Thursday, October 09, 2008

My brother, my squalor,
sinks quickly when he capsizes.

Salt makes him larger, colder
breath than any other living river stone.

My brother, my anchor,
nothing familiar here or abroad.

Between coughing and rubbing your eyes,
you say he can't run, the way home is long.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

excerpt from Piero Manzoni's 1957 essay "For the Discovery of a Zone of Images":

A common vice among artists---or rather bad artists---is a certain kind of mental cowardice because of which they refuse to take up any position whatsoever, invoking a misunderstood notion of the freedom of art, or other equally crass commonplaces.
Since they have an extremely vague idea of art the result is generally that they finish up by confusing art with vagueness itself.

*The full text can be found at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

photoshopped music

In physical media, it's impossible to literally transform image into sound or sound into image, but with digital files, everything breaks down to little zeros and ones. Therefore, with a little file hacking knowledge, you can tell the zeros and ones that make up, for example, a high resolution scan of that photo of my father racing armadillos to become a sound file. It'll sound like sharp noise, but if the image is large enough, it may be rhythmic and it may also be interesting.

I've been listening to some examples of this kind of sound art. It has excellent conceptual potential. Scott Wilson made this piece during the 2000 election: Photo-Shopped Music (mp3 file, about twelve minutes long, and I have no idea if the link will be active for very long).

The noise and static are photos relating to the election, mostly of Al Gore and California. The static that drowns out the clips of Al speaking are pictures of Bush. The things I find most interesting about the piece are the process and the fact that Scott Wilson is Canadian. I have mixed feelings about political art. I guess I feel like there are only so many ways and so many times you can say the president is an asshole.

I do like this, though. Most of my sound work is live, analogue recording ("How retro!") that I mix with digital editing and sampling, but I'd like to go in this direction, if just to try.

Also, this is at my school right now, and Ami Mills is going to try to book us a show inside of it: The Speaker Project

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I feel like I should be writing everything down. Instead, I've been carefully avoiding keeping any record of the incident.

I am pulling my hair again. Just a little, though.

Sometimes saying nothing says everything, though if my intent is to communicate everything, I'm leaving a big margin of error to be misinterpreted as having nothing to say.

I like to think I've gone through all of the stages of grief, but I feel like I've been managing someone else's life rather than living my own. This comfortable, highly productive detachment could just be proof that my stubbornness is the strongest part of my coping mechanism, or it could be a shield of denial still keeping me from fully understanding, fulling accepting what happened.

Here we go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

they mean themselves

The Savage shook his head. "It all seems to me quite horrible."

"Of course it does. Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."

-- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

hard things

People die over and over again, Tracy thought. Their physical death is just the beginning. Why hadn’t he seen this before: the death of someone you loved was your own involuntary initiation to the kiva of loss, an initiation that ended with your own death. It was the perfect initiation ceremony, and it was universal; he wished he could tell his friend.

How is it possible to miss someone, miss him as much as it was possible to miss him, and then miss him more? Until Algie died, Tracy always thought of missing someone as a condition—you either missed him or you didn’t. Then Algie was gone, and Tracy felt the absence of his body on earth, and felt that absence grow as if it were a number, negative in value but an integer nonetheless—expandable, manipulable, real.

The poem is incomplete, Tracy said to himself: it’s not just the death of any man that diminishes me, it’s the life, too.

--Sue Halpern, The Book of Hard Things

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.

--Edna St. Vincent Millay