Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Desultory Beep

So, we were in New York a couple of weeks ago.  It was an amazing experience, one of the main highlights being MoMA, specifically an exhibit by Francis Alÿs entitled “A Story of Deception”. The descriptions at the exhibit suggested that he was trying to capture the nebulous feeling of Mexico’s and by extension latin america’s interaction with modernity. There was a small constellation of nebulous feelings that seemed to bracket what he was trying to express. The feeling of always seeking, striving, but never really getting there, the feeling of doing a task very intently for a long period of time that to the outside observer seems pointful but when watched/performed to its conclusion is not so much so.

What I found so engaging about the art (and so disappointing about the wikipedia article about him) is that the curation brought out the ideas that the artist was trying to express. (And also sound installations that were done well.) I don’t know if it’s a failing of language, or an inability of most people to cogently express complex thoughts, but most of the modern art I’ve seen fell short of what I think it was capable of because the curation, or something else about the situation inhibited the meaning from coming out.

This is a long-winded way of getting to concept that is the title of this post, “The Desultory Beep”. “Desultory” was my favourite word for the week we were in New York, not least because I really liked to feel of the word, but also I think because it expresses a feeling that is difficult to express.

We were staying in a hotel in Manhattan, and it seemed that at all hours of the day and night, there was a near-constant chorus of honks from the street down below. (These very quickly became hilarious, but that is another story.) Every so often, there would be a chorus of honks, some sort of back and forth, then a last desultory beep to end it off.

But how do you express that feeling, of the last lonely, somewhat embarrassed, perhaps feeling slightly left-out beep?

Post Alpha

My whole life, as far back as I can remember, I’ve been working to get closer to my intuition, and make thoughts more conscious earlier in their gestation period.  After a particularly hilarious mostly unseen fireworks show*, I have the image of a bunch of fish-thoughts swimming under the sea, and I can only make them conscious when they jump out of the water.  What I’ve been trying to do is reduce the height they have to jump before bringing them into consciousness**, perhaps trying to lower the water level***.

Let’s see what happens.

-Nayrb 😀

*It was my birthday, and we were watching my birthday fireworks from the graveyard behind Mel Lastman square, and we were quite proud of having found such an unoccupied space to sit, then we noticed that we could only see the fireworks at the extreme top of their arcs, over the tall building in front of us.

**There are a bunch of levels of conscious thought, at least as far as I experience them, saying things out loud is one of the last/most conscious ones…writing them down might be even more so, but that is another post.

***I don’t come close to fully understanding this analogy yet.  Another post.