Archive for February, 2017

Anti-Discrimination at The U

Posted: February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized




Penny-Wise? Dollar-Foolish?

Posted: February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


President Trump is heading to Capitol Hill tonight and is expected to outline part of his budget plan before a joint session of Congress. On Monday, Trump proposed increasing the military budget to just over $600 billion—a 10 percent increase—while deeply slashing the budgets of other agencies, likely including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Trump said he wanted a historic increase in military spending. Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee of California responded on Twitter by writing, “[President] Trump’s morally bankrupt budget will funnel more money to the Pentagon at the expense of the poor [and] our planet. This is an awful idea.” We speak to Neta Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project and a professor of political science at Boston University. In September, she released a report that found the United States has spent nearly $5 trillion since the September 11, 2001, attacks on homeland security and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan.




The Federal Bureau of Investigation has had a long and tortuous relationship with religion over almost the entirety of its existence. As early as 1917, the Bureau began to target religious communities and groups it believed were hotbeds of anti-American politics. Whether these religious communities were pacifist groups that opposed American wars, or religious groups that advocated for white supremacy or direct conflict with the FBI, the Bureau has infiltrated and surveilled religious communities that run the gamut of American religious life.

The FBI and Religion recounts this fraught and fascinating history, focusing on key moments in the Bureau’s history. Starting from the beginnings of the FBI before World War I, moving through the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War, up to 9/11 and today, this book tackles questions essential to understanding not only the history of law enforcement and religion, but also the future of religious liberty in America.

It’s hard for us today to comprehend how, at a certain moment, intelligence in a woman could be the apex of cool. But, intelligence, for a brief interval in American culture, was downright sexy. And Sontag, in her day, was considered just that. Still, Sontag, in our assigned essays, seems to be launching a polemic against intellectuals and intellectualism. Why? And, in the end, does it even matter?


“One of the most extraordinary, beautiful,
and original works of art that I know of.”
– Susan Sontag

Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie

Brian Eno – The Sleepers

Posted: February 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

I Dormienti is an ambient installation album from British musician Brian Eno and Italian artist Mimmo Paladino released in 1999 by Opal.

The Paladino exhibition was in the form of drawings and terracota sculptures – about 30 reclining figures with about 20 attendant crocodiles. The publicity notice said of it “In the centre of a labyrinth of tunnels, Paladino will create an installation of primordial life forms that will be accompanied by Eno’s unique sound and light production”.


News From New Pompeii

Posted: February 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Wallace Stevens
(1879 – 1955)
A Postcard From The Volcano

Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill;

And that in autumn, when the grapes
Made sharp air sharper by their smell
These had a being, breathing frost;

And least will guess that with our bones
We left much more, left what still is
The look of things, left what we felt

At what we saw. The spring clouds blow
Above the shuttered mansion house,
Beyond our gate and the windy sky

Cries out a literate despair.
We knew for long the mansion’s look
And what we said of it became

A part of what it is … Children,
Still weaving budded aureoles,
Will speak our speech and never know,

Will say of the mansion that it seems
As if he that lived there left behind
A spirit storming in blank walls,

A dirty house in a gutted world,
A tatter of shadows peaked to white,
Smeared with the gold of the opulent sun.


Jasper Johns
Light Bulb 1 (1958)
Private Collection


Helen Frankenthaler (obituary)
Abstract expressionist artist associated with the colour field movement

Michael McNay
The Guardian, Wednesday 28 December 2011

At the age of 23 Helen Frankenthaler painted Mountains and Sea (1952), an abstraction that freed up the logjam in postwar American art following the first sensational burst of creative activity by the abstract expressionists. It looks, in reproduction, like a gently evocative watercolour with a series of blue, green and red stains fading into pink, and a small, glowing yellow ochre passage coalescing into the hint of landscape that the title suggests. In fact Frankenthaler, who has died aged 83, had just returned from a holiday in Nova Scotia to her studio in New York, and nailed a canvas about 7ft high and 10ft wide to the floor and poured oil colour on to the surface.

The method and the scale of it was, of course, borrowed from Jackson Pollock’s procedure, but it was totally devoid of Pollock’s angst-ridden search for the sublime. Frankenthaler said later that, fresh from the north Atlantic, she painted from the memories absorbed into not only her mind but her wrists as well. Painting became once again, as in many of its best periods, an instinctive coalition of hand and eye and controlling intelligence.

(read more)


Helen Frankenthaler with sculptor David Smith


Helen Frankenthaler
Life Magazine


G.W.F. Hegel
1770 – 1831

Also Sprach Steinberg

Posted: February 24, 2017 in Uncategorized



Robert Rauschenberg
Untitled (Gold Painting)

But what do they know about education at The University of California anyway?


Click for more.


Readings For The Week of February 27th

Posted: February 22, 2017 in Readings

Good class today! These are the new readings I said I would provide. Because we are a very chatty group (which I consider a very good thing), I doubt we will get to them until Monday. But do feel free to read ahead. I’ll see you very soon!

Science and Terror

Posted: February 22, 2017 in Uncategorized



Titanic Days

Posted: February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized



Day of Remembrance?

Posted: February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized