How to Operate as a Human Artist, or The Antichton
endless book, optional sound

How to Operate as a Human Artist, following its own self-explanatory title, contains an endless text reflecting on some ‘operations’ at hand within the human artist, on circular temporalities of thought, on the process of its own writing and on the physical shape it had to assume. An endless text, put into a traditional shape of a book, by its very nature is forced to be constantly open - and as such, inevitably combines tactile pleasure with the impossibility of closure both in literal and allegorical sense. This shape is significant inasmuch as it is an object that is meant to be handled, and so its fragile material has more capacity for degradation than any technological manifestation. It shares both the vulnerability and finite materiality with the body of the artist; it offers the same old-fashioned (but weak) resistance to the digital world as the biology of the artist’s body.

The second title, Antichton, only becomes meaningful after the text has been consumed. So I will carefully put here that Antichton means ‘counter-Earth’, and it was used to describe a hypothetical Earth’s ‘twin’. In an early Greek cosmological model where the universe revolved around a ‘central fire’, the twin is always on opposite side and is perpetually obscured from sight. The model of motion in this idea, along with Maurice Blanchot’s interpretation of the myth of Orpheus, become two gateways for the text to live through, to choose between falling and circling around (as it is with things that become trapped in someone’s gravity). It is in these terms that the work negotiates the deep inside of the artist’s own inner cosmology, its operations, patterns and faults.


How to Operate as a Human Artist, будучи верной своему названию, содержит текст о функциях и моделях мышления художника. Этот текст также о процессе собственного написания, об циклическом времени мысли, о материальной форме, которую он был вынужден принять. Бесконечная книга по самой своей сути обречена оставаться вечно открытой - и в этом ее буквальная и метафорическая уязвимость. Ее форма разделяет с телом художника материальность и конечность; это форма, которая предназначена для прикосновений, и потому ее хрупкий бумажный медиум куда более подвержен деградации, чем любой технологический носитель текста.

Второе название, Antichton - для момента, когда текст книги уже прочитан. Поэтому я осторожно упомяну здесь, что Антихтон означает “Противоземля”, и что в одной из ранних моделей вселенной он обозначал гипотетическую планету-близнеца Земли. В этой модели вселенная обращалась вокруг “центрального огня”, а близнец всегда был на противоположной стороне от Земли и потому скрыт от взгляда. Эта модель движения небесных тел, вкупе с работами Мориса Бланшо о мифе Орфея, являются двумя главными поворотными осями текста, с помощью которых он выбирает между падением или кружением (выбор, который обычно предстает перед объектом, пойманным в гравитационное поле). Через эти два понятия работа находит свой путь во внутреннюю вселенную художника, и исследует ее притяжения, маршруты и дыры.


…I am remembering another operation,
which is un-naming;
un-naming is
happening in this book
en masse; and it is not
the opposite of naming.

In fact, these two
operations can be quite close
in functionality.

I could un-name the sunflower,
but it wouldn’t change a single fact
of its constitution,
as well as the fact
that sunflowers include themselves
into the movement of celestial bodies,
and in doing so,
participate in construction of time…

…When resuscitating a text from scratch,
feel right under its jaw
and check if it has a pulse.

If you can then follow the pulse,
and by tracing it,
to discover the shape of its living body,
I congratulate you.

Most of the time
in my book
this is what artists do.

Or at least in this book,
while it lasts (ha).

The good thing about physical objects
is that they have
a more or less definite
centre of gravity.

Consider any book a universe of its own,
and it would be easy to see how
in gentle mockery
the pages of this book
revolve around its empty heated centre…