Archive for October, 2010


Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


— It was a wild scene Wednesday night when two Italian tourists got into a dispute with a Beverly Hills cab driver over their fare. It all ended with a crunching crash into the front door of a Hollywood Hills home.

At about 8:30 p.m., police were dispatched to 71 Woodrow Wilson Drive where they found a cab smashed into the front door of a home in the hills above Hollywood, just west of the Cahuenga Pass. As the dust and debris settled, investigators took statements from all involved. The Italian honeymooners claimed the cab driver got lost in the hills and drove in circles. When they finally arrived at their destination, an argument started over what was fair payment for the fare. The Italians paid 10 bucks less than the cabbie thought he was owed, and jumped out of the taxi. This is when things really take a turn. The driver left but moments later–to the surprise of his passengers and the Hollywood Hills homeowner opening his front door to greet his European friends–circled back with his cab. It smashed through the front of the home. It’s unclear whether the cabbie crashed the car on purpose or if it was an accident. One person suffered arm injuries. The taxi driver was identified as Robert Kazaryan. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, a North Hollywood Station watch commander told City News Service. Kazaryan, 45, was locked up in Van Nuys and his bail was set at $30,000, according to inmate records.

First Published: Aug 4, 2010
By Jack Noyes, NBC Los Angeles

Image of Piero Golia’s Hollywood Hills home, after the taxi crashed into his front door.

Piero Golia was born in Naples, Italy in 1974. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been shown in major galleries and museums in Europe and United States and featured in numerous exhibitions including P.S.1 in New York, Moderna Museet in Sweden and the 2010 California Biennial. In 2004 his feature film KILLER SHRIMPS was selected for the Venice Film Festival. In 2005, he founded with his long time friend Eric Wesley, the MOUNTAIN SCHOOL OF ARTS, an educational institution that rapidly became a new spot on the cultural map of the city of Los Angeles.


Monday, October 11th, 2010


— I was seventeen years old, and had just begun my freshman year at Columbia College in New York. About two weeks after I arrived, on September 14, 1954, Tuesday in the early evening, I was in my room sitting on the green leather armchair doing homework, reading for the Humanities Core Curriculum class tomorrow.

I was looking out the wide window from the 8th floor of Livingston Hall at the view over the Quadrangle, and the classic Georgian buildings designed in 1893 by architect Sanford White, who created a master plan in the grand style of great palaces and beautiful arrays of trees and English landscaping, and the broad green South Field. It was warm and balmy, hazy, a sylvan glade, and a vivid rose-grey sunset, heavenly, smack in the middle of New York City. It also seemed like a joke, a young man in an ideal situation reading Plato and the classics. On the surface it was idyllic, but beneath I was filled with anxiety, confusion and doubt. I was reading, had a hangover, and a depression problem.

There was a loud knock on the door, and John Kaiser, a new friend, who was also majoring in Literature, came in and visited. “I just learned the most amazing bit of information,” said John, “a monumental fact. Federico Garcia-Lorca lived here!”

“What?” I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Garcia-Lorca lived in John Jay Hall.”

“What?” I was completely taken by surprise. I hadn’t thought about Garcia-Lorca in a long time. “When?”

“In 1929 and 1930,” said John. ““and wrote Poet In New York, his greatest work, here!”

“This is 1954. Twenty-five years ago,” I said. When you are seventeen, twenty-five years ago seems like ancient history. I remembered Lorca had traveled to Cuba, and came to New York; and he was gay and I was gay. “Lorca did not live in a dormitory room in John Jay Hall! I don’t believe it!”

“It’s true! Garcia-Lorca lived here.”

“For one night by mistake, because he couldn’t get a hotel.”

“For two years!” said John.

“In what room?”

”On the 12th floor of John Jay, room 1231.”

“Garcia Lorca did not live in a dormitory,” I said. “It’s not possible. I don’t know where he lived, he lived in a god world!” It was very confusing. I did not want Lorca living in my dumb, middle-class, bourgeois, fucked up world. He would hate it. It would be horrible for him, and cause him suffering. Anything, but this! “What room?”

“Room 1231” John and I rushed to the window, and leaned out with our elbows on the broad granite ledge, and looked to the left at John Jay Hall.

