State Space/State Time – Library

LIBRARY PROJECT – AN INTRODUCTION

A semi-autobiographical retrospective, an  enquiry using episodes of my five decade tenure-in life-as some of the ‘punctums’ for extrapolation.

Exploring state space and state time’s effect on culture and society, community and non-community, and the multi layered paradoxical outcomes of this man-made phenomenon.

Using the concept of ‘Self as archive’ – a living record within- and sometimes without- the set parameters of the particular ‘loci’; established, and metred by state space/time.

By examining the cyclical nature of the aforementioned, not only through personal events and interactions, but also historically by contextualisation and comparative discussion, I hope to produce an ongoing body of work and research which not only engages but also questions the ‘value’ of state space/time against its more natural cousin nomadic space/time.

library intro

 

STATE SPACE/STATE TIME – ARCHIVE 1

WHAT IF SIX WAS NINE

LATITUDE 44 degrees 25 minutes North

LONGITUDE 26 degrees 6 minutes East

I wonder…why does no one stop, why does no one buy her flowers? Are they too old world, too real…she is there isn’t she, I am here aren’t I? Perhaps that’s just her daily routine…perhaps she just turns up daily and sits there for my benefit…perhaps I just do the same for her…she probably wonders what I’m doing here…I know I do…

anycolouryoulike

Along the Calea Victoriei past the statuia Allegastori – where Karin and Matya smoked their borrowed cigarette – on the steps of the Piata George Enescu sits a flower seller, to her left lies the Ministeral Economiei, to her right the once grand Victoriei store – its aged display of goods shadowed by murk of unpolished glass. Across the road from this – in parallel – stands, in stark contrast, what can only be described as a ‘superstore to eastern orthodoxy’…

Highly polished piebald marble columns and façade vie for ‘polishedness’ with the super-bright windows…the contents on display shine out, highly lacquered walnut boxes their plush crimson pillow inserts hold the myriad of golden wares of worship, gold byzantine icons are stood on polished armatures, black Madonna’s with golden eyes and robes stand on cotta – guild of St.Stephen – red thick pile carpets… black and gold…

Even the pavement outside this venerable place is scrubbed daily; the streets and boulevards here are swept daily, but this area is scrubbed…

Carnival and Lent comes to mind, in reverse, in retro, Bosch, Breugel…in utero comes to mind…perceived nirvana’s…  There is a small café on the Piata, where I sit and smoke, where I write, where I view this scene – daily – , and it has been daily, for 5 days now, a routine of sorts…to begin the day, a visitor…a passenger…

LATITUDE 55 degrees 59 minutes North

LONGITUDE 03 degrees 10 minutes West

Leith – here I settled for a while, as a student…as we all are

I shared a house with a group of people, a community of diversity as had always been my life, a collective…disparate yet connected, not just by where we lived, but by a myriad of connections many unseen and unknown but there nevertheless…that is how I was taught to play chess, that is how I was taught to play life…

anycolouryoulike2

It was here I met a family, they came for holidays…it is here I met a nine year old boy, it was here I passed on what my grandfather had taught me, both of chess and of life…to the small angular boy – not physically angular, but alive, pointed and ‘quick’…

Time it was a stutter, time it was, it was…the photograph

I became a teacher and taught in schools both in Britain and then back here in Canada, until recently I heard or knew nothing of the small angular quick boy…although he was often in my thoughts, as a teacher the pointedness of children I encouraged…for, as my grandfather had said many times, ‘society insists on the rounding of individuals, remove the points and they fit in…’

We debated this endlessly throughout his life; I continue to…ideals, ideologies, patterns, templates, systems, culture and counter-culture, all territory, all power, all manipulation… ‘Think of Lizitsky and Malevitch…and that ultimate end, the adopted structure with a different name…where we are now is no different, manufactured, abstract…’ my grandfather recollected…

‘Shoot them down and hang them high…’

ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE

‘ALL GONE TO LOOK FOR AMERICA…’

And perhaps Baudrillard was right? I received your letter yesterday about the time…well!

