Odyssey Works: games that blur the line between performance & the real



At 7pm one Saturday this September, I found myself in Downtown Brooklyn’s Metrotech Commons wearing a bright green frog hat and laughing heartily with a group of one hundred fellow “fools.” I was participating in a scene in “When I Left the House It Was Still Dark,” a performance by the collective Odyssey Works. While the spectacle was public, the scene and the other experiences that made up the performance were created for only one person. Once or twice a year, the directorial team behind Odyssey Works (for the most recent performance: Abraham Burickson, Ayden Grout, Jen Harmon, and Ariel Abrahams) selects a single “participant,” chosen through an extensive application process — which starts by asking questions that range from “What is your favorite color?” to “What is your biggest unlived dream in life?” to “Would you be willing to be blindfolded?” — to receive a weekend-long series of experiences engineered specifically for his or her individual tastes, history, and relationships to people and place. Employing family members and friends of the participant, a diverse group of artists, and the general public, Odyssey Works blurs the line between the “real” and the “performed” with its experimental and experiential work.

See urbanomnibus for the full article.

ZIZEK ON DELEUZE’S LETTER: against identitarianism — AGENT SWARM

Gilles Deleuze’s “Letter To A Severe Critic” is one of his richest and most beautiful texts. It can be seen as a theoretical and practical treatise on alterity, so it is only fitting that Zizek misreads it, and Deleuze’s work generally, as avoiding any encounter with Hegel, who he (Zizek) claims represents “absolute Alterity”. Of […]

via ZIZEK ON DELEUZE’S LETTER: against identitarianism — AGENT SWARM

“AM I A PHILOSOPHER?”: Zizek, Althusser, and Laruelle


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At the beginning of his paper entitled “Am I a Philosopher?“, Slavoj Zizek cites a series of critiques that seek to deny him the very status of philosopher. The three main claims are that

1) Zizek has no philosophy, no system, but only proposes and exemplifies a method, he is a “reader of philosophy” rather than a real philosopher.

2) Zizek has no status as a philosopher inside of the academy, he is anxious over “being excluded from prestigi­ous insti­tu­tional appar­at­uses and depart­ments of philo­sophy”.

3) Zizek is an excitable hysteric rather than a Stoical master.

In short, Zizek has no legitimacy as a philosopher.

A primitive psychological explanation accompanies this diagnosis: Zizek’s nervousness, anxiety, and bodily tics are so many subjectivations and somatisations of his intellectual and social situation, psychosomatic reactions to his lack of legitimacy.

One is reminded here of Deleuze’s response to intellectual and personal…

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digital Intifada? — Deterritorial Investigations Unit


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A call to control the spread of violence by creating virtual checkpoints on facebook, twitter and other social media. If the depiction of violence, now defined as incitement, causes more violent action, does this mean that the depiction and uncovering of Israel’s own violent actions against Palestinians should be minimized? Does the depiction of injustices and genocide against a people not bring about a wave of counter-violence? The fact that no political groups seem to be behind this third intifada, bespeaks to this. Angry youths, passing through physical checkpoints on the road are reacting. Now there is a call for more checkpoints–virtual ones.

via digital Intifada? — Deterritorial Investigations Unit

“Something to get you through Tuesday” –if your Tuesday needs help getting through, that is.


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I went for a walk during my lunch break and spotted a few street art pieces that I haven’t photographed yet. Enjoy.

Source: Something to get you through Tuesday

This was posted by Critical Dispatches on their blog… Critical Dispatches, and the wording immediately caught my eye. I have followed that blog for a time, and I would not qualify the author as a pessimist. Nevertheless, even optimists need something to get through their Tuesdays, so… enjoy.

Mêtis: Cunning Intelligence in Greek Thought


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A lucid article on the concept of Greek mêtis from S.C. Hickman in Dark Ecologies. Lucid, also in the sense that it is a concept which can brake off in so many different streams, one could easily lose one’s way.

In Hesiod’s Theogony we attain an informative and detailed description of how Metis came to be the first consort of the Olympian god Zeus and the mother of the goddess Athena:

“Zeus, king of the gods, took as his first wife Metis,
a mate wiser than all gods and mortal men.
But when she was about to bear gray-eyed Athena,
then through the schemes of Gaia and starry Ouranos,
he deceived the mind of Metis with guile
and coaxing words, and lodged her in his belly.
Such was their advice, so that of the immortals
none other than Zeus would hold kingly sway.
It was fated that Metis would bear keen-minded children,
first a gray-eyed daughter, Tritogeneia,
who in strength and wisdom would be her father’s match,
and then a male child, high-mettled
and destined to rule over gods and men.
But Zeus lodged her in his belly before she did all this, that she might advise him in matters of good and bad.”

