05 May 2007

gingras in circles

Just got out of a performance of "CYP17" at Danspace at St. Mark's. Wow. It was incredible dancing. André Gingras, choreographer; Kenneth Flak, dancer. That, on top of interesting conversations with Sueyoung earlier today and finding the Dave Hickey essay. Somehow, Sueyoung and I were discussing Benjamin and my thesis that he prefigured social computing in The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. The distance between the author and the reader lessened. Now, with blogging, we are all authors. We are all readers. Sueyoung said I was post-poststructuralist. She said that she'd been mulling over the distance of author and reader, the return and ubiquity of the author, the post-Benjamin rebirth of the author, going in circles. And then I happened upon the Dave Hickey essay in Harvard design magazine, number 25, fall 2006/winter 2007.

One of my most memorable theatrical experiences was "In circles" by Al Carmines, set to words of Gertrude Stein. I thought he'd largely constructed the script/score from her essays but then found much of it in a collection of her plays. I saw "In circles" when I was in college. Dorothy and I saw it with Richard Barons. We bought the recording and, gradually, the recorded version overtook the memory. The words still reverberate. When anyone says "Messages are received," I hear the singing. It's a little like the reverberations of the words in the work of Nina Katchadourian: "that's amazing" or "in Beirut."

01 May 2007

jenny holzer

Just got home from the ARLIS/NA conference in Atlanta. The programs in general were full of information and interesting. During the convocation reception at the High Museum of Art, I happened upon Jenny Holzer's bench with the slogan that's been on my list of favorite quotes for many years. I scribbled down the text 20 years ago, give or take, from a wall installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. For years, I didn't know the author but, not so long ago, someone referred to it, or part of it, in conjunction with Jenny Holzer. I googled some of the less common words and the attribution was confirmed. As I was standing near the bench, I mentioned to some friends who were standing nearby that I was excited to find the text that was in my commonplace book and they said that they'd just been discussing commonplace books. And earlier in the conference, Kitty Chibnik was telling me about her fascination with The tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about connecting and links between sources of information.

The quote:
More than once I've awakened with tears running down my cheeks,
I have had to think whether I was crying
or whether it was involuntary like drooling.