At Café Oto tonight Akio Suzuki hammers nails into a wood plank, in resolute honing of sounds, a devoted action of closeness. For every nail in the wood, a pierce in the ears and a sharpened insight, inhear. Months of waiting hammered upon this half of 2013. The inner sides of Suzuki’s hammering thump are darker than their outer part and softer at the edges than the centre. Hammering in this room, softer at the edges than the centre. Days hammered upon, think of what you are doing. Against these odds you can only hold a feather and hammer nails of resolution and persistence, softer at the edges. These words and echoes and thumps and wails could flip over to the unheard, to the not-paid-attention-to. They could be here or could not. Step into, or out. In, you hear a hammering resolution, out, you see a feather. Be a feather with the same precision as that hammering, spend time with every filament, make yourself more transparent and nearly invisible but present. In complicity under and over public lives. Hammering sounds, softer at the edge than the centre. Reverberations of stones and voice. Analapos string reverb listen exhaust. From hammer to feather to breath. Analapos, in a sounding understanding where ala is wing and posa is lay, n-n-n and here we are, caught between flight and stay. Us, cripples who once flew, who spend all our life chasing a hidden goal. Think of those who, in private spaces and houses or psychiatric institutes try piling up cards or hammer other nails or conjure up unlikely enterprises as private revolutions, often patronised because they either care too much or their goal appears futile and light, like a feather. Think, few things can match these, the study and dedication of those who devote their minds and bodies to reaching the impossible feather-like fulfilment in devoted actions of closeness. These people have friends and lovers and relatives who keep reawakening them to daily matter-of-fact. Think of what you are doing: a feather. Those who hammer and are like feathers don’t have the same noIdon’twanttosayit value of a football player or a senior lecturer or a broker or a political leader or a curator. Barred from history, no fellowships or honours, yet because of them, being human matters. You search for these marginalities so that yours can be as present, so that you can tell it’s real. It is stifling hot in the room, somebody opens the door, a siren enters and wails. Recollect your Oto sirens. The siren that cut a slit into the muddy grumbling bass slabs of Ambarchi/Csihar/O’Malley. The siren that, like a welcome sign of outsideness or a break into boredom, opened the space of listening outside of a, hm, ‘panel discussion’. Sliding playfully along that siren’s uneven coils you then thought: Take 6 panels (wooden), hammer all the discussing people inside and rejoyce in the muffled sounds of their smothering. The siren that haloed around the sharp geometric arrangements of Asmus Tietchens until you no longer knew if it was imagined or bounced off the crystalline formation of frequencies so beautiful and enclosed. The siren that you’d hoped for as a distraction, because the music sounded no longer enough and you were striving for a prompt to divert into contemplating an illegitimate echo-logy of thoughts. Remember then, the siren that broke the newly-met silence and met you at 6am walking on Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin ten years ago, after you’d seen the dawn break from the huge windows at Panorama Bar above bodies and techno bedazzlement and movement and thick air and euphoric thoughts of abandon. I call you call you Siren, furtive siren. In our oto date tonight, hearing watching, the air in the room is dense and full of echoes, whistles, whispers, and you and I are in here in pandaemonic thrill gazing at the sudden swollen portion of space that melts the next breath into these words, the light persistent buzz flipping up the undersides of breaths, bruises behind, the trembling. To you these nails; to wait, this hammering. Now it is 11.05pm and a thin mist has descended on the streets. As we walk, shop signs and car lights draw sulphurous trails in the triple dark. We enter the Dalston overground station fleeing like feathers and dizzy with the echoes of hammering.
date with siren