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APRIL 5, 1985

Charles Bernstein's most recent book is Girly Man (University of Chicago Press). He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Charles Bernstein
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Henry Hills
A film maker who lives in New York. His most recent film is Emma's Dilemma.
Henry Hills films on PennSound
Henry Hills home page

This conversation is an outtake from Making Money. We began walking (it was a beautiful day) south down Riverside Park along the Hudson until we reached a barricade, paused to discuss it off tape, then walked back at a more leisurely pace, stopping once to look at the light on the boats by the Boat Basin, then out of the park, several ellipses as we crossed avenues talking about improvisation & crossed Broadway to end up at Charles's and Susan's talking about repeated viewings of films and even possible re-readings of poems at readings. This tape resisted the excerpting and reassemblage I performed on the other interviews used in the book. H.H.

HH: With film, when you deal with the shoots you have to deal with all the outtakes & so you have all this terrible shit that you don't ever want to see again that somehow you have to deal with a lot of times before you ever finally get rid of it. It lingers on. I still have hours of outtakes from MONEY rattling around in my head & these terrible lines & so that's why I didn't want to turn on the microphone right away. Actually it's kind of appropriate doing an interview walking just because so many ideas for the film came as I was walking & I even lots of times think of the movie as a kind of walking-type consciousness. It's kind of the way as you're walking down the street in New York so many things fragment your attention.

CB: But the movie seems more like JUMP as the song goes, than walk. Actually you could run a track of that back of what you have; it might work very well.

HH: Disco-mix.

CB: Right, MTV. I think it would work because you do have the same kind of flashing in & out, back and forth, which reminds me of jumping rope or just jumping, of course you think of 'jump-cut' obviously. Whereas a walk seems kind of a different pace than you're interested in . . . more like leaps or a hop, skip, & jump.

HH: I was thinking more of the mental pace than the physical pace. I mean walking in the park is different from walking down First Ave. or Bowery.

CB: Right, well that's true in terms of what you see, but your eye when you're walking, or at least the biological eye, whatever that might be, scans in a very different way. You might look at this & then look at that & you certainly get a break, but there's a kind of feeling of continuity of time that seems very different than what you're interested in.

HH: I see.

CB: You might go from one to another but it moves more like a pan in spirit.

HH: Or a cut to close-up or something.

CB: Yeah, that's right. But even when you close your eyes you can't create something similar to the kind of jump-cut that you're interested in. The mind seems to project continuity. It's very hard to actually create . . . that's why it's interesting to go to a film, because it forces you to be able to . . . forces you, allows you to be able to break out of the habitual projection of continuity that, it seems to me, it's hard to break out of by one's own devices, on a walk say, it's hard to create that. Sometimes you can do interesting things if you wear glasses, moving them around, twisting them & turning them just to create . . . . I do that at very boring poetry readings. I take my glasses off & try to look through them at different kind of oblique angles so I see the person's face kind of like in a funhouse mirror. Things like that might create a more visually interesting texture. But you generally have to be pretty resourceful to break out of the feeling of continuity: that's really the oppression of everyday life. That's despite the fact that Lyn Hejinian in her recent talk says that experience is discontinuous & Nick Piombino has labored with great eloquence to show the many ways in which that's true & the depth that that statement still has. Still there's an awful lot the mind does to compensate for that discontinuity. There's an incredible amount of energy the mind has in the involuntary brain, you might say, not voluntary, to create continuity out of discontinuity & it's boring. It's not an interesting experience to have all this continuity kind of thrust upon you & not be able to break out of it. So it's almost like the opposite of the normal view that the modern existence is fragmented. I think actually not at all. It's hard to actually experience things as discontinuous. I think things in fact are discontinuous & that the mind does take them in in 3 a discontinuous way---it's the kind of thing that psychoanalytically you could show---but there's an incredible amount of compensatory, automatic reflex that eliminates the ability to experience them as actual autonomous fragments---it's almost impossible. Because there's an incredible amount of anxiety of separation from things that seem . . . .

HH: In a congested situation, though, in Times Square or at a party, I think it's possible to fragment your attention, when there's lots of different voices going on & different images that you can be constantly shifting your attention from one to another.

CB: That's true, but it's almost like a light fragmentation versus a real, radical fragmentation, so that it's very easy to have kind of minor, superficial sensations of fragmentation which are in fact merely surface decoration on a continuous, on an experience which the basic thing you're producing is continuity through your conscious projection, through the projections you make & the consciousness you experience, the perception you experience, there can be these little intaglio, these little sgraffiti, that break up the surface. Sgraffiti being an artistic technique, marks made on the surface of . . . .

