A Radical Cut In The Texture Of Reality

May 10, 2024

Lilly Dancyger Quote

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"I always tell my writing students not to try to wrap things up in a neat little bow when they’re actually complicated and unresolved. That the lack of closure can be a better ending than manufactured closure that’s not genuine. The parts of the story that don’t seem to fit together can often be where the real story is. I encourage them to look for those spots of friction and write into the complexity. That’s where the good stuff is."
- Lilly Dancyger



From this interview: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/finding-the-story-a-conversation-with-lilly-dancyger/



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May 9, 2024

Another excerpt from the novel-in-progress Desire Without Expectation

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The beginning could also be the end. The idea of a lost masterpiece was of course alluring. But was there one? Did it actually exist? Perhaps the rumour was the work. Setting up the rumour was the masterpiece in and of itself. I didn’t know. No one knew. This is not that story. That story was only a tale I was following from afar. Yet everything is connected.

This rumour was mainly pursued by experts in the field. Some of these experts recounted inexplicable occurrences. Such as discovering a scan in a particular archive, feeling it to be a major discovery, but upon returning to the archive later the same day no longer being able to find it. From memory they parsed what they could from their short time spent examining it. A story about a soldier who, when ordered to fire at the enemy, instead turns around and shoots his commanding officer dead. A clear act of treason followed by the other soldiers spontaneously bursting into applause.

Did that archival scan actually disappear? Was it a fiction? A hallucination? A boast? A poem? A good story you might tell at a cocktail party?



*


The feeling that something has been lost. That people used to know something we no longer seem to know. A parallel or mirror feeling to the anxiety there might not be much of a future. A past that existed yet feels unknown and a future that might not exist and therefore feel equally unknown. To imagine that someone broke into the archive and stole the scan. To hide something. To cover their tracks. To create a mystery. To whittle down the available evidence. Or for no reason at all.

Anyone can say that something was there but now it’s gone. Anyone can say they found a clue which later left them clueless. There are probably only twenty or thirty people in the entire world who are intensely interested in this topic. I am not one of them. More of a casual observer. Occasionally observing from afar. Years go by when I don’t think about it at all and then something happens. As if someone had taken my life, turned it upside down, given it a good shake, and what fell out is a reminder of this questionably lost masterpiece.



*


For reasons we already know, this was a time of general mourning. (Every time is a time of general mourning.) So many people I knew continued to pretend everything was okay. With such people it was as if we didn’t even have a shared language. I spoke a language of general mourning and they spoke a language of everything being okay. I continuously wondered if they really thought everything was okay or were only pretending. It is unlikely we will ever have a shared language. But it can nonetheless happen for brief moments in certain, specific situations.


*


My ancestors were oppressors. This does not make me unique. I don’t particularly want to tell you about them. Maybe I will later. (Maybe not.) This isn’t a story about them, isn’t a story about anyone. It is a story about certain specific events. Events that happen all the time. How I tell you about these events will determine how you understand them. This is my basic understanding of narration. I will try to change your mind at the same time as you’re trying to change mine. If you strongly disagree, if you throw this book across the room in protest, to my mind that is also a valid reading. Even indifference is valid. I used to read every single book I picked up from beginning to end. That was a different time. Now I often abandon books halfway through. I no longer want to know what happens. What happens is often less interesting than what I imagine. And what happens in my life is often less interesting than what I desire.


*


During the final game of the world cup, the star player decides to score on his own team’s goal as an act of treason. The crowd is stunned, dead quiet. In less than a split second he is no longer a star. Another thing about this time, I was thinking a great deal about conversion experiences. I wanted something along those lines for myself and I wanted to trigger something similar in others. Often what you want to do, or what you think you’re doing, is not what you’re actually doing. You’re doing something else. That something else might be what you actually want to do, rather than what you think you want to do. But these two possibilities need not be in opposition. One of my goals, in short, was to bring them closer together. Was this the goal of my team or did it belong to the opposing one? I can never stop thinking about that hypothetical soldier who turned around and shot his own commanding officer. An example as compelling as it is rare. You only have a split second to succeed. If you miss you are already dead.


