“far, far off, operating over distance”
1.01 Clayton McCracken
1.02 Aria Aber
1.03 Sarah Kinlaw
1.04 Celeste Byers
1.06 Kate Mohanty
1.07 Mia Pinheiro
1.08 Nicolás Ruiz
1.09 Rachael Uhlir
1.10 Estefania Puerta
+Cover art by Joey Agresta
+Translation by Misha Davidoff
It’s finally here! Our first issue is now online and we could not be more excited to share it with you. This inaugural issue centers around the central motive of our publication, the definition of the prefix tele- : “far, far off, operating over distance.” Over distance, across language and media, our expressive efforts are efficacious in unexpected ways. I invite you into the mysteries of unconscious transmission, and to witness their influence on that attempt at communication called art.
I am so grateful to our artists for their moving and thoughtful contributions and for trusting in this strange, little experiment of ours. It has been incredible to watch this process unfold and to see how each artist responds to the problem of this type of translation so uniquely. This issue features music, text, images, and video by Yanyi, Aria Aber, Celeste Byers, Sarah Kinlaw, Clayton McCracken, Kate Mohanty, Mia Pinheiro, Estefania Puerta, Nicolás Ruiz, and Rachael Uhlir, with video cover art by Joey Agresta and translation by tele- editor Misha Davidoff. Thank you all so much for giving a form and a life to this project.
I encourage you to view the issue from start to finish, seeing for yourself the ways in which each piece grows out of the last and leads into the next, to see the threads that continue and the threads that are dropped, sometimes to be picked up again, unexpectedly, further down the line. As part of the stitching or weaving together of the issue, the editors have added bits of lyric thread between each piece to carry you from one to the next.
You can read tele- in multiple ways: To see the continuous movement of the issue from its beginning to its end, scroll through the main navigation of the issue from top to bottom here; for viewing with slower connections and some mobile phones, try our more compact tab view here; and for a different experience, try our text-navigation view, which allows you to click through the lines of lyric thread in the form of a poem to see where each line will take you. In each view, click the artist’s name to see a bio and statement on process. The video cover art should play automatically at the top of the page on computers, but will appear as a still image on mobile phones. To see (and hear!) the cover completely, scroll to the “back cover” at the end of the issue, to watch the video.
...record, delay, relay,
Hold is a looping audio-visual experiment in which automated voice systems, recorded live through a delay pedal and relayed back via speaker phone, are challenged to listen to themselves for the answers to their own questions. Naturally, like the humans who so carefully programmed their responses, the robots reacted to self-translation with confusion, apologies, and, in some cases, accusations.
These live improvisations were crafted into a precise dance track and, with the help of video synthesizers and vintage video mixers, an audio-reactive composition was generated. The analogue video performance heavily utilizes feedback loops as a mirror of these questions with no answers, no ends, and the impossibility of automated meditation.
not quite a word, a hum for sure
—the effort of some sort of understanding?
Yes or no, yes or how I loved
to skip through papery monsoons
during my youngest days, before
wild chicory moistened the soles
of my hot feet—a slit for yes,
ant hill for no. I know: the pixelated
mush of my belonging to this day
a reverberation of that game—
yes or no, yessa-no, desayuno.
Strawberries and cream. My mind
so well-suited to thrust and thrust
into all I must forget. Once, I was
at a border, inhabiting a body which I
bordered, where I fingered
daisies, graphite, molasses,
broth—there, I dreamed of home
until I coaxed non-grata
to the bridge, until until. All this life
to gather courage to own & call
a thing a name. It came
in brackets, it came brackish:
yes, I was touched. I was a child.
There’s papyrus stretched across
the frame dividing the I of
then from the I of now: Oh,
I cannot save her now.
Clayton McCracken's video Hold elucidated confusion and technological miscommunication, which reminded me of the ways in which we are limited, despite our ubiquitous means of connection and availability; but the way the sampled voices melt into a momentary dance tune evinces that out of chaos and mistakes, beauty and creativity can emerge. It's an ancient law. The sample of “yes or no” immediately struck a cord with me, because as a child, I would seek answers through obsessive, child-like rituals - my life was ordered into yes or no questions. The poem operates on the same confused, childlike and musical logic as my childhood obsession.
Aria Aber was raised in Germany, where she was born to Afghan refugees. Her work can be found or is forthcoming from The Poetry Review, Best British Poetry, Narrative Magazine, Kenyon Review, and others. She holds an MFA from NYU and is the recipient of the 2018-2019 Ron Wallace poetry fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her debut book HARD DAMAGE won the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be published in September 2019.
or maybe it was cared for, once,
maybe it's recalling.