LATITUDE-49.2827 DEGREES NORTH

LONGITUDE-123.1207 DEGREES WEST

I remember before I went to Europe…to learn and eventually teach… I went on a road trip with a friend of mine, she had read Kerouac, Ginsberg et al…as we all had, but it wasn’t that or perhaps I should say that wasn’t the only reason for the ‘trip’…

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She had seen an advert in a publication, which one I don’t know…a particular model of car, a mustang as I recall, very cheap…so I drove her out west to find her joy…her big sur as she called it…we ‘hit’ highway 61…

We drove south then west till we reached the destination, she paid her money and drove off into her adventure, I drove back home in my mother’s station wagon and that was that…

2

A couple of months later I got a phone call from my friend, she told me of her adventures, her meetings, her journeys, she also – in conversation – related how and why the mustang was so cheap, ‘only one owner…limited miles, no history…’ except; the one owner had decided to gas herself in the car, in a wheat field, she had been there for four weeks they reckoned…nobody knew why she’d done it, or so my friend said… the car cleaned up well…

Don’t you find that a little weird, I had asked her…I mean don’t you feel a little strange driving around in the car…

Not at all she replied, when I’m driving I try and imagine what led her to that particular end, I play the radio and wonder what song she was listening to…what station…I mean she made a grand statement to someone by doing what she did…it deserves some recognition…don’t you think? And besides its better to burn out than it is to rust…

Yes, I replied… …the grandest of all statements… it does…and it is…

I later received a letter… a more detailed account of my friends search…

Her ‘big sur’…

3

‘And highway 61 ‘hit’ us…’

LATITUDE-49.2827 DEGREES NORTH

LONGITUDE-123.1207 DEGREES WEST

‘…highway 61 revisited’

 4

‘…they’re selling postcards of the hanging, and they’re painting the passports brown…’

ACT 1

My grandparents settled in America…my grandfather had circled through Europe…met my grandmother in England and moved to Paris…at the height of ‘modernity’ and with the stench of war on the horizon they came to America…

I recall my grandfather talking of ‘revolutions’- coming and going…my grandmother uttered soupcons of logic and sang as her records span…slightly warped with age and use…

My mother settled in Canada…and below us sat the ‘abstract nation’…

Highway 61 cuts through the middle of ‘America’s heartland’…a long grey wound…from here in Canada down to New Orleans

5

North to south…cold to warm…in temperature anyway…

While recalling this I think of the ‘Fisher King’…the desolate land and the wounded gonads…

The wrath of Steinbeck…the waste land of Elliot

And of course Desolation Row…

The abstract of my young adulthood…to the abstracted of today

6

From Fordism to Sloanism…

And back…

The blues highway…epitomized by Dylan…and the screams of “Judas”

And whilst bob didn’t believe them…they believed him…

‘electric’

And while others moaned…three black corpses hung from a tree…in Duluth

So – acoustically – Dylan sang…

‘…the circus is in town’

For that is where they had worked

Strange fruit…in the heartland

WHAT IF SIX WAS NINE

‘WHEN HITSVILLE HITS – PERHAPS…’

LATITUDE 44 degrees 25 minutes North

LONGITUDE 26 degrees 6 minutes East

I light another cigarette, to accompany my remaining coffee and finish this for now…a4 would be a good move, apparently pointless…yet you know better, I will think on for a while…and post you the card later…the traffic along the Calea Victoriei is very busy, new car models inform the trade allegiances of belonging to a ‘common’ Europe…perhaps this is the next ‘great schism’…this new black/gold…

1

On the radio this morning – the world service – announced the blessing of a new car production plant, the orthodox priest blessed areas of the plant with a sanctification rod, a paint roller dipped in holy oil…to reach the god forsaken parts …on an extendable pole…cars built by robots in minutes…maybe less…

2

I smoke another cigarette and imagine the blessing…some surreal imagery here…the archaic in the contemporary…cultural changes…wordplay springs and I make notes…

