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  • 1. 2 moment to moment Gwen Allen 04 Susan O’Malley 07, 20 Will Brown 08 Jason Kalogiros 10 Starlee Kine 12, 16 Harrell Fletcher 17, 42 Leslie Shows 18 Dave Muller 19, 32 Jason Jägel 21 Geoff Dyer 30 Jon Rubin 35 Tao Lin 36 Tony Discenza 38 Kota Ezawa 32 Ariana Reines B Moment to Moment is a collaboration of THE THING Quarterly and Levi’s Made & Crafted. The project is based on visual artist Dan Graham’s interventions from the 1960s, in which he purchased advertising space in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Arts Magazine in order to create art pieces. The title comes from 19th century French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, who envisioned a three-dimensional book entitled Moment toMoment.AsarthistorianGwenAllenpointsoutinher essay for our version of Moment to Moment, Mallarmé saw the book as something that would be performed, rather than read. This project consists of commissioned online videos, text pieces, paintings, animated gifs, photographs, and essays. Some of these pieces will appear on billboards, bus shelters and other outdoor advertising spaces in cities around the world.These public interventions propose an alternative, more pleasing visual experience within the urban landscape and prompt viewers to take time for the good things around them. Some pieces will be inserted into the paid advertising space of magazines as stand-alone works of art. These will be pages from the Moment to Moment project, extracted and repositioned as pages in other like- minded publications. The remainder of the project is featured online at goodthingstaketime.com and in this free printed newspaper which, like the official website, documents and shares the entire project. goodthingstaketime.com
  • 2. 0504 moment to moment gwen allen moment to moment gwen allen I n 1966, the American conceptual artist Dan Graham published a short article, “The Artist as Bookmaker: The Book as Object,” in which he described an imaginarybook,LeLivre.Originallydreamt up by the 19th century poet Stéphane Mallarmé,itwasathree-dimensionalbook with a set of mobile sections contained in boxes. Instead of being read privately by individuals, the book would be performed aloud collectively. Le Livre was never realizedinMallarmé’slifetime,butGraham, who was then primarily a poet, publishing in experimental little magazines such as Extensions and 0 To 9, came across Mallarmé’s posthumously published notes about it in the avant-garde music journal Die Riehe. As Graham explained: GwenAllen EphemeralInterventions:MediaasArtinthe1960sand1970s Graham was not alone in his fasci- nation with the possibilities of the book as a new kind of object and social space in the 1960s. At a time when Marshall McLuhan was hailing the end of print, Roland Barthes was declaring the death of the author, and the countercultures— including the civil rights, anti-war, gay rights, feminist, new communalist, and environmental movements—were launching widespread social revolu- tion, the book was ripe to be reinvented as realm of radical, utopian promise. Printed publications were no longer just places to record and store texts and images, but spatio-temporal entities in their own right, with the potential for actions, events, and relationships.2 The following year, Graham had the opportunity to put some of these ideas into practice in an issue of Aspen magazine, an unbound periodical that included posters and booklets, Super 8 films, Flexi-disc records, and vari- ous kinds of artists’ projects contained in a small, laminated cardboard box.3 Issue 5+6, a special double issue, was dedicated to Mallarmé. Contained in a square, white box, it evoked the proverbial white cube, and func- tioned as a miniature traveling gallery space with contributions by artists and writers including Sol LeWitt, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Robert Morris, William Burroughs, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others. However, rather than cloistering art away from everyday life, Aspen released it back into the world, prompting a distinctly temporal and participatory experience. For example, Cage contributed “Fon- tana Mix,” an interactive score, and Tony Smith created a dollhouse-sized cardboard sculpture that could be cut out and pasted together by the reader. Graham’s own contribution to Aspen 5+6 was a conceptual do-it-your- self poem, “Schema,” which consisted of a generic list of variables—such as “(number of ) adjectives,” “(type of ) paper stock,” “(name of ) typeface”— which were to be completed by the editor or reader. Like Mallarmé’s own site-specific poem, “Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard,” 1897, Schema relied upon the materiality of the printed page: each time it was published, the piece was modified, registering the graphic design and typography of the specific publica- tion in which it appeared—adopting the stark modern style of sans serif, for example, or the bureaucratic, old-fash- ioned look of Courier. To “read” the poem is to be momentarily distracted from the meaning of words and instead become captivated by the shapes of letters and numbers, and even by the texture and pliability of the page on which they are printed. In addition to foregrounding the materiality of the page, however, Schema called attention to its distinct temporality and tran- sience—the fact that periodicals are linked to a specific window of time, after which they are relegated to the status of back issues. This limited duration was, according to Graham, key to Schema’s critical function. As he explained, “[the work] subverts value. Beyond its appearance in print or pres- ent currency, Schema is disposable, with no dependence on material (commod- ity), it subverts the gallery (economic system).”4 Schema was just one of numer- ous examples in which artists created works of art expressly for the printed page. