words written in the week of
July 10th to July 16th
in previous years.
This was 11 years, 8 months, 28 days ago

sun's going to rise in a few hours. am dancing alone in my room,
thinking of you.

This was 11 years, 9 months ago

it is eleven and I am biking home and it is raining and I am wet and it is alright because I am going east on dean street and there are no cars and I bike without hands and glide around potholes and stretch my arms and I am getting soaked and sodium yellow lights spaced yards apart split myself into a fan of shadows on the ground and everything is so quiet and sleeping and I love these moments so much so much these magical tangible moments, incommunicable.


Talking to a friend I reify my thesis: the power of a phenomenological puncture (whether for images or for bodily presence) is something that only happens really in two cases: with a perception of scale or an event of impropriety. Is this really so big? Did that really happen to me?

The first is a little bit more subtle; you walk into it and it happens and a space envelops, develops. The first is in the grammar or technique of habit, Benjamin's architecture absorbed in a 'state of distraction', and in the language of infrastructure, which is optical design + physical presence + scale. Noticing the shape of power plugs or the color of traffic lights or the painted lines on street crossings or the material of building facades or the (non) angularity of building edges.

Because these spaces of puncture depend on a sense of newness, of learning-into-a-language, they always happen right at the moment when something is encountered, deemed 'exotic', pushed as the other. The presence of another further delineates a line of the self, maybe, 'I know who I am because I know I am not you', 'I notice everything that is different about Korea because I have never been to Korea', 'Having lived in Korea now I do not notice everything that is different about Korea anymore'. And this is something that is not sustainable; it's the sound of joyousness as a sandcastle crushes to bits, or a house of cards falls down, or bottles break; it's the sound of entropy being celebrated, the progression towards disorder itself a delight, the discrete number of states increasing within a system to the point that I can no longer say 'you vs. me', or 'him vs her vs me vs them', but 'you vs. you vs. you vs. you vs. you..... vs. you'.

What I mean to say is that once familiarized with, there is no re-jolt of sudden surprise, because the surprise or puncture that I am thinking of is itself the surprise at unfamiliar-things-being-noticed-and-thus-becoming-unfamiliar. And maybe that's when the architecture of habit comes in; after the initial jolt there is always this slow absorption, slow absorption, which is the default state because with most buildings there are not many punctures, not many surprises. Unlike art. Maybe this is simply because buildings buy into a history of solid buildings, whereas (Western) art's recent history, within the last 150 years, has reiterated a history of ruptures, of things-changing-now.

Serra or Matta-Clark or Turrell come into this in that they start with an architectural jolt, the initial surprise of a cutting-out-of, of the scale of panes of iron, of the non-graspable gestalt of a seemingly immaterial square in the ceiling. Travel is the other way around, the spectator moving through the medium than to have the medium be moved for the spectator, so to speak.

(And suddenly I have this image of the traveler always having to travel, always having to move in search of more ruptures, because having encountered an 'exotic' country and watching it become 'native' and 'home-like' is the simultaneous joy and sadness; because the celebration of vertiginous newness, of looking-at-something-that-is-different is exactly the reason for its disappearance, in that looking-at-something makes things not-so-new... And so maybe the traveler packs up his bags in search for the territory which, for the traveler, will be never-becoming-his, always-new-and-other.)

The second event of this phenomenological puncture is this bodily puncture: is this really happening to me? Maybe more aligned with crisis or rupture or change, this sensation follows the Kübler-Ross model of endurance: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.. More than anything it's the initial taste of denial that is so horrifyingly vertiginous and life-changing that is so powerful. On a more lighter and smaler scale this puncture happens when one is dragged onstage to be part of the performance, perhaps, or something changes within the terms of the artwork/performance/fiction ("did that character really die?"). Is this really happening?

As I was saying to this friend earlier: Relational aesthetic is oft-maligned as a gimmick, maybe, something that rides too heavily on the core idea or process. But really when it succeeds is when one doesn't perceive it as a tactic; there are boundaries that are broken or trespassed, like the crazy guy on the subway threatening you, or being swung at on the street, or almost being mugged, or being in a bike accident, where the question of denial of "is this happening to me?" is answered quickly with "yes, yes it is", and the other stages are activated into play. When I went to see Tino Sehgal's "Is This Progress" -- or rather, when I let this happen to me, it was one such moment when my expected boundaries were stretched. It has nothing to do with the expectation of how an artwork should or should not function and whether it should or should not include the audience in it. It has less to do with the surprise at the specific events that unfold, and more to do in that they unfold in the way that do. It has everything to do with the continued and controlled sensation (the word 'awe' comes to mind) of 'is this happening to me?' and the way in which the spiraling narrative up the stairs encouraged and induced this question in so many different ways, without lagging. Hence, the possibility of the piece being 'spoiled' by other viewers. Hence, the resistance against taking photographs.