HH: To create texture?

CB: Or to create forms by cutting through to a differently colored ground underneath.

HH: So I interrupted the continuity of your. . . .

CB: Not at all, unfortunately not, there was simply a minor embellishment where we had this metaphor of stopping & being stopped & our walk being broken, but not real genuine fragmentation. It's just like a light mode of, uh, it's like when Sartre talks about 'petty anxiety' vs. 'real anxiety'. The kind of fragmentation that you might experience at a party with voices speaking & so on is, in my mind, analagous to 'petty anxiety', rather than the genuine anxiety of nothingness that Sartre talks about in Being and Nothingness. This is what I mean by this kind of more radical fragmentation & separation which is similar to an experience of nothingness, so that one feels broken off from something, one feels a chasm in one's own life. Grief reaction in general seems to relate to this, when there's an actual loss of an object, a person, a relationship, & coping with that is a very draining & obsessive experience of trying to search for the lost thing, person, experience in kind of a frantic going over channels in the mind, the mind's circuits in a gridlock because of that sense of loss & that of being broken off, so that seems, just as an example, the kind of experience of genuine fissure that one doesn't experience easily because there's an incredible vested interest, in terms of sanity & calm, to avoid facing that, although I think in reality you might feel it all the time, as if somehow when we walked here the ground would literally fall out from under us & we would tumble to the center of a fiery pit, which is of course what's happening but we're just simply able to screen it out so it doesn't happen. I mean happening psychically, you get a glimmer of this, y'know, I think, listening to the news & the general paratactic quality of the news that people are arrested in South Africa or 35 people are shot there, then they go to something else happening, some other disaster or Bernard Goetz buys a gun in Florida, one after another of unrelated events that have that kind of surface fragmentation that you're talking about, petty fragmentation, yet I think there's something very, something deeper when you actually tune into that every once in a while & it becomes incredibly frightening & bleak because of the synchronicity of these things going on. I mean when you think about some of these things going on that happen, unfortunately, very regularly, some of that anxiety that can be created by that & the fear & the depression that can be created when you think of what happened in Chile today or . . .

HH: Today?

CB: Just the way you said "today" but you turn it on & you hear something that merits that kind of shock, that's what I mean by the ground falling out from under you as you walk, falling in a fiery furnace, it's like a Jonathan Edwards image, but it puts you actually in more touch with whatever reality might be than the more placid idea of the solid pavement & the boats shining in the sun, not that that isn't true also, but what's true is that that's true & also this other thing is true & also things in between and other than that at the same time. That's what I think of as being this deeper sense of fragmentation or of genuine split & that I don't think is so easy to experience all the time. I think you would go mad if you experienced that.

HH: But as far as we use that in our work, we have control over it.

CB: I think that what I was saying about the films was that you're able to actually create visual & auditory breakages that are more interesting & more illuminating, more edifying & more philosophical & psychologically useful, appropriateable, than you can do just by walking, because there's so much energy used to compensate so that you don't experience these things, that when you see a film such as MONEY, you're able at least to get somewhat more in touch with some of these other things, to think about them, but of course they're done in a way to give a kind of cross-sectional view of this experience. It's not the, it doesn't have to be a terrifying experience necessarily, although certainly that can be something worth having as well, but it enables some coming to terms with that which is normally blocked-off or blocked-out. I think if a film actually showed the deepest, most radical nature of fragmentation & discontinuity, that it would be unwatchable, that you simply couldn't see it. It might also be invisible, so that in some ways it's a mediation process between these two extremes that enables at least some conscious dealing with that which is repressed & suppressed, so it brings up some material, but like with psychoanalysis, the therapist doesn't come in the first day & say to you, "Y'know, this is what happened. This is why you're that way," because it would be too horrifying, like at the end of OEDIPUS REX where you would put your eyes out literally, I mean I take that to be completely true, that that is the way you 'd react, so it's an experience over time where you gradually become accustomed to something else & break out of the habitual patterns of denial & repression, which is the nature of experience most of the time for most people, or for everyone really as far as I know, I don't mean to exclude myself from that, & how you approach this & what you're able to do, of course, is in a way what the meaning of a work is & also gives a sense of what the quality of the work might be insofar as it's able to deal with this in some way that reveals something without being too horrible to be able to contain it. At the same time, at the risk of beating an all-too-living horse, it seems to me that within a film, even if one is creating possibilities for reorganization, I would say rather than disorganization, or resynthesis, that are different from the kinds of connections & continuities that one might make otherwise, that the film creates new & inventive ways of putting things together rather than making them seem separate, because of the nature of its movement at a relentless speed forward X number of frames per second, one scene after the other, one image, one literal frame after another, or sequence of frames, depending on how many frames you allow in a particular shot---what do you call the individual units?

