FIELD NOTES || LOG : 110521

[This Field Notes entry is an errant nonlinear forerunner, cart before proverbial horse, doing what Field Notes do without explanation. Is it needed? The “introduction” to what’s happening here — a collective exercise, in fact — will follow. When exactly remains to be seen. — EM]

Next to Diane Di Prima’s “Rant,” the individual piece of writing to which I’ve returned again and again and shared most frequently in the widest range of settings is “Borges and I” — for many years often pulled up on a SCCS webpage, still evergreen, from the late 90’s in the fecund intensity of the wee hours of the morning, to share excitedly with those also fighting the day’s hold on us by insisting on a second life past most’s waking hours.

Sometimes, it seems like the amount to which one tries to put words to ourselves and our “work” or “role” in the world only serves to obfuscate any remnant “real” further. What production has been fetishized, what ways does our avatar or positions we hold or aesthetics we present, what metatags become attached to us, so that these Selves become so present for others that we struggle to compete with the seeming hold they have on our public Identity, a commodity, into which only some of our words feed while others remain white noise, lost to signal.

How to release others’ perception? How to be the author of our own story? The writer of our own bio? On the one hand, seizing the archive, publication, production, distribution — that’s always been what the work I’ve been doing is about. A battle cry for those refusing to play by the rules, whose means perhaps suggested we couldn’t even if we wanted to. For *artists,* musicians, dancers, radical thinkers, and yes, for those working in text mediums.

Worldbuilding comes first — came first — but then somehow this interdisciplinary exercise in collective agency got associated with “literature,” and (bc people still attached to its popular imaginary reproduced that language) the words of the work itself, and the larger body and practice of my own work, both in the world and daily, creatively, became invisible. It’s the strangest thing to become, seemingly, more and more visible as something that you aren’t. Or, as a single facet on an infinitely beveled polyhedron.

But ultimately the reason to make any of the work has always been re/orientation: of the self, then re/presentation for others, the constant sloughing. There often isn’t time to both make and share. It’s sad how performance is so lionized that a choice against it is named “failure,” but I believe there is great honor, integrity, and courage in a life that becomes art, dedicated to the asking of questions with materials, the body, words, and senses, even if no one will ever see it. Sometimes I feel caught in the “hourglasses, maps,” and other associations of Elæ, and before them, Lynne — I think I thought I could more manipulate this process, the story, by choosing a new moniker, but I find that even that person, in its retelling by others, is already falsehood, left behind daily as new discoveries insist upon both the next stage of composting / decay and seeding.

I find myself sitting in rooms with myself and others likely sitting next to themselves, doubly surreal in the zoom space where, indeed, the default setting is to include oneself in our audience. What would it mean to return to work simply for the joy of it? To know that the making is in and of itself, a bit of divinity, to have literally shifted the energy of the world towards the existence of something that previously wasn’t even imagined? What if not knowing, other than knowing that the making (do) will allow us to see and allow us to do, in turn, is more than incentive enough?

What if we take as given that it is impossible to control our image, especially in the age of the punishing algorithm, to know that this post is subject to a toxic and highly designed calculus in which one is doomed to “fail”? Here’s some short animations of a few days digital drawings. It’s the tip of the iceberg — the unseen, the unshared, is the bulk of the “work,” not the seen. I may try to shift the lens, a bit — not bc of making different “work” but because perhaps I’ve fed this beast the wrong food.

Back to the lab we go.

#MadScience #Procreate #Art #ArtOnInstagram #Drawing #DigitalArt #Animation



The Operating System & Liminal Lab is an open access social practice experiment in the redistribution of creative resources and infrastructures founded and facilitated by Elæ Moss with an ever evolving global network of creative collaborators of all disciplines (and species).

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Elæ Moss

is a multimodal creative researcher and social practitioner, curator, and educator. Designer @The Operating System. Faculty @ Pratt & Bennington [they/them]