words written in the week of
November 6th to November 12th
in previous years.
This was 5 months, 4 days ago

if I am pausing, it is because I have the sensation of pulled apart in many different directions; wanting to write, having things to speak, having things to say, wanting the words to get out there, rawly and freely, improvising to see how they emerge, yet at the same time, wanting to speak the truth. for this reason, I often believe that the truth emerges when I do not know yet what I am about to say; I type and stumble over my words, linearly, let it all tumble out onto the ground, catching on the corners of the blankets, shaking it out. what's here? what has fell? in what order? no matter; there's usually a logic to it that emerges afterwards. or a non-logic. what is present is present.

I have so much to say. so many words, choked in my throat, or in my fingers. the task of articulation, of letting it flow through, is something that I wish to do more, of finding spaces for it. finding spaces for honesty. what is honesty? honesty is what happens when I am speaking from my center of gravity. when I am grounded. (sometimes I imagine that I am speaking from my asshole, my sphincter; there's something earthly and centered there. sometimes I can tell that I am speaking from my chest, my solar plexus, a simmering searing warm-hot core in the center of my chest, burbling and waiting. I know I can speak from the throat; that sounds like anger; I can speak from the eyes; that's sometimes about sadness, I think. but groundedness is in the asshole. this is your asshole speaking; we are landing, or taking off, 이륙, 착륙, aft lavatory, fasten seatbelts, wake up in the middle of the night to that jet engine hum.)

honesty is about ... listening to myself, and listening to what reverberates. what emerges in the moment? what do I sense? and do I want to share it (why not?) I think there is a way to share that is an opening, a revealing, rather than a gesture of help. here it is. and the strings that vibrate, the particular harmonic compositions that resonate... (I have an image in my head that is so clear, I am too tired to try to translate it into words; reverberation, resonance, sound waves turned into vibration, vibration turned into sound waves. actually; vibration is vibration.) honesty is about this. what bubbles up for me? what sits in my stomach? if I listen then it arises. from whence does it come? I do not know, but when I don't know, then that's usually how exploration happens..

let me be honest here.

this has been: a season of heartbreak. of longing. of desire. of sadness. of hurt. of anger. of disappointment. of resentment. of sorrow. of grief. of shifting changes. the world is a-turning, I feel. I am separating, separated, individuating, the tendrils of connection shifting and altering as who i am gradually comes more into being. tendrils are severed, suspended, perhaps flitting around independently; I imagine two amoeba detatching, a kind of re-mitosis; or actually it's many amoeba detatching, boundaries becoming more circular, like ripping a piece of bread bun from a square formulation, the voronoi edges becoming curved again, letting our boundaries and our self-definitions inflate back into center. who am I? who are we? am I truly becoming myself? one thing is for certain; I am coming back to rest, to a point of return, circularly tipping around my center of gravity, a bottle tipped playfully with a finger, swirling about on the table, increasingly oscillating faster as it hovers and trembles around its central place of rest.... and then, a rest.

I am circling around this description, I am moving around it, rounding a bend. seeing myself. K says, 'false desire is when I feel like I have to do something'. L says: 'give time to time'. L says: 'it's a process'. L holds deep kinship, knowing, connection, casual care, longevity, ritual, frustration, friendship. K is present, holding, patient, listening, attentive, an honest mirror that asks me to be me, a hard but honest and very special practice. J gives me food, listens deeply, so deeply, cares in the spirit of personal and wordly committment. C shares perspective, puts everything in the light of a tragicomedy, holds the mindspace of meaning and articulation. D is caring, chaotic, energetic, trying earnestly, meaning well. P is fiercely protective, fully themselves, an honest set of water currents and wind breezes. Y speaks another language, in the wisdom of energies, letting it pass through, like the bottom of a toilet on the trans-siberian train; opening directly onto the passing tracks on a bright summer day, sunlight shitter shining. M holds complexity while gardening, labor and listening, grounded while real. M, a stranger, asks me questions with such generosity and good faith. L is balanced, understanding, measured, trying to be neutral, thank god. M asks hard questions, because it's all part of the fam, a shared quest for us to all understand. P is sparkling, chaotic, warm, buzzing, honest, kind, healing.