I was in my home state of North Carolina while making this video and kept thinking about inner-dialogue, recovering memory and connecting dots. I spent many, many years of my life unable to recall my dreams while sleeping but they've been coming back to me for the past year with a lot of familial history and past memories in tow. It feels like a child came to me through Aria Aber's “Daisies” and I wanted to pull that dynamic into a simple trip out on the boat with my father.
Sarah Kinlaw is a composer, choreographer and artist focusing on empathic potential and agency developed by performance. Known for both solo works and directing shows with as many as two-hundred performers, Kinlaw dissects themes of power, memory, trauma and connection, resisting corporeal jurisdiction and the ways sociopolitics regulate our bodies. Her work has been featured throughout NYC in institutions like Pioneer Works, Mana Contemporary, National Sawdust, One Skylight Hanson, MoMA, Knockdown Center as well as throughout Europe. Kinlaw has been written about in The New York Times, Art In America, Huffington Post, Art Forum and Pitchfork, amongst others. She co-runs Otion Front Studio, a performance and community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was recently accepted as an artist in residence at MoMA PS1.
how strange it was—to see things left behind
and be glad that one was moved.
1.04 At Home in the Sky
Pencil on paper. 11" x 14".
From the first time watching [Sarah Kinlaw's] video, it reminded me of my own experience of home and growing up with my dad flying me around in his Piper Cub, rather than her own dad driving her around in his boat. There was a feeling of calm familiarity in her experience so I decided to adapt her piece into a drawing of my own parallel view in my life. I chose a blue piece of paper to work on because it reminded me of the sky and I found it comforting to know someone else enjoys the similar silence of spending time in their father's element.
Celeste Byers is an artist and enthusiast of the existential from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. Since graduating with a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 2012, she has been working as a freelance illustrator, muralist, and installation artist in the United States, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Australia. Her work is largely inspired by the natural world, inter-dimensional realities, and the subconscious mind, often conveying the mystical nature hidden in everyday life. She hopes to remind others of the magic and beauty of our universe.
Still, in the cruelty of the telling
the landscape is transfixed.
1.05 At Home in the Sky
Not knowing your gender, you are thrown
across eight windows, open, and I imagine
the feeling of air. Brimming in light,
your ordinary hat and arm thrusting forth
a microphone toward the sun. How do you do, sun?
Its black rods swing through the levitating logic.
I’m behind your back holding the overgrowing
darkness, lines, the chalky extent of room. Only
here: the house of knapsack with first lining
of winter. Some clothes. Peering in or peeled back,
you listen and don’t want to talk. No one knows
where you live, but I do.
The most difficult part of this process was being faithful to the idea of not altering the original piece. I found myself moving towards ekphrasis as a starting point to stay true to the piece itself, but the translation required me to contend with why I write poetry: to say something I would truly want in perpetuity, even if it is nothing. I could not ignore myself as the onlooker, and so I stayed faithful to that, too, and so gave up purity, which isn't much of an idea I really believe in anyway.
Yanyi is a poet and critic. In 2018, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, awarded by Carl Phillips, for his first book, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019). Currently, he is an associate editor at Foundry and an MFA candidate at New York University. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers Workshop and Poets House. Find his recent work in LA Review of Books, VIDA, and Memorious.
1.06 Lacerated Love
This process was interesting for me, as I read and write poetry myself, but have never directly communicated poetry through my saxophone, which is my main medium as an artist. I tend to think of writing and saxophone playing as separate things for me, creatively speaking. I found this poem to be a good one for me to go through this process, Yanyi's poem resonated with me quite a bit.
I read the poem, “At Home in the Sky” numerous times over the course of the last week, so it had been floating around in my head throughout the week. The nature of my work is improvisational, so I sat down and recorded a few different improvised takes on my saxophone with the poem in my head (as well as in front of me so I could glance at it) while I played. My music is quite introspective, even when playing in front of a live audience, so a poem of this nature lent itself well to this exercise. Overall I enjoyed the process a lot and would perhaps think of incorporating this sort of thing into my work more often.
Kate Mohanty is an avant-garde saxophonist based in Brooklyn. Kate is an active member of Brooklyn's music scene, committed to the process of improvisation, especially in the live setting. Mohanty's debut solo recording, The Double Image, was released via cassette in April 2017. The Double Image was named to Avant Music News Best of 2017.
