October 2005 Archives
it was delivered in tiny packages, which when unwrapped unfolded into dioramas of angst and hope and funny little cinematic scenes. The ones which did not put me at the center of the action were perhaps better than the ones where I performed tasks which were clearly the inventions of the cruel side of my own mind. In the end we managed to escape. The car was a scratched up lincoln with the sky falling in the back and the trunk not quite closing. A lot of smoke came out of that exhaust. It was the life giving smoke though. Nothing poisonous, I promise. We managed to escape. Down the hill, on that very winding road through the forest. Still barely holding on in the back seat I checked if the camera had been loaded. I had recorded some of the events. Hopefully the good ones. Hopefully the ones that would help me reassemble some of the better stories. I woke up an hour before the alarm. I was still in the dead centre of the bed, still wedged between the pillows I had arranged around my head to block out any possible outside disturbances. A squirrel attack would have probably gone unnoticed. The closet in the bedroom had a colder feel to it than a freezer. My shirts arranged like the bloodless blue skins of the day version of me. The radio was awake and happy to ask me for money. Today will be a tough one again. It is going to be worth it. At the end of the day I will take the F into the heart of Brooklyn and there will be a new chapter of escapes in scratched up American machines, animals flying through the air, or not, a floor that wants to give some advice about wood and air and breathing in general. And there will be new tiny packages of sleep. Wrapped up incredibly well, protected from shocks and stabs and throws. Sleep is the poorest man's drug. What a gift. What a gift.
we were at the shelter looking at cats and they were just walking around like wind up toys about a large floor, random particles of feline existence. i was given one in a basket. it was a black cube of fur, staring at me with two large eyes, holding on to its life with the claws, not wanting to come out. i shook the basket a bit, flipped it over and the cat fell out onto the floor, and onto its back, and it bounced a couple of times until it came to a stop, somewhere between the other cats. i picked it up and it began to become a different kind of cat this time a bone china one, glossy and white and with an ever growing amount of crackle. (Is this the word for the thin breaks in the glaze?) The color of the clay it seemed was dark red and it showed a bit between the edges of the otherwise completely reflective surface of the animal. little claws were holding on to me now, very strongly, it was puncturing my skin around my stomach, staring at me, not letting go, ever changing shape and amount of fur on it. i think this was when i woke up. a man in the subway raced me to get to a seat. he almost knocked himself out doing that. he then sat there, the entire half hour, with his legs spread, his arms crossed and his lower lip getting dry from all the exposure to air. he was rather angry with me, i guess. so sad for him. it was just monday morning. a lecture at the MoMA at lunch time turned out to be a very interesting piece of new york, the lecturer a bit upset about me looking at my watch, ten minutes fast again, she stopped the lecture to point out that she could not concentrate with that noise going on. it was a spectacular weekend. and the more i think about it the better it gets. maybe it would be a good idea to get a coffee now. i like that the cat in my dream could change so many aspects about itself and still, at all times, remain a cat. i will need to think about that a bit more.
there is something funny about the SAFE Exhibition at MoMA being on display in rooms at the end of a foot bridge which is permanently suspended six floors high, though much higher of course. Visitors can see how comfortable they feel leaning against a thin barrier of glass to see tiny sophisticated german tourists flocking to their cultural mecca. I hope Chris goes to see the show, as he would very much enjoy it. Maybe I can let him know somehow. Though how? Oh, and one might want to visit the Julia Oschatz show at Leslie Tonkonow in Chelsea. It is a good show. And those who feel too disturbed by an eyeless humanoid creature injuring herself in various ways can always just step into the gallery next door and see what all those Born into brothels photographs were about... hmm... wait... that show just ended yesterday. (Julia's show is about more than an eyeless creature being injured or injuring herself, of course. Though giving away more would be a bit lame, so I won't.) Well, it is still worth going out of the house today. It is turning out to be a great day and there are so many wonderful things to see. The butter in the dish next to me is like a tiny model of the interior space at MoMA. The tea in the little cup reminds me of the water in a lake I have yet to see. If I were in LA I would be at the Junc Gallery this morning, looking at some work by Jordan Crane, for example... In Frankfurt, I would probably run to the MMK (or eBay.) And anywhere, I would just look at the sky. And the sky is just incredible right now. It changed so much in the last 15 minutes even. Wonderful. A happy sunday. (I also just had the best omelette yet.) Amazing.
noticed today that MoMA is only about seven minutes from where i work. This means that i can spend 45 minutes of an hour with some potentially good art. it was great today and it will be great when i get to go back... and i will go back often now. it is really exciting. seriously.
