A montage of quotes from Derek Walcott and other poets who love the sea, followed by an interesting anecdote by Daniel Bosch on his meeting Walcott, published on the web-site/journal edited by my Scandinavian friend T.M. Greijer. Hopefully it is the preamble to a manifesto by Bosch.


Genocide and the Failure to Teach: An Overstatement An essay comprising 27 headnotes followed by a brief anecdote by Daniel Bosch Daniel Bosch’s collection Crucible was published by Other Pre…

Source: ESSAY | Genocide and the Failure to Teach: An Overstatement, by Daniel Bosch

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Articles “Those who Dwell Among the Rocks” and “Party of Oblivion in Argentina” in CounterPunch Magazine


My piece on the first 100 days of the Cambiemos right-wing government in Argentina–the attack on labour,  capitulation in court to Paul Singer’s hedge funds, the mysterious death of Massar Ba, political persecution of opponents such as Milagros Sala–is in the new issue of CounterPunch , Volume 23 -2, which can be purchased in the Counterpunch store, linked to here http://store.counterpunch.org/current-issue/

An earlier piece on the transformations in Argentina was published in Democracia Abierta, in English and in Spanish, ‘The War On Memory Begins in Argentina’ can be accessed at this link https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/arturo-desimone/war-on-memory-begins-in-argentina

‘Those who dwell amongst the rocks” is my article giving an extremely-brief history of the recent Tunisian revolution, and analysis about how the fate of Tunisia has enduring political relevance to its region of North Africa and the Middle East. I travelled within Tunisia during its phase of transitional regimes and just after the first elections.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/16/those-who-dwell-amongst-the-rocks-an-extremely-brief-history-of-the-tunisian-revolution/

** In the article I mention clashes the province of Regueb where young rebels hid inside a mosque, attempting to find shelter from a team of military police dispatched by Benali’s regime and were burned as the police opened fire. I relied on the testimonies of eye-witnesses, inhabitants of the Regueb village (near Sidi Bouzid). After the publication of my article I was approached by a Tunisian journalist from Sky News Arabia who alerted me to the possibility  that sympathizers of the Islamists who were involved in a clash with Benali’s ”S.w.a.t.-teams” inside Regueb mosque in 2003-2004, in hindsight pretended this clash and the ruins they showed were part of 2010 in order to weave an urban myth that became part of the revolution. Then and there my guides seemed certain of an incineration that had gone unreported during the revolts of 2010, and I saw no reason to disregard such eyewitness accounts in my chronicle.

 

 

 

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Short story reprinted in Horror Sleaze Trash web-mag


Short-story The Conversation of Angels reprinted in Horror Sleaze Trash, Australian web-magazine known for experimental literature, for pin-up girls and the horrendous.

http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/flash-fiction/arturo-desimone-8/

In 2002 wrote the story, about a Dutch truck driver in crisis, his mother and immigrants and it was first published in issue #1 of the Apeiron Review, a literary journal from Philadelphia.  http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/flash-fiction/arturo-desimone-8/

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Poema Asno-Metal, Poem “Mule-Metal” , Ofi Press


http://www.ofipress.com/desimonearturo.htmMi poema Asno-Metal con traducción en inglés por Jack Little, publicado en el sitio de Ofi Press Mexico, revista y editorial bilingüe

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Conceptualism as a form of financial metaphysics


 

Link to E-Flux Open Forum Conversation http://conversations.e-flux.com/t/conceptualism-as-a-form-of-financial-metaphysics/3717

 

Conceptualist art is a form of financial metaphysics: for starters, it is metaphysics in the literal sense, from Greek “metaphysika μετὰ φυσική “after the material” ”beyond the physical”.

”Conceptual” speaks a form of liturgy: a protestant pastor’s attempt to see a spirit in the market where there is none. Like the neoliberal economist who insists that cultural memory (in societies or institutions) is a hindrance to growth of the economy and must be lopped-off, the concept-artist by the very category of ”conceptual art” denies the presence of philosophies, poetics or ideas having motivated painters, drawings, visual artists in the past. Already contained within the self-defining category there is a juxtaposition: there is the crude, the soulless versus the conceptual. The conceptual art-installation constitutes a denial that material art or physical art uses paint or ink in order to find an expression of a reality or an experience beyond both language and material experiments. 

