25 January 2009

Later, after the teacher bloke has folded away his books, after the class announcements concerning births, evacuations, deaths and otherwise, two of the kids get in some kind of argument concerning the question of what are the tiny particles that the whole world is actually made of.

Argument starts off small and gets bigger, whether it is molecules as the first one claim or pixels according to the other. The talk goes back and forth in the way of these things, the two of them seated on desks, all mouthy and feet up on the chairs, even as voices get more heated. Or at least it stays that way until the point where the two ontologists rise for confrontation, kick back the furniture for the more or less inevitable violence to settle all this and the kid that says it's molecules grabs the other by the hair and then they are both pulling and kicking, a blurred and panting double head-locked beast in the form of a scuffle surrounded by a turning irregular circle and the ragged onlookers wheel this way and that, experts in the art of the semi-excited bystander, until, later, near the end, the whole thing grinds and judders to a halt as the taller of the two (molecules) gets the proponent of pixels down hard on the ground where he punches him repeatedly in the face, smashing his glasses in several places and somehow also breaking something in his victims nose at which point a thick dark red trail of fluid starts to flow from it and the fight is more or less done, the argument more or less settled and the sad trickle trail of the pixels that make up the losers blood is making its way down, slipping slowly down the pixel surface of the face to the ground where the thick red fluid coagulates, its pixels making dark running pools upon the chess board pattern of the pixelated mud-scuffed flooring tiles.


I speak with P. at the Museum who explains that our plans will have to be framed in any case by the policies set down by the archiving department. According to these rules works on paper he says, can be shown for up to two years but then must be rested for the same period, in storage, away from the light. For some reason I like thinking about the drawings and photographs, kept in the darkness in this way, waiting until they're allowed to be back in public, remembering what eyes can do to them, enjoying the silence.

Void Story Work in Progress Vienna

20 January 2009
Void Story - Work in Progress

Void Story - Work In Progress

Void Story - Work In Progress

B: We’ve landed in a lake made of sewage.
A: Great. Now let’s swim for the shore.
B:  Moon and stars look beautiful.
A: If you don’t mind swimming in shit.
B: I try to see the positive side of things. Look up – at the stars. You can see the Great Bear. And that’s Venus.
A: And that’s the Russian Nuclear Satellite whose orbit is decaying. The one that’s out of control.
B: Quiet. That’s the constellation of Orion.
A: And that’s the Rambo. The three big stars there are his bicep.
B: There is no constellation of Rambo.
A: Yeah. Long way to the shore. Less talk and more swimming is what we need.

[Photos: Hugo Glendinning]

as if proximity would filter lies better

Random google image searching (for the Forced Entertainment project in progress Void Story) led me to this material on Dance Marathons.

“Fatigue brought them to a state resembling a coma, a state which seemed to offer relief from the soreness of the day’s travail. During these episodes, contestants hallucinated, became hysterical, had delusions of persecution … acted out daily rituals: they talked to an imaginary companion, grinned vacantly, and snatched objects from the air” (Calabria)


Looking down on switzerland as the plane lands you see all the villages laid out in the diagram form, the snow paper, the streets, houses and forests a charcoal sketch, the pencil marks equal measures of pitch black heavy, vivid and precise, the black roads long marks scratched across the snow white land, lines made (formed) of lives or lives made of (made in) lines, and, as the plane gets lower still you see the animated figures of the swiss – complete silhouettes set loose against the complex backdrop – inked figures walking white fields to the treeline, running the border of a frozen lake, stood motionless at the edge of a street like shadows newly possessed of life and uncertain what to do with it, raising a featureless hand to a featureless face… all shape. Best of all as you glide towards the runway, on a field below a dog runs a line parallel but reverse to your own trajectory, a bounding pulsing muscle darkness, the clenching, stretching legs a perfect Muybridge passing by.


Kate wrote:

it’s all on snow mode round here so it looks like Breugel out the window – bulky hunched figures in black on white.


Mark wrote:

The flu thing lingers but largely gone.
I told N. the farm cat milo was in fact a very small alien in a cat suit with a hidden zip. I also said I caught him once with his cat suit round his ankles having a wee. He was quite annoyed that I caught him. He also has a space ship somwhere on the farm that was in need of repairs, the location is something we re going to have to work on.
all the way thru this N. is saying are you true, but are you true and staring into my eyes from 1 inch away as if proximity would filter lies better.
he also asked me what I thought about god and what exactly does he do.
we are also going to find a wizard and bring all the people in a church yard back to life.
first tho, we are going to get the wizard to bring back king harold and get that pesky arrow out of his eye because it would be very sore


Triggered by this line: “For the presidential election, he wrote two speeches: one for a victory, one for defeat” (in the Guardian from a piece concerning Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau) I was thinking about alternative histories, esp in relation to speech-writing. Remembered this amazing text written by William Safire in 1969 as a speech for then US President Richard Nixon, a speech which would only have been delivered in the event that Apollo 13 astronauts were deemed unsaveable and destined to perish in space. The imagined future as a source for text. Rhetorical gearings-up for events which do not come to pass, textual rehearsals, shadows of futures that do not take place. A history of the world through what did not happen.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace…”


Up and Coming

4 January 2009
Void Story - Test Image

I’m in New York for Sight is The Sense as part of Under The Radar with the amazing Jim Fletcher this coming Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (8, 10 and 11 of Jan) – watch out because the performances are at strange times! Friday night meanwhile is the opening for Vlatka’s show at The Kitchen. While I am in town I’m also hoping to catch Young Jean Lee’s new piece The Shipment (again at The Kitchen) and Tim Crouch‘s England (at Chelsea Art Museum). Busy bloke then.

After New York it’s home for a short while then Vienna where we do (very rough and ready) work in progress for the Forced Entertainment project Void Story. I posted test images for the piece below – one further above. The piece is dialogue by yours truly performed as dysfunctional radio play by FE, plus a storyboard/graphic novel of new collages I’m working on right now, illustrating the text. Final version of the show isn’t until way off in April, at Soho Theatre, in London as part of the very excellent Spill Festival. Also at Spill this year the project I made with Victoria – That Night Follows Day – with two presentations at at The Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank. Book early – I have a feeling these shows might sell out.