The Unknown: The Purple Line.

Artists Statement for an Unknown Gallery Installation

People come to a gallery burdened with stereotypical assumptions: that art should express humanity, beauty, philosophy, would entail craft, and be produced by visionaries of talent. By placing the hypertext in a gallery environment, we are undermining these oppressive hegemonic expectations that art ought to be good.  We are further provoking our academic colleagues by problematizing issues of race and gender (and class) by not really addressing them (or by having very much class). Our work concerns the Body and Embodiment and requires the gallery viewer to have a body that is physically present in the “space” of the gallery, evident from how their legs will ache from the time spent standing and reading our hypertext. Although we have observed in many cases that viewers will approach us, puzzled, after staring at the hypertext, and ask how to “make it work.” We respond, “you have to read it.” Their response is invariably one of dismay and disappointment.” This is a problem we hope to address in future iterations of our installation (see below).

Notes from the Unknown Meeting

I have listened to the minutes from our Unknown meeting held on October 5th, 2007 lost in Orange County in a rental car, and am summarizing them below.

The Book. We want a big book with all kinds of different languages in it. Translations. All kinds of different languages. We are not so much concerned with what languages or what the translations are translations of. Why? Because we want to appear internationally successful. Big shits. Whoops, typo. Big shots yo. Fucking translations. Get it?

Action item: we need to find people to do all the work for us for free, including figuring out what we are doing, and procuring the translations.

Question: is this the same project as the “sharply-designed” book, and/or the “coffee table book.” If so then we need a designer to do a kind of pro bono thing. Or a quid pro quo thing. You know, free. And we need a coffee table to put the book on.

The Unknown. We want to do some kind of interactive audio installation thing. For galleries. Not sure how it works. Doesn’t matter. We think the Unknown should be in galleries, that this is the obvious next step for a work of web-based writing that began as a publicity stunt for a book of our serious literary fiction and poetry (back when we used to think we would waste our time with that noise) about which we would write a book of criticism (which is still totally worth our time). Because we are self-promoting academics now, big fish in a tweed pond, a point to which I will return in a moment. So we want some kind of gallery thing, probably having something to do with interactive audio. Like one of the artists who gets drab one-page stories put up in galleries all over the world. It has something to do with using really expensive technology to display them, I think. Or that giant joystick, that looked expensive. Cool how the artist got someone to pay someone else to build that, and then other people to pay for flying it to galleries. And cool how she took the design from Atari Corporation who did all the programming for free. It's not clear what the person who was credited as being the artist actually did, though obviously it wasn't burdened with artistic talent or anything like that, which could totally slow us down. Talent, craft, discipline— for us these things could be a real deal-breaker. She said the giant joystick had something to with race and gender, or collaboration, something. We'd like our role in this to be like that. Where we just get paid or at least flown all over. So we want our interactive gallery thing to be totally expensive.

Action item: we need to find people to do all the work for us for free, and pay for it, including figuring out what we are doing. Probably we need to get someone to put it into galleries for us. Let’s get professional voice actors for the audio. Because I like the sound of that.

“Professional voice actors.”

So all we need to do, first step, is find someone to find people to do all this for us. And pay for it. Does one of us need to be the one who finds the person to find the people? If so, then we need to rethink this. Because we are totally lost. In this rental car.

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The Unknown at Spineless Books.