COLUMNS

  • Diamond Cutter

    SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE YEARS AND SEVEN DAYS AGO, in the city of Norwich, a recluse named Julian beheld the whole of creation in the palm of her hand, in an orb the size of a hazelnut. It was here that W.G. Sebald taught for forty years, at the University of East Anglia, and where, in the opening pages of The Rings of Saturn, we find him prostrate in a hospital room—and then standing at the window there—having collapsed a year and a day after a summer’s walk across the county of Suffolk.

    I am writing you from my office at UEA, where, rereading The Rings of Saturn, I seemed to smell the rising

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  • Man of the People

    THE TERM ARTIST’S ARTIST means an artist who is a good food source for other artists. It also suggests an unconscious and/or brave level of subjectivity that is implicit within the meaning of, but rarely lives up to, the word artist. Artist’s artists signal their value to other artists not just through their stubborn individuality, but also through their ways of producing art that seem so particular that, whether one likes their work or not, there is life before it and life after it. To refer to Michelangelo as an artist’s artist could be seen as absurd, as he is everyone’s artist, but it’s not

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  • Cassils

    MAKE NO MISTAKE: Cassils’s work comes from rage. PISSED, the centerpiece of their exhibition “Monu-mental”at Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York this past autumn, testifies to that anger. Exhibited as a massive glass cube containing two hundred gallons of the artist’s urine surrounded by the containers used to collect and carry it, PISSED addressed a transgender political struggle via a formal language at once confrontational and uncompromisingly austere.The work was sparked by the Trump administration’s spiteful, reactionary decision to rescindan Obama-era executive order that endorsed the rights

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  • Jasmina Cibic’s NADA trilogy

    IN HIS LEGENDARY German pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe kept his spaces bare, pairing prototypes of the celebrated Barcelona chair and matching stool he designed with Lilly Reich with one other object: Der Morgen, Georg Kolbe’s 1925 sculpture of the goddess of dawn, which was reverently stationed on a small pedestal in one of the two reflecting pools flanking the building. This juxtaposition of high-modernist design and the classical female nude would become a recurring motif within Mies’s interiors, with coquettish statuettes from colleagues

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  • SUNRISE: January 30, 2018

    Forsake thy cage, 

                 Thy rope of sands, 

    Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee 

    Good cable, to enforce and draw, 

              And be thy law, 

    While thou didst wink and wouldst not see. 

    —George Herbert, “The Collar”

    AT 11:41 AM EST, THE MOON MAKES ITS LAST ASPECT IN CANCER, an opposition to Mercury in Capricorn, to go Void-of-Course over lunchtime 'til she enters Leo at 1:53 PM. 

    This interval is a wonderful opportunity to be silent, or at the very least to slow down your speech (Mercury in Capricorn) and train your inner dialogue on your heart of hearts.

    Mercury will enter

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  • SUNRISE: January 29, 2018

    fer dans notre coeur (St. John Perse, in a poem I haven’t read in a decade, which I might be misquoting, which I might have invented)

    I'M THINKING ABOUT THE BLUE BLOOD that flows through the heart of the queens and kings of the jungle, the blue interiors of your body, the blue light that spreads behind your eyelids when you’ve seen too much sun. When light is suddenly thrown on you after an accustomed darkness: the blue-white of the shock. The blue haze that hovers around the Alps in real life, making them resemble old photographs of themselves: because that haze is the exact blue hue of decomposing

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  • SUNRISE: January 26, 2018

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MANY, A GREAT MANY SENSED THEIR—BUT I DON’T WANT TO USE THE WORD INCOMPLETENESS. A certain discontinuity in themselves, an opening, a sense that somehow between their skeletons and the flesh there was work to be done, a sense of something insufficiently-come-into-being—not merely the personality, but something else. I think they felt this from the very beginning.

    And I suppose the old sages filled this space with breath, which carried God, I guess, to every cell of the body—commanded God back into the flesh: a kind of mystic remarriage after the necessary divorce

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  • SUNRISE: January 25, 2018

    SORRY I'M LATE. I'm on a plane. Woke up to coyotes laughing like emphysemic old ladies, rattling their teacups, rattling their big costume jewelry. Orion's Belt was so frank in my dull city eye, like the silver belts studded with fake turquoise they sell at the airport under glass: sometimes it's hard to believe how much you're allowed to have for free you find yourself paying for the knockoff. Being A Parody Of Heaven, a memoir. The virility of “3.” Mercury sextile Jupiter in Scorpio today should have you feeling a little clearer and less freaked out/grossed out by some of the old yous and

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  • SUNRISE: January 24, 2018

    THE MOON entered Taurus at 8:41 AM EST squaring the Pluto-Mercury conjunction in Capricorn, forming a trine to Saturn in Capricorn, inconjunct Mars toward the end of his run through Scorpio. This is a day for forensics. The Moon attains First Quarter stage at 5:20 PM EST: this represents the first parry, or the first big question put to what you seeded at the New Moon. The seed of the Capricorn New Moon is turning and, to quote Huey Newton, “contradictions are the ruling principle of the universe:” ambition and executive capacity meet an audit both practical and spiritual today.

    1. To find the

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  • SUNRISE: January 23, 2018

    OBVIOUSLY I KEEP WANTING TO BREAK MY NDA.

    Obviously I have been wanting to do this for years. I have discussed it with editors, with journalists, I have discussed it with myself, I have taken up fiction in the dark, I have “hid my face in a crowd of stars,” I have found so many ways to hide my rage in universal currents and found ways to channel my pedagogy into the stars, about which I have only a beginner’s knowledge, because I want to give, and because I was born to give, and because I have tried to work outside of the ordinary delivery systems of power and knowledge as long as I’ve lived,

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  • SUNRISE: January 22, 2018

    I WATCHED TWO HAWKS overtake each other in the rising light and ordered another plate of bread and butter. Snow was crisping on the ground, flocked here and there by spikes of blackened grass, like an ancient man’s early beard. I’d promised to research accidents, because a friend of a friend was killed in one last week.

    Uranus was Saturn’s father; Saturn was the father of Jupiter. Uranus was long visible to the naked eye, but was taken for a star, not a planet, until Sir William Herschel announced, in 1781, that he’d been observing what he initially took to be a comet without a tail, but which

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