Sunday, January 23, 2005

the aesthetics of skip

5.15 a.m.
Snow laying all around
A collier cycles home
From his night shift underground
Past the silent pub
Primary school, workingmens club
On the road from the pithead
The churchyard packed
With mining dead

Then beneath the bridge
He comes to a giant car...

stop. whirr.
long pause as a low intensity laser struggles to read the infinitesimal little pits on a shimmering spinning polymer disc.

5.15 a.m.
Snow laying all around
A collier cycles home
From his night shift underground
Past the silent pub...

stop. whirr.

the banal miracle of digital sound reproduction made obvious, and fragile, by its malfunction.

mark knopfler's wry song story of exploitation and murder in a mining town comes out in fragments, hesitantly repeated, seldom completed, due to a technical glitch, the skipping of tracks on optical data storage devices.

the laser skips. the music in fragments.
oft repeating.
it's a new aesthetic of listening which i'm not particularly pissed off by, as whole pasages and words and turns of phrase drop out.

... Large perforations begin to appear in chronicles, calendars and maps, and even the minute agendas of individual lives, as stretches of time, tracts of land, ways of being and doing, and entire clusters of experience are are denied substance.

There are no histories of residue, no atlases of abandonment, no memoirs of what a person was but could not be...

Raqs Media Collective

Mark Knopfler would know. his song stories, documenting marginal lives, framed by glissading guitar phrases fit that spirit.

would he appreciate the aesthetics of skip that make his songs so much more poignant by shredding them incomplete?

would he, like gyan pandey once upon a very long time ago, speak up in defense of the fragment - the broken shards from which a history of violence is pieced together by a historian, whether or not s/he slings a guitar?


The light.
a shaft entering the bathroom is segmented by the blades of the exhaust fan, the solitary opening in the wall.
light and shade.
and the steam rises from the hot water i pour on my back
into the segmented shaft of light
my sweat, my skin, my dandruff
the memory of lying in grass
rise into the light
the carvaggio film noir light
in hesitant brownian wisps
appearing and disappearing.



read hari kunzru's transmission today. a novel, which along with william gibson's pattern recognition, (and the both are so complementary they should be sold in a boxed set) illuminate networked 'globalisation' in the post 9/11 world with such lucid artistry that i am left gasping for metaphors.

to quote -

In media dissections of the impact of the Leela variant viruses, the period when there was the most noise in the global sytem has come to be known as Greyday...
Leela's noise passed effotlessly out of the networks into the world of things...
We have records of events which have not taken place. Other events took place but left no record. All that can be said with honesty is that afterwards there were absences, gaps which have never been filled...


the aesthetics of skip...

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