Category Archives: quotes


something worth living for

Only by pursuing a radical critique on the intellectual, social, affective, sexual and psychic levels can you find any way to break through the soft consensus of normality and discover something worth living for.

– Brian Holmes


Le Petit Prince’s object relations

“For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it’s not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble produce thorns that are good for nothing? It’s not important, the war between the sheep and the flowers?… Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, even without realizing what he’s doing – that isn’t important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself, ‘My flower’s up there somewhere…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?'”  ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


Dewey on literature

“The ultimate function of literature is to appreciate the world, sometimes indignantly, sometimes sorrowfully, but best of all to praise when it is luckily possible.” – John Dewey



poem code

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
quotes readings

parable encryption

“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” – Parable of the Sower


as consciousness is harnessed to flesh

“spiritual project – but tied to making an object (as consciousness is harnessed to flesh)” – Susan Sontag


Richard Feynman on the interplay of art and science

“I have a friend who’s an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,” and I think that he’s kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe…

I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”

Richard Feynman on the interplay of art and science – a magnificent intersection.


Playboy magazine interview – Tom Waits (1988)

“I’ve always been afraid I was going to tap the world on the shoulder for 20 years, and when it finally turned around I was going to forget what I had to say.”


Letter from Brian Holmes to The Public School

“The Public School is developing a mode of collective self-education that could become very significant as the institutions freeze up in the security panic and the budget collapse. Building up this form of careful collaborative discourse, we can also start changing the other, looser or more formalized contexts in which we work. Although it is rather threatening and in no way easy to face, I see the economic crisis as a chance to spark changes that our society has been putting off for decades. We will try to measure both the depth of that inertia and the possibilities of the present, in a way that respects everybody’s real situation and their voice, while hopefully opening up new territories for alternative and oppositional practice.”


brain growth according to Paik

“Paik wanted to build an anthropomorphic robot, because he was fascinated by the scientists’ discovery that the human brain had begun to grow after man stopped walking on all fours and had to figure out what to do with his two ‘free’ hands.”

– Wulf Herzogenrath, Hayward Gallery 1988 exhibition catalogue “Nam June Paik Video Works 1963-88”