DJ Spooky

Vacation–Waitsfield, Vermont: Cold Chillin’ or Nonlinear Soul for Your Third Earhole


Today. Situation>signification: The Routine.

Skip>fade>enter?delete>>>cd:dir:goto>So this day, several routines to get done before I head back to the city (arghhh! NYC summer shit smell, too many people, heat, humidity, etc., etc.) ‘cause I’ve got mad amounts of detail work to get done before I step back into the mix. Something like a six-hour drive with cell phone and various and sundry things to screen through, catch up on, absorb. No more no less. 6/15/99–Daily operation>the sequence>Mix tape “axonometric” in the background as the a.m. unfolds and I pack my gear. Basic elements: newspaper, online mail check, phone call to NYC to check voice mail before I hit the road, phone call to London to check the progress of a project I’m working on with an artist named “Scanner” that’s based on “cell phone intercept music” (my term) that was decoded in NYC and London, phone call to NYC about a meeting later in the day, last but not least, a final phone call to download and upload different e-mail responses and replies–I’ve been in a small conflict with a Japanese composer named Ryoji Ikeda who’s based in Tokyo about a vinyl project we’ve been discussing as a collaboration for a while, and am in the middle of setting up my trip to Spain for the weekend festival “Sonar”–replies and responses out over the fiber-optic cables holding it all together … 8:30 a.m. procedure of the day on start/begin, a dream within a dream, transmission engaged: upload etc., etc., etc., uniformity and connectedness, the sound of the waterfall converges with the mix tape made of cell phone elements from several radically different cities, a tone poem:

smooth and sequential

check the mix potential

in the frequency spectrum

contents under pressure

abstract conjecture

over and under

split second torn asunder


robot voodoo power

turbulent upload

the routine permutation

on the composition

of the nation

The issue of the “uncanny” comes to mind when one views/hears/lives work of this sort. One is confronted with what Freud liked to call “the things, persons, impressions, events and situations which are able to arouse in us a feeling of the uncanny … excite in the spectator the impression of automatic mechanical processes at work behind the ordinary appearance of mental activity.” But I wonder how many other people are doing similar/parallel stuff this beautiful morning? How many other people in the industrialized world inhabit the flow? I read a statistic the other day–most people in the world haven’t made a phone call, let alone dealt with most of what holds my routing together. A deeply sobering thought, but then again … my mind wanders to another day, a little while ago. Incidental drift>Standing at a newsstand in Milwaukee’s airport and browsing through the Rolling Stone article on those kids from Columbine High School, and reading that they were fans of my music, and feeling the abstract sense of theater that they must have been living. As people milled through the airport around me, I felt uncanny, unwoven, and watched the airport’s columns and the crowd-filled space cast in another, more paradigmatic light>transubstantiation of consumer value and goods. I don’t think I’ve cried in a long while, and it was difficult to hold back.

Skip>fade>enter>delete:cd:dir>goto>>Prosthetic Realism. Proxemic Agency. Frozen Time. Degrees of Amnesia: late 20th century conceptual realism? A list of names, some relevant as core sources, some as contextual agents: (fill in the blanks) … A series of tenuous observations … A list of associative images, some that offer a conceptual backdrop, others that become relevant only if they are viewed both as precedents and antecedents. Visual ecology, I think, is the common denominator linking all these blank spaces, names that I have withheld. Spaces left open for further examination. Names at the edge of thought. Just beyond recall. Particles of meaning, waves of thought, blurred immediate recall. Visual recoil. The elements of the work reduced to a placid feeling of surveillance–anxiety in the camera, ennui in the observer. Your eyes, absent-minded, looking out. These things I leave open, with a hint of why they are referenced …