South Korean, New York-based artist Ran Hwang
uses buttons from the fashion industry to create large-scale, often
immersive installations. The artist describes her process of hammering
thousands of pins into a wall akin to a monk meditating. Both practices
rely on repetition and result in something mystical.In Hwang’s psychedelic passageways, the artist projects videos onto
plexiglass covered in thousands of buttons. Loosely adhered to the
surface with pins, the buttons shiver and rotate, creating perpetual
movement reflecting the video in intricate and interesting ways. Hwang
explains that by not fixing the buttons or using still images, her
installations can operate as intentional reminders of the human tendency
to be irresolute.
In addition to installations, Hwang uses string to connect thousands
of pins to a two-dimensional surface. The negative space built by the
artist results in such images as a crystal chandelier covered in
cobwebs. Hwang explains this method of working is intended to suggest
connections between people and “seemingly unlinked human experiences.”
The desire to reveal connections and networks is evident in panels or
walls featuring powerful, vibrant images of birds, Buddhas and cherry
blossoms. In these works, larger-than-life animals, spiritual icons and
vegetation take shape only when seen from a distance. When approached,
the forms dissolved into a series of dots, as in a pointillist painting.
The greater effect is a humble realization of our individual positions
as part of a greater, more complete system.
This text was first published in Avanti!, Turin edition, from his column “Sotto la Mole,” January 1, 1916.
Every morning, when I wake again under the pall of the sky, I feel that for me it is New Year’s day.
That’s why I hate these New Year’s that fall like fixed maturities, which turn life and human spirit into a commercial concern with its neat final balance, its outstanding amounts, its budget for the new management. They make us lose the continuity of life and spirit. You end up seriously thinking that between one year and the next there is a break, that a new history is beginning; you make resolutions, and you regret your irresolution, and so on, and so forth. This is generally what’s wrong with dates.
They say that chronology is the backbone of history. Fine. But we also need to accept that there are four or five fundamental dates that every good person keeps lodged in their brain, which have played bad tricks on history. They too are New Years’. The New Year’s of Roman history, or of the Middle Ages, or of the modern age.
And they have become so invasive and fossilising that we sometimes catch ourselves thinking that life in Italy began in 752, and that 1490 or 1492 are like mountains that humanity vaulted over, suddenly finding itself in a new world, coming into a new life. So the date becomes an obstacle, a parapet that stops us from seeing that history continues to unfold along the same fundamental unchanging line, without abrupt stops, like when at the cinema the film rips and there is an interval of dazzling light.
That’s why I hate New Year’s. I want every morning to be a new year’s for me. Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself. No day set aside for rest. I choose my pauses myself, when I feel drunk with the intensity of life and I want to plunge into animality to draw from it new vigour.
No spiritual time-serving. I would like every hour of my life to be new, though connected to the ones that have passed. No day of celebration with its mandatory collective rhythms, to share with all the strangers I don’t care about. Because our grandfathers’ grandfathers, and so on, celebrated, we too should feel the urge to celebrate. That is nauseating.
I await socialism for this reason too. Because it will hurl into the trash all of these dates which have no resonance in our spirit and, if it creates others, they will at least be our own, and not the ones we have to accept without reservations from our silly ancestors.
“I am very drunk and I intend to get still drunker before the evening’s over. But you aren’t going to bed — not yet. Sit down.” His voice still held a remnant of its wonted cool drawl but beneath the words she could feel violence fighting its way to the surface, violence as cruel as the crack of a whip. She wavered irresolutely and he was at her side, his hand on her arm in a grip that hurt. He gave it a slight wrench and she hastily sat down with a little cry of pain. Now, she was afraid, more afraid than she had ever been in her life. As he leaned over her, she saw that his face was dark and flushed and his eyes still held their frightening glitter. There was something in their depths she did not recognize, could not understand, something deeper than anger, stronger than pain, something driving him until his eyes glowed redly like twin coals. He looked down at her for a long time, so long that her defiant gaze wavered and fell, and then he slumped into a chair opposite her and poured himself another drink. She thought rapidly, trying to lay a line of defenses. But until he spoke, she would not know what to say for she did not know exactly what accusation he intended to make. [x]
Among the mixed bag of the motel’s clientele, one finds all sorts, but most of all people in the process: of getting a divorce, of getting a new job, of hooking up with someone, beings on the brink of, but who have not yet achieved their goal, nor decided upon what they want; individuals who do not waste their time in vain lamentations about past failures, nor in futile speculation about a glorious future, unstable and irresolute people who make their way in life without quite knowing where they are going or why they are going there… — Bruce Begout, Common Place: The American Motel.
I understand that, for the most part, those of you who visit this page do it because you like my music.
I’m grateful for that, and try as best as a human being can to not take that for granted.
I also believe part of what you like about my music, at least some of you, is what it communicates, what it articulates, and that it does its best to communicate and articulate those things directly, and, wherever possible, with some degree of empathy, some effort at understanding the irresolute, complicated gray area in and around us, which I believe is scary, and is actually more abundant than life’s scant inarguable certainties, its primary colors supposedly pitched above, below, around.
