PDA

View Full Version : Blackly Comic



Woebot
13-12-2004, 10:09 PM
<img alt="gorey1.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/gorey1.jpg" width="500" height="416" border="0" />
<i>from Edward Gorey "The Gashlycrumb Tinies"</i>

With all the talk of <a target="_blank" href="http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org">the coldly rational</a> I've been itching to advance my own perspective on things. <a target="_blank" href="http://blissout.blogspot.com">Simon's remarks on Dr K's interpretation of Bataille</a> has given me the necessary push. Regardless of what anyone says about this strain of post-Spinozian thought I'm convinced that rather than being a position one just arrives at, the practitioner is almost always sensitive to the pervasive pressures life. The "coldly rational" seem often to be foreigners stranded abroad, forced to discover some common ground with seemingly hostile locals, slaves to dehumanising drugs (Burroughs spoke of the "algebra of addiction", counting out the hours till the next fix, normal bodily functions suspended by smack) or even just the hypersensitive observers of daily life, traumatised by the brutal machinations of a world geared to ravenous self-interest.

<img alt="gorey2.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/gorey2.jpg" width="500" height="987" border="0" />
<i>from Edward Gorey "The Hapless Child"</i>

Of course this plays into Mark's withstanding criticism that he is beyond subjectivity, that this strain of thought isn't about him and his experiences, that to suggest as much is to trivialise his work. To heap insult onto onto injury I'd probably try and dignify my remarks by (horror of horrors!) recalling personal experiences which lead me to suspect that the coldly rational was, just that, a headspace.

<img alt="evil_buddha.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/evil_buddha.jpg" width="500" height="683" border="0" />
<i>from my personal sketch books, Egypt 1994</i>

What hasn't been mentioned in any of his quite austere diatribes against ;) fascist child-bearing types, structurally evil lawyers, child abusing roman catholics and other "tortured monkeys in hell" is often hilarious contexts in which the "coldly rational" is deployed in art and literature. Burrough's is the arch practitioner of this infinitely black humour. His humorous skits were arguably the very apex of his talent. In them he was able to present the undiluted horror of his cosmology to his widest audience without compromise. He's forever inseparable from the grisly Dr. Benway and the talking asshole, and the latter, well it's almost the definitive cold rationalist tale isn't it?

<img alt="crumb.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/movabletype/archives/crumb.jpg" width="500" height="467" border="0" />
<i>Robert Crumb "Anal Antics"</i>

The premise to the parable of the talking asshole is this; your mouth has elected itself as the primary spokesperson for your body. Through speech (Burroughs's virus from outer space) it exerts an notional authority over some of the rest of the body's organs, organs held together in the theoretical concept of "the person" through a contract devised together for their mutual benefit. This kit of parts concept of the body is exactly what leads Burroughs to theorise dissension between them and the story encapsulates his philosophy as though it were a riddle. As a junky his body would have rubbed his face in this immutable fact every time it craved a fix.

<img alt="grosz.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/grosz.jpg" width="500" height="746" border="0" />
<i>George Grosz cover of Die Pliete. "Have a blessed New Year."</i>

Within the visual arts one can most usually spot cold rationalist in line drawings, etchings, linocuts, comics etc. The artist works alone, without the clutter of multimedia, their vision often spelt out in black and white, and again at it's apogee there is a penetrating humour. Edward Gorey's ultra-bleak illustrated novellas often feature the appalling fates of hapless children, the comedy derives from society's perhaps unrealistic affection towards children. Robert Crumb is again a philosopher of the blank and the numb, dissecting the banale with brutal satire in much the same way as expressionist Grosz.

I suppose all of the above artists stand in judgement over the living as though they were themselves dead people. If I have one problem with cold rationalism it is this, that to aspire to (or claim!) the clairvoyancy of bloodless subjectivity is to pretend to be dead. To return again to Burroughs, he often remarked that if there is one con trick you can't get away with, it's to pretend to be death, because death itself will find you out.

DavidD
13-12-2004, 10:58 PM
http://cheston.com/pbf/PBF030BCGopherTrouble.jpg

I'm not really following the philosophy of this but I thought maybe this would fit in nicely.

Woebot
14-12-2004, 08:59 AM
http://cheston.com/pbf/PBF030BCGopherTrouble.jpg

I'm not really following the philosophy of this but I thought maybe this would fit in nicely. (shields eyes) DavidD that's some bleak shit! :p

As for "the philosophy" of what I'm saying, well I'd be the first to admit I'm fumbling around in the dark. However, I've yet to hear anyone argue past these points, deny their validity to the argument, yes, but never actually refute them. I suppose the Cold Rationalists would probably deny their vision is a dark one, we shouldn't do anything as cheap and empty as "love" one another, or even worse "show respect" (scratches head). No doubt this has already been thrashed to death as a subject.....

