Monday, July 24, 2023


Poetry, for a long time, was yours. I would borrow it from your bookshelf or read as a way of getting closer to you. I had been thinking at the time about video art, and what it meant to screen, or not screen something. The aesthetic object, I had come to realize, was a means rather than an end. I made videos so that we could talk about what they gestured toward. They were abstract because I wanted to talk about something else. For example, the sound of the word “you” in various languages, or what came after writing, if we started at its limit. Even when I didn’t know what I meant, I felt like I was getting somewhere. Even when the images fell out of our conversations I didn’t mind. We were still speaking, and so were they.

At a conference, a man presented a talk which included a super cut of young women whose videos consisted solely of them asking for video ideas. In each video they looked directly into their webcam, asking if anyone had any suggestions for them, ideas for future projects. He talked about an emptiness that he perceived in these videos. A video about another video, yet to be made. A call anticipating a response. The women are speaking to an imagined community in a kind of sureness. Someone must be listening, or else, why the images. Or else, why make at all. They understand images the same way I do—they are an excuse, a tear onto an otherwise. A way. 

I don’t know now if I can even say if meaning comes after or before. It’s as though meaning is some other thing, out there with having something to say and the desire to be given the right name. That’s not to say that there isn’t direction or something being traced—a moment, attended to the way someone asking you the right question is, finally, a kind of relief, even if nothing changes in the answering. Some problems are matters of dislocation, wavering in the kind of place making that is nothing other than sitting down for coffee across from a friend, or the kind of orienting that's settled without question. As in, I’m sleeping here, on the couch for a week. As in, we are both leaving, already gone. 

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