“Oh, no! I know those rooms.,” I said. “I know someone in room 1225. They‘re all tiny, single rooms, like prison cells.” We gazed in astonishment at the red brick building speckled with lighted window.

I counted up to the 12th floor, and across the windows. “It is that one! The one there with no light! Ah!”

“That’s it!” said John.

“This is so weird! Garcia-Lorca!” The 12th floor of John Jay Hall was almost on the same level as the 8th floor of our building. It was built in the 1920’s with low ceilings, and ours in the 1890s with tall ceilings. “Garcia-Lorca saw what we see,” I said.

John Kaiser seemed deeply moved; was having a small, but profound experience. ”I had a funny feeling, a strange feeling, when I learned Lorca lived here.”

“What did he do when he lived here?” I said. “Read books, sleep, have friends, have sex. Dormitory life is so ugly and boring.” Lorca slept alone in a single bed every night like me. Garcia Lorca chose to live in this stifling, straight, academic world from which I only wanted to escape. “His greatest poems could not have been written here.”

“But he did and they were!” said John. It was very exciting.

“Lorca brought guys to that room, and had sex!” I said.

John Kaiser, who was straight, chuckled happily. “Yes!”

“Lorca picked up guys and fucked in that room. I’m gay, and that’s what I do here. It is pretty astounding!” I said in awe.

“It’s extraordinary,” said John. “It changes the way I feel about being here, and going to school here,”

“Room 1231 is a sacred place, like Bethlehem or Bodhgaya,” I said “We should do a pilgrimage. Knock on the door, and sniff with our eyes and hearts.”

“Yes, let’s do it!” said John.

“I would even go so far,” I said, “as making it with the guy whose room it is, just to make it where Lorca made it, The bed must be in the same place,”

“Yes, you should do it,” laughed John.

I thought, but did not say, “To fuck with a guy and come in the exact same space where Lorca fucked with a guy and came, is some kind of blessing, no matter how distant and faint, two minds mixed in one taste beyond death.” And I said, “The desk and chair must be in the same place, although they’ve probably been replaced, updated. Lorca sat in the exact same spot, and wrote his greatest poems. ” To sit where he wrote, seemed a blessing beyond incomprehension. In a place which for me was a stifling, dead prison, my hell world. I also saw it, reluctantly, as a teaching, poems of great wisdom can be written anywhere; and if I was to do it, I had to do it here.

Somehow came an unknown, distant memory of Lorca’s betrayal. “He shouldn’t be here. Get Lorca out of here! He will become defiled, and suffer; he is a god of poetry.”

Night came suddenly, John left, and I sat on the green leather chair in the dark near the window, not looking at Lorca’s room, nor the lamp lit sparkling campus, just letting my mind rest with my eyes open. I started crying, weeping big fat tears, a flood of water with muscles convulsions and wind gusts of despair. I was here, and did not want to be here. I was a poet, and why? What was I supposed to do? I was at the beginning of my life, and if I had to endure a lifetime of this, oh no! A fate worse than death! In the flood of tears, from an unlocatable place in my mind, and it surprised me, came a primal scream, “Lorca, please help me! Lorca, please help me!.”

Even though it was early, I went to bed, and sleep to forget about everything completely, dissolving it into nothing in a deep heavy sleep of exhaustion and oblivion; and the next morning everything was OK.

About four months later, when I was eighteen years old, in January 1955, about five in the afternoon, I had come up from having a beer in the Boar’s Head Tavern in the basement of John Jay Hall. I ran into John Kaiser and some friends in the lobby near the elevators, and we stood there talking.

“Have you gone up to Lorca’s room,” said John, softly.

“What?” It was noisy, and I didn’t know what he was talking about.

“Have you gone up to Garcia Lorca’s room?” said John, loud and clearly.

“No!” I was taken by surprise again, had forgotten about Lorca again. “Have you?”

John pushed the elevator button. “Let’s go!”

I was a bit shocked that he had done such an aggressive thing, and I reluctantly got in. I was not prepared for Garcia Lorca, and did not want to be. I became the straight guy being forced to do some sexual thing with a fag. My second thought was, “John, what a great idea! Thanks!”

