It was such a pleasure to visit you on Monday! You were so generous with your time and words. Loved seeing your work! Only wish we could have keep talking. Thanks for your directions getting back to Williamsburg. I managed to avoid the hideous traffic on the BQE.
I've been thinking about a few options for words/phrases, which I'm sending you here:
see what shape this takes
while u wait
the stock of available reality
inaccurate transmission of inessential content
I have a couple of favorites but I won't tell you which it is so as not to predispose you. I wonder which of these has legs for you? Look forward to hearing from you!
04/13/2012 @ 11:39am
I saw your email come in, but I am not reading it until I transcribe the notes from our visit….which I'd like to say put a wonderful amount of AIR into what i've been working on this week!
A super pleasure to meet you and chat…..I envy your students for all the fine thinking you're helping them with…and, excited for our collaboration!
shiny bits from our meeting….
…mumbling as out of sync for a reason….a disruption, both physical and mental….something that wants to be said but stuck for complex reasons inside the sayer…one of the OED definitions of mumble is to fondle with the lips….mumble = animal linguistics…..a deliberate keeping in the dark.
…words and stories reside inside you as memories….instance when looking for specific words or pieces of narrative or meaning leads to learning that you have re-invented story or meaning.
...the process of working leads to starts and stops where working in one area releases stalls in other areas….working on something by not working on it…playing hard to get…how we can position ourselves for surprise….a channeling.
…poetry as mirroring something in public that is going on in language.
marbles in the mouth
get the marbles out of your mouth….be clear…out with it.
marbles also used to elicit correct pronunciation and diction…eliza doolittle.
Demosthenes, THE Greek orator 384 B.C. to 322 B.C, who put stones in his mouth to perfect his words….to eliminate uhs and ums.
the paintings i have been working on with balls in the mouth…are they mumbling?
remembering the Robert Frank photo from Exile on Main Street LP (Rolling Stones) that includes 3 ball Charlie photo (from 30s/40s Freak Show in Times Sq., he could put three balls in his mouth and whistle)…photo from The Americans.
Gobstoppers (gob is slang for mouth) / jawbreaker
04/13/2010 @ 12:20 PM
I really dig BLINDSPOTS....what's your favorite?
04/13/2012 @ 7:00PM
Hey there! I emailed you earlier but the email bounced back because your
mailbox is full. Here's what I wrote:
Hello hello EJ!
I love your notes. They remind me that I also thought of "out of sync" as
a possibility. Love the idea of disruption too. And marbles in the mouth:
"mouth balls"? Hmmm. Too many options. Is there a phrase or word that
speaks to you the most?
Anyway, I do like BLINDSPOTS but I also like WHILE U WAIT. And maybe also
What say you?
04/14/2012 @ 2:40 AM
Damn, thought I fixed the email thing....
while you wait is good...reminds me that I need to send you the Walt Whitman "what waits is in its place..." also implicative of fast fixing & 20th c. American efficiency, and neon signs...
And, mouth balls is very funny....sounds like moth balls....or something kinda rude....
I keep coming back to blind spot though....two very visual words that refer to place you cannot see...also reminds me of your description of being a suspect translator of own your work....ie anxiety about a real or imagined blind spot?
Yr thoughts?....Best! EJ
04/14/2012 @ 10:57 AM
Hey hey EJ,
You know, I think you're right on about blind spot! The more I think about it as a neon, the more sense it makes to me: it's exposing blind spots, announcing them, or speaking to our anxiety that we might be revealing that which we cannot see about ourselves to others. It's great. Question: should it be one word, two, singular, plural? I think I prefer two words, singular, as you have it. Will it be juxtaposed to an image?
I do like mouth balls... makes me think of COJONES! Painting with your dick on (is that your phrase verbatim?), or in the words of Lisa Yuskavage, you can't be a bottom as a painter, you have to be a top! But my fear is that it could be a bit cryptic for others.
04/14/2012 @ 11:59 AM
I like the singular, two words as well.
And, I like the idea of juxtaposing neon with an image.
Would it be too much to have one more coffee to toss around words, ideas & image possibilities?
I have NEVER heard this Lisa Yuskavage top/bottom idea, but I love....when we were discussing this whole business, I had said, "get your artdick up." Of course painting with your dick ON, is an even better translation.
