A few weeks ago I had the honor of sharing a bill with Natura Morta, three gentlemen who are, in my humble opinion, conjuring the only sound possible, right now. Something happens when they perform. Something surpasses determinable acoustics, even basic compounds such as tone, volume, texture, attack, timbre, performance, resonance (although these cues are very operative and probably relevant). In seeking explanation I find myself partway through La Mont Young’s Dreamhouse and one foot (no, both feet) in a Turkish Bath (House of Leaves also comes to mind). What I am struggling to affect is this idea of a sonic space so rarely encountered that one completely loses oneself inside, confusion turns to absolute fixation, and whatever the physical space surrounding the sound was is now no more. Everything but this living, breathing acoustical sphere disappears. We have tapped into something infrasonic, wind-in-tunnel-dog-out-window. This is a sound not without danger, as it may house the secret of time.
That being said, here’s the Call:
Call for Entry: Time Dilation and the Acoustical Orb(it)
The Super Coda is accepting submissions for an evening of acoustic experimentation on November 17th, 2014 at Panoply Performance Laboratory. Up to three musicians/ensembles will be invited to present work that confronts the possibility of sound that physically alters both the listener and the space in wherein listeners live. This Call is open to all. Consideration will be given to those who work specifically within acoustic fields of Scraping, Sculpting, Noise, Object Manipulation, gongs, Voice & Performers investigating sonic phenomena. (Also anyone who is fucking conscious of what is going on here)?!
If interested, please send a paragraph explaining why you want to do what you want to do to email@example.com. Links to any websites/audio/video you find pertinent to this particular project or that you just really like, especially if I don’t know you I want to get to know you.
DEADLINE: November 7th 2014.
The Super Coda
I hate critical aesthetics because I probably love *them* and so I have these thoughts to share about the process-based dance opera, Any Size Mirror is a Dictator (ASMIAD)
(In response (joyously, inevitably) to
Everybody is wrong. That’s the point. ASMIAD is the all the (wonderful?) activity in their heads; the dictators, the dancers, the musicians, the spectators, the question is why does it feel this way? That some (any) of us can coexist in this space? (My best friend had to leave the hyperbole as a stereotypical symptom of B.O. and it was fucking hot). (Others stay to leave to write about it, apparently). If we can coexist, these are the (operatic) ways you may cognize coexistence (I think); direction, production, pattern-identification, The Result – the opera is only as alienating as life itself. And so the question “what is real?” (in properly Absurdist fashion) is not an inappropriate result of observing this piece. Who can/is (co)existing in this life? Are you?
I mean, look. Look at what’s happening all around you, does anybody not see the velocity of thoughts that became a thought that became a book in an opera. On the floor. These bodies, they stink, the viscerality hovers. Inside a facial expression or operational tick or essential tremor and we all stand alone, I suppose, insofar as we follow/persevere.
There really is no sense beyond sense thank god.
So pay attention. Don’t go anywhere else before or after this opera, a reversion back to prior theories that properly distinguish chaos from pseudo-order. This never works, a purely aesthetic criticism, so don’t think about it. Then all the parts that don’t work in your head, aesthetically or otherwise, splat, lay em right down here. That’s what ASMIAD does. All the action dumped *right here* fulfills survival, (albeit under the guise of (co)existence, and the subsequent problematics of agency, emotion, intelligence, and cognition thereby). We want this (living) to work and so we have to examine it, create it, and most importantly, act as observers to this opera, this life. Fuck the semiotics of alienation. Fuck history. This is a process(ing) by which we are, and it’s kinda gross and primitive before we ever had a name for it. Sweat, yes. Smarmy birth, transgression, the inside of an ear.
A nasty net of hypotheses laying on the dance floor over the 7 week opera run in town, and now you have to cognize yourself but as soon as you’re cognized everyone will recognize you and so you choose to live wondering why they recognized you or to cognize them. There are so many ways to mirror these choices, sublingually, sonically, verbatim, and as many as possible are laid down right here, in a gallery made human but not forsakenly so.