If my words come across as stating Sehgal as a 'relational aesthetic', whatever that may be, that's not what I mean to say. What I mean to say is that the rich and powerful spark of RA that Bourriaud brings up (brought up, rather, more than ten years back) as something that is debated in the open, whether successfully pursued by Gillick and Tiravanija and etc. etc. is really something valuable. Valuable, because it's another way of pursuing this phenomenological rupture, this bodily rupture. Bodily ruptures don't have to be relational, or pursue an aesthetic, but what they maybe have to do is puncture an aesthetics of relations -- aesthetics spoken about in the sense that Ranciere does, which is to treat them as bounded territories or discourses (in the words of other thinkers). Arenas that are broken to let other things flood in, the cleanliness of the self dirtied by the exterior. And this shock is something that is both "bad" and transformative -- a "hygiene problem", as DFW's The Broom of the System's Dr. Curtis Jay would call it...

This was 12 years, 8 months, 28 days ago

bright lights burning night I like this now five oh five running towards things a sense of growing certainty forceful direction and intent proper singing run tonight and tomorrow and so on making cities forming spaces body-centered phenomenology bachelardian spaces leashed willingly to function two points on a surface and a string generating ellipses, ellipses........

This was 12 years, 8 months, 29 days ago

Biking through harvard yard as the sun starts to start setting I lean into turns and watch faces slide by. Over there, ahead, this girl yells out 'Clara! Clara!' with increasing urgency, or no -- rather it's annoyance mixed with regret, and I lean into another bend and see this girl in the distance growing larger and closer, and I see that the way she's walking, her short hair is bobbing up and down, and I realize that this is her, and I immediately understand her anger just from the edges of her hair flickering like whips or the ends of snakes' tongues, snapping up and down, undulating waves zipping themselves up the ends and to the top of the head and dissipating in the air. I pass her by and don't look back because I'd like to imagine the anger on her face already audible in the exasperation in her step and I'd like to preserve this as just one vignette already sliding by in the created diorama that is the immediate world on your bicycle, on your left are cavespeople in their natural habitat, on your left is eighteen-year-old Clara and her anger, and an enormous whale suspended from the ceiling above.

This was 14 years, 8 months, 24 days ago

There's just so much stuff going on during the summer.

ROFL! v1.1
11:30pm, July 27, $15
Internet art, in the real world. Hmm.

Bora Yoon (( (Phonation) )) (w/ Kaki King, Adam Matta, and Stefano Zazzera)
7:30pm (6:30pm doors), July 26, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Allen Room
Site-specific sunset performance.
"Bora Yoon (vox, electrocuted violin, Tibetan singing bowls, cell phones, musicbox, synth, guitar, foundsound, electronics) is a performance artist, composer, and multi-instrumental sound architect. "
Registration is out, but cancellation tickets may be available..

Interactive Youth -- from recent NYU ITP graduates
Material Connexion, 127 W. 25th Street
M-F, 9am - 6pm. Until August 17
"From solar bikinis to reactive snowboards to interactive friendship bracelets to rotating orbs, Michael DelGaudio, Anne Hong, Andrew Schneider, and Nick Sears blow up the mold with objects that keep us "in touch" with the things we desire. Fresh talent and fresh technology from the New York University Interactive Telecommunications Program, these recent graduates embark on visions that are refreshingly tangible and simultaneously digital. Challenging our notions of what we think is possible, these young luminaries represent a generation of new designers investigating the relationship between materials and technology. They truly are connected.
Materials are the building-blocks for these technologies and exchanges. With innovative material developments like conductive ceramics, E ink, fiber optics, and photovoltaic cells, it is becoming possible for us to engage more readily with our surroundings, and to establish new dialogues about how we interact. As we develop these interactive technologies, we can anticipate their place in our homes, on our stuff, and in our bodies: the future is in these technologies, and it talks back."

2007 International Artists-In-Residence Exhibition
Location One, 26 Greene Street (between Canal and Grand)
Tues-Sat, 12-6pm, June 2 - July 28
"While Location One seeks to nurture a critical awareness of the implications of technology for contemporary society in both our artists-in-residence and our audiences, and on a practical level, to introduce artists to the possibilities of new media in their art practice, the work we exhibit covers a full spectrum: painting, sculpture, video, digital, audio, installation and performance. It is the convergence of artists working in all these areas which is of paramount interest to us. We believe that collaborations across multiple disciplines, and conversations from many perspectives, produce rich insights and raise critical questions."
I've never been here, but I've meant to -- they seem to be very media-art oriented.

