Finally at the end of a long series of flaming hoops, deadlines, shows, no one is expecting any particular kind of art anywhere until June, no particular manifestation coloring the development of the work, the way an outside site does. The optics, the open time… for one quick second I look into my mind for what I might create, but before I can make out any details of the golden thing I saw, Muse yanks me back to the present with a shepherd’s crook. Open time, optics.
I go to my forehead on the cold concrete floor of the studio, in meditative prayer, I pass by the sensation of a little grit that’s beginning to sting, and rotate my shoulders and arms out in front of me, palms to the sky, facing east, prostrate, breathing into parts of my lungs that don’t exist in the flesh. I say, make me an instrument of divine will. I say it like an incantation, like aspirin, and other proven mysterious remedies.
The studio is a naked room, a janitor’s closet, a dance hall in the morning, doors propped open with crates of empties that usher the lolling, acrid cloud of Murphy’s Oil Soap into the bright yellow sideways sunlight.
I see Tami sitting prim, hands draped like empty gloves one on top of the other, ten bright red glossy acrylic nails dangling over the cliff of her knees. She is looking at me in silent listening like she has staked out this spot to wait for me all night. ‘well,’ she says, and then more of the looking. ‘well,’ again after a while, ‘what do you want to create?’
“Photons are the new paper”
I am drawn to name photons fallen on a surface after having passed through a transparent medium, especially glass, most especially crystal. What is the word for a shadow of light? What happens besides photons? Would we not have a name for when they land, the arrangements that makes?
Natural transparency: water, crystals, gasses, dark matter?, eyeball lenses, silica, photons unaffected or affected by plasma? The nature of the work has been re-focused, one thing to the next, light. ‘Oh’ says central processing, looking up from its pages. You are looking at the light shadows of three optics, namely a candy dish, a cordial glass, and an Italian goblet, though I reserve the right later not to say, or to smash them and use their fragments for my optical purposes. Muse asks a lot of me. I think about the little jeweler’s hammer with three interchangeable heads, the egg shaped steel, the nylon dead blow, and the flat brass.
I thank the shadows, tall on the white wall, foreground and back, and double focused so that rows of leaves appear to be knit together on a common stem of light. Does no one ask what is going on about the shadows? About the apparent impossibility of them? You can’t actually become a shadowstician without also being a lightologist.