America, An Excerpt

« previous image next image »

This excerpt of audio is from the installation done in collaboration with Channel TWo in Nashville, TN .

America, an Excerpt explores contemporary perspectives of past technologies through a wreck of various objects in a loosely structured form resembling a map of the United States of America. Objects are strewn through the gallery space and visitors are invited to lie down on a pillow that is situated between two car mirrors that have been converted into speakers that play a collage of recorded C.B. radio that breaks up into a morse code speaking “Speed is simply the rite that initiates us into emptiness.” This text is excerpted from Jean Baudrillards text America. The text speaks to the desire to reach immobility through pure speed, quoted below.

Speed creates pure objects. It is itself a pure object, since it cancels out the ground and territorial reference-points, since it runs ahead of time to annul time itself, since it moves more quickly than its own cause and obliterates that cause by outstripping it. Speed is the triumph of effect over cause, the triumph of instantaneity over time as depth, the triumph of the surface and pure objectatlity over the profundity of desire. Speed creates a space of initiation, which may be lethal; its only rule is to leave no trace behind. Triumph of forgetting over memory, an uncultivated, amnesic intoxication. The superficiality and reversibility of a pure object in the pure geometry of the desert. Driving like this produces a kind of invisibility, transparency, or transversality in things, simply by emptying them out. It is a sort of slow-motion suicide, death by an extenuation of forms - the delectable form of their disappearance. Speed is not a vegetal thing. It is nearer to the mineral, to refraction through a crystal, and it is already the site of a catastrophe, of a squandering of time. Perhaps, though, its fascination is simply that of the void. There is no seduction here, for seduction requires a secret. Speed is simply the rite that initiates us into emptiness: a nostalgic desire for forms to revert to immobility, concealed beneath the very intensification of their mobility. Akin to the nostalgia for living forms that haunts geometry.- Jean Baudrillard, America