Ey Süßer, deine Alte
— Hast du eben Alte gesagt?
Alter, deine Süße
Süße, dein Alter
— following my 2nd BoW tutorial last week, I want to write up a few posts exploring some of the key themes going forward. This is the first one, the other ones are likely to be:
- what are expectations of self/object/viewer in the work?
- what about the smallness of things?
For the past few months, I had a sense of what events, gestures or questions would become source material for the project (they were significant, they generated questions for myself and they invited to be explored and shifted in register). Following the tutorial, I however think, that my source material is far broader and more extensive than I had previously anticipated.
It was becoming evident when discussing what I had and notably what the role of the lens-based material is. I tend to sketch with the phone, and yet I hadn’t thought of including virtually any of the photographs as work (the moving image clips possibly, but also not really).
It was also then becoming clearer as to discussing why an event/ gesture/ question is part of the project (and which ones I overlook); and whether I had collected and explore enough for assignment. I had far too much, Doug seemed to indicate I was an assignment further on that 2, and also that there was not enough time to even go through material that was already on the blog/instagram, let alone the material that was still sitting aside/offline.
This has been turning in my head and so I wanted to explore it further. With my parents, I went on a day out yesterday and I designated the day as exploration. I used the camera a lot to observe what came to attention and recorded a series of questions.
Here they are: road signs, positions of bridges, then an artificial mountain of a mining extraction and its position within a field of wind turbines, cloud formation, incidental signage and finds.
The questions or interest revolved around connections while moving, and of bridges/crossings.
— I recognise that earlier bigger projects also started to follow a line of adjacent/ juxtaposed propositions and questions (notably: the line) to place a series of themes next to each other or in relation with each other. I will explore existing material with this in mind to see what it is that leads me to include within the project or to consider part of the project (i.e.: to ask what is the connection/contact/moving-with that I am interested in and how does it manifest and when).
I presented a short cut through the site/moving-with question to the art&environment group on Wednesday evening. For it, I had edited in iMovie+Powerpoint the set up to show the three pieces from the pavement walk in Kozani on one page.
— It was rough but functional. I knew that iMovie doesn’t allow a three-way split screen, and Powerpoint for Mac doesn’t allow to export as video slides with embedded video. So I finally opened the Premiere Pro and figured out how to split a screen and a few hours later, this is a more than functional sketch.
The audio is surprisingly generous of both clips and works well, also in interaction between them. I edited the ending a few times and this works for me at the moment.
I will review a bit further as to balance between the freedom of moving and the structural constraint.
for months i have been circling around her. like an elastic band i stretch the connection and at points then jump right onto some of her pages.
i write a cryptic line in my summary and off i go again.
this morning i pack all three and search.
among other things i find:
as i continue swimming i bodythink through the cosmos. through the work the living and the dying are doing for each other at this moment in time and any other. i had realised earlier this summer that my dad is going to teach me something vital. and here in this process with Achim i realise the work that is being done by us around to facilitate the movements between here and there and what each receives in this. i think i rarely felt so tender amongst it all.
thisconnectionofeveryonewithlungs (juliana spahr)
it is the closing line of a longer thisconnection (men, women, roleplay, victims, essentialism)
she will be the bridge across and away from the site. form content that connects while standing apart.
in army of lovers, she and David Buuck investigate a plot of grassy wasteland between a few major roads.
i have precisely such a plot. a pontoon bridge leads to it. all sorts of insignificant incidents take place. some are fantasy. a good part happens on speed. someone falls into the water and eighty-seven pelicans take off while the sparrows argue over the best spot to pig watch each morning. he who opens the kiosk at will and hides in dark corners within sells me an ice cream for €2.50. i think he made the price up. next time i check and i know he did. but he settled on it, having committed to a sun-worn board with lots of expensive ice cream (all cost €2.50). it sits next to the instant cameras,€20 for 2. how did the film develop?
unrelatedly, i observe the verge. in mid-July on the abundant West Coast it is exuberant. i move along and record it. later i step into it and record some more. elsewhere in the village, the council spent money on controlling growth. it does so abundantly. i record eagerly and just wait for being approached by watchful neighbours (none so far).
