...record, delay, relay,

a system
through               distance

to listen...

1.01 Hold

Clayton McCracken


"Hold" is a looping audio-visual experiment in which automated voice systems, recorded live through a delay pedal and relayed back via speaker phone, are challenged to listen to themselves for the answers to their own questions. Naturally, like the humans who so carefully programmed their responses, the robots reacted to self-translation with confusion, apologies, and, in some cases, accusations.

These live improvisations were crafted into a precise dance track and, with the help of video synthesizers and vintage video mixers, an audio-reactive composition was generated. The analogue video performance heavily utilizes feedback loops as a mirror of these questions with no answers, no ends, and the impossibility of automated meditation.
—Clayton McCracken


Clayton McCracken is an NYC-based video synthesist specializing in large-scale installation and analogue visual effects.

not quite a word, a hum for sure
—the effort of some sort of understanding?

1.02 Daisies

Aria Aber

Yes or no, yes or how I loved
to skip through papery monsoons
during my youngest days, before
wild chicory moistened the soles
of my hot feet—a slit for yes,
ant hill for no. I know: the pixelated
mush of my belonging to this day
a reverberation of that game—
yes or no, yessa-no, desayuno.
Strawberries and cream. My mind
so well-suited to thrust and thrust
into all I must forget. Once, I was
at a border, inhabiting a body which I
bordered, where I fingered
daisies, graphite, molasses,
broth—there, I dreamed of home
until I coaxed non-grata
to the bridge, until until. All this life
to gather courage to own & call
a thing a name. It came
in brackets, it came brackish:
yes, I was touched. I was a child.
There’s papyrus stretched across
the frame dividing the I of
then from the I of now: Oh,
I cannot save her now.


Clayton McCracken's video "Hold" elucidated confusion and technological miscommunication, which reminded me of the ways in which we are limited, despite our ubiquitous means of connection and availability; but the way the sampled voices melt into a momentary dance tune evinces that out of chaos and mistakes, beauty and creativity can emerge. It's an ancient law. The sample of "yes or no" immediately struck a cord with me, because as a child, I would seek answers through obsessive, child-like rituals - my life was ordered into yes or no questions. The poem operates on the same confused, childlike and musical logic as my childhood obsession.
—Aria Aber


Aria Aber was raised in Germany, where she was born to Afghan refugees. Her work can be found or is forthcoming from The Poetry Review, Best British Poetry, Narrative Magazine, Kenyon Review, and others. She holds an MFA from NYU and is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Ron Wallace poetry fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her debut book HARD DAMAGE won the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be published in September 2019.

or maybe it was cared for, once,
maybe it's recalling.

1.03 Untitled



I was in my home state of North Carolina while making this video and kept thinking about inner-dialogue, recovering memory and connecting dots. I spent many, many years of my life unable to recall my dreams while sleeping but they've been coming back to me for the past year with a lot of familial history and past memories in tow. It feels like a child came to me through Aria Aber's "Daisies" and I wanted to pull that dynamic into a simple trip out on the boat with my father.


Kinlaw is a composer, choreographer and artist focusing on empathic potential and agency developed by performance. Known for both solo works and directing shows with as many as two-hundred performers, Kinlaw dissects themes of power, memory, trauma and connection, resisting corporeal jurisdiction and the ways sociopolitics regulate our bodies. Her work has been featured throughout NYC in institutions like Pioneer Works, Mana Contemporary, National Sawdust, One Skylight Hanson, MoMA, Knockdown Center as well as throughout Europe. Kinlaw has been written about in The New York Times, Art In America, Huffington Post, Art Forum and Pitchfork, amongst others. She co-runs Otion Front Studio, a performance and community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was recently accepted as an artist in residence at MoMA PS1.

how strange it was—to see things left behind
and be glad that one was moved.

1.04 At Home in the Sky

Celeste Byers

Pencil on paper, 11” x 14”

From the first time watching [Sarah Kinlaw's] video, it reminded me of my own experience of home and growing up with my dad flying me around in his Piper Cub, rather than her own dad driving her around in his boat. There was a feeling of calm familiarity in her experience so I decided to adapt her piece into a drawing of my own parallel view in my life. I chose a blue piece of paper to work on because it reminded me of the sky and I found it comforting to know someone else enjoys the similar silence of spending time in their father's element.
—Celeste Byers


Celeste Byers is an artist and enthusiast of the existential from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. Since graduating with a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 2012, she has been working as a freelance illustrator, muralist, and installation artist in the United States, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Australia. Her work is largely inspired by the natural world, inter-dimensional realities, and the subconscious mind, often conveying the mystical nature hidden in everyday life. She hopes to remind others of the magic and beauty of our universe.

Still, in the cruelty of the telling
the landscape is transfixed.

1.05 At Home in the Sky 


Not knowing your gender, you are thrown
across eight windows, open, and I imagine
the feeling of air. Brimming in light,
your ordinary hat and arm thrusting forth
a microphone toward the sun. How do you do, sun?
Its black rods swing through the levitating logic.
I’m behind your back holding the overgrowing
darkness, lines, the chalky extent of room. Only
here: the house of knapsack with first lining
of winter. Some clothes. Peering in or peeled back,
you listen and don’t want to talk. No one knows
where you live, but I do.


The most difficult part of this process was being faithful to the idea of not altering the original piece. I found myself moving towards ekphrasis as a starting point to stay true to the piece itself, but the translation required me to contend with why I write poetry: to say something I would truly want in perpetuity, even if it is nothing. I could not ignore myself as the onlooker, and so I stayed faithful to that, too, and so gave up purity, which isn't much of an idea I really believe in anyway.


Yanyi is a poet and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019). Currently, he is an associate editor at Foundry and an MFA candidate at New York University. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House. Find his recent work in LA Review of Books, VIDA, and Memorious.

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