 3

Perhaps the priest bought the ‘holy roller’ from the store opposite…I consider my move…a4 no …my thoughts are driven to a particular game we had, when I was nine or so, the whole scene…”don’t just concentrate on the square you’re on, nor the one opposite or the eight around you…don’t just concentrate on the board, look beyond it all…” your words come back in your hybrid tone…joyous…

I will head down towards the old quarters of the city – first things first – I stop and buy some flowers from the seller at the Piata, she eyes me suspiciously and takes the money, I hand all but three of the fuchsias back to her with a smile, and head down to the rue escalier, to the gallery, which will not be open…

4

LATITUDE 55 degrees 59 minutes North

LONGITUDE 03 degrees 10 minutes West

‘A game-in many ways ‘the game’ for me…’

At the end of the game the king and the pawn end up in the same box, so says an old Jewish proverb.

I am reminiscing now, turning time back, recycling, rewinding-no, definitely recycling as the record turns on the table, the player-always music, always cyclical motion.

Time

Place – Locos – Chora

Site as generator

No disaster

Not Mnemosyne and Simonides

Geometry

Simple Euclidian form

The board

‘Stated territory’

Archaic

The pieces

Hierarchical

Ancient

The movement

‘Stated-allowed’

Permissible

Ancient

Metred with my steps… the memory recalls and, as I stop at roadside…the fleet of cars passing by increase the tempo of remembrance…the cyclical motion of the wheels speed the process of recall…the antithesis of the allowed motion of this moment of state space and state time…

Its July 2013 but its April 1974…

The latitude and longitude are correct-for the latter

In a ‘White Room’

I am nine or so, sat on a big cushion in front of a low square table in the middle of the room…opposite you…you sit

On the table a board…segmented, partitioned, and bordered territory…

On the board sit the regimented pieces…a ‘Lewis Hebridean set’

And as you relate tales and words of your grandfather…

Of games you’d played and moves you’d made…

I take in the locos

The white room, the white shelves-cubes…the square packages they hold…

A library of music

Each square package containing a record, an archive…

Euclidian form…

5

And as your words Hit……”don’t just concentrate on the square you’re on, nor the one opposite or the eight around you…don’t just concentrate on the board, look beyond it all…”

An archive is removed from a black square…

A black circle with a triangular centre…

And as the game begins…the music ‘HITS’ with a heartbeat…

LATITUDE 55 degrees 59 minutes North

LONGITUDE 03 degrees 10 minutes West

‘Speak to me’ …et al

 6

Recollection…a landscape of sorts…an archive

‘Us and Them’…

The first time I heard particular songs…the concept coming as an added libretto, perhaps from the words you spoke…as the game was played…post-modern opera…performance…

High drama…low drama…this is what life is

7

Moves…allotted moves…allotted space…

Stages…players…roles…

Inclusion and exclusion…

Well defined parameters…

8

Even within the possibilities of change…

A cyclical nature… ordered… yet unnatural…

“Already confined in the moment of its outbreak”

“Never stop asking why or indeed why not”

“Do not lose your ‘pointedness’- ever”

And round and round the record span…In ordered time…in ordered space

9

And the clipped ordered version that followed my metred step ebbs…

As I wait at a crossing…roadside…notebook and flowers in hand…

Across the road the gallery is shut…

Traffic speeds by and the nine year old boy…who is ever present…recollects…

 10

a year later-the particular songs from the ‘opening gambit’ are heard…

On leather seats…in the back of a car…quad sound…and scenery flying by…

A long straight road…

That Christmas the album…the archive… is presented

And a few years later the volition of the songs…

Of your words…

Of all…

HIT

 11

ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE 3

THE THEATRE OF THE CRUEL AND GELBERS CONNECTION

‘…and the only sound that’s left, after the ambulances go, is Cinderella sweeping up…’

