Demonlover, Olivier Assayas

An engrossing, beautiful nightmare about global capitalism. The film skips over coherent plot and character development and presents a fantasy of smeared shells -- the surfaces of cars, buildings, office spaces and people representing transnational capitalism. The details of the plot concern, loosely, an office rivalry during a financing negotiation and struggle between pornographic websites. The film creates a hermetically sealed, accountability-free world of treacherous (female) high finance middle managers struggling for domination, all of whom, it turns out, are replaceable by the nearly invisible powers that be. The pointed disregard for getting the details across from what appears to be a worked-out script intensifies the nightmare-like quality, as it does in David Lynch’s Dune. There is a brief, bafflingly ham-handed ending shot. The visuals and atmosphere are continuously engrossing and occasionally repulsive. The action scenes are so blurred and jumbled they are almost completely abstract. Sonic Youth soundtrack.


Henry Threadgill’s Zooid, Engine 27, NYC, Sept 13th

Henry Threadgill alto saxophone, flute; triggered hubkaphone recordings: Liberty Ellman guitar; Tarik Benbrahim oud; Dana Leong cello; Jose Davilla tuba; Elliot Kavee drums

This night, Zooid was a small ensemble doing carefully arranged improvisations centered around triggered digital recordings of Threadgill playing his homemade instrument, the hubcaphone, a gamelan-like percussion instrument made of hubcaps.

The triggering system he used for the digital recording was a midi keyboard controller that initially put up a fight. At first Threadgill announced "We’re having a modern problem" I later heard him say "I don’t know what that thing wants from me, but I don’t think I have it…"

This delay cause an odd feeling in the audience, and Mike and Katie I all agreed that the more time went by, the more we felt like the party goers in Bunuel’s Exterminating Angel.

Things eventually did get started though, with a long recording of the hubcaphone, panned in the Engine 27’s multiple speaker system to orbit around the space of the room like the girl caught in the television set in Poltergeist.

The band would than play over and with these recordings in what seemed like melodic / rhythmic cells, each of which would be oriented around a particular soloing voice and within a particular hubcaphone recording section. All of the soloing was highly controlled and deeply enmeshed in both the written arrangements and the shifting material from the hubcaphone recordings. The soloings felt less like showcasings of individuals than activations of particular agencies of change and variation within a group system.


Bob Harrison, Chorrera, Bronze Skull Press, 2003, 35p
2542 N Bremen #2, Milwaukee, WI 53212

This is a poetry that fully embraces lyricism while also openly entangling itself with some of lyricism's more problematic aspects without using irony as a insulating layer.

"i'm not frozen
i'm in the years
that untold weapons
heal, i carry

my 9 digit spectrum
to the end.

i've taken off
the road carcasses
that stench up
your workaday dreams,
you will never smell
the warning
that i fired. you release
without knowing

all the countries
that have your name
as emblem, in the sea
that never moves, podrido"

Thoughtful and fluid, with a constantly operative blurred openness operating in the ligatures.

A certain imagery and vibe not unlike Vallejo or Jose Lezama Lima -- a kind of ranging over fantastical landscapes and inner drama. This is fused with an intense filmic effect with tightly cut close-ups on domestic detail. Almost Stan Brakage-like in places.

"a tiny landscape
of softening
palms, room
offering, car port
has most
reeds, on a visit
for past -- rapid
my lift, wrong
the street
packed eggs, made
crosses, same
shoes lean
promise, owned
raid, black awe"

The words are also carefully arranged as raw art material.

be the lot of
whistles, and courts
blaze on
some plate -- through
a germ lacking
has, in hats of
Not --
or ON an instant’s

Chorrera creates a darkening effect within an imaginative space -- a space that feels on one hand like a refuge, and on the other like a highly wrought zone of confusion intercut with brief slivers of realization.

“an active report rolling through blood”

A honed and repeated elemental vocabulary: harvest, river, blood, flags, heart…

There is a theme of recuperation and repair, and a slurred, dark expressiveness with an undercurrent of protest.

Harrison uses what sometimes feels like a highly encoded and rearranged private language that maintains a strong energetic connection to perceptions, observations and preoccupations which are no longer fully discernable.

A certain hopefulness in the embrace of creative forces.

"undermine the dust"

Some of these moments of associative rearrangement counter-intuitively arrive at Zen-like destinations:

"Leave the toys
in deep flooded satellites
with no voice."

There’s a building going up across the street from my apartment, and the construction sounds start just before my alarm would normally go off. So I wake to hammering and metal clangs rather than an electronic beep. The feeling of entering consciousness with the construction soundtrack feels dramatically different then entering with the alarm.

I’ve always been fascinated by the sound of distant hammering. Some sense of a creation happening just out of reach, or someone knocking at a door.