Category Archives: trinketization

Terrorism gone to pot (not that kind) #trinket #trinketisation #crimbo

Sophie keeps on finding pantomime crimbo trinkets – these one’s on special – mustn’t be selling so well.

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Trinkets in Critique of Exotica #trinketization

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trinkets in The Rumour of Calcutta #trinketization

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get it here: http://zedbooks.co.uk/node/13018

 

‘”hush now” you have your trinkets”‘ @rustyrockets

The little red book of Brand is being composed almost live (excerpt at will):

‘… a faraway land is silently ironed out from an Arizona call centre? The reality is we have more in common with the people we’re bombing than the people we’re bombing them for.’

Tipu Trinkets and speculative plunder

This passage from Maya Jasanoff’s book on colonial and East India Company collections, p 182 – it should be read alongside an earlier post on ‘Tipu’s slippers’, filched by Lady Clive and now in Powis Castle.

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Participation in Museums: Trinketizing the Audience.

Notes for Museum ‘debate’ in Liverpool on November 11.

There is much talk of participation and much effort to remodel foyers, and to an extent interiors, plus toilets, cafes, bookshops and websites, to enable easy access. Asked to be curmudgeon-esque, it seems clear to me that this participation-talk is pseudo-participation. Every participation seems the same, everything alike, repeated patterns, even colour schemes – so many pastels, and fluorescent red plastic chairs. Some of the chairs are little, for kids, or for breaking dad’s back.

How did it get to be that pseudo-participation rules? The dominant culture has no anxiety about having people walk past the exhibits, but do not let them touch you. File on by, stop perhaps for a second, for an hour, but only in a standardized way. Check the visit off on a list. Culture 101.

Nothing without regulation – aims and outcomes carefully calibrated on a planning form that no-one reads, inside a system dominated by the same malignant and parasitic bureaucracy that has overtaken health and education in the hyper-administration. The bureaucracy does not even administer anything today, just keeps the forms in circulation, and the school groups filing through the doors.

And it is this pseudo-routine that must be thoroughly tested. We must know our audience, using the very latest in dumbed-down questionnaires that even newspaper-selling leftist street-vendors would disavow except as props. This is not even market research – so long as the school groups keep on marching past in tight formation. Participation in the most bland formal sameness – Adorno pointed to a sexual lozenge at the heart of the culture industry, and for sure he also meant the museum as pseudo-education. Where everything should be clean. ‘Nothing should be moist’.

We are so far from education here except education as reinforced class privilege. Education is not a two-hour visit – give them 20 hours, even 20 weeks – and they must read in advance. Here cultural exposure is not instruction but packaged ‘culture’ – and education is not a social good, but ‘education’ as national programming. An articulated system for inculcating national ideology and the flat flat flat dissemination of British identity and imaginary pasts. Books in the bookshop on popular themes – tea, crockery, swords. The empty materials that can be rearranged for some groups to dominate others.

Because commodification is the new rule, just like the old one. Different levels according to price, knick-knacks or bespoke jewelry, a café and a bistro, a members room. The collection is sacrificed to the expansion of the foyer, the t-shirts and tote bags carry the branded museum like a picture on a mug. There is no room for the collection, but room aplenty for postcard reproductions. The collection is not a collection, not a research effort, not a scholarly project, but a beauty contest.

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Three props – a toy wooden horse, my gilt-edged copy of Arabian Nights, and a carved wooden Ganesh idol.

Participation cannot be a Trojan Horse, smuggling the old kings of the elite cloister into the pockets of a population plundered and left to rue the day. Participation is not a flash mob.

Neither should we rest with the admirable storytelling device of Scheherazade from the epic One Thousand and One Nights. She tells stories every night – Sinbad, Ali Baba, Aladdin – to ward off the threat of the despotic ruler Shahryar, and through her stories eventually she turns him to good. But insofar as this leaves the storyteller as the one with power, and the king in place, the population remains a distant audience, titillated, but fundamentally untouched. Great stories they are, but the structure of interrogation remains, she could be telling her stories to the despotic king, or in Guantanamo today to the CIA interrogators, or the national press. What she needs to do is teach others to tell stories, and this also takes time – perhaps 1001 nights, sometimes more, different in each case and not a blanket solution. Democracy is not an occasionally vote.

What if it were Ganesh that ran the museum. Tasked with writing down the epic Mahabharata – 100 thousand verses – as it was told by the sage Vyasa, Ganesh’s pencil wears down and in order to keep transcribing he snaps off his tusk and dips it in ink to continue. He is the patron of all studious soles, dedicated to a popular scholarship, unending. He is not an occasional visitor on a joy ride.

