Stills from Intercourse with… by Hannah Wilke, 1976
In this haunting performance, Wilke conflates the private and the public as autobiographical theater. The audience “eavesdrops” on a series of phone messages intended for Wilke, recorded from her answering machine. This voice-over litany of messages becomes an intimate if one-sided narrative of Wilke’s life, a diary of personal and professional relationships — family, lovers, friends, colleagues — that is oddly elegiac. Wilke strips to reveal that her body is covered with the names of the individuals we have heard speaking; she then methodically removes the names until all traces have disappeared.
“Since 1960, I have been concerned with the creation of a formal imagery that is specifically female, a new language that fuses mind and body into erotic objects that are namable and at the same time quite abstract. Its content has always related to my own body and feelings, reflecting pleasure as well as pain, the ambiguity and complexity of emotions. Human gestures, multi-layered metaphysical symbols below the gut level translated into an art close to laughter, making love, shaking hands … Eating fortune cookies instead of signing them, chewing gum into androgynous objects … Delicate definitions …Rearranging the touch of sensuality with a residual magic made from laundry lint or latex loosely laid out like love vulnerably exposed … continually exposing myself to whatever situation occurs … gamboling as well as gambling.”
at dinner, leon and i agreed that the way you speak with someone in the beginning is pretty much how you will always speak with them.
i woke up to this email from one of my favorite professors (who, incidentally, was a nun for years). now i just have to think about what my most desired wishes are.
jane bennett, the enchantment of modern life: attachments, crossings, and ethics
kate zambreno, heroines
kara emily and i came so close to becoming blood sisters last night and i really regret not carrying a boxcutter with me anymore because if we had a blade we would have made magic happen
tonight’s panel of white men talking about the internet was an exercise in masculine melancholy: sadness over surveillance; the lament that “google just gives you access to your own shit…it just gives you you”; obituaries for the undone histories of the web.
finally the girl sitting next to me—who was also wearing a hello kitty sweatshirt, a plaid kilt, and a headband with a bow—raised her hand and accused the group of talking only about “the internet they remember, not the internet as it is now.” “i don’t know how old you are, but i can guess,” she added. she said that maybe the reason scholars aren’t doing histories of the internet is because internet users are already doing new forms of historiography. i was beaming the whole time, and then she got to the part about how we should be talking about the internet in terms of magic and ritual: “i love guy debord, but come on.”
“institutional reality is 20 or 30 or 40 years behind,” said one man, defensively. and then: “if you critique the institutional arrangement you will not be rewarded for it.”
the girl spent the rest of the time typing on her computer, talking under her breath, and rattling a plastic bag. after everyone clapped and stood up for drinks she walked right up to the panelists and started talking again. i wanted to wait until she was finished with them so i could congratulate her, but she didn’t appear close, and i was really ready to get out of there.
SAGE!!!!! finally. to the friend who sent this to me, with a card that says “protection so you can get all you want,” thank you, thank you, thank you. “protection” is exactly the right word and i am doing this this weekend or maybe tonight.
gaston bachelard, the poetics of space