So we observe, and now we may ask: what the fuck have we been missing? Why don’t we understand this, this opera thing and what it wants of us? (Because, after all, isn’t this what we are all responding to)? The fact is, ASMIAD has the missing parts and they are concurrent. They are touching. This is unity. Which is a very big bitch to grasp.
Just be fucking present. When you do this works.
On a deeper note, don’t be afraid to be entertained
Allow me to preface this piece by acknowledging the formidable writing
ability of this blog’s progenitor. I must also praise the detailed chronicle of her
personal implosion, and later rebirth, both having occurred within the past year.
My words are simply meant to convey the perspective of a continuously evolving
existence running both parallel, and yet remaining deeply entwined, with said
events. I believe that a similar rebirth occurred in this existence when an Idea,
combined with a Purpose and juxtaposed against both internal and external conflict,
reached a conclusion previously unimagined.
The Personal Day of Reckoning (The Individual Apocalypse?) can take many
forms: You can lose your mind and allow reality to dissolve, your Self retreating
into a bizarre, isolated netherworld far removed from any real Existence. You can
snuff out a facet of life itself, including the Whole, to beget a premature end to any
number of components. Or perhaps you retreat into the barren world of self-
destruction and abuse to prolong a suffering; a suffering that becomes valid only
under such depraved circumstances. For me, the Harbinger came in the form of
someone who far surpassed me at what I had come to establish my entire identity
upon. This arrival, and subsequent revelation, in turn began what I can only
describe as a Descent. When you define the Self upon a singular act, the utter ruin of
such a naïve notion can result in an excruciating impact to nearly every sense. The
Sinking begins, and the events that follow only proceed to magnify the quagmire
into which the Mind drops.
Even so, no matter how dire circumstances become, as you journey in life (or
stand fixed in place from an alternate point of view), people enter and exit under a
force that can only be described as Fate. I’ve become a firm believer that everyone
who crosses the threshold of your individual existence arrives and departs for a
specific reason (be it asphyxiation, inspiration, or obliteration). I can attest to the
individuals in my life who have made such a profound impact that both an Idea and
a Purpose arise and become defined by their presence. I’m a firm believer that
once all factors align, the road illuminates ahead, regardless of how difficult the
journey may be. The luminescence of this ethereal guide reveals the path through
the ephemeral void of Doubt.
In my experience, it’s never easy. Any excursion has its truly memorable
(harrowing?) moments, such as being locked in a house with no power and no food,
in temperatures reaching below zero, and your only way of keeping warm is
burning someone’s stash of New York Magazines. The ice forming on the roads can
so easily cause the flimsy vehicle known as Life to crash, detonate, and immolate
under an incompetent operator. And yet, miraculously, you survive; you necessitate
living by finding something to live for, and an Idea that reaches deeper than the act
of simple survival itself.
A movement in the great composition of Life can last any variation of time,
but the length can ultimately be determined by a drive to begin a new chapter
entirely. I suppose for some, this can be a means of escape: perhaps a step towards
some arcane goal or veiled, corporeal notion. For others, it’s simply a continuation
towards a chasm; an Abyss from which there is no turning back. For me, the last
piece was written over two years, and only recently was it finally brought in a full-
circle towards closure.
Acquired personal feelings penetrate the harshest levels of innate judgment
and/or prejudice, and I’ve found that, as the Descent may become the Ascent, so can
the Lost return home to witness the monuments constructed under their influence
through absence. The Inspiration, the Purpose, and the Idea all combine into
something so much larger than what was previously foreseen through the lens of
nascent elements still emerging from the protoplasm of a life. Art (and really life
entirely) still make about as much sense as ‘Limbs falling off, on a Saturday, at dusk,’
and yet perhaps, within indiscriminate scenarios, the Whole regenerates and
becomes stronger through the process of the Parting. Out of that dusk arises
a ‘Thing that was now and now was, and I loved you here and I loved you then, all of
us together, and someone calls it Heaven.’
– Alex Cohen
You attempt to “catch up with yourself.”