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, publishing became an important new medium and distribution form—one that promised to circumvent tradi- tional exhibition venues and reach new audiences. The disposability and seriality of magazines and newspapers dovetailed with the aesthetic concerns of Minimalism and Conceptual art- ists, who were abandoning canvases and pedestals in favor of ephemeral, process-oriented works. Graham went on to produce several such works, including his well-known “Homes For America,” (1966-67), an article he wrote about suburban tract housing developments, which in its tone and terminology uncannily mimicked the way art critics were discussing Mini- malist sculpture at the time. Appearing in the now-defunct periodical Arts Mag- azine, it masqueraded as an ordinary article, which was part of its effec- tiveness since it allowed Graham to infiltrate the magazine and catch the reader off guard. Likewise, Mel Boch- ner and Robert Smithson published “Domain of the Great Bear,” (1965), a campy essay about the Hayden Plane- tarium embedded with found publicity materials, in an art magazine called Art Voices. Artists also published works in other kinds of publications, including fashion magazines and underground newspapers. Graham published his work Figurative, a reproduced shop- ping receipt, in the March 1968 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, where it was seren- dipitously sandwiched between ads for Tampax and Warners bras, inflecting its meaning with a gendered double entendre. Moreover, artists began to tap into advertising space itself, in order to circulate their ideas under the radar of editorial oversight. For example, Gra- ham’s project Detumescence, (1966), based around a clinical description of the post-coital state of the human male, took the form of advertisements placed in Screw, the New York Review of Sex, and National Tattler. Likewise, the conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth took out ads in newspapers and periodicals, including the New York Times, Artforum, Dan Graham, Figurative, 1965. Published in Harper’s Bazaar, March 1968. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gal- lery, New York / Paris. The linear book’s ‘time’ is enclosed, whereas Mallarmé’s ‘Book’ exists in a moment-to-moment specificity, its dura- tion being formally identified with the constituent group of ‘readers’ whose pres- ence literally informs it. Unlike the old book, the reader does not work his way progressively through in one direction.1
  • 3. 06 07 THIS IS IT Dan Graham, Schema, 1966. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris. Museum News, and the Nation, as part of his Second Investigation (1968), in which he published excerpts from Roget’s The- saurus. And the Brazilian artist Cildo Miereles used actual Coca-Cola bottles to circulate subversive anti-imperialist messages in his Insertions into Ideologi- cal Circuits, (1970). Among the most elaborate and sus- tained uses of advertising space during this time was Adrian Piper’s Mythic Being project, for which she placed a series of seventeen advertisements in the Village Voice between 1973-1975.5 The ads chronicled a performance in which she adopted a macho African American persona and walked around the streets of New York in order to explore the stereotypes and subjectivi- ties of race, gender, and class. However, Piper’s advertisements, which con- sisted of photographs of her dressed in drag, superimposed with thought bubbles of excerpts from her diary, not only documented her performance, but in some sense augmented it by extend- ing the performance from the public space of the city into the communica- tive space of the media, where a much larger pool of viewers/readers might have the opportunity to encounter it. While such practices had a prag- matic, even entrepreneurial, aspect, allowing artists to garner publicity, and reach larger audiences, they also had an antagonistic dimension. Taking out paid advertisements was a way for artists to commandeer media space and repurpose it for their own inter- ests, which often involved challenging the dominant institutional and eco- nomic conditions of art. Tucked away among the usual run of articles and advertisements, these stealthy inter- ventions by artists were tactical: they exploited commercial publicity, and used it against the grain. The irony of utilizing mainstream advertising space for anti-establishment ambitions was not lost on these artists. Indeed, the ambivalence of these practices and the contradictions they sustained was central to their effectiveness as works of art, and remains one of their most fascinating qualities.6 Artists’ publication projects from the 1960s and 1970s anticipate more recent appropriation and détourne- ment practices by artists such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Keith Haring, Group Material, Gran Fury, Felix Gon- zalez-Torres, and Alfredo Jaar, to name but a few. Displayed on billboards, LED displays, t-shirts, shopping bags, and posters, these “interventions” are by turns activist and agitprop-oriented, or poignant and personal. Certainly, as communication technologies and historical conditions have changed, the meaning of such practices has evolved. Yet, the past can shed important light on the possibilities of this work today. Indeed, as far back as the 19th cen- tury, Mallarmé himself was presciently attuned to the then-novel possibilities of commercial media such as posters and newspapers, which he called an “electrifying accomplishment.”7 Com- paring headlines and advertisements to poetry and collage, he observed that, among other things, the oversized, 1. Dan Graham, “The Artist as Bookmaker II: The Book as Object,” Arts Magazine 41, no. 8 (Summer 1967): 23, quoted in Gwen Allen, Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art (Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 2011), 53. 2. For an account of the artistic and political significance of artists’ publications, see Gwen Allen, Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art. For an excellent account of the role of publications in the counterculture, see Geoff Kaplan, Power to the People: The Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-Culture, 1964-1974 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013). 3. For a more detailed history of Aspen, see my chapter “The Magazine as a Medium: Aspen, 1965-1971” in Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art. 4. Dan Graham, “Other Observations,” in Marianne Brouwer, ed., Dan Graham: Works 1965–2000 (Düssel- dorf: Richter Verlag, 2001), 97, quoted in Allen, Artists’ Magazines. 5. For an excellent account of Adrian Piper’s Mythic Being series, see Cherise Smith, Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deveare Smith (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011). 6. For a discussion of artists’ publication interventions and advertisements see “Chapter 1: This is Not To Be Looked At: Artforum in the 1960s and 1970s” in Allen, Artists’ Magazines. 7. Stéphane Mallarmé, quoted in Anna Arnar, The Book as Instrument: Stéphane Mallarmé, the Artists’ Book, and the Transformation of Print Culture. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 50. 8. For an excellent account of Mallarmé’s interest in mass media see Arnar, The Book as Instrument. 9. Stéphane Mallarmé, quoted in Arnar, The Book as Instru- ment, 5; 7. 10. Dan Graham, editorial statement for Aspen 8, 1970-71, quoted in Gwen Allen, Artists’ Magazines, 66. sectioned format of the newspaper changed the role of the reader. With their random juxtapositions of differ- ent kinds of information, newspapers encouraged readers to devise alterna- tive and idiosyncratic ways of filtering meaning, as they scanned or perused the page.8 Mallarmé’s Book was in fact inspired by these new possibilities. He insisted that books be “restored to the people” and described that ways in which Le Livre would empower read- ers to participate in the meaning of the text and establish their “right” to circulate it.9 As Graham recognized, Mallarmé located the emancipatory potential of printed matter in its conditions of circu- lation and distribution, and ultimately, in the indeterminate possibilities of its readership. Graham himself con- ceived of the publication not so much as an object or final product, but as an intermediary—a broker between the reader and the world, connecting the two, however temporarily. He imag- ined a publication that might foster these possibilities, and encouraged art- ists to collaborate with corporations to create ads/artworks whose mean- ing would be “immediate, topical and more or less short-lived,” and which would “[point] directly to the out- side world—to products to be played (maybe records) and services to be ren- dered.”10 What began as an experience on the page would thus necessarily extend beyond it, activating future meanings and experiences—moments that can never be fully predicted, con- tained, or controlled. Susan O’Malley — moment to moment gwen allen moment to moment susan o’malley
  • 4. 08 ediated Morandi is an ongoing search for Giorgio Morandi paintings inserted into film backgrounds. Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1890, Morandi is often considered the great- est master of Natura Morta (still life) in the 20th century. His distinctly subtle paintings depict the modest arrangement of bottles, vases, boxes, and pitchers stripped of all detail except light and color. As the paint- er’s popularity grew toward the end of his career, his work became synonymous with class, wealth, and refined sensibility. Federico Fellini paid homage to Morandi by displaying two paintings in Steiner’s salon in his 1960 film La Dolce Vita {fig. A}. An avid Morandi admirer, Fellini stated that he fea- tured the works as the ultimate symbol of sophistication. Morandi’s images were also displayed in Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte (1961) {fig. D}, illustrating Giovanni Pontano’s financial success as a writer, in Luca Guadagnino’s Io sono l’amore (I Am Love) (2009) {fig. B}, and Tommy Wiseau’s cult smash The Room (2003) {fig. C}. Due to the beloved nature of Morandi’s work, it is likely that his paintings—or repro- ductions of his paintings—exist quietly in numerous other films. Mediated Morandi investigates how the con- text of an artwork evolves through various levels of mediation at the hands of mul- tiple authors. Initially, the artist arranged objects and rendered them on canvas. Over time, various Morandi “stills” were inserted into moving image works. And here, on these pages, they have been removed and refrozen as elements of a larger intention- ally arranged still life. Will Brown Mediated Morandi fig. A fig. B fig. C fig. D moment to moment will brown
  • 5. 1110 moment to moment jason kalogiros moment to moment jason kalogiros Jason Kalogiros —
  • 6. 1312 here’s a game you can play whenever you are putting off doing something tedious, like washing the dishes. It’s called “stage business.” The rules of the game are simple. You are an actor in a dramatic scene and need to busy yourself with an everyday task. So while it may look like you are just scrubbing a plate, really this is happening moments before the event that advances the rest of the plot forward. This plot is your life. Maybe the event will be a ringing phone, and you will reach for a paper towel to dry your hands, but the tube will be empty because you keep forgetting to buy more, and so you’ll have to use your pant leg. This will have the bonus of helping to establish your character. Or it might be that in a moment you will drop the plate, and when you go to pick up the pieces, you’ll notice a poem that’s been written in the crack between where the floorboards start and the kitchen counter stops. You’ll devote the next thirty years to finding out who put it there, not as a full-time job, but as an unpaid, casual side project. if you say you’re going to wake up tomorrow and renovate your whole apartment or memorize every South American capital or learn how to play all of “Stairway to Heaven” even though you’ve never picked up a guitar and aren’t even positive that that’s the main instrument being played…it’s not going to happen. That’s called “setting yourself up for failure.” Even if you do memorize all those capitals—the most doable of these tasks—it will only take one instance of the person you have a crush on smiling at you in a new way to make those names spill out of your head. Keep it simple. Here’s one example of how you do it: instead of tackling every movie made before this year that you’ve ever intended to see, you decide to finally watch My Dinner With Andre. When you get to the scene where Andre talks about designing his own flag, you think, “Yes! I will design my own flag too.” Then be sure to stop yourself before you also think, “But wait, it’s too bad that I don’t live in the ‘70s or ‘40s or whenever this movie was made. The past, in general, was so much better. Women wore pants that made them look like they rode horses. Men wore vests that made them look like tax attorneys. People even stood differently, and thus more superiorly, back then.” Put a halt to all that, don’t even let it get going. It might help to picture one of those bottles of water that gets inserted into a standing dispenser with hot and cold spigots. There’s always a bit of water that pours out in the moment between turning the bottle upside down and fitting it into the dispenser. The amount depends on the strength of the person maneuvering the transi- tion. Listen, today you are very strong and only a few drops of water manage to leak out, the water being your A tip: A suggestion: Starlee — Kine self-destructive runaway thoughts in this scenario. When the