At first I found myself in a house in what I guess was Los Angeles, or the very far outskirts of it. It was a building that had relatively low ceilings and it had aluminum windows that were a bit high in certain rooms. The sky was very bright. There was a breeze. I sat by the wall in one of the back rooms and stared at the wall scraped into shape by a glacier which had passed by here a few million years ago and then again yesterday. The trees growing in the middle of the carpet were moving very slowly to their own wind. Insects were living in the bark and were the delicious food for small marsupials. Some had longer tails than others. They were all relatively small, yes, but they still varied in size significantly. A stream was near my feet and I was waiting for the large game to come and quench their thirst. They soon arrived. Several giant bisons looked at their reflections in the suddenly completely still water and then let their tongues cut into the surface of the frozen stream. They cut various shapes, intricately symmetrical, as if they were unique snowflakes burned through the surface and now slowly growing water. Water grew out of the openings, as if it were transparent grass, it flowered right under the noses of the bisons in a few seconds maybe and the large animals picked flower after flower, flower after flower after flower. The doorbell rang and I had to walk through all of what I saw to get to the living room and the hallway. The floor made different sounds in different rooms. Always different sounds. Nobody had really rang the bell. I opened the door and there was nobody indeed. We switched places. I returned as him to the room in which I had just seen the nature scene and it was now empty, the walls painted in a very bright white, and there, many, many tiny frames with unbelievably crisp little pictures. Because I was nobody particular now, not a real physical being, I could get closer and closer to them and could look at deeper and deeper details, further and further away from the frame itself. They were scenes flooded with living things, all somehow avoiding collisions, all dependent on each other, a glowing state of life. I wandered from frame to frame to frame until I realized that the frames were just the limits I had set up for myself and that all of what I saw was actually one and the same thing. And I had not left the room or the house, nor had I entered the house. There really was no house even. I was nobody, indeed, but because of that I was everybody as well. And not only did I see life, but I was part of it, I was a particle floating in the larger context of things, completely insignificant and completely vital to the system at the same time. And I saw that this was good. Well, actually far beyond that. Or somehow similar to something related to that.
"please check on my command," the man next to me was probably German. "Command" instead of "order" somehow was very clear to him and surprisingly also to the very friendly waitress. He had been waiting for his food for long. In the mean time he had been handling a little flock of digital devices to stay in touch with somebody, somewhere, somehow. nonstop The waitress soon returned to me (?) with a second check. So maybe things were not quite as clear as they seemed. The food was good; mystery items arranged in a very beautiful way. I avoided the things that somehow seem to make my stomach twist into excruciating spirals. Tried to take a look at some of the 4600 or so digital snapshots my father took over the few days of our trip. It was a bit difficult to dive into this giant data bank of first time impressions. It will take us both a good while to decipher the intentions behind some of the pictures. Many of the photographs are just of me, pressing my left eye against the eye piece of the ttl light meter. There are no pictures of me screaming into the camera, there are none of me crying, staring into heavens with my fists recognizable only as two crab-claw shaped blurs. I remained very calm throughout the entire trip. I somehow learned that survival strategy somewhere. It is not a good idea to play dead when attacked by a bear. It is an equally bad idea to lose one's cool when seeing his father once in about seven years. Many pictures he took are of me taking pictures. And thus I took some pictures on the trip. I picked them up from duggal yesterday. Some turned out horrible which is a good sign. It means that I can still recognize horrible. Some are quite good. I will keep the good ones. I will not have the heart to destroy the bad ones, I guess. All are too large for me to scan right now, but not everything needs to be scanned and shared and posted and commented upon right away. I feel like I am getting closer to a feeling of being private in a large crowd (here). Now I am beginning to just be, perhaps? This is so very important for any original work, no? Performances are usually excellent for interpreting arts, I guess they are called the performing arts in English? It feels nice to be able to write here and not imagine any audience. Maybe one person. Like, about right now. You. It was good to take pictures a bit slower. With one eye I would dive into a world somehow related to the