1.07 You Are Here
Thinking of this as a translation, a communication down a line, passing the same information through alternate devices—I received sound and transferred it into a moving map through film, attempting to conjure the message. The images it created, the bits of story I felt through the sounds, its tragedy and its not-tragedy. I listened repeatedly and wondered how to accomplish a true translation. I wrote and wrote and wrote and then filed through collections of my sound and film and thought of instructions to guide the viewer through the same experiential undulations as … the music instill[ed]. It was an internal combat to stick with a translation, a continual process of coming back to the former artist’s work to make sure my own language was properly conveying the original intention of the artist, instead of merely using the music as a jumping off point for a separate work. It is not a separate work, it is the same thing.
Mia Pinheiro is a multi-disciplinary artist who is from the New Bedford, MA/Burlington, VT and currently lives in Mexico City. In June 2018 she exhibited mYto, a myth-making playground during her residency at LLORAR CDMX in Mexico City and in March 2018, she created the immersive fantasy Feast of Fictions while in residency at The Lab Program at Pandeo DF in Mexico City. She completed an intensive study with the choreographer Deborah Hay and was a cast member of the Royal Frog Ballet Surrealist Cabaret Autumn 2017 after teaching the intensive summer course The Body Ensouled: Intimacy of Place and Insight of Motion with Temenos VT. She has created a variety of collaborative movement pieces with unique location including the Winooski River, New City Gallerie, The Light Club Lamp Shop, The Hive, The Attic, Museu Contemporaneo Arte Oaxaca and Bosque Ciudad de Mexico. She has received a degree in contemporary dance and movement studies through the University of Vermont and has with studied with wide variety of talented choreographers including Erika Senft-Miller, Claire Byrne and Hannah Dennison. She is an alumni of Temenos Vermont's Course Creative Concept Development: Art as Alchemy. She has supplemented her studies through the completion of many workshops: 'Siente' at CASA San Augustin Etla in Oaxaca, MX by Laura Rios and Linda Austin, 'Figure/Ground' at Shelburne Farms Breeding Barn by Hannah Dennison, 'Taller Danza Africana' at AfrOaxaquena, MX by Karim Keita and 'MELT' at Movement Research, NY by Vicky Schick. She has often found herself as a assistant stage director, choreographer or roving performance artist.
to crawl, to writhe, and swallow earth,
once your body, as the foam piles up,
embeds the looking. Oh, shape-giver:
good morning :)
your lot today is horses, what
to make of their cool thrum,
1.08 Estuve Aquí
Algunas olas intentan lamer el escritorio ocupado.
La luz poco natural es de una playa lejana y nadie entiende la función de las lámparas.
El que escribe de noche está más allá de la arena y lo veo desde una distancia infinita.
Me tienta decir que eran las últimas olas de la noche pero la noche no marca las horas de las olas.
A veces pienso que las olas nocturnas son distintas a las olas del día.
Dicen que es el efecto de la luna en las mareas.
Creo que las olas nocturnas, escandalosas, se liberan de las funciones del día para
recordar cómo el mar antiguo bramaba exigiendo sacrificios.
La noche no marca las horas de las olas.
No hay primeras o últimas olas.
Las olas fueron siempre.
Cuando pasamos en medio de los mares con zapatos seguros por baños de brea
partimos las olas en figuras geométricas.
Por nosotros las olas tienen un orden y un tiempo, un marco artificial en el eterno ir y venir
de las masas torpes.
El casco de los navíos le da horas a las olas, pero nunca hubo una primera ola.
Nunca hubo, tampoco, una primera brizna de viento;
nunca hubo un primer soplo perdido en el aire cuando viajaba hacia la oreja;
nunca hubo una palabra que partió el silencio.
¿No ves que nos estás matando?
Nosotros le dimos tiempo a las olas y al viento,
formamos marcos para ver,
transformamos ventanas para hacer mundo de las casas,
las hélices del ventilador para atrapar el poniente,
las jaulas para protegernos de la velocidad.
Torpes manos de barro que quieren levantar columnas en la lluvia;
torpes intentos que quieren cambiar los panales en miel
y los árboles en fruta.
Con cada ola que regresa, con cada velo que se levanta, con cada pliego en las sábanas
que recuerda al mar partido por navíos, me veo aquí.
Vengo de lejos escuchando el mar y la palabra del Adán que nos está matando.
La primera ola fue la primera ola que vi, la última ola será la última que vea.
¿Sabré que la veo cuando la vea?
¿Cuándo sentiré el soplo final del viento?
¿Cuándo tomarán sentido las manos que mueven el sentido?
Salgo a caminar.
