Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-06-06 - 12:41 a.m.

Woke up got out of bed didnít put a comb across my head not enough hair but plugged in the gtr.

Recorded my MFV and put on a Dhorn line - stuck it on some vid I was cooking last night - then added some words - SP at Cambs reflecting on a night on the tiles - no biting. EG Lust pursuit / sloppy lazy / awkward not seeing people / hypnotized penance / briars flays / poems eat the whole day. Does a jounal become art with a visual and sound track? Will perform MFV in weeks at Lewisís church -dont think Ill mention the vid.

Last weekend I invested in Cds of Funkadelic. Last nights soulshow confirms the investment. Clinton is so underrated but he got quite good treatment from BBC2. However they might have explained when Norman Whitfield was moving the Temptations on he was using riffs that he picked up in Detroit clubs where GC was blowing. I liked the link between James Brown and So What which have read about but never heard. They might have mentioned that Miles replayed the compliment by hiring S Wonderís bass player (also from Detroit) The 3rd in a row from Motorcity with the dark magus. Very interesting on S Wonder and the synth - must get those albums on CD. One of things that is missed about Funkadelic is their sense of musical form - how it intersects musical theatre. Funkadelic inspired the Belville Three techno pioneers- partly because they used they synth to recolor the bass line. Live sound of Sly band stunning. Bootsy Collins reminded me of Hendrix when he was with James Brown band - so different now when he is with the Funk Bros. Also interesting to hear Uriel Jones on how the Funk Bros changed gear.

Went to the Oxfam bookshop - got a US review of postwar UK theatre - good on Hareís Plenty (became a film with M Streep) also a 1998 Prynne edited collection of Oxbridge student poems. Also interesting collection of 3 outside poets. Allen Fisher - now head of art at the Rohampton bit of Surrey Uni - has works in the Tate - born 1944. Interesting comparison with the Smithson piece I mentioned yesterday. He too has the compulsion to locate his poems on a scientific landscape. Also Bill Griffiths who has retired to Durham and seems interested in alignments now - these are part of the London end of business clustered around Iain Sinclair.

Got another journal to plunder - John Fowles. He was the right age to become involved in the war before he went to Oxford. Spent a long while working on the Magus. Like L Cohen he plugs into Greece. He spends the 50s working in public schools and then hitís the big time around 1964 with The Collector then moves to Lyme Regis. He looks very cool in the 50s and much less so once he grows a beard.
Hare/Streep/Plenty is about how the adrenalin rush of the outside life of a young woman in the war festers in the 50s - a good subject. She marries a senior civil servant who is mostly a prat but who feels very deeply betrayed by the politicians over Suez.. Iraq obvious link.

I thought it was interesting how the Temptations use soul techniques in an arranged context to express the social confusion of late 60s - by filling every space with rhythm. Clinton comes from a totally different perspective - from Sun Ra and maybe Dada.

Wrote to Paul W about Manufuture and we exchanged some gtr stuff - me on the Crafter which is a 120 I see - very well reviewed on Harmony - as it should be.
Listen to 2005 soul collection and wondered about stealing grooves. Will probably get the BBC soul triple CD. Also I read a Rickie Lee Jones triple retrospective has appeared. I found a nice patio in the centre of town south of the river from where you can see gothic tracery on the church. Thatís where I sampled those three London poets over a couple of buds. Three pounds for two or two sixty five for one.
SOME thoughts on structuralism - clearly the view now is that in the 70s people overdid structuralism. Post-structuralism is post 68 structuralism and is obviously the place to start. Also some of the more notorious tropes about language and the world and the author are clearly bolx. The big game is Foucault and then Deleuze if you ask me.

BUT you have to hand it to Barthes in the Mythologies that the logic he sets out for the sign of a sign is good. There is a picture of a Negro Fr soldier in uniform with the tricoleur on the cover of Paris Match. The cover of the magazine points at a specific episode. BUT you can take the dyad of magazine-pic/reality as the sign - and that refers to a third higher level thing. This is iterable logic - you can take the output and feed it into the input - the classic loop for fractals chaos etc. This is all good bankable stuff.
The next step is the really important - you can take that Barthes sign iteration and apply to the Kant model of aesthetics.


Think of Lichenstein the pop artist - he famously does comic-style paintings of brush strokes. Many people like these paintings.

Now think of a classic absex - de Kooning. His painting has a lot of free gestural brush strokes. There is a lot of guff about what and how these mean. You can look at a de K woman and say - wow thatís intense - and then you can do aesthetics sorting through the guff to find some reasoning that best explains how you find it intense. This is the Kant model esp if you get into free-play and purposive/non purposive. Thatís quite a short step with de K. You can ask - what does de K express about gender - is he painterly engaged or is he disengaged and alienated - hence the monstrous aspects. Has he taken the sublime to soft feminine beauty etc?

That s a nice little Kant model which will chug away on its own.

Then one day you stumble into a Lichenstein retro - possibly wanting to see Wham or some such.

The first thing you see is the comic brushstroke and without any effort on your part a thought wells up - the thought is about de K and gesture and whether gesture reveals in paint the authentic unconscious etc - and that thought blends with the comic brush stroke and you see the joke and you laugh. The laugh just appears - nothing you can do about it - it feels intense.


The Kant model on de K - previously an output - has surfaced as an input.

This is the Barthes sign model at work.

So now you can do aesthetics on how any why the Lichenstein comic brushstroke is profound/amusing art - how its purposive and non purposive - how itís a bit of free play.

Now - in simple terms this Barthes-Kant model is what is happening in the 60s. You get all sorts of post absex tropes - the Mins, Performance, Video, Fluxus , Beuys , Land Art - which is referring to absex and then doing aesthetics on the top of that.

The destination of the Barthes-Kant model of the 60s might be conceptual art. Or it might be feminist conceptual art.

I read a really good para in the classic text on Conceptual Art which I used to think was too difficult
Its about Nico and Jim Morrison at the Castle in LA - cf Loves first album. They are on acid. Morrison walks on the parapet and asks Nico to join him. She refuses because she canít see the purpose.

Tony Godfrey sees this as an example of gender questioning of certain classic assumptions about the position of the artist as an agent of the sublime. Nico would be in a good position to do this having shagged Hendrix B Jones Fellini Dylan Cale Reed (and maybe even Derrida - cant be ruled out). You can play this exchange directly against de K and the female sublime. Good aesthetics.

Rausch famously erased a de K drawing - link to Cageís silent piece - Fred O wd see this as a gay counter code.

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