words written in the week of
March 20th to March 26th
in previous years.
This was 1 year, 2 months, 3 days ago

the spring is of sadness.

sadness is good, I think, of melancholy, of longing, of acceptance. do I force things to be, do I move with desire? Is my desire shaped around gears, pulleys, rubber bands, forces, projectile motion? Or is it flow, movement, drift, seeing how things will happen? Do I accept and listen to the flow of life? Or do I try to exist, survive, thrive? Does thriving happen because my stalks push through soil and emerge upwards into the world? Or does it happen because I just exist with my natural rhythms?

Either way. Here we are. Our orbits, moving. I am about to be thirty-four. My orbits existing as large great circles, or curves, occasionally with sharp inflection points. Are we all moving around, on our own orbits? Do we bend around the spacetime of each other, moving around so that we might stay together? Are we in twin orbit, circling in tandem? Instable positions, the three-body problem, a double pendulum, moving ever so which way? Are the paths of our lives carved out for us? Or is it, at the core, just a series of choices that lead us down paved and unpaved paths alike?

What does it mean to move?

How much of this is cultural? My own desires and patterns of gathering, shared rhythm, alignment, pushing together at the plow, the joy of working together, of trying to be together? How much of these come from my memories of Korea, of elementary school and middle school, cleaning the classrooms together in still spring light, hushed tones of classrooms no longer full of people, the school library with its myriad books, light streaming in, summer yells from the school field, a lazy walk home?

is that life? was that life? is it the moments inbetween? or is that the moment. where am I reaching for? is this okay to celebrate, to bask in the sehnsucht / mono-no-aware of things? and to what extent is that a form of privilege, when I could be supporting others to feel that moment? Or is that just my own sense of productivity and scarcity telling me that I should have more, more, more?

suddenly I realize that I am in my mid-thirties. I have been writing here since I was fourteen. two decades of self-introspection, nearly, of trying to understand myself by writing out loud, without knowing if anyone is reading, or knowing exactly how I feel about anyone reading. Maybe the joy and pleasure of this has been that I am, really, writing for myself, but I don't mind if you listen, or watch. Here is a place of pure expression, maybe, my scratch pads, my notebooks, my contemplation externalized. Is there value for this to be seen? I don't know. But this is for me. It is the most decadent and free space I understand how to craft.

--

where will we go? I am open to so many possibilities, suddenly. something has cracked. the universe and all of its paths. I am a many-branched tree leading to many futures. I am full of hurt and woundedness, and care and sadness that somehow leads to joy. I am sad and happy, in a spirit to look back at things that have happened and let them be, accept them as they are. here they have come, here they lie, here they will be. will things change in the future? perhaps. but have they happened? yes.

so here we are. where do I go? where do my desires lie? to move with it, to process, to question; this is what I've always done, I think. I have always been asking myself about my desires. finding spaces where my desires can fly free. what is it to desire? to move in a direction?

the other day I think of a cultivating of a self as a garden. or of a space, perhaps. keeping what I care. crafting habits and patterns that I am full of joy in. getting back in touch with a former self. finding myself.

--

so. where are we? nowhere else. I spun around in a circle. I may be me. I might craft futures with others. with myself. I have my own desires. I have friends that I haven't met yet. former friends with whom I am drifting apart. friends that I am in love with, were in love with, will be in love with. friends with whom I have committed, will commit with. family to take care of, have joy with.

if there's anything I've learned it's my own capacity to hurt and be hurt, to wound and be wounded, and to try to accept all of these things.

--

a few notes to myself in the future:
- replace the should with another want
- but how does your body want to move?
- there's tension in your shoulders
- stillness is not the same thing as calmness
- trust yourself
- don't hold on

This was 6 years, 2 months, 2 days ago

peripheral thoughts become central; central thoughts become peripheral. there's always a sliding in and out, a modification of priorities, desires, along a pattern that never makes sense in the moment and fits neatly in hindsight. ah, history, so seductive in its historicizing, messily yet coherent narratives that traject gorgeously the finitude of scattered arcs. constellations bring stars into meaning, lines making cars or giraffes out of connect-the-dots games. watch as coherence unfolds, see solidity pop out of thin air, gestalt dangling in front of your eyes. from where did this come? how did this snap together? we'll never know.

who makes new constellations? how do you reinvent the sky? what narratives warred, competed, survival of the fantastic-est, until ursa wins over other?