*


A fragment, even the rumour of a fragment, makes you wonder: what were the other things that once surrounded it.


*


There are conversion experiences that concern religion. I suspect these are the ones we hear about most often. But what I want to think about is not that, since we’ve heard about such things way too often and, more importantly, I believe there are also conversion experiences that concern art, politics, other things as well. Thinking one’s political or artistic convictions are one way, and then you have an encounter or experience that, quite suddenly, shifts them toward something completely different. I now find myself thinking of such conversion experiences as some kind of mini-utopia. Utopia reflecting a desire for the world to change and these personal experiences being evidence that an individual’s sense of purpose and action can shift – more, and more quickly, than one might at first suspect. Such conversion experiences can of course also set off domino effects, where each person changes the next. But can this phenomenon ever really be said to lead to human flourishing? It has potential, yet also seems to fall short. I worry that writing about it so positively neglects the aspects that most resemble joining a cult.


*


It began with wandering. We rejected the idea of a destination. We thought of such wandering as equivalent to having a light touch. Yet there was also another aspect: we were not prepared. We undertook such wandering without a map, so to speak. We didn’t know where we were, and hoped such unknowledge would allow us to see at least certain things with fresh eyes. We mostly kept to ourselves; we didn’t wish to impose. There is not an end. The whole thing is the end. We did our best to open ourselves to places through pure observation. There was a group of us. What exactly was the arrangement we’d arrived at? Only one or two of us knew about the lost masterpiece. If it was two, those two were unable to agree on any of the specific details. We would plant things as we went. Things that might continue to grow year after year without tending. Some day someone might be able to trace our route through such plantings, yet why would they? And that would mean we were interested in posterity, which we were not. We were interested in wandering.


*


There was a free outdoor performance and we sat down to watch. As we watched, or so it seemed to us, time slowed down. A delicate procedure. So many questions. The performance involved people standing in rows and the rows shifting into circles and then back into rows. It is difficult to identify why it was quite so mesmerizing. And then slowly, almost imperceptibly, each audience member is added to the end of one of the rows. One audience member then the row shifts into a circle and back again. Another audience member then the row shifts into a circle and back again. One by one the audience peels away until it is our turn, by which point we somehow already know what to do, already know the steps. One by one we step into the rows, then step into the circle as the entirety of the dance curves. As we do these steps, it was unclear if time had slowed down or sped up. It was as if the steps were doing us.

Is there a difference between what people say they want and what people really want? This dance was not what we said we wanted, but nonetheless we wanted it. The wanting it, and the doing of it, became one and the same thing. We were in silent dialog with people we hadn’t yet met, and this dialog was also a form of meeting them. It was difficult to believe that all of this was possible in one simple hour.


*


In the years that followed, we often spoke of that performance, that dance. It became another kind of lost masterpiece.


*


How long must wandering proceed before it can be called wandering? There was something about time that was always at the centre of the question. We wanted to feel it. What might help us feel it more intensely? Would it help if we just kept wandering indefinitely? A destination was like a deadline, a cut off, and we wanted instead to just keep going. A pause was the inclination to continue.

Some reached a point where they couldn’t continue, felt a need to return to their former lies, an impulse which all of us could of course understand. It was a commitment to wandering that could easily break. Where you could easily wonder why you have committed yourself so fully. Or if the commitment was simply for something different in life that didn’t necessarily need to be this. These were questions we often discussed as we wandered.

A desire for something different was one factor at the root of our wandering. To pass through surroundings with a light touch. To spread breath out as if the world were sparse. The feel how life might be if there were less of us. This seemed like a good idea but perhaps it was not. We needed to be in the world as it was and not in our hopes for some otherwise. We reached a field of flowering trees. I’m choosing nice moments to recount. There aren’t enough nice moments and I’m trying to set some of them down in order to remember. The flowers were in full bloom.


