Scrape at First Site by Chris Henschke, Oct 2001
It's easy to talk as if mere words
didn't hold understanding like a sieve,
easy to succumb to binaries in a digital age.
Some things sneak underneath the radar,
work not as statement but suggestion,
more virus than decisive attack.
In this constructed space, ancient and modern
technologies both tune in to the anarchic swell.
Timelines collapse. Take these two
antique turntables hooked up to a computer –
clutch plates, clock faces, sander sheets, all take the place
of retro vinyl; corroded grooves in both senses.
You sniff around with your fingers, curious
how natural all this electricity feels.
This is playground and jungle.
Even your cautious footsteps click samples
that rush to surround you.
This is chaos within your reach.
These mechanical dinosaurs whirr out the score
for the old old static, the white-noise watertable
lapping under the city, these unutterable words
made sound now, made flesh, hint at buildings
in a slow shift, grinding against each other, massive
illformed teeth. Is this the soul of the machine
or the machinery of the human soul, the hushed
resonance of existence turned up to eleven?
They scrape and whine as you trace tangled grey wires,
push buttons and grab handles, think 'Can I touch this?
Is this interactive?' & wonder if the metal boxes are watching
your response. Supposedly it's either art or entertainment;
from a distance they'll ask what it means. But here
you will huddle over a screen just as obsolete as that
fat bakerlight radio, trawl in the scream in the air,
and snap back to the background slander,
'Do you think you can know anything
outside full immersion?'
- 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C SLowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones