27 Feb 2008

Valet - Naked Acid

Having recently discovered Honey Owens' first Valet album, this sophomore album (out on Kranky) comes as a pleasant surprise. Even more haunting than one the first, her voice really stands out. The atmosphere reminds me a bit of German krautrock, but in a more American, bluesy kind of way. Definitely one of the best psychedelia-albums of this year. Added you find the song 'Fire', one of the more quiet ones, but also a highlight of the album.
"These songs were Inspired by the Pacific Northwest landscape, semi-conscious dream states and the idea of one's DNA code being accessed as eternal memory."

17 Feb 2008

Cornell conference

looking forward to my first conference in the US

The Substance of Thought: Critical and Pre-Critical

keynote speakers: Simon Critchley (The New School for Social Research) and Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, April 10th-12th, 2008


The last few decades have witnessed a struggle within continental philosophy between those thinkers who accept Immanuel Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” and those who refuse critical philosophy in favor of a “classical” metaphysics that, in the words of Alain Badiou, “considers the Kantian indictment of metaphysics…as null and void.” This conference will consider the conflict between “critical” and “classical” or metaphysical strains in contemporary thought. Has critical philosophy run its course, as Badiou suggests? Or has Kant’s critical turn determined the horizon of all future philosophical work? Or is there an alternative path?

We are interested in analyzing the contemporary division between thinkers who prescribe a return to the pre-critical metaphysics of, for example, Spinoza, Leibniz, or Lucretius, and those who continue to take up various trajectories of Kant's critical legacy. The former camp might include Deleuze and Badiou as well as Negri and Althusser, while the latter might include Adorno, Benjamin, Heidegger, and Derrida. We particularly wish to encourage work that takes a stand on the conflict between the two camps, as well as work that considers the implications of the conflict for the arts and social sciences. The wide range of our inquiry includes interrogations of the nature of critique, the fate of aesthetics, the privilege accorded to immanence or transcendence, and the status of materialism.

13 Feb 2008

Herzog vs Jean Paul

oh, they can be so dramatic, these Germans!

"I heard only the eternal storm, which no one rules, and the shimmering rainbow, strechted over the abyss and falling into it. And when I looked up to the immeasurable world in search of the divine eye, only an empty eyesocket stared back at me; an eternity lay upon chaos and gnawed at it and chewed upon itself. Cry out, raise a cacophony, scream until the shadow breaks, for He is not! ... Rigid, speechless nothing! Cold, eternal necessity! Insane chance!"

Jean Paul, Siebenkäse (1796)

Werner Herzog on the obscenity of the jungle

Few filmmakers are so thoroughly modern as Werner Herzog, so thoroughly romantic, but in a disillusioned, anti-romantic kind of way.

"the trees are in misery, the birds are in misery; I don't think they sing, they just schriek in pain […] but there is some sort of harmony; the harmony of overwhelming, collective murder”