take the i out of this eye

(1988)

Performed at Gallery 101 Ottawa.

Duration: 45 minutes

The text for the performance is based on a series of interviews with Kaj Kangas, Sharon Gannon, Sue Ann Harkey, Sylvère Lotringer, Jonathan Prince, Lisa McLelland, John Hunting done in 1986-1987. With a couple of additional quotes from Peter Lamborn Wilson and Charles Manson.

The piece was inspired by Larry Law’s pamphlet “Revolutionary Self-Theory” (Freedom Press).

Plagiarizing/recycling/arranging by cm.

Performance materials: text, x-rays, super 8 loops, upside down candles, dictaphone, live painting and movement.

Sound by Sue Ann Harkey and cm.

take the I out of this eye
take the eye out of this I
we live in a society dominated by the skills of reason
where words are supposed to be linear measure
where the emphasis is on how consciousness always makes sense of itself and of its experiences
and where we make sense of ourselves by telling stories about ourselves
I approached god and the devil and asked if I could be the king of the world
the idea of synchronicity had extended to such a reach that I heard a glove go down on the floor
and god in the ways that he shows himself alive expressed that he was there
what is mysticis?
it is derived from mystery and mystery is anything which eludes thought
anything which eludes grasp
which is hidden and eludes your desires to pin it down
something like murder
if you really delve in it deep enough
you’ll find that all topics fall under that
once you get to the first level of abstraction
you are dealing with pure logic which is totally independent from the substance you started from
it is not a question of disciples but of discipline
I don’t have to be able to hear the words that you are saying
in order to understand you what the person says
and what I sense they really are are not always integrated they speak of
a gap between an idea and the realization of that idea
truth isn’t written in stone truth is found at every moment
it’s an intuitive art
it’s a balancing act
the answer is that there is no answer and that’s the answer and it’s really true
we are ignorant about the nature of our minds
and as far as the Buddhists are concerned it is that ignorance that causes suffering
I do think that we have vast knowledge
if we could turn ourselves inside out
we could read it all
I am very concerned with being present to my culture
if the culture is fucked up
I want to have theories that are as fucked up
so that they at least are connected
the minute you put the microphone down on the table it triggered off
ultrasound which is one of the mechanisms that I live by
there was a lock in my mind that I did not know how to contact with my body
ultrasound is a high pitched whining voice that occurs in the left and right ear
depending on the intention of my next act
every idea every thought every action
has its birth in some kind of need which is greater than the individual’s
I am not trying to give off an impression of myself
rather I am trying to respond to something that I find intrinsic in the needs of people
it is only at the level of the body that we have authentic contact with another person
because it is in your potentiality to give me pleasure and also to inflict pain
that I confront your othernesss
your otherness being that which lies beyond my synthetic powers to understand
people are really afraid to think that all creative energy is sexual energy
somehow through non-verbal but direct exchange of energy and movement
there is an understanding that can be shared where two people can meet in an neutral ground which is not me not you but the two of us getting together
people don’t ask each other questions enough
here we all are and if you really want to ask you can really find out
I do think that we have vast knowledge
if only we could read it
that’s all
we’ve got to learn to read it
to read our own cellular messages
read our own dna
I’ve been to a psychiatrist and they thought I was insane
but they think everyone’s insane if you go there and you think you’re jesus christ
I think there is a hereditary strand of dna
where certain ideas of insanity will eventually be found to be situated because
I think the spirit in a lifetime makes a blueprint of itself
and this will match and meet with the receptor dna and this is the jump
between spirit and matter
going from hell to heaven
from being tense to being released is a matter of accepting yourself
to go from what was imaginary
to something more grounded and ordinary
I had to become aware of the actual physicality of the body
aware of the mechanisms of the body
how the bones provide structure and line and
how the organs support the bones and create shape in the body
it took me eight years to come to this very simple realization
that when you drop your weight into the ground you are talking
about abandon
about submission
about giving up your control
that is the way of connecting with the body
to what the body actually is
when you are connected and in action
it gives you a sense of support and of balance
you have to be in balance in order to abandon
the release state is characterized by an increase in range and an ease of movement
by a playfulness in the perception of phenomena
I see this release state as heaven
in our culture we are taught that heaven is something above us
ruled over by some male entity that always existed
