v.1

v.1

suburbia_hours.mov

Nora Mayer (BFA FD 2021)

The following piece developed out of a Wintersession studio-seminar, Language in the Studio, in which students were encouraged to work with writing and making as both generative process and formal outcome. The course was proposed and taught by v.1 editor Mays Albaik (MFA GL 19).



In the landfill of your mental archives is a folder titled (HOME). Your brain is rendered defunct by a glitch that repeats the same hour. It’s a mass of days copied and pasted

over

and over,

and over again,

a static congestion within your neural circuitry. Your memory is swarmed by green and white and stainless-steel pixels. LED displays blink in a robotic rhythm of neon font:


          FAMILIARITY                                    
                                    UNEASE


You remember a long, rambling narrative written in Javascript and punctuated by sleek, modern home appliances. 





Home is solitary confinement in virtual reality.

You look around the room you’ve spent most of your life in and see a sensory deprivation tank with a bed and a dresser. You’re paralyzed by indifference while yellow sunlight leaks through the cracks of your closed blinds, meshing with a rectangle of scrolling blue light. Day and night fuse together into an ambiguous crimson haze. Your eardrums vibrate with high frequency blips and dings echoing at 3:00 AM, 3:02 AM. A sonar interruption of black atmospheric nothingness.

You can hear every detail of today’s news on the flatscreen of the remodeled home next door. Whooshes of skateboard wheels on hot pavement and the frothy slobber of a Doberman contaminate your sterile silence; they seep underneath the front door like an amalgamation of toxic vapors:


HAZARDOUS




Outside, the corners of flat concrete sidewalks are marked with green and white and steel street signs. The four-way intersection is usually mute and unmoving except for the 7AM rumble of Cadillacs cruising through purple fog. They roll out, lines of Bluetooth headsets and voice- command technology, journeying to prismatic boxes stacked up to the clouds.

Soft black circles feather your vision as your pupils shrink down to tiny holes, temporarily limiting your internal visual processors. Your body is still but the beige blur of cookie-cutter facades says you’re in transit. The windshield catches rolling fragments of transparent stock photographs in its reflection, reaffirming your only notion of what trees and air and houses look like.



—The syntax of infrastructural signage tells you that you’ve reached civilization.
—A labyrinth of highways and exits feeds into a grey desert of white-gridded parking spaces.
—Repeating sequences of cafes and supermarkets and auto repair shops send waves of relief through your body.
—Motion sensors split steel and glass panels to grant you entry.
—Aisles of multicolor electrons bounce on plastic packaging.
—The groans of industrial freezers leak cold air onto your skin.
—Long fluorescent light bulbs beat down onto your throbbing angler fish eyes.
—Rings of red lasers scatter across the tiled floor, reading cryptic lines of black and white.

You return through the blur of air and trees and houses. Wrinkled pleather that creaks at every shift has absorbed you back into its surface. Upholstery is spilling from a tear on one armrest, growing out like fuzzy mold. Your skin looks jaundiced under the orange glowing rectangle projecting from the microwave. You watch through the window as heat floods your pre-made, plastic-wrapped, GMO-filled space food. It’s 4:00 PM and the sun won’t set for five hours. This is irrelevant when the shades are down and you’re living in a self-fabricated ecosystem. Tomorrow will look the same as yesterday and the day after tomorrow and today. The hours are discarded into the


Nora Mayer is fueled by vending machine snacks to make furniture and write words.



  1. From the Editors
  2. A Room without a View: Reflections on Studio Practice from a Privileged Poor Chantal Feitosa
  3. Between the Battlements Jeremy Wolin
  4. Accessing Color: Dissecting the Harvard Art Museum’s Forbes Pigment Collection Makoto Kumasaka
  5. British Club Tattoos Nasser Alzayani
  6. Making Space: Creativity and Resilience in War-Time Sri Lanka Elizabeth Dean Hermann
  7. How to Become Trans: A Proposal for the Modern-Day Gender-Agnostic Asher White
  8. Making It Up: A Conversation with Kent Kleinman Wen Zhuang
  9. “In Peace”: A Conversation with Matthew Shenoda Mays Albaik
  10. Suburbia_hours.mov Nora Mayer
  11. Negative Spaces Emily Wright
  12. Centerfold: Urgency Lab
  13. Rise Up: The Sunrise Movement Takes Root in Rhode Island Irina V. Wang
  14. After Strand Nafis White and García Sinclair
  15. Soldiers of Love? Karen Schiff
  16. Decoding Ghosts Molly Hastings
  17. An Annotated Bibliography Eli Backer
  18. Jesus, Marilyn, and Britney: Relationships between Religion and Celebrity Culture Nina Yuchi
  19. The Social (Antique) Network: Empathy in the Age of Digital Antiquing Zola Anderson
  20. My Little Episodes Michael Brandes
  21. Seeking Fair Game on Hidden Fields Reilly Blum
  22. The Should Be Here Is Not Here Joss Liao
  23. Index of Agency Sophie Chien
  24. Don’t Eat the Models Barbara Stehle
  25. Hypothetical Drink Personality Test: Who Said What, and When? Eliza Chen
  26. Dear Arabic Mohammed Nassem
 
     ~> Fall 2018
     ~> 2017–2018