Cover video by Misha Davidoff
Observing the metamorphosis of the theme from piece to piece, I’m struck by the unexpected affinity between translation and chiaroscuro, and of course with the network of tele-related concepts, as well. The logic of this journal invites the reader to play a game of interpretation: to seek the traces of an idea preserved in its transmissions. From one artist to the next the economy of translation reveals the fragility of the transmission, the possibility of misreading, the certainty of loss. I was tickled, for instance, by Mercedes’ wondering at Austin’s sapacity, at what was meant, and how that apparent miscommunication reflects the imperviousness of the message to corruption. It remains readable, but as something entirely other. So, amid these moments of contingency and accident, what exactly does remain? In each instance the terms of response are but a fragment of what was uttered, and the supposedly underlying connective theme of chiaroscuro flickers at times imperceptibly. I flit among the pieces, disordering them, to see what light passes between Rachel and Lydia, what is lost to shadow. For a moment I impossibly glimpse my body in the video static of Through a Field; in the frenetic montage of Francisco’s film I feel the angled cuts of Luca’s renderings. Somehow the shape of each piece is illuminated through the prism of the others, but the source of light is diffused, scattered, and untraceable.
Rachel Elizabeth Jones: “chiaroscuro morphed and maintained itself in yellow and in symmetry”
I am typing with one hand (my right), soaking my left in something from the drugstore to remove my first gel manicure, which I got with Sadie in Mexico City. By miracle, I was able to see Lydia Kern’s Tocar el Suelo during my visit. Through Tele-, I just learned that “capicúa” means palindrome, thanks to Luca Salas Bassani Antivari, who responded to my apparatus with his Capicúa — in all honesty, I hadn’t considered a palindrome as existing outside of text before. I appreciate it.
I’m in awe of where and how the theme of chiaroscuro morphed and maintained itself in yellow and in symmetry: Luca’s palindrome became Michelle’s symmetrical dance; Francisco’s yellow tree called back to my “golden thread,” drawn from Benjamin’s candle in the dark. The cables that Eli’s red shirt and blue shirt hang from uncannily bear the shape as my apparatus’s yellow rope, which he wouldn’t have known. Sadie finds another palindrome in Austin’s video length, 1:01, and it’s strange to hear her voice from the computer. I learn of Lydia’s breast biopsy through her statement for “fruit play (shaking in the wind)” and how this had already happened when I saw her in February, a whole new installation into the future. Her friends wire the fruits like a telephone.
Altogether, it’s hard not to think of translation as a metaphor for everything and my brain feels scrambled and invigorated, particularly as I read Faith and Madeleine’s conclusion that centers around metaphor. I like knowing that we were all united by a certain urgency in this process, even though a week for one person could be so much more or less time for another.
Francisco Márquez: “the feeling of wind passing through a hanging blue shirt”
Honestly, it's hard to say how I felt when I saw my piece and its response piece. The first time around I was drawn by the singular, casual, and tender beauty of Eli's piece. A part of me felt recognized in the intimacy of the object's smallness, by the feeling of wind passing through a hanging blue shirt, as if lovers had exchanged them, and the disorienting nature of an object known to be small presented as sublimely large. My piece was built around intimacy, sound, and movement. Ironically, Eli made something that was extremely still. This tension was thrilling in that I could begin to try and track Eli's mind-road down to when it turned away from video, from the digital, from a multitude of times, into a quieter distillation of an overflow, into one time, into paper. It took me a few sessions with the pieces to reach these thoughts.
Apart from my own piece, I was also surprised by the presence of video throughout the issue and their varying tones. I think there is something to be said about the issue's DNA in the moving choices of mediums. I was shocked at the difference between each artists' aesthetic, which only inspired me to want to confront the notion of collaboration with a bit more bravery, as we tend to shy away from people's work that is too different from our own.
In this experiment, we were joined by sharing, by our many vibrations humming in sync.
Lydia Kern: “I was 'communicating' with her... without knowing to whom I was responding”
The realization that the poem I translated was written by a friend, Sadie, was a sweet one. It's interesting to me that I was “communicating” with her through translating her work, without knowing to whom I was responding at the time. The shared intention, energy, and pondering over the same poem created an invisible connection that was fun to uncover.