CUT WITH SOME PIECES OF CINEMATOGRAPHY:
A SONATA FOR TWO WOMEN
by
Studio for Propositional Cinema

SCENE:
Two women, E and L, in front of an audience.

L
(to audience)
Silence. Silence. A request for silence: Silence enough to make audible the sound of cold air crashing on electric heat as they seep in and out of windows.

E
(to L)
You placed before my eyes all the material in your possession, and explained the meaning of it. We organized and summarized. It was a long time since we had undertaken something together. You seemed pleased, I understood that this is what you wanted and expected from me. At the end of the day you disappeared again with your bag and I returned to my apartment to study the notes.

L
(to audience)
We are manipulating transparent materials into convex and concave forms. These forms are organized in relation to each other in order to allow them or force them to focus the relationship between light and the material world in a manner that may allow material realities to be viewed in contexts not otherwise physically viable within the given properties of human vision.

E
(to audience)
The effect of these object relations may also, through chemical, electronic, or as yet undiscovered processes, be recorded and be preserved as images as, into, or onto objects in order to be viewed within the program of human vision and/or contexts within a potentially infinite series of potential material relations. These preservable recorded images are realizable through series of processes that transform an ever-receding present into or onto a slowly receding material object or objects, the chemical compounds of which may decompose at rates slower than our human bodies.

L
(to E)
All is ruined.

E
(to L)
Let’s start it again.

L
(to audience)
It is here, within a technical-historical moment within which the knowledge of optical laws and of material-manipulative possibilities can be combined to produce objects and object relations that allow for the replication and/or enhancement of human vision, and within which the knowledge of chemical and technological processes, in relation to objects, can facilitate atemporal recordings of temporal material realities, that we can utilize images to examine the temporal, material, and socio-political cultural contexts within which we do and we must exist, in relation to the socio-political-cultural and techno-material ideational contexts that facilitate such examinations.

E
(to audience)
It is within such contexts that object-based ocular fields that facilitate images, and the event-based technical fields that facilitate their recording, are buttressed, are sutured, are over-layed, with the desire that these relations may be used to produce unanticipated forms, languages, and/or gestures.

L
(to E)
Your mouth is swollen and ugly. There's a mean wrinkle on your forehead. You smell of sleep and tears. I can see the pulse on your neck. It has a scar you normally cover with makeup.

E
(to L)
You are the prism that filters my thoughts.

L
(to audience)
To examine a form is to examine the network of temporal and material realities that constitute the socio-political cultural contexts within which it is made possible and within which it functions. It is therefore necessary for such an examination to exist within the perpetually necessary projects of critique that constitute culture as a social form.

E
(to audience)
If objects are prisms through which ideas may be refracted, and if time is the surface onto which ideas may be projected, dismantling such objects, and the contexts from which they were created, may be the only form we still have to reconstitute the given ideologies into hypothetical formulations.

L
(to audience)
It is here that we produce our images, and it is here that we tear them down, rip them up, and reconstitute them: insofar as they can best be enacted, utilized, dispersed.

E
(to L)
All is ruined.

L
(to E)
Let’s call it a day.

E
(to audience)
All of this is predestined. It's inside me.

L
(to E)
You'd think so... but reality is diabolical.

E
(to audience)
From inception to decay, life begins with cellular fusion, and is marked by increasingly larger movements which range from the caress of another’s skin to the crushing of another’s skull. They grow and vary and surprise, until the final reverberation of the last nerves and valves.

L
(to audience)
After death we embalm: We witness an animated corpse which
reminds us of what once was.

E
(to audience)
After embalmment we view: We take one last look to try create a visual for future recollection.

L
(to audience)
After viewing we proceed: We carry the corpse, in horizontal motion, through the streets, as the public watches its final movements.

E
(to audience)
After procession we bury: The direction of movement shifts 90 degrees and brings it to its terminal stop — permanent immobility.

L
(to audience)
After burial there is decay: Slow disintegration into formlessness until it eventually becomes one with and indecipherable from the mineral, vegetable, and cultural material from which it came.

E
(to audience)
On this ground we build and rebuild.

L
(to audience)
Like all human lives always have and always will be, cinema is finally dead.

E
(to audience)
We have seen its embalmed corpse. We have seen it paraded through the streets. We have watched it change directions, and become immobile.

L
(to audience)
As it decays we must plan our new course of action. We can choose to analyse and speculate on cause of death: autopsy as data gathering or preventative measure.