HH: I call them 'scenes'.

CB: I just mean by 'scene' nothing particularly metaphoric, I mean literally uncut pieces of film, the unspliced part. Putting those unspliced sections together creates a more centripetal rather than a centrifugal force, that is to say, I think that what happens is that there is a suction inward rather than a pull outward, &, because of the nature of film & the fact that one thing comes after the other at a fixed rate, that it tends to make, no matter how disparate the parts--this is kind of the point I make in "Blood on the Cutting Room Floor"--it tends to create a continuity, whether it be a kind of superficial one or a profound one remains to be seen, literally. Nonetheless there's a pull, let's just say, a physical dynamic of the medium itself that pulls things inward, together into something that's not fragmented, but just like a whirlpool which makes the things move toward the center rather than pushing them outward. It's rare that I've seen a film that makes the individual pieces splay out against one another or seem separate, & certainly yours do not, nor do they intend to . . . . . . Everybody's always talking about discontinuity but nobody ever does anything about it. And of course continuity is incredibly boring, I mean that's really the problem, quite apart from any political, uh, you get this kind of dark Nietzchean side even within more otherwise politically well-meaning discussions that you hear---People give all kinds of justifications about ideology & so on---but I think there is something Satanic, something dark about this desire for a radical discontinuity & at the same time an alternative to the incredible monotony of the continuous & of the mediated, of mediated experience, sensible experience, identifiable, nameable experience, & yet the alternative is incredibly frightening & ghostly or vampirish.

HH: From what you were saying I thought of the one being the automobile/television/shopping-mall-type existence & the alternative to that being nuclear war, right? But I don't accept either one of those.

CB: Well I certainly don't mean to, when I'm saying 'everyday' consciousness or experience, I'm thinking of this in the more strictly ideological sense--it has nothing to do with suburban lifestyle vs. bohemian lifestyle, on the contrary, if anything I would push it in the opposite direction to what you'd expect & think of the suburban lifestyle as having more of a potential for those real radical gaps than the other, because the other is a more rationalized existence, it's a more thought-through aestheticized existence & has a lot more capacity & elasticity to deal with the incredibly frightening holocaustal realities or apocalyptic realities which the 7 suburban lifestyle perhaps can't & therefore has much greater potential for actual breakage, its much more fragile, much more brittle, much less elastic--so. No, I'm not referring to anybody pejoratively, I'm thinking of myself when I'm talking about the tyranny of rationality. I don't feel myself to be freer from that & I certainly don't feel that it has anything to do with the spectrum of the artist or the hipster versus the accoutant or the square--I don't know what terms we use these days for these contemptible divisions of human consciousness which have no relation other than holier-than-thou & people feeling that they're better than other people. So what I'm saying is Yes, more of an apocalyptic reality, a nuclear reality on the one hand versus just a coping reality on the other. You accept neither of those, is that what you're saying?

HH: No, you have to cope. I mean you can't constantly be, I can't at least, constantly be in a crisis emotionally. This car-TV-mall thing I saw being thrust upon us growing up, in suburbia, not really a choice made & it seemed the alternatives presented were totalitarianism or N-holocaust, these were the choices we were being given by whoever was planning the future of the world, i.e. no choice. I have to have some kind of--I mean in a way, for me, the suburban-type existence is a constant emotional crisis.

CB: Well part of what I'm saying in a therapeutic sense about the value of certain works of art that might deal with these things is that it does give you this increased elasticity to deal with these kinds of fissures without creating a genuine confrontation & crisis with totally irreconcilable antinomies of life. In a way it creates innovative ways of coping, although in a sense it might suggest that this art that I'm interested in has a kind of tranquilizing effect & of course that's true.

HH: For you. I mean it doesn't necessarily for someone else, right? For anyone on that wavelength.