See, Mêtis: Cunning Intelligence in Greek Thought for the full post.

Verses from the Underlands


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Subject A. Verses from the Underlands. gnOme, 2016.

A collection of the fantastical verses of the suspected serial killer known as Subject A, written during his incarceration in a secure psychiatric facility from 1977 to 1980. The poems, baroque reflections of an alternate eldritch reality referred to as “the Underlands,” give seductive and haunting dimension to the poet’s undisproven claim that he never murdered but only “transfigured” his victims in locations “not to be found on any map of the world.”

Visit gnOme for more details: Verses from the Underlands

Jihadi Archipelago: Blood & Joy in the Islamic State


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Anthropologist Scott Atran explains the revolutionary context of the Islamic State – as a dynamic startup nation, an attractor of the aggrieved, and an existential challenge to Enlightenment ideals of human rights and the secular state – and warns that Western governments are giving ISIS exactly the chaos it needs to grow.

Scott is co-author of the New York Review of Books essay Paris: The War ISIS Wants.



gnOme books: The Lost Couplets of Pir Iqbal the Impaled


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The one whose gaze sets moths aflame
Will not look at me.
So blackened is my hanging corpse,
So deformed the tree.

There is little record of the life of the Albanian poet known as Pir Iqbal the Impaled. The survival of his verses is due to Hilmi Abdyl Maliqi (1856-1928) of Rahovec, who considered them worthy of transcription into the small notebook discovered in 1999.

As a young man he joined a tekke in Gjakova, but was expelled for unknown reasons.

In 1896, he suffered a mental collapse in Skopje and was later identified by Haxhi Ymer Lutfi Paçarizi as ‘mast-Allah’ [God-intoxicated]. His couplets, though heterodox, were known by mouth in the region, mostly among the Melami Sufis of Kosova and Macedonia. After the revolt in 1910, Iqbal publicly renounced Islam at Priština during the visit of Sultan Mehmed V in 1911. The following year, he converted to Christianity and was impaled for apostasy in Prizren. The people of the district, however, regarded his apostasy as false, a perverse expression of his spiritual intoxication (sakr). Thus, after his death, in honor of his mystical inspirations (waridat), he became known as Pir Iqbal the Impaled. “The dervish’s soul is lost. By the grace of Allah, his lines are not.” (from the translator’s preface)

Source: The Lost Couplets of Pir Iqbal the Impaled

From hero to villain–the disillusionment of the good habitants of Fox Lake, IL.


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Breaking News…

So, I chanced upon this article on MSN as I got on the web:

In Illinois town, hero cop Joe Gliniewicz now a villain to many


A police officer who was honored as a hero, is now believed, to have “staged his own suicide to look like murder to cover up his criminal activity.” Well… The townspeople were enraged. As much as Fox Lake’s townspeople can be enraged anyway. They immediately defaced the placards outside the police station honoring Gliniewicz as a hero, with the words, “lied, stole, disgraced.” Even more concerning is the effect that his betrayal of the town, the uniform, and of humanity, might have on the town’s youth. Sounds like The Dark Knight, all over again. All the town needs now is a bigger lie to cover up its past smaller lies. The outrage however, also serves other purposes. For one thing, it gets a boring town in the news. Of course, the town does not become more interesting because of this, if anything its boring life with its dull characters stands out even more. The only interesting character now seems the villain. Perhaps this is the pressing concern of those moralizers who now busy themselves with concocting remedies to heal the wounded pride of the town’s youth. Though to judge from the words of the youth himself, Cecilia Ashbacher’s 15-year-old son (we don’t get the name of the son, only his mother–a reassuring sign that the kid is not looking for publicity, only his mom is), he does not sound any less conceited. He is from Lake Villa, another town in Illinois driven on the verge of mass suicide by boredom, that now steps in to claim its share of the fame. Like the kid in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, who having nothing to say when everyone around him receives some attention by the mere fact of having known Tom now believed to be dead, steps up and says, “Well, Tom Sawyer licked me once.”

human terrain teams? counter-insurgency anthropology

Deterritorial Investigations

“How have anthropologists and other social scientists been used by the Pentagon and the CIA on the ground in places like Afghanistan as part of broader “counter-insurgency” programs? What are contracted civilians, embedded academics doing in the field as part of human terrain teams? with anthropologist David Price

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