*


Part of what made our wandering possible was a government program for the free distribution of food. The fact that this program was put in place seemed highly unlikely at the time, but as soon as it existed people rapidly came to depend on it. You had to line up, with the average wait time being about one hour. The food was simple and effective. It allowed us to continue. The government program was put into place because people were dying of starvation in large numbers. Previous governments couldn’t have cared less, but then suddenly there was a government that at least wanted to make it look like they cared. They did a few necessary things and became popular. It only felt meaningful because the bar had previously been set so low. We knew enough to know we shouldn’t take it for granted. Surprisingly, very few complained about the quality of the food. It generally managed to rise to a level that made it feel worth it. This was continuously the great surprise.


*


Today is a holiday commemorating someone who died a long time ago. Someone we don’t care about at all. As we wander, we hear far off celebrations, music and cheering. The distant celebrations are like poison in our ears. Celebrating a man who murdered and exploited so long before we were born. Who helped set the violent policies we are still working to undo. Who aimed to get rich off extraction and dominated so the party would never end. And today there’s a holiday in his name.

We are wandering without any desire to take and without any desire to stay. We wish to learn from the past toward a different future. If it were a masterpiece in a museum I would not be interested. Only the fact that it is a lost masterpiece gives the impression life might remain unfinished. Lining up for food, some people in front of us are drunk, singing songs with nice melodies and bad politics. We don’t sing along but we also don’t judge them. People have a desire to celebrate and don’t always possess an in depth analysis of the occasion. We do like to talk to people but not always when they’re drunk. We do however like drunken singing and hearing the melodies wobble. There is something in the melody that possibly goes again the politics. Or perhaps something in how carelessly it’s sung.


*


[I'm now realizing Desire Without Expectation might be the final part of a planned trilogy based loosely around questions concerning the desire for utopia.]



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May 7, 2024

protest music

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The fact that it's Macklemore who's bringing the protest music wasn't on my bingo card: HIND’S HALL.



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April 26, 2024

April 24, 2024

many false starts

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Between writing novels, I attempt to start writing new novels, many false starts. Why does one of the starts eventually take while the others don't? Not a reason but a feeling. Mostly a feeling that I don't know where it's going but I want to find out.



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April 16, 2024

Miguel Gutierrez Quote

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“Living longer means you witness the daily onslaught of stupid and mean that passes for reality.

Living longer means you witness the toggle between progression and backlash, over and over like a tennis game from hell.

Living longer means you meet young people who are better or worse versions of who you once were.

Living longer means you draw the logic of your perspective into a latticework of meaning that purportedly helps you see patterns, something you might call “maturity.” But more often than not it feels like you’re just decorating a cage of your own design, rendering yourself unsupple and resistant to change.

Living longer means coming to terms with whether or not this is true, every day.”

- Miguel Gutierrez, Aging Awfully



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April 11, 2024

Excerpt from the novel-in-progress now tentatively entitled The House of Climate Grief

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It was around this time I was given a room at The House of Climate Grief. What exactly is this place? I would tell you if I knew but I really have no idea. Almost no idea. There are about a hundred of us here. Every few months someone leaves only to be quickly replaced.

There are classes, discussion groups, film screenings, walks in the surrounding grounds, music recitals, communal meals plus other things I might be forgetting. Despite the severity of the times the mood was often cordial.

When I arrived there was a mantra that often repeated in my head: I can’t cope. That was the rationale for coming here. To get some distance from my daily life in the hopes it might allow me to find a way forward. The fact that he died, and that I now heard people singing his praises so often, might have been a factor in this more recent inability to cope. But there were of course other factors. Everything was part of everything.