I feel like I rarely see those, or trust them, and envy people who do.
I’m not an especially political person - I’m a lot more interested in social justice than politics - or an activist in what I consider to be the strict sense of that word.
As far as public figures go, I’m certainly not a celebrity, or anything close.
I’m a person/artist/entertainer with a platform at the corner of a niche, and I try to take that exactly as seriously as it’s to be taken.
I say all that because, what I’m saying here will send some of you away. Simply retweeting news in the past week without editorial commentary has done that already, which is, of course, fine, and doesn’t even rate on the scale of importance given what we’re discussing here.
I’ll be sorry to see you go, but I won’t try to talk you back in.
I’ve felt this way since at least Make The Clocks Move: there is no shortage of songwriters who never address/discuss/acknowledge this stuff, and if listening to one who does, even in roughly 10% of his recorded output, is distasteful to you, I absolutely understand, and we can agree to disagree on what my role’s meant to be, etc.
I come from New York cops. My dad, his dad, two of his brothers, several of my cousins, friends of our family. I love them.
I remember being confused when I fell in love with Nirvana and saw a sticker on Kurt Cobain’s guitar that said, “Vandalism: As Beautiful As A Rock In A Cop’s Face.” I was 12, and I couldn’t square that initially my impressions of my family, and the men & women I’d met through my family. It was a real fraught, dissonant moment. Why would anyone want to throw a rock at my dad’s face?
I grew up some, and found myself realizing why that sticker existed, and empathizing with the rock throwers sometimes. I felt guilty about that, some vague sense of betrayal, an urge to defend police even in situations where their actions seemed excessive, wrong.
It took time to understand more than one thing can be true at the same time.
I don’t believe all cops are “bad.” Some are; some aren’t. They’re People.
But I also don’t believe that is what’s at issue here. Because individual people are never all one thing or another, on a moral or any other scale.
But systems rot, systems mutate, systems corrupt. And, to me, that’s what this is. What’s at issue is the basic value of a human life in an American society that’s gone bad in its prezteling efforts to protect power and privilege at any cost, and when cops are quasi-militarized and deployed to that end, and people end up killed in highly questionable-to-outrageous circumstances as a result, well….that’s “bad.”
Because people of color are also People, and People are scared, and angry, and exhausted. People are tired of seeing their kids, friends, family members killed, hurt, jailed at mind-boggling rates of disproportionality. People are wounded, fed up with seeing power abused, with seeing the gap grow wider between their reality and whatever shreds of the American Dream are left dangling at a distant, increasingly-hypothetical horizon. They’re sick of seeing injustice manifest itself in dead bodies, empty political rhetoric, no follow through, no protection, no change.
I’m a straight white male, and I don’t know what it’s like not to be. I should never be the loudest voice in this conversation. I think we (people like me) all have deep listening to do if we have any hope at making the people who aren’t us feel safe, valued, equal in this society. We have real & increased responsibility to bear as the power brokers, which we are, and have been. Anyone arguing otherwise, suggesting that we’re a “post-racial” society etc., is skirting offensiveness at worst and…sticking to a willful & highly selective understanding of America’s history, at best.
It’s not hard for me to empathize with the outrage of a person who watches their loved one murdered. And it’s not hard for me to empathize theoretically with someone making a catastrophic, fear-based, over-reactionary fight-or-flight error in judgement in the heat of a pitched moment that has violent, horrifying results.
But things don’t happen theoretically, or in a vacuum; they happen in context, bundled in absorbed information, under behavior-warping cultural weight.
And this is why we are where we are. We don’t value all lives the same in this society. And until we do, we’re in trouble, in our streets, in our souls.
There’s no bowtie here, no knot to tie neatly. It’s too brutally, endlessly sad and messy for that. My thoughts, my heart, are with Eric Garner’s family, and focused on the belief in our better nature, even when it is, at times, so difficult to see.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
I would agree strongly that it is important to place these passionate declarations in context. Certainly not all professions of male-male devotion were declarations of sexual attraction - no more in the eighteenth century than in the twenty-first. But placed in context the ardor shared by Laurens and Hamilton achieves weight and significance. The Laurens biography includes ample evidence that he was cold toward women and emotionally drawn to men, and that Hamilton - whatever his later relations with women - at this stage of his life was much more devoted to his “friend” than to his fiancée. The biographer [Gregory Massey] admits that there was something odd and inexplicable about Laurens’s recklessness in battle:
“Yet for all the similarities with other gentlemen officers - the emphasis on status, the importance of honor, the passion for same - something about John was different, even unsettling….His continual risk-taking involved more than an outward combat against British tyranny; he also engaged in personal combat against an inner self he had rejected, the irresolute man who lacked self-control.”
The biographer is at a loss to explain Laurens’s recklessness (which eventually led to his death), attributing it to an attempt to atone for unnamed “prior sins.” The biographer categorically rejects any suggestion of sexual attraction between the two men - but then is puzzled to explain their behavior.
