Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I can remember an interview with someone who couldn't get rid of things in her house, and when asked about a specific item, a moldy box of crackers, she held it and said "But look at it, it has these unique qualities..." I was moved by that statement because I understood it, all of the things around us have qualities that are specific to the things themselves. What is the process that we use to discriminate, to edit some "things" out of our lives while keeping others? This is also true for the crack that is developing on my windshield. Artists are particularly keen on line and line weight, and this, to me, is just a line, but I've been enjoying its meandering path, watching it develop and change and branch off. It's like a drawing, and it's rather graceful. Of course, I will fix the windshield in time, when it becomes a hazard (I suppose that's my method of discrimination) but I have to say that the process of watching it change and grow has been interesting. Why did it make that S turn? Why did it branch off to the right? This weekend I kept thinking that the heat differential between the outside of my car and the inside with the air conditioning would have certainly led to a moment where the whole window just collapsed, but this did not happen... very interesting. I will probably get it fixed soon, but for now, because it's not really interfering with my field of vision, I will just watch the drawing change.

I'm working on an article for the newly formed "Journal of Contemporary Archaeology," and this is a direct response to the "Archaeology of the Anthropocene" session organized by Dr. Matt Edgeworth. My article is concerned with the sonic component of this newly proposed geological epoch. For me, writing is pure joy, otherwise I wouldn't do it. In order to get things flowing, I like to think about something that inspires me or gives me hope or direction or meaning, something that appeals to my dreams of the future, then I can write. I think this is addressed by behavioral psychology, the basic idea being that when one is confronted by a fear, replace the fear with something that you love, and the fear disappears. I find Gordon Hempton's "One Square Inch of Silence" project endlessly fascinating, he's trying to carve out a no-fly zone around a particular square inch in the rainforest in eastern Washington, a single geographic point where no anthrophony intrudes. Thinking about this project serves as a springboard, or perhaps a launching pad, for all kinds of other thoughts pertaining to the soundscape of the anthropocene.

At the same time I'm working for some friends who are exhibiting saintly patience with my progress, because it's been just really too hot to get any work done. I had heat stroke a few years ago and it makes it impossible for me to work in the heat. But it's coming together..., the grain of the rift sawn white oak panels looks like rain. I'm just trying to let the wood be itself.  I think I will have to start working in the very early morning, that's the only way...