Somebody stood on a nail or on to the pillow over the nail I lay my sleeping head so the hiss in the airlock is just the muzak stimulus to echo; the last speck of SucraSEED glints on the vinyl, in fact, you care for the dog, or in the Chicago of the Kogelo of Elysium, la verité flambée cloaked in blue cheese, it’s cancelled. The hall of crumpled Chamberlains is, however, filled with windows, and from inside you can look out and see bright pink flowers. They’re attached to the trees in the museum’s west garden, which is a nice place to take a break from all the Very Serious Art — not just because it’s lovely, but because if you sit for a while, you’ll hear something: an installation by Louise Lawler, titled “Birdcalls.” Julian Schnabel’s last name becomes the warbly, guttural “Schnaaaaabel.” Joseph Kosuth’s last name takes on a light, airy tone, as if Lawler were launching the word like a balloon into the sky. “Aarrrt, aarrrt, A-a-aaartschwager!” she cries, the W of wine looking so much like UR that I did think it said come in and try our urine. Time for a joke: A tourist wanders into City Lights and asks Shig Murao if he is Chinese. “No, I’m not a Chinese American,” he tells the tourist. “I’m an American Eskimo.” He pulls out a wooden eggbeater he bought in Chinatown, twirls it between his palms, and explains to the tourist that it’s a Buddhist prayer wheel. I don’t find this funny and am heartened but I don’t speak Russian and what look like Emergency Exits are feasting wedges of antimatter like in that famous book of early postmodern theory Learning From Los Alamos. Tonight you will text me with something like “Intense solitude becomes unbearable only when there’s nothing one wishes to say to another." You’ll text me again before I answer and tell me that the quote is from ‘Americana’ by Don DeLillo. I will look at my iPhone light up then check my Gmail. While I’m going through my spam inbox, trying to figure out how to get off all of these subscription lists (Macy’s, PETA, Sierra Club, ModCloth, Urban Outfitters) that I thought were a good idea to sign up for at some point, you’ll text me a third time and say something like, “I just finished a margarita. I am dining at alone at Plaza Azteca.” The mighty T. Rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern falcon. One event occurs, a distraction, something else, a lull (the nap), then that initial event comes back (the second phone call), the response being similar, but slightly modified (the answer ‘maybe’ turns to ‘no’): that transition noted by Messrs. Olewnick and Pinnell, from the more fervently questing, noisier moments of the second disc to the … let’s call it ‘emptying out’, of the third disc: “that bleak and beautiful plateau.” Time passes, then – how could it not? and not be felt. Four hours is a long time – an investment, if you will. So here, minimal events occur in overlapping waves and blocks, difference felt or sensed in slow transition rather than obvious signalled cut (as, too, in Eliane Radigue’s infinitesimally-shifting drones). Press play. Ambient sound, the distant echo of piped music a là shopping-mall. Footsteps, the unnatural echo of cold, large spaces – bunkers, the underground; or the hum of machines in nuclear bunkers, technological support after the technology above ground (progress-making bombs, the motion of history) has had its say. OK. Is it 1 minute 25 seconds before the music starts or are we 1 25 in? Sine wave, Sachiko, Rowe coming in underneath almost straight away to adorn, to complement, his buzzing suddenly switched off before the drone becomes too comfortable. Jolts, clangs – electronic, acoustic, hard to tell, both merging into indeterminate similarity in the echoing space – the drone building, louder, lower swellings, volume building, simultaneous ephemerality and enormity of the edifice (all it takes is one of the musicians to twist a knob, flick a switch, pull out a cable, and the thing will collapse – like removing one of the foundations from a building and then building again from the collapsed structure, the ruined edifice, a new building in itself). The dull buzz of an exposed cable-end, the inscrutable ‘om’, still that sine wave, slowed-down shamanic wail, taped voices, manipulated groans, nothing? You HATE SPEECH? Voice as halo, tho (and?) ‘words don’t go there’, as Fred Moten says of Cecil Taylor’s poems.
[Note: Sources: Keston Sutherland, Stress Position; Jillian Steinhauer, “Skewering the Egos of Male Artists at Dia:Beacon”, at Hyperallergic, 21 May 013; JBR; Giles Goodland, FB post, 21 May 013; Richard Reynolds, as quoted in “City Lights at 60: Shig Murao”, at Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here, 21 May 013; Kevin Davies, “Karnal Bunt”, in Comp. (must be one of the best poems of the last few decades); like in that famous … theory: JBR; Tonight you will text … Plaza Azteca”: Gabby Gabby (Gabby Bess), “Dining Alone At Plaza Azteca”, at Banango Street 1; “Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles”, at Science Daily, 21 May 013; David Grundy, “Listening to Sachiko M”, at Eartrip 7 (re Keith Rowe / Otomo Yoshihide / Toshimaru Nakamura / Sachiko M – Erstlive 005 (Erstwhile, 2005)); JBR (w/ a ref to an ancient writing by Robert Grenier)]