“Anima Sola, also known as the “Lone Soul” prayer, is a Catholic prayer that is recited after an individual has died. However, it can be said for someone who is facing major life changes. According to tradition, this prayer was recited by a monk named Gregory of Sinai in an isolated monastery in the eleventh century. Animas Solas became a common prayer in many countries during the 15th century:
O Lord, I am so lonely and despaired.
I cry out for your help.
My soul is empty and restless.
Fill it with your glory, O Lord!
Alone, I am lonely. Alone, I feel lost and afraid. Alone, I have no one to talk to. Alone, people do not understand me. Alone, there is no one to listen to my troubles and worries.
God, please help me find someone who will be my friend and companion for life!
Anima sola, anima Christi,
per quam tibi nos reconciliamur.
O Maria, Mater Dei et hominum,
terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata,
tu ades cunctis in periculis nostris.
I am alone in this world.
It is you I must rely on, and only you.
Oh Lord, I call to you for help.
Alone I am,
and yet not alone.
I am surrounded by a thousand angels,
who wait for me to join them in the Kingdom of Heaven.
I wait for them as well.”
I came across the phrase Anima Sola through a recent edition of Phoebe Hildegard‘s newsletter (if ur into TTRPG’s, necromancy and Spiritualism, it’s VERY good, big recommend). I find the Anima Sola prayer super interesting. Firstly, as a tradition borne of the living working on behalf of the dead, (and specifically the ‘dead in need‘ too, something a lot of contemporary necromantic traditions generally shy away from) I find it to be, honestly, very moving. Secondly, it’s an unusual prayer in the sense that it puts the person intoning it into the shoes of the ‘lost soul’; to say the prayer is to experience their destitution as if it is ur own. On the one hand, this obviously makes it a potent prayer for those who’s experience of loneliness and despair does align with that of the anima sola. But also, it could in turn be a kind of declaration of care, and potentially even of friendship: as those performing the prayer could even be saying, “friend, let me take that load off you for a minute, I’ll help u carry ur burden”.
I came down with a cold over the last two days and so lay in bed eating soup and crisps and watching films. Two of the films I watched were Anthony Hopkins Hannibal vehicles (Red Dragon, and Hannibal), and both were pretty bad (admittedly, Red Dragon was the least bad of the two), and really showed up how Anthony Hopkins Hannibal is like a one-dimensional cartoon character, in comparison to the genuinely terrifying black hole of Mads Mikkelsen’s iteration.
Anyway, the other film I watched, continuing the cannibal vibes, was the 1999 Ravenous, directed by Antonia Bird, written by Ted Griffin, and starring Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle. I’d never heard of it until I listened to this podcast episode with Sasha Ravitch. The film is utterly bonkers, in a very enjoyable way, and has lots of overlaps with the classic vampire story cliche of turning people into vampires so you have someone who can actually relate to you, the desire to be seen and understood in your monstrosity, not shamed or shunned for it. It also brings in the First Nations, Great Planes, and Great Lakes indigenous folklore of the Wendigo:
“The wendigo is often said to be a malevolent spirit, sometimes depicted as a creature with human-like characteristics, which possesses human beings. The wendigo is said to invoke feelings of insatiable greed/hunger, the desire to cannibalize other humans, and the propensity to commit murder in those that fall under its influence”
Ravenous places this mythical creature as a blunt metaphor for the USA’s imperialist/colonialist expansion and consumption of people, land and resources, whilst offering an assortment of temporary boons and power to those who will exercise the nation-state’s will on it’s behalf (which in the film make the characters rapidly heal from potentially mortal wounds, and give them what Carlyle’s character repeatedly refers to as ‘VIRILITY’).
Interestingly, in the Wikipedia entry for Wendigo, Hannibal the TV show pops up again, as this is what Will Grahams hallucination throughout the series is in reference to:
OKO is the early warning system
The type of satellite is Upravlyaemy Sputnik Kontinentalny, or US-K.
These form the Kosmos system (which I have also seen spelt Cosmos).
‘The satellites are drum-shaped, 2 metres long with a diameter of 1.7 m. They weigh 1,250 kilograms without fuel and 2,400 kilograms when fully loaded. They have a 350 kg infrared telescope pointing toward Earth, with a 4 m conical sunshield and an instrument bus. The telescope, which is the satellites’ main instrument, is able to detect radiation from ascending missiles.’
Kosmos has a total of 101 satellites launched between 1972 and 2012, according to Wiki.
