Incredibly(?) enough, this piece & its companion, Saucy (aka "the sauce"), were both 'performed' as a part of Crab Feast #3 on January 24, 1980, as part of the Telectropheremanniversary at the Proposal Gallery in BalTimOre. I write "Incredibly" because both of these pieces, which I've paper-clipped together, are so tenuous. "the sauce" is borderline conventionally performable because it gives suggestions & times for the realizations but "STAIN" is more or less devoid of anything substantial to respond to performatively. Both 'scores' are in the "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?" folder in the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" expanding folder wallet.
Given that these works are from my early 20s, 44 to 45 years ago, I don't have as fresh a memory or understanding of them as I would have at the time. Furthermore, the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" wallet has a fair amount of enigmatic &/or incoherent notes in it that I don't have the energy to revisit thoroughly at the moment. Instead, I'm scanning & perusing the contents piece by piece. "Dead Man with a Horn" is my 1st (d) composition (1974) & is the earliest piece in the "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?" folder in the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" expanding folder wallet. It's also the most important one from the collection that I'll try to explain in these online pages. "the sauce" & "STAIN" came slightly later.
As I recall, "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" was a collection of pieces meant to be somehow performed as a whole. The collection included some 'impossible' (or unlikely) pieces such as an instruction to encircle the Earth at its equator with replicas of the New York Woolworth building (something scheduled to be declared a readymade by Marcel Duchamp - which he apparently never did (or I've forgotten that he did)). These replicas were to be placed on their sides end-to-end tops-to-bottoms. The 'performance' element was to explode them all. I don't remember whether the original instruction called for the replicas to be to scale. If not, ecodisaster might be avoidable by having the replicas be tiny. At any rate, the idea was that if that part of "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" wasn't performed then none of it should be. A film I made in collaboration with Marshall Reese:
[005. "Collaboration w/ Marshall Reese" [discarded]
- super 8
- app. 3:00
- fall '78]
was put in the wallet but I pulled it out & discarded it. That's a classic "GEE, I wish I hadn't done that." instance. The film featured the 2 of us in an apartment I lived in in Baltimore in the fall of 1978 where I cut up all the frames of "Mike Film" amongst other things. One or both of us wore my "Suggestion Box" sculpture over their head & a typewriter (that I still have) was somehow involved.
I remember even less about my intentions with "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?". On 2 stapled-together typewritten sheets (shown below after this paragraph) the collection of work in the folder is apparently grouped together under "...detane showpiece" & is to:
1 begin with Dead Man With A Horn
The 2nd typewritten (& handwritten) page gives a simple list of contents that seems to begin with "2" - which might mean that the above is "1" even though it appears to be the same as "2":
2 Dead Man With A Horn - realization based on otherwise notes
3 &/or a showpiece for retiring _____/denated
4 Detane (temporarily, at least)
5 The Plastic Box Contents Etc (temporarily, at least) [handwritten addition]
6 Bi-Monthly (temporarily, at least)
7 Roll Expectations - Copulatory Muzak
8 piece for voices & drums (temporarily, at least)
9 end (round?) with Dead Man With a Horn
Saucy & Stain - Crab Feast things...
Location chosen X Realizer
(between 2 & 9)
"the sauce" & "STAIN" were added later. The "X" means "by" (as in a measurement) & that ball-point pen addition just means "the sauce" & "STAIN" could be put anywhere between the 2 "Dead Man with a Horn" 'bookends' (but probably with "Saucy" 1st & "STAIN" after it since the sauce is presumed to be the cause of the stain.
Here's the front of the score:
Obviously, the word "STAIN", written using a stencil, probably the same stencil I used for making the letters on the Frame of Reference, is prominent & centered above a physical stain. Written parallel to the upper left side in faint pencil is what appears to be a duration: "12:47" & what might be an ordering placement "5 of". These may've been added years later for the 1980 performance - or they may not've been.
