There is so much I want to write. But in recent weeks I’ve felt shy about going into the worlds I want to write about. Maybe not shy, but scattered. Shards and bits and mists and fog.
The point of this series of essays was to search deeper, to mull and meander about art and process. To reflect on the work, origins, the wellsprings.
And I’ve arrived at a blocky place. The water’s being forced to find different paths, there are unexpected rivulets streaming everywhere. They’re just beginning to wear grooves in the stones.
The question is if I should wait for the blocks to erode or I ought to sit down and do something else or try to chisel channels or clamber over, or do I give them—the stones, the water—the space and time they need. The space and time I need.
I’m opting for the latter in hopes that—not sure in hopes of what. What I want to write about is difficult, fragmentary, unresolved. Despite my verbosity, the words do not arrive. They’re there, I just can’t reach them yet.
I see what I want to say out there in front of my eyes; words look like large rectangular stones turning slowly in space. Too many comparisons.
The stones look huge, the kind you might see drawn with such precision in David Macaulay’s book Pyramid.
Despite their fragile appearance, they’re strong, like the cardboard crashpads that go up into the stratosphere that I wrote about here in a past essay.
The words revolve, slow motion, like the bone at the beginning of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I’m edging myself sideways in a place with no gravity, trying to approach them, to mash them together into sentences. I have to be stealthy or they’ll flee. But I’m too late; they’re already absent.
Out of respect for this situation and because it might be strange and useful, I return to the note-taking apps on my phone. For whatever reason I have two, neither of which I use in the way I am supposed to.
I have an app called Any.do where you’re supposed to put your to-do list with time and due date and an alarm. But mine is a mash-up of exhortations to edit video. all of it and watch kiarostami 24 frames, or tuerlinkx, broodthaers kawara lucier lewit korot kentridge goya etch contemp?
The app is like the voice in my head, lecturing about how to proceed with art-making. Unsystematic. Insistent. The order only aligned with experience and nothing more. The other app is the one that comes preinstalled: Notes.
Notes is where I draft emails and make packing lists and write down writers and small presses and things for the kids and lists of artists I want to invite to contribute to the next issue of The Hoosac Institute Journal.
There are a lot of entries in Notes that only have one sentence, and the first sentence in Notes is always in large bold font. As though there were a hierarchy or a subject heading, a thesis statement.
Many times, a note is only a first sentence. And I am not quite sure what many of those one sentences refer to any more. So I’m going to list a few cryptic Notes from recent months to see if they might serve as stepping stones that I can pile up to peek over, get on top of, or leap this wall.
Squid Ink Pictures
5/13/23 No additional text
Sawdust collective music
5/3/23 No additional text
Epson expression 12000xl
5/2/23 No additional text
kant judgement sublime
4/26/23 No additional text
4/18/23 No additional text
the corridor of transformation
4/13/23 No additional text
thinking like a cloud
2/12/23 No additional text
Thanks for reading.
P.S. My feature documentary film BUNKER is screening this Saturday, May 26, at 4pm in Björkhyddan, Risudden, Sweden thanks to an invitation from Theodor Ringborg and Konsthall Tornedalen. I’ll be there in person for the film and a conversation afterwards.
If you can’t make it to the Swedish/Finnish border just south of the Arctic Circle, you can stream BUNKER on Amazon or Projectr.tv.