movie is over, scrounge up a piece of paper. Any piece is fine. It doesn’t have to be in a sketchbook. It doesn’t have to be a sheet from that stationary set that you never use because you think it’s too nice. If it’s from your printer tray, that is great. If it’s your phone bill envelope, even better. Grab a pen and then draw a rectangle. That is your flag. Your kitchen table is now officially a nation. Good job! Everything you add is just sprigs of parsley on an already successfully accomplished project. You can’t screw it up. If you do happen to, say, draw a star and then decide you want it to be a moon and so you cross it out really aggressively, going over and over the image until you tear the paper a little...just remember that in some cultures, a flaw is purposely built into each project so as to prevent a perfection-off with the gods. »» She/he’s cuter. »» I’m cuter but they dress better. »» I dress better but they have the kind of body that can more get away with wearing worse clothes. »» They have a more interesting job. »» I have a more interesting job but they make more money. »» I make more money but they’re better at only buying well-crafted items that are both practi- cal and beautiful. »» I’ve traveled to more countries but they’ve gone to ones that are harder to get to with more challenging language barriers. »» I was more popular in high school. »» I was less popular in high school but aged better. »» I was less popular in high school and aged worse and every conviction I ever had about the world not being fair is right this moment being demonstrated in front of me. A selection of thoughts you probably had while staring at a stranger sitting across from you: moment to moment starlee kine moment to moment starlee kine
  • 7. 14 15 let’s say you need to put in a new light bulb in your apartment. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a joke. You drag a ladder out and even though it’s a very ordinary and not particularly attractive ladder, its presence makes everything look so new and different. There’s an immedi- ate release of tension in your neck and shoulders that comes with such a tangible example of change. So you leave the ladder out, right in the middle of your kitchen, bumping into it a lot at first until your body starts automatically arcing around it. On the first day, you throw the tube of toothpaste you’ve been milking for all it’s worth into the trash. You write your name in gold ink on the slip under your buzzer. On the second, you send a cautiously sentimental note to someone you wronged. On the third, you get a dog. You switch careers. You are able to believe what your friends said about your last break-up not being your fault. Just keep cramming those changes in until the power wears off. When you start placing cans of food or stacks of freshly washed towels on the ladder, using it as a shelving system, that’s when you fold it back up and hide it from sight. And then wait for the next opportu- nity. It could come in any form, like taking off your sweater and tying it around your waist instead of tossing it in your bag. Suddenly you are the person who pulls that look off.. A nudge: »» I went to a worse school. »» I went to a better school but they’re more down to earth. »» I have a plusher couch that guests like sleep- ing on but they have a more modern one that guests take photos of. »» I have more friends who will listen to my problems but they have more friends without kids who will go with them to parties. »» I call my parents more often but theirs make them feel less lonely. »» I’ve broken more hearts. »» She/his heart’s been broken less. »» I’ve dated more people but they’ve had more friendships turn into relationships. »» I’m so glad I’m not dating her/him. »» I wish I was dating her/him. »» My girl/boyfriend is cuter. »» My girl/boyfriend is funnier. »» My girl/boyfriend is less funny, more ambi- tious, about the same amount of cute and has a lower maintenance family who take it less personally when space is needed during holi- day visits. »» Would they ever date me? »» Were they watching me fix my sock just then? »» If their boy/girlfriend were to say to them, next week, “Think of one person, besides me, who you would want to be with for- ever” will it be my face that flits, even for just a second, through their head? Poster Fold-out Section — moment to moment starlee kine moment to moment —
  • 8. 16 »»Thisisthedeskwhereearlymorningproductivity wasachieved. »»Thisisthemirrorwherewhenproductivitydroppedoffin theafternoonIstaredatmyfacewhileassuringmyself thatnoonelooksgoodinsunglasses. »»ThisiswhereIflippedthroughafashionmagazineand sawhoweveryonelooksgoodinsunglasses. »»ThisiswhereImademyselffeelbetter,judgingyoufor havingafashionmagazinesubscription. »»Thisisthecounterwiththesingleservecoffeemachine whereImostenviedyourlife. »»Thisisthedark,warmspotintheclosetwhereImost enviedyourcat’slife. »»Thisisthebowlthatlookslikeitwasyourgrandmother’s whereIatecashewsandthenrearrangedtheremaining cashewsintomakeitlooklikeIhadn’t. »»ThisiswhereIfeltclosesttoyoubecauseIknewhalfthe peopleinthephotosonyourfridge. »»ThisiswhereIwonderedwhyIwasn’tinaphoto onyourfridge. »»Thereiswhereyourcatwasindifferenttohowmuch cableIwaswatching. »»ThisiswhereIquestionedmytasteinsucculents. »»ThisisthedresserwhereIcomparedthecuteness ofyourbabypicturestomine. »»ThisistheclosetwhereItriedonthreeof yourdresses. »»Thisisthepartofthelivingroomwherethelighthit inawaythatremindedmeofmyfirstapartment. Suggestionsfornotestoleave behindintheplacewhereyoujust house/pet/plantsat: »»ThisistherugwhichIlaidonwhilelookingupmy collegeroommate. »»Thisisthequiltinthetrunkatthefootofyourbedwhere IwonderedwhetherI’deverbeabletohaveafamilyof myown,sinceIdidn’thavethekindofchildhoodwhere handmadequiltsgotpasseddown. »»ThisiswhereIcaughtthelastfiveminutesofamoviemy sisterandIusedtowatchwhenwewerekids andthoughtaboutcallingtotellherImissedherbutthen anewmoviestarted. »»ThisiswhereIspokewithaFrenchaccentto thedeliveryguyafternotspeakingallday. »»ThisiswhereItracedguessesaboutyourneighbor’s nameontheshowertiles. »»ThisiswhereIwastemptedtoreadwhatappeared,judg- ingbythehand-drawnheartsontheenvelopeandthe waxseal,tobealoveletteraddressed toyou,butresisted. »»Thistheoldfashionedrotarydialphoneonahalltable whereafightwaspickedwithmyboyfriendabout whydoesn’thewritemeletterswithsealsandhearts. »»ThisiswhereIstaredintospaceafterreturningfromthe coffeeplaceyourecommended,whereIran intothelastpersonIexpectedtosee:thepersonIalways wanttoseemost. moment to moment starlee kine 29moment to moment starlee kine