What we need perhaps is the best of all three of these figures. Enticement into the museum, by horse if need be, then good stories that undo the games of dominant power, and a celebration of scholarship that is not just a two-hour visit, but a lifelong commitment. Museums might be this. With these patrons.

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Stagnation and iPhone 5c #iphone #speed #trinket

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With no real movement in the austerity capital that was imposed through fear, the iPhone candy coloured stagnation dream baby is the must have trinket for go-nowhere fast slow capital. Trillions could be invested but is sitting idle waiting for finance market opportunities that will not arise, bonus culture keeps a fraction of the ruling class in clover, but forced austerity for the rest all keeps the squeeze on what might otherwise be a full employment economy. Full employment would mean no leverage and threat on jobs, no need to dangle shiny baubles of distraction before those with false spending power future credit/debt and no need to manufacture a proto-fascist military policing at home and abroad to keep the peace pieces. Your trinket is the symbol of a stalled and broken system, afeared of development because Chinese and Russian capital would swoop, afeared of employment because the demand would soon not just be for a 1940s style welfare compact but root and branch transformation, afeared because its clear, from August 2011 for example, that the facade of Olympic glory, new sports channels and iPhone video streaming will not be firewall enough to contain the coming revolt. The iPhone five is the shiny bauble of a frozen momentum, a deep coloured snow globe of ice where we will be thinking of fire. Light up folks, light it up.

written on my mnemotechnical retentional device baby
#iphone #speed #pantomime #trinket

Structure

theme – trinket – introduction

repetition of theme – short version, long version, large and small

relation to whole

specificity

transitions, incidental

development – fate – of theme as it changes

repetitions – in different registers

rhythm, tempo, volume, intensity

reversal, dynamic, relation of components, inversion of same

further development of the whole, structure as anagram of specificity

differential overall structures and framing

being able to locate each element in the overall context

asymmetry, exceptions, incommensurables

 

 

Trinketization thrives

Trinketization thrives on allegorical storytelling, like an old anthropologist telling once again the story of the masquerades seen as a critique of colonial power. Or rather, trinketization would be this allegory if it were enamoured only with the fetish and not something like analogy, symbol, metaphor, synecdoche, hyperbole and irony (hat tip Don Miller).

195 trinketization

Each miniature sculpture, which stands less than a meter (3.3 feet) tall,...

DPA

“Four shades of red: To honor Karl Marx’ 195th birthday, artist Ottmar Hörl set 500 of these sculptures up throughout the philosopher’s hometown of Trier, a city in western Germany near the border with Luxembourg. The different shades are reportedly meant to suggest that Marxism can be interpreted in more than one way.

Political artist Ottmar Hörl captured headlines from away from his hometown of Nuremberg in 2009 when he created garden gnomes performing Nazi salutes. And now he’s back to making what he hopes will be another controversial statement.

Each miniature sculpture, which stands less than a meter (3.3 feet) tall, portrays Marx in the exact same pose, but in different shades of red. “I want to inspire pedestrians to think about Karl Marx in a different way,” Hörl explains while his installation is being set up next to Trier’s historic Roman city gate, Porta Nigra, adding that the German philosopher has often been misinterpreted.”

HT Karen, – from:  Philosopher as Farce: Artist Immortalizes Marx as Garden Gnome  Sebastian Hammelehle

Note 33

Trinketization is both a reductive appropriation of everything to commodification, as if that were somehow the fully articulated explanation;

AND

Trinketization is the proliferation of theorizations of that commodity desiccation that atomises a paralyzingly abundant fascination and desire

Trinketization Dream Job

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Trinketization with respect to Benjamin’s obsessions with kitsch – mediation between magic and positivism

… with respect to Benjamin’s obsessions with kitsch: Adorno writes to Benjamin trying to wean him from his trinket mania, get him to sort out the Arcades, and get him on a boat to New York. Along the way (I think) he invents the theory of trinketization. Keen to affirm his institutional solidarity with Benjamin, Adorno is careful not to insist on any orthodox version of Marxism, but he also warns against an abdication from Marxist theory:

“The impression which your entire study conveys – and not only to me with my Arcades orthodoxy – is that you have here done violence upon yourself. Your solidarity with the Institute, which pleases no-one more than myself, has led you to pay the kind of tributes to Marxism which are appropriate neither to Marxism nor to yourself. Not appropriate to Marxism because the mediation through the entire social process is missing and because of a superstitious tendency to attribute to mere material enumeration a power of illumination which really belongs to theoretical construction … you have denied yourself your boldest and most fruitful ideas through a kind of pre-censorship in accordance with materialist categories (which by no means correspond to Marxist ones)” (Adorno to Benjamin 10 November 1938, Benjamin/Adorno 1994/1999: 284).