-

to watch my priorities (in the sense that I mean an ordering of questions (that I'm rolling around in my mind like a peach pit in my mouth, tumbling, nibbling at fraying fibers)) change is like doubling back a way you've already wandered to notice new things on the block that you hadn't before, or enjoying food that you had previously thought distasteful, or vice versa. have you changed? has the world changed? yes, and maybe, but it matter? are the questions the right ones? does it make any sense to have the world outside of you, and your wandering self a momentary addition onto a flat world? why are the limits of me inside my body?

I realize while I write these that they feel so absurd, or so flat, either with too much meaning or completely meaningless. like descriptions of a relationship, only understood from the inside, like descriptions of travel, only possibly empathizable from the location of the travel. it was amazing! you had to be there! I will try to describe to you where I went! or what I did! because how I felt or how I am altered is, I don't know, barely reachable with words that don't make sense. I would like to wrap this up in a bow and say that words are hard because, while traveling, I was in engaged in the task of becoming a different speaker, the words sliding away from underneath me without their original owner, like spacecraft escaping orbit only to realize that earth, too, is spinningly spinning on its own trajectory. sorry, this is what I got to do, see you later, voyager.

but.

clarity is to trust yourself, and to trust the direction that seems to arise. at some point, for some version of me, I could say that I believe in trades and practices.

-

or! to say what I really think! here we go, sick-haze fueling this exhortation:

I see trades and practices, and I am awed by their movement. I believe in cultures (the yogurt kind) and transmission, not transaction-oriented quota-based logic. I believe in the logic of positive feedback loops, and negative feedback loops, and the logic of material world, and think that the philosophical/logical structure of money has a lot to do with a whole slew of misunderstandings. the unconscious is a concept born out of an essence-oriented concept.

I distrust, or am perhaps too healthily skeptical of knowledge right now, or at least knowledge that does not change the way you act, knowledge that is not actionable on, knowledge that can not be proven wrong by action. not-falsifiable knowledge. and I recognize the extent to which this is driven by an eye-opening understanding of new processes outside the domain of my purview; processes unexpectedly driven more by emotion, people, the body, weather, of society, control, power, communication, words, and their slipperiness.

how do you incubate? how do you slowly acclimate? to be enculturated, reculturated, requires you to really be altered. to whom do we do so? and how?

why is concept paramount? the concept travels. the concept is memetic, operates like a flash, more like a cipher than a solid object. the concept is viral, literally, a small payload operating on a hugely complex system, a diff on your code. questionable whether it constitutes life on its own, but certainly modifying other organisms wholesale. the concept is wild. the concept moves like a flash. my concept becomes your concept becomes their concept. the concept is intoxicating.

(let's not trivialize the power of a shared intoxication. wars and truces were started over shared intoxications.)

but what's bacterial? what spreads slowly, accumulates, transforms? sourdougheal, kombuchaesque, yogurtful. shared but not memetic. practices. earthworms in soil. etc.

This was 7 years, 2 months, 1 day ago

it doesn't help that I'm looking forward to the onset of spring (which is not yet here), and was on campus (I say 'campus', as if there was only one):

for a moment, earlier today, I felt fully that sensation of high windows, of a high sky, of a space in which thought can stretch forever, in which what's at stake is the possibility of minds completely flipped over, arguments played out, every text a potential cataclysm, avalanche, goldmine all wrapped into one. the caring gesture of a temporarily voided space in which you push, play, exert, emote. I mean: this is less about the loving arms of a caring institution, and more about the fire escape that you make yours, the city you claim for yourself with friends, a building with eons of history that you jettison with a fresh irreverence, with all the idealism and burning statement that can only be had in playful delight.

one thing I notice acutely is the hallway, the space of the plenum, the sideways pause in which everything happens, temporarily, between program. in 'circulation space', sure, but more than that; when circulation space becomes so tangible, so pregnant with important moments of realization, when playful gesture and suggestion and passing statements ripen into a cluster of ideas, when chalkboards are written on, and--

here, I'll leave this paragraph unfinished.