Conceptual writing and conceptual texts (such as those by Kenneth Goldsmith, Pablo Katchadjian, and others) apply the gimmick of Marcel Duchamp once more to literature, claiming that the most rehearsed shenanigan of the 20th century is actually the art of the future and of the 21st century, a virtuality displacing both literary modernism and the pre-modernist realism of the literary mainstream (the latter form is endorsed by the 350 Creative Writing Masters university programs in the United States today, ensuring both the outstanding rarity of academic opponents like the conceptualists, and the invisibility of non-academic literature). Conceptual literature denies the philosophical and psychological depth of the novel. It seeks to inject textual gimmicks into pre-existing works of literature (by Walter Benjamin, in the case of Goldsmith, or by Borges in the Argentinian Katchadjian’s playful adaptation El Aleph Engordado, The Fattened Aleph) Theirs is an administrative game of redressing, playing with surfaces, when all pre-existing literature has lost its significance as readers can no longer be concerned with life and death matters. What follows, is that the only way to make texts from a less technocratic era once again readable is by inserting puzzles and game-features for the bored. Audiences and “co-creators” are thrust into a vast, imploding doll’s house.
As in the conceptual art installation, the conceptual literary piece is an artform of the high blasé modern: imagining that all aesthetic revolutions have taken place, conceptualism replaces the artist with a role of administrator of existing work. The curator, a form of intellectual taxidermist giving injections of collagen to fill out vacuities, replaces the artist.
In literature and in art, Concept is inevitably aided by an era where a large young population of the middle classes–once the potential audiences for literature and physical art–in flight from the financial crisis have sought an unending refuge within the academic professions.  It has been said that the 20th century and the middle ages were the periods when philosophy became exclusively the province of academics, with few exceptions (in the middle ages, academia was the church. Exceptions among 20th century philosophers were Simone Weil, while the public intellectual Albert Camus insisted he was an artist and not a philosopher.) Today literature is strictly a monastic province of academics allowing few exceptions. (the field of economics is more likely than literature to have many non-academic outsiders )
The work of an artist creates new knowledge, but the academic librarian is concerned with the organization and administration of existing knowledge–a role often compatible with censorship. The work of the editor is appraised above that of the writer: the editor is paid, depicted as self-sacrificing and as the author in his maturity, in the highest and most responsible function. The curator is trained, paid, a financial administrator who assigns both conceptual meaning as well as financial value to an art-work: the curator is ”orator”, and his (more frequently, her) oration ”ensouls” breathes a soul, as well as a financial worth into the object of art. The highest place of authority is given to no literary text, certainly not Cervantes or Dos Passos, Weil or Pound: aura is in the works by Foucault and the texts of direct academic debtors and disciples of Foucault (at this instant Butler, tomorrow another to be ordained) This is because Foucault’s mission was to analyze and organize the ”systems of knowledge” and the grids along which knowledge is transferred–an administrators task, in a time of panic created by the chaos of overproduction.
Despite its pretension to mysticism, conceptual art is the exact opposite of mystical: it is the highpoint of extroversion. The art object, or the poem, their ”sensuous texture” (to borrow from Sontag and her articles from “Against Interpretation”, against hermeneutics, which can be read today as ”against the professional hermeneuticists/the curators) is not allowed to linger or to lead to an experience transcending the material, transcending the dead weight of words and of language itself. There is no erotics of art–and in all real mysticism, erotics are the ladder to mysticism. Conceptualism offers sanitized, clean rooms, sometimes with a crack in them, call it an ”intervention”. Instead of mysticism, the Conceptual is a matter of getting to the chase, it is directly presentable and purchasable, an empty room, a vacuity with chatter from Foucault injected into it.
The infinite resurrection of the salesman Duchamp’s ghost proposed itself as a subversion, a new plateau of phantasmal freedom, when the painters and sculptors are made too  unfree by the market and are inevitably censored by the noise of overproduction. Whether it is sold as art or as curation, Concept Inc shows itself to be even more adapted and pliable to the market forces: immaterial art installations  are a direct form of financial speculations. Currently, the financial interests of the owners and sellers of conceptual pieces during the past 30 thirty years are the only force keeping the dead art-form in place: as soon as the intellectual bankruptcy is revealed, prices and value might plummet, creating a speculations bubble pop in Conceptual that has to be avoided by the tens of thousands of “hermeneutics-professionals” (curators) being churned out by mostly European academies, imitated in the peripheric societies in Latin American and Asian art scenes and universities.
The conceptual falsely ascribes a financial, redeeming value of emptiness during an era of the panic about overproduction in a consumption-based and empirical, technical society that prohibits any discussions on seeking to define art or art criticism. When there is too much or all is too full, absence gains economic value in the market eye: the act of emptying, performed by performance artists, conceptualists and curators, is rewarded and enthusiastically lauded, at once pretending to fulfill the function of material art. The props of spectacular purgation, a puritanical art-form is advertised as anti-conservative . The compromise of conceptual art–art consisting of nothingness and of the abolition of art in order to save space, while claiming to fulfill the societal and spiritual role of art, is advertised as a “win-win” for artists and audiences in the era of over-production, but the problem of meaninglessness caused by that over-saturation (which in turn, owes much of its existence to market logic) is only perpetuated by the conceptualist acrobats and their orations.
A similar problem of anti-memory and anti-history is to be found in the field ”outsider art”, first carved out as yet another alternative to the art that is too market-determined. Yet the very term ”outsider art” implies another form of forgetting or amnesia: were Van Gogh or Caravaggio or Goya insiders despite their marginal social condition of leprosy? An ”outsider” according to the cultural logic of the term is an artist with little or no previous knowledge of art (meaning, not an auto-didact) who suffers from a cognitive disfunction or a brain disorder and yet is unaware of being engaged in artistic production. The autodidact artist, then, is excluded from both”outsider” and ”insider” art. “Outsider art” as a category enhances a bizarre and potentially oppressive division, where the only artists who are not ”insiders” (formed by Masters of Fine Arts programs, artists of networking) are the inmates of mental clinics who are not aware of their accidental art-works.
(from a long essay in progress, by Arturo Desimone, May 2016 Buenos Aires)
 energia_cosmica.jpg

