From: Pedro Reyes
Date: May 5, 2008 9:12:00 PM GMT-05:00
To: Daniel Perlin
Subject: Re: house as speaking organ
The other day, a friend of mine defined art as “a non-directed research.” My approach is very different from his, but in this moment in particular I write without exercising a sense of direction or purpose. I have 6 phone contracts: Movistar, Telmex, Nextel, Skype, a pending one with IusaCel, and a long distance one with Avantel that automatic charges to my credit card, which I can’t cancel because it’s associated with a phone line of an old studio that got demolished. I write this text due to Daniel Perlin’s show “House as Speaking Organ,” which I haven’t seen yet, but can visit in my imagination. I know there’s a piece composed by a computer that reads an Artaud text. To be more specific, it converts the text into voice. I’ve said I’m writing but I’m actually talking and Ana, who’s transcribing what I say, is next to me. She’s multilingual. She speaks impeccable English, French... What else, Ana? (German, Portuguese, Spanish) and has told me that she now wants to learn Japanese. In middle school, I had a professor from whom I heard, with that rhythm and emphasis, the word PO-LY-GLOT. In class we would sing Imagine by John Lennon and the Fame theme song. He used to wear a black turtleneck sweater and ride a bike. They kicked him out for showing racy films. But let’s talk about the house as a speaking organ: is it that the tissues that make up the body have different evolution and atrophy levels? The eye is an extension of our skin that has become so sensitive to the light that is like mapping the cones and canes to the position of the objects in the room. I know it’s not that simple but I would like to tell you about an experiment. Once, in a totally dark room, there were 6 spots with color filters: blue, green, yellow, orange, red, violet. I took advantage of the occasion to prove whether light had a flavor. I stuck my tongue out and with my eyes covered by my sweater I noticed that my taste buds were reporting to my brain a different sensation depending on which part of the bulb and the chromatic spectrum they were placed. The sum of the part is larger than the whole. And for sure the parts always intuit the rest, the whole. This way it is easy to explain organolepsy. I insist: every evolution implies an atrophy. And no sooner does it appear than someone sells a prosthetic. If the radio extinguished the tradition of singing together with the family, years later the prosthetic is karaoke. Caligraphy gets atrophied by the typewriter and the disposition to letters on the keyboard that obey a mechanical problem, maintaining its same configuration by passing the keyboard to the computer. Having turned graphology into an unviable practice, they had to return to punctuation to try to print a little bit of expresivity in written messages :O . Nicanor Parra says, “The automobile is a chair with wheels.” I could elaborate on all the exoskeletons but I see with suspicion in this instant that the theories about the house have been materialistic -- Deleuze, De Landa, McLuhan -- or esoteric -- Norbert Schulz, Lorca. The one that never tires me is Christopher Alexander. Is it prudent on my behalf to stop talking now? The phone is ringing and we will send this e-mail without editing this transcription. Verbatim. We’ll see you on Thursday at the show.
Good luck with the installation!