--

earlier, I say to D, "I miss being wrong," but if I recall now I think what I mean is more along the lines of: "I miss the feeling of having thoughts at stake", I miss the way in ideas can bulge and grow and become nearly corporeal, tangible, like a taut bow stretched by an arrow; I miss the joy at pushing against minds other than mine that push back, that arrest me momentarily; I miss the world outside that fades into an ambient time-lapse while one's focus lies entirely on the work.

--

Largely, this past year has been about value of theory -- all theories in general, all models in general, all linguistic/discursive processes of understanding the world. I think it's important to understand this as fundamentally a shock reaction at being not-even-wrong about certain things -- structurally misaligned and misunderstanding of a series of phenomena. (Nothing more groundbreaking and earthshattering than having to change your worldview.) There's a freshness in that, yes, but it came along with all these questions like: "How do you know that you know something?" "What is knowledge?" "How do you acquire knowledge?" "How does theory ever exert itself into practice?" "How is should it not always be the primacy of practice over theory, that theories are these weak limpid things designed to fail, that the knowledge understood in the doing is so primary to the act of doing, while the knowledge understood in the doing is so limited to the act of thinking, so that, ethically speaking, it is important to understand that the act of thought becomes separated from the act of doing and wraps in on itself like the tautological ouroboros, goes nowhere?"

Maybe, right now, if I have an inkling of any answer, it's to apply the same undoing of the social vs. technological dichotomy to the terms theory and practice, or to understand the problem in a different way. What my body and my mind feels, to extent, is the practice of adjusting, getting-used-to, acclimation. Body and thought processes that were previously alien now happen much more smoothly. Understanding becomes a little bit like muscle memory (quite literally, if you think about neuroplasticity, of the mind as an FPGA), in which muscle memory builds on top of muscle memory to act. The question of "what is your mental model of how to land a punch?" has to transform in the face of trained movement, becomes nullified a little bit, because this idea of a model as distinct from movement is perhaps nullified as well. Are two interlocking gears a model, or movement? Is the loop-de-loop track of the rollercoaster a 'theory', or a 'practice'?

If I now know how to walk, is that muscle memory? A mental model? If I can spit out the answer to the square root of 144 in my head, where does that come from? Have I 'done the calculations'? If I multiply seven times 9, have I done the calculations there?

--

Here's a brief thought-metaphor:

What if the distinction between T and P is erased in favor for a theory of reaction speeds, of embodied knowledge, of the temporal distinction between reflexes and reflection? What if I say: "Riding a bicycle comes 'naturally', without thinking about it." "Facilitating a meeting comes 'effortlessly'". Or: "Flying a helicopter takes a great deal of concentration", "Performing on a stadium stage requires me to really keep my wits about me".

Any process can become embodied, over time. Usually, positive feedback loops are necessary for embodiment - what worked has to have worked before. Initially, an action is undertaken, and then feedback is provided, then the action enacted again, and then positive feedback starts to loop with increasing frequency, until at one point, the action becomes very easy to 'play back'.

The question of feedback is then of 'knowing when it worked'. This can take many forms, depending on how you 'verify' the processes of your action. The verification process of 'riding a bicycle' is 'not falling down'; making enough actions that lead to 'not falling down' starts to "bake" or ingrain those actions into one's being, starting to turn it it into something more faster and 'instinctive' or 'intuitive' that becomes summoned more and more quickly.

Soon, you can grasp a bicycle, hop on, and like a flash start heading somewhere else. The gap between the object and doing-something-with-the-object becomes minuscule, nearly infinitesimal. Sometimes, when that gap narrows with some parts of an object but not other parts of an object, or when the 'doing-something-with-the-object' is complex enough, you start to wonder at how you can quickly-do-something-with-an-object, and simultaneously not fully understand how it works. You start ascribing 'abilities' to the object: the object has the 'power' to do something, because you cease to see how your actions themselves are always in engagement with the object itself, yet you are in still wonder of the object. Do you remember having to learn how scissors worked? How to flush a toilet? Do you know how computers work, even as you "use" one right now?