D/T/P is trying, yearning, feeling fully, earnest, scared and fearful, sometimes a tree in the wind balancing overrigidity vs overyielding; trying to be supple but honest. returning to center. roots in the ground. sometimes there are moments of joy and beauty and happiness, unexpectedly, not because it's not sad, which it is, but perhaps because it is. sometimes D/T/P is angry, fiercely and deeply so, almost livid, hurt and angry, a raging fireplace, a hot gas flame roiling a cauldron to a boil, powering that steam engine; underneath this is an anger, a deep anger, and what's underneath that? pick up the layer of parchment paper, and there's hurt, deep hurt, historical and contemporary and modern and new age and worldly and pop and rock hurt, shoegaze hurt, house hurt, techno-hurt, shoegaze hurt, ambient droney mellow hurt, math rock hurt, high school indie hurt. said like this, it's kind of a medley, lots of lessons here, much sorrows.

perhaps this is why drones sound great; droning, ambient, sustain tones; to dwell inside of a sound, to have it be enveloping, holding, being.

is this too much hurt? can we go too far with dwelling in hurt? I think now the honest answer is yes, or rather, there's a distinction between filling out a map, and locating one's self; I can know the landscape of the self, but choosing to inhabit it is another question, and because of this map in which objects are always closer than they seem, it's possible to feel like I am enveloped wheras, in fact, there are other neighborhoods and cities and continents that are so worldly. just like travel. is new york city the world? not at all. does it sometimes feel like it to me, now? yes.

so let's travel for a bit, leave our home. where shall we go? lift our eyes off of this map. I say, to the chorus of selves. there's hurt but there's also joy, and belonging, and happiness, and groundedness, and learning, and settled, and speaking from the heart, and newness, and presentness, and awareness. can you feel it? and I can ask myself, and myself can answer: yes, I can, I can feel it in the air, actually, now that you point it out, I can taste it, the thing that connects us all, that gives our lives meaning, that is the substance of relation and community, but also inquiry and meaning, I can feel it a bit now, and will taste and smell it in other forms in the future, the feeling in my mouth, the sensation of tasting the sky. "don't go without being able to taste this", I want to say, "find your kin who can also smell this smell", I want to say, and I know that's been true; the smellers, tasters of the air, to really feel what's here amidst it all, to name it, to hold it between us in a bowl made out of our hands. here we are. do you know what I mean? I cannot articulate but with gestures. but these aren't analogies. it's always around us, it's present, it's here. this taste, of the present. is that it? the present? is this the present? am I tasting the present? am I?

--

(I imagine myself saying, gently, you know, I think we've always had permission, all of us permission is constructed when we avoid fears permission is the navigation of avoidances, seeking permission is an act that reifies, solidifies the fear permission creates the permitter, and the permitted where we could all be the considerate and boundaried actor the trying actor, the listening being, the understanding body in movement, trusting our bodies, picking each other up when we slip and fall.

yeah. it is the way to live.)

This was 9 years, 4 months, 30 days ago

Sometimes I am not sure if it is art that I miss or if it is art minus the art world minus galleries minus art discourse minus October and Ranciere and semiotic squares, minus formal analysis and historical contextualization, minus theory and visual analysis (bordering on psychoanalysis, etc etc etc)

Which is maybe just distilled aesthetics, maybe, maybe it is just this sense of hallowed ground, a loft in Chinatown somewhere, galleries up in the sky, painted wooden floors, leaks, drips, gutters, brick walls, the absence of drywall, the presence of rough being, of this persistent imagery I have of a screening in Sunset Park some 5+ years ago, industry city, tall warehouses, sodium yellow lights, oblong yellow windows, all these things;

very little to say because all that persists is just a very specific sense sitting on the tip of my tongue.

