words written in the week of
October 13th to October 19th
in previous years.
This was 12 years, 6 months, 26 days ago

and what to do? and which way to walk? choices are thin, flimsy. here we are. what should we have done? which road to take? which road to make?

and we get off a plane, and the world is anew. we could go there, or here. we could walk down that road. turn that corner. stay here. walk over there. there are no paved roads, just traces, just the dust entering our sandals, and the desert night air, and the chill of weather, and that might just be it, nothing but the choices you choose to take on. we'll figure it out

lately I think: what happens at the end? do you look back and regret? will I be seventy, eighty, ninety, thinking that I should have done something else, lived looser, tighter, walked slower, faster, been a little more or less foolish, more hungry, more accepting, more flexible, more compassionate, more soft, more rigid? is there nothing but just endless questions? and there's nobody to tell you the right answer, just you and yourself, no magic answer, which is the worst part, and so of course you look at yourself and wonder what to do. only you know, only I know, only I know, only you know.

This was 13 years, 6 months, 24 days ago

I'm still missing the summer, but:

suddenly can't wait for it to be a chillier day, to wrap myself in a scarf and a coat, to take the train up to the dia, or out to the end of long island one day and to sit on a cold rock on a cold beach and watch the gray tide move in and out, in and out. spend a weekend day drifting among shuttered stores, sleepy neighborhood stores with handpainted signs, the smell of dampness in the air. and then to take the train back into new york, leaning against the window, and to remind myself of boston, and its wetness, and its dampness, while I'm here, watching the city grow as the train shoots towards its epicenter.

This was 13 years, 6 months, 26 days ago

there is something funny about the student of architecture who spends so much time thinking about buildings, spaces, social arrangements, and how they work, that (s)he never has the time to be home. I've always got a change of clothes hidden in my bag. I've been sleeping on friends' couches. at studio, I have a fridge, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a spare shirt & pair of socks & underwear & pants, jelly and jam, bread, a desk lamp, my cellphone charger, my laptop charger. I live here. but it doesn't seem altogether crazy, or unbelievable -- it's as if it's an extension of myself, as if it was the only understandable sequence that made sense to my brain: me working here, at night, 1:26am having spent the night on a couch last night for 4 hours, probably doing the same tonight (if I don't go home, that is), showering at the gym. I've got this email to write, another email to write, scripts to code, websites to build, climatologists to think about, buildings to model, grasshopper/rhino pythonscripts to code, lectures to go to. but in the midst of this all I'm keeping up, doing all the work, replying to all the emails. keeping in touch. finding space. seeing friends. dancing at dean st. deliriously tilted sideways, listing sideways. running in sunny prospect park on a beautiful day? yes? well? it's a little bit fast, but not too fast. just right.

(but I do hate this self-exoticizing: I don't mean an exoticizing of the self, but of one's routines, one's experiences. isn't it crazy that this thing happened to me in this country when I was traveling then? one of the lines I wrote for M's manifesto show (but never submitted): "a deferral of initial judgment generates a productive glossolalia". I think there's value in being fascinated and enthralled but not shocked at the new, because that initial 'shock' is the spark which creates that laughter, the horrified laughter stemming from a breaching of propriety. the gesture of a gentle shock (not a real, major, shock, but a smaller one), rather than being a celebratory exultation of newness, is in fact an event that happens at the moment of a rending/tearing-apart that ends up sealing everything back up again. the nervous laughter at a black-tie party, maybe, is itself a powerful force that seals off the origin of that laughter maybe: a gaze over spectacles and a surprised laugh at a miscreant, being the disciplinary gesture that silences this so-called miscreant. that sort of thing. instead, in the face of these breaches of routines that will always happen (and should), the better path is probably to accept things with a (mostly silent) deferral of judgment: simply a wait-and-see. okay, that's that. that's how things are; what now? what now? and that way things happen. it's not a blasé-ness or a disinterestedness, or a insincerity -- just a temporary deferral of a judgment within an otherwise insistently earnest reception of things...)

and this is probably why I'm hesitant to describe this gsapp experience as a crazy crazy thing, because while on one hand it is, on the other hand it seems to feel right, a fit. there are all-nighters, there are conversations, there are dialogues. as A put it yesterday: I am searching for fecundity, potent loamy and all manure-like, and within this process I'm getting it, operating within it. and so on. and this happens. and there is tomorrow. and it is 1:42am and I'll get home by 3, maybe, go to sleep for a few hours, or maybe not. who knows? the sun will rise and I'll be tired but fulfilled, happily stressed, stressfully happy.

p.s. must create an architectural sestina one day. or, at least, a diagram/study model that is a sestina. or a villanelle.

