PRINT September 1979

Stealing Time: An Ontological Odyssey

IN THE 1960s, I used to write, more or less straight, about art. Then, concurrent with the “dematerialization of the art object,” I got more interested in what went on behind the art: hence the first-person essays like “Peter and The Pressure Cooker,” “The Visiting Artist,” and “Subway Orbit.” At the time, I thought this activity was an antidote to the ongoing and repugnant “de-definition” of art. Now I realize I had more in common with the forces of evaporation than I thought, for, excepting my own products, I’m drawn more toward plane rides, winos, out-of-the-way lecture halls, rollbooks, pick-up basketball games, rainy corners of cornfield campuses, failed sculptors’ shoes, and pimply faces in drawing class—as art—than art. (Les Levine just might have had something.) So, read on: a piece of writing about an artist who writes, getting tired of writing about an artist tired of writing

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