WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.
“I didn’t know what I was doing until it was already done.”
A Time Capsule Or A Grave is my first serious attempt to involve performance in my practice. The work exists in a hybrid format. I activate a persistent virtual space on New Art City with IRL performances, the audio of which are recorded and installed spatially in the virtual after each iteration. This essay is itself a momentary capsule of subjectivity.
A week before I went to perform the piece for the first time at Octobre Numerique Faire Monde, Lauren Lee McCarthy introduced me to her idea of a “performance in progress.” I had already planned to record the audio from the first performance and install clips in this space at each place I spoke, but Lauren sparked the idea that I could perform the piece multiple times.
My late husband, Tvordis Veeler, was obsessed with Finnegans Wake. One idea that forms the book’s internal logic comes from The New Science of Giambattista Vico. According to Vico, the cyclical structure of history loops through three ages: divine, heroic, and human. Joyce modifies the schema to include a ricorso between cycles which I view something like eddying out on the river of time. As I write this, A Time Capsule or A Grave has been performed four times. The ricorso came second through a collaboration with Emji St. Spero.
Production of each age in this first cycle of performances formed a tightening temporal loop.
- A Time Capsule Or A Grave - October 2022 - Arles, FR - Octobre Numerique Faire Monde - Essay
- What Will You Be Like Before, What Were You Like After December 2022 - Venice, CA - Beyond Baroque
- About My Avatar - January 2022 - Los Angeles, CA - Human Resources - Essay
- His And Hers - January 2022 - Los Angeles, CA - NFTuesday LA
So did I design them this way? With the Viconian cycle in mind?
No. It is a comfortable frame from my former literary obsession with which to name the phenomena I’ve observed in this process.
Wait. You said your husband was the Joycean.
Tvordis is my previous avatar– an identity to which I am wedded but which is no longer alive. This fiction was not revealed as fiction until the third iteration of the performance.
Increments of time and space have the same statistical character as the whole. In the same way, I hope this essay will mirror the constellation of objects and processes that make up this work.
This first cycle of exploration has revealed that the process of observing and naming particularities in this world must be central to the work going forward. Indeed it has defined all of the efforts leading here as well.
Words spiral out of the rupture of an encounter with a past self as other and the future self as self. The best way to show my future self what I can’t see today is to get out of my own way and try to name the sensations. Even though I made these worlds and everything in them, the internal logic here remains unclear. I still get lost. The process of this piece is becoming a pataphysical study of the phenomena taking place here.