Sometimes, your doing-something-with-the-thing becomes something you can build upon. So because you can do-something-quickly, you can do something else quickly. Because you know how to drive a car, you know how to deliver pizzas.

To clarify, knowing-the-thing is always a chunking/clustering operation, always a pattern recognition ability to group similar operations together. "I know how to drive a car" is really a scattered series of individual operations (pushing the pedal, moving the wheel, checking your rearview mirror) that you are performant enough at enough to become procedural memory. "I know programming" similarly being a very dangerous (and typical) statement indeed.

When you don't know math that well, you do it very slowly. Either there are slow feedback loops, or no feedback loops. And let's say - the thing about procedural memory or quickly-doing-something is that it's much less error prone, much more controlled. The doing something slowly is full of errors, instabilities, variances. And when you have complex processes (math building on math building on math), then the errors pile up, and you have a even hard time processing what to do and what you're encountering.

This is important - even if someone tells you exactly what to do, the speed at which you enact these things leads to these instabilities. (Knowing what to do and being able to do it is separate) What's most important is your relationship to these doing-things, and how fast you can be, and how much procedural memory you hold.

Gaining procedural memory is about doing, but the doing isn't just in the material realm; it is in the external outside-the-self realm, so you have to explain it, transform it to and from language, etc.

So then, the question. How do you make new things happen?

Well, you might ask other people how they do it. Sometimes, some people skip steps, because it's nearly invisible to them, because these feedback loops have condensed into nearly non-existent speeds, hyper low-latency. So sometimes, people describe the steps in a sequence that's missing a bunch of steps. Other times, you learn the full series of steps. Then, as you try to enact the steps, you painstakingly step through and make a series of mistakes. As you keep on trying the steps, you embody and absorb the earlier ones first, and the later ones later. (Slowly, you gain 'knowledge').

You might also try it out. You could imagine a way in which it's possible, or imagine that you already know how it's possible. So you try it out, and then you fail. Since it's a new process, unsure of whether or not it's due to your mistakes or the process itself, you try it again, and fail. Slowly, you start to embody the early processes, but it doesn't necessarily lead to a working final process. But a) other mistakes made might seem like they're getting closer, so you start adopting those processes, and b)
in the process of being wrong, you've gained a little bit more of the initial-steps-knowledge.

One day you are reading a book of these processes; some are familiar to you, some are alien, and all are not embodied by you. A kid comes by who is highly skeptical of that book, and says it is all meaningless. What do you mean, you ask? Well, he says, how do I do something with it? How do you make change? How do I know that the book is accurate? What is done with that book?

Patiently, you place the book down, and explain:

Sometimes, sometimes, people try out processes and accidentally succeed; others have known to like unsuccessful processes. So sometimes it's entirely possible that you're reading a compendium of unsuccessful processes, or processes that don't quite fit together, or processes that only fit together once in a while, or processes that only fit together after immense amount of absorption. Or: sometimes certain processes only work for certain people, or in certain situations. In addition, certain processes can be absorbed that are indirectly applied later, in other situations.

What's clear, though, is that the book is only a recipe, and the larger transformation happens between you and the world. The book is like a map for a mountain. The book is a proposal. The book is a treasure map, a set of instructions, a series of guidelines, a set of prohibitions.

The book is not meant to replace the things that you absorb. The intent is always to guide you towards absorbing things and trying out new chains of processes - at first, with little stability, and in time, growing confidence.

--

Questions to ask further:

"Doesn't the world work a certain way?"

This was 9 years, 2 months, 1 day ago

this precious state of being, flying back to nyc from an elsewhere, as ripely elsewhered as I could be. right now on this plane, flipping through a magazine, NYC seems a world away; those concerns seem so petty, so small, so local, so micro. the american-ness or the new-york-ness of new york, usa, amplified a thousandfold until it jumps out at you with harsh relief. I can almost run my fingers over the edges of local aesthetic, 'culture', 'texture', what have you not.