E
(to audience)
We can choose to rebuild in its image. A statue with the hope of reanimation. A cryogenic body waiting for a future that does not want it.

L
(to audience)
Or we can build anew, learning from what was while proposing new possibilities.

E
(to audience)
When we leave the dark palaces of dead gods, we look at the outside world to provide models, to the culture to suggest potential forms. We are that world and we are that culture.

L
(to audience)
Culture is an endless cigarette. We scatter the ashes into the wind and the ebbing waves. Its granules will get into our eyes and irritate and blind. We will breathe them in and spores will grow in our lungs. When the puss and the phlegm is expunged onto the ground, where it can mix with the rising gasses of the rotting corpses below the ground, we will have the fertile soil on which we can build new forms.

E
(to audience)
These forms, too, can grow, and move, and surprise, until they are no longer useful and can be put into the ground from which they came.

L
(to audience)
We all move in the same direction, toward or away from the light. It is in the variations between light and shadow that we live, we learn, we communicate, and, like cinema, like everything, we will finally die...

E
(to L)
I’m improvising like hell.

L
(to E)
I have such a great tenderness for you. It's almost unbearable. I don't know what to do with my tenderness. I live on your tenderness. Give me a sedative, throw me away.
I'm cold and rotten and indifferent.

E
(to L)
We locked ourselves in your office and sat at the computer, a kind of television with a keyboard, very different from what you had showed me some time before. You pressed the power button, and slid dark rectangles into gray blocks. I waited, bewildered. On the screen luminous tremors appeared.

L
(to audience)
It is no longer viable to exploit human labour for the production of ideology. It is no longer viable to exploit human labour as mouthpieces for ideology. It is no longer viable to enlist the audience as receivers of ideology.

E
(to L)
When the cast invades the streets tonight, a new epoch will begin. So: enjoy this pain, too.

L
(to audience)
To bisect an apparatus is to analyze the functions of its forms.

E
(to L)
The idea of making a film about your suicide thunders down the millennia…

L
(to E)
Commit suicide? That's unthinkable. You don't do things like that. But you can refuse to move and be silent. Then, at least, you're not lying. You can shut yourself in, shut out the world. Then you don’t have to play any roles, show any faces, make false gestures.

E
(to L)
Your hiding-place isn't watertight. Life trickles in everywhere. You're forced to react.

L
(to E)
Nobody asks if it's real or not, if you're honest or a liar.

E
(to L)
That's only important at the theater, perhaps not even there.

L
(to audience)
To analyze the functions of a form is to discover potential reformulations of the intended functions.

E
(to L)
The protagonist is butchered: her skin swells with air like a bubble.

L
(to audience)
To reformulate intended functions is to propose new actions within this set of functions

E
(to L)
She is split from the palate down to the sternum, shudders radiating throughout her body: The poison bores through her stomach and gives her diarrhea.

L
(to audience)
To propose new actions within a set of functions is to reset the terms of functioning within a structure.

E
(to L)
Suicide seems the simplest thing she can think of: Meanwhile she enters a movie theater.

L
(to audience)
If a structure is a consequence of rules which govern a series of physical and/or intangible relations:

E
(to L)
In the brief intervals between the spasms in her entrails, lo, in alternating sequence, the huge colourful intervals of the sponsors’ commercials.

L
(to audience)
And if we understand material as representative of the regime of physical relations:

E
(to L)
Refrigerators, toothpastes, smiling cheeks.

L
(to audience)
And if we understand culture as representative of the regime of intangible relations:

E
(to L)
We meet in the screening room and there we watch the city, poor in its hour of nakedness, terrifying as all nakedness is.

L
(to audience)

And if we formulate materials within a set of cultural formations:

E
(to L)
A scorched earth whose blaze, extinguished this evening, or millennia ago,

L
(to audience)
And if we formulate culture within a set of material formations:

E
(to L)
In an unending circle of rose-coloured ruins, whitening coals and bones, scaffoldings bleached by rain and then burnt by new sun.

L
(to audience)
Then in order to bisect, analyze, reformulate, activate, and/or refunction a culture

E
(to L)
Maybe the bomb has gone off without our knowing, and the world has already ended.

L
(to audience)
We must dissect the given material forms and the given ideologies within, upon, and for which they are constructed.

E
(to L)
But silently, slipped in against the light of the sunset.

L
(to audience)
And unfurl its entrails and map their contours like shorelines, like escape routes.

