“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
And the curving spine of the cretaceous
ridge, masked as it is by the drift, is
wedged up to the thrust: the ice fronting
the earlier marine, so that the sentiment
of “cliffs” is the weathered stump of a feeling
into the worst climate of all
or if that’s
too violent, then it’s the closest balance that
holds the tilt: land/sea to icecap from
parkland, not more than 2º-3ºF. The
oscillation must have been so delicate, almost
each contour on the rock spine is a weather
J.H.Prynne – The Glacial Question, Unsolved
The turbulent transport of momentum, heat and moisture across the air–sea interface is of fundamental importance since the exchange properties across the marine boundary layer determine to a large extent the atmospheric convection and circulation. Fluxes of heat and momentum at the sea surface together with radiative fluxes control the formation and mixing of water and air masses and are responsible for the dynamic and thermodynamic forcing of the oceans and the atmosphere.
Observed Air-Sea Exchange Over the Somali Basin
“a surface slowness is countered by an active, varied texture of rhythm and form of body motion within the frame; this is what Niblock himself considers the ultimate subject matter of his films” – wikipedia page on Phill Niblock
“Okay. You remember the Marilyn Monroe calendar you saw in my studio.”
“And you know how it is when you’re starting on a project, how you sometimes have to start with a series of misunderstandings.”
“I always start that way.”
“I thought and worked and sketched and did small oils and large charcoals and finally I realized. It’s not Marilyn I want”
Don DeLillo – Underworld
“The white streaks you see in this image are in fact birds trapped in the “Tribute in Light” spots at the Ground Zero Memorial on September 11, 2004.”
SOCRATES: I should distinguish ‘having’ from ‘possessing’: for example, a man may buy and keep under his control a garment which he does not wear; and then we should say, not that he has, but that he possesses the garment.
THEAETETUS: It would be the correct expression.
SOCRATES: Well, may not a man ‘possess’ and yet not ‘have’ knowledge in the sense of which I am speaking? As you may suppose a man to have caught wild birds—doves or any other birds—and to be keeping them in an aviary which he has constructed at home; we might say of him in one sense, that he always has them because he possesses them, might we not?
SOCRATES: And yet, in another sense, he has none of them; but they are in his power, and he has got them under his hand in an enclosure of his own, and can take and have them whenever he likes;—he can catch any which he likes, and let the bird go again, and he may do so as often as he pleases.
SOCRATES: Once more, then, as in what preceded we made a sort of waxen figment in the mind, so let us now suppose that in the mind of each man there is an aviary of all sorts of birds—some flocking together apart from the rest, others in small groups, others solitary, flying anywhere and everywhere.
THEAETETUS: Let us imagine such an aviary—and what is to follow?
SOCRATES: We may suppose that the birds are kinds of knowledge, and that when we were children, this receptacle was empty; whenever a man has gotten and detained in the enclosure a kind of knowledge, he may be said to have learned or discovered the thing which is the subject of the knowledge: and this is to know.
‘moros’ = ‘fate’ and ‘amorsima’ = ‘that which does not come from fate’
–Note in Xenakis’ score to Morsima/Amorsima, written Paris 1956-1962
Everyone has observed the sonic phenomena of a political crowd of dozens or hundreds of thousands of people. The human river shouts a slogan in a uniform rhythm. Then another slogan springs from the head of the demonstration; it spreads towards the tail, replacing the first. A wave of transition thus passes from the head to the tail. The clamor fills the city, and the inhibiting force of voice and rhythm reaches a climax. It is an event of great power and beauty in its ferocity…
–Xenakis Formalised Music 1963.
On 17 October 1961 a peaceful protest of Algerians in Paris, against a night-time curfew which applied only to them, was organised by the Féderation de France of the Front de Libération National (FLN), near the end of its guerrilla war against the French authorities in Algeria (1954-1962). The march was brutally repressed by the police, with somewhere in the region of 200 fatalities.
a specific aim of the demonstration was to influence international opinion. The FLN mouthpiece El Moudjahid described the demonstration’s aim as ‘pour attirer l’attention de l’opinion publique française et internationale’.
