Free Association, 2021
For seven days of stage four lockdown, I returned to Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967), a 41-minute experimental film that zooms slowly through a room. The resultant text is an experiment in repetition, attention, constraint, digression, boredom.
time’s creep isn’t seamless sometimes it jolts
through windows, the world moves a frame imposed on time’s passing arresting time is impossible, even in an empty room white flashes we ourselves flash and yearn (john berryman) celluloid refracted through vhs refracted through vimeo the limits of vision inversion a negative of nothingness presence seeks an absence even in an empty room, perception does backflips.
once upon a ____ yearning for narrative’s arc clutching at the curling helix of a kite tail now, i slouch into not-knowing all i want is to pin down the shape of a day like bernadette mayer chopping vegetables, how rapt attention is to doing this as if it were a story an exercise in small powers to choose one’s frame.
a man falls to the ground we cannot bear it time slouches forward of course, we bear it the camera leaves the dead behind and the sound crests animal buzz of convenience store neon the mozzie’s deadly dance slow waltz of water and air in a room within a room within a room et al my dad texts to remind me freedom is a state of mind.
laura mulvey subverted the male gaze by filming a sphinx under sharp skies michael snow shows zigzags of clouds ripples on water film’s flickering skin like visible pore craters, like death unsloughed like, the dark side of the moon pastoral geometry spied from a plane going nowhere the sirens fall silent.
in park slope c&c learnt to time their lives with the ambulance’s wail. when they clocked off each night, they leant out the window and clapped for the frontline.
The full essay can be read here.