Melissa Constantine


DOC. NO E L 14-fd

December 10.


Do you know that the bird is a master of composition? Six: composition. Our bird has the keenest sense of organization in any setting (i.e. the rooftop, the bridge, the tree). I do not know why [sic] this is though I can think of several explanations: 1. Each bird has an innate sense of his participation in the larger composition, 2. Spatial relationships are dependent solely on the chemical compatibility of any two birds; in other words, the composition is pure science. (I suspect that you will prefer the latter of the two hypotheses.)

The student, the eyes,



DOC.NO. E L 16 R-fd

December 11.


The bird is exactly what it does. Seven: the bird is a bird machine.




DOC.NO. E L 17 R-fd

December 12


I last spoke of the bird machine. I will now speak specifically about the motion (mechanics) of that machine. Eight: mechanics. Please keep in mind that although there are related phenomena, they are quite distinct from one another. I am talking about a different thing today. The machine is conceptual whereas mechanics can be diagrammed by many small arrows. I have included one such diagram below:

[The paper has been ripped at this point, and thus does not include the diagram. The diagram was not found amongst the other documents.]


Vector composition as subject: the atomism model

In order to understand the idea of the subject as a vector cluster I will introduce the concept of atomism. If you will recall, an atom is comprised of electrons, neutrons, and protons. There are,
of course, sub-atomic particles and such, but if one follows the line of magnification to such a degree, one finds only space. Imagine, then, that the subject is like an atom: at eyesight we observe (M observes) a bird. What is that bird? Closer we can see its body, and even further its feathers, then anatomy, bones and organs, tissues, molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles, space, space. This, however, is only a physical decomposition of the subject. M engages primarily in a dissolution of the metaphysical concept of the bird. What is this bird? This bird is the near-darkness in the sky which gives cause for its silhouette; it is co-incidence, it is refracted light, it is several small, technical movements, it is the tree it is in, the velocity of the wind, all of this, all of this. Inasmuch as a bird is never bones and blood, a bird is never a bird. A bird is really an amalgamation of other variant components in motion: a bird is a vector composition made cohesive by energy. We now understand the subject to be a vector composition, its determinates being infinite and also conducive to aesthetic investigation. This exchange between subjects is also a vector. For example, not only are M and the bird vector clusters, but their coming together is also a vector; likewise, the merging of M and the bird and the nearby tree and the velocity of the wind, and the distance (existence?) of Darling are all vectors. Since a subject can simultaneously have an exchange with many different objects at once, there is a multiplicity of vectors that exist, that coincide at any one time. There are an infinite number of vector compositions on infinite scales. Essentially, then, there is vector within vector within vector within vector, to infinitely large and infinitely small degrees. What we have, then, is motion, all around.



The total work is biparous, having one part fiction, one part critical analysis. The former takes the form of a series of letters written from the perspective of an Eastern European woman. Content here concerns epistemological musings on the sublime as initiated by the observation of a blackbird. The author, M begins this process with the question, "What is a blackbird?" The tone of the subsequent letters is at once hysterical and macabre, and throughout the narrative there is question as to the existence of the recipient of the letters (Darling) in spite of a reticent romantic amorousness.

Ultimately, these letters become historicized (and implicitly fictional) with the introduction of part two, categorization and analysis of the epistolary narrative. Drawing primarily from the philosophy of aesthetics as well as physics, I designed a thesis that dissected the authors experience in scientific terms.

This project has previously been extended to include performance and installation.