2014

Platform aphasia: People start to operate under the implicit acknowledgment that there will be repetition and duplication in their speech. People say, “I don’t know if I told you this,” not because their memories are failing but because they are repeating stories and phrases to multiple people on various platforms, a variation on repeating things to yourself. In his novel, “10:04,” Ben Lerner repeats a scene where he eats octopus, repeats seeing a painting, and describes instantly misremembering a trip over one bridge because he’s looking at one (Brooklyn) while walking over another (Manhattan). He never says the word Instagram but that application is implicit: if your photo, the one you save and post and circulate, is of the Brooklyn Bridge, your memory may eventually form around that image and overwrite the reality of having walked over the other bridge one mile to the north. The word palimpsest comes up at least once in “10:04,” which describes this use of language. We overwrite ourselves quickly, forgetting which platform we were supposed to be using, posting and recording and reading and linking and talking, ungluing the idea of any present being the important present. But without a present there is no simultaneity and without a simultaneity there is no politically significant Us, which is a necessary magnetic pole of the collective You. How can We reach You? Where are you? When are you?

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST

This was finished roughly a year ago. I shot the footage. Sachar Mathias edited both sound ("August Song" by Ui) and image. In the course of this thing, you will see both Catherine Lacey and Emmy The Great. Everything was filmed in LA.

LAFAYETTE AVENUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

The church is on Lafayette Avenue. It's two blocks from 25 South Portland, where we lived during the seventies. I learned how to play pool, piano and guitar at this church. I met my first crush there and was yelled at by enormous pastor for liking music more than religion. He wasn't wrong. (Photo by Nikola Tamindzic.)

A REDUCTIVE THEORY OF WRITING

Writers tend to fall into three groups: one, two, or more. This means, at root, they write about one one person, the interaction between two people, or describe big narratives with a large cast of characters. 

ONE: Franz Kafka, Ottessa Moshfegh, Lydia Davis

TWO: Mary Gaitskill, Norman Rush, Zadie Smith

MORE: Anton Chekhov, Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood

PEARLS BEFORE

I saw Pearl Harbor and The Explosions open for someone, maybe The Boomtown Rats. (That doesn't sound right.) I assume people find this kind of music corny. Live television is unusually hard, and I doubt many bands could sound this good in this situation now. Pearl is very good at moving, so dedicated that I can't figure out if she's a total dork or a completely suave kickboxer hero. Maybe being both is the goal.