(It occasions the anticipation of nausea, albeit not a particularly unpleasant one)
I am sitting down with a photograph in my hand. I speak out loud to myself.
His hair is not long. He does not have messy hair. His nose is not too big. He is not wearing overalls. He is not looking upward. He does not have blond hair. He does not have dark skin. He does not have wrinkles. He does not have blemishes. He does not have ugly clothes. He does not have blue eyes. He is not standing up. He is not squatting. His hair is not dirty. His eyebrows are not curved nor thin. He is not laughing. His gaze is not soft. He is not looking straight into the camera. His body is not straight. His posture is not intimidating yet not timid. He is not wearing a pinstripe. He is not wearing a dark colored tie. He is not crying. He is not ugly.
Let me try this again.
352 miles per hour.
30 Hollywood starlets (Only within what an existing record indicates. Most likely many more).
30 Biographies (and even more miscellaneous publications).
Looking at /
for Mr. Hughes.
Again, I speak out loud to myself. I am alone in my studio. The sound uttered from my mouth reverberates the air around me. My eardrums shake just enough to recognize the sound and incite the electric impulses that run through the neurons, dendrites, axons, the synaptic clefts. The recognition is automatic, almost instantaneous. Perhaps there is only a split second. This sensation is similar to that of looking at an old photograph, of family, of friends, schoolmates, neighbors, like the enigmatic experience of an irretrievable reality, the moment definitively passed, appearing to present itself as itself, by itself, in the present, in front of my eyes.
A split second is all I had.
It becomes clear to me that I am living in a confusion of conflations. A photograph is, ontologically, not a memory. It is a chemically activated light sensitive piece of paper (which still remains a sort of alchemy for me, an immobilized phantasmagoria, or an apparition). Likewise, sound, not denotation. It is fragile, and its transfixion hasty. Language becomes materialized, lexiconic and preponderates sound.
If this is so, then the equation of the speed of language would look like;
C = √P / √q + a
This is the speed necessary to delineate a figure.
Dispersing the self through technological means (airplanes, movies, multiple homes), Hughes infinitely condenses the field in which to penetrate, resulting in acceleration, just as the density of the material affects the speed of the sound.
That split second is all there is to seize the palpable. The + a.
Passed the + a, the figure (Mr. Hughes) is a disseminated mass of epistemic recitations or confession like remnants that are to be circulated synchronically.
"A subversivo, the driver thought, because there was no family in evidence (to be related to someone killed in El Salvador is a prima facie death warrant, and families tend to vanish), but all anyone in Gotera seemed to know was that there had been another body at precisely that place the morning before, and five others before that. One of the priests in Gotera had happened to see the body the morning before, but when he drove past San Carlos later in the day the body had been buried."
- Joan Didion, Salvador, 1982
Remembering rips the remembered into contemporaneity with the one remembering.
Now I'm holding the photograph in my hand. Playing a sort of fort-da. Placing the photograph before me, front, then back, front, back, front, back, front, back. The imprint of the image begins to be reconciled with the flashes of the memory of the image. Flickering on the threshold of representation that is my memory, and abstraction that is the photograph, my brain responds by wondering, unstablized.
Fission is induced.
My gaze fixated and my brain erratic, hauled in polarizing directions, against my fancy I lose authority of the psychosomatic tenacity that seemed effortless before, into a kind of liberating illness. The latent image and the photographic image start pulsating as if the pupils of my eyes are being steadily and expeditiously dilated and contracted, repeatedly in an incessant yet inadequate recapitulation. His dark hair is no longer the dense paddle of black ink, his smooth skin, not the lightest gray shimmering on the white paper but a plasma enacting its own electromagnetic field, accelerating ions and electrons through double layers in a closed circuit.
But there seems to be a glitch. A glitch, that only lasts for the duration of the + a, where the amorphous, anachronic figure has forgiven his mischievous and virulent sway.