The last US-K satellite (Kosmos 2469) was launched on 30 September 2010. As of December 2015, the entire OKO programme is being replaced by the new EKS (or Tundra) satellites and the Kupol system.‘Reportedly the Tundra satellites carry also a secure emergency communications payload to be used in case of a nuclear war.’ I think there are six in orbit, with another launching this year. https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/tundra.htm
The satellites rely on infrared sensors that can directly detect radiation emitted by a missile plume.
An over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, like all radars, detects reflections of electromagnetic signal that it sends in the direction of a target. OTH radars deployed on the Soviet territory were able to detect missile launches on the territory of the United States by using reflections of electromagnetic impulses from Earth’s ionosphere.
The system began limited operations in 1978 and was placed on combat duty in 1982 (so it was very new when the 1983 incident occurred).
The bunker in Serpukhov-15 includes antennas to communicate with the satellites.
Launches of early-warning satellites into highly elliptical orbits are performed by Molniya-M launchers from the Plesetsk launch site in northern Russia.
An amazing website for tracking satellites http://www.satflare.com/home.asp
The full list of satellites in the Kosmos system https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/us-k.htm
Nye Thompson has begun some new research around satellites, especially decommissioned ones, for an online residency with Mostyn Gallery.
This is the summary:
‘Far above, over our heads a hidden choreography of national and commercial power struggles is playing out. Military, communications, GPS, imaging, monitoring, surveillance – satellites live fast and hard. Existence maintaining baseline performance in the New Frontier is precarious.
Alongside them are the ghosts – thousands of decommissioned siblings that have outlived their usefulness. They will tumble along their graveyard orbits for years or centuries before they hit the atmosphere and burn.’
Nye kindly pointed me in direction of the Kosmos system of satellites which was used in the OKO early warning system I’m researching!
This video shares the journey to visiting holy spaces. It is a JOURNEY!
“Mapping the Universe.”
This chapter had graphs and images to show the Bantu Congo understood the creation of the Universe, the function of rituals for creating balance and how medicines(Nkisi) take care of the human being and its surroundings.
The “V” of life inspired how I could be the manifest and control the planes of existence. With this control, I have the spiritual power to create a universe. This is a universe for a transgender deity and the function of being a vessel for transformation.
Made in the same year as the Serpukhov-15 incident, Wargames was a film that speculated on the beginnings of accidental war, automated weapons and hackable military facilities. The plot focuses on a high school teenager who discovers a backdoor into the computer that controls America’s nuclear weapons. Thinking it can’t possibly be a real military computer, the teenager at first thinks he’s playing a computer game, unable to comprehend the enormity of global violence now at his fingertips.
The computer itself was designed to replace human workers (those in power don’t want moral judgements and ethics to stand in the way) so it begins to play the ‘game’ back. And once it starts, it won’t stop.
The film’s tagline is ‘the only winning move is not to play’. Against the background of my research interests, it’s reminding me of something I read in Carissa Veliz’s book Privacy is Power: ‘the internet does not allow you to remain silent’ (p230). It is incredibly difficult to opt out of systems of surveillance and networks that amass data for ‘algorithms of oppression’, to borrow a phrase from Safiya Umoja Noble.
The technologies of such systems of control rely on our inputs, which is why the issue of choice is so pertinent.
In the film, choice was looked at through the lens of computer automated weaponry.
Finally, in Wargames, to stop the computer and to avert catastrophic destruction, they have to convince it that continuation is futile. The competitive cycle of input and response must stop. There are no winners in nuclear war.
I’m wondering what I can take away from this in relation to my research. Maybe it’s that there are no winners when huge amounts of the population are criminalised, subjected to limited opportunities, and marginalised and discriminated against by opaque computerised processes.
I am currently researching into artists from Ilford. (Ilford is one answer to where I’m from)
Gillian Wise was a British visual artist born in Ilford. She was part of the English Constructivist movement of the 1950s before becoming a key member of the Systems group.
“Her work follows the principles of experimentation and reduction to elemental units (line, colour, and plane). Her structures play on the effects of the geometry of light and industrial materials, as well as contrasts between transparency and the primary colours.” – aware
Gillian Wise was born in Ilford in 1936. She grew up in Ilford until leaving the area to study at 18 in Wimbledon. She exhibited as part of the British constructivists and became their youngest member in 1961. She challenged the predominance of American modernism at the time and then continuously throughout her career. She clearly understood art and artistic production to be an overtly political matter and spoke often about the CIA intervention in Cold War cultural production.
From her book, Low Frequency:
“There artists of all stripes and their nascent agents had to be American to get the full treatment of nurture and sponsorship since that is what policy demanded. Policy from Washington. Out of this was born the Abstract Expressionist group… the two names which have been retained as most representing that moment are Pollock and Rothko, although the latter was trying for a stylistic variant. While Pollock reflects some early Alexander Rodchenko (one of the original and prolific members of the Russian Constructivist movement) experiments, Rothko’s attempt at mysticism, à la Malevich, is a very thin affair.”
