United in Stomach Flu, London Weeps
Aldo stares at his feet.
It had been such a bad day. After the meeting, he left for the pool. Forty-five years on earth, and he had a problem. He swam, dragging legs behind, front crawling into obscurity wondering about the narrative. He wanted to shout, louder than the unlocatable transferences that inputted and outputted each day: “I’ll keep my dreams! I have chosen to invest fully in ...”
“In my view.” Said his Manager. “The common denominator for you all is that we are VITAL and we are SELF ORGANISING. Your task is to expect the worst, whilst you engage affirmatively with the present! Accounting for some of its features in a manner that is empirically grounded! While avoiding negativity! NOW GO!”
Work work work work work work work work (Work!)
Work work (Work!)
Work work (Work!)
Work work (Work!)
(Britney, Live in Las Vegas)
Walking home, Aldo watches the different billboards promise a variety of magnificent events.
“The universe is incredibly violent.”
His temples throb, his armpits drip.
Two days earlier on an unexpected one-hundred and twenty minute tour of the Wyndham Hotel, the sales agent tells Aldo: Today’s The Day. He drops the word family more times than Aldo can keep counting, with a dialogic path laid and booby trapped long before he got hustled in for free dinner vouchers. For this tour and beyond Aldo must be committed. For the sake of living in the moment, he must ride a wave of attachment opting to not rupture/ break/ change the endless reproduction of a more habitual form of life and Wyndham holiday resorts. Everyone is very optimistic about the interiors, maintaining total attachment to a problematic object, in this case a $105,000 debt to buy a timeshare manifested as abstract points, which Aldo doesn't want. The salesman has not been blessed with a strong script “Father! Mother! The home!” He needs to be certain:
“Are you definitely married?”
“Yes.” Says Aldo sadly. “I am married to my wife.”
Aldo holidays in Puglia.
Aldo’s wife wants a new tour guide.
Aldo’s sweating worsens.
CHAPTER XXXX “C’s demise” (2015)
C’s training seemed to be sending her in the direction of, well, really odd. She started speaking to Aldo in strange stanzas about triumphing over her nature, attempting to define, extend, then modify her life whilst separating ‘herself’ from ‘Her Self’.
“I’m reaching for the sky.” She confessed, leading to a palpable disinterest in any maintenance of the grounded home or her actual day job, which she quit.
“I cannot afford this!!” Aldo screeched. “I mean, really, I know you’re trying to find your ‘I’ but why do you need to ‘distinguish yourself from your environment’ this much? C, here, it’s all good — please, come home.”
Yet his wife would not be told. Having seized her special language, she starts to crack new horizons, beating the earth on which she stood, until she loses herself entirely in her tools, leaving Aldo bruised and oh so lonely.
“I suppose I’m saying. I suppose I’m saying. I suppose I’m saying. I suppose I’m saying. I suppose I’m saying...”
“Please!” Says the Doctor. “Would you STOP!?!”
Hands above head, stretched full length on the couch, Aldo slams his arms down by his sides. “Arghhhhhh.”
“Here.” Doctor Stedman Graham hurriedly passes a tissue. “You must remember, this IS the best of all possible worlds. Having a perfect primary nature, in your case, just isn’t the case. However, we can help you construct a ‘second nature’ and if you train properly, it will become so strong, that when the enemy attacks you will be ready. Now,” he plumps Aldo’s bicep, “try again.”
CHAPTER XXXX THREE WEEKS EARLIER (2015)
HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS
“The. EARTH. IS. IN. DANGER.”
Aldo shuffles towards end of the bed, to a comfier place in the pillows.
“Future cosmic events are going to blast, burn, or RIP US TO SHREDS.”
Aldo drifts into sleep.
“One day, life on earth will become impossible.”
Season 3, Episode 8
CHAPTER XXXX: C learns to Shitpost
CHAPTER XXXX: Aldo battles private demons and rush hour traffic
PREFACE w/ HAND-HELD MICROPHONE
(From under a baseball cap)
(He drinks a glass of water)
This is NUTS!
THE FUTURE: (Is exhausted)
“I told you.”
It’s 1660-something, 090 11 980/ 702, Let’s have a baby!
