(Saturday, 1 August 1998)

Paul Strand. Blind. 1916.


(Sunday, 2 August 1998)

To my friend Jouke, on the occasion of your 50th birthday.

"Aesthetics is nothing but a kind of applied physiology." (Nietzsche)

Predictions and Time Lines

I really like both the premise (accountable predications) and the design of Long Bets.Org (It reminds me vaguely of one of the possibilities I was thinking about while developing the One Hundred Years of Solicitude proposal I made a couple of years ago for the NUON).

The Nature of Order

Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language has finally published his magnum opus, involving more than twenty years of work. There are four volumes in total. The first volume, entitled The Phenomenon of Life is out now. The other three volumes, titled respectively (2) The Process of Creating Life, (3) A Vision of a Living World and (4) The Luminous Ground, are to be published over the next three months.


(Wednesday, 5 August 1998)

Presents five years ago. Presents today.

A full mailbox this morning. The second editions of Vampires (which looks, at least judging by a quick flip through, like a complete rewrite of the first edition, one of my all-time favorite books -- unfortunately the 2nd edition isn't listed on Amazon yet) and Distracted (both presents from Jalal Toufic) arrived as did my order from Total Immersion Swimming and one of the two sleep masks that I recently ordered.


(Thursday, 6 August 1998)

While The-End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It came and went, it's nice to see the Stick Figure Death Theater still around... even though it causes my 2003 browser (Camino) to crash.

It's terribly hot here in Rotterdam. Terribly hot and sticky.

Things Mallarmé

  1. One Toss of the Dice Never Will Abolish Chance.

    (Html-ized courtesy

  2. Portrait of Mallarmé (1876) by Edouard Manet.

  3. An online copy of Mary Ann Caws' Igitur translation.

Bought at the Slegte

  1. John Macquarrie, Existentialism. (Macquarrie is one of the translators of Being and Time, a very thick and formidible looking book lying abandoned on a cardboard box about five meters from my desk.)

  2. A copy of 'Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen' (as a gift for N).

Seen and resisted at Donner

  1. Emmanuel Levinas, On Escape.

  2. Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.


(Friday, 7 August 1998)

5 years ago, citing figures published in the local press, I noted that Rotterdam was a city of foreigners. A couple of days ago, Annelys de Vet (in her dutch weblog) noted a similar report in the local press predicting that by 2010 Rotterdam would consist of a foreign majority (more than 50%).

(Cities are for change not for people?)

Asleep in the Deep

Three paintings of Pierre Bonnard's wife Marthe lying in the bath. (Three of the approximately 384 paintings Bonnard did of his wife -- many of them depicting her in the bathroom.)

I've been looking for examples of Bonnard's photography. Without any luck alas.


(Saturday, 8 August 1998)

Coming soon: DevonAgent (from the makers of DevonThink).

It is Night, In My Study

by Miguel de Unamuno

It is night, in my study.
The deepest solitude; I hear the steady
shudder in my breast
--for it feels all alone,
and blanched by my mind--
and I hear my blood
with even murmur
fill up the silence.
You might say the thin stream
falls in the waterclock and fills the bottom.
Here, in the night, all alone, this is my study;
the books don't speak;
my oil lamp
bathes these pages in a light of peace,
light of a chapel.
The books don't speak;
of the poets, the meditators, the learned,
the spirits drowse;
and it is as if around me circled
cautious death.
I turn at times to see if it waits,
I search the dark,
I try to discern among the shadows
its thin shadow,
I think of heart failure,
think about my strong age; since my fortieth year
two more have passed.
Toward a looming temptation
here, in the solitude, the silence turns me--
the silence and the shadows.
And I tell myself: "Perhaps when soon
they come to tell me
that supper awaits,
they will discover a body here
pallid and cold
--the thing that I was, this one who waits--
just like those books quiet and rigid,
the blood already stopped,
jelling in the veins,
the chest silent
under the gentle light of the soothing oil,
a funeral lamp.
I tremble to end these lines
that they do not seem
an unusual testament,
but rather a mysterious message
from the shade beyond,
lines dictated by the anxiety
of eternal life.
I finished them and yet I live on.

(Translated from Spanish by William Stafford and Lillian Jean Stafford)

The Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, author of Tragic Sense of Life, died of a heart failure on December 31, 1936 while under house arrest. How's that for art?