La lluvia colorida corre la tinta, el camino se borra después de mis pisadas, la costa pierde
la última luz de la noche y lo que existe eternamente se olvida de mí.
Un mensaje llegó de lejos:
Atravesó la lengua,
el velo de los cerros y la lluvia de los unos,
cruzó la historia de los mares,
sintió la brisa del viento cuando empezaba su recorrido trágico,
escuchó la primera palabra que se dijo.
Un mensaje llegó de lejos y se arrastró sobre la arena,
llegó de lejos entre escritorios y navíos y las olas sin horas.
Un mensaje llegó de lejos para borrarse conmigo.
1.08 I Was Here
translated by Misha Davidoff
Some waves try to lick the occupied desk.
The rather unnatural light is from a distant beach and no one understands the function of lamps.
He who writes at night is beyond the sand and I see him from an infinite distance.
It tempts me to say they were the last waves of the night, but night does not mark the hours of the waves.
Sometimes I think the nocturnal waves are different from the waves of day.
They say it’s the effect of the moon on the tides.
That racket at night—it’s the waves, I think—released of their daily duties, recalling how the ancient sea
bellowed, demanding sacrifices.
Night does not mark the hours of the waves.
There’s no first or last wave.
The waves always were.
When we pass among the seas, securely shod, through baths of pitch, we cut the waves into
Because of us the waves have an order and a time, an artificial frame in the eternal coming and
going of the lumbering masses.
The ship’s hull gives the waves the hours, but there never was a first wave.
Never a first gust of wind, either;
never a first breath lost in the air as it traveled toward the ear;
never a word that split the silence.
Shut up Adam,
can’t you see you’re killing us?
We gave the waves time and the wind
we provided frames, that it may be seen;
we transformed windows, that a world may arise from houses,
the fan’s blades, that we may catch the sun where it sets,
the cages, that they may shelter us from the speed.
Clumsy earthen hands that would build columns in the rain;
clumsy attempts that would change combs into honey
and trees into fruit.
With every wave that returns, with every veil that is lifted, with the sheets’ every fold that recalls
the ship-parted sea, I see myself here.
From afar I come listening to the sea and the word of this Adam, who is killing us.
The first wave was the first wave I saw, and the last will be the last I see.
When I see it, will I know?
When will I feel the wind’s last blow?
Where’s the sense in these hands that shape sense?
I go out walking.
The variegated rain runs the ink, the path fades after my footsteps, the coast loses the last light
of the night, and what exists eternally forgets me.
A message arrived from afar:
It traversed the tongue,
the veil of sierras and the rain of ones,
crossed the history of the seas,
felt the touch of the wind when as it began its tragic rounds,
heard the first word that was said.
A message arrived from afar and pulled itself across the sand,
came from afar between desks and ships and the waves without hours.
A message came from afar, that it may dissolve with me.
No tenía idea de lo que quería hacer cuando acepté hacer esto. La idea en sí me fascina, lo que me preguntaba constantemente era qué tipo de escrito podía entregar. Estoy acostumbrado, desde hace años, a escribir sobre otros textos. Es difícil, de pronto, pasar a pensar independencias. Sobre todo aquí que comencé haciendo un análisis del video que me tocó continuar. El gusto literario y fílmico tenía que dar pieza a algo más, una lectura tal vez, un comentario. En vez de eso, me inspiró imágenes que tenían que seguir la sensación de estar tomando un hilo conductor más viejo que cualquier revista. El desigual resultado que envío es la experiencia de un comentario atravesado por mí en el momento en que me sentí atravesado por la milenaria experiencia de seguir escribiendo, de retomar hilos, de un proceso que persigue fines sin finales.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I agreed to do this. The idea itself fascinates me, and I asked myself constantly what type of text to submit. For years now, I have been used to writing about other texts. It’s hard suddenly to give oneself over to fancies, especially in this case, where the first thing was to analyze the video it fell on me to continue. The literary and cinematic pleasures it produced had to give way to something else, a reading perhaps, a commentary. Instead, it inspired images guided by the touch of a thread more ancient than any publication. The equivocal result I send forth is the experience of a commentary traversed by me in the moment I felt traversed by the millenary experience of continuing to write, of picking up old threads, of a process that chases ends to no end.
Nicolás Ruiz estudió letras francesas y literatura comparada en la UNAM. Se dedica ahora a planes confusos de dominación mundial a través de distintos medios electrónicos. Ha escrito sobre cine, literatura, teatro, cómics y cultura popular un poco en todos lados. Ahora mismo es editor, conductor y redactor para Código Espagueti y Noticieros Televisa en la interminable Ciudad de México.
