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Thursday, 18 March 2010

This Is Not a Pipe


March 16th. dawn by raworth.

A day will come when, by means of similitude relayed indefinitely along the length of a series, the image itself, along with the name it bears, will lose its identity.

File:London2007brighton img 5635.jpg

File:Hamisch Black Brightopn Afloat.jpg

Text: This is Not a Pipe (excerpt): Michel Foucault, 1968

March 16th, dawn: photo by Tom Raworth, 2010
Brighton: photo by Gürkan Sengün, 2007
Afloat (Brighton): Hamish Black, 2009: photo by Kelly McCarthy, 2009


Curtis Roberts said...

Exposure (which I could and should limit, but don't) to all sides of the 24-hour news cycle is having this precise effect on me. I've taken myself hostage. Getting away (to anywhere) would be good, I think. The influence of the photos, however, makes me want to choose Brighton.

TC said...


They are having the same effect on me. Here in California, the new Ukraine.

J said...

Foo-cault, eh.

Had MF his way, this wouldn't be just the Ukraine but an Ukraine gulag (or was it...concentration camp).

Nietzsche does fine sans the parisian-postmod interpretations

TC said...


If you dip into the archives you will see that this blog is meant to be a contemplative space in which images and words are framed in such a way as to quietly have a dialogue with each other.

Spinning off into your preconceived rankings of various authors may be of interest to you but it's not the point here.

Magritte is more relevant to this post than Nietzsche, anyway, for namedropping purposes. But I try in my mind to raise the bar a bit and get beyond the namedropping to fresh ways of viewing and thinking.

aylatan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aylatan said...

hey tom,

i posted a comment and deleted it because of a typo. If you already read it, i am repeating myself. aylatan is natalya spelled backwards.

just wanted to say that I liked your response to J. the images and words do dialogue with one another. really loved the quote and the photos.

TC said...

Thank you Evelyn. Of course I would know you anywhere, under any name, as unmistakeably yourself.

Very much appreciate your confirming that the word/image dialogue works for you.

True conversations, as we know, are so very hard to find. In any place, at any time.

(I tire very quickly of hearing myself talk.)

Mariana Soffer said...

Beautifull and interesting post. We always end up talking about that famous sentence in the surrealist picture said by foucalt. I was always fascinated by self-referencing stuff. I can ramble with the lier paradox in my mind for hours and hours and do not bore myself with that. "this is a lie"

TC said...


Many thanks, my dear.

As I've probably told you in one way or another more than once before: I am certain that if I had your mind I would never be bored.

("This is a lie".)


J said...

does that mean approve, or don't comment, TC?

I enjoy the images and writing for the most part (tho' not sure Magritte's famed "this is not a pipe" is a paradox ala the Liar, but about visual representation really--which is to say, yes, it's not a pipe, but a painting. So not very useful for a pipesmoker--unless perhaps he's an art thief, and fetches a Magritte...).

The point's more on eclecticism as a...movement. Do Ezra Pound and Foucault/postmods stand in the same room, or even gallery?? Ich denke nicht...

TC said...

Schools, movements, categories, teams, labels, captions, these are the stuff of sorting exercises. There are blogs where that sort of exercise never ceases. You probably know what they are. And by now you obviously know this is not one of them.

As to eclecticism, I hope to be open to the variousness of life. Which includes art and the life of the mind.

I do not crave approval. But like everybody else I do value my time. And I do not like wasting it on pointless disputation.

aditya said...

I googled around a little and read a little about the associations of Magritte and Warhol with this thought.

I like the thought and the accompanying pictures. By means of similitude .. a lot can happen.

I really like your manners and ways Tom, of measuring things up and discussing them on the earth. Not shooting arrows in the skies, and sending the fellows on a wild chase every now and then. I really admire this.

And that is the way it should remain.

TC said...


Thanks for noticing.

You have shown me that it is possible for a blogger to have manners.

Not an easy lesson, but one worth learning.