We got out on the 12th floor, turned left, and John lead the way to room 1231. We stood there in the dim light of the tan-colored, grungy corridor, and looked at the dark-stained pine door, and the metal tag 1231. This was the door into Lorca’s room.

Eyes open, no thoughts, fearlessly, I reached out, and knocked gently on the door three times. In the ringing silence, there was no answer. I could feel John’s expectation, next to me. I knocked more strongly three more times. “Oh, no! Nobody’s here.” I knocked loudly a third time.

“He’s not home,” said John.

“Or he is and the guy isn’t.” We laughed. “It’s great, it’s so dumb.” We stood in front of Garcia Lorca’s door from the 1920’s, the dark brown, almost black, and doorframe painted many coats of brown. Surprisingly shabby! “Happily, they haven’t updated.” I touched the brass handle, and the wood where he would have touched. It was a loving moment, like giving Lorca a little kiss, totally wonderful, and it didn’t matter if nothing else happened. And maybe that’s all a blessing was anyway.

“How extraordinary!” said John. “Garcia Lorca wrote his greatest poems a few feet away!”

“And he was thinking the words in this space, going in and out, before he wrote them down.”

Suddenly, it seemed a million miles away, and instead of feeling good, a wave of great depression, a black cloud like a baseball bat walloping my head, hit my mind. This was life, and if Lorca couldn’t change it, I can’t change it, which led to a downward spiral, whirl-pooling maelstrom of hopelessness, as if the floor had been pulled out from under me. It included a deep, heartfelt love of Lorca, which somehow included joy. What remained was a pool of cold heavy water. I worried it was a bad sign, an omen. I did not let on, acted happy, cheerful and funny. “It’s worse than I thought!” Which helped suppress the tears and overwhelming sadness.

“Poeta en Neuva York,” said John in a deep unrecognizable voice.

The scene was both corny and profound, the cliché metaphor of a door, the unknown, unseeable, god, emptiness, bullshit; and a black door in a Lorca play behind which sadness screamed in silence.

“Let’s go!” said John.

We left, and I walked away on wobbly legs down the dim corridor, with a headache, and an echo in my mind. “Lorca, please help me! Lorca, please help me!”

John Giorno,

John Giorno was born in 1936, in New York. Giorno created DIAL-A-POEM using a telephone service to communicate poetry in a modern idiom. More than one million people used the service, which inspired a range of artistic and commercial applications such as DIAL-A-JOKE, DIAL SPORTS, and DIAL-A-HOROSCOPE. Between 1984-1989, The John Giorno Band performed in New York at the Bottom Line, Ritz, Beacon, Palladium, and CBGBs, and toured extensively across the US. John Giorno also performed and toured together with William Burroughs for more than thirty years, including The Nova Convention 1974, and The Red Night Tour 1981.


Monday, October 11th, 2010

These are some pictures I took over the past few years with my mobiles, just as they were lying on the table. I do not remember exactly where and when, and I do not know why I took these pictures, but I like them.

Alicja Kwade was born in 1979 in Kattowice, Poland. She lives and works in Berlin. In 2008 she won the Piepenbrock Prize for Sculpture, which was conjoined with a large solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art, in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2010); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2010); Peep-Hole, Milan (2010); Johann König, Berlin (2009); Galerie Christina Wilson, Copenhagen (2009); Galerie Lena Brüning, Berlin (2007).


Monday, October 11th, 2010


— During one of the last interviews that Philip K. Dick granted a few months before his death, he recounted in detail the novel that he was planning to write. The title of this novel, which in the end he never wrote, was The Owl in Daylight. He had already been paid for this book and thus had to work overtime; he recalled during the same interview that he had written 16 novels in five years – The Owl in Daylight would have been the seventeenth. K. Dick died of a haemorrhage leaving his collected words from the interview and numerous research notes. The idea for the novel was inspired partly by an entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica where Beethoven is referred to as the most creative genius of all time, partly by traditional views of what constitutes the human heaven (visions of lights) and partly by the Faust story. But the entire plot really turned around one scientific piece of information that K. Dick found about nanotechnology that constituted a breakthrough in information theory, something that had never happened before: the possibility to store on a chip one meter squared all the information contained in all the computers of the world, and more importantly all the fantastic possibilities for a fiction to be written.

