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Changes [Jun 23, 2009]Home
While my mother and I have an early lunch, shortly before the funeral, the phone rings. I switch it off for just under 2 hours. The act of switching the phone back on is in itself curiously charged. The game, again, brings relief. I wonder – will I have any messages? has something happened? what will my game be like? I don’t have a problem with playing today, but, I guess, I want to have a good game. I think that I should look for BARNEY but also, despite Trampoline's gossip column, for HASSAN. This is to have some interesting company and learn more about the game from within the world of the game.
After the funeral, I go for a long, slow, and beautiful water walk. As I mentioned earlier, I find water therapeutic, which, I guess now, must be why the first destination I visited in this game was the canal. I also want to revisit some places from my childhood that I had not seen in a while. In particular, I want to look at a couple of trees – one that I used to play hide and seek in, and one that has always taken my breath away for its almighty beauty and venerable age. Finally, I feel that I should walk past the house in which my aunt and grandmother lived for so many years, and which I visited and played in during my childhood.
On my journey, I revisit the Nuclear Bunker, which has no windows and a locked door, with SOYUS 17 still sitting here with a rocket. I go to Max Agra’s where I find a wristband and many vegetable dishes. I am told that I am peaky. I eat a vegetable dish. Then, I go to the Vic, where I look for BARNEY; the council block, with flowers in tubs sitting on the landings; the YMCA with its ragged outside; Big Chef, where I am told that ANNABELLE is, though she is clearly disengaged. I wonder, once again, where is everybody? Am I the only player here today? This loneliness, both within the world of the game and in terms of lack of feedback for this documentation, makes me anxious about the point of writing these pages. Stefanie Kuhn, Michael Wright and Nick Kaye are, I think, my only readers now – or, at least, the only ones who have said something about it lately. I feel that I am too immersed in the writing to have an idea about its usefulness or value. I am no longer sure that I am finding out anything useful for myself. I feel tired by it, trapped in it, and short of things to say. Part of me just wants to stop writing. I think of Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment and remember that the whole point is that I must continue. Maybe, as I fall apart in the writing, something interesting will emerge.
After my walk I go to the internet café where I spend an hour everyday doing my email, putting this documentation online, advancing other projects. I cancel a visit to UCL’s CAVE programmed for Friday 20 since I feel that I simply am now too exhausted for further travel. I do, however, confirm attendance to an e-science workshop in Bristol on 19, mostly to meet Angela Piccini again, and see Paul Sermon whom I haven’t seen since leaving Lancaster almost three years ago. I still think that I might be in Nottingham with Mixed Reality Lab on 17 and 18. I need to write to Lynn Hershman and Steve Kurtz regarding the film I saw late last night, which moved me deeply. I have a profound admiration for Steve, and CAE, and still remember, just months before this all started, interviewing him and Beatriz da Costa in London. I remember getting an email saying that Steve’s wife died during her sleep and he somehow got arrested on suspicion of terrorism because he had some props for CAE’s forthcoming piece at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art that included bacteria. I remember spending the whole evening emailing everybody I had ever heard of and, particularly, Steve who by then had taken the fifth amendment – the right to remain silent. I remember the defence fund being set up, writing to presses all over the world, the sense of absolute desperation that something like this could happen. I think back to the film and how Lynn has carefully intervowen fact and fiction, performance and theatricality, constructing a double narrative that goes right throughout the piece, perfectly capturing Steve's awful loss, his love, but also his activism and talent, his amazing influence, all over the world, his fantastic ability to be ironic even in the most adverse circumstances, the everydayness of it all. I write to both, passionately and with much admiration to Lynn, and then slowly and carefully, but also with much respect and admiration, to Steve. I remember Tilda Swinton's line, from the film (she is playing Hope Kurtz, Steve's wife): 'so, the second she died, even the gesture of making art changed!' This makes me think of love and loss.
I decide to go to the Battle of Trafalgar Sq.. I learn that it opens at 8pm. The painted sign outside shows a cop van on fire. Maybe I am better off at the Vic, which, I guess, maybe also open at 8. I decide to try the Rec again, in case anyone’s still there, but only find a vast helicopter with twin rotors sitting between the goalposts. There are lots of soldiers around, listening to radio. Actually, I remember my father telling me how he picked up some of the very little English he knew by watching US soldiers listening to the radio. It must have been 1945. I look for HASSAN again but he is not here. I give up, both on him and BARNEY. Instead, I arrive at Ron’s Top Chip Shop. JOANA is here. There are many saveloys. I have a saveloy, even though I still don’t now what a saveloy is. I notice that for the last day or so, every time I picked up and used an object or some food I also ensured that I would pick up my defibrillator again. Perhaps this tells you something about what I expect will happen to me tomorrow.
To follow my game tomorrow go to Day of the Figurines 12/10/2006