Clueless Agency: Ward no gateman, draw on nametag,
pals spit peels, slap, tips, sleep & Clueless Agency: Cold Case
Artists: Ondřej Doskočil & Klára Švandová, Miloš Kurovský, Vojtěch Novák, Matyáš Maláč, Marek Delong & Anna Slama, Monika Kováčová, Jakub Choma, Maria Bingo
Curated by PGS Collective
An art exhibition is a crime scene in the sense that in a gallery, we spy with our little eye and try to discern texture from an object, divine the artist’s criminal motive, understand the setting and its dimensions in its complexity, to necessarily realise that there are clues that our crude senses simply don’t register. In this instance, we are invited to a routine inspection alongside the Clueless Agency and meet a private eye, who by his very nature exists only as a grey smudge with a coat for a contour. More than a human being, it seems, he is a tool to be used. PGS Collective – his literary author – understands this archetypal detective persona as a vessel – as fluid but also filled with fluid. As the story progresses, different amalgamations and venues will spawn different enemies and traces, as they repeatedly fill in the vessel with prompts and cultural concepts, so that we eventually collect their sediment and retroactively divine its history.
The advent of the detective genre in the late 19th century coincided with the questioning of social reality in which paranoia emerged as a psychiatric term. I think it provided a way to come to terms with the multiplicity and schizophrenia of urban life, its frenetic quest for elusive gratification, its smell of decay and grandeur, but mostly of armpit. The collective is renowned for hatching out off-site art events in such sites of decay, corners charged with mysterious energy, whether those may be inside burnt cabins, parks, or miniature mines. When enclosed for the first time in a white cube, of course, what follows is that they invade it, too, and build their environment from scratch (and successfully manage to spill over). And so we have a slab of architecture in front of us, with its boarded-up windows, a door leading up to another door, lamps that slowly melt and become one with vomit on the street – a campy Edwardian-era alley dropping acid. If the objects had a taste, it would be bitterly acidic, the kind that stays on your palate and, truth be told, is more of a lol than a haha.
- Lukas Hofmann
The in-between (second chapter from 'LEAD' an text of Noemi Purkrábková)
The system of well-ordered forms, regulated resemblances and analogy gives way to a demonic world of instability and constant transformation.
– Mark Fisher, Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism and Cybernetic Theory-Fiction
Heaven and hell are right here. Behind every wall, every window. The world behind the world, and we're smack in the middle.
– Constantine (dir. Francis Lawrence, 2005)
"You are a brave man," Ada told Babbage, "to give yourself wholly up to Fairy-Guidance!– I Advise you to allow yourself to be unresistingly bewitched..."
– Sadie Plant, Zeros and Ones
Despite the Victorian era being a time of unprecedented scientific and technological development, introducing many crucial inventions, curing deadly diseases, and literally illuminating the first chambers of some Victorian houses with electricity, there seemed to have (always) been something other, something overlooked, holding the hand of progress. As if the accelerating pace of industrial revolution, hastily assembling itself into modernity, grew a sneaky tail casting thick shadow over the triumphs of what we, both in casual speech and in philosophy, came to call “reason”. The smoky breath of steel machines surging from the spreading factories was shrouding something – a “fundamental chaos lurking in the tiny lawless spaces between things,” sheltering the growing belief in the paranormal, supernatural and occult.
There was a wide popular interest in diverse divination and fortune-telling practices, such as crystal-gazing, cartomancy, palmistry, tasseomancy and molybdomancy: a metalurgic divination which, ironically echoing a Victorian world that was increasingly chewed up by metal particles, predicts the future from strange shapes of molten lead quickly solidified after poured into cold water. As if all these new technological inventions were always giving birth to more than what the scientists could explain. The wide-spread belief in mesmerism, which proclaimed the existence of an “invisible, universally distributed fluid that flows continuously everywhere and serves as a vehicle for the mutual influence among heavenly bodies, the earth, and the living things”, along with electro-biology and spiritualism (of which the famous detective novel writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a great supporter), as well as the rise of many secret societies and orders (such as the famous Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, whose founder Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers co-authored Crowley’s aforementioned translation of The Lesser Key of Solomon), seemed to fight against the “enlightening” power of scientific reason. These forces were refusing to let new technologies and inventions be washed of their spirits, or to sterilize and formalize the space between the spinning wheels and organic tissue. Even Darwin’s evolutionary theory wasn’t spared its shadow twin, found in Samuel Butler’s anonymously published book Erewhon, depicting an inverted land with inverted name(s) – “Erewhon” being literally backwards-spelled “nowhere”, in which machines are believed to possess autonomous intelligence operating in large-scale systems using humans only as a temporary helping force on the path of an evolution of their own.
‘But who can say that the vapour engine has not a kind of consciousness? Where does consciousness begin, and where end? Who can draw the line? Who can draw any line? Is not everything interwoven with everything? Is not machinery linked with animal life in an infinite variety of ways?
– Samuel Butler, Erewhon (1872)
Moreover, the discovery of electricity “threw new light on the question of materiality itself, liquefying the boundary between matter and energy, solid structures and radiating forces, pulsations. The world became a beating heart, a space of circulating flows” that no-one could easily tame, foreseeing Karen Barad’s much later observation, that “ ‘[b]etween’ will never be the same.” One of the great enthusiasts of mesmerism and other practices exploring the flux of electro-magnetic forces passing through the body was a young woman called Ada, the countess of Lovelace. A daughter of mathematician Anna Isabella Milbanke and the poet G. G. Byron, she came to be known as “the Enchantress of Number” and as the author of what can be viewed as the very first computer algorithm collaborating on the development of the mechanical general-purpose computer Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.
Believing strongly in animal magnetism and using reasonable amounts of laudanum to moderate her shifting mental states, she embodied in many ways the marriage of reason and fantasy, science and poetry. She was trying to develop a "calculus of the nervous system", a theoretical model that would unite mathematics with feelings, hoping to elicit the contributions of famous physicist Michael Faraday and electrocrystallization pioneer Andrew Crosse (called "thunder and lightning man" for his explosive experiments). The latter became a controversial and highly mediated figure after reporting living insects being born out of the electricized crystals in his laboratory, for which he was said to have inspired Mary Shelly’s character of doctor Frankenstein, as she supposedly visited his lecture on “electricity, the gasses, and the phantasmagoria”. It was later found that Crosse’s samples were most likely contaminated with insect eggs. What was more than real is the amount of threatening letters Crosse received from people accusing him of trying to artificially create a living being – what a blasphemy! Some things just “make themselves real” one way or another.
There was without any doubt something strangely alive in the early experiments embroiling human, animal, and (in)organic objects, which filled the air with an arresting fragrance of “heresy of irrationalism in the post-Enlightenment era”. As if every step of “rational” science conjured a new ghost into being – congregating in our very homes, and no number of scientific refutations could exorcise them. The line of human skin is just too thin to separate any inside and outside from the flows of fluids, thoughts, emotions, and energies. As François J. Bonnet writes, spiritualism and other “pseudo-scientific” methodologies were not trying to access any separate world of the dead, but to “re-establish the unity” of worlds by “blurring the [very] material boundaries between bodies and things just as it blurred the threshold between the perceived world and the real world.”
There is an important lesson of unlearning even in paranormal tabloid stories and “Frankenstein’s insects”; it is a voice whispering into our ears, even while they wear Bluetooth earbuds, that vegetables may possess invisible forces, “machines receive their impressions through the agency of man’s senses” and that there perhaps remain “things that knowledge cannot eat” creeping from the ever-open gates of “the infra-world”: a shadowy realm not somewhere spatially beyond and behind, but very much inside, in between and within the supposedly organized and measurable “world of utility”.
- Noemi Purkrábková
or as: An excerpt from Noemi Purkrábková's '....' chapter II. The in-between
I whiff stale fries, bones that belonged to a deep fried chicken, and shame. Saturday Night Live autoplaying in the background, and Beauty and the Beast’s Miss Potts – the quirky teapot – has become – excuse my French – a cumdump. An infamous Polish director shot a softcore porn version of the fairy tale in 1975 and I can’t be bothered to watch but wonder if the objects were animated as in having an anima therefore watching them do it. Either way can’t help thinking of Belle and the Beast making out, you know, on a bed that’s alive.
leeds > northwest suburbs > personals > missed connections
U gave birth at Nando’s - m4w
Ur amniotic fluids burned my retina
As i helped with the forceps
U told me it was just pee, but i knew it was ur fluids and i loved it.
Get at me soon
Which is when I spit out my Ribena and close the tab. A spray of purple covers my footrest, i.e., my fetish slave as he absorbs the reverberation of my limbs. He’s mostly into being a puppy but likewise will let you rest your feet on him if he’s been a good boy. Got treats? When I get bored at home, watching telly, being paid 50 quid an hour for letting that poor soul be my tabouret, sometimes he confides in me in whispers what he’s researching at the moment in his History class. Apparently there were women – anchoresses – who chose to be walled into a cell to spend the rest of their life in prayer. I imagine every wall now has enough space to fit a person.
Wallet keys phone
Wallet keys phone
Wallet keys phone
Wallet keys phone
Wallet keys phone. is what I imagine myself as an anchoress contemplating on.
I was attempting to distill my own alcohol so I bought a kit online but apparently the concentration of the acidic powder that I’m using was wrong, so once the container filled up slowly, the sediment burnt a hole in the bottom.
In other news: An immunodeficient snake is slowly dying of its poison. It has a GoFundMe page now.
- Lukas Hofmann
Prvního Pluku 2, 186 00 Prague, Prague, Czech Republic