The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Aarhus-based architect James Martin was kind enough to share with me the small book he created (with the help of my friends Ben Clement and Sebastian de la Cour) around, what I would call, an archaeology of truth in Northern Ireland. He named the book Revising Histories [building truth] to reflect the collection of narratives that he came to encounter in his attempt to reconstitute what we might call, an illusory reconstitution… Read More

Today’s article, like the previous one, starts from a Deleuzian concept, but may drift apart from it. Someone who is hypochondriac is someone who keeps asking Why do I have? “Why do I have a spleen, why do I have a liver, why do I have organs?” (Abécédaire, J for Joy). In his seminar about Cinema in 1985 at the University of Vincennes, Deleuze evokes the microscopic death of thousands of cells… Read More

Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera (1934) The French word délire, turned into a concept by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (1972) has something that its English equivalent, delirium, does not have: its status to be simultaneously a noun and a verb. As we will see in this article, this is an important shade of difference and I will use the French verb délirer instead of its imperfect English version… Read More

I am happy to announce that the twelve first volumes of The Funambulist Pamphlets, a series of small books collecting articles written for the blog, will be published by Punctum Books as part of the CTM Documents Initiative series all along this summer. Such an opportunity was made possible by Eileen Joy, director of Punctum Books and Ed Keller, associate dean at Parsons The New School of Design and director of the… Read More

What is wrong with these pictures? Start maybe by looking at them all. The landscapes that they show are beautiful and seem to be almost untouched by humans. The problem is that they are taken where Palestinian villages used to exist before 1948. Five days ago was the 65th anniversary of the Nakba (the catastrophe in Arabic), the day that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had to flee from their land when… Read More

The space beyond the walls: Defensive “a-legal” sanctuaries (originally written for the Wheelwright Prize – failed) Considered purely in the abstract, the law appears to be a tool which makes strict categorizations of human actions and behaviors as either legal or illegal, just or unjust. Concomitantly, the abstraction of the law corresponds with a similar spatial abstraction in which territories are defined diagrammatically. This is true as far as the sovereignty of… Read More

The immanent domain (see third letter) – Dharavi in Mumbai / Photograph by Léopold Lambert (2009) FIRST LETTER (New York on July 12th 2012) /// Dear Lucy, I read your essay Archiving Burroughs: Interzone, Law, Self-Medication with attention and appreciated, as usual, the way you manage to link narrative, law and space all together. I do think however that we should keep this text for a little bit later in our conversation… Read More

Destruction of the Glencairn Tower in Motherwell (near Glasgow) / Photograph by Sam Hardie Explosions are so ubiquitous in Hollywood Cinema, and the emotion is so intense when one torn-down reality that we do not quite seem to realize what they really are. In 2007, Mike Davis was trying to historicize the car bomb and its urban consequences in his book Buda’s Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb (Verso, 2007)… Read More

Antic Greek Statuette of a Hermaphrodite I have been evoking the work of Beatriz Preciado a few times in the last year, the most notably reference being the wonderful text she wrote for LOG 25 (see past article), entitled Architecture as a Practice of Biopolitical Disobedience in which she was exposing the theoretical bases for a deep analysis of the society of control that she decided to call (and therefore orient) Pharmaco-pornographic… Read More

The recent manhunt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston was probably quite shocking to many non-Americans — and probably some Americans too — for the anachronism it constituted. The latter was caused by the ability of the Police to empty an entire city, and thus to implement a sort of state of emergency, as well as by the “march of the returning heroes,” the multitude of police officers acclaimed by the crowd after… Read More

Israeli settlement of Rimmonim on the road from Ramallah to Jericho I am not quite sure to know the reasons that made me take so much time to write this article, three years after my last trip in Palestine; better late than never as one says so here it is: a majority of the photographs (see below) I took when I was there of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It… Read More

Wind map of the US North East (detail of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York & Connecticut). Map modified by the author based on the wind patterns/data of the fantastic wind project by Hint.fm. About a week ago, the website of WNYC (a New York radio broadcast part of the National Public Radio) published a news according to which “The NYPD [New York Police Department] and a national laboratory will be studying how… Read More

Passing Through by Saburo Murakami (1956) /// Photo by Léopold Lambert A few days ago, I visited the exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground at New York Guggenheim Museum. That gave me the opportunity to get to know an artistic movement I was not familiar with beforehand. Although I was not necessarily fascinated by all the artwork presented (the two reasons being that it is somehow odd to put in an institutionalized museum a… Read More