Archive | spoRE:MIX

spoRE: MIX 7:[31-35]

Arrêt sur image : Une vie se liquéfie.

Lady Gaga arrive à l’interface Terre/Lune. Les gardes-frontières lui refusent le passage, non seulement parce que ses papiers ne sont pas à jour, mais, plus important, parce qu’elle ne ressemble absolument pas à ses photos de pubs, et pour cause : tous ses habits de haute couture sont restés à la maison.

Lady Gaga reste seule, pleurant à la frontière. Le village lunaire miroite au-delà de l’interface, un royaume idyllique qui ne peut être atteint. Pour l’instant, son corps est le seul monde qu’elle peut traverser.

A New York, des scientifiques se proposent de l’examiner.  Des experts et des journalistes people discutent d’elle à la télévision, et tentent de réparer son image à l’aide de toiles d’araignée, de colle et d’autres recettes du show-biz. Lady Gaga les laisse faire, en gardant le sourire.

La Lune a disparu de son horizon.

C’est pourtant tout ce qu’elle a toujours voulu, visiter la lune. Pas y chanter, ni y danser, mais marcher le long d’une route sablonneuse tout en voyant apparaître la planète bleue au bord de son satellite, son souffle nourri par un tube. Au lieu de cela, elle visite quotidiennement les archives des rêves perdus. En privé, elle joue du Chopin, ingurgite des crackers et étudie la sculpture sur nuage par internet.

Avant, Lady Gaga n’existait que pour être au plus près de nous, par caméra interposée. Si près que son piano caressait nos yeux. Elle a toujours été une actrice ; elle l’est doublement désormais, jouant le rôle d’elle-même qui jouerait son propre rôle.

Un jour pourtant, le secrétaire d’État à la souffrance la convoque. C’est un grand fan de son travail, alors, en secret, il lui confie les clés d’une capsule de sauvetage, un modèle déclassé qui appartenait à la Maison blanche. La mission est lancée : vers quelque obscure mer de poussière grise, loin des enclaves lunaires.

La gravité la tient encore, mais d’une main plus douce.

Caught on camera: a life turned liquid.

Lady Gaga arrives at the Earth/Moon interface. The border guards will not allow her through, because her papers are not in order, and more importantly, she looks nothing like her publicity shots: all her designer outfits have been left at home.

Lady Gaga is left crying at the frontier. The lunar village shimmers beyond the interface, a paradise realm that cannot be touched. For now, her body is the only world she may travel towards.

Back in New York, scientists step forward to examine her. Experts and professional gossips discuss her on television, and try to repair her image with spider webs, glue, and show-business voodoo. Lady Gaga lets them have their way, with a smile.

The moon has disappeared from her sky.

That’s all she ever wanted, to visit the moon. Not to sing there, not to dance, but to walk along a powder road as the blue Earth appears on the satellite’s rim, her breath fed to her through a tube. Instead, she visits daily the Archive of Lost Dreams. In private, she plays Chopin and eats crackers and studies cloud-sculpting on the internet.

Once, Lady Gaga existed only to stand so close to us, through the camera, that her piano caressed our eyes. She was always an actress; now doubly so, playing the role of herself playing herself.

Until one day the Secretary of National Pain summons her. He’s a huge fan of her work, and so, in secret, he hands over the keys to an escape pod, a decommissioned White House model. Mission undertaken: towards some obscure sea of grey dust, far from the lunar enclaves.

Gravity will still hold her, but with a gentler hand.

spoRE:MIX 6.[26-30]


One biomorphic dusk as the world drifted apart…

He turned on the lamp in the room of leaves. It made a soft glow, a sphere of contained yellow light. The leaves rustled in the shadows beyond. They covered every inch of the walls: above, around, below. He felt them crackling underfoot. There seemed to be very little air. His vision blurred slightly. He could hear voices, disembodied, tender like a song but lost in static noise: radio waves from a dream station.

He stepped forward towards the central platform with its antique bed, its dusty coverlet. There she lay sleeping, the old woman. He opened the vanity case on the bedside table. It contained a few items of jewellery, make-up, coins, and a decorative hand mirror. He took this last item. The mirror’s frame was cracked, its silver tarnished, but nonetheless he held it in place a few inches above the woman’s lined face.