(Sunday, 9 August 1998)


16 July, 2003

Spotted this doll in an antique shop window during a visit to Groningen last month. Unfortunately at the time the store was closed for the holidays. Called them today and found the price to be very reasonable. Asked Jente to pick it up for me.

Another Example of the Artist's Estate

Inventory of the Allan Kaprow Papers, 1940-1997.


(Monday, 10 August 1998)

Speaking of ogranization I'm constantly amazed at how external deadlines organize my life where nothing else seems to work. Perhaps this explains why I'm attracted to an idea like autopoiesis. To think that all life can do something that I can't!

Amazing site: (Fluxus)


(Tuesday, 11 August 1998)

5 years ago and today too.

We are in the middle of a heat wave. As it's impossible to get anything done in this weather I've been looking forward to what I thought was going to be a temporary reprieve: on Thursday I'm going to Brazil for twelve days. However checking the weather just now online I'm disappointed to see that Belo Horizonte isn't that cold. Hmm.. and I thought it was winter there...

Historically important and cool art box publishing project now on the web: Aspen 1965-1971.


(Wednesday, 12 August 1998)

Last Night

Strains of loud music wafting in through the open windows. From the terrace we see the sky lit up over Feyenoord Stadium.

Me: "Sounds like a pop concert."

N. (a couple of minutes later): "Sounds like someone doing bad Rolling Stones covers."

Me (listening more carefully): "Yeah. You're right.

This Morning

Searching for a good deal on a tri-band GSM phone I stumble across an ad from a Rotterdam retailer. Son of a gun... they have a special offer on phones with free tickets to... you guessed it... last night's Stones concert...



The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is online (though, oddly enough, nowhere on the site will you find the word 'Britannica').

This site is a work in progress. We have spent the better part of a year OCRing a copy of this 1911 edition. The OCRed text still has numerous errors, which we are working through steadily.


We decided to put the site up as-is so that people can start to make use of it now, instead of waiting until it was perfect.

We are working through all the problems and errors and ask that you have patience as you understand this is a huge task.

If you have an interest in volunteering to assist us in this project, drop us an email at

Thank you for your patience.


(Thursday, 13 August 1998)

Richard Hamilton, He Foresaw his Pale Body, 1990-1991.

Independent article on Hamilton, Joyce and Ulysses.

(Hamilton's 'Imaging Ulysses' series is currently showing at Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam).


(Thursday, 27 August 1998)

"Can attention, unemployed and restless, actually manufacture its object?"


Back from 12 days Brazil. Notes and pictures to follow.

143 poems of e. e. cummings at

Gift from N. lying in wait on my desk: Seneca in English and Four Tragedies and Octavia.


(Friday, 28 August 1998)

Exposed no longer... (at least not in that way).

Place: The men's washroom of the Movies in Amsterdam.

Time: Twenty minutes after midnight.

An Asian gentlemen walks in breathing deeply.

He: "Whew... Which film did you see?"

Another guy: "Dogville"

Me: "Dogville"

He (dizzily dropping his head): "Jesus..."

Me (concerned): "Are you okay?"

He: "I guess I just need a minute."


(Saturday, 29 August 1998)

Book shopping in today Amsterdam included a copy of Tennessee William's Camino Real, Ted Hughes adaptation of Seneca's Oedipus (directed by the great Peter Brook), Latimore's translation of Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy and (the reason I picked up the Latimore translation), James Hogan's line by line commentary.


(Sunday, 30 August 1998)

Finished Seneca's Thyestes. I just love the way the chorus that follows acts two and three ignores Atreus' ignominy (Why? They hear he's laying a most horrible trap for his brother Thyestes?), and instead praises the two brother's reconciliation.

Would any man believe it possible?
Atreus, that hard, that bitter man, that man of unrepentant cruelty,
Stands checked, awed into impotence, before his brother.
Truly there is no greater power on earth
Than natural affection.
Strife between strangers may go on forever,
But where it has bound once
The chain of love will always bind again.


(There was no entry five years ago today.)

A Hunger Artist

Franz Kafka's version (Ein Hungerkünstler, 1924).

David Blaine's version ('I'd like to go as far as I can').

July 2003

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