pencil in sketchbook, a5, 2012

[conceptual and contemporary. as control words.]

where capitol is held in reserve credit is used however if you were to take your five pound note to the bank of england (or the queen) to exchange for the equivalent in whichever mineral is favoured as our standard, they will laugh at you, possibly have you beaten. capitol is energy, energy which can be valued; by say (for the sake of argument) gold. food is energy, the work you put into growing the food is energy, maintenance is energy – the direct application of energy is capitol but it is not worth a penny. capitol is not worth money unless it is conceptualised as product i.e. someone is willing to buy it or someone with a ‘name’ is willing to endorse it

i have not mentioned resources or technology.

resources are finite – though they fall into categories of ‘very finite’ and ‘finite / sustainable’. the first category, for example coal, will require an ever expanding and massively increasing amount of energy to claim it from – wherever it is it comes from – earth perhaps and that energy

remember the second rule of thermodynamics. the one science fiction is constantly inventing new ways of breaking, or ignoring. of energy transformed from one state to another some energy will become unavailable for work. the more energy consumed the more is ‘lost’. the more difficult it is to claim oil or coal the more energy is expended in extracting it and the higher the entropy.

whereas ‘finite / sustainable’ requires more work-as-energy than finite does resources-and-work-in-massive-quantities-as-energy. just so we are clear.

then of course you have ownership of resources which is a conceptual energy source but the only one which has value in our economy – the only thing which everyone will accept as ‘hard’ currency. paper currency is based on ‘ownership’ the value of the item is equal to the value of the paper the credit market will stretch the estimate of both paper and item until… neither have value. so coal will become more expensive to extract than it’s value on the market – the energy put in is more than the energy to be taken. but due to clever currency exchange, clever investment, clever speculation, clever brutalising of competition, there are people expecting to make vast profits from it

profits are currency and profits are power and also authority, and these are energy that have to come from somewhere. authority is the awesome actuality that the system exists – the contemporary system – the system we all contribute towards because that is currently the state we exist in i.e. these are the forces acted upon us, the forces which we must (because they are) reinforce.

Exert. The House of the Dead or Prison Life in Siberia by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


“It mattered nothing to him that his exactions made the men rebellious. For such offenses there were suitable punishments (there are some people who reason in this way), and with these rascals of convicts there was nothing to do but to treat them very severely, deal with them strictly according to law. These incapable executants of the law did not in the least understand that to apply the law without understanding its spirit is to provoke resistance. They are quite astonished that, in addition to the execution of the law, good sense and a sound head should be expected from them. The last condition would appear to them quite superfluous; to require such a thing is vexatious, intolerant.”


The House of the Dead or Prison Life in Siberia by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


Now the hypnosis of the classic — that what we call intelligence is only an expression of inequilibrium; that when mental adjustments are made, intelligence ceases — or, of course, that intelligence is the confession of ignorance. If you have intelligence upon any subject, that is something you’re still learning — if we agree that that which is learned is always mechanically done — in quasi-terms, of course, because nothing is ever finally learned.

Charles Fort, Book of the Damned.

watercolour on paper. 297 × 420 mm, 2012


It wasn’t the New World that mattered … Columbus died almost without seeing it; and not really knowing what he had discovered. It’s life that matters, nothing but life — the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all. But what’s the use of talking! I suspect that all I’m saying now is so like the usual commonplaces that I shall certainly be taken for a lower-form schoolboy sending in his essay on “sunrise”, or they’ll say perhaps that I had something to say, but that I did not know how to “explain” it. But I’ll add, that there is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one’s idea for thirty-five years; there’s something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas. But if I too have failed to convey all that has been tormenting me for the last six months, it will, anyway, be understood that I have paid very dearly for attaining my present “last conviction.” This is what I felt necessary, for certain objects of my own, to put forward in my “Explanation”. However, I will continue.

The Idiot by Dostoevsky.

watercolour on paper, 210 × 297 mm, 2012

THE MAJOR – From Dostoyevsky

He sometimes fell like a bombshell into the barracks in the middle of the night. If he noticed a prisoner asleep on his back or his left side, he awoke him and said to him: “You must sleep as I ordered!” The convicts detested him and feared him like the plague. His repulsive, crimson countenance made every one tremble. We all knew that the Major was entirely in the hands of his servant Fedka, and that he had nearly gone mad when his dog “Treasure” fell ill. He preferred this dog to every other living creature.

When Fedka told him that a convict, who had picked up some veterinary knowledge, made wonderful cures, he sent for him directly and said to him, “I entrust my dog to your care. If you cure ‘Treasure’ I will reward you royally.” The man, a very intelligent Siberian peasant, was indeed a good veterinary surgeon, but he was above all a cunning peasant. He used to tell his comrades long after the affair had taken place the story of his visit to the Major. “I looked at ‘Treasure,’ he was lying down on a sofa with his head on a white cushion. I saw at once that he had inflammation, and that he wanted bleeding. I think I could have cured him, but I said to myself, ‘What will happen if the dog dies? It will be my fault.’ ‘No, your noble highness,’ I said to him, ‘you have called me too late. If I had seen your dog yesterday or the day before, he would now be restored to health; but at the present moment I can do nothing. He will die.’ And ‘Treasure’ died.”

I was told one day that a convict had tried to kill the Major. This prisoner had for several years been noticed for his submissive attitude and also his silence. He was regarded even as a madman. As he possessed some instruction he passed his nights reading the Bible. When everybody was asleep he rose, climbed up on to the stove, lit a church taper, opened his Gospel and began to read. He did this for an entire year. One fine day he left the ranks and declared that he would not go to work. He was reported to the Major, who flew into a rage, and hurried to the barracks. The convict rushed forward and hurled at him a brick, which he had procured beforehand; but it missed him. The prisoner was seized, tried, and whipped–it was a matter of a few moments–carried to the hospital, and died there three days afterwards. He declared during his last moments that he hated no one; but that he had wished to suffer. He belonged to no sect of fanatics. Afterwards, when people spoke of him in the barracks, it was always with respect.

An exert taken from The House of the Dead or Prison Life in Siberia by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

cells / sarcasm

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

Lewis Caroll, ‘Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There.’


i’ve been looking for writing on memory in our cells. and thinking with our organs, not just the brain. today i mostly found sarcasm.


watercolour on paper, a3, 2012