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Below is a recording of the broadcast made on Monday 1st February and repeated on Friday 5th February. Because the work of the work was dependent on being heard communally by a number of listeners at the same time, the version below is in a sense deactivated. The sound of the recording is the same as the sound of the broadcast, but the broadcast isn’t the sound of the work.
On January 20 antepress performed an experimental lecture on ekphrasis at the David Roberts Art Foundation, as part of Damien Roach’s exhibition Shiiin, Jet Stream, White Earphones.
An audio recording of the lecture has now been posted on the exhibition blog, From a Darkened Sunroof. My contribution to the lecture drew on my ongoing research into the instructional form of address, and particularly the potential for frustrated instructions to work as ekphrastic figures.
By issuing instructions to the other speakers – instructions that weren’t followed – I tried to create an alternative potential version of the lecture, which in turn caused the actual version of the lecture to appear as just one possible version of it. It was an attempt to make the lecture a reflexively ekphrastic event: an event that describes itself, using just itself as a description. Read the rest of this entry »
The text I described earlier this week has 554 words and 39 of them are “can”. In total there are only 173 different words in the text, and all the others are repeats. Whenever it was possible to use a word I had already written, that’s what I did.
The high incidence of functional words is unremarkable in the text. There are 31 instances of “the”, 29 of “to”, 16 “and”s, 15 “them”s and 14 “a”s. They don’t particularly show.
Most of the other repeated words do pretty much the same job each time they come up: “tell” (10), “each” (9), “inhabitant” (9), “rhythm/s” (10), “tap” (3), etc. But I’m interested in the words like “make” (11), “part” (9), “play” (6), “pause” (6), and “you” (37), which from time to time shift their referents in significant ways.
A short text I’m working on at the moment ends like this:
Then you can start to group the amended inhabitants into a number of parts and tell each part the names and orders of certain musical notes part by part, and you can tell them how many beats they can have in each second. Part by part you can count each group briefly and very quietly back into the general song and when you have told everyone to play there can be applause.
The text is a set of less than explicit instructions that repeatedly uses the form “you can” to explain how to commandeer the frequencies of local short-wave radio stations and then how to instruct the listeners at home to communally play a piece of polyphonic music using constructions they can make from household objects.
This afternoon I drew the tip of my pencil with itself and the nib of my biro with itself. I drew them in my line drawing book, which makes them the first traditionally representational drawings on its pages. They continue my exploration of the line as a representational tool that joins word to thing, and here the pencil and biro use the paper as a pivot for representation. Read the rest of this entry »
This weekend there were two art book fairs in London. At the Whitechapel was the achingly official London Art Book Fair, and at Oxford House was the achingly unofficial Publish and Be Damned. I found one thing at each which I want to put together.
(un)limited store had a stand at Publish and Be Damned. They’re a French publisher that produces artist books, objects and prints. I like the way they don’t differentiate too heavily between these three categories: the objects all have ISBNs like books, for instance, and come boxed and labeled to show they’re part of or published by the (u)ls project.
David Lasnier is one of the artists whose objects they publish. I bought a rubber stamp by him which reads ‘stamped’. Read the rest of this entry »
Things Are Exact is a short audio play between an indistinct number of matching voices battling between script and spontaneity. The voices try to catch time. They try to distinguish their sore throats from sadness, their sadness from the passing of time, and the passing of time from the impossibility of shared experience.
Things Are Exact was first broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm on July 13 as part of the antepress Art Writing series Digestives.
Denisa Nenova has invited Cliff Wright and me to join her for an artists’ discussion at Borders Bookshop on Charing Cross Road this evening.
Denisa is performing her new work Voicing the Silence, I’m presenting my text work Palomar Translations, and Cliff will demonstrate the way he teaches people to draw by seeing rather than thinking. In showing these three practices together we want to begin a discussion about pulling language away and keeping the stuff that’s left over.
The work is ongoing, and currently comprises over four thousand near-identical paintings of the same glass of water against the same simple backdrop. The glass is framed identically on each canvas, and variation between paintings is restricted to subtle differences in light and colour that reflect the changing conditions of the studio.
Because it is an ongoing project, the work is continually both complete (all there is so far) and incomplete (there is more to come). This duality means that the point of creation remains present in the paintings as a continuous threat to the integrity of the work. The threat is double: that more paintings will be created, disrupting the present unity of the work; and that no more paintings will be created, disrupting the present continuity of the work. Thus the work is continually on the brink of disintegration, and only as long as it does not disintegrate can it continue reassert its presence. It is a work in the present continuous: it is working.