31.3.14

BHQFU Week #8 Martha Schwendener & Vilém Flusser...


For week 8 we read VAMPYROTEUTHIS INFERNALIS written by Vilém Flusser & Louis Bec.  There were two reasons why I loved Vampyroteuthis Infernalis. One was for it's ability to create perfect patterns of words and sentences that created the most fantastic imagery available. For example;

"...the vampyroteuthic conflation of mouth and anus, along with its extraordinarily sopisticated sex life (three penises), should represent the zenith of life's development: the triumph of love over death - permanent orgasm."

When an author quite seriously discusses life in this manner is there really anything more interesting?  Most of these details about the creature are not facts, but here's another good one. 

"The male has three penises, each with a different function.  The penis proper is a flexible tube that contains spermatophores and penetrates into the female orifice.  Once inside, its tip detaches and moves alongside the ovary, where it deposits spermatozoa and dies.  This detachable tip regenerates after each act of coitus.  The second, spoon-shaped penis moves between the teeth of the female's tongue, stimulating ovulation and the excretion of specific hormones.  The third, thumb-shaped penis caresses the female abdomen during copulation.  Its physiological function is unclear, but outside of copulation it actively feels the environment.  If only we could grasp the world with a penis."

If only. The second reason I loved this text, was because Vampy became one giant metaphor that Flusser used to talk about life.  Martha Schwendener is writing her dissertation about Flusser, so it was great to hear her explain how amazing he was.  One comment Schwendener made that caught my attention was how she stated that Academics were about expertise and Art is about asking questions. Schwendener, who writes about art for the New York Times, makes a good point in this however I'm not really a fan of describing Art that way.  Mostly I feel artists who ask only questions can be a little too fearful to present real solutions to the questions their posing.  Schwendener also mentioned that the art world is in love with academia right now, which is historically bizarre, and I can't help but agree. What will work look like when the art world falls out of love with Academia?  Who knows. 

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