Monday, December 29, 2014


Two passages from Peter Blegvad's "Numinous Objects and Their Manufacture":
Objects proliferate as never before, but they are mostly dead husks, the shells of things, wherein no daemon resides. We own them merely, or covet them, we are not nourished. Meanwhile, the fundamental appetite for numinous objects grows ravenous. Never mind that it remains unconscious in most citizens and unacknowledged by the authorities. Only numinous objects can make possible the communication between people and so-called "dead matter" which must be established if we wish to avert calamity...

The numinous objects which already exist in our environment are easily overlooked by our harassed and addled species. Education is the remedy, teaching people of all ages to resist distraction and become sensitive to the subtle radiation emanating from these items (which often masquerade as common refuse on the street). I imagine students returning, bright-eyed and exultant, from expedition to dumps, factories, zoos, firing-ranges, hospitals, quarries, ships, farms, forests, cinemas, circuses, cemeteries, and recording studios with their eclectic spoil. Objects thus collected would be tested, graded and catalogued before being made available to the public from a chain of lending libraries.
Excerpted from Kew. Rhone. (Uniformbooks 2014).

What is Kew. Rhone.? 1) "A phantom or spiritual skyscraper which is only visible to specific individuals, briefly, at a specific time and from a specific vantage, though these coordinates are never the same twice"; 2) a map of Kew, overlain with a map of the Rhone river (or vice versa); 3) an anagram of (among other things) KNOWHERE; 4) a 1977 long-playing record credited to John Greaves, Peter Blegvad, and Lisa Herman, or subsequent re-issues thereof in various formats, some of which are no longer supported by 21st-century operating systems; 5) a newly issued companion book to said record, published by Uniformbooks in the UK, and containing contributions by Blegvad (who is credited as the author), Greaves, and Herman as well as other participants, observers, and appreciators, "the aim being," in Blegvad's words, "to illuminate without dispelling the mystery of a work designed to resist interpretation even as it invites it."

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