Geek Out Summit
7:30pm, Sunday, July 22, free/$10(?)
MonkeyTown, 58 N 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
"The Geek Out Summit is an event where individuals who are obsessively fascinated by specific areas of knowledge share their passion with others. It provides a context for like minded people to get together, network, invite coincidences, and discuss the things they geek out about. In this quarter’s installation, we will cover the following interesting & evoking topics: Geo-Aware Mobile Web Applications, From Bombs to Twinkies: The fascinating history of the modern food industry in 15 minutes or less, DNA Fingerprinting, Product Spotlight: MLB.TV’s Mosiac, Creative Commons Licensing as Viral Marketing

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
8pm, July 26
Part of BRIC - Celebrate Brooklyn! summer events, Prospect Park Bandshell
"In Another Evening: I Bow Down, Jones is both dancer and spectator, moving through a landscape of natural disasters and personal reminiscence. Jones' 10 dancers "explode with physical emotion in a riveting display of reckless abandon and total control." (Metro New York) Music by Wagner and contemporary Russian composer Anton Bagatov is juxtaposed with live performance by the Bronx based hardcore band Regain the Heart Condemned, ingeniously incorporated into the set."

Brazilian Girls + Cat Empire +HIMALAYAS conducted by Kenny Wollesen & Jonathon Haffner
3pm - 7pm, Sunday, July 22
Central Park Summerstage

JellyNYC Pool Parties feat. Band of Horses w/ Annuals and DJ Cosmo Baker
2pm, Sunday, July 22
McCarren Park Pool

Part of Susan Lori-Parks's 365 Plays project:
Vortex Theater Company
10pm, Friday & Saturday, July 20 & 21
Sanford Meisner Theater, 164 Eleventh Avenue (22nd st)
"Our 365 performances will feed off the energy and format of an indie rock show to create an all-encompassing theatrical event structured around seven plays by Suzan Lori-Parks."

This was 14 years, 8 months, 25 days ago

Of course the boundaries of words are rendered indistinct, inseparable with static and line noise, some engineer's calculated signal-to-noise ratio: 'exx percent plus minus uhh four five percent'. This plus-minus gap is where our communication lies, where sometimes these flareups of frustration occur at an inability to get through, at asking for it again (what, what, what?), words come out through speakers having gone into ears sliding down ravine-like thought like rivulets then coming out of microphones. Tinny and flattened you sound ethereal, almost shapeless to me, lacking substance or reality and to check myself I stomp my feet and swing my arm and feel asphalt, unyielding, and the muscles in my arm flex and turn and wave past these molecules of Manhattan air like some horribly inefficient sail. Stamp and slash and here I am again, walking across these streets, tied to you like these long strands driving up above and circling above stratosphere in a semi-orbiting (orbital?) line following Great Circles dropping down rain-soaked and rainbow-dried down to you and your hand and your ear. Tethered (but not leashed) I walk these streets as if I've got a balloon attached to my wrist, despite the ribbon in a meta-slipknot -- knot creating slipknot creating slipknot -- still sliding up the wrist, my arm swinging, and the color of the balloon always red red red against a blue blue blue sky.

This was today, today, Midtown Uptown Downtown Manhattan with the sense of higher skies and taller buildings and a coolness in the air that made it seem almost like autumn was coming, except no no it wasn't it's mid-July now so maybe it's like an inverse Indian summer. Nevertheless there's the feeling of movement and dynamism and change in the air and everyone's moving, undulating to each step, this sense of joined united separation, unifying fractures. I think I said something about this last year but it seems that summer, summer, SUMMERS are times when overlap occurs, each summer laid on top of each other like some palimpsest, nostalgia for the current moment inevitably piercing through bible-paper-thin divisions and slicing right through into the previous one, last summer, the one before, and then the one one one before that. Years of walking on asphalt during summer all synchronized and condensed into a single point, and so here's me and here's last year and here's the year before that, layered, remembering what it was like to bike down to 124th 134th to lock, get off, come 'home', save space, wander around Central Square, introduce myself to this new city. What it was like to be at Antonio's, listening to earphones all the way home, Swimmers on repeat as I crossed the small triangular patch of grass towards towards a lock that opened with the key in my hand and felt so intensely aware of the length and speed and accuracy and bend and the curves of my legs and the way my ankles moved and the way in which my feet bent inwards/outwards --

And now as I get off the train eyes adjusting to the night here are these breezes these some kids sitting on steps smoking being quiet in the way only a cigarette break can offer universally, forced non-vocal use of the mouth, the necessity to be outside, the quiet social interactions necessary to light one here cup your palms yeah yeah oh one more time yeah cup your palms lean in oh ah, a leaning back with the edge of the stair cold concrete pressing through shirt and to skin in a frigid line that's more cool than anything, someone's slow exhale, and then mute, then fade to black.

