Thursday, March 24, 2011

ballard liz taylor quotes and thoughts



Simon Sellars has collated some Ballard Taylor quotes http://www.ballardian.com/rip-elizabeth-taylor-a-ballardian-primer

some of the quotes + comments below

"As Catherine Austin walked around the converted gymnasium these bizarre images, with their fusion of Eniwetok and Luna Park, Freud and Elizabeth Taylor, reminded her of the slides of exposed spinal levels in Travis’s office." - Ballard (elizabeth taylor as media spinal nerve - her absence is not so much an option of mourning the foreign as it is an evisceration of posthuman dependance - the eniwetok Marshall Island h-bomb site (technical tragedy) is paired with the Paris fun fair luna park (technical banality) - likewise freud (representational tragedy) is paired with taylor (representational banality) - the saturated technical stimuli where technique and representation collapse together, as do the tragic and banal)

media death is no death at all - it is in fact a kind of catastrophist (re-evoking the pre-Darwinian evolutionary stance - rehashed in different garb by the likes of gould) intensification - a whole new and more pervasive form of life becomes instantaneously possible - mourning is not a function of memory and tradition, but of technical fetishism - the seeming exactitude of documents preclude present interpretation, replacing legend with subjective eliminativism ("actual" ontology becomes more object-associated)


"the jutting balconies of the Hilton Hotel have become identified with the lost gill-slits of the dying film actress, Elizabeth Taylor."

"The presiding deity of their lives, the film actress provided a set of operating formulae for their passage through consciousness."

consciousness, or mind, here is located in the media and its images

"In some way Travis would attempt to relate his wife’s body, with its familiar geometry, to that of the film actress, quantifying their identities to the point where they became fused with the elements of time and landscape."

"The planes of their lives interlocked at oblique angles, fragments of personal myths fusing with the commercial cosmologies."

"Query: at what point does the plane of intersection of two cones become sexually more stimulating than Elizabeth Taylor’s cleavage?"

"Query: does the plane of intersection of the body of this woman in my room with the cleavage of Elizabeth Taylor generate a valid image of the glazed eyes of Chiang Kai Shek, an invasion plan of the offshore islands?"

geometry and battle plans are compared with an objectification of the starlet - the body is prepackaged in objectification, indistinguishable from other objects - in the equalisation of objectivity, the erotic (and war-violence) is universally substitutional

"the body of a screen actress like Elizabeth Taylor, which one sees on thousands of cinema hoardings, thousands of advertisements every day, and on the movie screen itself, her body is a real landscape. It is as much a real landscape of our lives as any system of mountains or lakes or hills or anything else."

a technical landscape has no fundamental differentiation of its forms - for ballard this so often seems to unify the field in the erotic (and violent) - taylor's body becoming a sort of any-landscape or generalized landscape for a given period - an image both severely objectified (fittingly for the screen image) and universalized in an inhuman manner (that is, landscapes do not necessarily have humans, nor are they dependant on them for their existence)