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That! Literary Review issue #1 release, short story “Talking money, Judaism Christianity Paganism women and Life with Uncle Chaim”


My fiction short story relating to travels in Poland was published in the first issue of That ! Literary Review (released Spring 2016.) The journal is edited by the excellent Blake Gerard & co.

http://thatliteraryreview.com/PDFs/THAT1.pdf

See page 12 for Uncle Chaim,( in the Pdf available on the website or buy the magazine, the latter is preferred by all.)

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From Preface to a Manifesto / The Artists’ Manifesto in the Time of Dangerous Managers. In CounterPunch with Ron Amir


Charcoal drawing by Ron Amir (with the head of Richard Wagner, pioneer of the manifesto form )

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“Para subir a tu balcón” drawing made on a bus in Lithuania, mixed media, Arturo Desimone, 2011,

 

“Manifestoes arise, or up-load, announcing storm, revolution. Their authors more likely listen to techno or Eco-Pop than to Stravinsky or to Stravinsky’s heirs today (composers currently writing in obscurity and poverty’s perpetual autumn, symphonies that never get whistled by any Philharmonic)

The manifestoes proliferated, glistening like moths in the vast web, are usually not unlike the theoretical revolts of academics, who show disdain for the embodied and material art forms and novels. It were as if the theorists of literature and of nature, who seek to replace poets and writers with themselves, in their avoidance of actual literature or of actual material visual arts, were a class of defiant monks and nuns showing abstinence against the naked, physical body of a woman. That woman upon a bed in all her sexual gloria and splendour of perfumed meats, animated by a lightning symphony in orgasm heat and melody is Diothema, The concubine of poets rejected by Socrates, mumbling old Greek coward. In the only singing Platonic dialogue, The Symposium, Socrates attends a wine-banquet only to say “no” to wine, and before falling asleep he boasts of how he recently said “no” to being seduced by the mystery priestess Diothema (she who slept with all poets)

A poet, (according to the Argentinian exile poet of militance-par-excellence Juan Gelman, and according to many poet-lieutenants mummified within the Chinese terracotta armies) does Not sit down to write with a poem-production-plan. Gelman: “he opens the door when the signora arrives and even if he can tell she has slept with medio mundo, with half a world in a van and is drunk, he lets her in and writes, her hand on his hand”

But sober, liver-breath Socrates said “no” to Diothema’s advances, for he was an anti-poet, thinking himself wise. He preferred (cultural) Theory to art, wine, the erudite flesh, and avoided the theatre, advocating a society dedicated to war but without the institutes of art that taught the depth and reality of tragedy affecting the losers of wars.

Today the pilots of drones, who work in safety in control centres in the United States while bombing targets in faraway countries, claim to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unlike their victims, they do not understand tragedy: postmodernity’s culture only understands consolation and therapy as its highest expression. The mirror image of the drone pilot in the control centres are the academics and curators of the protocol centres who filter language and images.

Academics praise the cross of Theory: literary/critical Theory and dross Discourse can be perfect, a diaphanous perfect river, without shit or signora-whores’ panties strangling crocodiles as Argentine gentlemen dive after them. Water without irrational and inexplicable and un-medicated nightmares flowing through that river that flows encircling the Cidade Doliente.

 

Utopias always seem flawless, as a blueprint—best never to attempt them, and to remain at poorly executed parody, in a library of manifestoes for revolutions and blueprints for utopia, all trembling at the whistling fart of the snow-owl of Minerva who hoots a language of calculus and programming, using spin-words like ‘’monological’’ and ‘normatives’’ or ‘’ostensibly’’ Can a poet who uses the foul word ‘’ostensibly’’ ever have the recklessness, the poetic craft to spew a mouthful of rum onto an electric socket in between the long hours writing, in relatively destitute absolute loneliness on Rachmaninov’s Island of the Dead Souls?