Passing by and seeing this them and those other precious imperceptible moments I go home full of this city, this city at night and I call you, but mistakes are done, done my fault done when all I really wanted to say over noise and signal both, over words that don't start nor stop in this city distilled and undiluted and refinedly raw, rawly refined, was that it was as if tonight, this night, that you were here, you were the whole city, and that's that.

This was 14 years, 8 months, 26 days ago

To watch this guy is to see eloquence and opinion condensed in form; geeky confidence exuding, colloquial intelligence, like a sharp knife wielded in air, deft, strong, weaving words in the right way. After watching thirty minutes of him talk I feel more educated, learned, my footsteps somehow weightier with the sense of higher skies and further paths. The sensation of holding a gun, perhaps a gun that shoots words, streamlined roughness and self-aware mention, power all more powerful because of its ability for self-regulation and awareness (the switch that can turn itself off and so therefore controls more power), standing next to a miniature-monolithic device, trembling and moving swiftly with massive inertia, sure and yielding. Incredible.

This was 14 years, 8 months, 27 days ago

Sirenfest
Coney Island, July 21, all day
Lineup:: M.I.A., Voxtrot, the Twilight Sad, New York Dolls, the Black Lips, Matt and Kim, Cursive, Lavender Diamond, We Are Scientists, the Detroit Cobras, Elvis Perkins, Dr. Dog, Noisettes, White Rabbits

LoVid's Patch
The Stone, Ave C & 2nd st, July 19, 10 pm, $5
33 performers, one signal in series: "Starting with a static signal, each performer accepts a signal into their processor and passes their processed signal on to the next performer in the patch. Each performer's processing of the signal is continuous and doesn't involve live human manipulation; the piece evolves as each processor is added."

Paper Rad Featuring Cory Arcangel
July 24, 8 - 11pm, MoMA, $10
"In conjunction with MoMA's media exhibition Automatic Update, PopRally, presents an evening of live performances, art, and music with the artist collective Paper Rad, featuring Cory Arcangel and special guests. PopRally is a series of events for young New Yorkers.
Influenced by 1980s mass media and pop iconography—from Garfield to Gumby to Trolls—Paper Rad (Jessica Ciocci, Jacob Ciocci, and Ben Jones) playfully combines found footage from TV and the Internet with original animations to create utopian, rainbow-filled environments of throwaway technology and images that have permeated the last two decades.
This event will feature music and multi-media performances by Ben Jones, Cory Arcangel, Slow Jams Band, and DJ Jazzy Jexxx. The artists create a psychedelic landscape where viewers can tune in, tune out, revel, and reflect on the ways in which the new-media era of the recent past has changed the way we comprehend art, music, and culture."

Films and Videos for Automatic Update
8 BIT. 2006. USA. Directed by Marcin Ramocki, co-directed by Justin Strawhand. A combination of "rockumentary," art exposé, and culture-critical investigation, 8 BIT ties together the 1980s demo scene, chip-tune music, and artists using "machinima" and modified computer games. 90 min.
Saturday, July 21, 2007, 6:00 p.m., Theater 1, T1

This was 14 years, 9 months ago

Another summer reading another novel about old new york. Turn-of-the-century, things gone past, baseball games, immigrant families, tenements. This one, 'Ragtime' by E. L. Doctorow, is more direct, having less properties of constructing higher skies and deeper nights, as Underworld did. Instead it propels me more into the now, a kind of slingshot into me and here and New York East Village Brooklyn Washington Heights, proper nouns first emphasized and pointedly proper, then as use grows and people start to connect, capitals sanding down into smaller, more intimate units of measurement and endearment: thecity, firstandfifth, fortgreene, oneseventieth.

:::

slowly it feels like I'm so young so young so so very young oh so so so young. and it's great. young young young argumentative and angry, consisting and construed from the smallest things: shape of glasses, the way we hold ourselves and exude body language from the knees elbows arms and hands. This: Now: Time: Nice, not an apogee, no highest point to measure, just the strong jolt of propulsion kicking into drive. oh to be in my twenties. oh to be twenty. oh to have a whole life ahead of me and to distill this cherishing at night, alone, during walks, inbetween trees and half in the street, to solidify these things into creation and expectation and action and desire and drive and to force themselves into solid objects, to swing them around and to make them mine, ours...