How should a person be? I sometimes wonder about it, and I can’t help answering like this: a celebrity. But for all that I love celebrities, I would never move somewhere that celebrities actually exist. My hope is to live a simple life, in a simple place, where there’s only one example of everything. By a simple life, I mean a life of undying fame that I don’t have to participate in. I don’t want anything to change, except to be as famous as one can be, but without that changing anything. Everyone would know in their hearts that I am the most famous person alive — but not talk about it too much. And for no one to be too interested in taking my picture, for they’d all carry around in their heads an image of me that was unchanging, startling, and magnetic. No one has to know what I think, for I don’t really think anything at all, and no one has to know the details of my life, for there are no good details to know. It is the quality of fame one is after here, without any of its qualities. A tree sings in shlicks of water, in strips of bark-crackle, in the sharp snapping of twigs under bird weight. Twice a week, I wash myself, dress and all, in a river. So. “Please tell my landlord not to expect future payments because Attali’s theory of surplus-value-generating information economics only works if my home studio’s rent and other use-values are zero.” In any case – or perhaps because that is the case – here I am, hired to ... well, my job description says I am to “take up the notion of Becoming Minority and to bend it in a thought-provoking direction so that the students will be challenged to engage with its potential.” Since this is an Art academy, perhaps you should also know that I hate Art. And I especially hate Art schools. These walls instantly make a phrase like “becoming-animal” (with a hyphen) sound like a bad sculpture studio assignment. I wasted four years of my life studying visual art at a school in New York called the Cooper Union, which inadvertently educated me about all the discrimination and hypocrisy underlying the gallery and museum systems to a point where I wanted nothing to do with them. After graduation I was unable to find employment in any field related to my studies, and spent the next five years doing secretarial and accounting work at a medical university. My only connection to the Arts during my employment there was that the hospital associated with the university managed to finally kill Andy Warhol, who died as the result of medical error. In my free time I eventually started a small record label called Comatonse Recordings which never took off, but never quite disappeared either. It’s ironic that, due to the critical way I approach my work in the music industry (as well as the economic collapse of that industry in the late 90’s which created an influx of unemployed audio producers into the field of Sound Art), I now occasionally find myself working in Art museums, galleries, universities – but I have a reluctant and dissatisfied relationship to these jobs, in the way most people in any line of work dislike their jobs. And I feel this reluctance is critical. Maybe I can tie this back to Guattari and Deleuze by saying this is about “deterritorializing” our labor as “trained artists” from dominant ideologies which refuse to acknowledge it as “labor,” and instead naturalize it as a “creative act.” And perhaps one practical application of their concept of “becoming-minor” (with a hyphen) could be this step of “becoming-labor” (with a hyphen). Today, I’m launching the final in a series of three videos. It’s a video travelogue titled Field Visits for Bradley Manning. I’ll be going to Kuwait, Virginia, Kansas, and Maryland in search of pearl oysters, the history of fingerprinting, Icarus, flight simulators, cryptography, the buffalo soldier, a geologic formation known as tar-crete … Please check out the Kickstarter for me. I dreamed a construction supply warehouse and was picking up materials for my new cosmology. I picked up some new pipes. I was hoping a little rubatosis would balance the sonder, if you know what I mean. I mean, as far as I can tell, the meme of Russian dash-cam videos is under-theorized territory. “These enormous emissions occur when black holes, neutron stars or white dwarfs collide.” If the source is within our galactic neighborhood, it might trigger an extinction event, or even “something far worse”, whatever that means. If much farther afield, say, in another galaxy, most of the radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, where it triggers an increased production of radioactive elements, which rains down on waiting trees. The last time kids in black caused this much trouble in Egypt it was Satan’s fault. Well, at least that’s what the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mubarak government