E
(to L)
A shadow operates the camera in this age.

L
(to audience)
And immobilize them (not drawn and quartered as with Marie Antoinette, but frozen as with Walt Disney -- the blood not dripping and splashing in the streets, but gathered in the gutters, frozen in pools).

E
(to L)
A quick shot of a pistol. And: “The End”.

L
(to audience)
It is here, in the reflections, that we can produce images of new potentialities and electrocute them so that they, too, may flow through the world again.

E
(to audience)
She began to type on the keyboard, I was speechless. It was in no way comparable to a typewriter, even an electric one.
(to L)
With your fingertips you caressed gray keys, and the writing appeared silently on the screen, green like newly sprouted grass. What was in your head, attached to who knows what cortex of the brain, seemed to pour out miraculously and fix itself on the void of the screen. It was power that, although passing for act, remained power, an electrochemical stimulus that was instantly transformed into light. It seemed to me like the writing of God as it must have been on Sinai at the time of the Commandments, impalpable and tremendous, but with a concrete effect of purity.

L
(to E)
A feeling of vertigo and a constant hunger to be finally exposed. To be seen through, cut down...even obliterated.

E
(to L)
We look alike...
(to audience)
Don't misunderstand me. She’s more beautiful...But somehow...I think I could change myself into her if I tried. I mean, inside.

L
(to E)
You could be me, just like that.

E
(to L)
But your soul would be too big. It would stick out everywhere!

L
(to E)
You are the prison that encapsulates my thoughts.

E
(to audience)
We have formed an alliance with perspective. In exchange for mere time, we have been able to suspend the axis upon which pictorial planes are set, so that they no longer recede into space in a vanishing triangulation but are now made visible as a set of relations floating spherically from viewpoints whose number is only limited by the temporal realities which constrict us all.

L
(to E)
The air from our mouths as we breathe, speak and salivate condenses on the glass pooling in drops.

E
(to audience)
The tracks along which these planes are set are set with notches which allow the planes in front and behind the image surface to vary in proximities, their opacities and reflectivities altering constantly with the qualities and intensities of the light.

L
(to E)
With lines drawn on fogs seen inversely from outside constantly receding but kept visible as outlines by the grease of a finger.

E
(to audience)
Instead of placing ourselves in front of or between these planes, we have perched atop the panes, we have burrowed into the tracks, we have melted into the glass, in order to see it from above, from below, from inside.
(to L)
The fragile lines of fingerprints collapsed into piles and wiped into rags and reconfigured as such:

L
(to E)
This repositioning does not exclude us from pictorial space but does, like the gaseous, like the aural, like the bacterial states with which we are enmeshed, allow us to elude detection from the mechanistic spires of representational systems.

E
(to audience)
Traces of signs made indecipherable but still present as material to be reordered and reconstructed.

L
(to E)
Seen from outside of the linear cartographies which have been constructed for us, our status within them is clarified: neither before, nor behind, nor outside of the image, we are visible as the circulating air which links the social and material facts of the producers with the social and material realities of the represented and the social and material responsibilities of the spectators, even through great temporal and geographic distances.

E
(To audience)
Elapsed over time all material dissipates, fluctuating between states: From solids to liquids and from liquids to gasses and brought back again in cycles of time.

L
(to E)
Like a scavenging bird or perhaps like a louse, we prey on the given structures in order to decipher and destabilize the nebulous worlds of images which flow through our worlds like a virus and reflect it in equal measure.

E
(to audience)
And held in hands, and trapped in lungs, and floating on tongues, and clouding in eyes.

L
(to E)
Undepictable, we haunt the image world in order to make it visible to itself: As water dissolves sugar, as winds erode the gates.

E
(to L)
Have you ever had a window to your own skull?

L
(to E)
Your absence is my most present state and your presence is the form my existence takes.

E
(to audience)
Situating themselves in order to view, our measured yet breachable distance articulated as such:

L
(to audience)
Pulled (like everything) by gravity. Combustible (like everyone) by powders.

E
(to audience)
In dark ages, language is and must be reconfigured into networks of impenetrable symbolic figurations, functioning in manners adjacent to the flow of immaterial pictorial formations, momentarily perceptible then replaced and/or voided forever by the succeeding correlative and/or by blankness.

L
(to audience)
And in dark ages, images are and must be reconfigured into networks of impenetrable symbolic figurations, functioning in manners adjacent to the flow of immaterial linguistic formations, momentarily perceptible then replaced and/or voided forever by the succeeding correlative and/or by silence.

