It was a simple transaction. I had a purpose for the liquid they made. It was not the most pure sample I found in my investigations, but this company seemed attentive to their craft. They lacked the modern form of rhetoric that had saturated their competitors. This endeared me to them. They seemed like builders, I prepared to transact with their payment system.
At their web site I scrolled to the section where you can enter your financial details and complete shipping co-ordinates. I entered the information and noticed, that there was no shipping charge. I felt a small crack of joy, a dot of dopamine on the mater. I clicked submit. Data spilled from my computer to their database. The database joyfully accepted this mist of electricity. It leaned forward and squeezed my eyes shut for a moment, lights flickered, other databases smiled and nodded as data accumulated.
Days later the buzzer on my door began. I called from behind it, “who’s there?” “Delivery”
There was a man standing before me, dressed like the web site I had made my purchase from. A blue and white golf shirt, the logo embroidered over on his chest, a light blue drop with a white “x” reflected in it, he smiled a customer service smile. Under his arm, a paper wrapped box, quite large, with precisely placed stickers on it. focusing on the box, reaching for it. He stood there for a moment, not releasing the box. “its not in the box”
The instructions for placing the body parts in the box were very clear.
Due to the nature of your request and our ability to participate in delivering you top quality, we have created a unique process and passed the savings on to you.
His body, after collapsing inside my apartment, had come apart in 6 pieces. I was still by the door, thinking about the box, which now leaned on my shoes. My next thought was, how tidy this all was. I was having a difficult time adjusting.
I directed my attention back to the instructions embroidered to the back of his golf shirt in shiny blue thread.
Our delivery personnel has made a special agreement to host your order and have been paid in a fashion that while extravagant, is far less than establishing a chemical plant for the production of your order. You will find your order just under this message.
Please remove your order and repackage the delivery method and take it to your local post office for return.
Thank you for your Order!
Gathered together and arranged in this manner because I like the songs and they are on youtube. This is a "quick list" of loved songs, not a definitive list. Please remember that when forming opinions.
On my way home to the island, I saw many uncanny things, a mixture of over-the-counter, drowsy medication with alcohol had the affect of producing wondrous waking dreams and dreamy wakes while sitting in the front of a rolling, rounded, square peg filled with chairs. Between Cache Creek and Hope at about 6ish in the morning, the landscape was for once, bereft of trees, an expanse of cool grey terrain with a two finger mark of a glossy black river and a dark, matte grey road. The soothing lack of contrast and our speed drove me back to sleep. I opened my eyes again, the brightness of the sun was brilliant, it illuminated the back of my skull, surprised my brian into working on seeing. I was amazed by the town of Hope. It seems to be a polished memory of a town made new in the past for today. The signage must have been constructed with a photomechanical technique no longer in vogue. Everything seemed to be the same height. The driver warned us not to leave the bus, or else we may move into this town and ruin it by our lack of time machines and good thoughts.
The morning light was generous to this place and the mountains seemed to not mind the town very much at all. Even later when we arrived in Chilliwack, that town looked good too, but alas it smelled of cow shit.
Take some time and cut your jeans into bits and strips (cutting with the long threads). Then shred them down using a wide-toothed comb. When you’ve turned your blue jeans into a pile of string and fluff, mix with the pulp made from shredded paper and water run through a food processor. Using a screen to lift the pulp, press the excess water out and lie flat to dry (iron for thinner sheets). Use as you would any hand-made recycled paper.
Folk uses of balat included the making of homegrown cricket balls, the temporarily filling of troublesome tooth cavities, and the crafting of figurines and other decorative items (particularly by the Macushi people of the Kanuku mountains).
Guyanese cuisine has many similarities to that of the rest of the Caribbean. The food is diverse and includes dishes such as chicken curry, roti and cookup rice (a style of rice with different kinds of vegetables accompanied by chicken, beef or fish). The food reflects the ethnic make up of the country and its colonial history, and includes dishes from the Africans and creoles, East Indians, Amerindians, Chinese, and Europeans (mostly British and Portuguese).
