I have a plan now I think. I will write the argument first, otherwise it will be too difficult, and then write a detailed synopsis of it. The synopsis will be my critical commentary, and I can discard the original argument document.

This will allow me to demonstrate the context for my work without getting submerged underneath it. The synopsis will follow the argument of the original essay, but it will follow at one remove like the Liam Gillick I was reading yesterday, so that the fact of the information is being communicated rather than the information itself. Meanwhile the information itself steps aside from the synopsis to support and permit this mode of writing by contextualizing and arguing for it.

The distance between the argument essay and the synopsis also creates the space to inject some judgement of the argument. This will enable me to pointedly step away from certain moves that might be fitting from a critical or analytical perspective but which are inappropriate for what I’m trying to achieve.

What’s important is that it’s clear these omissions are essential rather than just plain lazy. The omissions might be the most important part. By building up a coherent picture of the kinds of omissions that are made, I want the synopsis to lead the argument up to my artworks but not into them, so that there remains a gap around the edges. “DON’T WAKE THE ART!”, we might say.

I think there are already some segments of my argument in other posts. Here are some bits:

It occurs to me that if the commentary is a synopsis of some missing thesis, but the commentary actually frames the artworks (in the drawing below the artworks are the yellow cards; the commentary is the paper concertina around them), then the commentary may appear to summarize the artworks. I think this will be a useful element of the conceit.