words written in the week of
February 6th to February 12th
in previous years.
This was 2 months, 4 days ago

I say to P: "I just moved out today. finished an hour ago, went to say hello to the sunset, felt the wind on my face and the distant but sure possibilities of newness and change around the corner."

what is in my spirit? sadness. deep sadness, and happiness, somehow co-existing. turns out, life has bones. turns out, grief is present. turns out, things can tumult, tumble, stumble, fall, collapse, sever, break, tear, rupture. turns out, harm can happen, and continue, people can be uncaring, confusion can reign, anger and retribution and indifference can proliferate, turns out, turns out

a!n!d! despite this all! where am I? I ask? am I not standing on this pier, electricity running through my veins? 전율, I think, I hold this word in my mouth as I stand out watching the sun set. are we not here? am I not alive? am I not living, loving, failing, hurting, caring, pained, angry, upset, happy? am I not feeling in its entirely? am I not moving? am I not full of fear, and anxiety, and trepidation, and courage, and ambivalence, and confusion, just-stepping, trying to do the right thing when the right thing is unclear?

am I not trying?

so! here I am. I am trying. happy to be here, you know? happy to exist. to feel this in my body. wind on my face, the changing light in my eyes. birds and water and buildings and space and lives. I run into a friend from high school, T, and her husband, and we talk about film and asian america and children. lives, you know? they intertwine, run in parallel. they will keep on going. we will all keep on feeling. are we not all in this net, together? and we are, and if there's anything I've learned, it's to trust the arcs of life, the way they will throw us together, separate us apart. 인연, 인연일수도 있고. 아닐수도 있고. we'll see, how the lines get woven together.

I'm full of this thrill, right now. and now I am full of more wisdom, the utmost sureness that: this is going to happen again, that I will be hurt again, and move through it. I remember the first breakup I had when I didn't know if I could survive through it. you know? that first love, when it all ends and is full of heartbreak. but you learn; there is life, afterwards, there always can be, if we choose it. sometimes choosing it means disengaging, I am learning, about moving, about moving my body, my lithe, flexible, alive, healthy body, moving it in directions that want it to live, that makes it feel alive, finding the ways I am pulled, towards conversation, towards intimacy, towards touch, and pleasure, and honest sex and kind kink, and open friendship, towards the joy of a circle, the joy of another person, looking into their eyes, being attuned to who I am and just letting that vibrate, and picking up on the other person's vibration, also, just: co-presence, fully, getting into ourselves. honesty. laying it bare.

and! I am going to be hurt again! probably! but I can move with it again! I might be hurt tomorrow. something might shift. in my heart I feel like it's over. my mind tells me that there's more to come. I think, they're both true, oh wise heart, oh thoughtful mind.

so. for right now, I am so present. I am in a home full of objects. I am in a life full of memories and friends. let's see how things evolve, transition, and move. I will be less present, and more present. an undulating being.

right now I hold a tremendous amount of excitement. or rather: I am getting back in touch with the excitement that has always been in there, inside of me, that thrill at a concert, the sensation of traveling, the series of open possibilities that leads us towards all sorts of adventure. this is me, stuffed full of gratitude, to LP, JH, DH, MJ, LG, AC, GZ, HN, LL, TZ, PM, HS, KR, CG, HB, PK, BR, LK, BS, SG, SB, EH, AB, Q, M, D, and myself.

thanks.


written 24 hours later:

(and! I am also devastated, sad, heartbroken, full of grief. underneath the piles of laundry there is the gem buried underneath, finally getting to see the light of day. here we are. let it flow.)