Nicolás Ruiz studied French Literature and Comparative Literature in the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He now devotes his time to half-baked plans for world domination through different electronic media. He has written about film, literature, theater, comics, and popular culture more or less everywhere. At the moment he is editor, host, and copywriter for Código Espagueti and Noticieros Televisa in the interminable Mexico City.
how to put it somewhere
and what to call that place
—an egg, a hole,
or just a fishing net?
After reading Nicolás Ruiz's, “Estuve Aquí,” I wanted to encapsulate the tension between succumbing to nature and time, and the human tendency of trying to control it. While there is tension between these ideas, I felt an ease into one-ness in Ruiz's work. “With every wave that returns, with every veil that is lifted, with the sheets” every fold that recalls the the ship-parted sea, I see myself here.’ Photography is an interesting medium in that, unlike humans, a photograph has the ability to visually freeze a moment forever. It is my hope that this image transcends that by also capturing its pneumatic atmosphere.
Rachael Uhlir is an emerging artist playing with analog photography, soundscapes, and the color red. Her work reflects on themes of mediation of self concept, the power of touch, texture, and contemporary feminism. Previously Rachael taught English using photography at a public school in Manhattan. She has her Master's in Education from City College and was a New York City Teaching Fellow. Rachael is also the creator of Femmetography, an online social network for femme and non-binary photographers. She has shown her work alongside many notable current feminist artists including Marilyn Minter, Kate Gilmore, Lotte Karlsen, Anne Sherwood Pundyk and Go!Pushpops. Most importantly she believes that anything, done with heart, is an art.
A weave of voids designed to hold
but a few selected things.
Most miss its joints and flow away.
Those held we will consume.
1.10 Fire Hands
We Begin in Humility
If I were to tell you that wind sits between slits of your ribs, you would tell me that the sand was then made of the marrow beneath my feet. The marrow beneath my feet is made of sand. Sand makes marrow feet.
I know that the breeze has a lot to do with both of these transgressions.
How Am I Not Myself is a constant material investigation into knowing exactly How I Feel Without The Other.
Yes, it is a world filled with sorrow.
I cannot read the news anymore.
I cry before thinking.
My throat feels like a trap.
My trap feels like a throat.
Feel like a throat trap.
Trap the throat that feels.
I don’t know how to put into words the weight we cannot capture in cloth. There is a small distance between the leaping figure and the steady earth, are they flying away or running away? Are they holding or being held? Is it ok to be simple in gestures towards the wind? Why can’t I simply say the words that tell you how weight cannot be captured in cloth? How much can I hold in my empty hands?
Sin peso que es la ternura de carne besando aire?
I know that skin is stretched and tethered but I also know that that history is fraught with terror. I am sick to my stomach these days in knowing the weight of skin.
I am sick to my stomach in knowing
The weight of sand
Weight of wind
Weight of distance
Weight of empty hands
Weight of gesture
Weight of tears
Weight of arms stretched out toward a blue sky
Weight of words
La enferma te cuenta sin saber el cuento
Is the figure unfurling towards a hungry mother or fleeing from an angry flock?
Does the figure lick their wounds in heavy quivers or expel spastic shouts to their drunken livers?
Is despair a worthy object to hold? To look at it through metaphor and playful salutation? Can we make a parachute out of its weight? Carve new worlds that destroy the state?
How long do we have to wait?
No te puedo decir como sufrir solo que tengas un hueso hacia la luna
We End in Marrow Winds
I received a photograph as my communication transmission. In some ways, [my process] felt more like a channeling of a sentiment rather than an interpretation of the image itself. I wanted the piece to weave in and out of a direct correspondence and contemplation of the image, with form falling apart and allowing other thoughts and emotions to seep through. The world feels heavy right now and so it felt only right to think of weight in all these ways.
Estefania Puerta's work delves into organic and inorganic materials to form new poetics of transformation and translation. She is interested in what is gained and lost in the process of making and the new worlds that can emerge from fickle metaphors. Her insistence on examining the folly of translation stems from her need to explore world making, border crossing, bodies that do not fit into societies/societies that do not fit into bodies, and creating a new language for those that have never felt like they could speak. Puerta works in various mediums such as sculpture, painting, writing, and performance and is deeply invested in the web created through working in multiple forms that does not have a fixed center or hierarchy. Estefania studied at the University of Vermont and received her MFA from Yale School of Art. She was born in Colombia and raised in Boston. She currently lives and works in Vermont.
Joey Agresta is an audio and visual artist currently living in Burlington VT.