28 - 29 JUL 2007
'Have you ever seen the work of Al Ruppersberg?' And I answered 'No'.
Now, the reason they asked, the reason anyone asks "Have you ever heard of X" .. is generally because the young person, in this case me, has apparently attempted to do what X, in this case Al Ruppersberg, has already done.. What Al Ruppersberg had done was, .. to transcribe Walden..
There's a story .. about Al that I have to recount. Before he began working in a conceptual vein he had been doing some shaped canvases, which led him to pay a visit to a Frank Stella exhibition. He told an interviewer: 'When I saw Stella's paintings I was stunned.. I went home knowing I had to start all over.'
It's funny how I so easily keep referring to him as Al, even though I have only spoken with him on a few occasions. It's a layover of the familiarity he established early on in works like Al's Cafe, Al's Hotel, Where's Al?
Frances Stark *For nobody knows..*
self noise is a recording project
that's how it began and probably all it is
[self-noise is literally the sound of a system, or some equipment, itself; especially a microphone or a submarine]
do you remember Karoline Krabbe?
I thought of *The Fire of London* by Jacques Roubaud - do you think about that?
Fifteen Minutes at Night to a Respiratory Rhythm see § 186
186 The cypresses stood still
But the cypresses, at that time, stood still: at the moment I recall, the moment of this writing in October, there is a warm cers enveloping my legs, persistently blowing against the hill above the terraced field, and the cypresses bow, .. like flames ..
In October of that previous year, in the warm cers of 2:00 A.M., I recall, as I do now, the photograph (entitled Fifteen Minutes at Night to a Respiratory Rhythm) (the two recollections become superimposed, fuzzy; I recall now, in front of the picture, and I remember having recalled) of one moment in August, also at night; at that time the cypresses stood still. And Alix was getting to her feet, looking at the column of cypresses; the air was warm, motionless, at rest in the windless night.
If the flames of the black cypresses, like trails of smoke, bow leftward in the photograph, it's not some long-gone August wind pressing on the trees.. it's the movement from the camera which Alix placed against her bare breasts, against the heat; and the trees bow in the direction of the camera's mechanical gaze.
Taken at night with a ten-fifteen minute exposure. Slight swaying from bottom to top due to my breathing.
That's why this photograph is as much a photograph of her breath as of the cypresses:
This photograph is an unhappy and impassioned homage to respiration, breath, which its author, an asthmatic from birth (a condition that would eventually kill her), found and inscribed within .. the ink of these black candles..
An image of love and unhappiness because of air, the impossible passion for breath of a person afflicted by air..
Jacques Roubaud: The Great Fire of London
it's a recording; there's nothing *to* it
that was her take on it
we're snorkelling at Msimbati
you are looking under water
you are not diving
you are making your way along the surface, breathing laboriously through your snorkel
we hear the sound of breathing and swimming, the sound of the tape drive in the camera, we move forward in drifts and jerky strokes of the feet
it's an exceptionally low tide
you can pause by clicking and you can resume by double clicking
can you see the brain corals and the sea grass?
can you even see the lion fish under the stone?
really, you may well be thinking: it's beautiful, but
In this respect, it is worth recalling the origin of the word: 'banal': in medieval France, [writes Michel Maffesoli] a 'banal' baking day was one when the bread that came from the oven was not owed to the lord of the manor.. a day of common bread.. not owed to the powers
it *is* I know just what you mean
Collect, accumulate, gather, preserve, examine, catalogue, read, look, study, research, change, organize, file, cross-reference, number, assemble, categorize, classify, and conserve the ephemeral.
Al Ruppersberg [Fifty Helpful Hints..]
Ponge [La Crevette]
the corals are not everywhere here at msimbati but around here there are many, and now close to the surface at this very low tide, lit by the light of the sun
corals contain algae, as is well known, meaning they can live only within a certain intertidal zone, protected at one extreme from exposure to the sun, at the other from darkness
a recording project and basically that is what it is and perhaps all it can be. this says something very simple but still, if this is what there is to say, let's see what it is saying. the *ing* you can say, is the thing.
you began to record and in general we begin to record with *no idea what* we are recording
it's an impulse you share with so many others: to document the precise circumstances of the moment: it's ebbs [sic], we can say: and flows - to the extent..
Always, from the beginning, remarks Jacques Roubaud, in Horizontal Man, in the words of the troubadour Giraut de Bornelh, I have had "eyes in which the sea throbs" - echoing in this way, perhaps, the ebb and flow across the suface of the blinking eye, periodically flooded and drained, with the saline sweep of the ocean's tides, curiously confused in the act of swimming in the warm shallow water of the West Indian Ocean, in which the environmentalist's tears blend and add to the rising levels ..