I have an earlier short note also relating to Juliana Spahr here.
this is the centre slide from the presentation of the line. I want to record the whole presentation again but haven’t got it finalised yet.
— I am trying different forms of editing voice and video at the moment; this is a direct recording and then export within powerpoint (current version for Mac), it does some things quite well, it doesn’t record any audio across transitions, and it also seems to show that there is audio on the slide (the symbol on the bottom right). Yet: the synchronisation is straightforward (before I would record audio separately and combine files in iMovie).
— some of the pages (mainly in chronological order) of the sketchbook.
— move, lock, pause. move, lock pause. it rotates around the axis of the split screen (but not quite); the camera is fairly static but still hand-held, I suspect. Twice, or three times the screen goes black except for the split and some colour cast, the monochrome and colour side switch. for at least one of the sequences, the camera is further away. the screen is suspended, like all others, from the ceiling, has some leaves wound around the suspension leads. to the right you see part of the large projection across the far narrow end of the room.
For my travels to Greece I made a travel album, which then during the week at the Made of Walking encounters/conference became a research site.
The album is here: τους πελεκάνους μου.
The closing post to the album is this one:
EDIT: my phone browser also misbehaves and forgets to place it into the album 😮
my browser Fb misbehaves and doesn’t let me post, so let me type this on the phone:
– i think this post concludes my pelican adventures.
– i think that most of the memory pieces i wanted to place next to each other i have now
– what i realised that i wanted to try was to seek a container to place next to each other a variety of things, meetings, sights and smells that came together in that week in Prespes
– there were two points when i realised that so much was mingling that i wanted to treat it as a field site and become a keen observer with interest:
(a) institutional processes and critique came together with both my inside/outside and my family album work in a site combining several key aspects of what i am concerned with in my work over the past four years
(b) Jen and then others started to talk about my FB posts and placed them offline again; and while not for the first time but for the first time with people who didn’t or hardly knew me, did i have a form in which the different forms of conversation mingled and informed each other;
>> that i was going to talk a few days later on a project which employed these two strands also, was perfect and too good to miss
>> i kind of used this then to make my own project (and sought some links to what is to be my final year work)
all else from this will sit in my sketchbook album (i add a link below, most of you will have access to it, should you not, drop me a message and i will add you)
there is something about the (fraught, failing) attempt to build a closed situation, room, site and i am keen to test this for this material. we did discuss in the past a corridor, a Fischli & Weiss machinery, i had dreamt of a world of Ursula Le Guin, a stage with Joan Jonas, Carole referenced Katrina Palmer’s Loss adjuster on Portland, i also think about the space the Sonic Seance show has set up at the CCA currently and bak invites for a training for an otherwise futurity. — many of these will be too ambitious. i think what interests me is as before the leaking and the blurring, the open fuzzy edges and i am pleased to have all the bus journey sketches around Kozani which go some way towards this.
i also am grateful to have tested the notion of gossip a little further. i have a lot of respect for it. found myself at various turns of the week being made to decide one or another. felt the hot spots of conversations travelling, adjusted some posts, didn’t write others and then on other occasions found myself surprised at what tender things it also was generative of. now with this having passed, i sense acutely the absence of those close and frequent iterations and interactions that made it possible to write like that. now it has firmly become a thing past and of reflection. i have lost the careful hold and sensation in my finger tips to gauge one thing or another (or to be wrong), so as a practice, this is also no longer a possibility.
oh: and i almost entirely forgot Susan Hiller’s Dream Machine and that beautifully fraught Soviet apartment room recreation at the Tate.
