Y OF H
Y OF H
INTERIOR DIAGRAM VS. INNER FEELINGS: It is a well known (fact) that textual (novelistic) operations of reading are rarely hallucinogenic or based on chance. Those that are are rare or vaguely indeterminate and hence only intermittently pleasurable. Those that are not are considered mawkish or experimental. These (rotating) intervals or surrounds of reading matter can be taken (imitatio) ‘of the lifestyles.’ The best books are the ones that read like paintings and the best paintings are the ones that read like quotation marks. As Pater (and Plato before him) noted, painting and poetry are forms of cultural impatience and the uninhabitable. As such they function like historical diagrams in verso or photographic negatives. They punctuate given space with hallucinogenic color because they are in color. For example, painting is dead or painting is beautiful because it generates one word after another.
As any novelist (who was once a painter) will tell you, color is a narrative device. Unfortunately, in 99% of painted works, color becomes an addiction that cannot be sequenced. As any painter recognizes, it would be nice to create paintings that didn’t have to be looked at but could be read, like paintings of oil paint or kitchen appliances that look “just like” paintings. Only by losing sight of something do we truly feel the thing known as feeling. That is why every time one looks at a painting one is really looking at the diseases of the eye (i.e. painting as therapy) and their numerous controls of color, i.e. their minutely knit parables of astonishment, surveillance, and funereal pomp. That is why disco and especially television are more beautiful than any painting could ever be. Watching TV is the closest thing to blindness that most of us will know. TV erases our eyes at the moment we are seeing it. The most beautiful painting, like a landscape, would make one wait and wait and wait. A very beautiful landscape would turn its own pages. In so doing it would make us forget the things we are seeing, like the reflections on a mirror ball. In the disco, both television and history are dead compared to the feelings we were ‘just having.’ The problem with most paintings is that they are totally non-addictive. They deliver feelings when what we really want is to lose our feelings in the sequence they were happening in. Painting should aspire not to the condition of looking but to the condition of blindness.
Now sampling: someone (I think it was a painter) once said, “Time is the absence of perfection.” Nothing could be further from the truth. It is necessary to add: “painted perfection.” Instead of historical time, or lapsed time, one would prefer non-painted colors, boredom, endless duration, and invisible forms of practice. The year is 2002 and nothing that is painted can be imperfect on a daily basis. Instead of painting the objects (portraiture) of a year (history), it would be nice to paint the non-commemorative, the ahistorical colors that fall upon our retinas. Like novels lacking in suspense, such minute colors are very addictive. Novel = painting = historical pun. Contrary to anything a painter might tell you, color is not the best way the human mind knows of controlling one’s feelings. Nor should color act as a surveillance system of the visible world. Painting should not be about the emotions; it should be about the escape from their difficulties. The ideal painting would be as intermittent and as soothing as possible. It would remove the colors from the air at a constant rate. All colors, like the feelings, exist to be sequenced and then forgotten. The perfect colors would resemble something blind, an alternate social system, a diagram, or flow chart or a color wheel—anything that had learned to imagine its demise like a photograph of a painting.
TIME (INTERVAL) VS. NON READING From a temporal position, addiction knows no cause and appears without memory. The best words expire like photographs of themselves. As such, the space for reading and for experiencing one’s own reading might take place backwards and as if it were erasing itself ? words can be read as an equation for any number of diagrammatic surfaces: inexactitude, thought, the false arc of the historical. All reading should be a flow chart of reading. In this way it approaches the condition of painting. All reading should inhabit a decorated space. All reading should be ahistorical and undesigned. Reading should aspire to the most taciturn forms of expression such as greeting cards, photographs of outer space, video monitors turned off, slightly incandescent light bulbs, automobile windshields at night, billboards, cheap but glossy high quality reproductions (of photos or paintings), banners, flags. A book should reflect the symbols that pass before it before they become emotions. In the ugliest of books, all emotions become the symbols of things that they are not. Like the Pantone Color chart, the beautiful book is a diagram of ‘historical inexactitude’ which reflects (by turning) something ‘not there.’ What is ‘not there’ is opposed to what appears in a mirror. It should never be necessary to turn a page when reading. The page should turn before you get there. This is known as history.
? ITINERARY/STOPWATCH What is the opposite of truth? Imagine yourself reading. Then imagine reading backwards so that nothing is variable (e.g. Huebler Variable Piece No. 5) or allowed to move forwards. Reading is the most pleasing of surfaces and no text shall be designed to please. Every panel is a shortcut to the things it has just passed. Like a swimmer caught in the butterfly stroke, movement takes place in multiple directions. The page is a quadrant filled with various codes that resemble flags. A man is drowning. A woman is sighing. A pet is taken out for a walk. In the fourth quadrant, which is usually left blank, no thing emotional shall be set in motion by random memory, or mirror emotions which appear to be un-moving.
PONY LUSTRUM CAUSEWAY
ELO-CUT-ION Like the symbols for water, anything less than language would be plainly moving. Anything emotional would be less visual. We are used to the thing known as truth, which we like to hallucinate in place of beauty. Thus, whenever we read we are composed of our own wasted motion much like the butterfly stroke. In place of memory imagine a room diagrammed with various directions. All the colors that we love are not there and should be hallucinated. All rooms that are not there should be carried by their colors somewhere else. The problem with a painting is that it is never imaginary.
FIG. 23 VARIABLE PIECES
LANG + PREFACE It is often forgotten that the human retina is a reading machine designed to paint words rather than read or compose them. Nothing that is read should be read any longer by the human brain but only by the inhuman retina. Contra Duchamp, all works of reading shall be looked at rather than read. Hence the eye never reads; it merely gazes at what it is reading. The eye is unknown and langorous, like water and food.