William Benemann, Male-Male Intimacy in Early America
“I know how highly you think of Jane Fairfax,” said Emma. Little Henry was in her thoughts, and a mixture of alarm and delicacy made her irresolute what else to say.
“Yes,” he replied, “any body may know how highly I think of her.”
“And yet,” said Emma, beginning hastily and with an arch look, but soon stopping—it was better, however, to know the worst at once—she hurried on—"And yet, perhaps, you may hardly be aware yourself how highly it is. The extent of your admiration may take you by surprize some day or other.“
I can’t resist these lonely little figures in the background of so many comic book panels. They’re the supporting cast in the windows, streets, and crowds. Some artists and inkers took them pretty seriously, but when you blow them up, every micro-detail, hasty ink stroke, and printing anomaly becomes a defining trait of a large picto-human. They’re all individuals, and the best of them have a lot of pathos.
What I like about this image is the irresolution. My crop eliminates all bounded spaces, setting the remaining hints of illustrative perspective adrift in the flat field of dots. This man is caught in the second-and-a-half dimension.
I stumbled upon essays which I wrote as a freshman, and my jaw just dropped. I was a stupid ass motherucker. Heres an example:
This is my introduction to an essay over the novel playing with enemy during my freshman year:
“We control our destiny very greatly. We control it by how we act, and the choices we make every day. Gene controlled his destiny a lot as well. He didn’t let anything get into his way.”
And heres an introduction I wrote on a Hamlet essay during my senior year:
“William Shakespeare’s metaphysical revenge tragedy Hamlet illuminates an existentialist struggle in upholding conventional duties in the face of changing contextual paradigms. By embodying irresolution as a facet of our human nature, Shakespeare stylistically explicates potential moral scruples arising from conflicts in loyalty and socio-political corruption. Enriched by the powerful dramatic structure and intense characterisation, it is Shakespeare’s masterful exploration of these timeless thematic concerns, still relevant through a modern lens, which grants Hamlet its rich textual integrity.”
There’s still hope for all you freshman who suck at English!
“We stand in a hall of mirrors, dancing hesitantly & irresolutely because we are making the images take the lead. We move in circles because we are following what we have already done.” — Alan Watts (at Los Angeles, California)
A little unedited drabble of the beginning of something quite twisted for @hannibalcreative‘s #EattheRare…
the two way mirror was the face of Will Graham’s dreams and nightmares
– a choked scream given life, damp fingers scrabbling in the dark. The
same wolfish face and scarred eyes that had only seemed real to him with
a tender hand on the side of his face and a knife slow waltzing in his
He still remembered the muted sound of blood slipping out of his body, like rain across Hannibal’s Italian leather shoes. Hannibal.
man he saw now had the same face, but that was it. It wasn’t just the
white blood spattered shirt he was missing, but the sneer, the haughty
precision – it was all gone. Hidden in irresolution and patched tweed.
Will swallowed the knot building in his throat.
man that Jack wanted him to see was every bit the harried professor
with his patched jacket and wire frame glasses. And he was most
assuredly not Hannibal Lecter.
Now that Will could concentrate, he
could see his hair was darker, more youthful, and falling in his eyes
in a way Hannibal would not abide. His suit was form fitting but
undeniably shabby. To Will, he most resembled a harried Georgetown
professor, not the BAU’s most wanted. His eyes were tear stained, his
The mere coldness of the BAU had damaged him.
Poor little wounded bird.
Will startled only when Jack came out of the interrogation room, his mouth pursed to a hard frown.
“He’s not our man. I know that now.”
Will took a breath, licked his dry lips.
“What did he say?”
he’s not Hannibal,” said Jack. “He’s a school teacher from Denmark,
Will. Everything he said came back clean. And I believe him.”
Will let that sink in. “Then I hope you didn’t break him too bad.”
gave him a sharp look. “He’ll do fine. This isn’t the first time he’s
been accused of something he was innocent of. He has an interesting
story. The resemblance though, it’s uncanny. How do you explain that?”
They looked into the two way mirror, this time together.
was still now, the long, lean bones of his shoulders slumped. His hands
were clasped together as if in prayer. A surge of anger unraveled
inside the void of Will’s stomach, that this stranger would wear
Hannibal’s face but not wear his blood…
“They say everyone has a twin out there right?” Jack muttered beside him. “That man there must be Hannibal’s.”
Will frowned, staring into the dim mirror again.
“Let me go in,” he said. Once it was spoken, there was no way to take it back.
Jack tensed. “Will.”
let his head bow slightly, widening his eyes a fraction before making a
show of lowering them to the floor. “Please,” he said. “I need to see.”
exhaled. He laced his fingers behind his back. “Fine. You get five
minutes. Just remember, he’s on your watch now. You break it, you buy
gerlach en koop, (At last) Under the influence of that strange perplexity of inert irresolution / 2010 / #1 out of a series of 12 different shoelaces / black shoelace, metal wire / 49,3 cm / provenance: Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam