words written in the week of
July 2nd to July 8th
in previous years.
This was 5 months, 6 days ago

so many things happened. what do I do. do I log each day? do I absorb it? do I let it emerge when it might?

who am I becoming, I wonder.

on this road trip I am movement. I am acceptance. I go from place to place. last summer K said that polyamory felt like an experiment in letting different parts of the self emerge. non-rootedness feels like an experiment in shifting being, while also playing with what it feels like to be the same person. what core remains unchanging? can I size it, move it around, leave it the dense, semi-firm shape that it is, like a red-hot squash ball after a bout of action, still firm, but pliable, strangely sticky, stubbornly spherical?

I notice my movements. how do they feel? when do they rush, when are they steady, knowing that there’s all the time in the world because this whole thing is finite? the game is infinite because the life is finite. and then, and then? what happens after I’ve died a few times? died, reborn, died reborn? are these questions that cicadas or snakes or other molting figures ask themselves?

there is writing for me and me, and there is writing for me that I might share, and there is writing for you, if you are a friend, and there is writing for an amorphous ‘out there’. what is to be said is not simply what is to be said; it’s about where on the spectrum this lies, it feels. the writing between me and me is private. we talk over and through months and years and, now, decades. so then, what is this writing? why share at all? am I sharing to be seen? because in many ways, my seer exists inside of me already. so then, what do I want by sharing this at all?

this is a question that has plagued me since the age of the Blog, the weblog. why am I sharing, and to whom? to me these questions are paramount and pivotal, central questions that have to do with who we are, who we want to be, all that jazz. medium formation is identity formation. the world wide web was an experiment in identity, very clearly so, and it felt like it went without saying.

now we have these things. social media, which is really a series of ux frames, protocols, frameworks. my understanding of financialization is the double-layering of abstraction. the first layer is that what you value becomes tokenized, totemized in bonds, stock. the second layer is the metagame that arises out of the first layer. does the flash crash have anything to do with a loss of value? “depends on how you know that you value something”, someone might reply.

how do you know that you value something? do I value your attention, and you mine? if so, then why would I even want you to notice this? the double-layering of abstraction that exists means that social media’s metagame, the game on top of the game, is somehow played blindly, or boringly. what happened to that charm? was that relegated to a moment in time when I was ten, fourteen, eighteen, twenty one, shaping and being shaped by the internet, like K, letting parts of my self emerge?

the fact of the matter is that I am changing; I feel myself changing. molting, shifting, transforming. sitting with B over lunch, a month ago, I realize the wisdom that comes with decades more of age; talking to H, I realize the experience that comes with decades more of a practice. so all that is to say that: it turns out that this can happen, too. fascinating. heartbreaking. beautiful.

what’s definitively true is that I’m the fullest I’ve been in years. maybe even a decade. i am the happiest I’ve ever been in a long time. and I am definitely becoming the strangest I’ve ever been.

al-Hallaj

“And don't be afraid of being labelled strange. There is a freedom in strangeness."

— — —

what I really mean to hold on my heart is a kind of yearning. yearning for some futures, yearning for a kind of love, yearning for a kind of being, yearning for. yearning for someone (or something) that might knock on the door of my heart and say hello; yearning for someone I might be able to trust; yearning for my heart to be open again, open to being hurt in those ways again.

really, that’s it. simple. but isn’t that the crux of it? what does it mean to keep your heart open, knowing that you will get hurt? what does it mean to get hurt in the first place? what do I hold that allows me to hurt myself? expectations? desires? attachments? and is this attempt at understanding my own attachments a kind of wisdom, or another way for my fear of getting hurt to manifest?

what is fear? is it in the body, simply, a reflex and sensation that will cessate over time? Is it something to be conquered? loved? who is the me that is fearing, and what does he need, beloved? and if I were to console, “everything’s going to be alright”, would that not be an empty promise? but if I were to say, “everything is how it is”, wouldn’t that be how it is?

and so, as I look over myself fearing, what can I do but say, everything is how it is? —- and so, let’s move, let’s be the pea plant weaving spinning finding grabbing rotating twisting climbing, let’s be the water that finds and makes a path. let me be the me that I will be. already who I already am. let me, let me, let me;

at these moments, what might I say but: I love you, thank you, good night.