  • 9. 18 moment to moment leslie shows 27moment to moment leslie shows
  • 10. 20 moment to moment susan o’malley 25 MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED moment to moment susan o’malley
  • 11. 23moment to moment jason jägel
  • 12. 24 21moment to moment jason jägel moment to moment jason jägel
  • 13. 26 19moment to moment dave muller moment to moment dave muller Summer Diary: Friday, May 28, 2010, 12:37pm
  • 14. 28 17moment to moment harrell fletcher moment to moment harrell fletcher
  • 15. 3130 I remember reading, years ago, that there are no happy periods, only happy moments. So how long can these moments last? An afternoon? does an afternoon count as a moment? GeoffDyer OntheBeach OntheBeach was harder, though, which seemed to more than compensate for any slight resistance caused by the water. In the distance we could see the spot where the others were, maybe two hundred yards away. I was waiting for Paul to make his move. We were still just jog- ging but we were no longer talking. The pace increased slightly. A squad- ron of pelicans glided towards and over us, tipping their wings. Paul had still not made his move. He must have been waiting for me to make my move just as I was waiting for him to make his. It was not clear who had the best sprint or if either of us even had one. I was fifty-four, would be fifty-five in a week, but it was like being fifteen, with an added consciousness of death and depression, of the ease with which the body’s numerous muscles can be pulled, and of how wonderful it is to feel like you’re fifteen—way better, of course, than actually being fifteen. We were about fifty yards from our friends—I could see them clearly enough, the world existed in sparkling clarity—and I figured that I could sprint from there. We were still just jogging. The sea was rolling in or roll- ing out and Paul had still not made his move. I kicked, leaving him instantly five or six yards behind. I kept glancing behind my shoulder and saw that he wasn’t going to catch me. My legs were tying up but I crossed the finishing line, which had once been the starting line, and was nowhere to be seen because the tide, evidently, was coming in. I love winning. I just do. I am one of those people who loves to win. I would like to have given interviews about my victory because it was clear to me that I had run a great tactical race. I had kicked at exactly the right moment and left Paul for dead. I felt like Mo Farah and I stood bent over with my hands on my knees, think- ing about what it must have been like to have been Mo, when he came into the finishing straight in London, in the five and the ten thousand metre finals, knowing that he’d got it, the double gold. The pleasure of winning gold here was slightly diminished by the suspicion that Paul had just come along for the ride, for the run, that despite his assurances he didn’t really believe we were racing, or, if he did, had perhaps let me win because he could tell that I love wining and was so much older than him. So it wasn’t a total triumph, but that hadn’t occurred to me as I’d crossed where the finish- ing line used to be and raised my arms in skinny triumph. The wind was still blowing, the sky was blue, the sun was blaz- ing and the sea was rolling in. Time was passing in the timeless oceanic way. The sea is the perfect backdrop for happiness—for moments of happi- ness—because it is always there. You could have been here ten thousand years ago and it wouldn’t be changed at all. The only thing special about this afternoon is that we were here. While the others were read- ing I kept thinking about my victory in the running race. It would have been even better if we had been run- ning with our shirts off—I didn’t take I ’m thinking, naturally, of one afternoon in particular, an afternoon a bunch of us spent by the ocean, on Canaveral Beach. Canaveral is not the best beach in the world—few beaches are!—but it’s wild-looking, stretches for miles, and on the Wednesday after Memorial Day, was almost entirely deserted. There were seven of us. A strong wind was blowing; the sky was bright blue. It would have been scalding hot without the wind which stopped you from noticing that you were being scalded. The waves were crashing in, though the tide may have been going out. We all spread out our towels. Josh and Anne-Marie ran straight into the sea. Josh, a former pro-surfer, had brought a pair of flippers, and every- one except me had brought a serious book to read. It’s something that hap- pens as you get older: the last thing you want to do on a beach is read a book— and maybe that doesn’t apply just to beaches but to other places as well. After ten minutes of just sitting there I suggested we have a running race. There was only one taker; every- one else was either in the sea or into their books. So it was just me and Paul, and it wasn’t exactly a race. I drew a line in the sand in front of where the others were sitting reading, stretching from where they sat to the sea. Paul and I did some stretches and began jogging along the water’s edge, like in Chariots of Fire, but this was Florida and not England. It was hot, windy, sea- clear and sky-bright, and the shoreline was wild and empty. The waves were crashing in to our left. I kept an eye out for dead jellyfish, unsure if they stung after they were dead or even if they were dead once they were washed up on the sand. It was hard-going; the wind was in our faces, blowing north. I don’t know how far we ran—far enough so that when we stopped and got our breath back we couldn’t see the others with their little encampment of towels. “Make no mistake,” I said, draw- ing another line in the sand. “We jogged here as friends but we are racing back. The winner, obviously, is the first one to cross the line where we started.” “So the starting line has become the finishing line,” said Paul. “We can jog, we can chat, but ulti- mately it’s a race. It might seem that it’s not a race or that it only becomes a race at a certain moment—” “But it was actually a race from the moment we began.” “You got it.” We got into position at the new starting line and began jogging back the way we had come. It was much easier this way, with the wind urging us on and the sea pounding in to our right. I only like running on the beach and I only like running in a race. I love racing. We jogged along gently but all the time we were jogging I was also racing, con- scious that the jog could turn into a race at any moment, that the jog was part of the race not a prelude to it. I began to breathe heavily, not because I was