--

that is why, when traveling, I like infrastructure more than anything else; infrastructure, hardware, small points of production where the rhythmic patterns of logistics, resources, desires intersect and create small little nubbins of effects, very subtle, very minor. a small embossed 'recycle' mark on the bottom of a glass bottle. the plastic ridges on a power plug. tesselated patterns on manholes. the raised ridges on stairs. the paper texture and typeface of receipts. the placement and orientation of buttons on a vending machine. the different color and shape of traffic lights. subway smells. faucet handles in the bathroom, automated flush sensors, braille floorplans, exit signs, license plates, asphalt texture, crosswalk sounds. all of these impossible to replicate, to preserve. 'Infrastructure' of course even encompassing things that you could not see anywhere else; scraps of receipts, cheap plastic bags, the wrappers of onigiri rice balls, the shape and weight of convenience store drinks.

it wouldn't be a stretch to say that infrastructure alone may be the prime reason to travel at all. restaurants are everywhere. souvenirs already imported, thus unimportant other than the narrative of "I carried this back for you" imparted onto it. travel minus imports = the unconsciously preserved mundane, the wonderful and varied texture of the 'common', and overall a drinking-in of the entirety of the world, which requires a suspension of entitled notions of 'quality' and thus 'authenticity'.

right now, right now the violence of the concept of 'authenticity' seems infinite, primal, all sorts of destruction done in the name of authenticity, of a perceived trueness, which is perhaps as valid as trying to find the 'original river', stepping into it twice, and which, to an extent, is also like trying to talk to the same person twice. trying to visit the same country twice. not a loss but a movement; or rather even: everything is constituted out of movement and change.

I suppose it depends on one's attitude towards travel. a few years ago when I was in Mongolia, I saw a traveler at a hostel ask for a very specific tour: camel rides across the gobi desert. never mind that most tours across the desert involved horses, but they wanted that camel ride, and so the tour company was trying to figure it out. were they okay with a part-camel, part-horse ride? no. what about a caravan tour? no. a camel ride it had to be. and while I'm not critiquing the specificity of the request -- we all have our specific desires -- I can't help but assume that the desire for a camel ride was borne more out of an image of mongolia, image taking precedence over an undesired real.

and that seems like such a shame - to bring to a place one's own image of that place, and then to find it; a continual self-fulfilling prophecy in action, which is perhaps convenient and comforting, but a lesser form of travel in my very strong opinion; the meekest kind of self-negotiation. perhaps like watching movies, having read the plot beforehand, or even cheating on an exam; a desire for strict control overriding one's own ability to self-modify.

what underlies these ideas is most probably a cherishing of self-modification above all; self-less and self-alteration; exploration and movement. antithetical to that is the concept of fixity, steadiness, non-change. stable change is possible, in that 'stability' is the demarcation of certain zones of non-change ("healthy" = stability of bodily well-being, "safe" = stability of future bodily well-being).

--

my question to myself is then: how do buildings figure in this equation?

1) buildings, too, are organisms, yes, with lifecycles and rhythms, yes. but they are organisms at a long scale, perhaps an even longer scale than my own bodily being. after all, the earth is an organism. mother gaia is in constant flux. mountains self-modify, yes. yet at a local, human temporal level the mountain is as solid as could be; the ocean is as vast and unyielding as could be; as someone with a human body I can say that these things are solid. they feel like absolutes.

(and perhaps this way of thinking is liberating in that these kinds of absolutes and solidities and fixities are borne out of scales, not out of universals, but out of relative viewpoints, the real solidity of a blizzard's potential to kill existing simultaneously with the real ephemerality of a blizzard's lifecycle on the earth's skin. )

in any case; as long as I am here, there are real 'absolutes', or 'unchangings' (to me). the specifics of which thing is unchanging or not may differ over time, but they will exist as a category. these things do not change. then what?