[see w indian ocean
float (Maria Tsvetaeva on swimming, with Pushkin, and listen to Igor Zvonic reading from Handbook..]
you are sitting by a half open window
listening absently to some machine, the calls of birds in the now thick leafy branches of the trees at the height of this house, as you are processing these simple facts a plane passed over head, as you are documenting the overflight of this plane a second plane goes over and its sound diminishes; three birds fly towards you and very rapidly pass over. M is downstairs researching football - this black greasy machine was open to *the goal of the century* : messi vs maradonna - another plane
one day we will look at the -ki- tense the tense of if and ing we were doing the -ki- tense last tuesday when all of a sudden you were overtaken suddenly and swiftly by a viral attacker, reducing you to near speechlessness raising your temperature to a point seemingly verging on exploding: how you got home you could not recall: as you lay on your futon streaming sweat
it's hot all your clothes are falling apart you're sitting in these ragged trousers held up by after you're getting pretty fat the table is littered with junk - a tape measure magnifiying glass paper hard drives half empty glasses *Cyclonopedia* by RN which you can barely continue brushes screw drivers the room similarly is full of junk - the famous polyboxes which have occupied this house as the prime inhabitant which you cannot shift - this impulse: to document the emerging sense of the of the receding
*not* to retrieve or document the past
pace that professional reader and their references
it wasn't a reference
that was never the motivation or intention of that sentence or any part of that piece [T O] which is precisely about the quality and texture of the present and precisely models the contradictory emerging sense of the present which is to say the contradictory appearance of thinking in language as well as the sense and texture of other activities so that the primary missing element [in T O] is by no means the past but precisely a world of the present passing at arms length
that is all a long time ago
it would be long forgotten if not for the professional stamp, you think, on that mis reading, in the same way the now famous mis translation of the term famille rogue - which is of course an *accurate* reading, from some perspective, again by a professional reader and in this case writer - a doubly professional stamp in this case - coming at the end we can say of a combination of professional stamps and craven cuts - in the same way *that* occlusion generated the dismay aggravating the end of wiped out - literally, as it says: wiping us out: in fact ponge created an opening in that thicket, in that tangled mass of brambles and barbs, he opened an area, that reader came right in and crushed that area, which was a survival space, for some - well on one hand the exemplary and the fragile, on the other hand the crushing and slamming of the professional reader..shaking your head
you just do not know
.. the present participle - let's say recording, undertaking these recordings in an activity analagous to whatever the activities are which D&G are referring to when they say: we're interested in *the circumstances*
when you begin to document emerging thinking or you are wishing to convey speech as it emerges - *actually emerges* - you are becoming involved in recording
so say now you are sitting at your window, the birds are barely calling now, another plane goes over, how are you to describe the sound of this plane, to somebody who has not heard it - in fact the occasional call of a bird does in fact prick the texture of this
surface giving way to a flock of goldfinches - contact calls which you can figure as the prickles, and passages of full blown song - trills and arpeggios - you know the style - see tortellá - where goldfinches were singing so ecstatically along with those house sparrows: so intensely in those pleached planes by the Casino: S and M were playing with little diggers on the terrace by the Casino - fighting and playing -
how do you record that? or how something looks? you understand: not by literary analogies - how do you describe *bird* *song*?
[insert: the marsh warbler]
how do you transcribe the human voice?
o you do all these things [impatiently]
you did it for euphoria and all the time - but above all you get a minidisk recorder you are one of the millions who got a: minidisk recorder, put on their headphones and tuned in to the amplified world the way some go sea diving or snorkel along the surface
as sea levels rise these zones become increasingly exposed to threats, at the same time as the ecology of the coral reefs is threatened by dynamite fishing
now the Mnazi Bay Marine Reserve is the site of gas exploration first by Artumas then by Anadarko, now also by
see: Anadarko, Oklahoma, where a member of *my own family* ran the Anadarko Daily [!]
the distance of history is suddenly very close:
I am thinking..
.. about James's palms - James the fully professional performer, cutting his reeds and delivering note after note in the precise position in real time - in the moments before presentation of euphoria at the Young Vic he came over and had you feel his palms, literally streaming with sweat. whenever you're lying sweating in a fever you think of James's surprisingly steaming palms in the moments before the show began - of course he opens alone, with just his headphones, doing the lecture about melanin - H McL came to that show - she sat on the front row - it was a small auditorium - the performance space must have been about 10 m in diameter - she sat a few feet from the performers and watched the whole thing through binoculars - she had deteriorating eyesight - she just died of cancer - she was some kind of spirited american horse woman - of course her husband is a - her daughters became policemen and professors - she brought two of her so-called young friends with her - one of them said to you she thought euphoria was a piece of shit: something she'd stepped in, she said
video is the same as audio, basically - at first you think it is much different, much less open - in fact it is - but it's less less open than you think
why do you do these things?
- document wild bees - the warm weather brought out unusual species - with their mimics - those are the species flying right now down among the brambles and the thick vegetation of summer it's really summer now, hot and sticky, look at the aphid sap run down the sycamore trunk
- hive the nucleus at DR: those queens! that suddenly came flying out when you unblocked the entrance - into the warm dusk - try to find out what's going on - don't lose track of that
- check if you need to add another [third!] super at CR - the intensity of that hive - describe that - the speed of the bees as they leave the hive, the ferment of their activity going on into the warm dusk
- you're a part timer you're a disgrace
- solder headphone plugs
- sites - the wormery - wormholes of RN - discuss, contest
- stake tomatoes
The best book is the unwritten book.
Johan Sanctorum: Epi-phany Plea for a Counter-culture of Un-reading and Un-writing (488 words | 1:57 mins) in *I Read Where I Am*