Anyway....I too dig the balls, cojones, moth balls, poetics, but agree that a search for BLIND SPOT will dig up some interesting bits!
If you have time for another coffee, I can meet you wherever convenient, and can do early if that is a more free time in your day.
04/14/2012 @ 12:44 PM
Ha! Get your artdick up is much better! Yes to coffee, can we do it next week sometime? I have a big day on Monday... After that things open up. I can come to your studio again if you'd like. Or we could meet somewhere close to my work and your place. (I'm in Fort Greene from Tuesday thru Friday).
Apr 24, 2012, at 10:36 AM
Good to see you on Saturday…below are some notes from our conversation...
• I found it interesting how you couldn't actually recall where your inspiration for the word(s) blind spot originated…it's as if your inspiration for blind spot resides in your blind spot.
• As we tried to unpack how blind spot came to be, were soon talking about the marbles in the mouth phrase, which soon had us talking about stammering, lisping, and the power of speech spoken well…
• We talked about your love of idioms….divide and conquer….pequeño detalle…and the humor of 'small details.'
• I had mentioned that the blind spot test was like a Yantra (यन्त्र), the Sanskrit word for "instrument" or "machine". Much like the word 'instrument' itself Yantra can stand for symbols, processes, automata, machinery or anything that has structure and organization, depending on context.
• somehow this led to discussing how we were enabling lots of little performances...the reading of the instructions for the blind spot test and subsequent blind spot finding being a performance of ONE.
• we talked humor….
• the joke of trying to find something that by definition is not findable….the blind spot being an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality.
• and that the test for the blind spot looks so much like a big red eyeball!
• Lastly, the humor of this lo-fi test having an element of electricity / neon light, that makes this an electric illuminated blind spot test…
I'll be installing the blind spot piece next Monday at the BPC, and seeing you on the 2nd….looking forward!
April 30, 2012 @ 2:45 PM
Dear EJ and Tam,
A few thoughts on blind spots. I want to continue mulling over the yantras... fascinating concept.
By now you must know what my biggest blind spot concerns: TIME! It’s as if my mind militated against the way in which time regiments our bodies. Or is it the other way around? Is my body as regulated by time combating my mind’s denial? I cannot register time—I keep thinking it will adjust to my will; that it will behave according to my needs. But it follows its own accord, & I’m inevitably, recurrently defeated by it. Which is the reason why even though I said I’d have more notes for you on Saturday night, I’m only able to write them now, Monday, when you must be installing the blind spot test.
The biggest irony of the test being that the possibility of locating a blind spot still doesn’t prevent you from having it. Its simple deterrent: movement. I find such consolation in that. Shifting viewing positions fast enough is bound to give you a fuller view.
Have you noticed how once you focus on something all these disparate things appear to relate to it? In planning for my class today, I came across the following passage by Heriberto Yépez, a writer from Tijuana: these characters decide to spend the night together “to see what happens.” Yépez writes: “I thought seeing what happens was impossible. To see requires involvement. And once you get involved, you see nothing.”
This is what happens to me with time, I think. I get involved in what I’m doing. And if I’m really involved, the first thing I stop seeing is the clock. I’m in a zone where instrumental time is not valid. (I had an image of soft clocks all of a sudden.)
Epistemological blind spots = ideology (Marx) and/or unconscious (Freud)
I keep trying to remember how I went from marbles in the mouth (both what unclear, garbled enunciation sounds like, and Demosthenes’s method to rid himself of stammering) to blind spots. The connection has flashed through my mind so quickly a couple of times, I’m unable to grasp it. Perhaps in writing it will reveal itself again. When I mentioned to my friend Raphael Rubinstein that we were collaborating, he asked me what I was writing. I was mortified to have no answer. You and I had just decided to have the instructions for the blind spot test be the sole accompanying text. You had mentioned that Tamara and Lily were worried also that my voice in the piece would be lost. What if blind spot equaled this voice that’s not heard? A voice whose unshaped utterances are in the process of being articulated? That is, before the said is said, it’s shapeless, indiscernible—it can’t be processed. A subject’s interiority is invisible until it produces utterances that then point to it. But its products, the utterances, only exist once they’ve departed from it, and made exterior. Can’t the same be said about light?
Looking forward to Wednesday. If there's anything I can help with let me know.