one surrounding me, and yet very controlled by my actions. Not only was it important how objects aligned, it was important how i moved myself in relation to them. The bear was there too. We all had to be aligned into very deliberate arrangements. We then had to be undisturbed in this position for maybe a minute, maybe two, maybe ten. Of this time, we would allow the film in the camera to be exposed to the outside world. This tiny moment was the one when we would all close our eyes, so the film could see the light. The camera would flip up the mirror, I would stare into darkness, movement stopped. We would all be there. Then. Blind. Once this moment was successful, I would turn the crank of the camera one and imagine that the moment was not as successful as it potentially could have been. If the moment failed because one of the participant failed to remain calm, I would repeat the procedure until there was at least a certain level of satisfaction. It is a quiet thing to do, this making pictures. And every step is just one of many. And though things happen in loneliness, at least for a split second, there was an army of ideas and movements and people who made this moment possible. So many people touched most of the little particles of this moment until it became itself. My father has been waking up, not knowing where in the world he might be. Was he in one of the national parks? or maybe las vegas? I woke up last night arguing with myself in polish. it is getting late again. I will need to close this computer and see what my brain has prepared for me as an interpretation of events past. good night sweet dreams. (no period.) "please check on my command." "in chief." please?
a candle placed in the window gives the illusion of two candles burning in perfect symmetry. the sky is glowing into the dark pink clouds. a plane just flew perfectly over the right spot over the spire of the church out there behind the only lit window in the backyard. the tea is of the cheapest kind but when drunk from the right cup it feels like the most perfect combination of flavors. dust might go to dust, but ashes are often better turned into bone china for that matter. the cameras are now back in their glass case, resting and ready for the next big moment or a series of such. i have been trying to go to sleep for about three hours now. one can truly quench the thirst for happiness by paying attention to the tiny moments between the tiny moments. the lights are very dimmed now. the tea is of the very long brewed, calming kind. a far too short phone call ended up spinning around the quality of the connection over supposedly old wires. calm now. the air is cool and sweet. and the wind seems to be wild only in higher altitudes, pushing a cover of clouds eastwards. i wish i could crawl through old phone wires. maybe dressed in something funny. sporting animal ears and whiskers? i can't right now. tomorrow will be a monday of an intense week. going to the other room now, for s few hours between sheets. good night.
Connecticut muffin on 15th street felt as if it had been placed in a very different city maybe? The boots representing soldiers fallen in Irak were arranged in spooky rows and columns at the entrance to prospect park. My now clean windows have a new added personality: Some do not close, some close but develop an internal sweat which will certainly shape ice flowers once Brooklyn turns into a winter wonderland. I ate some rather unhealthy things today. I ate too many of them. My bags are still packed. The cameras are still wrapped in cloth. I dropped off almost 50 pounds of laundry at the Russian place, where the boss has finger nails that appear to be rudimentary bark gems. It is so very windy out, I am a bit confused and disoriented, I will step outside again, will take a look at the part of town I learned to miss very much in the last few weeks. I live here. I really do. I missed the birds too. They were there this morning. Mocking each other, supporting each other, out-singing each other in so many beautiful ways. The refrigerator compressor just shut up and i can hear the voices of children playing on third street. There, the wind again. Fantastic. Fall.
One of the gentle moments of the trip was the second when I had a chance to walk up to one of the giant trees, around in that particular spot for more than 2000 years, and it was so very nice to realize that the bark on that living giant was like fur, it was like thick brownish fur, soft and warm and not threatening at all. And there were little animals crawling on the giant buddy everywhere. And the fire scars looked like stories. Good stories. New Beginnings. The entire tree looked like a giant invitation. It was like an invitation to listen and to hear and to look and to see and to just somehow invite others to pay attention as well. Let's all grow. Together? It was incredible to walk in the presence of giants. My father pointed out that only the very core of the giant sequoia is as old as it claims to be. Well, yes, I am about seven as well, or just a few weeks in some parts. Maybe the idea of any living thing is what matters. It was great to touch the outer fur of the giant. No injuries anywhere. Really. Just healing somehow.