pretext

"The screen will remain white during the 17-minute projection. The actor must limit his performance to handing each viewer a copy of the brochure which does not include multi-media effects or color photographs. The lights are dimmed and the actor invites the audience to begin the show: a joint reading by the light of the screen. Rotating the
seats 180 degrees will help enormously in lighting the text. The actor takes a seat in the first row and begins to read silently. He may have memorized The Pencil Monologues but must always seem to be reading the text for the first time."

The Pencil Monologues
"I draw by paying special attention to two traffic signals: slow down and stop ahead. In recent years we have minimized three senses—touch, smell, and taste—and reduced the importance of the eight intermediate digits—2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. In order to reproduce history in text, image or sound, all we need are zeros and ones. The quick triumph of reductionism forces the reader, not the text to bear responsibility for diversity. If fast food seems uniform it’s because the consumer is unable to appreciate its subtlety. Not even McDonald’s ever cooked two burgers of identical shape, texture, color, taste, and temperature."

Coffee & MHz

"In fast-food restaurants it is more interesting to study the utensils than the menu. To take time in examining the trays, glasses, wrappings, cutlery, and napkins: recent fossils, discreet archives. Every visual field is an apt site for archeological excavation. Every mark, line, point, stain and
indentation requires our closest attention."

"Near the edges of liquids, molecules are organized in parallel layers. The first layer of molecules is disciplined, the second is more flexible, and in the third and fourth, order disappears. Every liquid is enclosed in its own shell and has properties similar to solids. After careful observation it is possible to link the structure of the planet and a glass of Coca Cola with the structure of a tortoise"

"The earth and its inhabitants weigh 5,972 trillion tonnes. An incredibly heavy globe to approach with the point of a pencil. That’s why myopia is the best response to globalization: reducing the visual field allows to discover infinitesimal details in the space of a square inch. For the last two years, Upstate New York, I have tried to warm up the likes of ShopRite, Home Depot and Staples. With H9 lead pencils from Steadler, Faber Castell, Koh-i-noor, Caran d'Ache, I practiced a new theory of focus: small-scale attacks against Xerox paper, Polaroid slide frames, Empire rulers, Reynold’s aluminum rolls, Celotex insulation panel and Macintosh apples."

Songspy and Lynux Drops

"The pencil was born because of the intimate relationship between the thumb and index finger. A digital dialogue from prehistory to history. The new technology has yet to achieve a more digital instrument than the hand."

"Last year, Wolfgang Ketterle confirmed the Bosse-Einstein theory: solid atoms are rebellious and assume gaseous attitudes when the temperature reaches absolute zero. Scientific experiment proves that solidarity is not compatible with low temperatures. I think we should move from freezer to microwave."

"The Jivaros were a capitalist tribe: head shrinkers. Free long distance phonecalls shrink the planet and give us a new international intimacy. In a small world, not compatible with hooligans and visual slogans we have to lower our voices and the ceilings of art galleries. We need to exercise in homeopathic processes (Lynux and Songspy Drops). Working in a smaller planet requires new modalities. "In the wireless era there’s no room for Tarzan’s vines. The prophets and folklorists of pessimism are quite boring today. Our time is so preoccupied with the spectacle of macro drama that delicacy (not to be confused with delicatessen) has become subversive."

The bitniks will be a beat-free generation

"Post-humanism is not within our reach in spite of the combined risk of robotics, genetics, and nanotechnology. The failure to remain human, simply human, eliminates all possibility of post-humanism. There is still no satisfactory explanation for the fragility of culture. There is still no
comprehending the proximity of Weimar to Buchenwald."

"Before long there will be an army of robots navigating our veins. Diminutive artifacts with specific missions. One battaling will constantly measure the blood pressure in different territories of the body. Other units will control cholesterol, analyze glycemia and hormone levels, any incipient arterial blockage, and the immune system. I don’t discount a specialized division to guard the four borders of pessimism."

"I define the current volume of information as intangible-materialism. As access to information increases and its dissemination accelerates our uncertainty goes from macro to micro, from real to virtual. This new materialism is not historical, it’s hypothetical: like that earlier transpersonal totalitarism, but in reverse. We go from the proletarian masses to the nanometric millefeuille. Five-year plan versus osmosis: from dogma to magma."

Cromagnonline

"I look at my mouse and it looks like the Bison of Altamira. The end of history will not happen. On the contrary, we are experiencing the renaissance of prehistory. I recognize myself in the mirror: Cromagnonline."

"We share 98% of our genome with chimpanzees. It isn’t surprising, since we followed the same road during 3,500 million years of evolution and only branched off five million years ago. Gradually we moved further away, taking
on imperceptible layers and manners. In this slow process what remains primate is protocol. Monkey plus minor change of protocol equals man."

"Chimpanzees are not only capable of transmitting a form of culture, they also have emotions and a great capacity for learning. They are able to learn the 300 characters of Sign Language and to perform simple tasks on a keyboard. My english and my drawings require a great deal of patience.
Foreigners carefully pronounce the silences that separate words. On average, 50% of any communication code is insignificant, which increases the hope that the intangible will remain uncontrollable."

Powerlines: no more than 1, 2, or 3 watts

"Globalization brings visual arts to the threshold of blindness. Reciprocally, visual arts are bringing blindness to the threshold of globalization. The speed of this process erases texts and relies on images of very similar textures: microscopic and telescopic. Genes and planets are too close and too far."

"The same thing happens with brains and drawings—from a distance they all look alike. When we examine the encephalic mass to locate a specific area for language, it is nowhere to be found. Capacity for speech is distributed
throughout the gray matter. Vital areas for language are concentrated in the left side of the brain. But if the right side is damaged, the linguistic ability is affected: you can no longer appreciate jokes, or understand play on words. What remains is a kind of boring intelligence, qualitatively equal
to that of a computer."

"In a few years, mobile computers will last hours, like Nile mosquitoes. So much obsolescence is seductive. Buying the fastest computer every eighteen months includes the pleasure of watching it age instantly. By dumping it, we
feel noble, modern, we feel like survivors."

"Microchips will be kept in Jurassic Park and quantum processors will have the form and aroma of a cup of coffee. Everything indicates that machines will do the fast tasks and we, slow art."