The Roladex

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It's my understanding that Pierre is developing a mechanism of three Rolodexes, each of which will contain cards presenting a sentence fragment, which makes no sense on its own but has the potential to be "sensical" when juxtaposed with the others to form simple subject/verb/object sentences. Hence, the cards in the left Rolodex will contain the subjects, the one in the middle will present verbs and the one on the right will offer objects. For example: R1 = "You" (subject); R2 "love" (verb); R3 "to collaborate" (object). The cards will automatically be shuffled with an electrical mechanism, and Josh is working with Pierre to calibrate the gears so that each Rolodex operates at a different speed. The content of the cards will be drawn from the narrative of UC's development. They will thus include references lifted from the Interim Report as well as extraneous material. And the premise? I think the work explores the proliferation of meaning as a condition of discursive art practice...

In our meeting, Pierre was quick to acknowledge there's something slightly brazen about this treatment of the group's effort to date. It could be read as devalidating the idiosyncratic perspectives of individual collaborators and the grounds there is no certain truth, making it a kind of (anti)history. This conundrum interests me because it strikes at the heart of the relationship between the individual and the group, shared versus common knowledge, and tacit versus explicit understanding. It will be interesting to see how this one-armed-bandit contraption reifies these dynamics--and to what degree this reference to gambling (however oblique) raises issues related to risk.

While Josh has offered to help Pierre with the motorization of the mechanism, I've offered to help with some of the myriad phrases that he's be writing. It will be interesting to see if/how he accepts this input. As explored elsewhere, Pierre doesn't feel our composite works are truly collaborative because they the formal decisions of each aspect have been initiated by individual artists. Read more about this here.


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