and this male god existed before the universe which always existed
this is nonsensical
here we are trying to make up explanations for something we should just accept as mystery
we have been trying to evade this kind of ready-made signification
and to keep things alive
we are seduced by abstraction
because it is like paranoia
it protects
you can crouch in it and feel very safe
but what it brings out is only in your mind
you have to find other ways that allow you to breathe
a straightjacket provides good protection but it is also a deadly thing
behind all this optimism energetic culture
there is something very strange going on
I quickly realized that I was living in a consumer unreality
in which death was being used to deaden people
what I want is not wanting is our concept of freedom
more than just the redistribution of things to be possessed
crush those steps that are not true
a question assumes an answer
but you don’t need questions to have answers
I wanted people to say things that I could not say myself
she talks about the things no one wants to talk about
we live in a society dominated by the skills of reason
separated as I am speaking speaking right now has separated things
and I am speaking in separated things
there are definitions
to each is owned
and there are no definitions to be found but no lack of the act of defining
I don’t want to deny the linear qualities of language
and I don’t want to discredit any of those skills
skills of reason
skills of seeing things in specifics
the so called left brain skills or the so called male abilities
these are essential as essential as intuitive skills
and the two are really more intermeshed than separated
but we live in a society which is dominated by the skills of reason
you got a stone wall there
why don’t you take it down a little bit
we are working with an understanding of consciousness
and of man which makes reason essential
existentialists tried to show the extent to which reason fails us and
how in the face of our failure we are thrown back on ourselves
but they also failed
when you specialize you somehow lose responsibility
you lose your ability to respond
you are not responsible for your body because you are not a doctor
there is something very inefficient about that
it is in the connection that you find the freedom
you can move all you want but if the connection is not there
then you don’t have the natural grace
without this support you’re under working and overworking in a way that’s effortful
as opposed to naturally efficient and naturally allowing
we are all in contact dance for all our lives
24 hours a day with the planet
with contact I have to put my desires in the back seat because
what I want isn’t as important as what’s happening
the idea of mysticism is to get us back in touch not with what we want but with ourselves
the sound is an information that makes my awareness believe that it exists
and I try to understand god not using my body
but using the essence of my consciousness which accepts that ultrasound to be real
while the body is open to experience it does not organize it
so the best way to describe eating sex or creativity is in terms of pleasure
and enjoyment
and not in terms of sense
the key feature of sensibility is that it is passive with respect to what it undergoes
people are important but they don’t matter
you just have to be secure about what you know you feel is true
it’s not a question of right and wrong
by practicing the violin you actually learn more about painting
as you do things from day to day you’re not dead but practicing
you’ve been practicing living and that is what it’s all about
so when you walk down the street
if you’re consciously aware that you want to become more
more connected
more knowing
more efficient
then you will make every little activity somehow part of your purpose
there is no way to explain any given event and its occurrence
it is occurring that is the important thing
we’re almost denying its occurrence by insisting so strongly in trying to explain it
so we’re disregarding the actual occurrence of the event
when I see a field I synthesize it
I unify it
I see it in relation to what it isn’t
it is not a mass of unintelligible stuff
I can make sense of it
but that does not explain how things excite us
how things have power for us
then I began to think that these signals
because they were so great in range were not symbols of man’s own intent
if something has no definition you can say that it does not exist
my ideal is to create something which doesn’t exist
to create nothing
but there are colors on different people’s back doing different things
there’s a different world
I love the world I live in just like Reagan loves the world he lives in
I think that you have to learn to disturb people in a productive way
and not just scare them
we are scared enough
they stayed sitting and didn’t use anything else but words
and they relied heavily on Marxist theory that they had read and could quote from the book
there are parallels
there are links especially if you’ve bothered to make them
if I understand you and I can say who you are and what you mean
then I’ve missed you alterity your otherness
the part of you outside of my synthetic powers to organize
language defines and by definition the mystery eludes definition