Her work was overtly political and she herself was an avowed Leftist who won a British Council scholarship to research Russian constructivism in 1969. She travelled to Leningrad, exhibited in Helsinki and joined the Systems group, a collection of Marxist artists who successfully produced and showed work throughout the 70s.
Gillian Wise was the only British artist to create work for the opening of the Barbican centre in 1982. Her work, the Alice Walls, inspired by the Russian avant-garde, remained entirely uncredited until 2014. She referenced it as, “a dark episode in the annals of support for national artists and, of course, women.”
The history of this Ilford-born artist gives so much rich context to the sidelining of genuinely Leftist and Marxist positions throughout the Cold War. It also references the definite and unacceptable misogyny of the mainstream British art establishment who have since begun to rewrite their silence around Gillian Wise with her inclusion in a variety of shows.
While on the surface it seems that Ilford plays a limited or invisible role in the artists history, one striking historical coincidence keeps me wondering.
In 1937, one year after Gillian Wise was born, construction on the Gants Hill underground station in Ilford began. The station was designed by Charles Holden and was inspired by stations on the Moscow Metro.
Before it was eventually opened to the public in 1947, the ‘under construction’ station was used as an air-raid shelter. After consultation between Moscow and London about the building of the Moscow Metro in the 1930s, British architects returned to London with some new ideas. Gants Hill is designed with a central vaulted concourse separating two platforms in order to maximise the amount of space for the flow of people.
Getting to the platform level of the station is a striking experience. As you travel down the deeply-set downward steps the square floor tiles slowly come into view before the marvel of the ceiling is revealed. The station has barrel-vaulted ceilings and is tiled in a geometric pattern that is reminiscent of the Krasnye Vorota Metro station in Moscow which opened in 1935.
Ivan Fomin was the designer of the Krasnye Vorota Metro Station. Fomin worked in a variety of styles throughout his lifetime, including Art Nouveau, Neoclassicism and an intermediary style of architecture known as Postconstructivism.
By the early 1930s, Constructivist art and architecture had fallen out of favour and was soon to be replaced. Stalinist architecture would become the dominant form of expression for the next decades. Wedged in between these two larger forms is a brief architectural style known as Postconstructivism (sometimes referred to as early Stalinism).
Constructivist work had been wildly imaginative and avant-garde in its use of shapes, materials and technology. It was avowedly political, aiming to incite a social purpose for all people in public spaces. The demise of Constructivism comes alongside the rise of Stalin and the impact of centralised state power. The Stalinist architecture that followed utilized classical forms representing a return to traditional notions of power. Dmitry Khmelnitsky writing about this period suggested that Constructivism was ended by the force of Stalinist power. Khmelnitsky suggests that “traces of the Constructivist style in the Postconstructivism of the 1930s are a sign of indecision, not tradition.” There was a vacuum that state-sponsored artists were filling with a combination of what came before (Constructvisim) and even further back (Classicicism). This combination of ideas was the starting point for Stalinist architecture. Postconstructivism is truly then a misnomer for the return of classicist forms and styles with accidental traces of Constructivism.
Ivan Fomin himself had a deep love for classicism and had spent a long time attempting to develop his own form of proletarian classcisim. In the 1930s he partook in key competitions to design the Moscow Metro. He won just one and designed the station Krasnye Vorota with vaulted ceilings and a central concourse. A model of the station was at the 1938 World’s Fair in Paris where it won the Grand Prix. Fomin designed the station in what would become called Postconstructivism.
Gants Hill station in Ilford, designed by Charles Holden adapted from a design by Ivan Fomin, bares the scars of the Constructivist movement being clamped down on by the Stalinist regime.
Gillian Wise, born in Ilford, developed a career as an artist inspired by Russian constructivist art. She would even travel on a British government grant to research Russian constructivism in the country itself.
Only after this trip to Russia does Wise give up being a Constructivist artist and move on to join the Systems group.
I’m not saying that architectural ghosts haunted Gillian Wise as a child until she was able to exorcise them in the country from which they originated but…I am saying that.
alt text: Pencil Drawings on White paper.
As a way of communicating and accessing divine vitality, anointed Garments become a token, and their symbolism is vital to the experience of creating rituals. It is not only representation but the surface/platform for the divine to be present within the fabric and in this plane. These garments facilitate becoming a vessel for the creation of a brand new universe.