The Owl in Daylight is about a planet where the atmosphere is not like ours. It is about mute and deaf aliens developing a culture based not on sound but on light. Without sound, they have to use colour for language. Just as humans have audio frequencies, their world strictly employs vision and visual things. Our mystical vision of heaven is the light. Light is always associated with the other world. And the alien world is made of that, their world is made of heaven. So instead of the mystical vision of this civilisation being about vision of light, it is about the supernatural experience of sounds. K. Dick says, “What if their world is our heaven and our world their heaven.”

When this other species finds the human civilisation, which uses sound and has developed music, they cannot hear it because they are deaf so they build transduction equipment to transform phosphines or non-retinal images into sound, and sound into non-retinal images.

They are able to produce some kind of visual score. As we have known for a long time, sound does not occur in the atmosphere, it occurs within the body. So the aliens have to somehow create a symbiotic relationship with the human brain so they can use it to conceptualise the music. They can see the music. The assumption was that any civilisation that can build a rocket ship to come to Earth must have a knowledge of biochemestry and semiconductors on which biochips operate.

When the journalist Gwen Lee stops K. Dick in his flux of words to ask him if this constitutes a real scientific fact, he responds in a panicked instant, “I am assuming this is not a joke article, I just hope to God this guy’s not over there laughing about me writing a book on a non-existent thing. In fact I saw the friend of mine who gave me the article in a store and I said to him, ‘I hope it‘s not a joke you gave me, I hope there wasn’t a thing at the beginning you didn’t Xerox which said that this is something unbelievable, that might happen you know in a million years’, but my friend said that no that this article was genuine, ‘I guarantee it’, he said”.

Why did Philip K. Dick, one of the greatest world-makers of the last century, one of the greatest inventors and imaginers, need to justify his delirious worlds with reported concrete facts? Why did he even need to start from the real? Besides, is this really whats going there? Is it that the real is called upon to legitimize the imaginary?

Or is it that this overwelming heritage of cinema which is again prevading our thoughts. This definition of the cinema as an art form that reflects a gaze. Cinema as a recording tool of a world pre-existing us. A producer of History.

André Bazin, a French film critic in the 50s, argued that cinema depicted what it saw as “objective reality”, as in documentaries and films of the Italian neorealist school, but also in the work of directors who knew how to make themselves “invisible”. He advocated using the deep focus of Orson Welles, the wide shots of Renoir and the “shot-in-depth”. He preferred what he referred to as “true continuity” through the mise-en-scène to experiments in editing and visual effects. He was the adversary of a film theory that chooses to emphasize how the cinema can manipulate reality. Bazin believed that the interpretation of a film or scene should be left to the spectator. Here was the idea that theatre was this unique architectural invention of a place built to see something that already happened. It was seen from the point of view of somebody else and was reported in order for you to judge it with your own eyes.

Philippe Parreno was born in 1964, in Oran, Algeria. He rose to prominence in the 1990s earning critical acclaim for his work that employs a diversity of media including film, sculpture, performance and text. His major shows include Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Japan, Kunstverein Munchen, Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunsthalle Zurich. His work is represented in the collections of MOMA New York, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Guggenheim Museum New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Kanazawa Museum of the 21st Century, Japan. Most recently, Parreno has presented a series of related but distinct retrospectives at Kunsthalle Zürich; Centre Pompidou, Paris (both 2009); the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009–10); the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York (2009–10); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2010-2011). Parreno lives and works in Paris.


Monday, October 11th, 2010

By their very a priori assumption or idea, if you prefer, works of art become part of the context of culpability. When they succeed they transfer blame, only to find themselves having to atone for trying to escape.”

T.W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory





All images from TIMM RAUTERT, KOORDINATEN, 2000

Timm Rautert is a photographer born in 1941 in Tuchel, Western Prussia. After studying at the Essener Folkwang school under Otto Steinert, Rautert worked for ZEIT and GEO magazine in the 70s. From 1993 to 2007 he held a professorship at the School of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany. In 2008 Rautert was the first photographer to be awarded the prestigious german Lovis Corinth award for his life’s work.