This was 5 years, 2 months ago

pnjgm

and it occurs to me that at the core of it all is just the fuel that drives your engine. in a sunset or in the evenings of a new city everything is laid bare. there's nothing but curiosity and kindness and love, really, from you or to you, and everything is just a byproduct. nothing more important than to move forwards on things that interest you, to stumble into project into project and discipline after discipline like a little boy opening doors and cabinets and curtains and books in total delight just to see what will happen.

what will happen? what makes your fingers and your body feel aloft? what charges, what fascinates, what's weird, so weird, so cool, so intricate and puzzle-able? what rolls on your tongue and dances in your mouth like a fleshless peach pit sucked a bit too long in the middle of a hike?

of course, all the cliches come true, become reanimated, like little packets of sea monkeys or compressed t-shirts or foam dinosaur pills that slowly grow and absorb and distend to become much larger than you thought they would be, surprising you in the process. how do you balance? find sight of things?

test drastic changes. follow your nose so much that your feet may start to lift off the floor. to do that is to be clear: it's to abandon disciplinal boundaries and tribal loyalties and to move beyond the tribe of architecture, not to rebel against it per se, but to believe in a different organizing logic (the cartoonish scent trail that wafts and weaves across space in its own logic, disobeying fences, buildings, valleys, carrying bugs bunny wherever bugs bunny may smell what bugs bunny smells).

This was 7 years, 2 months ago

statement of desire/intent/calling

Architecture is about people, and it is about space, and it is about how space is used. Architecture is UX, not UI, it is the tiredness in your legs at an authoritarian border crossing, architecture is a building that you feel at home in, architecture is a space that makes people meet. Architecture is the sidewalk cigarette break, the ice-drafty gap between the mullion and brick that makes you shiver at night under the covers. Architecture is the feeling of dread in your stomach as the ambulance pulls up to an ominous hospital; architecture is the wind in your hair as the ferry pulls away from the harbor docks; architecture is the sun casting dark orange shadows on a weekend. Architecture is the couch that provides an excuse for you to makeout with a new partner; architecture is the dim light of a bar in which you lean in to hear their words; architecture is the slippery-slick terrain of ice that makes you gingerly slide across a surface, the gestures of your body having been completely transformed into those of another being's.

Architecture is about people, damnit, and it is about taking the subway for an hour and a half to go to a great dim sum place, and it is about the distance between people on the street, about the utopic egalitarian quality of the subway car, and all of these things.

I would call these things 'space', or 'spatial practice', but would like to have Architecture appropriate these things more and not void itself by pursuing some mode of practice that is overly aestheticized and ascetic in its monastic pursuit, withdrawal from the world in the name of autonomy, discipline. Architecture is in danger of becoming art, which is an exclusion-function in the way that Foucault's author-function is about a specific entity defined within discourse; art is a practice that says "that is not art", but business or anthropology are not practices that say "that is not business", "that is not anthropology".

In other words, architecture needs to become a holistic practice, not to be confused with the job title of "architect", in the way that, after a car accident, one's healing may involve the job titles of an EMT, an ER doctor, a orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. The practice and effect of "becoming well" to be found amidst all of these entities, as well as beyond.

If I dare to use the word "we", then I'd say - we are in the process of healing, of having effect, of changing the world, using architecture, as architects, not about performing architectural services within the scope of one's contract, for fuck's sake!

So this statement of desire is that - I choose not to 'provide architectural services', but to pursue the practice of space, of architecture of people, by whatever means necessary. (Of course! Of course! Does this even have to be said? Is this not self-evident, obvious, by everyone else living in the world who has ever lived in a building?)

--

Exasperation + clarity + deliberate movement + desire = exuberance.

This was 7 years, 2 months, 5 days ago

labor and effort, about who feels like they are part of what, about how you can let yourself pour into a project, as if you were a water in a watering can, flowing onto parched ground, or perhaps more like a sponge, where you draw the world into part of your being and it stays there, collected in small pockets, porous entities.

This winter, after swimming in warm ocean water, I found water draining out of my nose hours later at a gas station, a sudden surprise, the notion of parts of the world secreted in some nasal cavity, microplankton and minerals alike momentarily carrying out the erection of a new microcosm.