This was 14 years, 6 months, 21 days ago

I don't know why I'm so concerned about this notion of a misreading, or rather the impression of non-access. It's not you in relation to something else that's important but the impression that you yourself get that you're missing something, self-imposed feeling of lack that stops you short. At the start of a photograph you start running along a timeline because you imagine narratives starbursting out of this one photograph but instead what happens is that your feet stop short, tied together, and your arms pinwheel around in confusion. It's breakage, lackage, nonreadability. At that moment of nearly-freefall, of vertiginous movement lies a sense of wonder in terms of perception, it's the vibration of do-I-feel-this rubbing against the this-is-what-I-see, that you (or rather I) see, it's me, it's my focus on things and my perhaps excessive sensitivity, antennae tuned too hard to the vagaries of air eddies.

Saw zizek yesterday. He was lucid and entertaining and clear and rambling. Still he sounded more like an arguer than a thinker, said things like "of course we want women to choose their partners" as a preamble to more complicated arguments, but all I could think about at that moment was 'and what about the premise'? I mean, pleeease, of course I want gender equality, but it seems to me that the more interesting part is when A comes along and says 'why would we want that?' and B says 'because people are equal' and A says 'well, but they're not' and all of a sudden here there is a chasm not on the level of opinion but on the groundwork on which the concepts lie that allow A and B each to formulate their opinions. What happens after this seemingly unavoidable chasm, other than the violence of Yes-I'm-Right and each trying to convince the other of the propriety of their argument? On the level of social organization and the creation of ideas and values, what happens with this partitioning that must look something like a voronoi diagram...

This was 14 years, 6 months, 25 days ago
"The essence of neurosis is conflict. But the essence of living now, fully, not blocking off to what goes on, is conflict. In fact I’ve reached the stage where I look at people and say - he or she, they are whole at all because they’ve chosen to block off at this stage or that. People stay sane by blocking off, by limiting themselves. "

-Doris Lessing, "The Golden Notebook".

there have been a lot of progressions. chord progressions.

a month ago someone dredged up some songs by MBV, my bloody valentines, old songs but newly released, leaked. they're great. they're lush. they're somewhere between nostalgia and experimentation, new looks and retrospectives. newly old. this feels very proximate, propinquite (?).

stepping. it's important to step. if there's a lesson I'm learning now it's how to keep goals in form, not to let them dissipate as mirages but to strain and frown and focus my eyes like I'm looking at Magic Eye images, crosseyed, held in focus like rays of sunlight converging post-lens (held by grubby hands of arm of tweenage kid) on some poor ant's thorax.

This was 15 years, 6 months, 19 days ago

If New York is beautiful for me, it's because it's a masochistic experience of domination, this walking on the street. If New York is beautiful, these windows and cars and grids, and especially this sensation of walking on the street, at night, looking up -- if this is so, it's perhaps because the grid of the city replicates itself in from the unit of the window, these rectilinear panes on buildings on blocks.

On the street you look up; rectangles are distorted into parallelograms of light, floating in space. Whatever beauty these polygons hold is due to this vertical distance, light formed, and shaped by the architectural semi-opening, me being here, light being there. Private illumination longed for from the public. As you walk you experience the spatial and social stratifications of height, privacy, comfort; replicated thousandfold over the space of the city this experience expands into a pyre, mausoleum, underground network of mausoleums and crypts. You could be there but you aren't. Thus: anything could be there; infinite possibilities both heart-wrenching and tantalizing.

When you go home, you sit in your room and turn on the light, generate your own pane of light. Oblivious of the outside (after all, that's why you went home), the dregs of light you throw out the window fall six stories to hit someone else's eyes, burden someone else's gaze.

This was 15 years, 6 months, 22 days ago

are you here? inscriptions and discourses and all of these words.

would I like to be here?

This was 15 years, 6 months, 23 days ago

fie, this myth of luxury and quality.

i wish: to be a soccer player understanding the institutional role of FIFA

who says it isn't?
who gets to say whether it isn't or not?

before these political and political-of-aesthetic questions lie pre-political ones?

oh oh oh words. oh dangers. oh letters and characters and things like that.

This was 15 years, 6 months, 23 days ago

fie, this myth of luxury and quality.

i wish: to be a soccer player understanding the institutional role of FIFA

who says it isn't?
who gets to say whether it isn't or not?

before these political and political-of-aesthetic questions lie pre-political ones?

oh oh oh words. oh dangers. oh letters and characters and things like that.

This was 16 years, 6 months, 19 days ago

Sounded Text
"Sounded Text - intensely poetic multimedia by MR Daniel, Anne Hege, Andrea Mazzariello and Samson Young. SOUNDED TEXT is an evening of multimedia music theater that explores the relationships of the performative body to music, text, and new media, fearturing works by composers MR Daniel, Anne Hege, Andrea Mazzariello and Samson Young."