LATITUDE-49.2827 DEGREES NORTH

LONGITUDE-123.1207 DEGREES WEST

My goddaughter bought me a chess programme for Christmas, two years ago now…I am neither technophobe nor technophile…my computer is a work station, a must for my work now…a must now for all it seems…I wonder how my grandfather would have addressed this faceless opponent…what rhetoric he would aim…what answers he would gain…for this opponent would consider all, all from its memory banks…but the parameters would be set, music, politics, cooking, social awareness, geography and industrial disease would not come into play…unless programmed that way, not there quite yet…

A body without organs…

1

So I play the machine, with its Artificial Intelligence, and sometimes my pointed moves prove a little to ‘incomputable’ for the machine…

I digress, whist working one day I received an email from a colleague, she had sent me a link to a page…she had acquired an ebook, I may be interested… I was surprised…she knows my affiliation with the realness of articles – the physicality…my mission to maintain the language we have only democratically possessed for the last half a millennium, my unwillingness to fully embrace the new language that has been thrust upon us…and which only a few understand…

2

Knowing all this, for her to send me the link made me inquisitive, so I went to the virtual page…it was there I became reacquainted with the angular boy…the author/producer of the book which consisted of interspersed dialogue squares and apparently coded phrasing…I sent him an email…he replied a few days later, apologising for the tardiness of his reply…

He told me of the book, the reasoning and context…territory, love, labours lost, life and placement…cyclical nature and contrived ideals…and music and form…

Inspired by a girl from the north…which I hadn’t picked up on…and he recollected those days long ago…the whole…the white shelved room, the game and conversation, the music…the colour and form…a white cube and its contents…the thirty two square possible openings…that more existed outside the box…like a dance…

The removal of the black square from the white shelf…the prism on the cover…the black disc with its ‘prismed’ centre, its revolution…pointed….

A record of many things…things that had remained and inspired…the concept only becoming apparent wholly a few years after the events…Mnemosyne and Simonides…

And then… in a heartbeat…

3

The ‘image by disaster’ becoming the rationale…all connected to that album- that archive…

A concept of modernity out of control…

The reality is where we are now…

Where he is now…

And where I am now…

This new language…hierarchical in the ‘new order’…

So very ‘us and them’…

As the ‘record’ spins then so do we…

We converse by post now…the archaic way, and this is how we play our game(s)…

A move is sent…some words are sent…and every now and again ‘graham bell’ connects us…

Albeit, in the new language…

4

My goddaughter’s mother and I grew up together, old and very close friends…she came with me to my grandparents in summer vacations and such like a few times… into the wild west, the new frontier’s-to us anyway…

And later, when we had grown, we revisited these frontiers- she more than me, although I had my moments on these landscapes and on others…on different shores…

As children we were opened to the revolutionary past of my grandfather’s stories…

His past…his present…and his future…

As teenagers, that very modern and manufactured time, we were opened up to the revolutions of the day…

Now our past…our present…our possible future(s)…

LATITUDE 48 degrees 51 MINUTES NORTH

LONGITUDE 2 degrees 21 MINUTES EAST

5

PARIS – resounded with people speaking to one another in unintelligible languages. A similar case happened once during the construction of a certain tall building in Babylon…there were reasons then and reasons now.

So wrote my grandfather in his journal of that time, he kept many journals throughout his life and, as I grew up, he would read or let me read from them – there were no specific dates, just days and thoughts and connections.

Connections – places, people, days, events…as a young man he fled his homeland, Russia, he would never say why…for a while he settled in London,

There in the east end he met my grandmother…in this period he writes of ‘work and unrest’…for all that he meets, he talks of Malatesta, Kropotkin, Rudolf Rocker and others…

Sacco and Vanzetti and the Sidney Street siege…

Then Paris and the café he opened with my grandmother…the family they started…and the days, the people and the events, the connections…

America beckoned, as it did for many…and here they finally settled and raised their family, two daughters of whom my mother was the youngest…I was raised in Canada but my holidays were spent with my grandparents…

My grandfather taught me to play chess and speak Russian…between holidays we would play by correspondence…postcards would arrive with annotation upon them, I learnt the language of the game…there would also be words or phrases that connected the ‘move’…the image on the card and sometimes a song or musical phrase from my grandmother…I have all these cards, they are in a box with a photograph…