--

I feel like I've been walking lately, jogging, slowed to a tiptoe. I miss a little bit the feeling of my entire being on fire, rushing ahead headlong; instead there is lethargy and slowness; but if there's anything I am newly learning is that there is something to be had in here, a lesson to be learned; that slowness and lethargy are, among many things, an indicator, and that if they exist that sometimes it is for a reason, sometimes because there is no making without lethargy, simply because people sleep, because the gestation period of human beings is nine months old, and then a few years old, and then a dozen years old, and until you're somewhat formed into the world it's been nearly twenty, so the lethargy of slow movement perhaps could be seen as a kind of a dance, largo, legato, content to act with deliberation and movement, punctuating these fiery moments of thunder, rushing force, magic at the end of one's fingertips and prickling at the nape of one's neck.

--

today while washing my hands after having pissed into a urinal:
it strikes me that sometimes it is good to know that things will never leave you; that you are steeped into them; that certain desires are yours through and through, unconsciously, like breathing, or eating perhaps, desires that over time wormed their way into your being like termites. and that here we are like an experiment onto one's self. in that case, all that is left is to trust myself a little, to understand that the tracks I run upon are both regular and unpredictable, that I should listen to myself, to hear what it is saying and to sometimes doubt it, to sometimes agree with it. that I should be critical but not too much

to dangle my being from an outstretched arm like a second skin and examine it, stretching it this and that way with a jeweler's loupe in front of one's eye

(strains of paul motian from freshman year)

This was 10 years, 5 months, 6 days ago
Hallaj: When in a crowd or alone you perceive impatience disappearing, and you know just where you are and where you're meant to be.
Ibn Ata: Where is that, master?
Hallaj: Anywhere. You will know your action. You are present there, not thinking of somewhere else you ought to be.

and that is it, calmness, to locate the self in the self, to be still and to be okay, to breathe and to want to breathe, to sit at a bench overlooking the river and to want to sit at a bench overlooking the river. to be among people and to want to be among people. to walk in solitude and to want to walk in solitude. presentness in the present.

the sky will still always be high, still deep, still blue, still dark, still depthful. there will still be lit windows signifying something, talking in the distance. large lofts, empty streets. somewhere the chatter of behavior.

no matter. here I am, and I am here, and present, and utterly being, and if I walk it should be at my pace, and if I think it is because I want to be where I am trying to be.

in the end the only question to ask the self is: are you here? yes, I am here. I am trying to be. being in being, presence in presence.

This was 11 years, 5 months, 2 days ago

the sun rises and the light is all glassy and flat. another unsent email for my drafts folder.

This was 11 years, 5 months, 2 days ago

so I wander around this campus, looking for somewhere to write, since I've got a million things to do, and talking about the ideology/theory behind picturesque gardens and their relation to a psyche influenced by cartography in situ
seems like the right thing to do. but what I can't help but feel are the overlays, the underlays, the palimpsest-like pre-writes. oh, this room is where I did this. and that pocket of the upper west side is when that happened. this is what happens when I return to a different school but to a same campus; a different attitude but the same university. it's funny, and painful, and altogether liberating, because I think maybe the anxieties of performance or achievement or grades have become substituted for the anxieties for preference and satisfaction and self-critique. what do I want? I keep on asking myself, and that's really all that matters.

to be honest, I can't imagine going back to a system with grades, because I think it's so utterly unhelpful, that internalized external judgment. the whole point of this thing, this three year project, is to a) cultivate an inner criterion and b) cultivate the generative, mutative, creative processes necessary to shit something out that holds up to one's own criterion. external critique is good, helpful, productive, necessary but the linear and altogether blandly descriptive use of grades, I think, would twist this all into a farce.

