:: Notes from Somewhere Bizarre ::

A Journal of Cultural Contamination by Ashley Benigno
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:: Thursday, May 22, 2003 ::

Tango and the Politics of Touch

"Tango, a signifier of darkness and illegitimacy, of desire and counter-culture, is more than a dance. As Horacio Ferrer writes, "before being an artistic expression, before tango came to light as such […] tango was a certain attitude, a way of life adopted by those of diverse cultures" (1995: 11). In its popular representations, Argentine tango is described as a dance that evokes illicit sexual desire through an acrobatics that often looks choreographed. But "Argentine" tango is much more than this mythic evocation of a movement of desire. Tango is everything from a dance of solitudes to a nomadic movement of cultural displacement to a fierce locator of national identity. It is a dance of encounter and disencounter, a voyeuristic embrace of repressed sensuality and a complex network of (mis)understood directions." (Negotiating Influence: Argentine Tango and a Politics of Touch)

:: ashleyb Thursday, May 22, 2003 [+] ::
:: Friday, May 16, 2003 ::
The making of Saving Private Jessica

"The American strategy was to concentrate on the visuals and to get a broad message out. Details - where helpful - followed behind. The key was to ensure the right television footage. The embedded reporters could do some of that. On other missions, the military used their own cameras, editing the film themselves and presenting it to broadcasters as ready-to-go packages. The Pentagon had been influenced by Hollywood producers of reality TV and action movies, notably Black Hawk Down." (The truth about Jessica)

:: ashleyb Friday, May 16, 2003 [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 08, 2003 ::
The Madonna remix project

What the fuck do you think you're doing?

:: ashleyb Thursday, May 08, 2003 [+] ::
Mobile Mutations - an interview with Sadie Plant

The latest issue of ephemera carries an interview with Sadie Plant (no direct link, "mobile mutations" can be found under "vol 3, no1" on the homepage) which ranges across a series of topics from neuro-pharmacology to mobile phones.

A taster:

"...I am also interested in a looser conception of technical processes - one that would, for example, include drugs as a kind of internal technology, changing the perceptual apparatus, just as digital technologies change our outside world. I am also always keen to demonstrate something about, for want of a better phrase, the interconnectedness of things..."

:: ashleyb Thursday, May 08, 2003 [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 ::
A Western Sahara of the mind

It’s time to explain. When I first started this blog (over a year ago) I registered it with Eatonweb and gave my physical location as being Western Sahara. Since then, nearly not a day has gone by without receiving some visit through this directory. After all, it is the only one! And recently I’ve been getting traffic from a German blog, seemingly bemused to find situationist theory discussed from deep within the desert…

While these days I am both fascinated and stimulated by the potentials implicit in embedding the web in the physical plane, I also still believe in the Internet residing out of space, existing as a laboratory where gender and geography can be subverted, a (non)place of play and symbol.

When this blog began I was not interested in binding it to London E18 (where I lived at the time – I now reside in northern Italy).

But the choice of Western Sahara was not a random act. As an act of digital poetics I placed Notes from Somewhere Bizarre out in the middle of nowhere, far away from the power nodes and consumption hubs of the global ghetto, where it could claim a nomadic ancestry, on the extreme border of the Empire, sandwiched between a desert of water and an ocean of sand, in a place few have heard of, where the landmines don’t make the headlines, and its conflict is forgotten together with its refugee camps.

:: ashleyb Tuesday, May 06, 2003 [+] ::


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