You could choose to participate in the activities or choose to keep to yourself. For the first few weeks I mostly kept to myself. Until one day there was a knock at my door from a carefully diplomatic employee who had been sent to explain that the organization would appreciate it if I were to participate in at least some of the activities. And if I continued to abstain I would eventually be asked to leave. It wasn’t yet clear to me if I wanted to stay, but the idea of being forced to leave also didn’t appeal to me, so the next morning I found myself carefully examining the weekly schedule, indecisive in some way that was exceptionally familiar to me, until finally I settled on a discussion group entitled Voting For The Thing You Don’t Want, a title which appealed to my contrary streak. It began in one hour, and I decided to fill that hour with a contemplative walk around the grounds, something I’d previously planned but had not yet got around too.

The grounds had clearly been rewilded. A chaotic tangle of plants, trees, and grasses everywhere you looked. I was later to learn that there was much food to be foraged in this tangle, but for now my perceptions had not yet been trained to identify any of it. I walked slowly, leaving space for observation and regret.

Being here reminds me of the movie Safe by Todd Haynes. A movie I saw when I was young.

Another thing about this time, I was thinking a great deal about conversion experiences. I wanted something along those lines for myself and I wanted to trigger something similar in others. Often what you want to do, or what you think you’re doing, is not what you’re actually doing. You’re doing something else. That something else might be what you actually want to do, rather than what you think you want to do. But these two possibilities need not be in opposition. My goal, in short, was to bring them closer together.

I’m the first to arrive at Voting For The Thing You Don’t Want. A circle of folding chairs in an otherwise empty room. I sit in one of the chairs and wait. There is so much to think about but instead I find myself barely thinking at all. It seems to make the time go more quickly, and I’m unsure how much time has passed before the first person arrives, who pauses at the doorway before asking me if I’m leading today’s workshop. I reply that I’m not, then ask them if they’re leading today’s workshop, which makes no sense. If they were leading today’s workshop they would have not asked me if I was. We immediately establish that neither of us is leading the workshop.

They sit in a chair across from me, on the other side of the circle. We both sit in silence. It is awkward. It grows more awkward over time, as no one else arrives. After a while I check the time. We’ve been waiting for thirty minutes. They see me looking at my watch and, I suppose, for that reason or some other, decide to break the ice: “What do you think that means: Voting For The Thing You Don’t Want?”

This is a perfectly reasonable question but I have to admit I haven’t given the matter much thought. If I were to take a literal approach, and consider what we might call a “normal election in a representative democracy,” it’s true that when I vote I always have the feeling that I’m voting for something I actually don’t want. But my first instinct is to interpret the title less literally. I start thinking about the difficulty of knowing what one wants, something that has always been a problem for me. By coming here, I was hoping to get away from mundane, everyday decisions. With those things taken care of, my hope was that I could then move on to more substantial questions. I was led to believe we have all come here with some sense of unspoken purpose. None of these thoughts feel like the right thing to say in this particular moment, so instead I decide to throw the question back at them: “I’m not sure. What do you think it means?”

For a long moment I’m worried they’ll reply with ‘I don’t know, what do you think it means?’ but this anxiety is unfounded. Nonetheless, just as moments ago I made them wait, now it is their turn to make me wait. (This also draws attention to the fact that we are probably no longer waiting for anyone else to attend or lead this session.) Finally, they begin to speak, and to the best of my recollection this is more or less what they say: “I’ve been here for about three weeks now. It’s a strange place. I can’t quite figure it out. There’s a schedule of activities but only some of the activities actually seem to happen. Some of the others don’t seem to be real. But I’m not even sure about that. Because the two of us are here, which is a situation that has a certain reality to it. Perhaps whatever you and I end up discussing is now the activity. You and I are Voting For The Thing We Don’t Want. This discussion we’re having right now is it. But that’s just a whimsical idea. I’ve always believed in making the best of any difficult situation. But in the past I’ve always been able to more or less identify what the situation was. Here I can’t even tell what exactly it is that I’m trying to make the best of.”

I admit to my companion that this is the first activity I’ve attended, so I have no point of comparison. I then recount the recent story of how I wasn’t participating in any of the activities, and was admonished by a staff member into doing so. So I speculate that perhaps many others here are also avoiding the activities, and the staff is concurrently working to rectify the situation. If one decides to come here, one is likely involved in a fairly high degree of despair and despair is not a state of mind that lends itself to participating in daily, poorly organized activities.

