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The Weird and the EerieMark Fisherweird-and-the-eerie-9781910924389_hr


Making Sense of “The Weird and the Eerie” By Roger Luckhurst

(…) “You have probably heard of “the weird” by now, but you may not quite know what it is, or why so many genre critics, cultural theorists, and philosophers are keen to engage with it. It might once have been quarantined as a subgenre associated with sullen Goths and all those arrested-adolescent readers of H. P. Lovecraft, but it has long slithered free of those confines, and now leaves a trail not just straight across the internet, but on the page and in mainstream TV shows and movie screens.

Writers of the New Weird in Britain, like M. John Harrison and China Miéville, briefly rallied to this banner in 2003 before morphing into something else (although the critics still lumber around with the term). Philosophers such as Graham Harman and Eugene Thacker have proposed a “weird realism” — a rival term to “object-oriented ontology” — that replaces Husserl or Heidegger with Horror. One of the early signs of this shift was Mark Fisher’s own symposium on Lovecraft and Theory at Goldsmiths College in London in 2007. In film, David Lynch was always “wild at heart and weird on top,” from his early animated short films up to Inland Empire. On TV, True Detective was pretty weird, with its echoes of Robert Chambers’s The King in Yellow and dark nihilistic mutterings lifted from Eugene Thacker’s In the Dust of this Planet: The Horror of Philosophy Volume 1. Stranger Things was quite weird, although a little too soft-focused and retro to be fully paid up, but The OA was definitely out-and-out weird. Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy of books (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance, all of which appeared in 2014), so far the major achievement of the American translation of the New Weird, will hit mainstream cinemas with Alex Garland’s film adaptation in 2017. Best get weirded up.

Fisher’s guide to this terrain is an excellent place to start your orientation. The book displays his signature knack for reading popular culture (principally music, fiction, and film) in an expressive, demotic way that is still vigorously political and philosophical. Somehow, Fisher magically renders post-Lacanian, post-Žižekian Marxism and the radical anti-subjectivist philosophy of Gilles Deleuze entirely accessible. Only Fisher can enthuse about old Quatermass TV shows in terms of their “cosmic Spinozism” and still (mostly) make sense. With typical disdain for cultural boundaries, Fisher moves crab-wise from Lovecraft and H. G. Wells to the impenetrable mumblings of punk band The Fall; obscure Rainer Werner Fassbinder TV shows from Germany; Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, and Andrei Tarkovsky films; Nigel Kneale TV series from the 1970s; the music of Joy DivisionThe Shining; the unclassifiable fiction of Alan Garner and Christopher Priest; Jonathan Glazer’s extraordinary avant-garde SF film Under the Skin; and surprising appearances of Margaret Atwood’s early fiction Surfacing and Christopher Nolan’s portentous quantum SF blockbuster Interstellar (which receives a great defense).” (read more here)


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The eeriness of the English countryside

(…) “In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle.

Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture – this occulture – is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething.”

“What are those pressing concerns, though, and what are the sources of this unsettlement? Clearly, the recent rise of the eerie coincides with a phase of severe environmental damage. In England, this has not taken the form of sudden catastrophe, but rather a slow grinding away of species and of subtlety. The result, as James Riley notes, is “a landscape constituted more actively by what is missing than by what is present”. This awareness of absence is expressing itself both in terms of a vengeful nature (a return of the repressed) and as delicate catalogues of losses.”

“Digging down to reveal the hidden content of the under-earth is another trope of the eerie: what is discovered is almost always a version of capital. Keiller’s Robinson tracks the buried cables and gas-pipes of Oxfordshire, following them as postmodern leylines, and tracing them outwards to hidden global structures of financial ownership. Wheatley’s deserters rapaciously extract “treasure” from the soil, by means of enslavement and male violence. In his cult novel Cyclonopedia (2008), the Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani figured oil as a sentient entity, developing Marx’s implication that capital possesses emergent and self-willed properties, that it is somehow wild.” /  see: 771-robinson-in-ruins-2010

(read more here)

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A suitable place for violence? Orford Ness, Suffolk. photograph by Emma Johnson

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759 – The Retail Apocalypse: The Changing Landscape of American Retail

timespace coordinates: 2010’s America

Upgrade-poster-1Beginning in 2015, The Changing Landscape of American Retail is an ongoing documentation of the shift from traditional brick-and-mortar locations where we once socialized and interacted with our community to the stark and generic structures that house shipping, fulfillment, call, and server centers, now essential for e-commerce.

Like memories, familiar retail entities are fading away. Today, they stand as modern-day ruins and architectural artifacts that reach into the not-so-distant past of our own maturing interests and evolving identities.

