Junction Box

An Irregular Magazine More about Junction Box

Somewhere out there, many light-years from earth, two vast and exorbitantly randy black holes are grinding and osculating in an unrestrained and unashamedly public similitude of passion. We know this because the energy created by this unsavoury event sends gravitational shockwaves through space, with the result that, a few billion or so years later, the last quivers of those exhausted tsunamis make two tiny mirrors on the surface of our planet tremble. We hear about it on the news and it makes us wonder; it might even make us shift uneasily on our seats. But at the same time it's oddly calming to be reminded that even the most outrageously distant cosmic cataclysms have their neat, human-sized,  parochial outcomes, demonstrating once again that distance and nearness are just two sides of...

An Interview with Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir and Richard Scott on their collaboration for SJ Fowler’s Eurocamarade at the Free Word Centre in London, 20th November 2015.     Two figures stand on stage, in profile to the audience, facing each other One is a man                           [the man stands on the left-hand side of the stage] The other is a woman            [the woman stands on the right-hand side of the stage]   She speaks                                                   give me your body in the context of your body   They read love letters to each other                   out loud They have written love letters to each other They read love letters to others                  ...

On Liberty, Repressed: dragging and dropping John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher and political economist who lived from 1806 to 1873 and has been described as “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century”. (Wilson, 2003) He is associated in particular with liberalism and with empiricism, the theory that firstly, all concepts are derived from experience and secondly, all claims to knowledge are founded on experience. (Quinton, 1997, p. 203) He was not, however, a philosopher by day: that portion of his time belonged to the East India Company. A. N. Wilson, in his book The Victorians, describes Mill’s routine: walking to work at the company’s offices in Leadenhall Street, striding through the marble portico, up the massive staircase...

Proposition: The ethics of liveability amount to the same as the ethics of form   1. I intend to engage with the world using a form of enquiry I can live with 1.1 The ethics of liveability amount to the same as the ethics of form 1.2 I will make a series of propositions regarding the world 1.3 I use this strategy as a means of interrogating the usefulness of propositions 1.4 These propositions must be tested against the world 1.5 The world will (necessarily) be found wanting 1.6 That the world will (necessarily) be found wanting is only natural 1.7 Whether this constitutes an appropriate vehicle for the articulation of the world falls to the discretion of the reader 1.8 The usability and utility of forms is very important to me 1.9 The liveability of forms...

Drawing hour   i. Halting             halting              halting the room is in and out of it hesitation come        stirring longer than the plan of hesitation        how quickly plans are laid -            no,                  opportune the kind of darkness that wagers upon itself bring forward the debris field           a...

Load Bearing   Geraint was at home watching TV in Victoria Street the day his mother died at the family home in Albert Street. Albert Street had an open aspect, looking down the valley to the south, while Victoria Street was tight under the reclaimed hills, landscaped to death. From the air the village looked like an illustration of female reproductive organs from a biology school text book, the houses spreading down the centre of the valley in a thin vaginal line and then out on either hill at the closed head of the valley like fallopian tubes. Geraint was watching Ice Road Truckers when he heard the news about his mother. His sister rang. It wasn’t unexpected. He liked the repeated image of the trucks driving over the cracked ice, air bubbling up through the weeds. It...

This title is a quotation from the anarchist philosopher Colin Ward. Far from being an idealistic dream, he argues, in his book Anarchy in Action, the notion of a non-hierarchical society, although buried under the cold weight of how we live now, has roots in the basic elements of human life. For the last six months I have been collaborating with a colleague, Laura Basu, on a project we call the Cardiff Utopias Salon. Most people know the word utopia is a conflation of eu-topos and ou-topos: good-place/no-place. The idea is that the perfect society is imagined, but can never exist. The word, therefore, also gets used to talk about the projects that imagine these societies; the books are more real than the worlds they describe. We asked various people to contribute to “show-and-tells”,...

                     star scum low devoid walls dust stars like an oasis to oceans ghosts through tongues of silent ghosts                                       mother rain painted bodies nervousness, cold in shape built while unseen     white Ashes spread low black visible occupants rain hands red outlines caught window-pane     forever becoming still the ripped unseen night outline invade repeat unknown smoky faces mother repeat emerge in two silver dissolving rain   smog,...

                              ‘Gypsies had appeared in England around 1500, the latest stop on a journey that had begun in India, perhaps five centuries earlier, and thence progressed across the Middle East, the Balkans and continental Europe. They reached Germany in 1417, France in 1419 and Rome in 1422. Almost invariably they were seen (then as now) as ‘bad’. Their nomadic lifestyle threatened governments that required stability as a prerequisite of control; their features, their clothes, their occupations (fortune-telling, juggling, the selling of what Harman terms ‘novelties, toys and new inventions’) were seen as somehow ‘dangerous’. They stood apart...

Chris Torrance has been an inspiration to many writers: the model of a poet so single-mindedly dedicated to his craft, it's as if poetry and human being had fused into one entity. His public readings, always meticulously planned and performed, often with the aid of a bottle of Chardonnay, seem to be all of a piece with this. It is obvious that, for him, a reading is never just a reading: it's a significant existential moment (perhaps even, who knows? a cosmic one), worth taking seriously, worth worrying about and giving time to. We thought it would be a good idea to record a recent performance, so we set up the camera in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff on the occasion of a launch of Slipping the Leash - a tri-cameral anthology featuring his own work and that of his long-standing comrades in poetry,...

  In winter 2015 PEAK and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority announced that artist Rebecca Chesney, based in Preston, Lancashire, had been selected as the first Artist in Residence for the Black Mountains. Rebecca’s projects are specific to the locations she works in and take the form of installations, interventions, drawings, maps and walks and are underpinned by research into the protection of the environment. During her residency Rebecca is particularly interested in ‘the economic value of attracting visitors to the National Park and how that is balanced with the protection of its ecology.’ PEAK felt that Rebecca’s approach would question us and really encourage us to think about what we want to achieve through a residency programme in a rural context. Rebecca...

Orpheus sings! With this statement at the start of his Sonnets to Orpheus, Rainer Maria Rilke sets in train a sequence of poems celebrating the mythological figure of Greek antiquity and his beloved companion, Eurydice. More an exclamation than a statement – O Orpheus sings! – Rilke’s words testify to the enduring significance of the magical song of Orpheus. But what kind of song is it that Orpheus sings? Above all, it’s a seductive song. It has the power to charm, to charm the whole of nature and even what lies beyond the reach of nature in the underworld, yet as with all music it has finally to acknowledge its limits, like those other dark melodies of Ancient Greece on the lips of the Sirens and the Sphinx. The Sirens and the Sphinx, however, are defeated by the cunningness of...

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