A Radical Cut In The Texture Of Reality.

September 28, 2014

Moyra Davey Quote

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To be making something as yet unformed, unknown—to be living in a deferred moment—is the most seductive way to exist.

- Moyra Davey, Polyvalence



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September 27, 2014

Moyra Davey Quote

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Finally, there is the accident of words: what wells up when we make space for such occurrence, when we lie on the bed in morning sunlight and bring laptop to lap. I’ve often heard it said, most recently by novelist Monica Ali, that as writers “we’re not at liberty to choose the material, the material chooses us.” Geoff Dyer has noted parallel statements by photographers: “It is the photo that takes you” (Henri Cartier-Bresson), “I don’t press the shutter, the image does” (Arbus), and one from Paul Strand on choosing his subjects: “I don’t… . They choose me.” While I’ve always intuited this about pictures, I was skeptical when it came to words. But I now know it to be true, beyond any doubt, for writing as well.

- Moyra Davey, Notes on Photography



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Future

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If you truly begin to alter the system
in fundamental and emancipatory ways
they kill you
if they can’t buy you first
they kill you literally
or in some other way
bombs and teargas are the music of neoliberal governance
you can struggle your whole life
to change a few small things
“to have a political life is, often, to have a broken life”
and if you succeed beyond your wildest dreams
they kill you
and jail your friends

If everyone in your coalition agrees
your coalition is to small
they kill you
but how to stay focused
on five, ten, fifteen generations into the future
if there is no future
there can be no change
the only thing that works is persistence
the only thing that works is persistence
the only thing that works is persistence
I hope some day I can begin
to imagine things again
or for the first time



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September 23, 2014

Sentiment

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From my near perfect disaster solitude
I wonder what might be possible
when it comes to interacting
with others, I continue to try my best
but feel all such interactions
are like little gusts of wind
that come from nowhere and go nowhere
never enough to fill a sail
yes, this is about loneliness
but also, no, it is not about loneliness
often I confuse loneliness and ethics
how to treat others well gets confused
with how to fully engage
solitude against solidarity, longing
for solidarity
I think: if you don’t know how
to be alone you don’t know how
to be with others
then: this must be the point, that
I don’t know how to be alone
don’t know how to be with others
everything that is true is also not true
trying to find something honest and vulnerable
trying to be something honest and vulnerable
trying to find the right lie



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September 17, 2014

Revised list of ten books

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After reading A Feminist Response to "List Ten Books that Stayed with you Some Way" I decided to redo my previous list. This new version was also made somewhat spontaneously, while at the same time attempting to correct my previous, perhaps unconscious, bias. Here's the new list:



1. Aliens & Anorexia – Chris Kraus
2. The Transformation – Juliana Spahr
3. Motion Sickness – Lynne Tillman
4. The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll – Alvaro Mutis
5. Ghostly Matters – Avery F. Gordon
6. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa – Jan Potocki
7. The Girl in the Road – Monica Byrne
8. Third Factory – Viktor Shklovsky
9. Event Factory – Renee Gladman
10. Ethics Of Luxury: Materialism And Imagination – Jeanne Randolph 


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Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancolie

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Things are better when left unfinished. Though he worked on it off and on for approximately twenty-three years, Pessoa never managed to finish his Book of Disquiet. It is a book of fragments upon fragments, left behind in a trunk along with a lifetime of other writings. As a writer Pessoa also continuously fragmented himself into other writers he famously called heteronyms: imaginary characters created to write in different styles. The Book of Disquiet was also written by one of these versions of self, a semi-heteronym called Bernardo Soares, an accountant working on Rua dos Douradores. With Adventures can be found anywhere, même dans la mélancolie we will continue to re-write these fragments. We are both sure and unsure of our task, much as Pessoa must have been as he continued to compose endless versions of the ever-growing original manuscript. Is our task to make the book a little bit happier or a little bit more contemporary? That is one humorous story we might sometimes tell ourselves. Perhaps there will soon be others.



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September 12, 2014

Jacqueline Mabey wrote this on my timeline...

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Jacqueline Mabey wrote this on my timeline:


"i've been thinking about your comments about only experiencing solidarity as a short-lived or temporary condition. and thinking that maybe that's critical to it: we stand in solidarity with others in order to reach some critical mass or moment of progressive chance, some change of state. so maybe solidarity is utopian in that it is no-place, it is nowhere you can inhabit permanently but a shifting space of alliances."


