Sunday, 29 June 2008

Sunday is the day of the grand flea-markets of Berlin; these markets belong to those who have no money. Great straits of uneven gravelled paths awash with slow tides of eager onlookers, barricaded in on all sides by dangerous slopes of second goods and their increasingly hysterical sellers, smoking cigarettes and drinking bitter coffee.

I set out today in search of dictaphones and electronic noise-makers to augment my live sound. Friday’s gig was a learning curve. Bereft of those comforting devices, the keyboard and the guitar, I was exposed somewhat, exposed for a lack of depth and concept. I played a fair set though, too short for some, too long for others. The other acts, Demolecularisation and Antoine Chessex, were outstanding. The first, a duo from Brussels and Paris played a nice set of audio-visual work featuring that ever-fascinating move towards a simultaneous deconstruction and ascent with some vintage typed projection work. Antoine Chessex stole the breath and plaudits however, throwing his energy into a looped, distorted and overdriven saxophone which hurled grounding bass passages and caustic high-end solos through a battered Marshall he had found in the corner of the room. JD Zazie played intermediary passages of glitch, stolen percussion and white notes, finding time for an impromptu collaboration at the end with me providing drones and tape hiss to counterpoint her turntabled breaks.

Yesterday was spent recovering from the alcoholic efforts and watching old television from the BBC, courtesy of YouTube. Many hours can be spent uselessly regarding diverting comedies from the mid-nineties, gasping at the age, the slack writing and cardboard acting. An attempt of course, to feel homely, to not just relocate from my east Berlin apartment but to remove oneself back to another decade, even further perhaps.

The flat is ours now, Cara has nested and reorganised, stamping an authority and order on the way things are displayed and hidden to us. Tables have been commandeered, this is my place for reading, I say, here I shall read.

Of course I do very little reading. Where has this motivation gone? There are days when it happens and days when it does not, but where has my reading gone. I think I fell out with Austerlitz a little towards the middle. It, for me, is not Vertigo. Critically, it is often regarded as his tour-de-force, but I do not care much for these critics.

There is too much obtrusion within the author’s grasps at memory, and there is an overreliance on coincidence as both a mechanism to propel the novel forward into continued reminiscence and as a critical tool to investigate the morality of remembering (and forgetting). And, irrelevantly, I prefer the travelogue aspects of his work.

So out into the day, hopefully back into the habit of writing before breakfast. The sunshine startles outside and it has begun well, if a little too late.