Tag Archives: poetry

annual more than – a Fluxus Style Chance Poem

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Vanished Paths: Crisis of Representation and Destruction in the Arts from the 1950s to the End of the Century

Darkness by Lord Byron

Darkness

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went -and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light;
And they did live by watchfires -and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings -the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those which dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain-torch;
A fearful hope was all the world contained;
Forests were set on fire -but hour by hour
They fell and faded -and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash -and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them: some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnashed their teeth and howled; the wild birds shrieked,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless -they were slain for food;
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again; -a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought -and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails -men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assailed their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the drooping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress -he died.
The crowd was famished by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage: they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other’s aspects -saw, and shrieked, and died –
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless –
A lump of death -a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped
They slept on the abyss without a surge –
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The Moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished! Darkness had no need
Of aid from them -She was the Universe!

Strange and Poetic – There Will Be Blood

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis (giving an almighty performance) and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. There Will be Blood.

Release Date: Dec 26, 2007 (yes, it really is nearly nine years old already!)

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Rating: R

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There Will Be Blood follows a man who moves to Little Boston with his son to try his luck in the oil trade. Most people I’ve met who have seen this film love it, but I have to say: hardly anyone I know has seen it!

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There Will Be Blood is ferocious, and it will be championed and attacked with an equal ferocity. When the dust settles, we may look back on it as some kind of obsessed classic. – David Ansen, Newsweek

Boldly and magnificently strange, There Will Be Blood marks a significant departure in the work of Paul Thomas Anderson. – Todd McCarthy, Variety

I remember seeing this in the cinema a week or so after seeing the equally incredible No Country for Old Men and thinking: something magical has happened in the film industry. From now on, all films will be this amazing. Unfortunately I was wrong, but it was an exciting, fleeting moment.

SYNOPSIS: The film follows the rise to power of Daniel Plainview – a charismatic and ruthless oil prospector, driven to succeed by his intense hatred of others and desperate need to see any and all competitors fail. When he learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property. Using his young adopted son H.W. to project the image of a caring family man, Plainview gains the cooperation of almost all the locals with lofty promises to build schools and cultivate the land to make their community flourish. Over time, Plainview’s gradual accumulation of wealth and power causes his true self to surface, and he begins to slowly alienate himself from everyone in his life.IMDB

I’ve only seen it once since the cinema and that was a while ago, but the DVD is on its way for a new viewing. At 158 minutes, There Will Be Blood is a looong film and it’s not fast-moving, so if you have a low attention-span, this is not the film for you! Many critics have stated that the length of this film is indulgent, but it should be. It’s a piece of poetry. Daniel Plainview (the main character) is one that you want to watch for hours, no matter how much you may come to dislike him. What he wants is oil. Craftily working his way up from dusty prospector to roving oilman, Plainview, with his bristling moustache and courtly manner, drives the hardest of bargains. “I’ve built up my hatreds over the years little by little,” Plainview confides in a rare moment of enlightenment. With Day-Lewis’s powerhouse performance dominating, there’s very little room for anyone else to thrive. – Sky

I hate most people. – Daniel Plainview

As well as Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano delivers an excellent performance in this film. He was not as ruthless as Daniel Plainview, and he seemed a bit more in touch with his human side. – Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings

Fluxus Poetry Art

"Zalop Concerto in No Particular Key" by IUOMA members Cheryl Penn (South Africa) inspired by a performance score and Fluxus word by Ruud Janssen (Netherlands) and ZALOP video by Eduardo Cardoso (Portugal).

“Zalop Concerto in No Particular Key” by IUOMA members Cheryl Penn (South Africa) inspired by a performance score and Fluxus word by Ruud Janssen (Netherlands) and ZALOP video by Eduardo Cardoso (Portugal).

Cheryl Penn’s venture into musical composition is so noteworthy I had to blog it. Most of the IUOMA members are aware of Cheryl’s group for the study and advancement of Ruud Janssen’s Fluxus word “ZALOP,” given legs by the enthusiasm of visual poet Eduardo Cardoso of Portugal.International Union of Mail Artists

Well-known Fluxus artists include George Maciunas, Joseph Beuys, Emmett Williams, Yoko Ono and Nam June Paik. It was Maciunas who got the movement started. Many of these artists were creating Fluxus-style work before they got together and Maciunas created the movement.

When it comes to poetry, Fluxus concentrates on visual poetry; where the language is not necessarily representative and the visual appearance is more important, and concrete poetry; again, visuals are more important than content, but where visual poetry is often visually artistic/aesthetic, concrete poetry tends to focus more on shape, placement and typography.

Fluxus was inspired heavily by Marcel Duchamp and artist and composer John Cage, particularly drawing upon their chance methods and the intention to create something with no purpose or pre-determined idea.

In September 1962, that was Wiesbaden and that was the beginning of Fluxus as performance festival. It was simply performance… What distinguished me was that I belonged to the European faction, because my friends were Europeans, and soon after Dusseldorf, George Maciunas went back to the United States and started the Fluxus thing in the United States… I remained in Europe, and Fluxus became something very important in Europe, much more so than in America, thanks to Beuys, Vostell, Ren≠ Block and other people who believed in Fluxus in a much more serious way than in the United States. These were very accomplished artists, and they were involved in Fluxus and people took note. They explained what Fluxus was, different from what I thought or what Dick thought, and it remains a very very European phenomenon. George was Lithuanian-born himself and had spent the first part of his life in Europe, shaped by these things… He was the “immigrant boy”… No one called himself or herself a Fluxus artist in New York who could match a Vostell or a Beuys or a Kopke or others who remained in Europe and had an entirely different approach. People who made Fluxus created a glorious scene in Europe–Eric Anderson, Kopke, and we did not come out of nowhere, because we had been doing things… My Opera was first done in the 1950s, and so much of my work was done before Fluxus. I knew Vostell, Spoerri, Beuys, Filliou, Ben Patterson and Nam June before there was a Fluxus… I was very close to Spoerri and Filliou. The first performance of Opera in 1959 was with Spoerri and Klaus Bremen and myself in the Keller Club in the Castle in Darmstadt. Daniel was very active in theater at the time, he comes from ballet–the poetry that has come to be identified with me as Fluxus was all there before. It was my work that many people regard as Fluxus work that La Monte saw and that caused Maciunas to phone me and say that I’m coming over to talk about Fluxus. So many of the Americans allegedly came out of John Cage’s class. – Emmett Williams

I recently posted my own Fluxus poem on Examining the Odd. My method involves using chance methods to select words from an article and display them in a poetic form. The chance method is used to decide the article, each word, how many words and how they’re placed.

Decide how many words long you want your poem to be. Draw that number of words from the linen bag, making sure to arrange the words in the order that you drew them from the bag. You may alter your poem in three ways. You may remove up to three words from your poem. You may rearrange the order of two words. You may add any word of your choosing to your poem. Draw one more word from the bag to title your poem. Copy down the poem into this booklet, and add any extra art if you like. Please return the words to the bag. – An alternative method from Fluxuslab

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