2) how does one desire non-change (again, different from stability)? what is that like? is it boring? is it the rhythm of the ritual? does the 'framework', or a moment non-change that encompasses/allows change count? this is probably why I focus on conceptual-art-esque gestures as a way to decide things; meta-decision that allows a deferred local decision. (ex: how to decide what to eat tonight? the restaurant has to have at least three different vowels in its name.or: my idea for a ring: every morning, perform three gestures of 'wrapping' around one's finger. one can tie a piece of string looped three times around the finger; 'wrap' a running stream of water around the finger three times; trace a line with a pen around the finger, three times; 'wrap' the universe around the finger three times by turning around in space; etc.)

and to some extent this meta-decision is a decision; to some extent it is a continual deferral of one, the 'I will decide later', and to some extent it is an amplifier or a technique that makes something so interesting. it can be all of these three things at the same time.

to some extent I want the decision to come into full force for me as a powerful gesture; the decision as productive action; the decision as a joyous decision. In travel it is there; to seek out paths, to wander. I want to go that way. I want to go that way and to find this and I know what I want, am just trying to find it.

3) Then to some extent these decisions must be done with a kind of joyousness, not out of an endless regret of wanting to know what would have happened otherwise, but a joyousness of experimenting. the same way that one might mix together a concoction of ingredients to make a nearly-inedible food: there will be more. for now, let's see what happens. and I think this is often times very very productive and interesting; a kind of flexibility. make, make, make. oh, is it a failure this time? well, let's continue to move. when you wander, are you devastated by the dead-end, or the u-turn? of course not. so go forth.

4) but, but. the "let's see what happens" is also a deferral; not of the decision, but of the impact of the decision. the experimental mentality of joy and play founded not on wanting precise finalities but out of a loss of control or an openness predicated on not wishing to seek a singular result. "by making everything successful, nothing is successful." etc. etc. perhaps, perhaps not.

however: sometimes those cases happen. sometimes they need to be plunged into, and the solution not re-worked or twisted around or flipped, but just simply engaged with and met. no alternatives.

and so where does it start? or not start? if one pursues this mentality - of absolutely pushing through; then all games and all pursuits are aligned in the framework of success/not success. lying on the table is the korean middle school 15-subject grade average; here we go again, your name, id number, average, class average, school average. is it enough to be 11th in your school? 5th this year? and if you're not? isn't that always the criterion against which one will always fail?

5) unless there's a direct participation that doesn't involve this ranking. based on "effort", perhaps. process, not goals. did you go forth? did you, at least try? did you push through and get somewhere because you tried? isn't that worth it? it's worth it enough to have tried. maybe I need to score myself on how much I tried. re-orient things; instead of talent, it's effort. give myself grades for effort. the nice thing about effort is that the solution is clear.

6) maybe it is just - hours spent. how many hours did you spend on it? and perhaps it is especially nice because that is all we have - time. the most fundamental resource. and it is not shared; it is really just mine. how many hours did I spend? just that, perhaps.

7) I am aware of the extent to which this approach is anti-liberating. in fact, it is a jumping into the fray. it is a pro-stress approach. there is no freedom here, just engagement. but perhaps that itself should be an experiment.

8) to joyous effort.

This was 11 years, 2 months, 2 days ago

sometimes it's okay, and sometimes it's not, and sometimes I'm stuck, and sometimes I'm going, and lately more often than not I feel held, stuck, on the expanse of a wide field without knowing which way to go, and its because I feel viscerally the size of the sky. what I need to do is to talk a walk, "take a line for a walk", as paul klee said, just go and progress, and wander around.

personally for the past few years I've been visualizing progress and change and thought as a journey on a plane, on a landscape of events, a mountain over there, a valley over there. maybe what you want is a sunny prairie. maybe you want a bunch of craggy rocks. either way, there is no certainty, no linear line of progress, but even so there is wandering. which way do you go? over here, or over there? do you have to loop back around? and so on and so forth.

in ten years this will all have been hazy memory. in ten years I will chuckle to myself and recognize the same patterns, and I would have just have told myself to make something and be proud of it, to flex my muscles and feel the fibers firing, to know the joy of articulation, description, thought, system, and creation, to make and to make and to make. calculus integration is the technique of aggregating mathematically minuscule areas under the curve in order to find the total area. everything ever made is also an aggregation of the epsilon, the minuscule, the little sliver of x that is multiplied, added over a series of time and space in order to get somewhere. the epsilon of the evolution of a biological species is the genetic mutations that occur of the copying-over of chromosomes. action generates, generates, generates error and thus new value. make and make and make and eventually add it all together.

remember this, me. good morning, i say.

