Saturday, October 8, 2011

Worth A Thousand Words (932 words)(not including the intro and outro)

(Quiet, static popping, the record starts off slow, but promises to build up.)

I can talk to photos. I can make someone up in my mind and hold both sides of the conversation pretty well. I think I've been doing this my whole life, as if I lived on an abandoned island, that I was a lonely boy when I was a boy and a lonely man when I was a man. And perhaps for the most part that is true, but isn't the truth, the whole thing, from all angles and that can truly be a fair representation of one's character. No, it is quite far from that.
I can hear a voice through video or audio recordings I had forgotten I had (I don't really make much of the two). When I hear the voice it brings me back, perhaps more than photographs since it changes before me, not in a silent way that occurs in the mind like a photograph, but kinetically, with a life of its own. I think of Stone Tape, how crystals in the ground record energy signals given off by humans, mostly during grand tragic moments of their lives, and once they die, those energy signals continue, in a perfect loop, over and over until the energy in those crystals dissipate. I can be interacted with, the voice calls me, the face, in movement, an uninterested expression turns to a smile then looks away, hair flying in the wind, I hear myself say, "Take off your shirt". The video ends, and it starts from the beginning again. I let this play over and over, taking in each nuance, trying to find something I didn't see from the last viewing. I hear a voice, it is familiar but distant.
As much as I want to interact, I want to place myself in that scene, and say, "Take off your shirt", with my voice now, I can't. Ultimately, this amateur footage of a vacation can only bring me to close, before I start to feel supremely disappointed. Only memories. A stack of photographs sit collecting dust on my desk, I know each and every one of them, could play the moment before and after each image, and though they illustrate a week quite well photographically, there is something that is supremely missing, missing in a way that beckons emptiness, loss, like the interior of an abandoned house that represents a family (that once lived there). All they represent is something missing, something not within the photograph, that is perhaps hidden behind the photographic surface and before the paper backing of chromogenic print.
The space between forms a natural vacuum, keeping things in as much as it keeps things within. If one were to enter into this realm it would be like entering the cosmos, a space endless void would unfold before you, it would be tiring to look to where a horizon would normally be. Here is where time is infinite, yes, infinite, it continues before the surface of the photograph, it exists beyond the photograph, and it is there as a byproduct of the photograph, that the photograph captured this endless space vacuum when the shutter opened and stole it, storing it on a light sensitive surface. Later it would go through a chemical bath of bleach and fixes, changing the very property of the light-sensitive emulsion, and rendering it blind and mute, no longer able to change (fixed). Each grain reflects and represents the reality that was placed before it. And each neighboring grain to it gives it a place, a portion, and scale. Together in a matrix they form a flat surface of reality, and with each moment passing, the reality is falling apart, being replaced by grain by grain by the past. The reality eventually seeps from the surface grain and enters the void, what is left behind is a graveyard of dead stars, hence the appearance of the cosmos. Far off is the present, it is the only thing that travels faster than the speed of light, bending time/space around it. It moves so fast that humans struggle to comprehend it. Like a darting bird that flies passed the peripheral it is a blur at most, but even then we are able to conduct it was a bird, and even the color, in this case, black, but the present doesn't move as slow as a darting black bird, it moves so fast that once in a great great great while we are able to catch a phantom of it.
The owner of the voice, the same owner of the image in the photograph comes to me in a dream, I wake up alone, and reach towards a photograph on the ground of my bed. I whisper something to it, and put it on my window sill and examine it for a while. I imagine it coming alive, like the video I watched the night before, on loop, for twenty-odd times incision. But of course the person in the photograph doesn't move, the prop shark's jaws do not close down on her face, they do not rip her head apart, and she doesn't smile back, or looks worried, or blinks, or even breathes, she is dead, not in this reality, but in the reality of the photograph. Grain by grain that moment happened, each one of those grains perfectly represent a reality of the present that has passed, and is now lost, floating in a void, in a dead cosmos, and the real person is somewhere off, living, alive, breathing, blinking, un-looped, un captured, changing, sleeping, waking up, talking, eating, running, walking, looking at photographs, looking deep and long, and is thinking, what is she thinking...

(The record comes to a peaceful end, the piano repeats its last bars endlessly, each time it is questioning itself, has it become something better, each repetition means something, without each one it is not complete. The needle reaches a treshold and signals to a specific motor to lift the needle above the moving black surface and for the arm to return to the rest. Once the arm and the needle fall to the rest the turning table stops with only a brief moment of still-movement (it doesn't last nearly as long as belt-driven turntable, it just ends in an satisfying instant)).

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