BIRTH AS CRITERION by Jure Detela as translated by Raymond Miller

God puts to the test, not I.

I only verify

what has been reported.

In God there is no doubt,

there is no malice.

The starry child

of Lappish legend—

a status symbol.

THEREFORE it is good luck

for me if I

move down the blade.


To transcend being

trapped in perception?


with portents of death?

How the sensuality in me scatters!

There is no more law

for my eyes.

Blood is spilled throughout the world,

but to no end.

Nothing is

consoled by it.

No guilt is washed

away by it.

It lacks a whole speck

of the world.

It seems to be

that I look through it,

though I see nothing,

nothing except for it.

Here I am smaller

than I ever was

in all the history

of the cosmos.

Just one tiny,

tiny happiness

that is not mine at all.

A spark enveloped

by a huge, compact


as if by a wrapper.

Which something alien

searches for constantly.

How lovely it is

if you relinquish

the very last defense

of the body.

And to know that

there is no small nook

in the whole cosmos

where hovering and floating

can completely commingle.

And to be condemned to

the duality of

one’s own mind,

which something totally

unknown imagines

for all eternity.


To be without

salvation for

all eternity!

And to be a huge

portent of death left

for the sovereign use

of various worlds.

Not like an angel,

who moves and who dances,

but something massive

and immobile.

Even more!

To be the only

incarnation of death.

I am the first to

proclaim its beauty

for all time.

Because I know that for

its birth it wants

only my body,

which is eternal.

And all previous


into living and dead

it declares to be wrong.

Just one fate is enough

for all eras to

blaze up in it like

a camera flash.

Nothing is forgotten

in all of history.

God learns from

my example.


– Jure Detela (b. Ljubljana, 1951; d. Ljubljana 1992) 



About josephnechvatal

Joseph Nechvatal is an American post-conceptual artist who creates virus-modeled artificial life computer-assisted paintings and animations. Themes he has addressed in his art include the apocalyptic, communication excess, the virus, and gender fluidity. In 1975, he moved from Chicago to the downtown Tribeca area of New York City. He began studying at Columbia University with the philosopher Arthur Danto while working for the Dia Art Foundation as archivist to the minimalist composer La Monte Young. In 1980, he moved from Tribeca to the sordid Lower East Side where he found artistic camaraderie and politically inspired creative energy. There he became closely associated with Collaborative Projects (Colab), the influential post-punk artists’ group that included Kiki Smith and Jenny Holzer, among others. Those were glory days for the famous Colab projects, such as Just Another Asshole, The Real Estate Show and The Times Square Show. He also helped establish the non-profit cultural space ABC No Rio, where exhibitions were animated by political purpose. In the early 1980s, his art consisted of dense post-minimalist gray graphite drawings (that were sometimes photo-mechanically enlarged), of sculpture, of photographs, and of musique concrète audio collages. In 1983, he co-founded the famous avant-garde art music project Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine. In 1984, he created an opera called XS: The Opera Opus (1984-6) with the no wave musical composer Rhys Chatham that was presented in Boston and New York. In 1986, Nechvatal began using computer-robotics to make conceptual paintings. Some were exhibited at Documenta VIII in 1987. In 1992, when he was artist-in-residence at the Louis Pasteur Atelier in Arbois and at the Saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans, he created computer virus codes that he used as an artistic tool. This work was a reflection on his personal experiences of risk and loss with the AIDS epidemic. In 1999, he earned his doctorat in the philosophy of aesthetics and technology in England and soon wrote two art theory books: Towards an Immersive Intelligence and Immersion Into Noise. In 2001, he extended his initial experimentations into the virus as an artistic painterly tool in a series of artificial life works. These works include various series of paintings, animations, and a lengthy audio composition entitled viral symphOny. He has created a series of virus-based themed exhibitions of artificial life paintings and animation projections that explore the fragility and fluidity of the human body. You can follow him on Twitter at @twinkletwink Homepage:
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1 Response to BIRTH AS CRITERION by Jure Detela 

  1. Pingback: Ljubljana Biennial - A note on a rainy night

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