CB: Yes, for me, certainly, but beyond for me. What ever I'm saying I don't think is universally true about human beings, but I do think that you could make an analysis, a political judgment, as done in the sense of art-is-the-opium-of-the-people, & that 'high-art', so-called, is the opium that people who are able to understand that need to be able to deal with what's going on. I think that that's not just an idiosyncrasy of mine, but is a critique that people have made both for & against, in other words people seek the level of opium that they need & that for some people they need to see a film like MONEY in order to cope better with surface discontinuity, light or medium discontinuity or even perhaps the rare glimpses that we get of some type of really radical dark discontinuity & fissure, but for other people perhaps watching ads on TV accomplishes that purpose. I'm very skeptical about moral judgments. I don't know why I'm into this right now---it's a boring point---but I'm relatively down on this pervasive elitism of the experiential value of one kind of art being greater than bad entertainment. I certainly respond to certain things & don't respond to other things & I could make all kinds of arguments why I like them better, but---as someone once said when I was doing a drug-therapy group years ago at Camarillo State Prison near L.A. It was a teenage psychiatric facility where we were doing a drug-education class.

HH: That's where Charlie Parker was, in that hospital.

CB: That's right. "Nights in Camarillo." We were talking about LSD, I guess, & marijuana & other things & he mentioned sniffing glue & I think that Stu (who was the person doing the group with me) & I kind of obviously looked disturbed at this guy's reference in a neutral way to glue & he came back, "I get just as high on my glue as you do on your LSD," as if to say, "You contemptible bourgeois snobs, you think your Courvoisier is so much better than my Thunderbird, but isn't what you want essentially the same thing?" Now, I think that glue is a very interesting case because the glue does cause brain damage, as probably does a lot of forms of, I don't think television necessarily, but you could certainly make a case that the level of awareness & recognition & elasticity of coping that you get from so-called "low grade" or "popular" entertainment is less strong or less intense than what you get from so called "high" art, but this is almost like the difference from smoking very, very good dope versus smoking very cheap dope--it is similar to that in a certain way, if you take away the fact that one might be harmful. You might generally prefer, if you're rushed about & so forth, to get your fix in briefer time with more intensity & then once you get into that then you can't stand to go back. Y'know you see the films of Michael Snow or Brakhage--then it may be hard to watch other kinds of entertainments. The new Alan Alda film may simply seem too bland. And that's really the argument that you could make---that it simply doesn't work for you; it seems bland & boring & that it's not ultimately---

HH: Well, y'know, that's such a hard thing because what you need evolves over time too. I think of Michael Snow as a filmmaker of the past. . . .

CB: Well that's a very good point because people are going to argue among themselves, even within the realm of so-called more serious independent films, will argue relative merits & so on. Something is "junk" even done by a so-called "artist", whereas in fact there's an enormous amount of incredible resonance & interest & intensity & value produced by so-called "non-artists". It's just the snobbism that I find oppressive.

HH: As far as any absolute value, it's hard to make any absolute judgment. . . There were a lot of films in the "structuralist" thrust of filmmaking that were interesting to me at one point when there was a certain kind of focus, but the end results of so much dwelling on that focus has caused so much erosion of public receptivity to independent film & finally all the ideas have been so run through, & maybe there's conceivably many more ideas about the basic nature of film that could be explored in their pure form, but that just doesn't seem applicable to the ambience of the times--it's a kind of apolitical stance, despite all those British essays that put an enormous amount of effort into showing that it was the only politically valid stance, the whole, "structuralist-materialist" thrust in SCREEN, etc.

CB: It's funny, in the writing context you don't have that as much.

HH: Well, this was a while back. Now there's virtually no writing at all about independent film & nobody's making that type of film anymore to my knowledge, or nobody very public anyway. The elaborate critical justification for these films came after the fact mostly, but that kind of film---even within avant-garde art, with the passing of time, certain trends & certain works that might have been very influential, I find, are no longer interesting whatsoever. . . .

CB: Well you've assimilated them, so that doesn't seem fair in a sense. . . .

HH: Maybe I took it way off the track with that.

CB: There's no track. . . . I don't speak in sentences particularly, although I sometimes think I speak in paragraphs. . . .

HH: Just on the level of physical work, I always think of it as akin to sculpture. I'm dealing with these pieces just on the level of physical pieces & a lot of that . . . even if you look at the film strip itself---a lot of editing involves this, but if you look at the completed print where the splices are all invisible, of MONEY or a lot of other films too, you get a sense of composition in a physical sense that doesn't have so much to do with the kind of temporal, it's much more like spatial.

