1492 – Always Coming Home: A sonic journey from Kesh (2020)

Some of the Places and Peoples Known to the Kesh, 1985 © Ursula K. Le Guin. Courtesy of Curtis Brown, Ltd

I finally realized that if I was ever going to find any words in which I could tell stories about my world, if I was ever going to approach the center of the world in my writing, I was going to have to take lessons from the people who lived there, who had always lived there, the people who were the land—the old ones, the first ones, trees, rocks, animals, human people. I was going to have to be very quiet, and learn to listen to them. (Le Guin, 1988/2019: 751)

Music and poetry of the Kesh by Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton was released on bandcamp in 2018

Music and Poetry of the Kesh is the documentation of an invented Pacific Coast peoples from a far distant time, and the soundtrack of famed science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. In the novel, the story of Stone Telling, a young woman of the Ksh, is woven within a larger anthropological folklore and fantasy. (from bandcamp)

The ways of the Kesh were originally presented in 1985 as a five hundred plus page book accompanied with illustrations of instruments and tools, maps, a glossary of terms, recipes, poems, an alphabet (Le Guin’s conlang, so she could write non-English lyrics), and with early editions, a cassette of “field recordings” and indigenous song. Le Guin wanted to hear the people she’d imagined; she embarked on an elaborate process with her friend Todd Barton to invoke their spirit and tradition.

Always coming home is a musical feature by NTS radio with words words by Andrea Zarza Canova, various field recordings and a tracklist based on the above and the book by Ursula K LeGuin Always coming home. Original is here

Upon reading Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin, one feels as though entering an anthropological museum filled with artefacts from a past civilization; we can discover maps charting where the Kesh lived, drawings and descriptions of the plants, trees and rivers that surrounded them; collections of recipes and descriptions of how they dressed; detailed notes explaining their society, kinship, sexuality, medicine and funerary rites; folk tales, plays, poems, stories and descriptions of rites and rituals, with detailed descriptions of what their instruments looked and sounded like.

Pandora is the archaeologist, historian and anthropologist who describes the Kesh in this ethnographic account of a non-existent civilization. For both us readers and Pandora, also referred to as the Editor, the Kesh exist in the future, in a post-apocalyptic California. A note at the beginning of the book makes us aware of this with a complex use of verbal tenses—“The people in this book might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California”. This note is one of the few occasions where we hear Le Guin’s voice, for Always Coming Home is instead a patchwork of Kesh voices that come to life through poems, songs, storytelling, oral histories and a novel, collected or recounted by the narrator Pandora. (fragment from text by Andrea Zarza Canova)

1464

[Gollum leads Sam and Frodo through the wilderness to a crossroads.]

Sam: “It must be getting near teatime. Leastways, it would be in decent places where there is still teatime.”

Gollum: “We’re not in decent places.”

1451 – Wonderstruck (2017)

timespace coordinates: 1927 New Jersey / 1977 Minnesota > New York City

Wonderstruck is a 2017 American mystery drama film directed by Todd Haynes and based on the 2011 novel Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, who also adapted the novel into a screenplay. The film stars Oakes FegleyJulianne MooreMichelle Williams, and Millicent Simmonds.

The film interlaces two stories set fifty years apart, switching frequently between them, with the older storyline filmed in black and white. Each tells the story of a child’s quest. In 1927, young deaf girl Rose runs away from her father’s New Jersey home to find her mother/idol, the actress Lillian Mayhew. In 1977, recently orphaned Ben, made deaf by a freakish accident, runs away from his Minnesota home in search of his father. (wiki)

imdb


“A curator’s job is an important one, for it is the curator who decides what belongs in the museum. In a way, anyone who collects things in the privacy of his own home is a curator. But how did the very first curators store their collections? They were kept
in pieces of furniture called Cabinets of Wonder. Eventually, some collections grew beyond the confines of a single cabinet and took over entire rooms. See figure nine.”

1420

«The Romans stole the alphabeta system from the Greeks through war», explains Rammellzee. «Then, in medieval times, monks ornamented letters to hide their meaning from the people. Now, the letter is armored against further manipulation.»

