Saturday, February 09, 2008

For (Three Valentines)

Arrows make up the
rules as we go along

in the same spot ventursome
of what is if what is is not

cause for anthem nor
garrulous for forms

what should *not* be ethical
we had to have situations

night and day we had
to have some of it?

most of it? all quantity
became quality in our eyes

a merely projected sunset
the products would seem

too human more than
we’d like them to be

anyway, surplus value
notwithstanding your hands

dematerializes every-
thing it touches, my love.

You were the thought-
balloon directing me

my words your faith
in materialism makes

what’s between
our ears like a wall

creates space stars
time as what is on

them crumbles like a
stencil to this sense

see me please oh as what
isn’t is a horizon or rim

not a mission here’s a book
eat it don't read it don’t

judge us for what we are
precariously put the

whole world would dis
appear if not for these

hands touching you once
the world felt heavier for

which color must discover
please tell me you felt

something too because
there was thinking a set

of terms that our love
was somehow necessary.

"number there in love was slain"

No sunset of information or fa
shion or who-you-know or talk

to these glass buildings ugly as
you observe thank goodness for

love or love’s presentiment at
least this time of year even if

we should never be I wanted
to speak of it also its flickering

locatedness its discretion and
difference if we should not

finally say “desire” there are
children we must imagine never

having there are places and there
are place-names divisions like

time is a series of cells beneath
the shipwreck of our breath

could you for instance “kill time”
with me forever or "go to hell"

for love is it your lips the antici-
pation of them which made

the movie start and stop premo
tions of whatever one begins to

recognize as feelings obscurer
places in our screen-life how I

can’t stop thinking about them
once the movie’s started how

ever we decide there must be
blood--*number there in love*.


for Kyle Schlesinger
after Lawrence Weiner

If quotation were subtle

and/or then →

a project arrows would point

to this and be arrows


and/or this unsubtlety

material changing its mind

the more one looks at it

it looks at you

incanting there is

a logic to

whatever we dig

and/or that, in an effort

← to text you forget me

taking up all this space

holey moley! (not)

market forces what is

recognition to our cause

Friday, February 08, 2008

Every Name in History is I

While the precipitating event for *Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land* was the 2002 Chechen hostage crisis in Moscow, the piece is in no way concerned with its representation or with the fast kill—notions of the spectacle as they relate to terrorism as a mediated form of political address. Also not on the agenda is a neo-Brechtian foregrounding of theater itself as a metaphor for the presentational excesses terrorism generates. Destruction aimed at the surplus of the antagonists’ “way of life” and the symbolic regimes they hold valuable, are always the target of mutual agitation. Particular to this event is the vast spectrum of trauma existent even prior to the hostage crisis; my interest is more in forms of erasure and arbitrariness—some of the extenuating circumstances of an assimilating regime.
~ Catherine Sullivan, from "According to the Good Wishes of the Tlaxcalan People, Cortez Set Out on an Exhibition"

That all of Sullivan’s work is "political art”—a nomination Sullivan would herself resist—I have no doubt. But it is political mainly in the way that all aesthetic mediations of cultural content produce indeterminate political consequences and meanings. In *Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land* (2003 and 2004), Sullivan would seem to bring the problem of political consequences qua aesthetic determination to the foreground of her work. “The project itself is hopelessly immersed in an confounded by the painful trajectories suggested by the event, what is elusive about them as opposed to what is directly consequential.” *Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land* is partly based on the submerged massacre of Chechen terrorists and theater-goers in a Moscow theater in October, 2002. If terrorism, more often than not, enacts forms of hysteria through its immediacy, *Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land* would seem to embody this hystericism through its use of pantomime to reenact the event at the Moscow theater via the Russian Broadway-style musical, *Nord-Ost*—the musical that was playing in the Moscow theater at the time of the hostage crisis.

In a time when few public intellectuals or artists would seem to know how to adequately address the terrorist as a viable political subjectivity, Sullivan has done so by articulating both the actions of the Chechen terrorists and the brutal reaction of the Putin regime as the irresolvable effects of cultural struggle, and struggles specifically for political autonomy and agency. Whereas one might typically ask why the Chechen terrorist or the Putin government acted in the ways they did, Sullivan does not interpret through her art, and instead chooses to dramatize a struggle of forces as they present political antinomies after the fall of the Soviet Union. From Sullivan’s theater of effective antinomy result aesthetic works and events radically opposed to any foreclosure of meaning, a typology of individual and collective desires as they negotiate both wills to power and to ressentiment.
~ from "Every Name in History is I: Catherine Sullivan's *Triangle of Need* and works to date"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Interrupted Form

The sentence is always interrupted. Mind 1 that speaks out loud, or writes, is interrupted by mind 2 that is simultaneously preparing the next sentence or answering a question. Therefore the correct form to represent both minds or the complete mind, is an interrupted form. It takes two or three seconds for the thought to form into a sentence, meanwhile another is being spoken-written. On acid some hippies could hold conversations with two people at once....

The interruptions may be hereditary. My mother could go on with an interrupted story after several minutes without going back and repeating a word. The structure of the mind we each have determines somewhat our style of writing and some style therefore as well as some formation of brain cells may be an inherited quality....
~ Hannah Weiner, from "Mostly About the Sentence," in *Open House*

Monday, February 04, 2008

Screen Life

~ after Thomas Hirschhorn and Rob Halpern

Not in those videos or anywhere will their
flesh be anything other than flesh a nation's

generalized porno of tanks and skulls &
bones rock you scrape the eye where it wasn't

saved by screen savers other fantasies what
would a decal say if it could speak what

promises would it make abjection creeps
like shadows close around the "developed"

world whose gun-bursts tell disastrous schlock
shuck gassy brains shell-shocked marines

rip video contain what glimpse of the ter
minal multiple windows open-up while a billion

others close "kind of like" people monads
corpses global effects despair of subjects

"the multitude" how militarized a world became
our sex the way one skull-fucks with pics

4-EVA magic markers occult whatever sense
brought back collapsed skulls nipples defaced.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Some Sort of Grace (quote)

So I asked her to leave and after closing the door again I tried to say something to him staring into that enormous eye. If in death the body's energy disperses and merges with everything around us, can it immediatley know my thoughts? But I try and speak anyway and try and say something in case he's afraid or confused by his own death and maybe needs some reassurance or tool to pick up, but nothing comes from my mouth. This is the most important event of my life and my mouth can't form words and maybe I'm the one who needs reassurance and all I can do is raise my hands from my sides in helplessness and say, "All I want is some sort of grace." And then water comes from my eyes.
~ David Wojnarowicz, from *Close to the Knives*