The Purple Cloud
Revolution and Rehabilitation, Red Bird Studio, Montreal 2011
Curated by Robin Simpson
Psychic Studio Visit
by Zin Taylor
6pm to 7pm on a Sunday in late 2010
Rue de la Senne 18
Things in the air
I think about the air. Tuning what’s there into a focused thought.
Are the Objects in your area affecting the psychic-air?
An environment affects the thoughts of a form. I’m thinking first of humans, but animals, plants, a stiff piece of cardboard in a wet room soon goes limp, the existence of these forms are adjusted by the environments they are present in. If a room is cold, action is taken to make it warm, or is not taken, then affecting the form in a different way. If a room was damp, the cardboard would curl and soften.
So, has a concern to this outcome produced an impulse to arrange a setting for the proliferation of what you are requesting with this studio visit?
Rugs and candles don’t count. I imagine a series of unfinished thoughts scattered around the space - do these thoughts have names? Is this visit somehow linked to a larger idea, and will it direct several ideas and partial thoughts into motion? Not so much a question, more a logical, and somewhat obvious, statement.
This studio visit is borderline absurd. I’m skeptical. That’s ok though. I’ll go along with it. But I feel like this is some sort of set-up, so I’m cautious. I’m going to trust this. I’ll explain this feeling a little later in the text.
I get the need for displacement, feeling out of context to address a topic from a new direction. The topic is your work, or your intent, and how this intent is producing forms within the context of art. As awkward of a reduction as this may be, I think it is relevant to this discussion/projection.
There is a lot of romanticism going on here, time-traveling with thoughts and intent. I think this has something to do with how you and I have hung out recently, Paris for instance. That late night tour of the city where you recounted past stories while pointing out the places you lived in and visited, where theses stories could have taken place, all the while Robin and I are trying to find a place to pee.
I see the telepathic impulse as a way out, or away from, an art-centric discourse that is not interesting or satisfying you. Does this action of yours have a relationship to reaction? In other words, what is this for?
You: Abstract connections, a common thing in the air.
(But this is based on what we spoke about in the past, in Paris. Its also something I address in my book, Plants do things, so I’m unfairly influencing and insinuating this question/answer)
Are you aware of this David Askevold work? (link sent through Skype)
The structure of a séance is used to visualize a performance and installation. The aim is to communicate with the dead. A fictive premise producing factual form. That’s how I like to look at it. My own language is deciding that description.
I think I may have distracted you by sending this thought-link.
I feel like I’ll let you down with what you may expect from this. I’m a rather suspicious person when it comes to situations like this, where a question is asked and generosity on my end is taken and taken. I’m composing work for you while you’re having a nap. I trust you though. This I know. So the former is not really relevant. I did think I should bring this up. Something worth mentioning, that’s all.
Is telepathy a way of conversing with influence? Thinking about past people? I think now of the Situationist International and your desire to inhabit a writing style of one of their members, habitation within an Apartment of History. Rent is paid with dedicated TIME. Maybe these visits are attempts to compose an astral map of discourse, a blossoming cloud-like structure where additions are made when a character is interviewed. This video about an ant colony could be a real-world analog for your impulse towards constructing a formal representation of thought. Its common sense that ants have homes. Flooding an abandoned ant colony with 70 tones of liquid cement then spending 5 weeks excavating the loose earth to reveal the hardened arteries and chambers is quite a thing to watch happen. Although the resulting form is almost cliché in its similarity to what scientists would describe as rhizomatic relations within a colony-based mind like Ants. It looks just like that. Of course. How boring.
Maybe this gesture of yours is attempting to dissect and place clouds of narrative influence. Connections of a mental kind posit narration. Narrative would be a natural outcome. You do write, after all. A letter begins and a letter ends. Questions of existence, about that which does not. A connection, between you and I, at this exact point, actually existing because we want it too. This project of yours is allusive that way, it’s behaving like a cloud.
An element of translation comes into frame. I’m thinking of how an individual organizes his or her self verbally, and mentally, in order to present a proposal, a thought. How much of an individual’s program can be identified when the telepathic is the scenario for presentation? Is the telepathic non linear in that regard? Instead of call and response, communication looks closer to a fog-like overlay of two individuals. Red and Blue smoke mingling, the visual record looking like Purple. My cloud talks to your cloud, attempts at authenticity and interest, specifically a person’s willingness to give, to connect outside of a common structure of spoken communication. There is a kind of revolutionary spirit to this, the 60’s drop out, a gesture of disagreement. No. More specifically, what comes after a person says “No”.
Is there a connection to the conception of the Record as a tally of events? How will this action we undertook be represented? Does it need to be? All theses thoughts yet I’m still picking and ordering what comes out, and how, for yours, and others, text based consumption. A certain rub of the visual, where issues of layout and design, of psycho-visual control, congeal when information is measured out with a mood.
I like the gesture of doing this. I don’t know if the same spirit of connection can really be translated into an abstract record of what went down during this hour. I find that so much of this is about sharing. A willingness to share and understand the thoughts I accrue within a particular time frame. Wanting a connection so a connection is made. Falling in love. Voluntarily placing ones self in a situation where decisions are made and action is the outcome. There is the idea of “No” as mentioned above, but there is also “Yes” and the aftermath of that decision.
Q: Have there been telepathic arguments during this series of yours?
A: Sensed animosity maybe. Obdurance, like now.
Maybe these questions are like that, a resistant kind of poking to identify the point of entry vs. the point of presentation. Walking down a street vs. Standing against a wall. You figure it out. The cloud just got a little more blue with that one. I have a feeling phenomenology will probably come up here. Subjects producing objects, objects producing subjects. This talk/visit/text producing specific renderings of ourselves.
Does your role in Pavilion Projects (PP), a persona of a curator/enabler, contribute to this idea to produce this work/meetings? What I mean is, are you fed up with what you’ve seen and gone through? Has the past become a kind of home one does not wish to visit? Know it to forget it? I say this because I do believe you are trying to name, or unearth, or make apparent the kind of superstitious ethereal thing that we may feel is there but can’t name, psych-zeitgeist, psychgeist. I like to imagine that your role within PP has subjected you to a plethora of difference and thought in a very direct and hands on fashion and that you may in fact have that adept level of insight, a Phil Spectre per se, where knowledge transforms into an ability to edit and produce. I’m talking about vantage points. You wanting to separate yourself from what came before, from beating around the bush, stab it so it can’t slip away and miss the point. I use the word stab because I know you hate it. And maybe you are thinking of the dream I wrote to you about. The one with Om and a corkscrew trying to kill me. Can this story be included as a footnote? Back to it though. Your own space built through telepathic thought. Memories of conversations, or wanted conversations, a mapping of desire, or better yet, desire producing a place for discussion. Maybe this is where the Askevold reference comes from, his ‘want’ to communicate, while underscoring/revealing the authorial like undertones that act to direct communication for a specific end. The desire for connection producing a form and a narrative within, and as a result of, said form. Directing the context, to build an apparatus, for conditions such as this, this telepathic self-analysis, to naturally occur. As a certain kind of skeptic would state: Scientists don’t test for things they don’t know.
As this visit is ending, the second it is ending, fireworks are erupting in the distance. From my apartment window I can hear them.