”

There is no national database of guns. We have no centralized record of who owns all the firearms we so vigorously debate, no hard data regarding how many people own them, how many of them are bought or sold, or how many even exist.

What we have instead is Charlie. Continue reading at GQ

Thursday, February 22, 2018

China Youth Find Way Around ‘Great Firewall’

1959 Interview with Marcel Duchamp

“Marcel Duchamp’s classic Nude Descending a Staircase was a major manifesto of the electric age. The industrial hardware of the assembly-line had been enveloped by the new environment of the Magnetic City and the wired planet. As soon as the machine went inside the electric circuit, the mechanical forms of the industrial world that emanated from the Gutenberg technology of uniform, repeatable, and moveable types became transformed into 'art'. New technologies in supplanting their predecessors translate them into 'art' forms. The old form is enhanced by obsolescence. Ruins and antiques nourish the creative imagination of artists and poets.

Duchamp's nude reveals the fragmented, analytic abstractions of the industrial process as a skeletal charade, a retrieval of the ancient rituals of le danse macabre. Far beyond any process known to the medieval world, the dance of the machines during the past two centuries represents the most violent and lethal expression of human somnambulism and self-hypnotism. Duchamp's nude is a comic mime of the descent of a somnambulist robot world, via the stages of a precisely etiolated rational pattern of relentless progress. The breaking up of visual continuity in the Nude enables other tactile-kinesthetic values to be asserted, and in this way the painting is enormously more rich and involving than photographic representation. Duchamp's work thus figures at once the death of the mechanical age and the birth of the new electric age of quanta: quantum mechanics returns to the unvisualisable universe of instant speeds and sub-visual resonance.... Duchamp's nude is the ghost of the old mechanical world tripped to its iconic pattern. Humanism and ruins are synonymous.”
Marshall McLuhan


George Heard Hamilton, Richard Hamilton & Charles Mitchell
take turns interviewing Duchamp, 1959

Below is an except from the 1959 audio interview.

George Heard Hamilton: In spite of the fact that one thinks of you as sitting right on top of Cubism, you felt a need, after just one or two years' experience of Cubism, to find a new path for yourself. I take it that this is the way in which you found it—by an exploration of intellectual and conceptual terms juxtaposed to the physical configurations that you made?

Marcel Duchamp: Yes, very soon I felt impatience, so to speak, with Cubism—at least, impatience in that I couldn't see any future for me in it. In fact, I touched Cubism rather a little, The Nude Descending a Staircase from 1912 is in a style like Cubism, naturally, but the addition of movement in it, which seems to be Futuristic, is so only because the Futurists were speaking of movement at the time. That doesn't make it a new idea of theirs—movement was in the air. There was something more important that the Futurists for me in that case, which was the publication of photos of men fencing or of horses galloping and so forth...

George Hamilton: All through The Glass [The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)], you use fairly clear-cut symbology of a very direct kind—man and woman are identified, and the operations, the functions, of the machinery are all explainable in terms of sexual relationships, which is the work's basic preoccupation.

Marcel Duchamp: Yes, eroticism is a very dear subject to my life, and I certainly applied that love to my Glass. In fact, I thought the only excuse for doing anything was to give it the life of eroticism, which is completely close to life in general, and more so than philosophy or anything like that. It is an animal thing, which has so many facets that it is pleasing to use it as a tube of paint, so to speak, to inject in your production. It's there. It's in the form of fantasy. Stripped Bare had even a naughty Connotation with Christ. You know, Christ was stripped bare. It introduces eroticism and religion... I am ashamed of what I am saying. Continue reading at Artspace