Interesting Ongoing Exhibitions

Electric Lab
Until Nov 17, 2007
Exit Art
"Electricity is one of life’s most fundamental forces; it courses through our bodies and powers our computers. Today, the shortage and high cost of electricity is a pressing issue. The rethinking of energy production and consumption is imperative as we face depleted natural resources, environmental damage, and exponential population growth.
Electric Lab is dedicated to experimentation and art-making practices within the ranges of electricity. Artists were asked to suggest new ways to access electricity and explore its power. This exhibition is inspired by and dedicated to the scientist Nicola Tesla, who desired free access of electricity for all. "
Kind of a dorkbot-in-a-gallery?

Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York
Until Jan 13, 2008
Japan Society

Jamie Isenstein - Acéphal Magical
Until Saturday, Oct 20, 2007
Andrew Kreps Gallery
"Throughout the exhibition many juxtaposing themes are presented. Headlessness and surrogates for the head exist simultaneously. Everyday magic is presented alongside theatrical magic. The live presence of the artist in the installation is equally countered with her absence and subsequent surrogates. Finally, through the use of heads and decapitated bodies, music and planned magic, the immortal question of the relationship between the head and the body, or between reason and intuition is raised as a way to question the nature of what it means to be an artist (or what it means to be an artwork). Isenstein contemplates the slippery nature of representation and the difficulty of ever truly knowing anything."

Yael Kanarek - Warm Fields
Until Nov 17, 2007
Bitforms Gallery
"Marking the debut of new sculpture and installations, the exhibition features compositions of words and narrative that depict the charged spaces existing between languages. Born in New York and raised in Israel, Kanarek explains, “English, Arabic, and Hebrew make up the semantic landscape of my childhood. By association, political conditions and media frame these languages in conflict. The art process allows for the simulation of alternative realities, and the works in this installation define an area for reflection–specifically on the tension between cultures.”

Keith Tyson: Large Field Array
Until October 20, 2007
PaceWildenstein, 545 W 22nd St, 212.421.3292
"The sign outside PaceWildenstein's hangar-sized space on 22nd Street says "admission is limited"; if that doesn't strike you as odd, watch the bemused expressions of exiting visitors. British artist Keith Tyson has filled the cavernous gallery and its walls with Field Array, a grid of more than 230 sculptures, each measuring two square feet but entirely different from its neighbors. The sheer quantity of bizarre and hilarious objects — a contorted figure in a glass cube, a gigantic telephone, a huge house of cards — is overwhelming. Named for the Very Large Array, a field of gigantic radio telescopes in New Mexico, Tyson's installation doesn't probe deep space, but it does create a larger impression of our universe. (HGM)" -flavorpill

Mike Nelson, A Psychic Vacuum
Until Oct 28, Friday-Sunday, 12-6pm,
The Old Essex Street Market, 117 Delancey, Essex Street
" 'A Psychic Vacuum,' is a labyrinthine construction within a long-derelict wing of the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. Viewers will find their way through it (or not, if they become lost), passing by spaces that evoke the tattoo parlors and storefront psychics of the neighborhood, places Mr. Nelson sees partly as emblems of a search for belonging and belief in America."
"... constructed spaces are meticulously made to feel as if they have not been constructed, or at least not as artworks. They seem to have sprung up fully formed, like something out of the fevered minds of the authors Mr. Nelson favors: Edgar Allan Poe, Jorge Luis Borges, William S. Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft." -Randy Kennedy, New York times

This was 16 years, 6 months, 20 days ago

Yellow: the moon, incandescent light bulbs.

I am late for things today, early for things, missing things, catching things. I feel goals wane and wax, hum in and out, the vibration making solid objects seem gently translucent at the corners.

I am learning things this semester. Learning: as in accumulation, knowledge, understanding of the future. Learning: forging a path, following a strand, laying down a track. I'm trying to learn through both learning and a lack of learning; thinking and a lack of thinking, and effort and a lack of effort. These paths, strong swings on both the up-stroke and the down-stroke, a bridge rectifier bouncing its graph along the axis of time.

Effort and ambition, strange words, necessities, brought on by questions. Where will I be in twenty years? How do I get there? Will I have a house? Loans? Will I have health insurance --- will I be happy? I understand that these material qualities translate into comfort, not luxury, material, but not materialism. I also understand that the grand total of these answers consists of the summation of each individual moment, the now taken and done with, the present state focused on and upheld, enforced, acted upon. I try to remind myself of these things, of how the micro builds the macro, to sweat the small stuff so to speak.

I feel like everyone around me is seeking something, going towards it, guided by cues of fulfillment, necessity, instinct. Here we are, being released into a location of apathy, into a physical city hosting and celebrating its image of nihilism, swimming towards the eternal mirage.