Followed by this link:


Students show solidarity by helping Columbia rape survivor carry her mattress



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August 28, 2014

I don’t mind being wrong.

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I don’t mind being wrong. I don’t mind writing things, and publishing them, and then later realizing they were in fact completely or partially wrong. I don’t mind someone reading something I wrote and disagreeing with it, or even thinking I’m an idiot. (Though I do at times feel it is my job as an artist to activate honest or vulnerable reactions in and around my words.) When I read something, I am not looking for it to tell me how things are. I want to consider it, question it, decide for myself, agree or disagree, be provoked or refuse to be provoked. I want to read two different, intelligent, well-written texts that argue almost opposite points of view and consider all the ramifications of how they relate to each other, conflict and intertwine. I’m not saying there is no truth, but rather truth is the thoughts we choose to fight for, and in doing so we must continuously consider other possible perspectives on each matter. I fear that people who want to be right see thought as a sport and they want to win. I’ve never been good at winning, so perhaps when I say ‘I don’t mind being wrong’ it is only a form of sour grapes. But I wonder: how is it possible to really know what one is doing? To write something and think: now I’ve really got it. Not to hope one might still think something remarkably different in the future, might still have the good fortune to completely contradict oneself. At the same time, I don’t want to only be wrong, I don’t want to get more and more wrong the further I go, or to be my own worst enemy. And realizing I was wrong about something in the past does not mean that suddenly now I’ve got it all figured out. Of course, constantly changing my mind about every single thing all the time is exhausting, so I agree (with myself) to think a few things for the time being. Time heals all wounds.



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August 26, 2014

I have fallen in lust with this universe...

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"The novelist Robert Anton Wilson once described art as an act of seduction. If this is true, then Polyamorous Love Song is Jacob Wren's sly invitation into a world of sex cults, neorealist filmmaking, and radical biological-warfare. It entices you with an alternate universe where all your strangest fantasies are not just a reality, but a new way of life for people all over the world. Contrary to my best judgement, I have fallen in lust with this universe... along with everyone in it."

- Alison as part of McNally Robinson's staff picks



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August 22, 2014

A short text on certain aspects of collaboration

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All of my work has been in (some sort of) collaboration and yet I’ve always found these experiences of working together difficult, often unpleasant, and continue mainly because I have some ideological belief in it: that in working together with other people it is possible to make something more compelling, more tender, more unexpected, more vulnerable than it is possible to make alone. I don’t know if I genuinely believe this (anymore), in reality, but I continue to believe it in some other sense: as an ideal or fantasy. Then the question becomes: how does this ideal or fantasy interact with the difficulty of the reality? What do I do with my frustrations and disappointments? How do I lower my expectations while at the same time working towards something worthwhile?

Or a different kind of question: how does one live and take energy from one’s own loneliness? I know, as a teenager, I thought it perfectly reasonable to assume that working with others would make me feel less alienated, less isolated. For the most part it has not. I now fear I pinned my teenage hopes on the wrong misguided solution. I now wonder if there was some other question: how to be alienated together (from both each other and the world)? I associate being in a group with talking. What would it mean for me to associate it with silence? Or music? In a conversation about working in collectives, someone once told me there was a Columbian (I think it was Columbian) expression: “He with the most spit wins.” This made me laugh out loud in recognition. But am I even thinking about collectives anymore? What about leadership? What kind of leadership allows all members to flourish? Or a model where, for different things, at different times, we each take turns being in charge?

In a completely different text, I recently wrote: “I keep circling round and round this idea that what politics needs today is a different way of thinking about time, that the problem with Marxism is it was working towards victory in the future, while what we need is more like a victory of living together in mutual loneliness, a victory-in-the-present-as-future-that-will-never-come, which sounds frustrating, and probably is. But how to imagine this impossible present-future hybrid as not frustrating, as something good, something desirable, a struggle and strength worth having, as possible. Trying to imagine the things I am not yet able to imagine.”

A short text should end with a fantasy and the fantasy is as follows: I have an idea for how we should do it and you have an idea for how we should do it. I don’t much care for your idea and you don’t much care for mine. But we respect each other enough. So we try to think together what aspects of your idea are most important to you and what aspects of my idea are most important to me, to come up with a third idea that is so much more remarkable than anything either of us could ever come up with on our own. And we realize we have made a breakthrough, cherish this fact, want to keep going so it might someday happen again. And perhaps such things happen every day. Or perhaps togetherness really becomes magical when we leave, once and for all, the realm of ideas behind.



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