loRES...... yellow snow

Reading has always been a source of great inspiration for the founders. These books have been a profound influence on many recent creative endeavours and so we are sharing some of the titles, for anyone who might find them intriguing.


Momme Brodersen Walter Benjamin - A Biography Verso

Providing useful information for those trying to understand Benjamin's work is not an easy task, but Brodersen does that in this book. Interesting and well written. One particular photo caption provides more insight than most articles or books I've read.

benjamin is here. he is working on an essay on baudelaire. there are good things in it, he demonstrates how literature was distorted after 1848 by the notion of an immanent ahistorical epoch. the victory at versailles of the bourgeoisie over the commune was pre-empted. people became accustomed to evil. it was given the form of a flower. this is useful reading. oddly enough an eccentric idea enabled benjamin to write it. he assumes something that he calls an "aura", which is connected with dreaming (day dreaming). he says: when you feel someone's gaze alight upon you, even on your back, you respond (!). the expectation that whatever you look at is looking at you creates the aura. apparently this has started to disintegrate in recent times, along with rites and rituals. benjamin discovered this while analysing films where the aura is destroyed by the capacity of works of art to be reproduced. all very mystical, despite his anti-mystical attitudes. this is the way in which the materialistic approach to history is adapted! it is pretty horrifying.

Bertolt Brecht


George Johnson Fire in the Mind Vintage

Subtitled "science, faith, and the search for order," this could be a deadly dull didactic diatribe, but it is not. Johnson uses the stage of northern New Mexico as his setting to draw parallels between Tewa Indians, Los Alamos Lab, the Catholic Penitentes and The Santa Fe Institute (among others) , comparing the different routes they have taken in search of answers to the BIG questions. Simply written and understandable, even when discussing the abstract theories of modern physics. And his excursions into the abstract realms opened up in his journey, the areas not purely scientific or religious, are quite entertaining.


Alexander Nehamas The Art of Living University of California Press

Philosophy is important. More than a theory it can be a practice, a way of living. Nehamas uses the figure of Socrates as a touchstone, observing how many great philosophers through the ages have returned to Plato's mentor for inspiration. It is ironic that Socrates wrote nothing himself. He showed through example a mode of life lost upon so many. What is a person? What does it take to lead a worthwhile life?


Thomas Ligotti In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land

A slender slice of horror , this small volume haunts in new ways, in quiet ways. Four stories which describe various episodes in a "town near the northern border." Subliminal, autumnal, wonderful. Accompanied by a Current93 CD.


and older favourites...


Wolfgang Schivelbusch The Railway Journey University of California Press

Wolfgang Schivelbusch Disenchanted Night University of California Press

These two books are wonderfully written and thoroughly researched. They deal, in turn, with the development of the railroad and its impact on the way we move through the world; and "the industrialization of light in the Nineteenth Century." Schivelbusch expresses his ideas clearly and his comments range beyond the specific topics of the titles.


Christoph Asendorf Batteries of Life University of California Press

Perhaps not as easy to read as the Schivelbusch books, but still very well presented. I particularly liked the author's use of period material to make his points clear regarding modernity and our changing perception of the world we live in.


Tom Conley Film Hieroglyphs University of Minnesota Press

Get out your dictionary and notepad because this book is not an easy read. Having said that, after reading Film Hieroglyphs and watching the movies that he uses as models, I have never seen a film the same way again. And I mean that in a good way.


Paul Virilio The Aesthetics of Disappearance Semiotext(e)

I don't pretend to understand everything that Virilio writes about, but I am definitely intrigued by what I have read. This book benefits from brevity, which brings focus to the intensity of his writing. Full of rich and juicy ideas.


Jerry Mander Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television Quill

My reaction, like many people I shared this book with was, "this was published in 1977?!?" Wow! Nothing like some rational arguments and scientific information to open up a new avenue of thinking. Brilliant and strangely never mentioned.

words...... sounds...... pictures...... reviews