tired, but to get more oxygen into my system. Maybe this wasn’t the right thing to do but it’s what I was doing. We were side by side. I was slightly more in the sea than Paul. The sand mine off because I am too skinny, but the other guys all had their shirts off, including Josh, the ex-pro surfer. A few days earlier we’d all posed for a photo- graph together. I’d been standing next to Josh and when I put my arm around him my long thin arms were barely long enough to reach around his shoulders. I sat for a while on my towel, in my t-shirt. I hadn’t brought a book, but I had brought a tennis ball so I suggested that we play catch. I’m like a dog—I love to run and play catch— but a dog with a voice, who can suggest races and games of catch, rather than just sitting around looking hopeful, waiting for someone to rattle a leash or hold up a chewed-up old ball covered in dog saliva. Playing catch with a tennis ball is one of the world’s most under- rated sports; it’s way more fun than Frisbee or any of the other throwing games people play on a beach. Five of us played, three men and two women, close together and far away, always changing positions, trying to make sure that someone else had the sun in their eyes. We caught the ball one-handed and hot-potatoed it to someone else. Or three of us bunched together while the thrower walked back and threw the ball far and high in the sky so we had to jostle and jump for it and quite often the result of all this jostling and jump- ing was that no one caught the ball and it came splashing into the sea like space debris falling out of the earth’s atmosphere. It was also fun to throw the ball hard at someone’s face from a distance that was only borderline safe. It was just the guys who did this. It’s a guy thing, flirting with the possibility of hurting or getting hurt, and we never threw the ball aggressively at Connie or Ann-Marie, only at each other. When another flight of pelicans came by I threw a ball at them and missed. I didn’t want to injure a pelican but it is always a challenge, trying to hit a moving target. I didn’t even come close and the pelicans didn’t take evasive action; they just cruised on down the beach, indifferent and maybe not even interested, heading south. We humans threw the ball back and forth and it was great even though I was conscious that in addition to pulling a muscle slightly in my left calf during my victory in the running race I was aggravating a long- standing shoulder injury. Throwing is terrible for the shoulder. Palestinians must have constant shoulder and arm problems from all the stone-throwing they do. My left arm— my throwing arm—soon felt like it was several inches longer than the other one. Then it felt like it was attached to the shoulder by only a few sinews. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the ball flying off with my scrawny arm still attached, like a hammer thrown in the Olympics. I had not taken off my t-shirt but Connie had taken off hers—a blue Kurt Cobain t-shirt—so she was wearing just a bikini, a yellow bikini. It occurred to me that one of the great things about beach life is that you get to see women in bikinis, get to see their limbs, to see them nearly naked, and you don’t have to remark on this or avert your eyes but the deep truth is that those unaverted eyes are seeing things they don’t get to see on a city street in winter when everyone is wearing coats, and these things your eyes are seeing are the things nature has spent tens of thou- sands of years making you want to see, backdropped against a blue ocean that has been around for even longer, for millions of years before we slithered out of it, with gills for lungs and no eyes to speak of, when God himself could never have dreamed that the bikini would one day become a much- looked-at fact of modern life. Connie had long tanned legs and arms, bony strong shoulders. We were all playing catch, our attention was focused entirely on the ball but this did not mean that I did not have some surplus attention with which to observe Connie in her yellow bikini, catching the ball in hands that were at the end of long arms which led smoothly to the rest of her, hanging on to the ball despite getting thumped over by a big wave. She brought a supple intensity and slinky single- mindedness to throwing and catching but not so much concentration that she did not have attention left over to notice that Josh had these incred- ible surfer’s shoulders or that I was still wearing my t-shirt, ostensibly to keep the sun off my back but also, and obviously, because I was so skinny. The t-shirt wasn’t fooling anyone: in the process of fumbling a catch I too had been bowled over by a wave so my soaking-wet shirt hung from me, stretched darkly by the weight of seawater like a very short dress. The tide kept coming in. We were all in the ocean, up to our calves and knees. Connie was an excellent catch and the combination of sea, sun, limbs, and wet bikini added a cru- cial element to the happiness of the moment: desire. Desire for what was happening in this moment to lead to other moments and curiosity about what those moments might be like and where they might lead. No one took any photographs but the happiness of the afternoon was all contained in a single moment, in the way that a photograph might have done if one had been taken. Or maybe not. It’s difficult to catch the moment of catching a ball. Without the surrounding frames, the moments leading up to and following on from the catch, it just looks like someone holding a ball. You can show someone about to catch or having just caught the ball, not actually catching it. The photo removes the element that makes a difficult catch so exhilarat- ing: the possibility of the ball being dropped, of the caught moment spill- ing unnoticed into another moment, dissolving into nothing. The ball is in the blue air. An arm goes up. The ball smacks into fingers which curl around it. You hold it even as a wave crashes in and bowls you over but you hang on to it and your arm appears above the wave, still clutching the ball: a yellow fruit plucked from the blue sky. moment to moment geoff dyer moment to moment geoff dyer
  • 16. 3332 Dave Muller — moment to moment dave muller moment to moment dave muller Left: Summer Diary: Friday June 8, 2012 1:36pm Right: Summer Diary: Friday, July 20, 2012 5:04pm
  • 17. 3534 Left: Accident, Right: Gun Jon Rubin moment to moment dave muller moment to moment jon rubin Summer Diary: Friday, July 20, 2012 5:04pm