(written in the middle of the high desert, near Canyonlands, Utah, while watching the moon rise.)

This was 7 years, 5 months, 11 days ago

moving, of course, always one of the most loneliest of endeavors.

waking up early, like 5:30 am ("___ rawly waking, crude sunlight on her lemon streets") always the sensation of being other while you are here, a city that is yours only, a selfish, shared solitude.

maybe moving is so lonely because it is the sum total parts of your being stripped to their essence; you and a multitude of boxes, always a few more than you had expected, fitting neatly into a van, truck, some sort of vehicle. is this really who you are? I am boxes of books, boxes of sentimental (surprise, surprise) ephemera from since I was back in this country (age 14?), I am a few boxes of knick-knacks, a lot of clothes, a lot of electronics, supplies for future and projects, unrealized. I am box pile, measurable in cubic feet.

it's not the paucity of scale but the easily-understood nature, and also the extent to which I slowly grow to understand that I am the accumulation of my past selves; so much history layered (and everyone currently alive) - geological strata of selves laid on top of each other like a gorgeous piece of marble or an italian cold-cut sandwich, cut sectionally, scanned on a scanner, layer upon layer of things that are similar and different

or maybe moving is so lonely because it represents some desire of exit, withdrawal, non-contingency from the world - as if that were ever possible or ever even truly conceivable - to even ask the question betrays my imbrication in it. I don't mean 'exit' in some sort of post-structuralist 'living with new foundations' or even 'living without any foundations whatosever', but rather 'exit' in terms of "living with a single suitcase", to be afloat, afree, unbound.

but of course I immediately know that to do so is actually to rely on the worldwide logic of the credit card processor, visa/mastercard accepted here, even in this corner of the world, or the institutional solidity of cash, legal tender for all debts, public or private. the dream of baggage-less freedom thus the more reliant on the dream of a free-flowing network like money - not material contingencies and specificities, but the immediate fungibility that money insists upon; your dollar is my dollar. this card swipe works for this hotel room, no matter where. with just a shirt on my back, materially lightweight, I mobilize global infrastructures, my phone hopelessly entangled with api endpoints and cell tower / fiber optic infrastructure and gps satellites.

some time ago I read what I had written a year ago (summer, sunlight, sunsets over water gliding into the side of your eyes) about the world: something about how major problems ultimately arise from material issues, and eventually need to be solved at that level. I like the formulation, whether I agree with it or not. is it not just made out of the material? is everything not inevitably contingent? the world resists abstraction, occasionally pierces through your layers of encapsulation like a sea urchin in nested plastic bags. you're in pain because your hip hurts because you slipped on that piece of ice because that area of sidewalk was poured improperly and creates a pool of rainwater.

in any case. so: moving.

moving perhaps is then lonely because it's about seeing your worldly positions in a point of view of movement, weight, volume, dimensions. even the usual metric of valuation through cost/money (however flawed it may be) goes out the window. "I have so much stuff", I cry, "and I want none of it any more", while simultaneously understanding that to have stuff is to be bound and to not have stuff is to be bound even more. and 'bound' is the completely wrong word, as if there is any sort of freedom - maybe it's 'entangled', in the way that strings and fishing nets are always connected, so that even though the degree of 'connection' is never called into question, different levels of entanglement are eminently possible. are you knotted, twisted, slip-knotted, gordianed?

I have so much stuff and I want none of it, and I am so much part of the world and I don't want to be tangled, but here I am, a human being because I am a body.

This was 8 years, 5 months, 13 days ago

this is the part of this web-thing where I don't necessarily write about everything that is super crucial to my being, right now, but instead obliquely reference to different parts of my being (phenotypical expression, here) that happens as a result

so, an interlude:

whoa! this energy! the world is crackling. remember remember remember. there are always places to go to, people to meet, things to experience:

from January 13, 2013, in hong kong:

If there's anything to be learned it's that the world is big --

-- but no really, seriously, it is very very big; it is more vast and more varied than you could ever imagine it to be; and you will grow to 'understand' it soon but will travel again one day and will realize, once more again, that it pushes beyond the edges of your understanding. If there's anything to be learned it's that it is easy to fall back into myopic positions of complacency, worrying, competition, self-comparison, where the real challenge is in the long run, with one's own being. That this is all but momentary, but what is as concrete as concrete can be are the small nonverbal material things: the gesture of an old woman wiping a table, a glass of tea being poured, the involuntary outward sigh after the first bite of food, the contorted wince when pain strikes a body, the elongation of time when one is sick or hurt, the slippage and transience of memory, and all the other things that find their origin in the body and grow outwards from it. And if you ever forget these things, or stop viscerally understanding that the world is big, then you need to travel (alone) again, and rediscover and remember and remember.

The world is immense and people live in it = there is always, always, another way. In other words: there is never "no alternative". To say so is to fully be enmeshed in the immediacy, vitality, delimiting, constraining, blinding moment of the local present and present only.


sitting at a fountain at columbus circle I show an acquaintance my sketchbook and diagrams, small little enzyme-like things slotting into each other. how is knowledge acquired? how do you do things? how do you change, as a person?

today at a cafe uptown the thought pops into my head: the phenomenon of wanting to change is a little bit like pressing against the outer boundaries of yourself, making yourself continually uncomfortable, a continual scratch. what a strange impulse. who does that? and why? why this continuous othering of a being, why this continuous circling around other desires, like planets orbiting suns, playing out kepler's laws in action. what makes this happen?

in the end - it's all people; new people, wondrous people and wondering people, people for whom the world becomes large. people in the shape of books, that remind you that the world is immense; people online. people who work on projects, projects, projects. people driven by strange fantastic internal mechanisms; people who are different from you, and will be so different; people with whom you have incredibly candid conversations with, having only met them once before; people who you have only met recently, yet feel like you've known them for years and will know them for decades, neatly sliding into a part of your world that you didn't realize was there.

in this realm, there is always space.

some strange utopia originates from excitement and a sense of freedom. here's to ongoing projects and a sense of gorgeousness understood by stepping back.

This was 13 years, 5 months, 15 days ago


sky is deeper tonight, cab rides are endlessly long and instantly short. time elongates, and I am sitting here wondering and wandering.


in the shower last week I realized (or distilled) that much of this site right here is motivated by a desire to say something that is not simply the representative indicator of that-which-is-going-on-in-my-life, which is why I avoid writing about major events, birthdays, and so on. somewhere along the line I decided that this thing was an up-ender of orders; hence I am tempted to write about the that-which-provokes-me but not the things-which-strike-me-so-hard-lately, or things I think are important to me but not the things that so close as to hit me in the face. just-important-enough.

I remember reading in a book about astronomy about a telescope with a dark blind spot on the mirror. The dark spot was used to cover up really bright stars, so that the weaker stars in the vicinity of the bright star could be seen. this is that, maybe, the thing just-around-the-bend, right under the topsoil.


today eating banh mi alone there's this couple sitting next to me, and they look like they're on their second date or something. or maybe they're friends, but something about the banter is too casual and too unromantic to be friendly, as odd as that sounds. the girl's trying to talk about her ideas on liberal education and the guy says, "postmodern bullshit" with a friendly flirty smile, he says she's talking in "buzzwords", as if she's on a panel. without looking at her I feel her smile change, just slightly, but she's spunky and takes it in stride and changes the topic quickly, and that's the point at which I decide to leave.

later biking east along dean st I think about the word "buzzword", buzzword, and how something about it is sort of refreshing, the innards/mechanism of the signifier open for all to see. it is maybe especially signified-less. 'I say these things and they go nowhere, 'synergistic solutions' is all bark and no bite, corporate-speak, it is called, words that gloss over meanings, it is thought. but really here it's out in the open, it seems like it means something but we say that we know it doesn't, there's the propelling force of the sense-of-it-meaning-something (again, barthes' third meaning) without the underlying (supposed) destination. all it is is a vector, going that way. when we call it a buzzword we know it to be a vector only, and can watch its movement in flight without concerning ourselves too much with the bullseye, can describe how it flaps its wings, moves in air, changes trajectories, alignments, flows and grows and shrinks to become something else entirely. lines of flight, maybe.


