Vito Acconci

So you get up; it’s about 7:30 a.m.; you wanted to get up earlier, of course–when you went to sleep, about midnight, you thought you were going to sleep for only an hour and a half, you set the alarm for an hour and a half (it’s always like that: You never want to admit that you’re going to sleep, you never want to admit that you have to go to sleep; but this time you have to–remember the Akron trip yesterday, remember you didn’t sleep). So you get up; you’re in the middle of the studio, in the middle of boxes, in the middle of old pieces, wrapped and unwrapped; no, you still don’t have an apartment, so you go on sleeping here; yes, all this stuff is being moved to the storage space, down the hall, but it isn’t moved yet, not all of it, and you’re getting used to it, the boxes make a private room–almost–for you to sleep in; yes, you know you’ll design the studio soon, you know it won’t always look like the raw dirty space it is; but no, you don’t have the money to do it yet and yes, you know that. So you get up, and you walk through the mess, about 50 feet, half the length of the studio, to the door, and you go out into the hall–you remember to grab the bathroom key as you go–and you walk around the corner and you go to the bathroom. No, you’re lying; you can’t take that walk so fast in the morning. Admit it: You piss in a can; then go to the door, etc., empty the can in the bathroom; you’re on your way to the sink in the hall–you’ve brought out the coffee pot, you pour out the old coffee in the sink, you fill the teapot with water, then you go back to the studio, you walk to the front of the studio (everything is pushed up to the front, there’s no room for people yet in the rest of the studio), you put the pot on the hot plate. While you’re waiting for coffee to boil, you take two other pots–one pasta pot, one smaller pot–you go out into the hall again, you fill the pots (just a little, maybe halfway) with water, you bring the pots back to the studio, you find some empty spot on a table. And then you go to the middle of the studio again, where you’ve slept, and you take your toothbrush, razor, etc., and you bring it to the spot on the table you’ve found. And then you brush your teeth; you dip the toothbrush in the water in the small pot, and then you put toothpaste on the toothbrush, and you brush, and you spit out into the pasta pot; and all the while you have with you a plastic cup of water (thank Renee for getting a water cooler), and you rinse between each swipe at brushing, so you don’t gag (it doesn’t really work, you always gag), and then you realize you’ve forgotten the Listerine, so you go back to your “bedroom” again and get it, and bring it back to the table. So you’ve finished brushing your teeth, in some way or other; and now you go out into the hall again, bringing the pots with you, and throw out the spitty water in the sink, and you fill the pots with water again, and you bring the water back to the studio, back to that spot on the table; and you go over to the top of one of the file cabinets, where the hot plate is, and you get the bottle of soft soap. By this time the water has boiled, so you put coffee in the pot, and pour water in afterward. While you’re waiting for the coffee to settle, you go back to the pots, with the soft soap; and you wet your face with some water, and then wash your face with soft soap, and then rinse it, and then put some soft soap on your face again–it’s all-purpose, this soft soap–and then you take out your razor and shave; and then you rinse your face again–you’ve forgotten the towel; you go back near your bed to get it. And now, with your face dry, you have a cup of coffee; foam cup. Two cups of coffee. And now you might as well use the slightly soapy water again, there’s no reason to change it; so you take off your shirt–and you throw water all over the top of your body–under your arms, around your neck, don’t forget the ears–and here comes the soft soap; and here comes the water again, you’re rinsing; and then you take down your pants, and now you do a make-believe shower for the lower part of your body, front and back; and all the while you’re heading for your feet; so you sit down, and you dip each foot in the soapy water, and you squirt on a little more soft soap, and you rub between the toes (you do one foot and then, since there’s no clean place to stand on this floor, you put on one sock, and one shoe, and then you do the other foot). You go back out to the hall again, and pour our the soapy water in the sink in the hall, and you rinse the pots, and you come back into the studio, and you take the razor, etc, back to where you sleep, and then you take a paper towel and wipe the spilled water off the table. All evidence is removed now; you won’t get caught.

–This is a day to look forward to. Remember, we have the Akron project now, we know what we’re doing: the crane from the traffic circle–circular segments of furniture moving around the sidewalk around the street around the traffic circle.

–Sara comes in; it’s about 10:30. We’re starting; but we can’t seem to really get started. But we’re still convinced we’re right, even though we don’t have anything even remotely on paper yet.

–Luis comes in, about noon. The three of us work together. Maybe our furniture elements are too small; maybe the crane has to move bigger masses–so the seats become bleachers. Maybe the crane has to handle bigger areas, lines of landscape–so each crane arm holds a series of furniture–one set on the island itself, one on the edge of the sidewalk–one farther in, into the sidewalk, onto grass areas on the sidewalk, near the buildings.

–If we’re using something like a crane, this will cost a million dollars; the budget for this project is $300,000.

–Why are we using this gigantic tower, up in the air, in order to move these objects/instruments down on the ground? The only reason is: The program for the project is: “something of substantial height.” So that it can be seen as you’re approaching the campus. The fact is, we don’t need a crane at all; we can have the furniture on tracks, on the ground; electricity is transmitted directly to the furniture and the tracks, you don’t have to see anything like an arm to move them–the only reason we have the arm is to show cause-and-effect–it’s as if we’re trying to do a pinball machine here, when a video game would be more efficient. We desperately tell ourselves and each other: We need height so that the wind turbine can be high. But we know how ridiculous that statement is; yes, we need height for the wind turbine–but no, we don’t want all that height only for the wind turbine–there are plenty of high points already on campus that might be used for that, we don’t have to build one.

–No, we don’t have a project for Akron. And this was our last chance: After all, I’m going to Japan tomorrow; I won’t be back until Monday afternoon; and the project has to be presented on Wednesday; and of course the studio can think and work perfectly well without me, but they need something from me to play off of. So at the end of the day, around 10 p.m., we get even more desperate than we’ve been: Let’s have a hole instead of a tower–let’s have light come up from a hole–let’s make a hole by boring into the earth, and bring the earth of (90 feet of it, say) hanging above the circle, the hole …

–Sara will come in early tomorrow; we’ll have an hour or two to work on the project before I leave for the airport. I want to work now, now that everybody’s left; I want to think for myself for a while; I go to sleep.