No, wait –
(Claps hands together)
Debilitating dysfunction, loss of movement, blindness, seizures that cannot be attributed to any identifiable biological or medical cause. A historical trauma has remained unaddressed at times with the body part affected having a symbolic relationship to the trauma itself! For example, witnessing something traumatic might manifest as blindness many years later. Yet! Whilst your sensory, motor, or convulsive symptoms may match the characteristics, or the anatomical distribution of neurological disorders, your anatomy and physiology will remain un-im-paired!
Now get up.
The truth is,, we are unable to grasp the edges or the ends of that which has no edges and ends, that is until the duration splits into an event, and the event is front-page and it burns. I will not capitalise on a disaster though!
I’m here to talk about figs, and surfing ... or ... Is this high enough on your image hierarchy now? How about some bags around the eyes, some real tears and no surplus? How about that?
No-one is unavailable for comment.
“I believed I could do more by writing.” He says.
“I believed my socio-economic-environmental memoirs, part fiction, part not, might work!” But, like a wife at the sink, he’s still here; washing up for the normalised quiet of unseen power and his cronies.
Evil (old school) sinks its teeth.
Words, in usual arrangements, do not appear to be working.
Words, in unusual arrangements, do not appear to be working.
Part 13: resilience
Part 14: brain, bone marrow, blood, blood vessels, the retina, the liver renew themselves.
Part 15: more and more fragile, less and less euclidean (getting there).
Part 16: chains of command
Part 17: renewal 2
Part 18: English Language Imperialism.
Part 19: Retribution (is needed)
[Start of recorded material 00:00:00]
Dr Feldstone : Your amygdala is like another brain inside your head that you’re not aware of. It created the fear state. It’s not controllable by your conscious mind. It’s like you’ve got another you inside your head that does these things for you.
Aldo: It’s like my unconscious subconscious? Oh my what what what?
Dr Feldstone: Uh. No. Not in some Freudian sense. It’s not even related to your conscious mind. It’s another Aldo inside you, which is different from you. Much more primitive. And faster! It has connections to the cerebellum in the back of your brain, which is related to motion, and to the basal ganglia, which are parts of the brain that signal about motion or moderate it. That reaction wasn’t your conscious mind. You’re not aware of anything at all for a fraction of a second. It takes a while before your conscious mind knows that anything happened. I reach out and pick up this water. Again, my experience is I’ve done that because I was thinking ‘here’s a great example’, but I may not know why I picked up the water. It may be because I’ve been talking and I’m getting thirsty. There’s ample evidence that when people claim they’re ready to do something, they say now. They push a button and do it. Before that happens, their blood is going to the muscles that are going to move. Parts of the brain that are going to activate those muscles are active for as long as half a second or more, before they’re aware that they’re going to do anything. The body is getting ready. When we think we’re doing something of our own volition, we have no idea what’s causing it. This system works by itself. It doesn’t need you. Your job – the conscious mind – is very specific. Mainly it’s to make up narrative stories to explain why you’re doing things. All humans work that way. Even with language; most of the time we’re talking to people, we’re not communicating. Primatologists tell us we’re grooming. It’s our version of grooming. Essentially we’re talking in small talk. What we’re communicating to the other person is, I’m okay. I won’t hurt you. You’re nice. We’re part of this whole thing together, okay?...
PART 8: Defective Baboon: the baboon who won’t give up.
[End of recorded material 02:35:48]
This is an excerpt from Cally Spooner's new artist’s novel in progress.
Cally Spooner is an artist and writer. Her most recent solo shows include Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève (2018); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017); The New Museum, New York (2016); and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016). Her recent group shows include Serpentine Gallery and Kunsthaus Zurich (both 2017). Her book of Scripts was published by Slimvolume (2016), and her novel Collapsing In Parts was published by Mousse (2012). Upcoming solo shows include the Swiss Institute, New York; Castello di Rivoli, Turin (both 2018); and the Art Institute Chicago (2019).
* Cover photo: Cally Spooner, Early Research: Method #7, 2016 (detail). Bronze cast of the artist’s ear, fiction, paper, offset print . Photography: Aurélien Mole. Courtesy Collection de Fabrice Petitgnat.