E
(to audience)
In order to reconfigure cultural formations within the coming contexts, one must dissolve.

L
(to E)
Dissolve hydrogen, dissolve parliament, dissolve image and sound...

E
(to audience)
In order to erode the buildings: we are (must be) like the pigeons in the ceilings: shitting and fucking and scavenging, entering condemned spaces, claiming them as (their/our) own...

L
(to audience)
Conceding no ground: generation after generation...

E
(to audience)
Our gestures are designed to function within the given structures, while offering new vocabularies for silenced futures.

L
(to audience)
Our actions are designed to function within the given structures, while offering new visualizations for blinded futures.

E
(to audience)
Each day fantasy discovers new forms of organization.

L
(to audience)
We are already preparing to greet you from the other side...

E
(to L)
A quantity of light, originating from the horizon, and bounced from a vertical surface, raking at angles, illumines a knife, buoying beneath the surface of fluctuating waterlines, its form obscured by vibrations caused by its own movement.

L
(to E)
A reverberating of metals, against metals of conflicting natures, and of varying forms and sizes, cause minute fluctuations in their proximities. Symphonics of potential, tentatively constructed, and concealed inaudibly, in the trunk of a car.

E
(to L)
A sequencing of moments, around which dead time is necessarily constructed, not exactly necessary, but implicit in the understanding that, tempered by its absence, torn flesh amplifies its potential, as means and as symbol, in symbiosis and in equal measure.

L
(to E)
When the cast invades the streets tonight, a new epoch will begin. So: enjoy this pain, too.

E
(to audience)
The brother of the leech was walking in the forest, slowly...

L
(to E)
The idea of making a film about your suicide thunders down the millennia…

E
(to audience)
The mouth is always dry before a deluge.

L
(to E)
The protagonist is butchered: Her skin swells with air like a bubble.

E
(to audience)
In slow motion, in loops of time.

L
(to E)
She is split from the palate down to the sternum, shudders radiating throughout her body: The poison bores through her stomach and gives her diarrhea.

E
(to L)
What is today to an atemporal culture?

L
(to E)
Suicide seems the simplest thing she can think of: meanwhile she enters a movie theater.

E
(to audience)
A lamb-eating vulture was engaged in combat in the sky, slowly…

L
(to E)
In the brief intervals between the spasms in her entrails, lo, in alternating sequence, the huge colourful intervals of the sponsors’ commercials.

E
(to audience)
The teeth are always sharper before a feeding.

L
(to E)
Refrigerators, toothpastes, smiling cheeks.

E
(to audience)
When a blast re-sets a cultural context again.

L
(to E)
We meet in the screening room and there we watch the city, poor in its hour of nakedness, terrifying as all nakedness is.

E
(to L)
What is place to an amaterial culture?

L
(to E)
A scorched earth whose blaze, extinguished this evening, or millennia ago,

E
(to audience)
The ship in distress fired the cannon to give the alarm; but it sank, slowly...

L
(to E)
In an unending circle of rose-coloured ruins, whitening coals and bones,

E
(to audience)
The eye always retracts into the socket before a gouging.

L
(to E)
Scaffoldings bleached by rain and then burnt by new sun.

E
(to audience)
When explosions are so slow we can’t perceive them.

L
(to E)
Maybe the bomb has gone off without our knowing, and the world has already ended:

E
(to L)
What is culture to an immaterial time?

L
(to E)
But silently.

E
(to audience)
Children chased after and threw stones at her, as if she were a blackbird.

L
(to E)
Slipped in against the light of the sunset.

E
(to L)
Have you ever had a window to your own skull?

L
(to E)
A shadow operates the camera in this age.

E
(to L)
What is culture to an temporal world?

L
(to E)
A quick shot of a pistol. And: “The End”.

E
(to L)
Magnificent, I said.

L
(to E)
I’ll teach you, I said.

E
(to L)
And you taught me, and dazzling, hypnotic segments began to lengthen, sentences that I said, sentences that you said, our volatile discussions were imprinted on the dark well of the screen like wakes without foam.

L
(to audience)
In light of the soup and the clouds:

E
(to audience)
Within the space between the material and the immaterial worlds, where language flows through time unrecorded and images pass endlessly without structural supports.