I pause as we both mull this over. Just then a third person enters the room. Unlike either of us, they begin by immediately introducing themselves. Their name is Lowen. I say “Hello Lowen,” but for some reason don’t offer up my name in return and neither does my companion on the other side of the circle, who instead says “Are you here to lead the workshop?” Unsurprisingly, Lowen is not here to lead the workshop, but nonetheless finds a seat and joins us in the circle.

Lowen apologizes for being late and explains the reason is that the previous workshop he’d attended ran over. They’re still trying to get his head around it all. It really stressed them out. The reason it ran over was the discussion at the end had transformed into a rather heated argument, stopping just short of physical violence, which I found surprising. Lowen worried that this session would also turn into a violent group argument and we both assured them it seemed unlikely.

Without prompting, Lowen goes on to describe the nature of the group argument. They were discussing stories. How important stories were for creating social change. And there seemed to be a general agreement in the room that stories were important. That stories shaped the way people think and changing people’s underlying assumptions was of the upmost importance.

But then someone said that, overall, this discussion was completely pissing them off. That all this emphasis on changing the stories that were the basis of our cultural norms were okay as far as they went, but in his opinion didn’t go anywhere near far enough. Because on top of all that we needed to blow up oil pipelines, assassinate fossil fuel CEOs and board members, blockade shipping ports, burn down police stations and break open prisons, and generally attack all physical infrastructure currently enforcing the status quo. Only then would there be enough room for the new stories and ways of thinking that seemed so important to everyone in this room. He took an aggressive approach to making these points, yet he was also concise, which was appreciated.

The first responses to his outburst were conciliatory. Of course one approach did not preclude the other. All approaches were necessary. This particular workshop focused on using stories to create change. If he wanted to lead one, or many, workshops that focused on strategies for direct action, he was both welcome and invited to do so.

All of this only made him angrier. Didn’t we all realize that the time for idle talk was done.

Someone replied that we could assassinate all the CEO’s we wanted, there would always be new assholes to take their place. If we didn’t change people’s stories, people’s understanding of the world, change them to the extent that people no longer wanted to be CEOs of anything, we would never be able to break the cycle.

“No,” the angry man shot back, “you don’t understand. It’s too late for all that. Everything’s collapsing. People won’t be able to become CEOs because all multinational corporations will have collapsed. You can’t become a CEO of a corporation that no longer exists. But we need to stop them before they drag everything else down with them.”

The arguments against such clear-eyed alarmism also grew more heated and soon half the room was working to shout him down. Lowen didn’t actually stay to the end, doesn’t know the full end of the story, slipped out when everyone was yelling. In general, their nervous system was not able to withstand that level of heated conflict.

There was a pause as I worked to process everything they’d just told us. This current session seemed much quieter than the one Lowen recounted. It seemed there were many different kinds of activities. Lowen did seem shaken. I wondered if I would have been shaken if I had been there. In general, I found many difficult situations fairly manageable, while also finding it difficult to predict which reasonable situations I might find challenging. I was rarely shy in the face of conflict, but nonetheless often avoided it. I tried to imagine myself blowing up a pipeline or setting a police station on fire. It was nice to imagine, but hard to believe I would have the nerve to actually do so. Maybe in the future that could change.

Lowen said: “So can someone tell me about Voting For The Thing You Don’t Want?” Neither of us could. So, following our previous pattern, we asked Lowen what they thought it meant. They didn’t hesitate: “People now live bombarded by false desires. Whatever you think you want is likely not going to work. I’m not just talking about consumerism. On every level we want what we don’t want and that’s what we get. I think both of you know what I mean.”

We both agreed that we knew what they meant. It was something about being a person. When you were a person you didn’t just make yourself. You were also made by your environment. And our environments were giving us false flags from the moment we were born.

