: March 21, 22, 23
Location: New York City (Roulette & 16Beaver)
from the Greek, picnos: frequent). For the picnoleptic, nothing
has happened, the missing time never existed.
Even the most perfect
reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence
in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens
to be. Walter Benjamin, Illuminations
The return being just as sudden as the departure, the arrested word
and action are picked up again where they have been interrupted. Conscious
time comes together again automatically, forming a continuous time without
apparent breaks... However, for the picnoleptic, nothing really has
happened, the missing time never existed. At each crisis, without realizing
it, a little of his or her life simply escaped.
Paul Virillio Aesthetics of Disappearance
was the third project in a series of Public Art works created by e-Xplo
in New York City. Situating Manhattan as the backdrop for an investigation
using attenuated adaptations of sound and text, Erin McGonigle, Heimo
Lattner, and Rene Gabri gathered a collection of sounds from about/the
city as they have been presented in various films/texts.
PICNOLEPSY was the first time the artists formally used scripted(click
here to view PICNOLEPSY script) as well as imporvised
texts to build a series of overlapping narratives. As they have done
in the previous bus projects, they used this collection of sounds/music/recordings
as the material for a live performance of electro-acoustic sound on
The tour began in the Financial District/Tribeca (16Beaver/Roulette)
beginning near "Ground Zero", tracing up the West Side Highway
and coming down via Broadway. Source material included sounds/texts
from various films including "While the City Sleeps", "Escape
from New York", "Taxi Driver", "Manhattan",
"Red Desert", "Armageddon", "Chronicle of a
Love", "On the Water Front", "My Dinner with Andre",+
many others... as well as texts by Sam Shepard, Jean-François
Lyotard, Jean-Luc Nancy, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Robert Fisk (reporting
on the massacres in Sabra and Chatila), as well as original material
created / composed / written by the artists.
Together these sources
combined to provide the artists and prospective "tourists"
with supplemental materials that woud fill in the gaps, and lapses in
time of everyday experience. There was of course, a crosslinked thematic
of the tour as a cinematic form, taking on the rold of representing,
dismembering, re-membering the city, the imagined city.
From our press release:
We are all familiar with the experience of touring or being a tourist.
The city is constructed through a dismembering and reassembling of parts.
Guides create zones using a collection of symbols, memorials, events,
and histories to build a narrative, a representative image of the city
for the eyes of the visitor.
But the form of the tour is never questioned, neither are the possibilities
inherent. For Erin McGonigle, Heimo Lattner, and Rene Gabri (e-Xplo)
the tour becomes the site for the production of questions and the interrogation
of representations of the city.
Tours often assume that the events spoken of and the stories revealed
about a place, have taken place. Our tour, "Picnolepsy" begins with
the opposite premise. What if nothing had happened on the streets we
tour, the missing time never existed, and the tour just became the vehicle
for an investigation, for furthering questions. Whose eyes? What city?
What should I be seeing? What has happened here?
about our other projects
A special thanks
to Roulette, 16Beaver, Jacob, Nico, Ian, Adrian, Alex, Alicia, Ayreen,
Richard, Florian, Mika, and the many other friends and "tourists"
who made this work happen with their support and participation.