(besides, I am more harsh on myself when there are no grades, anyways.)

and this thing: "more harsh on myself". what a loaded statement! the thing is, these classes with these TAs who are just a year above, or studio professors who really are productively helpful mirrors -- this all, I feel like, is a foil; the real thing is that they are stand-ins for various versions of myself. it's just me against me, and this utter solitude, the bargaining between different parts of me emerges from it. I need to learn how to cooperate more with myself, to agree to disagree with myself, to be tough on myself, to be nice with myself, to be honest with myself, and to not haggle with myself. and this is all so very intriguing, and interesting, and fascinating.

above all, I need to remind myself that it is me who puts me here.


there's so much I would like to talk about this architecture thing, this meta-dialogue, the meta-meta-process, not even the process, or thinking about the process, but how we go around talking about the process in which we make things. I feel these radical impulses but simultaneously feel that 'radical' without 'plausible' generates unsuccessful architecture, or at least doesn't generate space. do I need buildings to generate space? why this unspoken element of aesthetics? are we talking about buildings as imagery, discourse, structure, or object? is this something I can buy, build, or that it functions? and who are our agents, users, denizens? for whom do these doors open? and so on and so forth. where is this radicality, sometimes I wonder, where are these radical reorganizations of interaction that could express themselves within a structure, mold human movement, alter these people? if architecture is absorbed in a state of distraction, or nearly a state of unconsciousness, then maybe what I am doing is this hypnosis! this building swings a pendulum in front of your eyes, and your eyelids drift down slowly, and the structure whispers commands into your ear that make you pause in doorways, sleep on desks, eat dinner on your bed, take the long way down the stairs.

This was 11 years, 5 months, 5 days ago

I am in a subway and you are sleeping.

This was 11 years, 5 months, 5 days ago
one thing I realize: there is a thought process that happens on the level of thought, and there is a thought process that happens on the level of words: it is almost as if the specific sort of words and what they are, how they sound, what they mean attract a series of words that are then organized and formed into an argument outside the deeply abstract thought process itself. that is: if I keep on talking, if I start talking with an idea in my mind but not knowing _exactly_ what my final point is, then the inertia of my words form the impetus that leads me to generate an argument. a) this inertia is something that's valuable, and b) the thoughts that I end up thinking are a little different than the thoughts that are borne out of thought, and I'm interested in that, because it's sincere and intended but it also feels like improv, and it gets me this high, this coasting glide...

This was 12 years, 5 months, 2 days ago

sometimes I look back and think 'wow, could I have really written that?' other times I do realize it proves nothing than the most solipsistic of points, internal coherence, I shit and I eat and nothing too much has really changed. and other other times I just sit back and look at the characters drift past my eyes and I still think in wonder, oh yes, oh yes:

from last december:

If anything happens it's in the liminal space, the small space between yes and no, the interims. Motivation and introspection and action takes place right here, in this epsilon, not as large and monumental events but the space between each keystroke and the points between each letter. It's all here. There are no grand sweeping gestures to make except for the little jabs at plastic tabs called typing.

Any thought that takes the form of "I wish I could dot dot dot (...)" is really this, shrouded in language that hints otherwise. The question is of granularity, resolution. The minimum unit of a resolution of action is a finger twitch, a minuscule quantum of resolve. Climbing up constructed from a series of muscle movements.

This was 12 years, 5 months, 4 days ago

comes and nudges her head against my hand, flapping ears against fingers, whiskers against fingernails. part of the joy of a cat is the tender sensation of the not-me, the external, the not-self, the initial wonder at autonomy and a breathing warm heart that approaches you with each successive touch and purr. these things walk, they pad and look around and yowl out in a quiet familiarity that makes you wonder. warms your heart.


lately I've been thinking a lot about the social use-value of art, coming at it not from the origin but climbing backwards tracing the trail of its repercussions, manifestations. entertainment and art on flip sides of the coin called comprehensibility, maybe, mystery.

lately I've been thinking that everything's about boundaries and the rending that happens when you move beyond them; being exposed to something you've never seen before; celebrating an aura of the mystique, the hidden; mental blockage along the lines of barthes' third meaning that relies on not-knowing what is going on. celebrations of the non-me, the non-self. it's not so much the constitutive other that's been defined in relation to the self but the little membrane between familiarity and unfamiliarity that's always being broken, constantly, regardless of where the self happens to be at this point.