New York graffiti artist and B-boy theoretician Rammellzee (the artist encases himself during gallery performances in Gasholeer, a 148-pound, gadgetry-encrusted exoskeleton inspired by an android he painted on a subway train in 1981. Four years in the making, Rammellzee’s exuberantly low-tech costume bristles with rocket launchers, nozzles that gush gouts of flame, and an all-important sound system.)

«From both wrists, I can shoot seven flames, nine flames from each sneaker’s heel, and colored flames from the throat. Two girl doll heads hanging from my waist and in front of my balls spit fire and vomit smoke… The sound system consists of a Computator, which is a system of screws with wires. These screws can be depressed when the keyboard gun is locked into it. The sound travels through the keyboard and screws, then through the Computator, then the belt, and on up to the four mid-range speakers (with tweeters). This is all balanced by a forward wheel from a jet fighter plane. I also use an echo chamber, Vocoder, and system of strobe lights. A coolant device keeps my head and chest at normal temperature. A 100-watt amp and batteries give me power.»

«slanguage» – a heavily encrypted hip-hop argot – is the linguistic equivalent of graffiti «tags» all over the mother tongue. In an essay on English as the imperial language of the Internet, the cultural critic McKenzie Wark argues for the willful, viral corruption of the lingua franca of global corporate monoculture as a political act.

Black to the Future: Afrofuturism 1.0

Mark Dery


1404

labyrinths were first built at the time when the gods withdrew from human beings. they are, of course, images of the convolutions of the brain, in which the thinker can get lost.

1342 – The Divinity Student (1999 book by Michael Cisco)

“he is conscious of the Seminary expanding ancient and vast on all sides—the yawning cold hallways like caverns of stone, the dank subvestries and classrooms with bubbling peeling plaster walls and a mildewed smell, frosty choirs of icy wood polished to a dull luster by the chafing of nervous hands.”

“schooled exclusively in cold places, always rain and chill waiting outside the walls; he would anxiously look forward to the halfhearted springs and moist, wilted summers.”

718zKbeFJbL._SL1500_

“A flat manylegged object exhaling odorless blue smoke scuttles over his left foot; he’s not disgusted, he doesn’t flinch.”

“Although he can’t see, there are shapes around him, darker shadows looming against the dark like cliffs and frothings like sea foam.There are things that seem like panels of transparence, windows, lightless as everything else but looking as if he’s peering through something, from one dark to another.”

“the streets buck and shift like the deck of a doomed ship, the air rises in hot transparent coils so that the city distorts, as if viewed through a window of wrinkled glass. The outlines of the buildings around him billow like smoke, they hide enormous roaring engines, legions of enemies.”

“his great coat is so black and terrible it’s almost leaking darkness, it smudges the air around him like a pall of coal smoke.”

“Passing the cemetery, he sees huge pulsing trees burrowing into graves with their roots, their branches forking like capillaries into fleshy clouds.”


Short but powerful, this neo-gothic novel, uses the crisp immediacy of the present tense to lead the reader on a hallucinatory journey from humanity to inhuman transcendence. After a miraculous recovery from near death, a young man known only as the Divinity Student is beset by strange dreams whose lingering effects further alienate him from his fellows. 

goodreads   /  weirdfictionreview   /  Michael Cisco

1314 – The Order of Time (2017 book)

“Sooner or later
the exact measurement of our time
will resume—
and we’ll be on the ship that’s bound
for the bitterest shore. (II, 9)


The Order of Time (Italian: L’ordine del tempo) is a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli. It is about time in physics.

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

An audiobook, four hours and nineteen minutes long, was read by Benedict Cumberbatch. (wiki)

Carlo Rovelli on The Order of Time (youtube)


“For centuries, as long as travel was on horseback, on foot, or in carriages, there was no reason to synchronize clocks between one place and another. There was good reason for not doing so. Midday is, by definition, when the sun is at its highest. Every city and village had a sundial that registered the moment the sun was at its midpoint, allowing the clock on the bell tower to be regulated with it, for all to see.
But the sun does not reach midday at the same moment in Lecce as it does in Venice, or in Florence, or in Turin, because the sun moves from east to west. and for centuries the clocks in Venice were a good half hour ahead of those in Turin. Every small village had its own peculiar “hour.” A train station in Paris kept its own hour, a little behind the rest of the city, as a kind of courtesy toward travelers running late.

goodreads   /   penguin


Sadhguru on Yugas