Something like that; how the world exists as these entities that you draw into yourself, stored in pockets until they drip out, little by little. To what extent are these things healthy, or unhealthy? What other way to live then to work on the things that you care about the most? In the bathroom in this cafe I wash my hands and stare at the usual "employees must wash hands" sign, but this time very carefully designed, caillgraphy over newsprint over layers of matte-board frames, and I wonder - who took the time to do this, and why, and how? The owner of the cafe? A hired graphic designer? A nearby student, most likely, excited with flushed cheeks to participate in the world.

If you consider the world to be constituted out of labor, and everything to be chains of production, is not everything unpaid labor, all surplus labor everywhere, Marxist exploitation becoming the paranoid criterion that defines all action and movement? A labor theory of value becoming your central philosophy of evaluation. Marx, primarily a philosopher of capitalism, language oozing not with the rhetoric or structure of optimism, but rather full of weighty, real pessimism, of factories full of children, of the logic of value and price and exchange-value pressing against the hard unyielding limit of twenty-four hour days and finite amounts of sunlight leading to stretched days, exploitation, etc.

And effort? Of effort, so then. Is effort joyous? Let's say it is - effort is our exit hatch, it is about doing things that are orthogonal to value (in the truly geometric sense of the word orthogonal- not opposed to, potentially in addition to). Effort is joyous, flexible, free, cares not about resources, not about how much you would waste, not about how much you had left. Effort is the two hours you spent cooking for your friends, the day spent wandering around, time wasted on a side excursion. etc. etc. Effort is the way in which you find things that you didn't even know you were looking for. Effort is a chance encounter and three years of toil and more.

Effort in relation to LTV, then, or socially necessary labor time, is what? SNLT is itself a kind of price, not a Ricardoean direct concrete labor embedded in the object but the average of these objects, always from the beginning a social quantity. Value, haunted from its inception with the specter of the market, of a million ghostly hands averaging out and overlaid into each other.

Effort is concrete labor, and value is already a commodity? Effort is the home brew beer that you spent dozens of hours making. Effort is the startup that you launch, spending nights and days pouring yourself into (or being poured into) something else.

Effort, however, is not the unpaid intern you charm into exploiting themselves for your practice.

--

Over a bottle of wine D talks about a culture of fear, and she's right, we're right, the extent to which the value of intrepid excited joyousness cannot be understated, the power of curiosity and fascination, of a willingness to hesitate, a real excitement of plunging forth, exclamation points after sentences. Nothing more. The myth of financial austerity, or the power of cornered desperation is just that, an awe at an intensity of a destructive outburst. Nothing strong comes from these things. What was/is always at stake is the possibility of being excited, energized, enthused, willing to plunge forth.

--

So here's the thing, in this wavering meandering series of sentences (that make sense mostly to me only, because this is like a series of footnotes rather than the main text; make sure you read this supplement with the necessary base):

This recent (year-long) epistemology+ontology crisis is brought upon because I am, for the first time in my life, doubting the world of words and language, of written knowledge, of all theories, models, ideas. "Why think?", I'm wondering, while myself furiously thinking and wondering.

But that's really the question. Why think? What happens when you think, and think hard, and believe a certain reality to be true? If you think the door is going to open when you turn the doorknob, and the door is locked, what happend? What if the door is not even a real door, but a fake door? What if a left turn leads to a dead end? Are you not continually formulating an internal model of a world, this duplicate processing and recreation of the world that you try to have as accurate as possible? You run your own physics engine ('when things fall, they fall in this and that way'), you project the psyche of other beings, you think about concepts, of all beliefs in things that are understood themselves to be something. Words and language become incantation-like beings with which reality is thought up. "Let there be a war on terror! Let there be the affordable care act! And everyone voted on it, and so it is".

'So then, is not the world made out of the word?', one could say? 'Don't words, or at least, beliefs make things happen? Is not the imaginary the strongest of all forces, are not imagined communities behind the violence of the nation-state?'

'Because', I might say, ' "both words and things make stuff happen" isn't an answer at all, it's a cheap hand wave; of course the answer will always be "both", but my question is about how, in what way, these words hold almost material power, commands arresting people in their tracks, drawings convincing people who don't even know they're being convinced, speech swelling the hearts and minds of a crowd enough to stop (or incite) civil unrest.'