 

At best, the often-attempted artist manifesto becomes a document of nostalgia, like an old vintage record player with a metallic horn, an African mask, or a picture postcard of the city of Baghdad.

 

The manifesto, as an article of nostalgia can serve as a reminder, perhaps a reassurance, that the spirit humour and passion of courageous young artists in the 1920s and 1930s is certainly not repeating itself any time soon, a weepy bygone. The socio-economic, cultural, intellectual context of the manifesto has been collapsed and eradicated so that its production becomes the opposite of the original feat. Is it then the same? For that matter, if street-art graffiti is made provisionally, with state subsidies, permits and security-supervision from Sarkozyist French officials is it still graffiti?

 

Cultural theory replaces art with theories and has seized upon the manifesto as yet another artefact of retro and what Susan Sontag coined “camp.” The era of the Death of the societal role of the Author was brought about by academia’s despotism, by the neoliberal publishing industry and the rise of pragmatist meritocracy. The concert celebrating diversity within meritocracy, as supervised by the Obama-Clinton mainstream of the United States’ Democratic Party, needed to claim literature as its pastoral field of figuration, non-fecund. But the era of Death of the Author, with a most un-ceremonial burial, has seen the rise of the Cultural Theorist as the preeminent intellectual life-form in the capitalist laboratory.

A need of a young generation to have novelists and poets to turn to has been frustrated. It is like the need of an individual woman for a baby of her own and the need of a man for a concubine: related drives. The young lovers need poets of passion to articulate fire and stars wine, and not cultural theorists who lecture on the crisis in the marriage market, yet they only get plenty of the latter. Cultural theorists have served as an awkward substitute for the disappearance of the societal (and cultural and economic) role of the author. Slavoj Zizek is incomprehensible and buffoonish when speaking about love, human passions, toilets or evil. And yet the young audience has few others to turn to, they hunger for an augur who will advise them on shattering and exposing their parents’ middle class fantasies and how will invigorate them to challenge petty bourgeois values. In the absence of a Norman Mailer having been able to arise from obscurity in the time of wars, their shamans have been academic cultural theorists: between the clownish apocalyptic humour of Zizek, and the selfish, careless experiments in misshaping their bodies into hermaphroditic forms, as advised by gender-theory. The Slovene is more believable than Judith Butler. Butler, hyped and profit-driven stage philosopher with 10.000 underpaid slaves, recently stated in an interview with the LA Review of Books that her vision of a radical politics is one that never manifests as a party with defined demands or dogmas. Butler’s politics prefers to be forever faceless, phantasmal and hermaphroditic, so as to flirt with indefinite and unborn perfection.. Her primary form of political statement is that of the parody of archaic gender roles: as in childhood, it is made impossible once more to tell a man apart from a woman; the soul, the prison of the body as Foucault maintained, must be cast off like yesteryear’s denim: but in all that din and enthusiasm, what then remains of desire? How, then, to intelligently subvert societal scripts and roles, when all the imprisoning inscriptions that made up the soul are erased or can no longer be read by the trained illiterates?

 

Subverting the rules in poetry cannot be achieved in a vacuum without prior knowledge of literary history, art and philosophy; simply throwing out all poetry and studying engineering instead is not a way to subvert. Jazz musicians like Duke Ellington were immersed in various European and African musical traditions in order to know how to prepare a revolutionary form. This subverting being a man or a woman is perhaps not all that different. How can the young subvert what they never learned, the scripts, the language, the symbols of being a man or being a woman, how can they transcend or even define or speak about the limitations of their genders without having truly worn them or ever learned to read them?  Oppressive and colonizing structures of the European Union meanwhile adopt and promote gender theory in the educational systems of indebted countries.

 

The revival of meritocratic-feminism is a repudiation of desire itself, a cleansing. The pragmatism-and-business-driven society continues to seek new weapons against desire, allowing only the art that has been properly sanitized for the de-sexualization and de-politicization of society. Butler and the hydra of gender theory is today’s equivalent of Timothy Leary, Harvard prof who advised young people to take lysergic acid: only Butler is far more cautious, not abusing the pharmaceutical hormones she prescribes, and making sure never to be kicked out of academia unlike Leary, (who got jailed and escaped, admirably un-Socratic hallucinatory jailbird shooed)

 

Parodies and post-politics in an imagined paradise fit the imperial first world’s cultural trend of absurdist farce as the predominant form of (aesthetic) expression. Manifestoes seem incapable of surpassing such radical ironism and absurdism, as embodied in cultural theorists who seem to be the natural continuations of Marcel Duchamp’s tongue-in-cheek flatulent posturing.”

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/18/the-artists-manifesto-in-the-age-of-dangerous-managers/

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