Robert Ashley: Yellow Man…


First duo with my hubbie. “Yellow Man with Heart with Wings” (1978) is a piece by one of Nathan’s gurus, who passed away in 2014. Nathan had once performed it simultaneously in English to the Spanish version. So we started to do it in English and Japanese. Only this year the piece found a new level, by me going into a witch character… the piece for me is about the elements and animism 😉

We performed it three times this year, twice in Berlin and then one in Florida for Nathan’s family. Below is the beautiful text, if you are interested <3


in order that the people can get down from the trees, they need a plan.
in order to have a plan, they need a version, a performance.
my mind is full of doubt.
they need agriculture.
in order to have the idea of agriculture, they need the idea of flatness.
in order to have the idea of flatness, they need the idea of containment,
the idea of gravity.
if your mind can understand the idea of the room, the city,
it’s too late for you.
people who make cities are doomed to moving rocks through struggle.
rocks do not get up and dance around for people who make cities.
for people who make cities, rocks appear to be dead.
the idea of agriculture is not to feed the people.
the idea of agriculture is improvement.
flatness as a solution to the problem of gravity,
confused with the idea of feeding the people,
is something we have to live with.
the rocks have stopped dancing.
our motto is: in entertainment, what goes up must come down.
but, let’s go on.
later, there will be enough time to talk about agriculture,
and, to try to clear things up.
let’s go on to the message.

the message is:
they are armed.
it was inevitable.
i mean, it was inevitable that it should spread among us to the children
it was inevitable: one, that it will be seen.
and, two, that it will spread.
it will spread until we recognize it in the babies.
it is the idea we live with.
note: it is the flow, not the water.
it is agriculture.
it is flatness, gravity, containment, the needs of the people.
and the idea of the beyond.
we have given ourselves the question of the idea of the beyond.
among high horizons,
signifying the idea of the beyond
there are, for instance:
the city, the indians along the ridge, the gargoyles, etc.
the guardians of up.
the guardians of up are always lifeless.
made of stone.
they are known to disapprove.
the guardians of up, using agriculture as a without which,
have established in us a fundamental rule:
to go around.
that is, to skirt.

we are enjoined to skirt by the children who are armed.
they are
our protectors.
they protect us
from ourselves.
there was a blinding whiteness that covered everything.
it was all i could do just to stay awake.
i was beyond thoughts of family and home.
it had become biological.
me against the whiteness.
the path had disappeared.
how could i trust, then, that i would skirt.
how could i trust, then, that i would not trespass.
me against the children.
look at this bank and the people in it.
look closely.
the contours of the land are the contours of my little mind.
the straight paths are gone.
the bible camps, the trailer camps, the army camps are mere figures of speech,
habits to conceal from us the true nature of geometry,
which is model agriculture.
the questions of geometry are answered in agriculture.
and in the bank.
there is no excuse that anyone can see for banks.
why have something that only makes things harder.

the bank is not a safe place, if you have things of value.
the bank is not a camp.
the bank is geometry, a lesson.
the bank is agriculture, our plan.
we need a place to feel the feelings we feel in the bank.
better there than at home.
for one, you feel so ill-kempt there.
two, it owns the water.
three, there is the outward thrust of the ostentatious space.
a field unplanted.
and the corners.
there is one entrance only.
the laws of fire do not apply to banks.
among the different degrees of deadness found in rocks, deadest are the rocks from which we build our banks.
a porous bank is no bank at all.
there is no wind in the bank.
nor speed.
nor velocity.
there is only alignment.
what could be simpler.
thank you.


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