November 14, 2019
The descending and then shattering, like a bubble disintegrating on tarmac. A series of identical keys on a ring. What are they for? Morning after we walk around the facility and learn more about the flora, you pull an ornament from a tree, this is an empire apple, you say. You name the others as we walk along the rows: ashmead, winesap, jupiter. We clean the dirt off each other's backs when we go inside. The air is warm and dry, far from the cool and wet veil of the fall morning. The thing about randomness, you say, is that it is full of patterns. I laugh and say yes, not knowing how else to react. Inside and clean, we eat oatmeal and run diagnostics. You can low-hear the electricity from the transformers outside the facility when you open your mouth to speak and the room quiets.
The problem with generative art is that it only has as much meaning as you want. The victory of horse-ebooks was that it was partially human, just repurposed. It was the unfunny essence of comedy -- the reframing.
We act as if we have a limited amount of things we can inject meaning into, and this is largely careful. But I think maybe we are overly careful. That we should be freer in assigning portents and omens and hints of the future and hints of the present, and connections between things, and examining the fractal pattern of our lives.
Anne Carson quoting Hegel below:
"The function of a sentence like 'Reason is Spirit' was not to assert a fact (he said) but to lay Reason side by side with Spirit and allow their meanings to tenderly mingle in speculation." I was overjoyed by this notion of a philosophic space where words drift in gentle mutual redefinition of one another.
So what do we do with this? Maybe nothing. Maybe throw it all into the lake. Maybe get into a fight. Maybe we go back to the places we haunted in our teens and see if they are still beautiful, see if they still rise in our minds around us like bamboo.
We say that it takes two. I think this is wrong. I'm not sure how, but I don't buy it.
Have you ever heard the story of Odysseus? How he thought his children were his enemies, how he hunted them, how the gods cursed his eyes. I do not know about you, but in my childhood I thought the story of Odysseus was about the journey he went on, that the journey was a physical one, that the physicality was the ocean and the boat, but the physicality had been his hands, his eyes, and the hard light that entered them, or didn't.
What do you even do with time? Do you consume, do you create, do you signal, do you impress, do you eat, do you fuck, do you see beautiful things? Do you hold your breath, do you want to kiss someone who looks overwhelmed? Do you build something with your bare hands: a clay pot, a floral arrangement, a bas-relief?