  • 18. 3736 something staticky and paranormally ventilated about the air, which drifted through a half-open window, late one after- noon, caused a delicately waking Paul, clutching a pillow and drooling a little, to believe he was a small child in Florida, in a medium-size house, on or near winter break. He felt dimly excited, anticipating a hyperactive movement of his body into a standing position, then was mostly uncon- scious for a vague amount of time until becoming aware of what seemed to be a baffling non sequitur—and, briefly, in its mysterious approach from some eerie distance, like someone else’s consciousness—before resolv- ing plainly as a memory, of having already left Florida, at some point, to attend New York University. After a deadpan pause, during which the new information was accepted by default as recent, he casually believed it was autumn and he was in college, and as he felt that period’s particu- lar gloominess he sensed a concurrent assembling, at a specific distance inside himself, of dozens of once-intimate images, people, places, situa- tions. With a sensation of easily and entirely abandoning a prior context, of having no memory, he focused, as an intrigued observer, on this assem- bling and was surprised by an urge, which he immediately knew he hadn’t felt in months, or maybe years, to physically involve himself—by going outside and living each day patiently—in the ongoing, concrete occurrence of what he was passively, slowly remembering. But the emotion dispersed to a kind of nothingness—and its associated memories, like organs in a life- less body, became rapidly indiscernible, dissembling by the metaphysical equivalent, if there was one, of entropy—as he realized, with some confu- sion and an oddly instinctual reluctance, blinking and discerning his new room, which after two months could still seem unfamiliar, that he was somewhere else, as a different person, in a much later year. He kept his eyes pressurelessly closed and didn’t move, wanting to return—without yet knowing who or what he was—to sleep, where he could intensify and prolong and explore what he residually felt and was uncontrollably forgetting, but was already alert, in concrete reality, to a degree that his stillness, on his queen-size mattress, felt like a kind of hiding. He stared at the backs of his eyelids with motionless eyeballs, slightly feigning not knowing what he was looking at—which also felt like a kind of hiding—and gradually discerned that he was in Brooklyn, on an aberrantly colder day in late March, in the two-person apartment, in a four-story house, where he had moved, a few weeks after returning from Taiwan, because Kyle and Gabby, to “save their relationship,” had wanted more space. It was spring, not winter or autumn, Paul thought with some linger- ing confusion. He listened to the layered murmur of wind against leaves, familiarly and gently disorienting as a terrestrial sound track, reminding people of their own lives, then opened his MacBook—sideways, like a hardcover book—and looked at the internet, lying on his side, with his right ear pressed into his pillow, as if, unable to return to sleep, at least in position to hear what, in his absence, might be happening there. i n e a r ly Ju n e , a f t e r f o u r m o r e pa rt i e s, t wo at which he similarly slept on sofas after walking mutely through rooms without looking at anyone, Paul began attending fewer social gather- ings and ingesting more drugs, mostly with Daniel and Fran, or only Daniel, or sometimes alone, which seemed classically “not a good sign,” he sometimes thought, initially with mild amusement, then as a neutral observation, finally as a meaningless placeholder. Due to his staggered benzodiazepine usage and lack of obligations or long-term projects and that he sometimes ingested Seroquel and slept twelve to sixteen hours (always waking, it seemed, at night, uncomfortable and disoriented and unsure what to do, usually returning to sleep) he had gradually become unaware of day-to-day or week-to-week changes in his life—and, when he thought of himself in terms of months and years, he still viewed himself as in an “interim period,” which by definition, he felt, would end when his book tour began—so he viewed the trend, of fewer people and more drugs, as he might view a new waiter at Taco Chulo: “there, at some point,” separate from him, not of his concern, beyond his ability or desire to track or control. When he wanted to know what happened two days ago, or five hours ago, especially chronologically, he would sense an impasse, in the form of a toll, which hadn’t been there before, payable by an amount of effort (not unlike that required in problem solving or essay writing) he increasingly felt unmotivated to exert. There were times when his memory, like an external hard drive that had been taken from him and hidden inside an unwieldy series of cardboard boxes, or placed at the end of a long and dark and messy corridor, required much more effort than he felt motivated to exert simply to locate, after which, he knew, more effort would be required to gain access. After two to five hours with no memory, some days, he would begin to view concrete reality as his memory—a place to explore idly, without concern, but somewhat pointlessly, aware that his actual existence was elsewhere, that he was, in a way, hiding here, away from where things actually happened, then were stored here, in his memory. Having repeatedly learned from literature, poetry, philosophy, popu- lar culture, his own experiences, most movies he’d seen, especially ones he liked, that it was desirable to “live in the present,” “not dwell on the past,” etc., he mostly viewed these new, mnemonic obstacles as friendly and, sometimes, momentarily believing in their viability as a form of Zen, exciting or at least interesting. Whenever he wanted to access his memory (usually to analyze or calmly replay a troubling or pleasant social interac- tion) and sensed the impasse, which he almost always did, to some degree, or that his memory was currently missing, as was increasingly the case, he would allow himself to stop wanting, with an ease, not unlike dropping a leaf or stick while outdoors, he hadn’t felt before—and, partly because he’d quickly forget what he’d wanted, without a sensation of loss or worry, only an acknowledgment of a different distribution of consciousness than if he’d assembled and sustained a memory—and passively continue with his ongo- ing sensory perception of concrete reality. Spring2009 TaoLin moment to moment tao lin moment to moment tao lin
  • 19. 39 Anthony Discenza moment to moment anthony discenza38 moment to moment anthony discenza