How do I create an anointed garment? Colour is key. Colour communicates various meanings in this process, white is the colour of the garment I am creating. White represents innocence, purity, light and authority. Creating anointed garments requires personal cleansing rituals, prayer/meditation, and the offering of self. As part of this residency, I will become the mediator for a transgender deity, and white is the colour called forth.
I began the process with a collaborator to design and create a garment for the mediator/vessel here on earth. These are the current sketches of the garment. Upon completion, it will be offered to the deity and prayed for.
This Valentino show served as a form of inspiration. These Garments are other worldly. I enjoyed watching this show.
IDL TIFF file IDL TIFF file
How can a forest disappear without any trees being cut down? Here are two images showing the same region, the Uinatas mountain range, that show how something can disappear in an instance in satellite-assisted visualisations.
Researchers show that 6% of global forests – equivalent to the size of China – disappear when you define a forest by 10% tree cover instead of 30%. Tree cover describes the density of trees in an area and is used to produce forest/non-forest maps which the researchers say are causing issues.
I started looking at forests because the Serpekov-15 bunker is an area of Russian forest, and this finding relates to my interest in the discrepancies within computer-assisted, data-driven vision. From one perspective, there is a forest. From another, there isn’t.
We might be physically present in that forest and yet it wouldn’t exist.
It was the OKO satellites connected with the Soviet M-10 supercomputer that mistakenly identified sunlight on clouds as the movement of nuclear missiles (OKO being the Russian word for ‘eye’). They detect infrared radiation which is then used to interpret the trajectory of missiles from the heat of their exhausts.
The OKO satellites moved on elliptical Molniya orbits of which there are some nice visualisations on the Wiki page.
Molniya translates as Lightening in Russian and this type of orbit has been used for telecommunications, TV broadcasting, and weather monitoring as well as in the military early warning systems I’m looking at.
I’ve been looking for photos that show the inside of the Serpukhov-15 bunker. This is the only image I have come across so far and it’s unverified.
can’t stop watching/listening to these tunes >
Noor Jehan is an icon > singer of over 10,000 recorded songs > first female Pakistani film director in 1951 > affectionately known as the Queen of Melody >
Below you can hear Noor Jehan singing ‘Lal meri pat’ >
Lal meri Pat is the original version of the song that venerates the saint Lal Shahbaz Qalander > it brings the research out from the mystic 12th century reaches > out also from the Afro-South Asian connections > straight to Lollywood >
Pakistan’s film industry set up in Lahore has its own heroes and history > if interested > this podcast has been a joy to listen to >
I’ve been blaring these songs in my room and in my headphones on the go >
I’ve been paying attention to the way these videos are shot and edited >
I’ve enjoyed the sharp, deliberate, on-beat chopping >
I came across an interactive digital work called OKOgame that uses NASA satellite imagery to form an audio-visual experience triggered by mouse clicks. It revolves around a target-like centre which splits into rings that you can control with your mouse. Working like a puzzle, the aim is to get them to fit seamlessly together revealing the original satellite image. There are various levels, each becoming more complicated with an increasing number of moving parts. The soundtrack is recordings taken from within space shuttles.
This is the second part of my reflections on Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology and which sections are resonating with my research.
He writes about the materiality of concrete and how a poured substance can create this sense of claustrophobia and imprisonment:
“It is the coherence of the material itself that must assume this role: the centre of gravity replaces the foundation. In concrete casting, there are no more intervals, joints, everything is compact; the uninterrupted pouring avoids to the utmost the repairs that would weaken the general cohesion of the work. (p47).
‘Their grey cement relief was silent witness to a warlike climate’ (p12).
Although the bunkers themselves are solidly anchored into position, unable to move and or be impacted by events on the ground, Virilio knows that it’s the speed of the things that they are controlling that is at the core of their power. He focuses on the trajectory of weapons, how quickly they are able to move, and the battle for speed.
‘At the heart of combat’… “a new infrastructural-vehicular system always revolutionizes a society in overthrowing both its sense of material and its sense of social relationship” (p19).
It seems for him that it’s the speed of trajectory that is crucial. And related to this is the miniaturisation of space, of making distances feel shorter and easier to travel across. It ties into the omniscient, all-seeing systems of satellite observations, of mapping technologies, and geospatial tools of control.
“A homogenizing process is under way in the contemporary military structure, even inside the three arms specifications: ground, sea, and air is diminishing in the wake of an aeronautical coalesce, which clearly reduces the specificity of the land forces…(T)he volumetric reduction of military objects: miniaturization” (p18).
Finally, he makes a broader point about how technologies of speed and travel are related to the desires of military activities:
“It should never be forgotten that the ancestor of the automobile, the log transporter of the military engineer Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, during its first trip from Paris to Vincennes, was hauling a cannon” (p47).