–Daniel A. Gordon – “World Reactions to the 1961 Paris Pogrom”
“They had all removed their numbers from their uniforms. I was revolted. I never thought police could do such things. We were supposed to be guardians of the peace.” Police records show that Papon told officers at one station that they must be “subversive” in the war against their opponents. “You will be covered, I give you my word,” he said. In the days following the massacre, dozens of bodies were taken from the Seine as far down river as Rouen.
–Sunday Times, 12th October 1997
…Then the impact between the demonstrators and the enemy occurs. The perfect rhythm of the last slogan breaks up in a huge cluster of chaotic shouts , which also spreads to the tail. Imagine, in addition, the reports of dozens of machine guns and the whistle of bullets adding their punctuations to this total disorder. The crowd is then rapidly dispersed, and after sonic and visual hell follows a detonating calm, full of despair, dust and death. The statistical laws of these events, separated from their political or moral context, ar the same as those of cicadas or rain. –Xenakis Formalised Music 1963.
initial (rough) estimates suggest that as many as 100 million birds may collide with windows each year in the United Kingdom.[...]Some gardens are more prone to window strikes than others.
The only information we have at the moment about the potential effects of windows strikes on birds comes from the National Ringing Scheme, coordinated by the BTO. Some 11,000 ringed birds are reported to the BTO each year, half of which are found dead. Where the cause of death is known, 7% of Song Thrushes and 3% of House Sparrows (both of which are species of high conservation concern) had collided with windows. 34% of Sparrowhawks for which a cause of death was reported had flown into windows. Corresponding figures for other species include: Blackbird 7%, Chaffinch 20%, Greenfinch 9% and Robin 4%.
…hundreds of pigeons and thousands of starlings have taken possession of the central garden of the National Library of France in Paris. [...] The detour is problematic because the birds, blinded by the reflection of the sun, crash into the glass surface. “We don’t have to be afraid for the building, assures Gérard Bailly, the person in charge of the security of the BNF.
For visitors, on the other hand, the scene isn’t really heartening.[...]
The BNF hence asked a company to frighten away the birds [...] 124 birds have died smashed against the towers of the BNF. Among them 110 ring doves and 6 woodcocks.
And Several times, said Austerlitz, birds which had lost their way in the library forest flew into the mirror images of the trees in the reading-room windows, struck the glass with a dull thud and fell lifeless to the ground. Sitting at my place in the reading-room, said Austerlitz, I thought at length about the way in which such unforseen accidents, the fall of a single creature to its death when diverted from its natural path, or the recurrent symptoms of paralysis affecting the electronic data retrieval system, relate to the Cartesian overall plan of the Bibliotheque Nationale, and I came to the conclusion that in any project we design and develop, the size and degree of complexity of the information and control systems inscribed in it are the crucial factors, so that the all-embracing and absolute perfection of the concept can in practice coincide, indeed ultimately must coincide, with its chronic dysfunction…
-W.G.Sebald – Austerlitz
As a remedy, dissuasive silhouettes of birds of prey have been put directly on the walls. “It works with pigeons but not with starlings, a lot more numerous. Their presence is considerably harmful to the biodiversity of the garden in part because of their acid droppings.”
Bird at cafe table near the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Crumpsall Biscuit Works opened in Lower Crumpsall, near Manchester, in around 1873. The factory was subject to numerous alterations and expansions between around 1896 and the 1920s, including plans for a new cake bakery which were laid down in 1896, there was a new biscuit portion added in 1896, and in 1921 additional land was purchased to accommodate extensions such as new offices, a despatch room and a garage.
The works at Crumpsall boasted being “the only 8 hour day biscuit works in England” and had numerous facilities for its employees including a cricket club; football club; tennis courts; a bowling green; a recreation ground; a dining room for over 600 people with discounted refreshments and free warming of packed dinners; a library; and board and card games. The works put on numerous social events through the year including sports days, and dances and whist drives nearly every week during the winter. The works also stated that girls, however young, were started at no less than 6 shillings a week, and that they were only employed to do girls work and not to save the expense of employing men. There was also a Sick Benefit Society.
The new study by the Danish government’s environmental agency adds to this picture. It suggests that shipping emissions cost the Danish health service almost £5bn a year, mainly treating cancers and heart problems. A previous study estimated that 1,000 Danish people die prematurely each year because of shipping pollution. No comprehensive research has been carried out on the effects on UK coastal communities, but the number of deaths is expected to be much higher.