Berfrois

May 2011

‘After negotiating a maze of passageways Berners-Lee delivers me at the door of Noam Chomsky’

‘After negotiating a maze of passageways Berners-Lee delivers me at the door of Noam Chomsky’

MIT in Second Life From The Guardian: Before my tour of MIT ends I am given a taste of what this astonishing abundance of riches means in practice. In the space of half an hour I enjoy the company – in the flesh and spacially – of three of...

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“I heard the runners got a little restless”

“I heard the runners got a little restless”

Barkley Marathon, 2009, Michael Hodge From The Believer: On the western edge of Frozen Head State Park, just before dawn, a man in a rust brown trench coat blows a giant conch shell. Runners stir in their tents. They fill their water pouches. They tape their blisters. They eat...

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The Ultimate Rose

The Ultimate Rose

Plucking the Red and White Roses in the Old Temple Gardens, Henry Arthur Payne, 1908 From Times Literary Supplement: The rose was made for symbolism, metaphor, allusion. Its beautiful flowers – in the wild, each bearing the symbolically charged number of five petals – bloom alongside vicious thorns. Sight,...

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Freewheelin’

Freewheelin’

Matt Bors, 2007 by David Hayes The most influential and original musician of the 1960s generation remains a figure of protean creativity half a century on. The wealth of attention devoted to Bob Dylan as he reaches his 70th birthday is testament to a career of astonishing range. It...

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Back to the Arcades

Back to the Arcades

by Richard Prouty At one point as I was writing my doctoral dissertation on Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project I jokingly suggested to my dissertation advisor that I should leave the project unfinished, just like the Arcades Project itself. “Ah, the mimetic fallacy!” he responded. That ended the conversation. His...

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There will inevitably come a point when photorealism in videogames reaches its zenith. But what happens after that point is achieved?

There will inevitably come a point when photorealism in videogames reaches its zenith. But what happens after that point is achieved?

Visual Games: Photorealism in Crisis | by Kyle Chayka,

Kill Screen

In certain corners of the world of Super Mario 64, there are graphical glitches that turn a seemingly solid space into a splintered chaos of polygons...

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Keep the Red Textbook Flying

Keep the Red Textbook Flying

Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels Statue, Berlin, AC-50D by Christina Morina Socialism is an old idea. The ideas and movements that can be subsumed under the term, encompassing a plethora of radical or moderate shades, have shaped the course of human history over the last two hundred years. One could argue...

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Why Elif Batuman doesn’t read reviews

Why Elif Batuman doesn’t read reviews

by Elif Batuman Let’s say you’re writing a book.  Every day you get up and think about it and work on it and change it. Then, at some more-or-less arbitrary point (I didn’t realize before I published a book how arbitrary this point is), it’s taken away from you...

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Eugenia Herbert on Julia Margaret Cameron

The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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Jason S. Polley: Prawns

The suburbs, aka first-world neighborhoods, are present via their conspicuous near visual absence in 2009’s District 9, a film focusing on an increasingly disorderly...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

Is Dark Souls II the crowning rebirth of Gothic Romance for the digital age? I'm being dramatic, I realize. The spirit of Gothic has...

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Michael Munro
A Quotation and Provocation by Michael Munro

The teleology of the Universe is directed to the production of Beauty. That is the opening line of the text, its first thesis. It’s...

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Menachem Feuer
Menachem Feuer: Schlemiels

As human beings we have to “court” failure. This term suggests two things: on the one hand, it suggests dating and becoming intimate with...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie with James Franco

Every day after that, I stood outside The Italian Restaurant on Fourteenth Street until it closed. I didn’t even smoke. The guy from The...

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Henry Giardina
Henry Giardina: Furrows and Hollows

There’s an oft-quoted line out of Candide that goes, “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I have never fallen...

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Ashley James
Ashley James: Personhood

It seemed that by the close of January this year, the entire country could recognize the face of Sergeant Cory Remsburg: Near the tail-end...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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