For my work for the two modules, some of this can be drawn out further:
>> totality/ situation:
it relates to other sites, events:
- Corridor as institutional site (with Green and other Green)
- the line as body of work
My interest is in:
- details events processes that are held in temporal and spatial proximity (maybe even just through my attention, there is no assumption that it is causal or functional)
- part of that attention then concerns memory/ focus but also subjectivity
- what gets deposited, contained and what doesn’t or can’t
- so the totality/ situation/ event is one with open, blurry or fuzzy edges: things are bleeding in and out (does it make sense to focus on the blood?)
As much as this concerns the source material for a work, it also gives an indication over how to present it, how to realise it: Since House in 2015 I had thought of a room, an installation to re-access the site, to make it public. Similarly: there as an idea during D2 to do something similar with the corridor, to remodel it, to situate it elsewhere. Effectively, too, the work around Office at Night did something similar in its final realisation.
There are a series of ideas, possibilities from this:
- a construction of a physical site to contain and hold together objects deemed relevant
- a visual realisation (such as concept maps, presentation) or a publishing form that achieves something similar.
The kinds of materials gathered are small, ordinary, fleeting (and this makes a little clearer to me what I had initially written as the ordinary, every day in the first statement/ outline). So, the collection/archive/situation (I will need to have a closer look at what this is) is constituted in ordinary form, encounters, events, gestures.
There are a series of influences and references (many not new):
Katrina Palmer’s End Matter / Loss Adjuster
Joan Jonas larger performance cycles (I have one in mind in particular, I will need to look this up)
Juliana Spahr’s writings (This connection of everyone with with lungs, Army of Lovers and The transformation) that all try to assemble and hold in relation a whole range of things.
Fischli & Weiss’s installations were a reference point for the parallel project of D2 (and possibly to fold forward).
I had also revisited the Andy Warhol materials that informed the formation of the line (the diamond dusted screenprints but also Gilda Williams’s writing on Silver Sliver and the close attention to when present becomes past in his work).
One current show at the CCA in Glasgow, Sonic Seance presents a series of collaborative works around music, performance and spoken work in a setting that takes in two rooms, one an ante-chamber with sofas and reading materials; the other, larger one, has four screens with a video looping in each, some printed textile banners, many cushions and floor seating around a few tables, a wall-spanning projection of some grasses and above all and scent infusing the whole setting in fairly low lighting (the scent is for me just past comfortable and just about not making me feel nauseous).
I also, one reflection of my sketches and drawings for this, and how the sketchbook is developing, have been returning to Rosemarie Trockel’s work, notably the drawings and zines that I saw several years ago at Talbot Rice. There is a review of the show here, and it is good in capturing my memory of the show and what intrigued me in her drawings but also in the exhibition of her book drafts under glass.
near space as concept:
the gap as source – copying – remaking the gap – mapping/reinstalling (not) – talking about it – writing endings – performing it. letting it be.
the corridor – walking it – recording it – sitting next to – intervening in it – re-orientating it – working in it. leaving it.
other space – the gap as opening – utopian space in the office – world-making – tracing the corridor. dreaming the spot that opens up and out.
the line to the car park.
