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Travelogue C2

January 21, 2015

A day at the LACMA was spent in search of new sensations. Among the contemporary sultans, textures, transparencies, reflections and overlapping planes, I found the surface of the eye and illusions of continuous vision made visible. Their characters had been made to wander through new environs, pornstars and immigrants in suburbia, affluent in the wilds. A well-known sign I spied off in the distance, striking for the contexualization of its ordinarily decontextualized presence, hard though it is to grasp from the little photograph that I took, as some form of documentary evidence. Later, a turn at the James Turrell exhibit, “Ganzfeld” and the almost clinical preparation, waiting with a friend in the antechamber and holding out hands for hospital gown and booties so as not to dirty the sterile surfaces, painted white and extending out, climbing the pyramidal steps to reach the chamber, shaped like a cowbell laid on one side, slightly tapered at one end and terminating in an apparent abyss. Moving to the end of the room through the deepening, even red hue of the air closing in on all sides, disoriented before a brief respite of tinted blue, which in turn deepens to a twilight hue but by this time have reached the room’s end or near enough and before, the light is so evenly distributed as to be unsure where the wall opposite begins or whether it even exists, the void hanging before, and the sense of distance recedes, replaced by vertigo as before any approximation of infinity, to the point that any sense of up and down is lost and time ends staring down into the emptiness of blue evening.

On my way to another airport, I encountered Los Angeles the flat, its own approximation of the immanent plane, a city of the horizontal and surface, two-story constructions extending in all directions from concrete arteries, dotted with bus stops and riders awash in noise from the freeways. The bus passed before the burned-out shell of an apartment complex, revealing metal ribs and stairwells bare, what I had always considered to be the building’s most fragile components, here so many truth columns rising above the ruin and belying my insides.

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