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Remote Control
Paul Wessels

"Not to render the visible, but to render visible"
- Paul Klee

When I read a book, I never read the introduction, preface, foreword or afterword until I have finished the main text. But before I read the main text, I read all the footnotes and trace their origins within the main text. This is how I found this line in a book I am currently reading: "I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident".
Apparently it's from a Talking Heads song "Crosseyed and Painless" (Remain in Light LP). This info is provided to translator Daniel W. Smith by Timothy Murphy according to the end notes of Deleuze's study on Francis Bacon. (Same place the Klee quote comes from.)

On the same day, I receive an email from Aishwarya Iyer to which she has appended the following vignette (dream?) attributed to Salvador Dali: "When I was five years old I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity I look at the sky through flesh."

"I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident"

Salvador Dali had no need of theorist Paul Virilio as he was already, always, in an optically thinned out human environment. Dali becomes a prosthetic enhancement of the organs of perception - painting and writing kinematic sequences. It is to Dali that we could('ve) pose(d) the question: is psychoanalysis an accident and does it belong in the accident museum where "only what explodes and decomposes is exposed"? One of the showcases of the "aesthetics of disappearance"?

Anyway, an unusually controversial publication hit our shelves last year bearing the insistent title of "itch".

"itch" attains a certain pitch of "kinematic energy" if only in its controversial editorial manifesto. The word controversy itself comes from Latin and refers to something "turned in an opposite direction". To controvert something then, is to deny, refute or oppose it.

"In a media-marketplace crammed with spam and a cacophony of empty messages; starved of the animating power of fresh messages..." begins the 68-word-long opening sentence of the manifesto.

Editor Mehita Iqani stresses the magazine's polyvalent "role" as follows: it is "centripetal: creating a magazine nexus for the abundance of creative and intellectual activity that all too often takes place in the media underground, on the fringes of print and in the timeless infinity that is the internet"; its editorial policy is "unique" in that submissions are welcomed from all who care to submit their work; "itch is a thrilling example of true post-modern intertextuality"; by "mere virtue of reading an article, or lingering over an image in the pages that follow, you are contributing to the creation of a community of thinkers and engaging in a creative intellectual process"; and Iqani concludes: "We hope to ... create a platform that ... mainstreams such activity."

"Itch" not only announces that the centre is empty, but implies that all notions of centre are empty in and of themselves, that it seeks to create a platform to strategically and provisionally fill this emptiness, and that it will do so in a centripetal fashion.

No wonder then, that the response by critics to "itch" has been very cautious. There have only been two major reviews of this publication and neither reviewer has commented on the audacity of a magazine editorial loudly proclaiming the "media-marketplace" to be empty of worthwhile content, and positing itself as the new, central, centripetal, and resolutely "mainstreaming" harbinger of worthwhile content.

Both reviewers strive to curtail the brash and uppity excitement of Iqani's editorial. They stand resolute and confirmed in their opinions and cynicism, determined to turn it in another direction - to controvert it through sardonic admonition.

The effects of these critical compromises are disturbing and palpable. All connotation is stabilised into easily serviceable and servile reflections and refractions of what we already know. It confirms our prejudices, and prejudices our confirming of anything new, different, or challenging - a mythical process of recuperation, cannibalising the present and annihilating the future.

"itch" is a controversial publication because it admirably achieves what it sets out to do - the controvertible critics aside - before it even does it! "itch" stage-manages its own controversy, its own contra-version through the "optical density" of its manifesto.

One form of accident then, because isn't the Itch Manifesto of re-filling "centres" much like Salvador Dali needing to find a way back to purity by changing shape - theoretically mirroring the movement from the "real space of our planet" to the "real time of its appearances" (Virilio), or like Bacon painting "the scream more than the horror"?

"I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident"

We welcome the unknown future as inoculated children of the present with outstretched naked arms.

"I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident"

One form of accident then, because isn't the Itch Manifesto of re-filling "centres" much like Salvador Dali needing to find a way back to purity by changing shape - theoretically mirroring the movement from the "real space of our planet" to the "real time of its appearances" (Virilio), or like Bacon painting "the scream more than the horror"?

"itch" is a controversial publication because it admirably achieves what it sets out to do - the controvertible critics aside - before it even does it! "itch" stage-manages its own controversy, its own contra-version through the "optical density" of its manifesto.

The effects of these critical compromises are disturbing and palpable. All connotation is stabilised into easily serviceable and servile reflections and refractions of what we already know. It confirms our prejudices, and prejudices our confirming of anything new, different, or challenging - a mythical process of recuperation, cannibalising the present and annihilating the future.

Both reviewers strive to curtail the brash and uppity excitement of Iqani's editorial. They stand resolute and confirmed in their opinions and cynicism, determined to turn it in another direction - to controvert it through sardonic admonition.

No wonder then, that the response by critics to "itch" has been very cautious. There have only been two major reviews of this publication and neither reviewer has commented on the audacity of a magazine editorial loudly proclaiming the "media-marketplace" to be empty of worthwhile content, and positing itself as the new, central, centripetal, and resolutely "mainstreaming" harbinger of worthwhile content.

"Itch" not only announces that the centre is empty, but implies that all notions of centre are empty in and of themselves, that it seeks to create a platform to strategically and provisionally fill this emptiness, and that it will do so in a centripetal fashion.

Editor Mehita Iqani stresses the magazine's polyvalent "role" as follows: it is "centripetal: creating a magazine nexus for the abundance of creative and intellectual activity that all too often takes place in the media underground, on the fringes of print and in the timeless infinity that is the internet"; its editorial policy is "unique" in that submissions are welcomed from all who care to submit their work; "itch is a thrilling example of true post-modern intertextuality"; by "mere virtue of reading an article, or lingering over an image in the pages that follow, you are contributing to the creation of a community of thinkers and engaging in a creative intellectual process"; and Iqani concludes: "We hope to ... create a platform that ... mainstreams such activity."

"In a media-marketplace crammed with spam and a cacophony of empty messages; starved of the animating power of fresh messages..." begins the 68-word-long opening sentence of the manifesto.

"itch" attains a certain pitch of "kinematic energy" if only in its controversial editorial manifesto. The word controversy itself comes from Latin and refers to something "turned in an opposite direction". To controvert something then, is to deny, refute or oppose it.

Anyway, an unusually controversial publication hit our shelves last year bearing the insistent title of "itch".

Salvador Dali had no need of theorist Paul Virilio as he was already, always, in an optically thinned out human environment. Dali becomes a prosthetic enhancement of the organs of perception, painting and writing kinematic sequences. It is to Dali that we could('ve) pose(d) the question: is psychoanalysis an accident and does it belong in the accident museum where "only what explodes and decomposes is exposed"? One of the showcases of the "aesthetics of disappearance"?

"I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident"

On the same day, I receive an email from Aishwarya Iyer to which she has appended the following vignette (dream?) attributed to Salvador Dali: "When I was five years old I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity I look at the sky through flesh."

When I read a book, I never read the introduction, preface, foreword or afterword until I have finished the main text. But before I read the main text, I read all the footnotes and trace their origins within the main text. This is how I found this line in a book I am currently reading: "I'm changing my shape, I feel like an accident".
Apparently it's from a Talking Heads song "Crosseyed and Painless" (Remain in Light LP). This info provided to translator Daniel W. Smith by Timothy Murphy according to the end notes of Deleuze's study on Francis Bacon.

"Not to render the visible, but to render visible" - Paul Klee

Paul Wessels
Remote Control