Immediately prior to the performance, I collected rocks from the earth around The Museum of Nowhere, and, over the course of two hours and thirteen minutes, proceeded to arrange the rocks to spell the phrase, “TO SEARCH IN THE ENIGMA OF HOURS FOR THAT TRULY HIDDEN SEED,” excerpted from a tablet in Franck André Jamme’s New Exercises ’08: “TO SEARCH IN THE ENIGMA OF HOURS FOR THE TRULY HIDDEN SEED THAT NO SOONER PULVERIZED BECOMES THE BREAD OF THOSE WHO EAT NOT TO PERISH.” After each word was composed it was immediately erased, the rocks returning to the pile. Behind the action was an hour-long projection of found images that I had composed, featuring a range of imagery—meat in an abattoir, gloved hands gluing a vase back together, a black and white performance of two hands relating, a diagram of the entrance and exit wound of a bullet, diagrams of the eye, ear and tear duct, the braces-filled mouth of a smiling teen, dressed-up people dancing, and so on. Playing on loop during the performance was a specially composed soundscape by Taja Cheek, featuring crickets, crackling fire, looped piano, waves, wordless vocals, bird calls, guitar riffs and rain. The sounds swell up and fade out over one another, until all becomes quiet. During the performance the loop occurred just over thirteen times. After the performance was over, the rocks were returned to the Antonito earth.
“To Search” is a meditation on transience and effort, and on the conscious experience of emerging from and being called back into the Source. As each word is fully formed and erased, it becomes difficult to recall the sentence as a whole; one considers whether this matters, whether actions should be taken in sequence, as a kind of story, or as indelible moments in an utterly transient landscape. Poignantly, The Museum of Nowhere’s storefront location where I conducted the performance closed a few weeks later.