Which implies a series of events/set of tasks/projected fulfillment. I am not particularly interested in this Self, functional and representative. I am intrigued by Another, one seduced and consumed in/between points of interest. This is the Self that lacks coherent expression. A Self with no space for vaulted desire and essential projection. This is a Self annihilated by Presence, absolutely fertile (also, (one might claim), in love with American Cheese and underrated U.S. cities).
(I spent the better part of a year recoiling from “my” Life. As much as possible, I attempted to deny the possibility of “catching up” in favor of Loss. I sought to enhance the line between absolute focus and self destruction. Not self destruction in the sense of a death drive. Self destruction as a process of letting go/removing, obviating/surrendering to as many aggregates of Self as possible/necessary to discover/outline a means to Recover).
What can be restored? Is there a point between desire and urgency that can be processed, wherein one might reliably “help oneself”? Where might one seek refuge from the ubiquity of projected identity? (READ: digitized & networked self-hood).
(I both performed and permitted each emergent opportunity for self-experimentation/annihilation. There are many instances I wish I could take back, however you learn to be completely Present in/with these fatal events. This is absolutely necessary if you desire to Live).
You sacrifice yourself completely to the Unknown. You discover the essence of dreams in Trauma. You are a different Being at every moment, because there are only moments, now that you have fully surrendered to your nature. You are leveled. You are sheer. You are the process and the course of investigation, curiosity. You turn on what you Believe and Need and thus must turn Within. You’ve no other choice. You are replaced.
(I recovered my flesh; found NOISE. While I strongly dissuade you from following this path, this much is true): There are some of us who cannot help but love the world, all of it, even that which kills us. We may never be satisfied. Thus, we must bind to the unbound and to each other, and there is precious little time and no undoing what has been done. Our Way is one of tension, we do not succumb to our demons, WE LIVE THEM, WE ARE LIVED RESISTANCE. And so we make noise. WE MAKE NOISE.
(I left behind all I knew and believed because I resisted the prophecy of my own undoing. I found a Life unhinged and I raced against it, for fear of living the truth of nature, of form.)
YOU NO LONGER FEAR BECAUSE THERE IS NO LEAVING THE NOISE. THERE IS NO LEAVING THE NOISE ONCE YOU ARE IN IT BECAUSE YOU ARE IT. In the end WE MAKE NOISE because WE HAVE TO, because in/between THE NOISE, WE RECOVER LIFE.
How are you doing? Are you Incarcerated? Are you comforted? Saving to buy a new Mac? I want to know what you know. I want to explain your throat and expiate as you aspirate. I want your lungs inside my fingers.
I want to share a very good moment with you. Perhaps we save a turtle in the road. Perhaps we lay adjacent in the sum of impossible silence. As we do this you explain the doing, all of it, and this resonates over and over and in twenty years I give you a kidney, simply because I like you and we never had sex, leaving transplantation as the only remaining option.
The point is I am interested in reviewing/embracing/expounding your albums, released now or behind. This may be performed in a statistically standard fashion; an allusion to you/your ensemble as a person/entity, followed by your motives/techniques, concluding with my hopefully positive thoughts as to how the work references a larger musical dialogue and/or canonizes itself. If this bores your face off do not fret. I will be equally happy to write with the utmost spontaneity, reflecting and inhabiting your sounds as only another musician can. I am also equally very happy to work with you in a purely experimental context. I will review your album as a diner menu qua soliloquy. I will write it in Old English. (Seriously I will learn Old English for you). Etc.
Spread the word for me, as I only exist in Facebook. I will write for free. You can use the words however you see fit. Post them someplace, wipe your ass with them. If the project takes off I’ll build a website dedicated to it all. A nice one, this time no cats.
I am not interested in compromising, accommodating, coddling, nurturing, reciprocating, socializing, representing, conforming, comforting, consuming, commercializing, worshiping and/or otherwise marketing a single fucking thing I do. As a result of this I give birth to myself, a lot, albeit in unexpected places. However this is a porno for another day.
The point will be to honestly examine your creative instincts. What are you chanting? On which cacophony do you feed? How decisive is your indecision?
