at the sf, inconvenient glaciation: Day Eight

You can phone your glacier and listen to him die.

– BBC World Service, Go Digital, 12/6/7

There is demand for this product, allegedly. Developed by Vodaphone Germany and demonstrated – ‘exhibited’ would be too strong a word – at the Venice Biennale, it gives you a realtime glacial death-rattle and splish-splosh audio connection that also enhances your reading experience, if you happen to be in some ‘corner’ with a book and care to call. Venice is the place to be, because design is going to be increasingly important to technological products and artists are the ones who bring us the future today in the world of design: they look to the future with optimism. As for the glacier, presumably, he does not.

Today was possibly the eighth day – for convenience, I’ll call it that – of work at the soap face. Since it was the first time in almost two weeks we’ve had a quorum, we began by reading the 13 texts so far listed as ‘renderings’ (see pages, left). I took the ‘dancer’s’ text, “plateau: eighth rendering,” which doesn’t in fact occur as eighth in the sequence. (I’ll publish the performance order as if anybody’s interested in due course.) For the interested reader, these 13 constitute the body of the work, to be supplemented perhaps by a further text or two, dependent on how it plays.

It read well, which could be counted as disappointing for a work intended as ‘open;’ meaning, it came off the page as finished, but, then, I made the mistake I perennially make of asking for a metatextual reading, of the why and not the what: why this? and not something else? Why like this? and not unlike it? Which was not to ask, Do you like it? But… My questions ran aground and should have been replaced by the injunction simply to think about it, to think, and to make the world in which these texts can have life. And be damaged. And by which they can be opened up.

After that, things went glacial. Ice melted, not holding its form. The demonstration of what I meant by unacting became anaerobic. It lacked breath. Too much breath already expended on pointless exegesis. Our day suffered from ‘continuous partial attention’ paid, without sufficient ‘fractional ownership,’ or sufficient value shared. ‘Share value,’ however, was not ‘purposely’ reduced, so no litigious action taken against the anactive CEO.