But wait! It strikes me here. In so far as action is political, then words are the tools of action. If action is technical/ecological, then tacit knowledge and Bol knowledge is necessary. Universal healthcare and social housing are primarily political endeavors. Flying to the moon or creating a $5 HIV test is primarily in the domain of skill/action/knowledge/tacit knowledge/mental models (for a shorthand, I will use the word 'compileable', to refer to a question that Manuel De Landa answered post-lecture..). Politics is, like Latour would define it ([POL]), an endless loop, whose mode of veridiction is to continually gather, engage, convince a people...

So what about architecture? Where does that sit on this spectrum?

How about: you are either galvanizing people, or being galvanized to work on things that compile. (And yes, of course, both.)

--

If 2015 is here already, nearly 10% of it having passed by, then the vows this year are to deal with an undoing, to understand these chains of legitimacy, even more, to confront symbolic markers of authority, and to put them aside in favor of the work. Is the work interesting? Does it drive you, enough? Are you curious about the things you're doing? Quite often than not, the aesthetic (whether a visual, formal, institutional, or political aesthetic) is a validation mechanism. Counter to that - Here's to curiosity, the endless perpetual motion engine of being energized, to become obsessed, to share with the world these obsessions, to fully plunge into the process of introspective happenings.

This was 11 years, 2 months, 2 days ago

the morgan library can initially be seen as being divided into two parts: a series of tight programmatic cores, connected together with one circulatory courtyard. this analysis is helpful, but limiting in that it assumes a continuity of access and a homogeneity of the viewing public. who is this public? how does it wish to operate?

what is more interesting is an analysis that takes into account the heterogeneity of the library’s users, and tries to examine the building in relation to the multiplicity of abilities, visibilities, and desires. a building is a partitioning machine that pinches off a physical volume from the outside world and declares it as an inside. separate from this physical volume, the building's areas are divided into perceived spaces, or 'psychic spaces'. each kind of public, due to its own desires and wants, conceives of these different psychic spaces, and decides to use these specific spaces, disregarding the rest. as such, this public's building is a combination of these psychic spaces.

there are many different publics, and as such many different conceptions of psychic spaces, and as such many combination of psychic spaces, and as such a vast multiplicity of psychic buildings within a single physical building.

the number of the psychic buildings which an architecture embodies within it effectively alters its perception. a library with twenty small rooms suddenly becomes a million different libraries, all slightly different from each other. this is not an examination of a space based on a body-oriented phenomenological introspection, but rather an analysis of specific static factors of the building that lead to this fragmentation.

the inability to exactly share the same experience of a building that arises from this fragmentation is a specific attribute that needs to be examined within buildings. this is perhaps a typology of psychic multiplicities. the 'usage of a building' can be seen as the processing of a building through the machine of the person's desires, that then creates a new building. a usage-machine takes another building-machine as input, and spits out a new machine -- a psychic-building-machine. a typology of psychic multiplicities takes into account these psychic-building-machines, and spreads them across the table like a deck of cards, so that each architecture can be seen in light of this new typology. in an analysis of the morgan library, the questions should also be: who is this public? how many publics are there? and what architectures are they making when they step into this building?

This was 11 years, 2 months, 4 days ago

it's been a while.

and I am crazy busy.

and january has been a slew of changes. a heap of smiles.

it is late and I am up and I think of north-of-the-east-village, I think of brooklyn, I think of a hotel in midtown. I think that right now, at this moment, that street in brooklyn is silent, there's ice on the sidewalk, the first floor is quiet, there's radio in the background, a cat sleeping upstairs, and I imagine what it must be like to be there, there-not-here. but I am here, the lights so lit brightly.