Perhaps, like me, you grew opposed. Words alone do not suffice to capture the opposed opposition that makes rightness possible and so you make more art. You make Time out of art. Faster and Faster than a Steak can moo.
The truth is artists are everything, all the time. They are a cultural appendectomy. Restoring function to functionless, a body neither right, wrong, nor both. However no one can sign for this and they/you/I become pissed off because UPS is late, so now every day we make shit about the UPS shit.
This is not a helpful thing to practice. Intuitively, Art is a form of Suicide, not of the Artist as Subject, but of everything the Art is not; a Suicide of all that is Subjected. The problem cancels itself out. This is beautiful but easy to neglect, and so more often than not positions are taken that vehemently oppose all that isn’t, even though it already is, effortlessly, as you cannot undo the undone. You paint/perform/play and/or otherwise dilate with the intention of exposing what cannot be destroyed by the opposed. You create a threatened threat. You know destruction is unavoidable (because avoid what?) so the final choice is accepting you’re opposing. You make what you make and you raise a glass to the World as Diabetic Exorcism, effectively stabilizing the mutually destructive relationship. You create the volume at which opposition is it’s own elevator music, uninterrupted, going up, and you witness, you make witnessing.
You are trapped in an elevator.
It is easy to get stampeded in this place (the elevator), and continue violently opposing and changing directions yet never moving because you are trapped in an elevator.
What is the Alternative? You must approach, intensively. Move closer and closer to the elevator you’re already inside. Eventually; touch, taste, witness, listen, smell all over the elevator. Continue doing this for days, weeks, months on end and you will be OK because you will have become Ritual.
We challenge the spirit (the necessity of opposition, resistance to the opposed) just short of succumbing to annihilation. Ritual lives here. Become it so as to practice it – an active rearranging of presence. Whatever hellish song box the elevator corporation packaged around us over and over until we formed packaging (we are NOT packaging) cannot, under any circumstances, be Present.
Continue presenting. The how and why is simply possibility and interval, which always is and is indestructible in any Art that is necessary – the lived brutality of presence, which is beautiful, as you are anywhere but here and everyone is there and you are never anywhere. The elevator breathes, expands, approaches new colors, violates light, it’s directionless, it is not feeling quite itself these days, you bang on it with spoons and sticks.
You do not give into opposition. You become more present than it.
The Amish are still around and you should go, some of you.
The rest of you go do shit. The Amish are with you in spirit.
I’m not sure what happened in the first 3 months. There was a lot of returning to experiences that represented important things that were already overplayed and thus were evermore. There was a desire to eliminate content. If it were possible to tap into a deadly repetition that only repeats the decay of meaning in stereo detonation, but of course it is not and so this does not work. There was poetry like this:
In a single moment / You miss missing / You miss missing missing / You miss missing missing missing / also you sneeze
The sneeze is what wakes you up. The impossibility of simultaneous
Sneezing and Sleep that soothes all living creatures
and unbearable creation.
Then there were new things that wanted to be what was but were not, and so they were tentative in a way that really only signifies the function of fear in society. These inquiries were delicate and few and far between; late night researching of the inconclusive nature of prion diseases, composing something unemotional while feeling ill, writing what will have already been written obscured by birthright and tourism which is to say a brief interest in Russia.
Around the 4th month there was, conceivably, vacillation between spiritual awakening and existential crisis.
An intriguing symptom of this state (see: windshield wipers, rocking chairs outside of Cracker Barrel) is you eventually descend somewhere simply in-between, and that in-between turns out to be the possibility of negative redemption which is to say the Sublime. I did not quite know what to do with This. There was intuitive bliss that came from Somewhere. There was the sensation of being spread eagled in Antarctica. There was an overshadowing of a life’s worth of Standard Peripheral Noise (in essence, distraction, which is to say the function of fear in society, the terror of not-being here in whatever you do, be it mathematics or eating soup).
