“Erase the Traces. Destroy, in order to create. Build a new world on the ruins of the old. This, it is often thought, is the Modernist imperative, but what of it if the new society never emerged? We have been cheated out of the future, yet the future’s ruins lie about us, hidden or ostentatiously rotting. So what would it mean, then, to look for the future’s remnants? To uncover clues about those who wanted, as Walter Benjamin put it, to ‘live without traces’? Can we, should we, try and excavate utopia?
To do so might be a final, bitter betrayal if Modernism itself. Although there have always been several strains in Modernism, one of the most dominant has always been based on the demand, made by Bertolt Brecht in his 1926 Handbook for City Dwellers to ‘erase the traces!’.”– Owen Hatherley, Militant Modernism.
We did some more to the previous song (we went with the 2nd version) this week. I think it’s probably finished now, though it’s maybe a bit short?
The lyrics are a clumsy attempt to articulate the utopian impulse that runs through Hatherley’s book, the modernist desire to erase the traces. The idea that if we could free ourselves of all the weight, the baggage of the past, a better world could be possible. So they’re (meant to be) kind of melancholy (for the future that never materialised) and euphoric (for the thought of being genuinely free).
Foodwise, this week we did a Ratatouille Crumble:
Craig got the recipe from here. And very nice it was too. You can also see some salad in that picture; the dressing (also Craig’s) was: 3 parts olive oil, 1 part wine vinegar, 1 part mustard, 1 part honey and some seasoning.