This was 13 years, 5 months ago

maybe this is my answer.

"how do we live without foundations?"

a perceived arbitrary at the heart of the discourse of art belies only an approach to art that takes a personal transcendental sublime encounter and proclaims it as a universally applicable experience that will and should be shared by others--

or, it only belies a hierarchy that relies on a discourse -- not because the discourse itself generates a hierarchy and defines 'better' and 'worse', but because by definition a discourse is defined, bounded, "oppositive, relative, and negative", to apply saussure's semiotics to discourses. the luxury status of art thus relies on this boundary, exclusivity. everything is exclusive -- even kitsch is exclusive. what matters here is a) the minority (and thus elite) status of the exclusivity of a certain discourse (high art) and b) the cherished, valued status of this exclusively defined minority discourse.

if people have thought in these threads, I need to know who they are.

This was 14 years, 5 months, 1 day ago

Handmade Music Night
Thursday, Nov 15, 8:00pm - whenever
Etsy Labs, 325 Gold Street, 6th Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11201
Handmade Music, the semi-regular evening of DIY musical oddities brought to you by CDM, Etsy, and Make Magazine, will mercilessly descend upon yet another peaceful Brooklyn evening. Expect an informal, free party + show and tell + science fair featuring self-made electronic musical projects.

Brother Islands (Places to Lose People)
Sat Nov 17, 8pm
Eyebeam, 540 W 21st St
MIXER, Eyebeam’s new quarterly series showcasing live audio and video performance, launches with Brother Islands, a haunting tableau integrating audio and video recordings, stereographic photos and live theater. Eyebeam Education Fellow Benton-C Bainbridge creates an expanded documentary of North Brother Island half a century since its abandonment, as it fades from New York City’s map and its bleak buildings succumb to nature.
This tiny South Bronx Island was once notorious as a harsh quarantine and locus of misfortunate legends like Typhoid Mary and the General Slocum ferry disaster.
Brother Islands performance ensemble: Benton-C Bainbridge, Minou Maguna, Ross Goldstein, Ryder Cooley, Dan Winckler, Matthew Schlanger, Jesse Stiles.

Japanther in 3D - Dinosaur Death Dance
Thursday - Monday, November 15-19, PS 122
"Williamsburg's favorite noise-rock band Japanther (Ian Vanek and Matt Reily) unveils a new comedic rock-opera of unpredictable scale, repercussions, and decibel levels. Using a high-energy multi-media format - their "tool kit" integrates live music, dance, an interactive set, video projections plus an animatronic robot dinosaur - the band and their collaborators create a full-immersion theatrical concert experience that sports a a sharp political edge and an equally edgy heart."
Shoegaze + 80s dance + punk; some parts The Cure, My Bloody Valentine... pretty awesome.

Antony Gormley, "Blind Light"
October 26 - December 1, 2007
Sean Kelly Gallery, 528 West 29th Street
Gormley: "Architecture is supposed to be the location of security and certainty about where you are. It is supposed to protect you from the weather, from darkness, from uncertainty. Blind Light undermines all of that. You enter this interior space that is the equivalent of being on top of a mountain, or at the bottom of the sea. It is very important for me that inside it you find the outside. Also you become the immersed figure in an endless ground, literally the subject of the work."
This looks incredibly interesting -- one of the two site-installations going on in the next few weeks.

Urs Fischer, "you"
Gavi Brown's Enterprise, 620 greenwich street
Until Nov 24
The other site-installation; there seems to be little information about this. A gallery's floor is ripped open, "to reveal a gaping cavity of rubble and dirt. Plunging through the building's structural foundation and the bedrock below, the scene brings to mind less an excavation than the enshrined site of an explosion." -TONY