I have turned my keys in to a flower, on my desk, by moving the end of each key as far away from the adjacent key as possible. Still smells like worn metal and pocket shadows. Flowers must hate the plants they are stuck to. Their clamouring to leave and plaintively denying being compared to those hideous roots is so conspicuous.
The rock and water, beside each other, bored by their predictable variability. The ground, saturated by water, yielding to the throb and the nuanced nature of the composition of it’s companion. The water, suspending bits of soil, rock, actually hiding most of it. Right at this point, the water seems to be in command, but in actual fact, the water sits on the even more ground, cold and distant soil and rock, that has avoided contact with light for so long that it has forgotten warmth.
The city, like a magnification of the mould that grows on its houses, is parasitically present via neglect and the lack of attention, activity and awareness. Many of the locals, not stuck to the ground, has rolled away under the tiny influence of a missing paternal, leaving their homes to the corrosive conversation of the soil and the water. Glass etched grey and fogged with condensation, punctured by the imagination starved, rock throwing youth, remaining.
They more than anything have grown in this place, unable to imagine other places, different that those before, these ones have sunk their all of their possible thoughts deep into this ground.
Things to do:
Trim sideburns, collect dry clothes from the machine that steals humidity, go to the YMCA, check with the book store for books to add more books to my stack of books to read, take clothes to the place where they will be cleaned without water and soap, ride the bike that does not move, wash dishes for future meals, look for some new forms to fill out, trim fingernails, write a letter to someone who has stopped writing me letters, take my boots and shoes to the local cobbler for repairs, fill the closet with things to give the Value Village, defrost the fridge.
It takes me a long time to complete a book project, maybe magazines will be faster. This is a fast paced world and it is important to do ones bit in looking the part of a fast-paced person. I have been evading this duty for the last little while, and I am sorry. It is with a clinically diagnosed Aspberger's syndrome that I announce my new magazine "Joy Sporadic Periodical". Pick up a copy today, or tomorrow, it's no big deal, really.
I like to visit my parents and this time I am going to have a travel spreadsheet. This is the novel for the information age! I have started to fill it out with current, known information and will keep it up to date as I learn more.
A few days agoa pal o' mine and I were chatting, he mentioned, that he thought we were at a moment, in which the primary way in which artwork is received, is through the prism of consumption and the conspicuous display of this consumption. My stomach clenched when he said that. Painful acid reflux. The point was cogent and I could eat less.
Vancouver is bright today, bright like a thousand screaming suns and I will escape its reflective, glossy, burning hot surfaces by rolling east. Then once in this place I will attend a wedding and be merry.
In 2001 I was living in Mexico City where I‘d relocated from New York in order to direct La Panadería, an iconic artist-run space that had enjoyed a great deal of attention in the mid the 90s during one of the many cyclical booms of Mexican art that, for over a decade, has guaranteed this city both a steady flow of visiting international artists and curators and a receptive audience for its artists abroad. The Mexican art scene, as promised, proved to be dynamic, cosmopolitan, and at times unbearably polarized, and was set against the backdrop of a country whose sense of cultural identity was sufficiently complex and contradictory to problematize the kind of regionalist agendas that seem to be inevitable outside of the major art centers. However, as an academically trained female curator working in a masculinist, socially exclusionary (i.e. cliquey), and somewhat anti-intellectual institution that deemed itself irreverent and countercultural (but had in fact become quite stagnant prior to my arrival), my tenure was constantly plagued not only by the conflicting interests of certain founding members of the space, but by the nagging feeling that I could take what I‘d learned and do a little better elsewhere.
