History Lesson(s) #10

Qu'ils reposent en révolte (des figures de guerres I) - Sylvain George, 2007-10, digital video


One 22-year-old, fleeing open-ended military service in Eritrea, drew a glowing metal rod from the embers and dragged it slowly across his fingertips, searing off his fingerprints. “It doesn’t hurt,” he said, displaying hands yellow with scar tissue.

At sea #8



Qu'ils reposent en révolte (des figures de guerres I) - Sylvain George, 2007-10, digital video


Illuminations #9

O Sangue - Pedro Costa, 1989, 35mm


History Lesson(s) #9

Pure Red / Yellow / Blue Colour - Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1921, oil on canvas


I reduced painting to its logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red, blue, and yellow. I affirmed: this is the end of painting. These are the primary colours. Every plane is a discrete plane and there will be no more representation.

--Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1939, cited in "The Primary Colors for the Second Time: A Paradigm Repetition of the Neo-Avant-Garde", Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, October 37, 1986, p.44.


At sea #7

From the South Jetty, Clatsop County, Oregon - Robert Adams, 1991


At sea #6


A little late posting this, but: Mubi Notebook's tribute to Raúl Ruiz, compiled by David Phelps: I, II, III, IV (inc. my brief contribution), V. Also late: the beautifully designed Lumière IV, and a video interview with Nathaniel Dorsky: I, II, III. More recently: Filming the Crisis: A Survey; Politics and Aesthetics in the Straubs' Films; Nude in your hot tub, facing the abyss; Redefining the Right Wing; Seize the Ponies. And Europa: as the unthinkable continues to unravel, a flashback — the prospects were always grave.

At sea #5

Three Crowns of the Sailor - Raúl Ruiz, 1983, 35mm


At sea #4


It is about a hundred years since the Demeter, a Russian schooner, arrived in Whitby harbour. Its fifty 'great wooden boxes of earth' were assigned to Mr. Samuel Billington, a Whitby solicitor, who had them sent on to Purfleet by train. Dracula was published in 1897. The bench in St. Mary's churchyard is first mentioned in Chapter IV, which ends with the first sighting of the Demeter. The ship is driven into the harbour during a terrible storm, deserted but for the captain's corpse lashed to the helm and a huge dog which leaps ashore and disappears. The boxes are its only cargo.

--narration from Patrick Keiller's Robinson in Space (1997) / annotation from the accompanying book (Reaktion, 1999), p.171. Image: Whitby harbour, earlier this month.


Illuminations #8

At Sea - Peter Hutton, 2007, 16mm


At sea #3

The crisis deepens. Ships are again laid up by the hundreds, manned by skeleton crews, or sent to the scrapyards of Bangladesh before their time. Ten percent of the world's fleet is idle. Shipyards are again in trouble as orders for new ships dry up. Riding high in the water, they carry only empties, with nowhere to go.

A ship is not an isolated thing, but a unit in a makeshift ensemble. Behind it all is backbreaking toil, and dockworkers' casual physical feats. The link between the ship, dock and city streets is seen in the Hong Kong street porters of the 1960s photographed by Ed van der Elsken, which show the physical definition of work: moving a mass, over a distance.

The Forgotten Space - Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010, super 16mm