the world cup makes me think lately of sports, and how the concept of sports is such a great response to the elementary fallacy of if-things-are-constructed-they-are-therefore-meaningless. there are vuvuzelas and there are canceled goals, but it's all in the game, so blame the referree, not the newtonian model of physics, blame the rule of offsides, not the constant of the speed of light. and so within this there is a certain joyousness to a collective agreement that arises out of a collective understanding. and this is so rare, so so rare, everyone agreeing to compete on the terms of this arbitrary game and going for it.

and it's perhaps this aspect of sports that is the great unifier, why the olympics has had a role as a peaceful worldwide event. nothing to do with the collective rooting for a single 'team' that reinforces demarcations, and thus the other ("go territory! go bounded region!"). rather, it's the collective understanding and acceptance of an arbitrary set of rules, the universal awareness of this set of agreements. we all agree to agree so we have set the ground upon which we disagree. it's this rarity I hope for and feel a euphoria in, when there's this under-unity, a sub-unity or sur-unity maybe, everyone not in agreement but in understanding of the terms of disagreement/agreement.

(and of course here comes ranciere: "Disagreement is not the conflict between one who says white and another who says black. It is the conflict between one who says white and another who also says white but does not understand the same thing by it or does not understand that the other is saying the same thing in the name of whiteness.")


last last week I got on the subway after 40 minutes of packed-platform waiting and shirt-flapping and sweating. finally the doors close and I sit down and open my book with a hundred other people when suddenly I feel the train lurch unnaturally like it's about to retch.a scream echoes throughout the station. the train stops, and I rip off my headphones and look up and see everyone with the same look, hundreds and eyes and mouths open, perfect circles, and instant expressions of comprehension and horror passing along everyone's face. instant, and everybody. there's no passed-out drunk, no gung-ho headphone guy, no chatting bangle-wearing girls, no readers, no sleepers. just a series of open eyes and mouths.

the train stops and the door opens and everyone floods out. someone's trapped between the train and the platform, pelvis and leg stuck in an impossibly thin gap. through an opening in the throng I see his hands moving faintly, silently. curls of hair covered with sweat, and a strangely glossy-wet darkish stain on the platform.

and so I go upstairs in a daze and share a cab with a girl whose entire body shakes when she laughs, and she laughs about the D train, and laughs about brooklyn, and laughs with empathy for the city and this guy. and so in a cab running over the brooklyn bridge, over water and under the moon, I think about how moving that image of horrified people was, how all of a sudden 'everyone was united'.

but above this all I think about this phrase I utter, "everyone was united", how much I treasure and cherish this fantasy image, and really really how much this is based on a fundamental pessimism for such unity -- or rather a fundamental belief that things let go as they do, letting the chips "fall as they may", results in this absolute heterogeneity, a multiplicity of people never fully unified. never coming together.

two weeks ago at a party I spent hanging out with my next-door neighbor g who talked about wanting a utopia, "a utopia without locks or gates". instantly it was the distillation of drink and friends and playing host with a two-way-keyed-door that I realized (and said so) that that doesn't happen; there is a utopia with gates and an atopia without locks. the central thesis of a utopia is to have a selected group of people, or a homogeneous culture, or a bounded heterogeneity which is really a clearing of homogeneity, and to have such a thesis. the thesis survives by its opposition against the non-thesis, to be a firm wall, to say something and to have directionality. saying 'something' is to say "this, but not this". and as such the thesis-like-utopia without saying 'not-this' is like having art without a jury, language without a grammar, a game without rules. which is not to say that these things should not happen -- quite the contrary -- it's just that the 'constraints' of the things are in fact the constitutive conditions of its creation. art isn't selected, selection makes art.

heterogeneity and utopia at odds with each other. or: freedom and security. the challenge is to draw the line somewhere, because the absence of a line within a society is a hobbesian state of nature, or anarchy. the tightening of a line is the creation of reduced liberties and a stronger utopia-thesis (at the expense of those who are excluded outside this line). within a government, the question is not of strategy, but of its application.

is this too dualizing? there has got to be some other way of thinking about this other than another boundary. and again of course this boundary is not hard but is a boundary layer, more like, a gradient where there are no differences between grays but there is a distinction between white and black, red and green, yellow and blue. and so on.


anyways. back to this all. banh mi, eating, liberal education, buzzwords, so on. after this all I pedal on this bike whistling some song by broken bells thinking about cab rides and airports, and I want to say, guy with short cropped hair and the piercing sardonic voice, words are all buzzwords, everything is all vector and buzzword, I am on bike going somewhere, late june zipping towards july zipping towards august towards september, destinations defined at the start but created in the process, the movement itself the constitutive conditions of its creation, so to speak. so to speak.