So I began Espacio La Rebeca in Bogotá in August 2002, partially in response to this experience, as a critique of La Panadería‘s deficiencies but also a recognition of what it had positively contributed to the history of institutional critique in Mexico, and the necessity of developing such a critique in the context of Colombia where the figure of the institution (an anachronistic and conservative one at that) has historically been, and continues to be, so dominant. Named for a public fountain in downtown Bogotá that had once been situated in an elegant park but was then banished to a dead, neglected space created by the construction of a major avenue (calle 26) in one of the city‘s many precarious attempts at modernisation, La Rebeca was a project committed to intellectual and organizational rigor, sustainability and economic transparency, and in conceptual terms, the establishment of an international network of diverse, critically engaged artists and writers that ultimately sought to work against the idea of defining communities exclusively in geographical or nationalistic terms. Contrary to the conventional and uninteresting model of privileging the idea of the local, as a means not of preserving micro-histories but more as a strategy of achieving international visibility at the expense of complex readings (i.e. creating the next hot spot on the map),
I preferred to adhere to the very common sense idea (derivative perhaps of my upbringing as the daughter of adamantly unassimilated French/Colombian parents in a small, provincial Southern American town in addition to an academic formation in postcolonial theory) that the fortification of a local scene is absolutely dependent on opening that scene up to divergent practices, histories, and points of view. How can we ever understand who we are or what we do without being challenged by difference? For a little under three years, La Rebeca hosted monthly exhibitions divided equally between Colombian and non-Colombian artists most of whom produced new work or initiated new projects for the space. Operational, production, and travel costs were funded by grants acquired exclusively from abroad (international organizations like AVINA, in conjunction with Daros—Latin America, and the Daniel Langlois Foundation), and this was intentional both as a way of promoting the idea of redistributing global wealth but also as a means to avoid the inefficient and elitist character of local, primarily governmental, sources. Exhibitors who passed through the space‘s doors came from many different circuits in different cities like Santiago, New York, Caracas, Mexico, and Bogotá—reflecting my own nomadic trajectory as a curator and perhaps more importantly as a person without roots or an attachment to any one particular place. Artists ranged from not so visible figures working outside of major institutions or commercial networks to others who were beginning to be or were already quite established in Colombia and/or internationally. It is a myth that as an ’alternative‘ space, La Rebeca was necessarily interested in promoting so-called ’emerging‘ artists; this is just part of a huge cliché and expectation imposed on independent or non-institutional spaces to act as filters for institutions. It was never my mission to actively seek out ‘new talents’ (the very idea is so loaded in so many negative ways and the very term ‘emerging’ should immediately be banished from any serious discussion); in fact I primarily worked with artists of my own generation (early-mid 30s) most of whom were already well established in their interests and practices.
As in any other exhibition space, some shows were better than others, although I‘ve never been one to measure an exhibition‘s success strictly based on the public‘s reception—and it‘s the intensely social aspect of curating that ultimately led me to abandon it, as it often feels too much like a popularity contest based on simple formulas. Enough years have gone by for me to unapologetically comment on a few of those exhibitions that were most memorable to me. First, Sharon Hayes‘ SLA screeds, a performance/video work based on an important piece of the history of political resistance in the United States—the Patty Hearst kidnapping—which, not unproblematically for a complete, contextualized reading of the work, struck a local chord because of Ingrid Betancourt. Then there was Gabriel Sierra‘s amorpho, a super simple, austere showing of conceptually sophisticated objects based on the artist‘s particular interest in a critical, deconstructive practice of industrial design appropriate to an economically precarious context. And finally, Phil Collins‘ el mundo no escuchará: not just because of how that piece so deftly negotiated the slippery terrains of emotional and critical engagement or the magnitude of what it would eventually become, but because, quite simply, those two months of production were some of the happiest in recent memory. In early 2005, my already growing desire to leave the space and to move on to something else (that implied leaving the country) was hastened by the arrival of the ’reinsertion‘ program to Teusaquillo, the neighborhood to which I had relocated La Rebeca the previous year, in a desire for a better space removed from the official art ghetto (La Macarena). An ill-conceived program to socially and economically reintegrate ex-guerilla and paramilitary soldiers who had voluntarily surrendered to the State, this short-lived initiative transformed a previously idyllic neighborhood into one that was tense and, at times, unbearable. It makes me uncomfortable to even write about this because it sounds like (and probably is) a scenario of betrayal (and the failure of many people in Colombia to talk about why I chose that particular moment to close the space is testimony to this silent accusation): had I had a thicker skin or actually grown up in Colombia I would have been far more indifferent to this sort of situation. But the flip side is that then I never would have started the space to begin with.
