PRINT February 1973

Some Splashes in the Ebb Tide

I don’t know if it is my star that is on the wane or an entire constellation that is dimming.

—Carl Andre

WORKDS OF ART REMAIN AFLOAT on a sea of words. Those refractory facts, art works, are launched into the treacherous currents of language with its sudden undertows, backwaters, and shifting mainstreams. Works will sink out of sight, cause ripples or even occasional tidal waves. But this trackless, navigational nightmare is not without direction. For below, silently at work, is that force which waits for no man: the tidal pull toward judgment which assigns to works a certain coefficient of power measured in terms of cold cash and those slippery verbal chips to be redeemed for a piece of history. Duchamp’s balanced equation of work and audience is here somewhat expanded by marine metaphors: the work and its coefficient of power are mediated by the tides and currents of the spoken, the

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