Gesa Helms — it made it quite clear what it is not (and the FB album format is in no way a better format for what I already had): it is not a single line narrative account. It was never meant to be that and it is curious how the format (that in itself took the gossip, the 1:1 social media interface serious) reduced it in terms of narration and authorship. I have a long account of various worries and concerns over what follows what post and how they relate to each other; of choosing one and taking a particular turn. — all that is really useful for what is comingEdit or delete this
Gesa Helms — it also pointed, and that is possibly the key substantial insight into the material, to an existing secret and existing omission: one relationship (towards F.) never got moved forward and rearticulated (with her) — but: I have moved it into the present, notably with a conversation last week over lunch, that was exciting to see what it would yield if I simply stretched my arm from here to there and let it slide along; I also never revisited and tested that one evening sequence that happened and which needed re-positioning. I did rework it but only ever in practice, entirely serious, I never took it as a play thing but it was dead earnest. So, there is a site, a stretch of road off Oxford Rd that needs a bit more re-appropriation. I will fly from Manchester in a few weeks time and I think, while I made sure I don’t need a flight that needs a stay, that I may stay for a night and revisit. I will take Kapil with me too and be curious as to what new thing this may create — taking it to Prespes with me seems entirely fitting.Edit or delete this
Write a reply…
Gesa Helms — the fall out, the one I never put anywhere and that I barely related to one or two people concerns our approach towards secrets. Her anger at my refusal to conduct matters in secret (which she in turn did ). That anger then manifested in the account I included in the line (and some more, that I didn’t include)… It is interesting how that non-resolution remains and is carried forward to face me, us, you at various turns (and I stumble over it yet again). tappel-di-tapp, once stepped across…Edit or delete this
Gesa Helms — it doesn’t ‘need’ reappropriation: it is resolved as event. And yet, there is something in it that intrigues me, intrigues my sense that it may yield another route/ perspective onto it and with having recorded some new audio for the work; I wonder if there is another visual/ another material in there…Edit or delete this
Gesa Helms this morning I get another email, this time personally addressed to me concerning the logistics of Prespes, it states my link doesn’t work. I don’t quite follow, as it works for me. I am so curious as to the logistics… I may get simply stuck with Saint Achilles for a week (but found the bathing spot within near walking distance… at least the one for the tourists). https://the———————–line.tumblr.com/Edit or delete this
my gesture for what the line is, to T in the skype
my tracing L.’s concerns, me following that gesture after and before the next I meet her (there are FB posts for each of these)
>> transfer/ transgression: I deposit these back in another dialogue
the near space: that it isn’t about the context but the relationship, contact
I start with the thermoplast; the touching and tracing the contact that sets; but also the transgression of touching with the layer between.
what makes me feel stupid is the question of purpose: if this is big enough to form investigation.
my entry is Lefebvre and the production of space: what happens in the near space and if that near space offers not just constraint but an opening to elsewhere (that is where Le Guin makes my heart beat hard)
A: utopia sounds always like an absence, but really, where is its presence?
and then: what is there about gestures, poses, moves?
I will try a starting point for this. It is here: two images of an ordinary small-town house somewhere in Northwest Germany. The house was built in 1935, three men moved in, one died in 1943, one married and a young woman moved in while he was absent. From 1945 onwards it housed at times more than 25 people, mostly strangers, two girls were born. The man who built it died in 1964 […]’*
— I have been busy. I also have been recording things that I have done and will move more of them here to the sketchbook and write up as relevant parts to coursework.
A couple of days ago was the already postponed submission date for the BoW 2/ Gather and manifest. I let it pass: I had thought of pulling things together but also felt that the more dialogical/public/relational aspects of it still needed further pushing about.
What I have been busy with was a series of writing/publishing projects. And in that process, I also considered Research further and how to proceed with it. I will rejig it and step further away from the coursework. I wrote (as I know I do) about 5k on the line for the conference publication within a few weeks. The piecemeal leading towards the dissertation doesn’t work for me, I find I am picking arguments with it (and that is only productive in a certain extent). So, I think I will set a series of writing tasks/ projects as equivalent to the module stages and take it from there.
I am also thinking about the idea of defining down and focusing in as discussed in the last tutorial (the report of which will go up after this post, I had it for several weeks — it is here). I think I am really not interested in defining things down — it goes back to the interesting discussion Rachel and I had about ambiguity. So much of what my writing and focus has been over the past few years is an opening out, a holding in tension, and linking to — and I don’t mean with that a ‘more, more’ or just any old stuff, but a rather careful and measured approach towards what elsewhere is considered emergence, or even some of the nomadic theory of Braidotti will hold a hand towards this approach. So, the idea of a glossary for the dissertation is a really good one, but what if it works more like Raymond Williams’s Keywords: a link, emergence, a holding in tension, not an undue tightening down?
