Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci

A weeklong electronic journal.
Sept. 23 1999 9:00 PM

Vito Acconci

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6 a.m.: I'm taking a car-service to La Guardia; 6:40 plane to Akron.

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6:20 a.m.: When I arrive at the airport, I find that the flight is canceled. The next flight is 9:30.

6:30-9:30 a.m.: I'm at the airport--pacing, sitting, eating--half falling asleep all the while. I didn't sleep last night. Maybe you remember why. I was depending on the 6:40 plane ride to give me sleep: I would sleep on the plane. But there's no plane now to sleep on. I can sleep on a plane--that's where I get my sleep, most of the time--but I can't sleep at an airport; I can't sleep in the vulnerable position of being in the middle of swarms of people passing by (very different from one person, now and then, walking up the aisle of a plane). I'm thinking of the Akron project, of course. And I think: Our spiral is going around in circles--it's our project that's going around in circles--we're going around in circles. So I try to change course, in my mind: Let's make one last grasp at another direction for this project. I find a public fax machine; I start writing a fax to Luis and Sara. So I start thinking: No, we don't want to have people on the traffic circle itself--but what if we use the traffic circle as only a start for a situation of having people around?--the traffic circle can hold a support for places for people around--a support-tower--a structure that reaches up into the air, with arms like a crane--the crane extends over the street, onto the sidewalk and over the sidewalk--hanging down from the crane are forms of seating places for people. I think we're on to something. But the problem is: If you want a seat on the ground, what makes you support it from way on high?

9:30 a.m.: Get on the plane. Fall asleep immediately, I realize later the plane doesn't leave for a while.

11:45 a.m.: The plane was supposed to arrive in Cleveland at 11 a.m. It's late.

12-1 p.m.: Woman named Andrea is driving me to the university. She lives in Cleveland and drives to Akron every day. But this time she's driving to Akron from the Cleveland airport; she doesn't know the way; we're going in the wrong direction. We turn around. It's supposed to be a half-hour drive, she says--that's what everybody has said.

1-3 p.m.: I give a talk on Acconci Studio work. It's a good talk; I can feel people getting excited--the people on the committee for choosing this project, the students. The talk is the best thing that could have happened; I'm preparing people for the reception of our project. Now we have to get a project. (Maybe we have one, I think to myself, remembering the fax I sent from the airport.) One thing that comes up in the talk is something I always bring up: space as close-up--our projects as going counter to the Western culture tradition of the dominance of vision--our projects are spaces you're in the middle of, not spaces you see from afar--when two people face each other at a social distance, 4 or 5 feet apart, each person sees the other's whole person, whole body--each person in effect has "control" of the other person--but what if that distance dissipates?--what if those two people are now two inches apart, one inch apart?--suddenly you can't depend on sight anymore, you have to resort to other senses hearing, smell, touch, taste ... I've been used to saying: If anything happens in life, if anything changes in life, in the world, it changes at those moments--those moments when you can't depend on vision and control, when you have to make do and resort to devices and instruments in yourself that you don't know--vision is private, hearing is communal. I say something like that this time, in this talk; I hope each time I might be saying it at least a little differently, a little more expansively. But then later I think: Maybe it's very simple why I need to talk against vision--maybe I talk against vision because I know, by this time, how ugly (or is it just "homely"?) I am--I better talk against vision, I better hope there's something else, some other way to have a relationship--I remember Andrea Bum saying to me once: "If it wasn't for your voice, you would have never fucked anybody."

4 p.m.: Get to the airport for a 4:15 flight. Plane is delayed. Plane doesn't leave till 5:30. I haven't eaten; besides being sleepy, I'm starved. There's a Pizza Hut at the airport; one pizza left in the stove/tray; I grab it, I'm about to pay the person at the cash register; she shakes her head and says, "Take it"; I'm confused, I ask her where do I pay, she says again: "Take it." Do I look as bad as all that?

7:45 p.m.: I'm back at the studio. Luis and Sara are still here. I knew they would be. Luis leaves around 8:30. Sara stays until 11 p.m.; more and more I need her here. We talk about the possible new project--the crane, etc. Luis has introduced the element that makes the project work: There are a number of crane arms--the crane arms move, as on a real crane--so, of course, the furniture is held from on high, because the furniture moves--the furniture circles, very slowly, around this entrance area to the campus--the look of the campus constantly, very slowly, changes. Furniture is an instrument that traverses the area, as if surveying the area. Sara and I keep talking about the project; we're talking around the project; we're circling the project, the way the project itself would, on the grounds of the campus. I'll tell you more tomorrow; I feel sure now that we'll have more tomorrow.