Vito Acconci

Akron project: We can’t get the spiral to work. We’ve been afraid to go too high, so we’ve gone too low. And now it provides a cover for the sidewalk, a cover for the street: We’ve made a Dark City, a Campus of Shadows.

And we still don’t know how to make the spiral make a real traffic island, a buffer for cars in the middle of the street. Maybe we have to simply raise a circle of asphalt, to make an edge. Or, better maybe, we start a spiral where we want the edge of our traffic island to be–we take a strip of asphalt then and spiral in–once we’ve made a center, from that spiral, then we take another spiral from it–this second spiral spirals out, over the street, over the sidewalk.

Maybe we can twist the spiral–from a horizontal strip, it gradually twists to become a vertical strip–so that more light comes through. We have to make the spiraling asphalt function something like a louver system.

Luis came in today, and we were relieved, and he was relieved. (You don’t have to know why.) He worked on the MAK project, the project we really should be concentrating on now, not Akron, not Chicago. MAK: Museum of Applied Art in Vienna–they’ve asked us to do their new design store. It’s a former gallery space, to be transformed into a store, between the museum lobby and the museum cafe. We might have come up with something today: a box of light–a box of floating objects, articles behind glass–you walk between objects floating on each side of you–on top of objects floating below you–below objects floating on top of you.

My heart isn’t in this diary today. Because tonight was like all other nights: the horror–the stretched-out phone call–the relationship that ended but that never ends–the screaming, the shouting, the crying … (How can I tell you without really telling you? How can I tell you about me without telling you about someone else, and she’s not writing this diary; I am?)

I promise: I’ll make up for this inadequate entry tomorrow.

Let me, then, just list some facts for today:

1. Gave a talk at the Whitney Independent Study Program. When I review the career, it seems good; then why does what we do, always, seem so bad?

2. Talking to Sara and Bevin tonight, I strangely defended Charles Jencks. Can I admit that he was my introduction to architecture? Or do I want to say: Can I claim that he was my introduction to architecture?

Earlier, when I said the MAK project was our most important project now, I meant: It puts us in the position of doing the kind of thing “real” architects do, rather than the follies we’re asked to do in the realm of public art.

It’s hard to get a phone call out of your head when every time you have that phone call you shrug your shoulders and think, all you can do, all you should do, is die.

I have to go to Akron now, 6 a.m., Wednesday morning, to give a talk. If I talk so well, and so willingly, about past work, then does that mean there’s no reason to do present work? Why make a lecture longer by adding present work? Don’t do work at the present and give shorter lectures. (This is a glaringly fake way to end a diary entry.)