I think I will explore this further and am reminded of the pieces of writing that I recently got sent (let me post and link these two.).
<< the form, untitled, then two propositions. they are curt, numbered. in that the genre makes it report like. proposition may serve me better than definition. why is that.
<< again the form, alternating, the subject matter and how it opens the three.
There is a thing about three. a mingling of potentialities.
These came via a friend and two recent events on auto-fiction and poetics in common.
this is the zine (now as a revised analogue/digital edition with hand-colouring) about the imposter. it acquired an imperceptible design flaw in the file and only revealed itself half-way through my introductory performance on Saturday.
today i played with pullprint to make it purposeful. i had layered and moved about the initial document as part of the construction in any case, so the extra layer is a useful commentary on my imposter’s perfectionism and how she reveals herself in public:
i talk at length about the line last night. he knows the work, he, like many of you, is in it. i talk about the reposting. the things the reposting is making clear to me. how it relates and how it alters what is central to the piece for me. i know that a photo essay will not be a sufficient form for it. that was already clear when E. and i finally spoke after half a year or more on Monday. it needs layering, looping and mingling. when i gesture about the state this work needs, i realise what else it is; how a conference paper on state and street violence is not sufficient for it; what else it is and how the list of participants for Prespes allayed some of my fear. how brazen it feels to bring violence and desire to walking arts. how it genders the walker, the walk, the city, the street.
— it doesn’t gender it, it only make apparent the deficiency of a whole number of accounts. it’s not like we are talking about a female principle. far from it.
towards the end he asks if the timeline stresses me. i: no, not all. i have a whole month to do this and there is little else that i need to do. this is fun.
the gesture i make is one that i recognise as my own, about myself. i get moved by it. literally. i may have to move it with it.
Gesa Helms i make the gesture of the line twice and pursue it further. it goes into different directions.
i watch it and i sense it.
nobody else watches and senses it.
i wonder what T watched and sensed when he saw me doing it yesterday.
did it happen?
did i perform?
what did it leave?
the sense sensation is strong. it persists, increases, ebbs away a little, returns. it is that which animates the gesture and continues, prolongs it.
i watch intently and wonder if it is of interest to anyone who watches. or, is it something that needs doing in order to be something.
what do you see?Edit or delete this
the / line
— following that secret (along with my headache, why is that a thing again, btw) from last night’s post, i retrace my steps that first time i walked along Oxford Rd. i remember how far the hotel was, how the road changed abruptly past the Aldi (or was it a Lidl) and I realised that I had misjudged the proximity of things. I arrive at the hotel and am shown to my room. I am shattered and while I briefly wonder what is in the bathroom. are they for me? I undress and lie down to a mid-afternoon nap. shortly after, there is a knock on the door, i open, the manager is apologetic. explains the room hasn’t been cleaned. shows me to another room while the cleaner tidies. she and i chat, about working in Germany and in England, then i return. there is new bed linen. i shudder a little, realise i can’t quite sleep now and get dressed. i leave the hotel and wander to Andy Warhol.
do i see the grasses then? i don’t think so. i think that only happened the next morning.
i slept in someone else’s bed that afternoon. i still feel the duvet cover on my skin. i remembered how i wondered how used it felt, then dismissed that thought as one of cheap hotel bed linen.
something happened later still, when it was dark. i may still write about that. or maybe not.
in any case: i think i will redo the hinge of the work and see what happens in the process. i will report.
it may become a new thing.
— I have been busy. Busy also with things that will eventually move into here and serve me both for Research and BoW.
I had my first discussion with Rachel, my Research tutor, and used part of that to figure out some of my current questions about the DI&C project the line (I had posted a brief note for her just before the tutorial here).
