Notes On Attention Paid

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An Attempt At Exhausting A Place, Georges Perec

… i decide it is ok to jump Perec to the front of the reading line… it is a journal of what passes through his vision as he sits at various cafes watching the movement (a favorite pastime of the French i was told when i visited many, many years ago)… nothing is described in any depth, just the for the moment notable details… on the back jacket of the book is written:

One overcast weekend in October 1974, Georges Perec set out in quest of the “intraordinary”: the humdrum, the nonevent, the everyday—“what happens,” as he put it, “when nothing happens.”

… it is interesting… he builds up an impression of place, its rhythms, inhabitants, just noted as passing through and impinging on his senses… little details, a priest back from a trip (there is an airline tag still fixed to his bag)…

… i do a similar thing with images… when i sit down to write i select some of the various non-events to write about in more depth… he writes just the apparent facts, never speculating without reason what this individual or that individual might be about…

… i imagine the book staged as a play… a solo performance… a man sits on a chair, center stage, and recites the book to the audience… the impressions build in the audience… the non-events surface memories of experiences that have more depth in each individual… to the quotidian surface details the audience adds their individual depths… would anyone come see it?…

… the thought that when i make pictures, edit them, and put them together for viewing that i make non-events events…