Her eyes did not open, but the lids flickered. That was sign enough; she was dreaming. He called her name, gently to begin with, then with more insistence. She did not stir, her mouth did not move, not at all, yet the voices in his head grew more coherent. Through vapours, in clouds of dust, words were forming. Stephen listened as best he could. Some years had passed since he had last visited this place, this chamber of sleep. He was known by a different name in those days, a nickname. He’d been a young man with a desperate life. And now…

Now Miss Hobart spoke to him. The consonants popped like seeds from her unmoving lips. He saw the vowels as dark fluttering moths. …Good evening, kind sir. What do you need from me? He tried to explain. His words came slowly, and once or twice he coughed. He pressed at his side where the bullet was lodged; blood was seeping through the makeshift bandage. He didn’t have long, he knew that. The woman spoke in his thoughts: Are you alone? “Yes,” he answered. The Game Cat? “Dead. They killed him.” The woman’s eyes flickered again beneath crinkled skin, but there was no longer any direct reply. The room itself was responding. He watched the leaves moving on the walls, where blossoms were appearing, hundreds of them, tiny petals opening, red, blue, green.

Stephen turned back to the bed. An object was floating in the air above the woman’s face. It was a bird’s feather, silver in colour with tiny gold splotches here and there like evidence of a sickness. He had never seen such a combination before. He reached out and took the feather in his hand. There was a slight pressure as the flight was held for a moment in the old lady’s dream, and then it came loose and was his alone.

He made his way back to the door. He was message and text, a man built from fragments, elements in a story, from words. The corridor outside was already infected. He could hardly walk for the pain in his side and he staggered a little, resting against the wall for support. His body sank into the wall partway; it took an effort to pull himself loose. Miss Hobart’s chamber was now the last dreamhold. He panicked. He was not ready for this. Help me, somebody. Anybody. What should I do? Silence. Stephen felt he had stolen a secret from a secret house, from a secretive world. The flight glowed in his hand. He closed his eyes.

One biomorphic dusk as the world drifted apart, a man raised a feather to his lips…

spoRE:MIX 5.[21-25]

The pop star was taken down from the cross.

He was tired and weak from his ordeal. It seems that his own publicity team had tied him to the wooden beams in the city’s central park. However, the punishment was self-inflicted in the sense that he demanded this final obligation of his staff, before relieving them of their duties.

Only a few days before, the singer’s highly successful run in the reality documentary, “Product Hell”, had come to an end. Despite being the final contestant to leave the pit, he freely admitted to loathing the show. In his post-release interview he stated, “I fear that my image has taken me over completely. My physical body is being left behind.” The show’s presenter looked at him, askance.

Two weeks after his mock crucifixion, the pop star walked out of rehab only to be greeted with even greater adoration than before. He could not escape his fame. There followed a descent into abject decadence. Downloads of his unofficial “sex and drugs” video broke all records. He now went against the Entertainer’s Code, by revealing that his various “public images” were entirely artificial, having been created in a laboratory. The singer had bolstered his own talent by the use of illegal chemical and psychological processes. He had now decided to sever himself from his own image. Only by these means could he hope to live freely again.

His image was cut loose from his body in a procedure that lasted three hours. It was extracted in 2,129 strands. Blurred footage of the operation escaped from the surgery. Careful examination of this reveals very little: the operation may have taken place; it may have been a hoax.

His disconnected image was ground down into a powdered form.

The pop star organised a competition, with questions of such obscure, personal nature that only his truest fans could hope to succeed. The six winners were taken up to his private apartments. Here, they revealed areas of naked flesh to him, each area chosen entirely by the individual fan. They were, it must be emphasised, willing victims. Working calmly, the pop star numbed each area with an anaesthetic spray, before making neat incisions in their flesh with a sterilised scalpel. Then he rubbed the powder of his own image deep into the wounds on their bodies.

At last, he was free. Free to tour cheap, crumbling venues, down filthy back streets. Admission was set at just 15 dollars a ticket. Only a few people turned up for each show, and within a few years the singer had disappeared into blissful obscurity. Of the competition winners, five of them returned eventually to their normal lives: the last followed suit until some twelve years had passed. She was by then a 37 year old mother of two, a divorcee, an office worker. Her name was Margaret Shaw. A number of events were announced, where Ms Shaw offered to reveal her wound to the public. Queues formed. I freely admit, I took part in this ritual myself, waiting in line in the hotel conference suite for my turn. There was a charge for the privilege, but it seemed very reasonable given the uniqueness of the exhibit.

Margaret was in many aspects a perfectly average human being, and the wound itself was barely noticeable: a small scar on her forearm. But the effect on her psyche was palpable, even after all these years. I don’t know what had been passed on exactly through the pop star’s image, but the woman had definitely been changed by it. I could not stop looking at her, at her face, at her eyes especially, which glistened with a knowledge of life far removed from my own.

At this point, I should reveal that I too had entered the singer’s competition, and failed.