This was 14 years, 5 months, 13 days ago

I think right now 2:19 am I will call this the magical push, or the brooding suck, or whatever bad phrase I manage to conjure up at this moment -- that sort of inward pressure the outward forces in on you to make things and write things and have the words inside bubble up in the wondrous alchemy akin to witches' cauldrons and boiling tar pits. magical push? and I lack it at this moment, I've been sitting in front of keyboards waiting words to spill out.

-

talking about what I'm doing right now it's great. I feel unstimulated areas of my brain coming through. now I understand the allure of sol lewitt, of conceptual art, of the sheer joy but also absolving of responsibility when a creation is notched onto a concept, aimed towards the sky, and let loose in a deformed parabola dented by wind resistance and the early morning fog. allure is the right word - "let it loose", algorithmic processes, the relief of computational architecture setting into place maybe, grand creation stepped away from by the pure generative quality of mathematics. absolved from the mental juggling involved in the midst of chosen creation.

-

I don't know what to do or where to step. I feel confidence brimming. I feel energetic and optimistic. I feel like couches are palaces and planes are, well, planes and movement is magic and change is sacred and that I should be going more and moving more and running more and being more excited and more alive and less scared of things and more scared because I've just jumped. things like that.

I can feel this ability to translate mind to language; diametrically opposed to bullshit this is transformation, mapping. a week ago there was this talk and I had the vague idea of a question but found my hand rising before I knew what exactly I was going to say. that minuscule space between thinking and saying where I held the mic and everything went silent was this golden arena in which I found myself with the realization that yes, I could coast on this, and it was almost as if the abrupt impulsiveness with which I raised my hand contributed mostly to the corresponding unbroken stride of my question, decisions made unwittingly, let's see what happens, plunged in moments altogether more important than a question at a talk but still sharing that sense of a golden moment, things slowing down, stopping...

-

sleepy. tired. confused as well.

This was 16 years, 5 months, 7 days ago

The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe
apexart, 291 Church Street (between Walker and White st) Tues - Sat 11-6pm
July 7 - August 11
Apex Art invited curators to submit small artworks by two artists for inclusion in its massive, salon-style show of nearly a 1,000 diverse works. All of the pieces in the exhibition, by artists known and yet unknown, are available for bidding starting at $10. -Flavorpill

Generation 1.5
Queens Museum of Art, June 10 – December 2
Artists who came to the US in their teens. May be interesting..

Source Code:
Eyebeam, May 31 - August 11, noon - 6pm
"Source Code refers to the human-readable instructions used in computer programming that must be translated to machine-language in order to be executed; it also refers to the roots, or ‘source code’ of Eyebeam’s own origins. The works in the exhibition share the conceit of being parameter-based in that their conceptual thrust relies on fixed conventions, methodologies or formal constraints which generate and transform meaning."

Automatic Update
MOMA, June 27–September 10
"The dot-com era infused media art with a heady energy. Hackers, programmers, and tinkerer-revisionists from North America, Europe, and Asia developed a vision of art drawn from the technology of recent decades. Robotic pets, PDAs, and the virtual worlds on the Internet provoked artists to make works with user-activated components and lo-res, game-boy screens. Now that "new media" excitement has waned, an exhibition that illuminates the period is timely. Automatic Update is the first reassessment of its kind, reflecting the artists' ambivalence to art, revealed through the ludicrous, comical, and absurd use of the latest technologies."

Tunga
P.S. 1, May 20 - September 24
"Juxtaposed for the first time, the monumental installations Laminated Souls (2004/07) and Á la Lumière des Deux Mondes (At the Light of Both Worlds) (2005) explore imaginary laboratory aesthetics."