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Discard Studies

Social studies of waste, pollution & externalities


Discard Studies 2.0

Discard Studies has been operating since 2007, mainly under the stewardship of one or two people. In the spirit of reflecting on what we, as editors, writers, and researchers in discard studies are including or not including in our posts, we’re looking to expand what the blog covers. We’re interested in posts on the waste the flows from virtual systems, collecting and discarding in archives and museums (including issues of repatriation and colonialism), heritage and building waste, noise (701) and light (713) pollution, but also in wider systems that order waste and wasting, such as the state, economies, legal orders, gender constructs, white supremacy, and models of resurgence, revival, and liberation. All have their discards.

If you think you have knowledge that can add to these conversations on Discard Studies,we’d love to hear a pitch from you.

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780 – First Reformed (2017)

timespace coordinates: 2017 Snowbridge, New York


“how often we ask for genuine experience when all we really want is emotion.”MV5BZDI1MGIyZDMtYjAyMy00ZWE1LTgzYjctYzM5MzczNjFjZWQwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODQyNzE3MDg@._V1_First Reformed is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader. It stars Ethan HawkeAmanda Seyfried, and Cedric the Entertainer, and follows a Protestant minister faced with questions of faith and morality while serving as pastor of a dwindling historical church. (wiki)

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778 – Discworld (1995 video game)

discworldDiscworld is a 1995 point-and-click adventure game developed by Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions for MS-DOS, Macintosh, and the Sony PlayStation. A Sega Saturn version was released the following year. The game stars Rincewind the Wizard (voiced by Eric Idle) and is set on Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld. The plot is based roughly around the events in the book Guards! Guards!, but also borrows elements from other Discworld novels. It involves Rincewind attempting to stop a dragon terrorising the inhabitants of Ankh-Morpork.

The game was developed because the designer Gregg Barnett wanted a large adventure for CD-based systems. A licence was difficult to obtain; Pratchett was reluctant to grant one as he wanted a Discworld game to be developed by a company with a reputation and who cared about the property. An original story was created due to Barnett having difficulty basing games on one book. Discworld was praised for its humour, voice-acting and graphics, though some criticised its gameplay and difficult puzzles. Discworld was followed by a sequel, Discworld II: Missing Presumed…!?, in 1996. (wiki)

Ankh-Morpork

Ankh-Morpork lies on the River Ankh (the most polluted waterway on the Discworld and reputedly solid enough to walk on), where the fertile loam of the Sto Plains (similar to Western Europe) meets the Circle Sea (the Discworld’s version of the Mediterranean). This, naturally, puts it in an excellent trading position. Lying approximately equidistant from the cold Hub and tropical Rim, Ankh-Morpork is in the Discworld’s equivalent of the temperate zone. The name “Ankh-Morpork” refers to both the city itself, a walled city about five miles (8 km) across, and the surrounding suburbs and farms of its fiefdom. The central city divides more or less into the more affluent Ankh and the poorer Morpork which includes the slum-like “Shades”, which are separated by the River Ankh. Ankh-Morpork is built on black loam, broadly, but is mostly built on itself; pragmatic citizens simply built on top of the existing buildings when the sediment grew too high as the river flooded, rather than excavate them out. There are many unknown basements, including an entire “cave network” below Ankh-Morpork made up of old streets and abandoned sewers (it has been continuously stated that anyone with a pickaxe and a good sense of direction could reach anywhere in Ankh-Morpork by knocking walls down in a straight line, though in Thud! it is added that they would also need to breathe mud). Recently, the underground regions have been extended by the city’s dwarf population to get around unimpeded. It has recently been made municipal property. Ankh-Morpork is also the city with the most dwarfs on the whole disc outside of Überwald, largely considered the dwarfen homeland, with over 50,000 dwarfs living there.  (wiki)


Terry Pratchett – Back in Black BBC Documentary 2017 (youtube)

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772 – Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

timespace coordinates: 1900. girls’ private school, near the town of Woodend, VictoriaAustralia

“What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.”99405_frontPicnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian mystery drama film which was produced by Hal and Jim McElroy, directed by Peter Weir, and starred Vivean GrayDominic GuardAnne-Louise LambertHelen Morse, and Rachel Roberts. It was adapted by Cliff Green from the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay, who was deliberately ambiguous about whether the events really took place, although the story is in fact entirely fictitious.

The plot involves the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging RockVictoria on Valentine’s Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.

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read: 770


Marion stares down at the Picnic Ground and says, “Whatever can those people be doing down there, like a lot of ants? A surprising number of human beings are without purpose though it is probable they are performing some function unknown to themselves.”

770

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)


https://k-punk.org/

http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/


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

761 – Jurassic World

timespace coordinates: 2010’s Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica / Northern California


Jurassic World (2015)

jurassic_world_poster_by_stevencormann-d7235tyJurassic World is a 2015 American science fiction adventure film, the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, and the first film in a planned Jurassic World trilogy.tumblr_p9u63clqCt1tdmwb4o1_1280Set 22 years after the events of Jurassic ParkJurassic World takes place on the same fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, which is located off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, where a theme park of cloned dinosaurs has operated for nearly a decade. The park plunges into chaos when a genetically-engineered dinosaur escapes from its enclosure and goes on a rampage.

Lego Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape (2016)   /   Lego Jurassic World: Employee Safety Video (2016)

Themes and analysis   /   Scientific accuracy   / imdb


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

fallen-kingdom-poster-t-rexJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and the original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg as executive producers. (wiki)

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760 – Detention (2011)

timespace coordinates:  2011 – 1992 California

An apocalyptic fantasy, horror, science fiction, action- thriller, body swapping, time-traveling teen romantic comedy starring Josh Hutcherson, Dane CookShanley Caswell and  Spencer Locke. Detention follows the local students of Grizzly Lake as they survive their final year of high school. Bringing even more angst to student life, a slasher killer has chosen their high school as his new home of slaughter. It becomes a race against time to stop the killer, which will in turn save the world – if only they can get out of detention. (rt)

“Insane, Hyperkinetic, Next Level Filmmaking.”


“(…) for pop-culture pilgrims intent on discovering an underground prize, look no further.


“Smart, funny, and equally full of splatstick violence and heart, Detention isn’t just next-level horror–it’s next level everything, a senses-altering reaffirmation of cinema.


“a shockingly meaningful, potent film about the nature of meaninglessness and its damning effects on the younger generation”


“manic throwback horror comedy for the Twitter generation.”


time traveling teen pop culture comedy Detention is a runaway freight train of frenetic energy!


“is Scream meets Scott Pilgrim with a dash or two of Kaboom, it makes for one wild cocktail.”


Post-irony


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