‘Time it was, a stutter…time it was, it was…’

‘A time of innocence, a time of confidences…’

‘Long ago, it must be, long ago – I have a photograph…’

WAITING FOR ALIBIS

‘…I’m alright jack; keep your hands off my stack…’

LATITUDE 55 degrees 59 minutes North

LONGITUDE 03 degrees 10 minutes West

6

FREEDOM OF SPEECH – SPEECH OF FREEDOM

Random access memory…

1964 summer of freedom…

Mississippi burning…

Ask the Goodman family…

Ask Dave when he got the call from Lyndon.P …

It took white kids to die before the bill went through…

Archived…

Recorded…

Accessible…

Ask Claudette or Rosa…

Only a bus ride away…

My mother related these to me, my grandfather the same…

My grandmother played Bessie Smith…

And told of her demise near Highway 61…

Near the crossroads…where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil…

We are all in this together…

Burning down the house…

Information is knowledge…no…?

7

THE BLACK AND WHITE

On May 4, l970 members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators…

 Killing four and wounding nine…

The impact of the shootings was dramatic. The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close. H. R. Haldeman, a top aide to President Richard Nixon, suggests the shootings had a direct impact on national politics. In The Ends of Power, Haldeman (1978) states that the shootings at Kent State began the slide

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,

The 1, 2 beat slow or fast…the paradiddle…the Berlioz gallows walk…

1, 2 binary beat…that was then … tin soldiers, tin stars…

Manufactured icons in a manufactured society…manufactured culture; it takes seconds to take a life…

Shoot them down and hang them high…

It takes only a little longer to build a ‘horse’…

It can be any colour you like as long as it’s black…

Slaves to the rhythms…1, 2 beat…paradiddle

Abstract

As painters we had no idea what to paint anymore…so we just painted for each other…the purest of the pure…the chosen…

I had a dream…so did I… bang…

Pope urban II to Colin Powell…

Black gold…

My mule doesn’t like it…he thinks you may be laughing at him…

Frankly my dear I just don’t give a damn…

Bodies upon the Gears Speech…

Speaking on the steps of Sproul Hall, on December 2, 1964:

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious…

 Makes you so sick at heart…

 That you can’t take part…

 You can’t even passively take part…

 And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

Tin soldiers and paradiddle…

‘Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle…’

There is a testament to Mario Salvio…

A monument…about the size of a man hole cover…

In the square… where he spoke of open learning and access…

‘Don’t wear sandals …can’t afford the scandal…?’

And Jimi played ‘the star spangled banner’ “The Anacreontic Song”-… louder than bombs…

All this and more…I carried with me to this…

This, foreign shore…

8

And within the paradiddle 1, 2, beat of a pawn…I passed this on to the angular boy…

So he could see and hear…the levels of the ongoing game…

NOW THE CONNECTION

9

When Artauld hit the ‘living theatre’ in the ‘abstract’ that is America…

Ford had ‘blacked all up…’

Sloanism added the necessary-unnecessaries…

Greenberg and Motherwell had defined it so…

Cage had performed it so…

And Glass and Beckett were there…’Play’…

And Gelber had introduced the reality…

You are all connected…especially now…

Waiting had become ‘de rigueur’…

Andy’s chest was open-BANG-then closed…

The ‘abstracted middle white America’ looked for a rationale…

And found it in colour and degeneration…

‘White goods’ were a cure all…

What made today’s homes so appealing…

‘…running for shelters…’

‘…mothers little helpers…’

Waiting…

Whether in a lone swinging lightbulb toilet…

A theatre stage…

Or a doctors pad…

All were waiting…and still are…

Beckett hit that one…

And Mcluhan’s ‘Global Theatre’ had begun…

10

In a white room, stood floor to ceiling white shelves…cubits…archives-of a kind…

Here I taught what I had been taught…

To the small, angular, nine year old boy…

It was 1973…

I told him of all that had occurred-that I had known-from the time of his birth to that time…