we live in a quick society where we tend to use everything for its symbolic purpose and meaning
we try to make this symbolic definition very narrow
we try to make it mean only one thing for convenience
I believe that god is a good notion and I live in his ocean
I took the Nietzschean position which was to look at my life at the time
and decide that there were more premises of death than life in it
I wish someone would kidnap me
I don’t make distinctions between waking reality and dream reality
they are very similar
it’s just that in wake reality things are more fixed
and that’s the result of an act of attention
an act of tension
how we make sense of things is really something foreign to us
it is a knowledge that is appropriated
in other words the language I speak is never mine
if people would think more about the good and their intent in the good
then it would improve their concentration
Artaud in his flesh felt that his mind was made up of concepts that did not belong to anyone else
words belong to those who use them only till someone else steals them back
and the urge to steal satisfies
every time I say freedom is psycho-kinetic skill
I get another subtle insight into what that actually means
so when people talk
it is how the words get shaped as they get out of the mouth which gives me a sense of tension
a sense of the reality of that person
most of the thinkers we have spend their time commenting on the margin of Marx at best
so it is time for people that are futuristic
the present is only present for the present
the ultrasound can give no information except that it can make itself exist
and make my awareness believe that is exists
we are all alone an all alone means all one
alone means all one
it’s all self-theory
I learn by walking in circles and finding the strings
the idea is to still your mind so that you can be with yourself
the discipline is in how to stop the thoughts
it is not a question of disciples but of discipline
we have lost perspective and if that’s how we reflect on the world
it only talks about how we reflect on ourselves
to work with the body is the first step towards connecting to the ground
so that you can be free
it’s like having an anchor to enter the vast potential of our minds
the ground supports you
you don’t support the ground
there is something inherently violent about creating
because we are breaking rules and breaking things within ourselves
that puts into question how we look at destruction
why is this breaking down or why is changing yourself associated with a negative thing
we also get angry at ourselves
we don’t allow people to change
it’s a need for control
we have a judgment about the unknown as being dangerous
but the unknown is the source from which creativity arises
rather than a monster that is going to rip your head off and throw your head into the asylum
the surprising thing that I find about western philosophy
is the extent to which they’ve made reason to be the essence of man and consciousness
where do ideas come from
the idea is that all ideas come from the society
so are we any more than the sights and sounds of our culture
so while we talk about consciousness and about experience
its accuracy is also limited to a description of intelligibility
the exciting way to look at words is to start to break them down
and see how they could mean something else than just one narrow meaning
documentation is a by-product
an object which is a remnant of what happened in a live performance
and this is unpossesable
documentation has the quality of mobility
improvisation means not being afraid
inviting anything and everything but not haphazardly
there’s always a sense of order
all topics fall under all topics
it’s about seeing the relationship among all things
instead of just seeing them as being separate
these messages come and go at random
it probably depends on the rate of concentration on the amount of intensity
I don’t know if I am good or I try to be good it’s an important difference
I always question myself as to whether I’m performing or not
being released is seen in the diminution and in the equalization of breathing
people tell us what the world is like
and then we learn to see it that way
and we learn to keep it that way
I like philosophy as a form of aesthetic creation
but at the same time I expect philosophy to have some sort of impact
I say we should forget the existence of money
and forget the existence of lust
and forget the existence of sin and let there be perfection
let’s not forget there is no perfection
truth isn’t written in stone
truth is found at every moment
it’s an intuitive art
it’s a balancing act
the answer is that there is no answer and it’s really true
Hegel tried to build something that would resist any sort of shock
like an ultimate pyramid of science
but the ground supports you
you don’t support the ground
until I know how to stop moving I will retaliate
fire with fire
word with word
use language to produce changes
to connect things together and not to fall back upon itself as it often does
we live in a society that is dominated by the skills of reason
in other words
we live in a society which is not dominated by the skills of freedom
there’s a message in me that’s constant and that is we have to keep talking
that’s the only way that we can go beyond words
and we haven’t said it all.

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