This suggests that Benjamin was merely coquetting with the forms of Marxist theory and not thinking them through – coquetting is Marx’s diminutive word in Capital for where he used the language and style of Hegel, in an analysis that went well beyond Hegel, see the Forward to Marx 1867/1967. On Adorno’s reading – of the draft – Benjamin might be confirmed as ‘the [nice, harmless, cute, ‘bad’] Marxist that you could take home to meet your mother’ (as someone, I forget who, once said). Adorno is teasing and pushing him to be more inventive and rigorous with his connections – all at the same time. And it is connections to which he is attuned, noting:

“a close connection between those places where your essay falls behind its own a priori and its relationship to dialectical materialism … Let me express myself in as simple an Hegelian manner as possible. Unless I am very much mistaken, your dialectic is lacking in one thing: mediation” (Adorno to Benjamin 10 November 1938, Benjamin/Adorno 1994/1999:282).

Mediation then would be the theorization of connections between the ‘mere’ material observations and fascinations of the Arcades, of the baubles that interest the flaneur, of the observations of the analyst, and of the notations of the writer – mediation is the vehicle of analysis. Adorno marks this as a phantasmagorical and mystical error:

“Your ‘anthropological’ materialism ‘harbours a profoundly romantic element … The ‘mediation’ which I miss and find obscured by materialistic-historiographical evocation, is simply the theory which your study has omitted. But the omission of theory affects the empirical material itself” (Adorno to Benjamin 10 November 1938, Benjamin/Adorno 1994/1999:283).

At pains not to offend his friend, but also careful to call for something more, Adorno rephrases the same point again and again:

“To express this another way: the theological motif of calling things by their names tends to switch into the wide-eyed presentation of mere facts. If one wanted to put it rather drastically, one could say your study is located at the crossroads of magic and positivism. This spot is bewitched. Only theory could break this spell – your own resolute and salutarily speculative theory. It is simply the claim of this theory that I bring against you here” (Adorno to Benjamin 10 November 1938, Benjamin/Adorno 1994/1999:283).

It might be too easy to score credits here on some biographical outcomes chart (a research assessment exercise) as Adorno goes on to write The Dialectic of Enlightenment with Horkheimer, while Benjamin ends up sitting bleary-eyed far too long in the cafés of Marseilles, and finally does not make it over the mountain. But the suitcase he carries is lost and we do not know if these prods in the direction of theory had recast the manuscript. A terrible gap.

Trinkets in Camps

Doc Richard Iveson is a harvester of obscure snippets and curios, none escape his ability to comb through the detritus of philosophy for gems to hold up to the gloaming (apols to Benjamin and Kracauer):

Hi John. I’m in the middle of writing a paper on Catherine Malabou and along
the way I came across an unusual use of the word “trinket” which (if
you don’t already know) I thought you might find interesting -
according to Wolfgang Sofsky (in ‘The Order of Terror’), in the Nazi
concentration camp at Ravensbruck (a women’s camp), the prisoners who
were beyond any possibility of surviving (i.e. the ‘Muselmanner’) were
known as ‘trinkets’. Odd, but provocative, don’t you think?

Trinketization for beginners

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Been thinking about trinkets in songs.

Been thinking about trinkets in songs.  I present two stellar
examples, complete with youtube links.

‘In a small far room the bed is set
With trinkets all surrounding
Yet alone it rests, so dry it sets
With souls aside abiding’

Palace Music, ‘We All, Us Three, Will Ride’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkvctVZcO4E

‘I crept into a box of mesmerising trinkets
and I probably shouldn’t think it
and I don’t so now I do’

Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard, ‘And I Don’t (So Now I Do)’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akobg_E0N48

Trinkets: always plural.  Always something that surrounds or
mesmerises, that one must enter…

Thanks Morgan Daniels

Olympiss Trinkisss

including a snowglobe to freeze the heart of Walter Benjamin: thanks Sophie-trinkspotter

Orientally yours

A new blog by Karen Tam updates trinketization, but with Chinese characteristics: http://orientallyyours.tumblr.com/

An example of her interests would be this scenario below by British photographer Grace Lau, but Karen’s own opium dens and faked antiquities are treasures themselves.

Website: www.karentam.ca

Other Blog: Pumpkin Sauce

Photograph booth, and photo, by Grace Lau

Trinket of The Week in Iran

The Lede - The New York Times News Blog

January 17, 2012, 4:48 PM

Iran Offers U.S. Tiny Replica of Lost Drone

By ROBERT MACKEY
Scale models of an American drone are now on sale in Iran.Scale models of an American drone are now on sale in Iran.