I wonder what the supreme Cold Rational art is? Probably Barnett Newman in fact. (swerving into comfort zone) The most perfect Cold Rational music, probably Charles Dodge (plotting electromagnetic currents of the earth into music) John Cage circa "Atlas Elipiticus" (using maps of galactic star formations as a basis for improvisation- I have a box set of this stuff) or anything by Roland Kahn. Failing that the deepest emptiest Techno (which c.1994 was The Black Dog), and now is probably something like Farmers Manual. Pretty boring stuff at the end of the day.......

HMGovt
14-12-2004, 10:07 AM
http://cheston.com/pbf/PBF003BCBunnyPit.jpg

This one is on point.

DavidD
14-12-2004, 01:35 PM
Haha that one's a classic too - not to derail the thread or anything but we're getting these from the perry bible fellowship site here (http://cheston.com/pbf/archive.html). Entertaining stuff, like Far Side but a tad more extreme.

http://cheston.com/pbf/PBF048BCTodayismyBirthday.jpg

jd_
14-12-2004, 06:18 PM
Spacemoose needs a mention I think. Canada's finest. You have to cut and paste though, hotlinking's out.

www.drunkanddisorderly.net/spacemoose/life_support.gif
www.drunkanddisorderly.net/spacemoose/orgasm.gif

Woebot
15-12-2004, 08:48 AM
http://www.woebot.com/images/dissensus/You-killed-my.jpg

er not that there's much funny about this one......

rewch
15-12-2004, 03:30 PM
I wonder what the supreme Cold Rational art is? Probably Barnett Newman in fact. (swerving into comfort zone) The most perfect Cold Rational music, probably Charles Dodge (plotting electromagnetic currents of the earth into music) John Cage circa "Atlas Elipiticus" (using maps of galactic star formations as a basis for improvisation- I have a box set of this stuff) or anything by Roland Kahn. Failing that the deepest emptiest Techno (which c.1994 was The Black Dog), and now is probably something like Farmers Manual. Pretty boring stuff at the end of the day.......
what about suprematism & constructivism? pretty cold & rational...but i would have thought that art is almost entirely not Cold Rational because it is art...ditto music...because they affect via the unconscious...particularly true of music that provokes a response that is completely dissociated from thought...i.e. you hear & feel & the feeling is not connected to a thought process on your part...

this thread though makes me think of goya & his response to enlightenment concerns...El sueno de la razon produce monstruos (the sleep of reason produces monsters)...nice one matt...will be coming back to this one...& agree that it is impossible to avoid subjectivity because one is the subject

(if you or anyone is interested i have hi-res scans of all of the capricio engravings (80 of them))

rewch
15-12-2004, 03:34 PM
meant to put this in too...would have thought that satire is inherently not rational because it is provoked by outrage...it may be coldly presented & appear to be rational but the savagery behind it belies that...

Woebot
15-12-2004, 04:31 PM
nice one rewch.


(if you or anyone is interested i have hi-res scans of all of the capricio engravings (80 of them))
would you a post a thumbnail of these?

i suppose the goyas the chapman bros defaced would qualify as entry here.

HMGovt
15-12-2004, 04:36 PM
Haha that one's a classic too - not to derail the thread or anything but we're getting these from the perry bible fellowship site here (http://cheston.com/pbf/archive.html). Entertaining stuff, like Far Side but a tad more extreme.

http://cheston.com/pbf/PBF048BCTodayismyBirthday.jpg

So I posted a page full of these to a mate and he contacted the person responsible. Upshot: Maxim magazine have just hired him.

rewch
15-12-2004, 04:44 PM
sufi has them all on his site here (http://83.216.135.129/cgi-bin/emAlbum.cgi?cmd=show_thumbs&path=goya%20-%20los%20caprichios&tn=1)

but only i have the 600 dpi version...incidentally the chapmans defaced a different edition (think it was sixth or seventh) & their version has the same value as the first...!?! i was actually suckered into discussing the whole issue by a journo from the antiques trade gazette & was busted by my boss...got in quite a nice quote along the lines of 'if you're going to outrage you might as well do it properly...i would have defaced the first edition'...no disrespect to the bros. but if you're not hard enough &c.&c....taught me the valuable lesson of always watch what you say to journo types!

Woebot
20-12-2004, 07:02 AM
<img alt="pettibon1.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/dissensus/pettibon1.jpg" width="500" height="726" border="0" />

<img alt="pettibon2.jpg" src="http://www.woebot.com/images/dissensus/pettibon2.jpg" width="500" height="729" border="0" />

have always loved these off "Double Nickels On The Dime"