  • 20. 40 41 Left: Dirty Lens, Right: LightsKota Ezawa moment to moment anthony discenza moment to moment kota ezawa
  • 21. 4342 Harrell Fletcher In los angeles in tokyo moment to moment harrell fletcher moment to moment harrell fletcher
  • 22. THE THING Quarterly Editors: Will Rogan, Jonn Herschend Moment to Moment Editorial Board: Derek Fagerstrom, Andrew Leland, Joe McKay Managing editor: Sarah Simon Graphic Design: MacFadden & Thorpe with Taylor Franklin Copy Editor: Soumeya Bendimerad, Magnolia Molcan Assistant Editors: Magnolia Molcan, Sarah Frazier Website Design: MacFadden & Thorpe with Taylor Franklin Production: Max La-Rivière-Hedrick, Alexandra Rose Franco Jonn Herschend Jonn Herschend is a San Francisco based artist and filmmaker. He is co-editor and cofounder of THE THING Quarterly and a recent winner of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA award. Will Rogan Will Rogan lives and works in Albany, CA. He is co-founder and co-editor of THE THING Quarterly. Will was the recipient of the SECA award in 2002, is a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow, and is repre- sented by Altman Siegel Gallery in San Francisco, and Laurel Gitlen Gallery in New York. Gwen Allen Gwen Allen is an Associate Professor at San Fran- cisco State University, where she specializes in contemporary art, criticism, and visual culture. She writes for publications including Artforum, Bookforum, Art Journal, and East of Bourneo. She is the author of Artists’ Magazines: An Alternative Space for Art (MIT Press, 2011). Tao Lin Tao Lin is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry. Vintage published his third novel, Taipei, in June 2013. Ariana Reines Ariana Reines is the author of four books of poetry and an Obie-winning play, and the translator of three volumes from the French. Previous projects for clothiers include a series of posters by PARIS, LA for Yves Saint-Laurent. Geoff Dyer Geoff Dyer’s many books include Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, But Beautiful, The Ongoing Moment and Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Both- ered to Do It. Will Brown Will Brown is a collaborative project based in a storefront space in San Francisco’s Mission District. Our main objective is to manipulate the structures of exhibition-making as a critical practice. Will Brown is Lindsey White, Jordan Stein, and David Kasprzak. Jason Jägel Emerging from his San Francisco backyard studio slash record shack, Jason Jägel’s drawings and paintings have been widely exhibited nationally and internationally since 1995. His 2008 monograph is entitled Seventy-Three Funshine. Kota Ezawa Kota Ezawa is a San Francisco-based artist who often reworks images from popular culture, film and art history, stripping them down to their core elements. His simplified versions remain easily recognizable and potent, the result of a process that illuminates the hold certain images have on their viewers. Dave Muller As DJ, curator, and artist, Muller examines with wit and irony the formation of an individual’s identity through the amassing of cultural references. He is known for his wall drawings and large-scale works on paper that employ iconic structures such as the topten list to create diagrammatic but uniquely personal portraits based on the musical passions of their subjects. Anothony Discenza Anthony Discenza is a visual artist based in Oakland. He primarily spends his time thinking and worrying about an extensive variety of subjects; occasionally, this activity results in the production of tangible objects and situations intended for presentation in different public and semi-public venues for varying lengths of time. Harrell Fletcher Harrell Fletcher creates participatory art projects in a variety of contexts with various people—many of them non-artists. He is an associate professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon where he directs the Art and Social Practice program that he founded in 2007. Susan O’Malley Susan O’Malley makes art that connects us to each other. She has given Pep Talks in parking lots, asked for advice from strangers, and installed inspirational posters in public—because we are all in this together. She lives, works, walks, and talks to other people in Berkeley, California. Leslie Shows Leslie Shows’ materially diverse, landscape-based collage paintings have been exhibited at the 2011 Mercosul Biennial in Brazil, the 2006 California Biennial, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has been the recipient of an SFMOMA SECA Award, an Arta- dia Award, and the Tournesol Award from Headlands Center for the Arts. Solo exhibitions include the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, Haines gallery in San Francisco, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, and, in 2014, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Jon Rubin Jon Rubin’s projects include running a restaurant that only serves food from countries with which the United States is in conflict to selling an American family’s entire life possessions in an exhibition in China. He has exhibited internationally and was shortlisted for the International Award for Participatory Art. More info at: www.jonrubin.net. Starlee Kine Starlee Kine is a contributor to the public radio pro- gram This American Life. She does stories about the world’s slowest car chase, misunderstood ghosts and presidential library reenactments. She also wrote a torch song with the help of Phil Collins and designed a heartbreak cutting board designed specifically to cut tear-inducing onions on for The Thing Quarterly. Jason Kalogiros Jason Kalogiros (b. 1975, New Brunswick, NJ) lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Jason received his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2008. His work has been included in exhibitions at Rodeo, Istanbul, Turkey, 1/9 Unosunove, Rome, Italy, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL among others. Jason is represented by BOB LINDER, San Francisco, CA. THE THING Quarterly is a periodical in the form of an object. It's like a maga- zine, except that each issue is conceived of by a different contributor and then published on a useful object. Thethingquarterly.com Levi’s Made & Crafted: 140 years ago, Levi Strauss invented a simple blue jean that would forever change the way America, and the rest of the world dressed. Levi’s Made & Crafted builds on this legacy by designing tomorrow’s classics using today’s best materials and construction techniques. Levismadeandcrafted.com Goodthingstaketime.com