And all I had known through my life…

Britain in the 70’s…following the ‘abstract’ in every way…

And whilst we played and talked, Stuart- whose archive we were in- removed ‘records’ from the white shelved ‘cubits’ and opened up a myriad of doors…

11

Stuart ‘manned’ the embryonic ‘Virgin’ flagship store-the beginnings of Branson’s empire…

He received a copy of each new ‘album’ as part of his wage…

The archive grew daily…

As did the possibilities…

As did the discourse…

A few years later…a supposed ‘King Rocker’ proclaimed ‘Never trust a Hippy’…

That was lesson one…

The sixties bore many of societies new cash elite…

‘…Strange days indeed…’

The archetypal saying of many of that time had now become a cliché…

Recto verso

‘Beware the bread heads’

And a grocer’s daughter really took the milk away…or was it the piss…?

Economic trends…

Hard edged…

The fifty first state…

The new ‘abstract’…

The host cell parasite…

12

By the time ‘lesson one’ became apparent the angular boy had become an active agent on this ‘world stage’, so he has told me since…

And much of those experiences shared in the white room have become predicates for him… connections are important on these roads…

All have a worth…

Whether apparent or not…

When I finished my ‘training’ in Edinburgh I moved around the ‘sceptred isle’…

Teaching and learning…and waiting…’here’s where the story ends?’

13

LATITUDE-49.2827 DEGREES NORTH

LONGITUDE-123.1207 DEGREES WEST

‘…people I know, places I go make me feel tongue tied…’

The older I get…well, it is all pantomime in a way…

As with Camus’ doves, even the purest succumb…

Outsider’ one and all…

And, something is happening here but we don’t know what it is, do we…?

I digress, I recollect, I reminisce…

Like Seger’ adaption of Ecclesiastes…

Turn, turn and turn again…

Like a record…

Ah, the post…

14

Ha, now that I didn’t expect…angular, still pointed…

I must consider this now…

WHAT IF SIX WAS NINE

‘A LOVESTRUCK ROMEO…’

LATITUDE 44 degrees 25 minutes North

LONGITUDE 26 degrees 6 minutes East

‘…and someone says you’re in the wrong place my friend, you better leave’

1

Like all cities this place is a collection of towns, whether historically or contemporary, I hit this town, this part of the city-this track on the record…

Meanwhile I wait for the gallery to open…

The sun is high in the sky; the café/bars in this quarter are coming to life…

I enter one, the young barman is summoned over to a corner where he engages in a conversation with what I presume to be the owner…this man gets agitated and raises his voice…the words I don’t understand, the tone I do…

The young barman comes back, he smiles nervously, gives me the beer I’ve ordered and then apologetically says ‘you must pay now, not after…’

I smile and pay the 9 Ron, as I go to find a table outside I hear the barman say to the owner…’no, Englishman’

2

Outside is bustling with behaviour, in this ‘old quarter’ of the city the bars and eateries have sprung up everywhere, all sharing and competing for the foreign trade…some welcome, some not…many are here for the new allegiance and as a result of it, many for the promise the ‘new black/gold’ proffers…

Pieter the head waiter, come maître d, at my hotel informs me of these things…I will ask him tonight, at dinner, about this bar and the welcome I received…I drink my beer- I smoke and write down the episode…mentally, notes I make on other scores…

From discussions and encounters comes knowledge-of a kind…

Allegiance- here requires sacrifice, inclusion means exclusion…

Of a kind…culturally, change has already begun transgressing-

These three drying flowers are evidence and symbolic of this…

Three generations and their adoptive and adaptive stances to…

The progressive machinery and mechanics thereof, metred so-

Nature’s own-known, as stubborn, turns its arse to the wind…

3

There is a network of cables criss-crossing the pedestrianised streets here, fibrous, running from and linking to-property to property, parabiosis in a man-made fashion. This network is as telling of cultural and economic change as a grid map of state space and time. This is allowed for now, encouraged even, the powers that allow this will shortly renade on the deal- the red tape of beaurocracy will draw new lines on this map, under headings of ‘health and public safety’ the party will be spoilt.

