Louise and Andrew have just combined...
And Louise is like - ‘who are you anyway. Just tell me how you feel.’
She is also like:
Hello? IS everything ok? Where did you put yourself in our video baby? Where did you lay a copper egg? Wish we were sitting beside you, reading over your shoulder, walking with you between us, answering questions, being quiet in the museum together, brushing our sleeves against yours.
Andrew invited Louise to let him be her parasite.
It’s a known thing, 1 for two things 1. The other “known thing” is female on screen
2. Drones fly through the sky so...
The screen goes black. Some binaural music softly begins and a warning message flashes across the screen. We’re just like, WATCH OUT”
Would you like to get to know me?
What would you like to know about the world?
Andrew invited Louise to join him because he liked a video she had made. He wanted to put his video next to her video because he thought they went together and because he likes hanging out with Louise, and more generally the connection between peers. Louise realized that the films do go together, actually. She felt the whole thing to be ‘feminist enough’. Female characters are one obvious way they are related. But Louise’s film has a clear connection to real world events (she performs a character who performs - via skype - for a retired US air force pilot who was the first person to fire a missile from a drone) whereas Andrew’s film places the characters, Trisha Brown and animations of the human scale figure from Google Sketch-up, in an abstract encounter with his body concealed in reality, before his screen.
There is a type of agency that isn’t of our form (a human form). The "girl on screen" is a proxy as much as an icon, sharing her world and its consequences with the artist and viewer, replacing them in the realms of circulation, image, and fantasy. This cultural fulcrum holds time that we do not.
We’re dazed. We are here in the dark.
We are holding hands, trying to not look directly at it in case that makes it stop.
Questions about our bodies, and women’s bodies, virtual bodies, labor, abstraction and alienation, fuel the agency that SHE-as-cultural-fulcrum has had a long history with. Perhaps identifying with those agencies creates an empathy that is better suited to issues (of power, gender, war) that are intractable.
It lasts maybe 7 minutes. It makes my breath catch in my throat. Like falling again and again without reaching the ground. It is woozy and jarring and sad, or fucking annoying, and disgusting or boring. Fear and Loathing.
But like, your body is feeling tense and eager.
I sat for a bunch of hours in front of a computer, fantasising, asking for dialog, imposing it, confronting a sense of bankruptcy, dragging in this absence of my body.
I get quite nervous about these videos; I’m fearful of the fantasy of a split between technological culture and non-technological bodies. This split often leads to a denial of the marginalised people and practices whose lives, bodies, images, proxies, and parasitisms have intimately fostered our different ways of being and working together. To deny the way these people and cultures are still materially involved in the existence of technologies and tool is also to erase history.
I’m fearful of a reification of the given masked as critique.
IS THERE TEXT HERE? DO WE FILL THIS? DO WE LET IT BREATHE?
Your silence exists as does my self gathering. But so does the almost absolute silence of the world's dawning. In such suspension, before every utterance on earth, there is a cloud, an almost immobile air. The plants already breathe, while we still ask ourselves how to speak to each other, without taking breath away from them. George W. Bush did 9/11.
SLowly, slowly, the black turns into a navy, that starts to slowly brighten into the most dazzling blue you’ve ever seen. The black becomes engorged with color. It’s as satisfying as purple, as rich as ruby, as mysterious as forest green, but it’s blue, without really being blue. I’ve read somewhere about a fantasy of a sensuous rapturous sound, someone is asking, can the commodity speak, and he answers the question, no, because if the commodity could speak it would say… I don’t remember what, but they utter the impossible sounds of the commodity speaking. It is a bit like that but with blue flickers.
IS THERE TEXT HERE? DO WE FILL THIS? DO WE LET IT BREATHE?
We are looking at a computer desktop. It’s a Mac operating system, Skype is running, iTunes is also open in the background. We can hear someone breathing and tapping away at the keyboard. The skype window is open at a conversation with Scott. In the sidebar we scan through Louise's recent calls, and we read in the thread that Louise has sent Scott an email to read at 8.30. This was sent some minutes ago. We wait. We look at Erikah Badu and Eric Clapton. We are expectant of a call. Moments pass. I jump. The sound of an incoming skype call startles me every time I hear it. “Hello!!” He says, he looks comfortable. “Hey, what’s up?” plays from the app on my phone. It’s a recording of my own voice. We had planned ahead of time to “get to know each other” during this performance, so he asks me about what it’s like to be me. I want to know what it’s like to be him, but I can’t ask it directly. We have a conversation that lasts for 30 minutes. I dance for him, I ask him to touch his own face and imagine it is his mother's face. I ask him if he thinks I’m brave. She tells him “I think you’re brave” - Her tone is so inviting he smiles, masking her cynicism for her and barely registering the wound that’s been left on his soul.
I’m playing with Scott. In order for me to play with Scott I give him space to play with me. I tell him that “I’ll do anything.” I’ll do anything to get him to talk about being a drone pilot, about being brave, about being a murderer, about being a man. I never hate him and I never make him hate me. I don’t want to have an unpleasant encounter. I let us both expose sides of ourselves and we do it differently from each other. I don’t know. There is something so special about being a man, she said blankly. I knew how to manipulate him at a distance without him really ever knowing that he was exposing himself, and I didn’t do it maliciously. And he didn’t talk about what I wanted to talk about. He told me a drone was a bumble bee. Does he think I’m a fucking idiot or is he just extremely comfortable in this situation. In omitting what he knew I was expert in, and in that I didn’t really mind, there was space that was born between us. Now, you can fill that space with whatever you want.
This orgasmic strength (http://www.covenberlin.com/potentia-gaudendi/), the most abstract and the most material labor force, must have an aside.
Afterwards, we both exhaled and lay down.