What I am figuring out is really four things:
- the relationship between gossip, violence and pleasure — in the context of the project that sat as networked/digital identities; for my wider things it concerns what I have also discussed as the delineation of public/private; the questions of family archives, auto/theory fiction, performative and unstable/unreliable narrators.
- the relationship of that kind of work (which in drawing/contact finds a more intimate, closer focus and intention) to its audience
- the conceptual/methodological frame for this work but also for my wider working practice: how do I research, work with text and concept?
- what constitutes methodology, an artistic practice and a new piece of work, and what is the relation to the original, else-where originating work.
I am in the process of writing a 3-4k text about the work that will be the basis for a 15 mins talk > in the context of a walking/arts conference, so part of how I address the latter is an interest in movement (analogue/digital) as a walking methodology (and with that I am close to my ideas about the body as drawing tool, of movement/performance and the sensorial).
In this, I republished the line as a Facebook album; I wrote an account of this process and observed it; I also investigate a written form for a spoken work, multi-layered visual body of work. I have found the concerns over linearity, progression and multiplicity really useful in understanding what my interest in this work is but also how it functions best (as I realised it in the context of DI&C’s focus on digital identities) and what other forms and processes are lying dormant in it.
I have also re-recorded some of the videos (one as visual; two as audio). Doing so, I added a contemporary position and framing to this. This, along with feeding it through FB is immediately productive of new material, new work, and so the manuscript in itself already presents a new piece of work being generated.
The work purposefully seeks contact (by exploring dialogues, encounters, past and present) and is relational, small-scale and intimate. It is at once private and at once, in its public present not. The purpose of presenting this work as mine (either through the Facebook account, or in person through a talk) rearticulates it and asks a whole series of questions about authorship, subject/object of work and audience. The latter have only sporadically featured in my previous modules and I am finding the disentangling of key questions here really useful.
(I had decided not to fold the conference presentations into course work as such — the form is too academic for me to hold much interest for either Research or BoW — but what I am doing here is serving as a basis for some key points of the research as well as of my artistic practice and how it informs the programme for BoW, more of that to follow).
i read Benjamin’s Haschisch in Marseille (though in English). i want to be annoyed at it and subsume it under that bourgeois bloke who meanders, flaneurs along, unguarded and naive, seeing universality in all he does.
of course i am not.
i never read much of Benjamin beyond the Berlin childhood and Mechanical reproduction (i think my younger self never considered herself bourgeois, cultured enough to be illuminated into the arcades). there is so much in his that i recognise as a well-known modality of my own, sans l’haschisch, the receptive introspection and the meaning that shifts along, tumbles forwards, connects out while being thoroughly with oneself (at once in fragment and complete). then there is the recording, the protocol, the account.
— there is also something incredibly tender at play, there is a curious affective touching that goes on, almost in passing. (and i am thinking of that loud pose that Springgay and Truman strike with their call for affect, which drowns out the above, or perhaps also doesn’t quite know what do with that that they can’t categorise/ identify as white settler self and his others).
i had, this morning, when i dreamt up the modality for the meeting, also figured the relational forms that i am tracing, holding and letting go in the moving-with that i am doing. it is quite different too from any of the participatory stuff and aims at a social, it may just be boring social geography after all. it needs that social, both to understand the violence (close and far) but also to conceive of the tenderness, the longing. it needs a little trippyness too, i know where i get mine from, Benjamin clearly described his.
