29 August 2008

Response to yesterday's post

Dear David

Your comments re my work are indeed unkind.Please see attached, for
forecasts of 27 August. I claim the same recommendations of NZ Metservice, which
are for at least 24-hr error, bearing in mind my forecasts are set out 2 years
ago for my almanac books. A large geographical area such as Wellington, with
many hill microclimates, means when rain is about, some get heavy rain and some
don’t. The point is the potential, at perigee times, for wild weather over about
a week, and the region certainly received it. The attached documents are
corroborative evidence.

I commend Maddie’s exhibition in bringing awareness of a wider and older
weather science, and its potential for the pre-warning of severe events and the
subsequent saving of lives and of costs to our economy. To learn more about the
moon-method and its implications you can download my free 230-page book, link at
bottom of this post.

Kind regards

Ken Ring

I haven't included the attachments, but you can check them out on his website here.

28 August 2008


This is very unkind, but I can't resist. For the one-day sculpture event, academic artist Maddie Leach based her project on a long-range weather forecast (which are of course notoriously unreliable). From the one-day sculpture website, we have:
On 28th August 2008, a storm is predicted over the city of Wellington. Using a long-range weather forecasting system developed by mathematician Ken Ring, Maddie Leach has pinpointed a winter’s day in which downpours, hail, wind and rain are expected to descend upon the North Island’s most southerly city. A perigee is the moment at which the moon is at its closest to the earth each month and, according to Ring, it is around this time that significant changes in weather patterns occur.

Anticipation for the storm is built by the artist through a series of newspaper forecasts which appear prior to the notable day of the project. On the day itself we are encouraged to seek out a boatshed at Breaker Bay, set at the mouth of the harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, from which to watch in anticipation over the Cook Strait over a period of 24 hours.

If you open up the front page of today's paper, you get this particularly nice juxtaposition:

The newspaper article next to Maddie Leach's ad reads in part:
In a rotten winter that has seen Wellington drenched in almost twice the average rainfall, sun-starved residents can look to Thursdays for a reprieve.

Niwa statistics confirm the outlook for Thursdays is fine - or at least better, as it has proved to be the least likely day for rain.

26 August 2008

23 August 2008

Can't Play Won't Play

To complete today's multimedia goodness, you can check out Can't Play Won't Play on myspace.

Satanic dada collective

You can see a couple of satanic dada collaborative works here.

Common-Sense Nihilist Party political broadcast

20 August 2008

Fucking academics

I'm reading this book right? It's written by an art historian, and it's a flagrant attempt to grab some glory of the artist for himself. Fucking George Baker on Francis Picabia. You will have noticed I'm a bit of a Picabia fan. Picabia was the best artist of the 20th century, but he doesn't deserve this bullshit. Baker is a parasitic cunt.

He picks up these so-called marginalised works and claims to've discovered their importance. He makes a long bow about what they're about and then links them to a theoretical structure that some dickhead came up with after Picabia was dead. Fucking Baker spends all his time going on about this, some stupid post-Freudian shit that didn't exist when the work was made, an elaborate scheme that's totally anachronistic, and that doesn't make any fucking sense when related to the work even if it did exist when the work was made. Fucking ridiculous.

I particularly dislike all this quoting Freud and Marx bollocks, taking them seriously. Do you see psychologists and economists doing so!?! No, you fucking don't. Only art theorists and art historians. Freud and Marx were early models of their fields. It's like taking Ptolemy seriously as a model of the solar system. You fucking idiots.

The footnotes in this book are a fucking disgrace as well, suck-up shit. Sucking up to Rosalind Krauss. These October cunts, trying to steal fucking dada for their academic agenda, fuck off.

Yeah, so I'm pissed again. Can you tell? I've just been to an Ava Seymour opening, yet someone else feeding off dada's corpse. Yeah, you say, the same could be said for you, David Cauchi. Well, bollocks. I rip off dada better than any other arsehole. I'm up front about it, and I fucking understand it.

19 August 2008

Francis Picabia invented space tourism

We all know that Francis Picabia invented abstract painting and dada, but did you know he also invented space tourism in 1921?
I would like to find an engineer who would be able to realise my latest invention; this invention consists in assembling circles around the Earth, circles that would remain fixed through centripetal attraction; palaces would be built on these circles which would spin round and round.

In this way, we could go round the world without having to leave our rooms, or rather we could see it go round in 24 hours! There's Cairo with its visions of the pilgrims of Mecca, Upper Egypt, then New York, Brooklyn, and Riverside Drive, there's Paris, the Seine, etc, and throughout this incredible procession young girls would play Reynaldo Hahn's melodies on the piano!

There would be no more voyages, no more missed trains, no more night, and thus much less danger of catching chills; anyway, putting my discovery into practice could offer serious advantages. If an American engineer ever gets an idea reading these pages, I would be very obliged to him if he were to write to me so we could discuss the possibilities of fleshing it out.

Of course it's understood that the inhabitants of these circles would benefit from 'anationality'.