On June 13th, 2014, I was unaware of where I was. There was only the luxury of longing for everyone and everything and art that was once, and this was real because it could be again, and in such a way we reverse nostalgia with our tongues. I looked at many things; I found the Art that you all made, and in a sweeping gesture kinder than vomit, maybe, the periphery grew into all-that-ever-is-to-be-read, to-be-heard, to-be-witnessed-and-observed. This was mostly fucking great, which may well make smirking the condition of truth.
Mostly all this birthed a Ritual, which from the start felt very clean. You plumb the depths of focus, as you must. Maybe the ritual eventually falls a bit to the side of itself, and now it is work, but this is OK. At some point you begin to make Art again.
At this point, most days, I don’t want to know what I know. Not in the sense of Mind Kill but so as to practice an attention so piercing that any and all reactions, every impulse, is shrouded in immaculate consciousness, because so much of what is done is unconscious, and once you see the unconsciousness and realize the consciousness of it, you find Horror, big enough to surpass every intellectual process ever deconstructed that you think you know, and you see this Horror played out in a way that jumps from life to life all tick-like and it’s all your life, host and parasite, especially the part at the end where you paradigmatically wake up abandoned at a Food Court even though this did not actually happen because what actually did was likely more Horrific because it is the least amount of thought ever or of anything at all, least of all consciousness, which is all it could possibly be and so now what.
It’s funny, how much you see before the fact. More so funny as a result of what gets edited and how. Like memories are little pails, and we want to jump back in them but they’re hamster sized and so we break our ass, and then it turns out that the hamster is the editor, and his funneling is also a planting of these little pails, he is red gloved and meticulous in his frenzy. And over Time it grows unclear, whether we are shrinking or the pails are piling but mostly what sparkles and blinds our proximity to that underlying THING which basically just KNOWS is the SHAME of wanting to go back in Time. Maybe, if you move faster or sleep longer the hamster dies, I don’t know. Maybe the hamster and the shame are unrelated, like mathematically.
I know so much less now than I did before but I feel this lessening more. Some days the lessening is a melting and I bubble into something vaguely past the sky but other days, it is a Hemangioma on my face that is not ready to detach but does.
To whom it may concern: this may be an apology, I’m uncertain. The shape and form of it is not yet clear. To say there are no words is definitely an understatement. I can’t conceive a gesture or a gift even remotely corresponding to the saying it. I don’t mean there’s no repairing, more like it’s just never quite enough, the conscious body desires something more akin to sacrifice to counterbalance the expression I Am Sorry. However, this is, practically speaking, truly dumb.
I am concurrently at a Starbucks and watching them build a Vitamin Shoppe and also maybe more alive because it seems that degrees of life are possible, they tumble off and ache up. Also I am back there, which you can choose to mean whatever emerges exactly as it should. Some days I don’t realize I am gone, other days I am, a lot, and the idea of existing in any set of dimensions seems preposterous. The universe is phlegm, the brain is paper, I am a Honda Civic, and we all live in a Vitamin Shoppe. Which might be nice, in fact, inside this thing that was now and now was, and I loved you here and I loved you then, all of us together, and someone calls it Heaven.
everyone will get everything out of their system.
human sensitivity decreases relative to sugar consumption.
photos of ice cream rally the internet
the subcutaneous becomes mucilaginous; soft particles dominate the periphery.
everyone sleeps soundly.
love becomes a distant concept; will is overcome by sets of mysterious actions; pointless, aimless, directionless, and lovely.
cat videos continue streaming.
women in California amputate their toes.
everyone is famous, no one is famous
migraines, panic attacks, and hypersexuality are on the rise, as is a distant hum enshrouding all human affairs, a delicate promise that all will resolve as it should.
outrage outgrows itself and becomes submissive.
bubble wrap is on the decline.
everyone will forget your birthday.
everyone meaning everyone.
the slogan, “all for one and one for all” regains popularity.
plastic knives are banned
simultaneously, no one asks questions.
packing peanuts are banned.
peanuts are banned.
no one talks about peanuts, anymore.
average consumption of salt increases.
almond sales skyrocket.
the taxation of macadamia nuts, or Maca-Tax. .
Arachibutyrophobia, or fear of butter.