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The air is teeming with Picasso’s molecules

Ian Martin
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Ian Martin explores the dusk of existential awareness

MONDAY An international meta-competition exploring the perception of human imagination has been announced by the World Federation of Plasmic Artistry. Thank God I renewed my subscription last month.

I’m joking. I didn’t renew it. What’s the point? It costs hundreds of pounds a year and all you get is a ropey monthly newsletter about ‘developments’ in the world of plasmic arts and the occasional invite to some crappy hotel in Oslo to hear fat men in beards talk about generative design or world cinema.

The latest no-reply email tells me that clients ‘with a significant profile on social media’ are looking for ‘a compelling, abstract visualisation of theoretical non-material space located in the half-dreaming dusk between existential awareness and unconsciousness’. Ha ha ha, the idiots.

‘Entry to the meta-competition is free’. Really? Ha ha. These people really are total plasmic amateurs. ‘The idea is to test the Idea of Letting Go of The Idea…’ Oh, is it? Ha ha, you PILLOCKS. ‘The winning meta-proposal will demonstrate the capability of creative thought to conceive the unimaginable…’ Ha ha of course, what a shower of berks. ‘There is a first prize of €2 million…’ Ha ha WHAT.

TUESDAY In the morning, renew my subscription to the World Federation of Plasmic Artistry. In the afternoon, a brainstorming in the Gherkin and Firkin with my fixer Rock Steady Eddie and pub manager Po-Mo Ceri, the retired architect.

‘Yeah, these meta-competitions are a right pain in the cock,’ says Eddie, authoritatively, illustrating his meta-thoughts with my lunch. ‘See, if we let go of the idea of whose egg and chips this is …’ It’s mine. ‘Yeah, but what came first, the IDEA of the egg and chips or …’ [Inaudible due to chips, but I imagine he’s saying ‘the egg and chips’].

‘Why not,’ suggests Ceri, ‘work up the most pretentious thing you can think of, then destroy it with fire and then try to recreate it. Then abandon it and do something new, very quickly?’ You can tell Ceri was at the Architectural Association in the 70s.

I suggest the key here is to actually inhabit the half-dreamed dusk between existential awareness and unconsciousness by drinking all afternoon and slowly nodding off. Ceri and Eddie solemnly agree that it’s worth a go.

With my existential awareness cantilevered out over nausea and self-loathing, I have an epiphany

WEDNESDAY Well, I didn’t seem to get much done yesterday but this morning, with my existential awareness cantilevered out over nausea and self-loathing, I have an epiphany.

Suppose the half-dreaming dusk yearned for by these plasmic nincompoops is actually that smudged perineum between primary perception and digital perception? Suppose I explored the experiential interplay of human experience and the boundaries of artistic fuck my head hurts.

THURSDAY Sorted. Have knocked up a series of runny watercolours illustrating my House For A Dreamer, invoking:
a) the playful-yet-severe arts and craftsmanship of Scottish architecture before the First World War; and
b) the visionary Postmodernism practised by the sort of evil late capitalist clown who could afford such a lavish house at today’s prices.

I send off the plasmic design statement to Oslo, explaining that my entry is actually THE AIR between the person reading this statement and my watercolours. For is the medium of air not itself the mysterious gloaming between ‘sent art’ and ‘received art’? The difference between standing in a gallery and looking at a painting and seeing the same painting on your iPad is not just ‘the being there’, it is the intervening cubic metre of air teeming with Picasso’s molecules and bits of Sir Christopher Wren.

‘That’s it, son,’ enthuses Rock Steady Eddie. ‘Sell the sizzle, not the steak. The grass is always greener …’ Here he demonstrates yet again how meta-reality works, with my steak.

FRIDAY Oh my GOD I’ve won! The president of the World Federation of Plasmic Artistry himself has sent me a congratulatory email with all the bank details necessary to transfer the money from the Federation’s secure account in Abuja to my own. I just have to let them know when I’d like the money and they’ll wire it.

This calls for a celebration. To the Gherkin and Firkin, where I propose several toasts to meta-plasmicism.

SATURDAY Once again my existential awareness is cantilevered over nausea and self-loathing and another massive epiphany has occured.

SUNDAY Think about occupying the recliner, decide I deserve only to lie on the floor.

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