I also think of a small room in a gridded pattern with solid walls cool to the touch, with yellowed lights and a view of the east river and the serene tendrils of music wafting out from under a pile of clothes. the thing that touches me the most, I think is the disarray, and I think I have to call it an affectionate disarray, a pile of clothes and objects arranged each in according to a thoughtful manner, because that goes here and this goes there, and all together they create this scene of affection, small rock nestled in the ridge of a book. things not lost, but misplaced, and not forgotten. the yellow of incandescent light bulbs shining forth.

This was 12 years, 2 months, 3 days ago

I heard this word this other day ('retard') out of the corner of my ear and wanted to say something like,

look, it's not that you think x is x it's just that you think these terms are solid dots when they're really like ships in the distance sailing by camouflaged to look like points, you're just looking at things head on, in three-dee space even lines turn into points, even planes turn into lines, even solid objects turn into flat images that hover in front of your head.

this is what happens in three dee, brother, morality in three dee, analogies forming moral structures. sometime in high school I thought of these concentric circles or circular gradients flowing out of scattered centers, and that the amorphous and always ambiguous tangent/intersection of these gradients would be the points of friction where your and my moralities rub up against each other. put that way, in that model, everything is rendered as understandable when you're the omniscient three-dee viewer looking down onto flatland. and so on. etc.

it just gets me, just gets me when things get naturalized, when I hear things like "well, such is such", and I feel like I'm watching someone at a party lean casually with his right hand backwards onto a surface (left hand: holding beer) and that surface is in fact something very precarious: so with the combined nonchalance and glee that a party for the 'systematic disorientation of the senses' can conjure up, the hand moves backwards onto something and you can almost feel the impending crash, the host's concerned gaze turning around the room in slow motion like a lighthouse. pressure point coming down onto a ground that is shaky.

except of course the way things actually work is that in this universe of words that create themselves having said this self-confident remark it actually keeps itself alive, the horror, the joy, it is self-sustaining; and so having said it, it is true; having created it, it is made;

things like facebook, technology, privacy concerns should be seen in light of a shifting subject, a person changed by technology. the more interesting and more productive questions are 'what kind of person do we become when these things happen', and so I guess that's why at a very literal level buzzwords like "social media" irk me, rub against my fur the wrong way, because it still holds to this model of the man and his external tool. look at me, I pick up a rock to drive in a nail. by this point there should be some sort of change in framework that conceives of this all as a process of internalization, of change within occurring as the result of a catalyst called the technological object.

anyways I'm thinking these things pushing around fries and I hear this word, and I think of a three-dimensional space in which lines are seen as points and a four-dimensional space where volumes are seen as static moments and so on, and I think of 2666 and bolano's moments writing this book obsessing about minor writers, a sort of surprisingly tenderly frank series of moments of self-doubt perhaps expressed in these scenes, these long car rides taken in search of a specter that's nowhere, and what happens to me when I'm thirty, and about having kids and stressing out about walking this balance between a desire to make kids and to have kids, progeny, things left, projections into the future, words on a page, things like grammar, visual grammar of interfaces, the idea of an interface you buy into that's like the lingo of a book or the set standards of a period, the organic slow puncturing of a membrane, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc, and of course I can't talk anymore.

This was 17 years, 2 months, 5 days ago

I look at what they write and they're all curling inside into small hard-shelled balls

today the glimmer on the sides of buildings reminds me of any other day when this would happen in any other way. flags glimmering transculent in the sunlight. anthem on the television. slo-mo movies of blue-collar workers smiling amidst welding sparks or grease-stained faces.

he writes these paragraphs. at least this is when I realize that it's already gone when he talks about collages [ccollajui ] and the current trend in indie rock [eeen di lak]. rapid fire articulation in my language, twisting deftly like quick slender fingers. this is when I know it's already gone gone when takes me more than a split second to catch what he's trying to say.

jacques derrida says, "I have only one language and it is not mine".

he lives in philadelphia thinking art and music and writing alone
she lives in manhattan thinking music and love and muses alone
he lives in brooklyn thinking love and art and living alone

I have to make these contracts, you see. what is the cost of speaking this language?

(I'd like to see you, coree)