11 August 2008

Nihilism for beginners

Okay, so Kant pointed out that space, time, and causality are not properties of the world, of things-in-themselves, but rather properties of the mind that allow us to understand the world. All objects that we can apprehend exist in space and time, and have causes and effects. We can only apprehend objects in those terms; any object not in space, in time, and subject to causality would be unknowable. This means that space, time, and causality are conditions that must be met for us to apprehend an object. But things-in-themselves are not dependent on the conditions we have for apprehending things. Those conditions are properties of our minds, not of the things. Space, time, and causality are subjective framing devices with which we structure our sensations and combine them into the coherent world we observe. The world we experience, the world of appearances, is dependent on the properties of our minds.

Some people go on from this to posit an ultimate reality beyond the world of appearances. But such an underlying reality, if it existed, would be completely unknowable. It would be completely separate from us. In what way then can it underly the world of appearances?

If apparent things are constructed by the classifications and arrangements of sensation by our mind, they are obviously not real. There is no thing-in-itself, and each person constructs the world, not according to any truth or reality, but according to their own needs and values.

Kant also points out that, since the world of appearances is constructed by the mind, whatever unity it has is provided by the unity of the subject perceiving/constructing it, and that this is a reciprocal arrangement. The unity of the object is brought about by the subject grasping the different elements of the object and combining them into a whole, and the unity of the subject is possible only by doing this. It is like what the art theorists call 'intertextual space', where the meaning of a work of art is generated by the interaction between the work and a viewer. Or, as we should say, a work of art is created by the interaction of a subject with an object. That object could be a painting on a wall or it could be the world as a whole.

However, neither the object nor the subject are a unity. The self is seething mass of contradictory impulses, desires, and needs, and the world it constructs is similarly contradictory. But there's more. If the world of appearances is unreal and illusory, and it has a reciprocal relationship with the self, then the self too is unreal and illusory. They are both fictions. Nothing is real.

07 August 2008

Quotes of the day

Fundamentally, I had a mania for change, like Picabia. One does something for six months, a year, and one goes on to something else. That was what Picabia did his whole life.

- Marcel Duchamp

DUCHAMP: ... I don't believe in positions.
CABANNE: But what do you believe in?
DUCHAMP: Nothing, of course! The word 'belief' is another error. It's like the word 'judgement', they're both horrible words, on which the world is based. [...]
CABANNE: Nevertheless, you believe in yourself?
DUCHAMP: No ... I don't believe in the word 'being'. The idea of being is a human invention ... It's an essential concept, which doesn't exist at all in reality, and which I don't believe in.

For me, happiness is to command no-one and to not be commanded.

- Francis Picabia


I've been procrastinating like buggery over the final version of my comic. I'm slow at the best of times, but this has got ridiculous. A large part of it is that it's going to be time-consuming and finicky. No doubt I'll fuck up a page at the last minute and have to start from scratch on a drearily regular basis. The drawing up is okay. It's the watercolouring that'll be tricky:

Before I get stuck into the watercolouring, though, I need to do a little tidying:

The funny thing is, now that I've finally made a start, I've got sick. The gods do so like their little jokes. Of course, it's my fault for crowing that I hadn't yet this winter.

04 August 2008

The end

For Encounters at the end of the world, Werner Herzog and a cameraman were sent to Antarctica by the National Science Foundation to make a documentary. He tells us he told them he wouldn’t be making yet another documentary about penguins. Instead, he has different questions of nature: why do men wear masks and feathers, and feel compelled to always chase the bad guy; why do ants keep slaves; and why don’t chaimpanzess ride gazelles off into the sunset?

The resulting film was obviously made with tight time pressures. A lot of the interviewees seem very unrehearsed. Herzog seems to have filmed them straight away, just after meeting them. You can see his direction: ‘say such and such, and then slowly look over there’. If they go on for too long, he cuts them off and summarises what they’re saying (or meant to say) in a voiceover. A travel story bore gets interrupted with ‘Her story goes on forever.’

The usual artist in Antarctica thing is to play up its pristine beauty, but Herzog doesn’t. Anyone who’s read a lot of science fiction will recognise McMurdo Base. It is what bases on the Moon and Mars will look like: drab prefabs, large earthmoving equipment, piles of stuff just dumped somewhere convenient, the occasional figure heavily wrapped in protective clothing, and dirt everywhere. It’s not pretty.

The science fiction theme runs throughout. One researcher describes the neutrinos he’s looking for as ‘belonging to a different universe’. One scientist describes underwater life in terms of science fiction monsters. Herzog asks in response if mammals colonised the land to escape the horror. The same scientist shows 50s science fiction doomsday films to the researchers, and when he gets suited up to go diving its very much like an astronaut putting on the many layers of a space suit. Herzog’s narration of a great sequence in tunnels under the South Pole turns it into a tale of alien archaeologists from the future discovering the last relics of humanity – a frozen sturgeon and some plastic flowers.

There are lots of other treats as well.

I was meant to go to the Patti Smith doco on Sunday as well, but it clashed with Doctor Who. Still, Herzog was the perfect finish. It was easily the best film I saw.
visitors since 29 March 2004.