L
(to audience)
Where the regimes of the visual states and the regimes of the auditory states battle and realign in infinite permutations:

E
(to audience)
Liminal spaces are contested and reassigned and situated in the precarious space between the known and unknown quantities and between the concrete and the speculative contexts which may allow hypothetical gestures to inflect and infect the inherited structural formations within which we live and which frame the cultural contexts that permit or prevent the flow of linguistic and visual variants and determine how their connective points and tissues are formed.

L
(to audience)
Here light and dark work together to grow and to suffocate, to create meaning through temporal relations, to articulate the possibilities for the unexpected within the great spectacle of conflagration and decomposition.

E
(to audience)
This hideous mass acquiring the liquid properties of mercury and splintering into groups which sustain themselves by eating one another, our movements keeping us one step ahead of dissolution and one step behind assimilation and in errancy of the geographic and the cultural properties from which we have been formed and within which we function, in equal measure.

L
(to E)
I think you should play this part until it's done... ...until it's no longer interesting. Then you can leave it, as you leave all your roles.

E
(to L)
Pockets of air like pockets of time, billowing like sails punched by the wind, with a force in inverse relation to the last gasps endeavoured before inevitable descent from the gaseous into the liquid states. Like us and like all things which have been and will be vacuumed into the empty chasm of futures of certain and uncertain finitudes, which wait and consume like the air.

L
(to E)
Refracted and splayed atop and along a plane, with corresponding parts breaching and jutting perpendicularly from them. Cargo unloaded yet not yet weightless, like the splayed interior of a rat, its organs rearranged in mirror image, re-placed just enough to alter meaning and revealed just enough to clarify that, like us and like all things which have been and will be enveloped by the gelatinous chasms of histories, with certain and uncertain quantities, which watch and consume like the sea.

E
(to L)
We are floating tentatively on and between symbiotic yet opposing states, which are nevertheless united in their indifference or hostility to our breachable formations, whose effects,

L
(to audience)
Like gulls or like whales, like winds or waves.

E
(to L)
Are strengthened through quantity, and may in turn humidify or evaporate, in order that the ostensibly inevitable may be evaded

L
(to E)
Or may be delayed

E
(to L)
Or may be revealed as tenuous constructions

L
(to E)
Like a hurricane coaxed to a breeze, like a tsunami diluted to a ripple

E
(to L)
With still enough power to erode

L
(to E)
If there is still enough time to do so.

E
(to audience)
To the spectator:

L
(to audience)
You, our negative, you, our foil:

E
(to audience)
To the spectator:

L
(to audience)
whose absence is our most present state and whose presence is the form our existence takes.

E
(to audience)
To the spectator:

L
(to audience)
for whom we were created and for whom we exist:

E
(to audience)
We appear to you in the form of images and in the form of language and in the form of gestures and in the form of fictions.

L
(to audience)
Images and language and gestures and fictions: all in time.

E
(to audience)
and you exist for us in idealized states and for you we construct our images and our language and for you we present our gestures and our fictions:

L
(to audience)
Within the desire that we may be seen by you and we may be of use to you and we may be subsumed into you
and within a desire that they may be re-envisioned with your and re-constructed on your and re-gurgitated from your own apparatus.

E
(to audience)
Our existence constructed for you, your existence necessitating our own.

L
(to audience)
Your presence giving us meaning, your absence devoiding us thereof.

E
(to audience)
and as we attempt to construct ourselves outside of this duality:

L
(to audience)
like an ocean attempting to become a cloud, like a stowaway dressed as a deckswabber, like a sewer rat re-categorized as a toy,

E
(to audience)
and as you attempt to construct yourself outside of this duality:

L
(to audience)
like a backdraft, like a mutiny, like an expulsion,
Without you we are immaterial and without us there is only absence in unknowable forms:

E
(to audience)
Erased

L
(to audience)
like an image

E
(to audience)
and extincted

L
(to audience)
like a language

E
(to audience)
and crippled

L
(to audience)
like a gesture

E
(to audience)
and dispelled

L
(to audience)
like a fiction

E
(to audience)
until our absence was your most present state and our presence was a spectre on which your states had been constructed,

L
(to audience)
a myth like all those on which all states are built and into which they are absorbed,

E
(to audience)
visible only long enough to suggest what they could have been

L
(to audience)
and remembered only insofar as they suggest what still could come:

E
(to audience)
A lens as a conduit constructed to be fogged:

L
(to audience)
A skin as a precipice designed to be flayed:

E
(to L)
A quick shot of a pistol. And: “The End”.

THE END