TERMINAL BEACH


Notes from a Rest Station
August 20, 2018, 10:14 am
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“Nothing is at the right scale…”

Gordano Services, Welcome Break, Easton-in-Gordano, Portbury. West of Bristol, a motorway service station on the M5 near the Portbury and Avonmouth docks. Classic Augéian non-place. A weird island, the Oz of it, constant sound of traffic like a sinister river. Kafka’s The Castle at the rest services. M5 sound, if recorded you would stop thinking of what it really is. A massive parking lot of brand new vehicles right off the ship — no people, factory fresh, no workers, beginning of life cycle commodities. The wrecking yard overlay. As time and space uncoil. Gentle wind, late afternoon summer. Electric pylon, large Dock cranes in distance. A vast spread of identical, brand new Mercedes pickup trucks. Gordano Days Inn, vacation at zero degree. What would a sustainable, communistic liberated service area look like? Cheering for something in spaces like this, not wanting to change it all ‘back’ into real places, certain communities. The blankness is a place for imaging something akin to the new, if not crushed by its dire mood, the wafer thin civility, waffling, passing stimulus. What marks this as a transitional non-place as opposed to some other place? The difference and similarity between Gordano and Portbury village, or anywhere else.

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Remains
July 4, 2018, 8:40 am
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The screens went first, not that images disappeared of course—far from it, that’s what I am talking about. The famous ‘computer’ disappeared, and slowly but surely the devices went away. Radical gradualism seemed to be the prime modality. Whimper power. Cities as we knew them disappeared but not in the way they had been prophesized. So to, the disappearance of the skyscraper finally happened. For a while I thought all that would be left would be warehouses, but little by little, they went along with power stations, even cars disappeared. The remarkable thing is that this didn’t produce a vast landscape of ruins. The global destiny was far more mysterious, and that is what remains.

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NEC (Area 52, nothing outside of it): I. Recovered Deleted Photos, You cannot be too safe
March 17, 2018, 11:20 am
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Austerity and Intensity: Volatility, Collectivity and Affective Politics (A review essay of Brian Massumi’s The Power at the End of the Economy)
February 25, 2017, 9:27 pm
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From Austerity to Intensity? Volatility, Collectivity and Affective Politics A review essay of Brian Massumi’s The Power at the End of the Economy

Since the financial crisis neoliberalism doesn’t seem to have vanished nor has the tendency to derive radical politics from Deleuze. Brian Massumi’s latest book functions as a kind of primer for countering neoliberalism through an art of affective politics that recasts economics as an interplay between rational and non-rational forces, vitalities and self-interest. To describe The Power at the End of the Economy as a primer is in no way a denigration as priming means something very particular for Massumi which lies at the heart of contemporary social life, both within and beyond neoliberalism. The book does function as a primer in the conventional sense of serving as an introduction into affective politics, but it also attempts to prime in a more extensive way. It yields a preliminary motive force that might lead to something more by taking us through a series of trigger points and theoretical inducements. It’s compact and concentrated with a pronounced contrast between grave situations and playful social theory, and this effect is likely to divide readers according to whether they are already sympathetic to or irritated by Deleuzian zeal. This is amplified through the use of surfing metaphors and terms from quantum mechanics, with a few touches of new age spirituality. The intermediary function is consistent with previous work by Massumi that has included parables, outlines, a user’s guide and well known translations of Deleuze and Guattari. His general approach is to derive and apply Deleuzian thought into contemporary situations and sway readers into the suppleness of these ideas. There is a tension that runs through the entire book connected to its primer function wherein Massumi occupies a role of interlocutor into a set of political tactics, yet this is at odds with the core principle of affect—that it requires no mediation in the melding of macro and micro currents.

 

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Hole
August 24, 2016, 10:08 pm
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‘You are absolutely right. Our little town is a hole. Always was and always will be. Except right now,’ I say, ‘it’s a hole into the future. And the stuff we fish out of this hole will change the whole stinking world.’
from Roadside Picnic, Arkady & Boris Strugatsky

 

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E.T. ‘Mr Brexit’ meets Mr Brexit Burkini ban
August 24, 2016, 9:49 pm
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extraT2

Facets of the same thing… state sanctioned humiliation as liberty and Spielbergian futurity.

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Interim Island
July 3, 2016, 11:46 am
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Islands like this all seemed to have the same history, and in this way they merge into a predictable and unfortunate pangaea bound by enduring colonial forces—perhaps there was a small indigenousness settlement and then a ‘first contact’ moment, or maybe it was in fact a land without people and then was claimed and counter-claimed, with sporadic attempts to colonize, useful for a few years for a theatre of war or a scarcity in a market. But then the isolation and the costs caught up with it, and owning to its abating strategic import, abandoned. Over the years since there has been occasional interest but there are countless places like this.

[continue]

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