(work in progress)
Gesa Helms I download a new edition of Einbahnstrasse, and chuckle (a) at the age of modernism; and (b) at the datedness of my idea to use the separation between text and footnote as a line… of course in Benjamin’s time, the Feuilliton ran from page to page at the bottom of it (not like in my times as a supplement to worthy papers):
— And the textual diversity of One-Way Street ensures that the street resonates with the hubbub of many voices, with what Lionel Trilling once called the great “hum and buzz” of social interaction. Benjamin’s built environment, his “one-way street,” is a thoroughfare that requires not just mental agility but especially a kind of modern urban literacy.Edit or delete this
Edit or delete this
Edit or delete thisJOURNALS.SAGEPUB.COMThe Power of Distraction: Distraction, Tactility, and Habit in the Work of…
ETHESES.WHITEROSE.AC.UKPerforming as Mapping: An examination of the role of…
Gesa Helms tangentially, I find this and feel rather nostalgic: both for the Feld but even more so to that praxis that was critical geography around Berlin around the second half of the 2000s. hey there, Uli. https://s3.amazonaws.com/…/Stanek__best_chapter_only…Edit or delete this
(as a placeholder in advance of Research tutorial 1).
— the piece of previous work that I have spent most time with over the past four weeks is the final work produced during Digital Image & Culture: the line, which I finalised as a tumblr site, and am currently in the process of re-publishing through facebook as a public album.
The line is also the piece on which my submission to the Walking Arts Network conference in Prespes, Greece, is based. So I am currently also in the process of writing a 3-4k word contribution for a conference publication as well as considering how it will present as a 15-min talk/presentation.
As part of the re-publishing process I am keeping an offline journal which I will move here at some point. There are some thoughts I have here right now in terms of how to proceed (and what can become part of Res or BoW and what is best kept aside).
Here some notes from this morning:
the line as fragmented space that is very much non-linear
the line as imaginary and anchor to the pieces articulated
the pieces articulated are diverse:
more functional notes and records
fragments from other authors
there is no clear order as to how they are encountered: they are clearly not a singular line to be walked but multiplicity
— while reworking the line for a presentation in summer I am testing it out as a different format: a public facebook album, here:
— I am also suggesting to view via my timeline. If you are not friends with me, this will be easy, as there aren’t many public posts, if you are friends, you may have to scroll a little:
Wednesday morning I say what it is that I will be doing:
– a series of performance pieces/ drawings
– a couple of workshop/event things and
– some documentation of the above.
That is it.
The spatial praxis/ production of space/ site-thing will be part of it as building out and up from the encounters that constitute each. It will be utopian in its concrete practice. Nothing more, nothing less (I would love to call it Beziehungsweise Revolution/ relationally: revolution, but that title is already taken, unfortunately).
The documentation will be either in book or in moving image form.
Each segment/ section will address or: can address a particular question/ enquiry.
I am uncertain if the talks will be part of it or generally merely context. I think that is part of the wider question of what constitutes the site/ the work, i.e., really: if we talk an expanded field of drawing, do we need to have a sense of what is not part of it? what is absent? outside? and, why would that be useful. In that sense, I will have a consideration of distance/closeness in this too, and at that point it loops back into the overall thematic of drawing/contact.
The first four events in drawing/contact are intimate and in hindsight, retrospect. I am testing how these relate to the theme and what they do medium/discipline-wise. I am trying not to be too wilful with them, to let them hover for as long as they need to. In some ways, these take inspiration from the events around the line, and reworking the line for the workshop in July into a photo essay and presentation will be great. The drawing/contact encounters are different though as they transgress media/ reach. They are possibly less concerned with secrets and veracity but more curious about the contact, the stuff enacted, where and when it reaches, etc.
In this, then, the line, the Gap, and the wider corridor thematic are aufgehoben in the best dialectical sense: they are concluded and superseded into a qualitatively new question (I remember how for each time that aufheben needed translation I was stuck, as stuck as I am now as there is no equivalent in English).
secrets, along the private and the public.
– the person who keeps calling to say that they know where Katrin Konert’s body is buried. they then hang up.