I sketch the line work(s), the unseen power running through these wires the lifeblood of this place, irrigating and enabling growth-light, music, coolers and heaters-strange blooms in comparison to…I peel and remove a small amount of tape that fixes this new strata to the cobbles of the old and place it in my notebook next to the drying flowers…

I finish my beer and cigarette-the gallery is now open…

CHIASMA(US)

4

Safe, unchallenging, clean and ordered-the crossing over has crossed over and crosses over again-perpetual motion perhaps, mechanics and technology may progress and the usage of these cements our dominance and ‘hints’ at superiority yet the underlying questions suggest otherwise-definitely cyclical as opposed to linear-this is the predicate.

‘I brought this work, this idea, with me-with its cousins that are also on show, displaced but there and also there…’

‘The thought processes, the manufacture, the travel and the instalment are all part of the work…what you see ‘in physicality’ is only part of the whole…’

‘These drying flowers, this tape, this receipt and this sketch upon it…this napkin and this key card et al…’

Whilst I discuss my work and the performance that accompanied it-that was seen by curators and passers-by-but did not ‘make the grade’, I think of your last move and consider mine. It’s not inattention or boredom that encourages this duality of attentiveness, more that the game and the moves are enveloped within this moment-or vice versa.

I open my book, show a page, light a cigarette and make a note or two…

5

HOST CELL/PARA-SITE – THESE MODERN TIMES

The exhibition is up and, well stationary…not running, boxes ticked and parameters met and upheld…pro forma, an exercise in mediocrity in a locos that demanded much more…my work, I performed – like a child with his second best crayon – I installed the challenging, questioning and demanding work in eyeshot –BANG – of one of the curators…many binaries at play, at unplay…and that was the point of the ‘show’, wasn’t it?

This whole event-in its levels of egotism- makes me consider ‘Chaplin’ and my ongoing silent protests, this is of course the nature of the beast, the ‘state of unplay’, it ‘does what it says on the tin’-if you can read through the spin, and such is the underlying ethos of my work-echoing the rigmarole(s) and ‘play’-and where is my ‘gamin’?

The events of installation/de-installation-of my work- reflective of the politics of these ‘modern times’ in this particular locos, today a new allegiance was made and an old one broken, shifting world economics and hegemony have ‘oriented’ eastward.

The assembly line rhetoric and manner of my ‘production’, my manufactured piece a simile of the process(es) at large, these are the games that Wittgenstein alluded to.

6

As I put the work up the tension grew, which was good, I finished performance 1, left the gallery and waited for the call…the call came – ‘could I come to the gallery, there is a slight problem…’, of course… performance 1(a) was enacted, I removed elements of the work…left the ‘clean’ precision manufactured elements to be displayed, a bastardised version of the original…all in order as required…

The ‘words’ removed-and there were many- like the screws and nuts and bolts of ‘assembly line machines’ (the ‘new order’)-became an enmeshed ball of words and tape, like the dialogue and discourse of the new, and symbolic of the culture and social order to be replaced, this ball had been dropped…

7

This ‘dropping’ of the ball, like the dropping of a cuff with the song words on, being only a temporary or ‘contemporary’ drawback, the reply of the ‘true performer’ (who is expectant of such pitfalls and indeed pre-armed) is a resolute, apparent, improvisation of new words and phrases, mixed language and metaphor(s).

The curator explained that…’ the work was too challenging for the audience, it didn’t exist on the same level physically and metaphysically as the rest of the work…’

later over a couple of beers she (the curator) apologised but inferred that the work bore no resemblance to the proposal I submitted, I smiled…ah, I see…which proposal hadn’t she looked at…too challenging would do.