CB: That's interesting, but still the question is that when it's actually screened it does tend to pull those elements together & even, if you're talking about being a sculptor & so on, most sculptors are arranging their elements so that they have some relation one to the other rather than they don't have a relation one to another. I don't know what it would be like for things not to, I think it's almost impossible to conceive of things put together not creating a relationship. Perception is essentially erotic in that sense that it sees two things together & pulls them together into a relationship, even if it's a hostile one, or three things or four things, it's really a question of reading, rather than whatever the efforts of the artist might be.

HH: Then I was thinking in terms---maybe fragmentation is really not accurate at all to talk about this type of editing, but---it seems interesting to me when I was talking to Diane that she felt a lot of different types of emotions being expressed in this film & I felt that she meant this partially because of the way that it was constructed. I tend to think of it as funny in parts & otherwise rhythmic. I know there's a few scenes where if you study them frame by frame you can see an emotion passing by for a fraction of a second & when you're able to study film like that sometimes just within a gesture if you look at it frame by frame you can see a number of different emotions passing by that change from frame to frame. I don't know, do you think it's a sad film?

CB: Sad?

HH: Anxious?

CB: Well I think it's more the method is anxious, in the sense of this jumping around---there's a kind of freneticism of nervous energy which you liken, I recall in a previous conversation, to your feeling for New York, or maybe you said that at one of your film showings---you spoke of the energy of the streets here vs. in California, so in that sense that the kind of pulse of New York is anxious then I think Yes in that sense the film is that way. It's not a wonderful kind of Zen ode of tranquility, the crane descending onto the water & sitting on the water & then flying off, y'know, it doesn't have that kind of meditative feeling---it's the opposite.

HH: That kind of image is so inferior in film to real life. If you're sitting by the water & you see this thing happen it's this wonderful experience, but looking at a film & its just like this typical--

CB: I think in real life that could be pretty boring to tell you the truth.

HH: You're a jaded urbanite.

CB: I think I'd be pretty jaded if I lived in the country. It's sensation that I really want, intensely iconographic sensation.

HH: Well the country, in the summertime at least, is pretty sensational.

CB: Yes, I'm going.

HH: Well that's a side of--

CB: It's a side of everybody. I find NY pretty tedious actually. All the surface discontinuity of things is not all that interesting after a while. Just on the face of it, it's just so relentless & not terribly revealing of anything. If you haven't been here, it can be a very exciting, very interesting experience, but you get ODd on it.

HH: If you leave town, when you come back initially you just look at things much more clearly, because you tend to tune out a lot of stuff just to be able to---to some extent, just by going to another neighborhood.

CB: Well I've been on this island for so many years. It's a small island.

HH: How old are you?

CB: I'm 35.

HH: Is today your birthday?

CB: Yesterday.

HH: Happy Birthday!

CB: Thank you. Well this thing about 'tuning out', this is what I was trying to get at before. That's the whole thing. Just to be here you have to screen so many things out. That's what I meant when I was talking about the mind's ability to compensate for things. But it's in a sense the possibility of a film or a poem to screen in a little of what is normally screened out & not simply what you would have---maybe to some degree it's just what you have forgot about, although that can be kind of not as interesting, that's why there's this interest in a kind of pastoral romanticism. People in the city maybe forget about the country & they see pictures of the romantic pastoral & that is making them see something that they have forgotten about or vice versa, thus the plethora of gritty noir-type NYC action that you see in the movies & TV & popular books. But what interests me is not so much screening out obvious molar realities like the urban vs. the rural experience, but things that don't fit into those kind of---I mean certain things are screened out that one never was conscious of at all & that's what can be incredibly illuminating---that you're actually seeing something screened that was before completely inaudible or invisible.

HH: Vertov has this thing that the camera sees so much better than the eye, & I don't completely agree with that, it sees so much differently than the eye. It has no peripheral vision, it focusses more & therefore is able to see a lot of stuff that the eye doesn't notice, plus just by the fact that you get it on film, you can examine it in minute detail.

CB: Well the eye is not a documenting thing because the eye is attached to this thing I've been calling for lack of a better word 'the mind'. This is something that a camera is not attached to. A lens is attached to a piece of film. But the problem with the eye is that the eye is attached to a mind. The mind has all types of conscious & unconscious processes through which it processes what the eye sees, including when you see your camera work screened & you're seeing it again through your biological eye. So you get this incredible amount of mediation & of adjustment that the mind makes necessarily, & not just the brain---we're not just talking about the physical apparatus of perception, but the psychological & historical & so on dimensions---so in that sense the camera eye is unburdened by a mind, but at the same time it always needs a mind to see it, because you can only see things ultimately when they're shown, people see them then with their eyes.