Toys “R” Us brings back of memories of avoiding my brother’s aerial assaults of red dodge balls and Nerf guns while simultaneously ignoring my mother’s plea to stop tearing into brand-new boxes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures and Lego Pirate sets.

The Battlefield Mall was once a central meeting spot for my junior high peers—anchored by the food court and Aladdin’s Castle arcade. Here, a myriad of sights and smells trigger the memory to act as a roadmap for navigating the mall. Orange Julius produced the sweet scent of Florida citrus in Southern Missouri; there was the salty cheese sauce wafting from Potato Plus; and the fragrant cinnamon-sugar of Auntie Anne’s baked pretzels. The nearby arcade elicits a sensory transaction when I’m greeted by the flashing lights of Street Fighter II, manic electronic beeps, purple geometric carpet, and the oddly unique odor of stale popcorn mixed with the metallic scent of quarters, tucked into my front pocket. (read more here)

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754 – The House of Tomorrow (2017)

53955e15fc9decf5c56ea27bf13ab65fThe House of Tomorrow is a 2017 American independent drama film written and directed by Peter Livolsi and starring Asa Butterfield and Alex Wolff. The film is based on Peter Bognanni’s 2010 novel of the same name. It is Livolsi’s directorial debut. Co-stars Ellen Burstyn and Nick Offerman served as executive producers of the film.

16-year-old Sebastian Prendergast has spent most of his life with his Nana in their geodesic dome home tourist attraction where she raises him on the futurist teachings of her former mentor Buckminster Fuller in hopes that one day Sebastian will carry Fuller’s torch and make the world a better place. But when a stroke sidelines Nana, Sebastian begins sneaking around with Jared, a chain-smoking, punk-obsessed 16-year-old with a heart transplant who lives in the suburbs with his bible-thumping single father Alan and teenage sister Meredith. Sebastian and Jared form a band, and with his Nana’s dreams, his first real friendship, and a church talent show at stake, Sebastian must decide if he wants to become the next Buckminster Fuller, the next Sid Vicious, or something else entirely. (rottentomatoes)

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749 – Lucy (2014)

timespace coordinates: 2014 Taipei, Taiwan / Paris

MV5BODcxMzY3ODY1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzg1NDY4MTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,631,1000_AL_Lucy is a 2014 English-language French Science-fantasy / Biopunk / Postcyberpunk action-thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Besson-Silla for his company EuropaCorp. The film was shot in TaipeiParis, and New York City. It stars Scarlett JohanssonMorgan FreemanChoi Min-sik, and Amr Waked. Johansson portrays the title character, a woman who gains psychokinetic abilities when a nootropic drug is absorbed into her bloodstream.750x1055_movie12039posterslucy-hk_2Luc Besson once called this film as “one part Léon (1994), one part Inception (2010) and one part 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)”. Many shots in the film were mirrored after these three films.


The 10 percent of the brain myth is a widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only use 10 percent (or some other small percentage) of their brains. It has been misattributed to many people, including Albert Einstein. By extrapolation, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence. (read more)


imdb   Lucy    mental time travel

746 – The Island (2005)

timespace coordinates: 2019 Arizona > Los Angelesposter2_lThe Island is a 2005 American science fiction thriller film directed and co-produced by Michael Bay. It stars Ewan McGregorScarlett JohanssonDjimon HounsouSean BeanMichael Clarke Duncan and Steve Buscemi.

In the story, Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) struggles to fit into the highly structured world he lives in, isolated in a compound, and the series of events that unfold when he questions how truthful that world is. After Lincoln learns the compound inhabitants are clones used for organ harvesting as well as surrogates for wealthy people in the outside world, he attempts to escape with Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) and expose the illegal cloning movement.island_finalpeq_by_edgarascensao-dciwq7yThe Island has been described as a pastiche of “escape-from-dystopia” science fiction films of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Fahrenheit 451THX 1138Parts: The Clonus Horror, and Logan’s Run. (wiki)

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733 – The Lure (2015)

timespace coordinates: 1980’s Warsaw Poland0dbb4f0b102419e1d02b1d36401715e6The Lure (Polish: Córki dancingu – “The Daughters of Dance Party”) is a 2015 Polish horror musical film directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska. The story is a reworking of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, with inspiration from Smoczyńska’s experiences.

Smoczyńska likened the mermaids to immigrants, abused by the locals (used in the sex industry) on their way to their real goal—America. She added they represent innocence, yet their odour and slime recalled girls maturing, “they menstruate, they ovulate, their bodies start smelling and feeling different.” (wiki)

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