Polished, blunted edges… apparently gone, remove the points, assimilate…like a host cell/parasite…of base 4, as your grandfather said, as you introduced to me…it is all territory, all territorial pissing’s…

8

When the ball is dropped enough, as the game unfolds, and the players are eliminated one by one…these human surrogates turn their arses to the wind and the hard rain…

I wander down a road in some bucolic scene at sunset, gamin by my side-in spirit- and search for the true donkey’s…

9

BACK TO THAT SQUARE

I leave the gallery and the afternoons discourse…there, and I’m back on the street of a hundred cafes-that leads to the street of a hundred cafes…

I head down to the Jewish quarter…past the vehicles emblazoned with ‘gendarmerie’ and their inhabitants…some stand beside their chariots, automatic weapons in hand…

Some coerce with their Romanian counterparts, most avoid the union…weapons in hand…

They are here for a purpose, to protect the French PM on his economic and trade mission…weapons in hand…

They are not here for ‘entante cordiale’…weapons in hand…

More territorial pissings…

I find a small eatery in a square not too far from the ministerei…

I am welcomed by a young girl with a smile of honesty; she takes my order and disappears inside… I open my notebook and review the day so far…

10

My thoughts are broken by the young girl returning with my coffee and polemka…

She carefully moves my book aside and removes the items from the tray, “are you a writer?”she asks…’partly’, I say, ‘I’m an artist…’ “Oh…” she forms the ‘0’ perfectly and smiles again, “can I look?” She continues…’of course’ I reply…

She sits and begins looking through the ‘varied impedimenta’ of my notebook…

She spends time…too much time for the owner who has come outside, he apologises to me and then mutters something in Yiddish, the young girl puts the book down smiles and disappears inside…I light a cigarette and wonder what was said…a few minutes pass and the girl appears again with a bowl of gnocchi…

“For you…” she says, and then she smiles and returns inside…

I take two loose cards from my book…on one I write to you…my move…

I will castle 0-0-0…it is apt, entrenchment…

On the other card I tear a piece off the tape I collected earlier and affix one of the drying flowers to the card, I write…

for the gnocchi,

 for the smiles,

 for the gamin,

 for the future,

 bonne chance…

Marcel x

I finish the meal and look in through the open door, catch the girls gaze and she comes outside…

I smile and ask for the bill…

She hands me a piece of paper of her small notepad

‘are you a writer?’ I say, with a smile

She laughs…”no…I am a dancer”

I pay the bill, there is no charge for the gnocchi…I hand her the card…

She smiles holds out her hand and says “thank you Marcel, I am Ruth…”

‘Thank you Ruth…’

I head off back to the Calea Victorei…

I post your card on the way…

As I near the hotel I see Karin and Matia…

‘We may see you later?’ they say and smile –then they are gone…

Pieter sees this from his ‘perch’, as I head to the patio area he smiles and greets me warmly…

Sisyphus to Tantalus via Achilles…

‘I will see you at dinner?’ he enquires…

I affirm and take the lift to my room…

11

Showered and changed I sit on the windowsill and smoke; the starlings are busy and loud…

They are feeding their young…establishing territory, they are vocal…

I consider the day so far…the ‘states of unplay’…

The brief and my interpretation and the curator’s interpretation of this…

‘What does game playing become after the innocence of childhood imagination? We are often confronted with playing games subconsciously as the controller or the player whereby we have our own rules, routines and rituals.’

Game is defined as adopting goals, rules, challenges and interactions but as the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein claims, games can be a misconstrued meaning of language and the mind. Because we misunderstand language, we use indirect communication, thought experiments and mind games to get a sense of one-upmanship to empower or demoralize. What extremes can we go to for feeling recognition, wanting, acceptance and achievement?

The game we are playing is all of this and more…

Your grandfather taught you well and you taught me the same…

I inhale, the starlings fly back and forth in ‘life’s natural rhythm’

I consider the silence of boredom, of John Cage…

Of his one game with Duchamp and of the latter’s disregard of the strategy…

Of the ‘sweeper up after artists’, and his relation of this event…

Of state space and state time…and of the dream I had which I will relate to you later…

For now, I will go to dinner and discuss with Pieter some of the day’s events…

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