HH: Well it's remarkable in a way that anything is apprehended, because there's so many things going on. Maybe it's more like simultaneity than fragmentation---so many things are going on at once that your mind has to tune out a huge percentage of them to even be able to focus enough on any of them to be able to have any insight or be able to even function.

CB: I think it is more like simultaneity. I think 'fragmentation' is a term used much too cavalierly, 'simultaneity' might be as well, the point isn't so much what you screen out, you might say , because you do screen out an enormous amount & you can focus in on things that you might normally exclude, but its almost the method of the screening out itself that's the most inportant thing, not even in a sense the content, not that they're separable, which we discover later down the line, but there are certain mechanisms, certain systems through which this screening out process takes place & it's even more significant what the methods are than the things that are screened out as a result of those methods. It's very hard to get access to these methods. That's in a sense one of the things that psychoanalysis is about--the method or the system or the riddle of the repression of an individual life, the life of the psyche, but there are collective methods as well that allow for certain things to be significant & other things to literally disappear & become completely invisible so that we may see these things. The very nature of the way that the eye focusses on certain things makes certain things clear, the kind of fovea-centered vision which comprises the ability to see details but cuts out peripheral vision & so on, but this goes on in many different realms of . . . & that's what I think is interesting about your own films & what is interesting about structural film, SCREEN magazine notwithstanding, they were onto something when they realized, by that I mean Heath & people like that, because they recognized this issue of method vs. the content, of the method produces the content as well, I mean it's an old point, but not yet fully explored & in that sense I think your films do fit into a structuralist tendency within filmmaking, because they do emphasize the methodological questions that I'm raising & they do suggest a different method of seeing than the methods that most of us adopt as we walk around on a walk.

HH: But without wholly rejecting the entertainment tradition of the medium, I think.

CB: Well, you needn't. I don't think that's an issue. I think that's an option within the concern. Personally I find a deep exploration of the method to be enormously entertaining in the sense that it's engrossing. That's what I'm interested in & I'm a consumer too. . . . I don't think that the problem I often have with improvization & accident applies to your films, because in your case, while the material that you shoot is accidental, whatever street noise there is, whatever the person happens to say, whatever cars go by, what the light is that day, & so on, in a sense relying on the found nature of film in general & photography, that you're dealing with things that are found, not created, but you're making something nonetheless new with them. The way that you make something new is in the editing room. Your films are about how you edit them, so in a way nothing is ever random because you've selected it out, you select these particular syllables, these particular words, these particular moments & those are the ones you use. The fact that you select them & you eliminate something else, takes them out of the realm of the improvised. And the fact that you spend so much time ordering them, cutting them, transforming them makes their origin in a sense merely a matter of anecdotal interest.

HH: When you were talking about appreciating even on one viewing the fact the I'd looked at the material hundreds of times. . . .

CB: Right, to do with that intensity, well this follows up on what I'm just saying---the work seems to me extremely non-casual & improvisitory, in the sense that the decisions have been made through a conscious process over a long period of time upon viewing & reviewing & viewing again, which gives a kind of intensity to what's finally there &, even if I don't want to choose to see a particular film more than five times or three times or even more than once, I appreciate the fact that the person who made it saw it 100 times or 200 times & that it didn't bore them, that it held up & the relationships became deeper, because then when I see it the once or twice that I see it, it has all that much more depth, all that much more intensity, which is exactly what I'm talking about before. If I'm interested in finding something that gives me an alternative to the habitual patterns of association that I normally fall into, the only thing that's gonna be able to really provide me some alternative from that---either solace or otherness---would be something that had that intensity & I 15 think the only way of creating that intensity is that the method through which the parts are connected & made into a new whole has been made with all of the possible consciousness & intensity that the person making it has at their disposal & therefore that energy that's put in---I mean that's the great thing about it, it's almost like cooking that when you taste it, it only takes you ten minutes to eat something that's been simmering for a week & it's not the same as if it wasn't & it's that condensation of time, that's something that's really the equivalent of a month of time & you can experience it in five minutes or ten minutes, that makes something worthwhile & valuable. Of course your aesthetic is completely tied up in that.

HH: Of course.

CB: When you see it once you really don't know what you've seen if it really just knocks you out of the water, if it's as strong an experience along the lines that I'm talking about, begins to really deal with some serious level of discontinuity, then you really will not, it should disorient you so that you really will not be able to know what you saw---your sense of time would be broken, your sense or space, & so on. . . .
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