My writing at the time (I was in the midst of writing what became my 1st book entitled:
t he bk
t he referent 4 wch consists of
t he non-materialized transparent punch-outs from a letter/whatever stencil
) was extremely experimental - sometimes in a very playful way but mostly in a highly calculated way. I didn't want the typewriting to always just be in neatly horizontal lines. The writing for "STAIN" seems to be more in the playful category but there may've been calculated presentations of multi-levelled meaning that I'm forgetting.
Flipping the front of the piece upside-down, the 1st piece of text at what is now the 'top' appears to the latter "l" (also serving as a "one") crowded against a "t" followed by an "e". This seems like nonsense to me now but it might be a writing of 'lite', transforming the page into a 'room' with a light at the top. This is written in red, red & black being the 2 available colors on the typewriter ribbon that I was using. These colors were common for such ribbons.
Slightly lower down & more toward the middle is the single letter "s". This signifies nothing to me now &, once again, seems like nonsense but given my propensity for encoding things I don't really know.
Below that is "ait". "ait" can be a word ending, but not for a word beginning with the preceding "s". Therefore, it could be an ambiguous stand-in for "bait", "gait", & "wait". Stretching the process further, given that "ait" is pronounced the same as "eight" or "ate", a much larger selection of evoked words appears: "ate", "date", "eight", "fate", "hate", "Kate", "late", "mate", "Nate", "pate", "rate", "sate", & "weight".
Below that is a lone "n". Again, this signifies nothing to me & may be nonsense.
Then comes a series of 4 lines in top-down left-right succession that seem to be inter-related. Here're the 1st 2:
for yesteryrs women
for todays woman
This language is reminiscent of advertising language to me. "yesteryr" = "yesteryear", a word not as common as "yesterday". The "for todays woman" has "for today" in red so that that meaning can stand out in separate coexistence with the entire phrase.
After these 2 phrases comes the word "of" with the letter "r" typed over the "o" & then constituting the line below "continued snowy wintry" with "lyop" typed over the "ntry" of "wintry". These typed texts are more or less placed around the physical stain instead of over/on it. It's remotely possible to me that "continued snowy wintry" refers back to "the sauce"'s "snow-bound in the Alps"
The back of the score strikes me as even more nonsensical & playful:
'Upside-down' & closest to the middle-top is written in faint pencil:
TO BE PLAYED
with a fluorish coming of the end of "EQUIPME~" that's probably a a hastily & sloppily written "NT". That seems self-explanatory, especially since cheap equipment is all I would've had access to. As with the other pencilled note, this may've been added years later.
Turning the page back to the orientation shown above, there's a cluster of 4 "y"s to the middle right of the pencilling. An obvious possibility is that "y" = "why" (or it may not).
To the left of the pencilling & slightly lower down than the "y"s is:
with a red "i" under & slightly out-of-sync with the black one. This strikes me as deliberately non-referential.
Under the pencilling & over the physical stain is written:
when how who whom gone
I read this, too, as nonsense. I remember performing it by vocally repeating it as a phrase.
Under the physical stain is written:
towelin' it in a basement refrigerator
It seems to me that "STAIN" was a temporary liberation/vacation from my more personally-typical exactitude. I allowed myself the 'luxury' of being sloppy, allowing content to just splash across the page.
These days (August 2019) I'd be hard put to turn this into a performance that would be anything more than free-form with the written elements vocalized &, probably, a stain made, perhaps on some fabric. I recall the 1980 performance as being even less.
Perhaps the best thing about this is just making a stain the 'subject'. My friend Some Queer (Lee Warren) made a more electro-pop piece inspired by this using a toy Muson sequencer/synthesizer that we were fond of & singing lyrics about "the stain". I publish that song on the "(301)962-0210" tape. That's listed in the WIdemoUTH catalog.
- August 28, 2019E.V. notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at verizon dot net
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page
to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page
to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience
to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important
for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH
to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)