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Thunderbolt at the Controls
Heraclitus 500 B.C. by Mark Jickling
Thought you’d enjoy this video for poetic tumbling into Heraclitus. I do the voice for part 3, “Land of the Dead.”
Mark Jickling (of Half Japanese, Coo Coo Rockin’ Time, and Old Songs) put it all together. With Old Songs, he and poet/musician Chris Mason have long worked their own translations of ancient Greek poetry and - often with Liz Downing - set them to music. You can hear some of this work at PennSound: Old Songs
For a decade and a half now, Mark and Chris and I have engaged in recurrent agreeable discussions on ancient Greek writings and how we access them from a contemporary avant-garde vantage (this has been crucially indulgent of my ongoing obsession with Heraclitus1).
This video accentuates the lyricism of the fragments, with images (by Liz Downing, arranged by Jickling) in kaleidoscopic - entheogenic - striking - accompaniment.
“texts and translations by Mark Jickling” in four parts
I. Logos II. Soul's Journey III. Land of The Dead The soul is a spark of starfire. IV. Commentary
Music: Mark Jickling on Mexican telecaster; Don Peyton on bass and viola; Liz Downing with singing voice, and on banjo and xylophone; Chris (Batworth) Ciattei on drums and cymbals; Paul Jickling on silvertone danelectro.
Readings by Jose Padua, Liz Downing, and Magus Magnus
It’s been real…
Even if, according to Heraclitus, “the true nature of things tends to conceal itself.”
Yet, here I am in good company on the art gallery walls of a virtual reality space, thanks to editor William Allegrezza.
Or click on spatial.io directly or get the Spatial app and type in “Sixty Heights”
This space works best with a VR headset but is also functional through the website. Videos play when you click where indicated in the frames. I’m reading “Free Spirit for Kicks & Tricks” from my upcoming The Killing Joke.
... what's obscene what's art and politics what's propaganda and what overcomes propaganda pranks, Jackass sudden bursts of freedom and fighting for freedom practical freedom beyond...
It boggles the brain to sort through what’s real and what isn’t, what’s veiled by screens and goggles, the revealing and re-concealing, layers of the layers, what’s layered in the layers wtf, what can be peeled. Concealment and unconcealment.
What’s weirder for unraveling reality - visuals or texts? I stand by my instinct to keep calm in the midst of simulation, as I did a couple of weeks ago, Dear Reader - easy for me to say throwing pixelated/pixilated lightning from a safe, virtual space. Facts, this is a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy style “Don’t Panic!”: the debate rages on, in some quarters more rational at least than what you get just in the past few days from mainstream media entries about AI “theory-of-mind” evolution.2
We’re hearing reverberations from our own dank hollows, spooked by our own creaky voices, scaring ourselves with human nastiness seething all around us and then replicated iteratively. Soul-sparks remain in astral light.
Here to bring to your attention (once again or for the first time for new readers) my book on Heraclitus, Heraclitean Pride, which takes on all the fragments and ancient biographical testimony and, in experimental thought and play, re-creates his singular lost book understood to have been titled, “On Nature”; or, “The Universe.”
You can order it at Small Press Distribution: Heraclitean Pride
Cornell University, arXiv