And in fact, I‘m directing my conclusion of this story to my international readers (conscious of the fact that this publication is meant to reach an international audience) to show how frivolous art can somehow seem in certain contexts which, in turn, necessitates a real commitment to a critical (not heroic or romanticized) and contextualized practice above and beyond the careerism and commercialization of that practice or the naïve idea that art is a cause to be defended. In the end this situation provided a good pretext for La Rebeca to close its doors just in time to avoid becoming redundant or boring, stagnant or institutionalized—its absence seemingly creating just enough nostalgia to contribute to the creation of initiatives like El Bodegón (as Victor Albarracín has generously claimed in another text on this subject). Whether or not the space was successful in its ambitions is not my place to say. For me, at least, its memory is overwhelmingly positive.
Hey this software is cool, not quite sure how it works, but it is like a cubby hole in the world o' data.
Macintosh computers that have passed in front of my fingers and eyes and then continued on, in ever changing forms, to other places
Today, two men providing security for a local mall softly called to each other, then trotted to another man, fell on him and smoshed him into the wide, cold tiles of the mall floor. A young woman began to yell at them, in the defence of the flattened man, they yelled at her, they called two other men wearing uninspired uniforms. These men yelled at her, she yelled at them. They yelled her to leave, she left, they retreated, she tracked through another entrance and yelled down at them, they backtracked and began to pursue her. She used the phrase "dickless" in her admonition. One of them asked me why I was taking pictures, the drama I answered.
I am sensitive to conflagration. When things lead into each other, join, gain mass, momentum and become something else. I collected my local advertising supplement from the ledge beside the buildings postal boxes. On the cover a photograph of a young man, pressed into a shallow corner, reflected in a trapezoidal mirror, headline,"On the trail of Picasso", the caption summarises a trip he took to Europe and how Picasso and Dali have inspired him to paint. That seemed strange I thought, opening the paper, that stuff is so old, and for another set of people, who congregated in different ways and frequencies, had different conversations, dreams and gave different answers to each other, but no big deal. paint is great. Those two knew where to put it.
On the second page, a tiny article with the headline “Photos replace murals”. Four murals painted in the 1930s have been covered by plaster walls and photos, they were displayed in the provincial legislative assembly. The subject matter of the paintings have offended some people and MLA’s voted overwhelmingly of have them covered. It reminded them of slavery, and native people being treated poorly. At first I was only perturbed, but then the final line was combustion, regarding the new historical photographs “The participants are all white males”.
I was struck, by how much hate and shame lives in this place and the people who frequent its streets and shops and building's. I will not argue that the painting were great or grand or wonderful. I must have seen them at some point on a tour, and they left no impression. I will not say that their painter is to be celebrated, maybe he is listened too much to the people around him, maybe he did what it took to get a job doing painting in the 1930's Victoria, Canada. Maybe his compromises and visual language that worked for the committee or individual that oversaw him are tawdry, but the work was done, accepted and existed as a record in our history.
I am certain we are not responding to complaints of native people, because if we had such a sensitivity to their words and feelings, so much more would have been done and actively changing. No we are ashamed of who we used to be, how we used to think and how we used to congregate. I though quickly to that book forced on us in school, “1984” in which a forceful patriarch rewrites the past. I wondered, what is the difference of the past being rewritten without Big Brother? What do artists hope for when they work? A bit of time, some eyes, brains behind the eyes, some sort of emotion in those brains, a sliver of unlikely sympathy. I hope the guy on the front page gets some of this too. I hear the Picasso at the United Nations building in New York was draped for a while. Maybe we are, once again small fragments in a greater story of hiding from ourselves, but we should not find the obvious shame of that, but comfort in self knowledge and the coexistence of contradiction.
I am reading a book, by a French author concerned with perverts and travel, my upper respiratory system is swollen, virus have transformed cells previous aligned to my existence into pernicious cells thinking of something else, they quickly make friends and my body hates them for it, and is now creating a fuss.
I spent 4 hours in a refrigerated room sipping sugared water while cell division continued to induce mucus production. iSniffle. In the cold room I compiled a number of lists. One list is how many internet accounts accumulated, another, possible places where my money is spent.
I have lovingly put together a electronic shoppe. It offers for a monetary transaction a number of small items, cheque it out.