– the judge who places the burden of naming undercover cops on the women they deceived into intimate relationships
– the initiation secrets of the Hermit Triad of O.T.O. (sex magic)
– the book that I leave with my dad, which talks of how nostalgia for 1945-55 worked in reverse: it became darker as it receded into the past, what was being left out from the narration, then and now.
with these, i turn to the notes when i started rewriting the line. it is less a rewriting that i did in autumn but a new iteration: so much new material assembled as i tried out if i wanted to write fiction. then the dying and leaving started in earnest and i only now loop back.
i do not want to revise the work but i want to edit it anew. to see if a stronger focus is beneficial for it. but also: how do these images, which are after all still, not moving, hold up next to a written narrative. if i push the the temporal unfolding entirely to the viewer, reader and no longer let it animate through my voice. the line around secrets is reworked when i post this to facebook, as public album, having practiced already with […]
i am such a slow worker with all these secrets. sometimes i worry that my life simply won’t be long enough for it all. in all this, we are firmly in surplus time, with both of them: it is fun, easy, joyful. we tell stories that are surplus and are having a good time with them. i love what i learned about the train station in Celle, of my mother’s routes through the biggest town she ever had a daily routine in. how on the next day she would fill in the gaps and connections between her teenage self, my teenage self and our contemporary selves right across the town, by foot and in the car. my dad was eager to learn about what we had seen and so i promised him to show him in summer, when i travel back from Macedonia.1 commentLikeShow More ReactionsCommentShare
Gesa Helms this is one of the strongest pieces that i wrote in autumn, it is rather different to anything in the line, it puts the fragmentation right into the text and connects a number of themes and relationships through the movement along Gt Wester Rd (and, hey, my notetaking processes hold, it seems: i find things again)
i sit invisibly in the dark window. the phone tracks my motions but not much else. i disappeared. again, never for long, each disappearance is an in-breath. yesterday and today i move back and forth. not quite rocking my upper body back and forth while sat on a chair, it bears resonance, witness. to other, i am doing chores, tracking apps and delivery routes.
earlier, i made my bed. i dress it in the new star-like dark blue grey cotton-weave. underneath: fluffy summer clouds. i crawl underneath and float, i can’t stop touching. it persists all night. i am sure i have found material form for her photos of me in cocoon. the night is warm, the space between my breasts collects sweat.
that night i kill. i am killed that night. i flee while moving downwards on material, structures that i do not understand. it doesn’t suffice: i am found. a large man with a wide red face and loud laughter. i wonder how the delicate structure still holds him. how can it. the structure is luminous and made for myself and yet, there is he and the other and they hunt. i swing my body up on the shelf above me and run, back through a field of high grass. someone, they, someone, different moves up behind. i reach the end and turn. this is my field i shout indignant. i have tended to it, it is not yet ready to unfold and i chase along. i realise it won’t suffice. it will not be enough.
i enter the room, he sits in front of me, a naked torso, his body turned away from me. i make the phone call. yes, i found him. it is him. michael. he turns around and i look into a mirror. but no mistake: i am michael. momentarily, the connection is interrupted. beeeep. beeeep. the familiar sound when she drives between one checkpoint and another. i briefly imagine her seeing the lights: on hilltops, bright and fortified, in the valleys, weaker, sparser, under siege.
the path is a trail along beech and oak trees. it is a familiar route: out from the village I lived in as a small child, northwards. we have been often but not in a long time. the path is windy, narrow, we are a few. we come upon a group, at the centre a young woman, her face turned towards us, them, the world. they pour a substance over her, her face unmoved. she dies of the substance that solidifies her face. she, beautiful. we shouldn’t have seen.
i leave early to keep talking. her voice is breathless as she tells me how the day before the Anschluss, the people were dusting off little flags with swastikas and how they screamed themselves hoarse at his sight that 12 March 1938. then her voice breaks. i know that sound through the speakerphone as well as she knows mine. i try to think: do i remember her face with tears. i do not. when i see her face is the one that laughs. and when you laugh, i laugh too. always. beeep. beeep. she wants to call back and i will be at the subway soon. my face is wet the rain strong, it mixes with my tears. einen dicken kuss, beszede.
i return home and remember that my dirty linen from now on colour-coordinates my library.
am i ugly.Edit or delete this