While Iran’s government has so far refused an American request to return the C.I.A. stealth drone it captured last month, on Tuesday, an Iranian company that is manufacturing miniature replicas of the drone in several colors offered to send President Obama a pink one.

According to Iranian state radio, the scale models of the drone are one-eightieth the size of the RQ-170 Sentinel surveillance craft Iran’s military proudly displayed on television last month after it either crashed or was forced down.

Thomas Erdbrink, a Washington Post correspondent in Tehran, reports that a local firm, the Ayeh Art Group, is now making 2,000 toy drones a day. Reza Kioumarsi, an official with the firm, told Mr. Erdbrink that since Mr. Obama said he wanted the drone back, “we will send him one.”

The souvenir aircraft retails for about $4, but, like the commemorative “Justice Coin” that Americans can now buy to celebrate the Navy Seal mission that killed Osama bin Laden, the purchase price includes bonus gifts. According to the Ayeh Art Group Web site, the toy drone comes with a plastic stand bearing the slogan, “We will put America under our feet,” a quotation from the founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

An Iranian cartoon mocking President Obama.An Iranian cartoon mocking President Obama.

An Iranian Web site displaying more images of the toy drones also features an animation mocking Mr. Obama for losing the surveillance aircraft. The cartoon shows a caricature of the American president enjoying a ride on a drone, until it is taken over and forced to land by an Iranian officer holding what looks like an old-fashioned Nintendo game controller. (While the United States claims that the drone malfunctioned and crashed, Iran insists that its military wrested away control of the aircraft and brought it in for a landing.)

Readers interested in securing one of the toy drones can check Mr. Erdbrink’s Twitter feed on Wednesday, when he plans to give away 10 to winners of a quiz.

Kate Murdoch’s home trinkets. Collections and dust. No time like the archive. Get rid of them!

Keeping it together, in two parts (I’ve excerpted the first part and a bit of the second, but lost all the pics which you should see). This is from Artists Talking project blog. These ‘works’ and words seem to touch elegantly on the problems, and pleasures, of trinketization. We just don’t have the time to sort and reflect. I especially like the observations about ‘dust collectors’: from here. via #rosalinddavis

Keeping it Together, by Kate Murdoch

# 1 [20 November 2011]
I spent the summer taking a long hard look at the amount of stuff I have accumulated over the years. To put it into context, I have a lifetime collection of stuff – a lot of stuff! There’s a lot of me

Kate Murdoch, 'Dust Collectors'. in those collections; my life in boxes – books, objects, photographs, memories of places, people, good times, not so good times – my past, secreted away.
It’s been dotted around various parts of SE London over the past five years or so following a house move, in the attics and garages of sympathetic family and friends. My former home had a large attic and an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy took over – I squirrelled it all away. I always knew I was going to do something with my collection one day and my long term aim has been (and still is!) to have it all in one space – essentially, keeping it together.
Slowly, the boxes found their way into my studio and the unravelling of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions began. My focus over this past summer was sorting through them. Deciding what to keep versus what to get rid of became the order of many long hot sunny days. I even managed to visit and donate the book ‘Something I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You’ to The Museum Of Broken Relationships – now that felt constructive!
I always knew when I moved into my latest studio that time there was limited – however as ongoing talks and negotiations with the landlords came to an abrupt end some three weeks or so ago, we were given less than 48 hours to leave the premises. A community of artists was ripped apart and has had to find ways of coping with an upsetting & unsettling time. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – in one way or another, we’ve all been hurting.
I’ve taken solace in stacks of Bunty, Judy, Photo Love and other 1960-80s annuals from the book shelves at home. A therapist might say I’m subconsciously seeking out a happy ending … perhaps I am? I have no doubt however about how the recent chaos has forced me to focus on what’s important – what to keep, what not to keep in all senses of the word has raised its head once more and I’m left questioning again what it is that’s important. The boxes are stacked in a self-storage unit, I’m not even sure what’s in some of them or if the stuff has any relevance to my life as it is now. But I do know that it costs money to keep them there.
Keeping It Together is the start of my journey as a studioless artist. Where do I go from here? Where do I and my ‘stuff’, both literally and metaphorically, fit in? Where will I re-establish my practice and where will I feel more at home, both within myself and in relation to others?

Read the rest of it HERE

and if you don’t follow that link, the dust collecters are:

”Dust Collectors’ was started and completed as a symbol of what in real life my art materials are doing – collecting dust in a self-storage unit in deepest Deptford. ‘Dust Collectors’ is also representative of the reaction from those who have never understood the habit of collecting; those who consider anything not being used in a home as superfluous and unnecessary – ‘bloomin’ dust collectors – get rid of them!’


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