Edition of 1, 2022
Newly Abridged Happiness Manual, Vol I is a conceptual poem that explores the tension between time and mind, between what we tell ourselves and what our thoughts tell us.
Our emotional states are underpinned by the unspoken words that traverse our minds as thought. To examine these words is to examine the intimate scaffolding that sustains our outward-facing selves. This poem does so with humor, compassion, and straightforward honesty, highlighting both the mundane and contradictory nature of thought.
Consisting of twenty-four short verses, each of which is displayed independently on a frame for sixty minutes, this piece takes advantage of Async Art’s 24hour canvas to explore the evolution–or lack thereof–of thought along the vast axis of time. Sloganeering statements of self-improvement and assertive grasps for the transcendental interrupt expressions of routine, of place, of physicality. In one breath, we conceive of an ideal tomorrow, in the next we abruptly reach for a peach. How to construct a meaningful sense of self when our senses are constantly under assault?
This artwork functions as a diptych–its collector will receive an airdropped video version in which the same twenty-four frames rotate in under a minute. The slow and fast versions of the poem work together to show how our thoughts cycle and recycle from second to second, hour to hour, moment to moment.
By rethinking the same thoughts, are we essentially reliving a single day?
Debuted at the Digital Francisco Carolinum in April 2022.
Newly Abridged Happiness Manual, Vol I
what comes first
the word or the image
in the kitchen the scent of thawed meat
prefaces the raw sweat of noon
where I reside it smolders
despite the promise of shade
I resolve it’s senseless to worry
the pink muscle of mind
draws me nowhere closer
charts an unreal circle
why must I choose
between language or bread
the moral of the story is to want less
like everything that eats time
if habitual inhabit my day
though simple and simplistic
wrench me with separate strings
a wonderful day
produced like chilled fruit
the moral of the story is to want more
every waking hour