This was 13 years, 2 months ago

here's what I've been thinking about for the past month or semester:

There's a tactics of starkness, an aesthetics of starkness, of blockage. Reading these writers (continental/literary theory/etc) I can sense a ramping up of style, a sort of linear roller-coaster ride across the terrain of the essay, height indicating the difficulty or convolution. Things start out slow, get a little bumpy, climb hills, do triple loops, there is a climactic spike, and then a smooth denouement. What happens to the reader is that he/she starts slow, gets eased in, starts holding on tighter, etc. There are there are portions when the reader holds on for dear life, barely understanding but turning pages nonetheless. At the end, the reader is so grateful for morsels of understanding that the last sentence comes as a stunning blow, an aesthetic fanfare. Trumpets, etc.

There's a price paid for clarity, though, of letting the audience know what you are saying -- which is of a lack of a flattering image, of a lack of mystique. Without a degree of convolution it seems -- it seems like the essay reveals too much, or is too easy. There's a deference accorded to that-which-you-do-not-understand, looking up onto mountains not-yet-understandable; having revealed all of its secrets, a plainer text which argues the same falls flat. I attribute much of the fame of Fried's Art and Objecthood to the last sentence -- "presentness is grace" -- which is essentially a cryptic phrase that begs to be opened up. There is a withdrawal in crypticness, in harshness, the text berates and abuses the reader and the reader responds with adulation, maybe. Yes, more, more.

How this relates to me is this question of -- what about me? What do I do? Do I say "screw this -- I want you to know what I am saying" and write plainly, clearly? Do I say "I want to write what I want to write" and mix in many convoluted expressions (like I am probably doing right now?) Is there an immorality (in terms of my own moral structure) to using these tactics knowingly? Is there an integrity to not using these tactics too much?

And then on the other hand, these tactics are things that deal just with style, format not content (if I even believe in these distinctions anymore in the world of Derrida's parergons and supplements).

I think -- I think the core of this worry has to do with an integrity I wish for in writing and literature, for it to be free of a politics. Or at least, to be free in terms of an active political manipulation between the writer and the reader.

I think what I need to think is to decide where what I write lies. Is it closer to literature, a magic trick where part of the joy lies in the incomprehension of the illusion? Is it a scientific or engineering document where the elegance of the creation is in the transparent mechanisms of its workings?

And maybe I'm attributing these tactics to the author too much. The operation of these tactics really lie in the possibility for it to be used on a crowd of readers. If everyone saw obfuscation for what it was then things might not be so bad. The problem is that that's not always the case -- sometimes I know exactly what's going on, yet am swept up in the rush of emotions and feelings conjured up by something. That's always the problem, isn't it? Aesthetics covering over politics.

This was 15 years, 1 month, 25 days ago

• I am reminded of how you can stop knowing someone so suddenly

• I went to see Jeff Wall, his after hokusai photograph and that sontag-famous war photo and his even better diagonal compositions. I hope he's the kind of person shooting into corners in dark subways and lit rooms, always always dragging invisible crop frames across things with his eyes. Nice, nice, nice, nice nice.

• There was massive penis display at the moma, everyone with their schlongs and guns and phallices hanging out, dangling to the side, occasionally even firing off into empty air. Longer, Thicker, Faster. Casual snap photography of the mundane, elevated status of apersonal notation, without someone standing in the photo with a veectory hand signal even = DSLR work ethic applied to leisure. Fucking fuckers.

The FBI has not been here yet. Please watch for the removal of this sign.

• I miss miss miss miss miss miss miss. nested statements going back to the womb, now towards some kind of cave crawled into made from blankets in winter. create create create create create create create. oh this necessity for definition, for a home, a defined home clear-cut jutting-forth thrusting-down Here's my stake in the ground. Where's yours?

This was 15 years, 1 month, 27 days ago

I have dreams, immediate goals, two minuscule, one medium-sized:

1) to get a bottle of passover coke.

2) to get some miracle fruit.

3) to get an apartment in new york. Requirements: windows showing the sky and street. Warm lamps with incandescent bulbs. Large bookshelves. Gas stoves.