The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: January 2013

El ángel exterminador (1962) is a film by Luis Buñuel in which the group of main characters are stuck for weeks in a living room after a urbane dinner. Nothing visually seems to prevent them from actually exiting the living room but for a mysterious reason none of them seems to try to actually get out despite the fact that they are close from dying from hunger. This narrative is a good… Read More

DMZ is a comic book that I discovered in my research for references for the NY Commune Project. It constitutes a quite literal precedent indeed. Written by Brian Wood and drawn by Riccardo Burchielli between 2005 and 2012, it introduces the United States in a second civil war that opposes the “loyalist” states to the “free states” which declared secession from the rest of the country. The particularity of the plot which… Read More

Literature and cinema regularly question the metaphorical -sometimes literal- pact with dark forces that one makes to transcend him(her)self. This scheme is, of course, the one of Faust’s in classic German mythology, famously adapted by Goethe in 1808. Faust is indeed a successful scholar accepting a pact with the devil giving him the access to unlimited knowledge in exchange of his soul. This scheme will be later re-interpreted by Honoré de Balzac… Read More

Pavillon Seroussi by Biothing (2007) Sébastien Bourbonnais and I met after we realized through a common publication (see previous article) that we had a shared strong interest for French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (see previous articles Part 1 & Part 2). In the following essay, he uses the latter’s theory of form and information to analyze the creative logic of digitally generated architectures. Sébastien evokes the dematerialization of the line as the latter… Read More

Le Cri du Peuple by Jacques Tardi (2001) As I wrote earlier, the 1871 Paris Commune is the historical reference of this series of articles. Despite an institutional soft form of censorship, there has been many historical interpretation of this event that saw a new form of governance created. One of them, nevertheless, remains one of the sharpest analysis of La Commune despite (or thanks to) its quasi-immediacy. Indeed, in the end… Read More

Earlier this week, a group of about 250 Palestinians gathered in East Jerusalem in the E1 Area where the Israeli government announced the construction of 3,000 new housing units after the recent UN vote granting Palestine a status of observer member at the General Assembly. This group of people established a small village made out of tents on what is being stated as Palestinian owned private land. The photograph above shows the… Read More

Leos Carax in his own film, Holy Motors (2012) An intuition I (too) briefly explored in May 2011 though an article entitled The Paradigm of Modern Cinema: The Cinematographic Introspection (Godard, Fellini, Truffaut, Assayas & Hansen-Love) was attributing (again this is just an intuition) the key element of modernity in art to the ability it had to introspect itself thought its very existence. The examples I then gave were quite literal as they… Read More

La Commune (de Paris, 1871) by Peter Watkins (see also an old article about Punishment Park) filmed in 1999 is the absolute reference for the NY Commune project as it addresses the question of the Paris Commune through a cinematographic work being itself a democratic construction. This film is basing its plot on a historical event and its reconstitution in order to question the contemporaneity of the class struggle. In order to… Read More

Following the narrative I created around the question of the New York Commune as an interesting scenario to investigate what would be a contemporary equivalent of the 1871 Paris Commune, I am now starting to prepare a medium length film on this very same story. I will therefore regularly publish articles about useful references on that matter. The two first ones that has been already published here could be found through the… Read More

Playground Proposal by Isamu Noguchi (excerpt from The Book of Games) First of all, I apologize for this absence, I am hoping to engage with interesting series of article soon but, in order to start the year in a good way, here is a short one about a book I have been very happy to prepare a small contribution for recently. The Book of Games is the third issue of a series… Read More