Wednesday, December 06, 2006



some people who collect old things are obsessed with condition; and most ephemera collectors are quick to stress how little a damaged piece of ephemera is worth. this is probably true in terms of monetary value; but collectors gather things for many different reasons.

if you've been downloading or listening to my recordings of 78's you know i'm not one to try and rub out the surface scuffs. the scratchy sound is part of the object's history.

this picture of a fiddler against the beautiful geometry of a log cabin might be of little interest to photograph or postcard collectors because of all the scratches; but i fell in love with it, specifically because of them. sure, i probably would have bought it in perfect shape; but these marks give the image a different voice... they give it a feeling of sound activity and a kind of musical aura through accident and neglect.

rilke talked about witnessing the process of recording sounds onto wax cylinders, the process of engraving an object so that it can contain audible moments within its carved crevices. these things that are engraved with history carry multiple stories and a the possibility of multiple responses. they hold within them an emotional quality and a life lived that "mint condition" objects simply don't have.

perfect objects can only refer to themselves, not their lives. imperfect objects are potentials - intuitive maps for multiple wanderings - that allow things to resonate for all the "wrong" reasons...


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