This session was scheduled for one hour and my companion on the other side of the circle now mentioned the hour was almost up. Most of the activities were allotted two or three hours, but for some reason this one was shorter. Maybe the thing we were supposed to vote for, that we didn’t want, was a longer session. We politely said our goodbyes and a strange emptiness overcame me as I retraced my steps on the way back to my room. I now knew a little bit more about this place and, at the same time, also knew less than ever.


*


[I'm now realizing The House of Climate Grief (which also might be called Desire Without Expecation) might be the final part of a planned trilogy based loosely around questions concerning the desire for utopia.]



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April 4, 2024

Two Robert Wyatt Quotes

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Ryan Dombal: “…your career is a good example of how being an underdog isn’t necessarily something to overcome.”

Robert Wyatt: “Well, that’s about the nicest thing anybody’s said to me in years. I hope that’s the truth. It’s not even a moral question. It’s a question of pride. You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and I don’t know how some people do that. God knows I’ve been so wicked and selfish in the past, but nevertheless, I do really think the things I think and support the people I support. I would encourage people to realize that you don’t have to panic if you’re not part of a mainstream or if you find yourself outside the flow. If it doesn’t suit you, don’t go along with it. Just sit it out and get your stuff done. Don’t just sit moaning or getting drunk—I spent some years doing that. But if you can just come up with something of your own, however minor it is, that’s going to be easier to live with when you’re at the end of your life.”

– Robert Wyatt

From this piece: https://pitchfork.com/features/interview/9544-robert-wyatt/


*


“I kind of had nervous breakdown in ‘95. I felt burnt out before my time and just collapsed. I just didn’t want to be me anymore. I was tired of it, though not suicidal. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about is me attempting to find an identity outside of the given one, whether it’s listening to Spanish music or Russian communist music or black music. They’re all ways of getting out of the prison of self, really. But at that point, I couldn’t get out. I just felt trapped. Maybe that was a decade-late delay about the accident – at last, the difficulty I was in kicked in. Alfie and I spent most of our time in a sort of fancy wooden cabin on the coast at this point, half an hour away from where we lived in Lincolnshire, and there was no electricity. We didn’t even have records. We listened to stories you could get on cassette.

I got some treatment. I actually went to the doctor and went to anxiety management classes. Alfie said, “I can’t handle this at all,” because I’d gone mad. She’d dealt with everything up to that point, but not that. I came out of that and started working on a record, which became Shleep, and that’s really what took me out of it.

I’d been making records on my own, and somebody said, “Why don’t you get some other people in? You don’t have to marry them. They can just spend a couple of days at your house and do a song with you.” And I thought, "Why not?" From that point on, my records got more crowded. [laughs] It’s helped me. I made two or three records totally solo, and I was going mad in this musical isolation. I just felt so cut off from the world.”

– Robert Wyatt

From this piece: https://pitchfork.com/features/5-10-15-20/8776-robert-wyatt/



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April 3, 2024

L’idealismo infranto di Jacob Wren di Manuela Pacella

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Thank you to Manuela Pacella for this in depth and charming account of my work in the Italian version of Flash Art:


https://flash---art.it/2024/04/jacob-wren/


Here is a summary, in Italian, of Polyamorous Love Song:

