chase scenes serial #7

to structure this text and how to make it lofty and critical. That word is so hollow. People at Georgia Tech used to talk about ‘critical architecture.’ I found myself as an impressionable kid beginning to feel like I could form an understanding of what that was, what architecture would have to be to be critical. I felt that I could even begin to recognize it, as if the forms and materials of someone like Thom Mayne were somehow thumbing their nose at something. What good is that? Here on that walk, and perhaps in this writing, in the Medora, ND Americinn‡, which is becoming less critical by the college ruled line, and certainly in the days I spent in LA, forgetting what architecture looked like, I can perhaps understand what those Tech guys were talking about, or what they should have been talking about. And I refuse to use the word critical. There. I will choose another adjective. I choose ‘productive,’ and it modifies ‘practice,’ not form or style. Productive practice. For what you are reading is clearly formless, see, I am writing to ‘you’ again when I should be detailing the historic center of Bismarck. But making the practice of your life productive is to turn it into something other than the

‡ In the motel, or, the motel and the airplane were chambers for composition. When I can tune away the slight issues that gather in these spots, either the noise or paranoia, I can race my pencil against my thoughts, a futile chase. I hardly would let up and I would allow the tension of the narrative or my voice to go limp, to drop away because I was merely enjoying the movement of my hand. That analogue conversion of thoughts to lead on paper is disturbing, the space that it creates, the almost automatic manner in which the hand operates. It is the same feeling as when I become aware that I am touch typing. The vocation of my hand is horrifying, I feel as though they are not controlled by thought processes because I characterize my mind as a slow twitch machine that plods across issues, weighs its output, and wastes time. The lightning processes, the strobe that breaks the operations of the hand into millions of individual decisions, analyzed while I continue, analyzed at such a pace and with such little effort that I may continue my plodding, ponderous composition, that I may project out a few words or toward a theme or tone, while my hands do some other mind’s bidding.

Critical Response:

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