Friday, February 23, 2007

Hail, Samson!

I, too, extend commemorative poesy praise for dear John Keats. Thanks, Martin S., for the notice. Keats's near contemporary, John Clare, died a death every day of his troubled life so I fete both Johns and--why not?--you, dear Reader.

As we are in the valley of vales (don't rhyme it with sails), I might as well give a shout out to Samson. No, not Delilah's lad, but a piece of museum art/demolition I remember hearing about more than a decade ago. Apparently, and this could be hearsay, a device rigged to the turnstiles of some American museum, called Samson, incrementally pressurized strategically placed steel girders that pushed the walls apart. So, everytime a patron passed through, s/he was inadvertently contributing to the eventual demise of the museum's space. What a concretized symbolic function, eh?

In the same spirit of shaking foundations, both foundations of perception and physicality, I have an idea (in the spirit of Perec-- hail, Georges!)for some benign spatial sabotage. By moving every single physical object in a city scape (Manhattan would be a fine testing ground)in varying measurements from their original locations--from trash bins, to sidewalks, mobile and seemingly immobile objects--we could wreak such disorientation that the body politic would be checking the sky (and ground) for signs of the Apocalypse. Eyes, minds, and legs would succumb to an architectonically-inspired vertigo or nausea. Just a Friday thought, "in situ, deus ex machina." Call Homeland Security! Call the French postmodernists! -curley