Il cinema e il film sono molto presenti in questo libro. Un personaggio chiave è Filmmaker A. Nel 2002 viene invitata al New York Film Festival, la stessa edizione alla quale Abbas Kiarostami non poté prendere parte perché gli fu negato di entrare negli Stati Uniti. Questo evento la sconvolge e si ritrova a vagare per le strade della città ragionando su come poter realizzare film più veri e riflettendo su Close-Up (1990) di Kiarostami. Ha un’idea che diviene esplosiva e la rende famosa, creando seguaci in tutto il mondo: non si girano più i film; si fa in modo che la propria stessa vita diventi una sceneggiatura e, semplicemente, si agisce, riprendendo la vita ma senza il filtro della telecamera. Ad estrema applicazione del mentore Filmmaker A c’è un gruppo, The Centre for Productive Compromise, che di base usa il sesso libero come sceneggiatura. Per evitare estreme scene di gelosia si sono inventati una droga, insieme a quella che ha il potere di far ricordare i numeri di telefono ma, come effetto collaterale, anche quello delle persone con le quali si sta avendo un rapporto sessuale. C’è anche il Mascot Front, un gruppo di attivisti politici estremi che indossano pelose maschere da mascotte e c’è un artista visivo che un giorno le vede dalla sua finestra correre, armate, inseguite da uomini in divisa: prima un orso, poi un coniglio, poi un cono gelato, una tartaruga e un canguro. Durante questa visione surreale un colpo di pistola lo ferisce per sbaglio. Da quel momento diventa un’ossessione e ovviamente vuole farci un’opera d’arte ma finisce rapito dalle mascotte e da queste legato a un termosifone in una loro sede. Poi c’è l’amico dell’artista, l’artista vero, con molto potenziale che se ne esce con frasi illuminanti tipo: “Tu, i tuoi amici, l’intera cultura mondiale degli artisti e dei bohémien, è come se aveste una strana sorta di malattia. Tutto ciò che volete è che la gente vi guardi, che guardi ciò che fate e pensi che siete speciali e talentuosi. Lo desiderate così tanto da pensare che ci sia qualcosa di sbagliato in quelli di noi che non lo fanno (…) Credimi, non ho bisogno di lettere di ammiratori che mi dicano che i miei pensieri hanno valore. Sono sicuro di me… La mia vita ha il suo percorso… I miei pensieri sono la giusta e unica ricompensa” 14. Ma poi si e ci tradisce: diventa scrittore. E la sua compagna anche è scrittrice e sta scrivendo A Dream for the Future and a Dream for Now, titolo che si scopre poi essere lo stesso di altri libri scritti da diversi autori. Ma mentre quest’ultimi sembrano avere a che fare con un nuovo tipo di religione politica, il principale riguarda una società segreta scomparsa subito dopo la Grande Guerra e riapparsa nei tardi anni Quaranta a New York (ho un flash con Che la festa cominci di Gabriele Ammaniti del 2009). Lo scopo è di organizzare orge a larga scala per assassinare imprenditori e politici di Destra attraverso un’infezione virale a trasmissione sessuale che non infetta, invece, tutti gli altri. Nel capitolo apparentemente meno confuso di tutto il libro, Wren nei panni di Wren si sta facendo tagliare i capelli da un barbiere a Berlino e si immagina un altro barbiere, emigrato a causa delle leggi razziali dalla Germania a New York… Beh, è lui l’inventore del virus, come credo l’inventore della nuova religione politica. STOP. Lo so, è tanto. Ma aggiungo che tutto quello che ho scritto non è affatto in una sequenza che rispetta quella del testo di Wren nel quale, poi, ci sono talmente tanti io narranti da far venire il mal di testa.

Ma è onestamente un capolavoro e la cosa incredibile è che nasce dalla mente e dalle mani di un autore che si autodefinisce cinico ma, in fondo, non è il cinismo “sempre e solo una sorta di idealismo infranto?”15. 
 Appunto, Wren. Non bisogna combattere contro i mulini a vento ma semplicemente, quotidianamente, desiderare qualcosa di diverso. Il desiderio. “Ma non il desiderio che è solo l’altra faccia dell’insicurezza: il desiderio come disperazione. Un vero desiderio, il desiderio di vivere e di essere vivi, di trovare un valore o un significato o una convinzione che possa riempire in modo convincente e dare un senso al nostro breve tempo su questo pianeta dimenticato da Dio”



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March 20, 2024

Survival Technologies at FTA

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PME-ART has been working on this for a long time and we're excited to finally be able to announce it:

Survival Technologies
by Kamissa Ma Koïta and Elena Stoodley
at FTA on May 30,31 & June 2,3, 2024

More info here: https://fta.ca/en/event/survival-technologies/

Image by Kamissa Ma Koïta.