claimed during the infamous “Satanic metal affair” of 1997, when over 100 metalheads – musicians and fans – were arrested and threatened with prosecution and even death simply because they dressed in black and liked the music. Still, we can probably all get behind her closing sentence: The rise of women, however long overdue, does not require the fall of men. Should they may be they might if they delight / In why they must see it be there not only necessarily / But which they might in which they might / For which they might delight if they look there / And they see there that they look there / To see it be there which it is if it is / Which may be where where it is / If they do not occasion it to be different / From what it is. / In one direction there is the sun and the moon / In the other direction there are cumulus clouds and the sky / In the other direction there is why / They look at what they see / They look very long while they talk along / And they may be said to see that at which they look / Whenever there is no chance of its not being warmer / Than if they wish which they were. / They see that they have what is there may there / Be there also what is to be there if they may care / They care for it of course they care for it. / Now only think three times roses green and blue / And vegetables and pumpkins and pansies too / Which they like as they are very likely not to be / Reminded that it is more than ever necessary / That they should never be surprised at any one time / At just what they have been given by taking what they have / Which they are very careful not to add with / As they may easily indulge in the fragrance / Not only of which but by which they know / That they tell them so. Anne Boyer wants to know or pretends to want to know or just plain already knows the difference between Andrea Dworkin and Olivia Benson, between Andrea Dworkin and Guy Debord, between Andrea Dworkin and Lord Byron, between Andrea Dworkin and the Marquis de Sade, between Law and Order: SVU and 120 Days of Sodom. In the Manhattan rain, only one ten-millionth of all rainwater falls on your head. Heaven’s shine clouds’ shadow, ah, heaven and men think together; / Heaven and earth lord and family, ah, heaven and earth men and ghosts. / Kung Pao chicken, ah, stir-fried eggs with leeks; / Meatballs braised in soy sauce, ah, cold tofu with scallions. This is the place to which your people came / for want of a destination less well advertised / They should not have stayed / as though the decision to leave were ever really in view / or this has not affected you / Place your hands on the hood of the vehicle / You have a right to remain silent / You can never wash away the stain. True or false or neither / nor or both: The universe is unfolding as it was meant to do.
[Note: Sources: 1220. Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?, at Sheila Heti (hat tip Kathy B-R); K Srilata, “England, 1999”, “I Wear My Wordlessness Like a Tattered Dress”, at Caravan, 3 Feb 013 (hat tip Ivy Alvarez); JBR; Terre Thaemlitz, as quoted in Nina Power, FB comment, 3 Feb 013; Terre Thaemlitz, “‘Becoming Minority’ Guest Lecture #6: On Guattari and Deleuze’s concept of ‘becoming-minor’ vs. ‘becoming minority’”, at comantose, 8 Dec 09 (hat tips Nina Power and Ben Noys for alerting me to Thaemlitz); Lance Wakeling, “Field Visits for Bradley Manning”, email rec’d 3 Feb 013, approx. 2:11 PDT; JBR. 1221. Gabriel Roberts, “Alan Moore’s New Film, ‘Jimmy’s End’ and the IS-ness of Being Who I AM”, at Disinformation, 3 Feb 013; JBR, but see The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (“rubatosis n. the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat, whose tenuous muscular throbbing feels less like a metronome than a nervous ditty your heart is tapping to itself, the kind that people compulsively hum or sing while walking in complete darkness, as if to casually remind the outside world, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.” “sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”); JBR; Greyhoos, “Ballardian Russia”, at Our God Is Speed, 3 Feb 013; BBC New, and Alexander Trevi, as quoted in Trevi’s “Forests as Paleoastronomical Observatories”, at Pruned, 3 Feb 013; JBR; “The revolution, back in black - Opinion - Al Jazeera English”, at I cite, 3 Feb 013; Anne J Jacobson, “Christina Hoff Somers On The Boys In The Back”, at Feminist Philosophers, 3 Jan 013; Gertrude Stein, Stanzas in Meditation: Stanza XV, at Poetry Foundation (Happy Birthday, Gertrude Stein!!!); JBR, but see Anne Boyer, “Photo”, at *, 3 Feb 013; Xi Chuan, “Wild Thoughts in Manhattan”, “Crowd” (tr. Canaan Morse), in Canaan Morse, “Say What You Won’t: Xi Chuan’s new collection, ‘Enough for a Dream’”, at Paper Republic, 31 Jan 013; Tom Clark, “Free”, at Tom Clark Beyond the Pale, 3 Feb 013; JBR]