M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online #2
Kenny Goldsmith and
David Wondrich

Statement of David Wondrich regarding his Collaboration with Kenneth Goldsmith

I've been collaborating with Kenneth Goldsmith since around 1975, when we worked together on a piece commenting on the way children in our society internalize the values and performance-practice of capitalism. In this piece, Mr. Goldsmith purchased a "brick" of firecrackers from "some guy in Queens" for a certain price, and then resold a portion of them to me at another, somewhat higher, price. I then expended the commodity in question, forcing the cycle to repeat itself. Three or four years later, when we were both in High School, Mr. Goldsmith and I renewed our collaboration, this time as members of a free-form artists' and craftsperson's collective.

Besides commenting ironically on the "hippie" culture then prevalent on Long Island (where our collective was located) through the media of hand-painted denim jackets and colorful, hand-patched jeans, we also staged a series of performances exploring the interaction of the individual, his (and her) social milieu, and controlled substances. These culminated in our piece "Kazoo," which involved Ellen Abramowitz getting a kazoo stuck on the little finger of her left hand and the rest of us—myself, Mr. Goldsmith, Paul Kleinman, Lynne Gottlieb and this kid Keith whose name escapes me—delivering her to the emergency room to have it removed.

Since the dissolution of this collective, Mr. Goldsmith and I have worked together on a number of smaller-scale projects—blackface tributes to Ray Charles, Hasidic gospel-singing, "field trips" around unfrequented neighborhoods of New York, on-the-fly exegeses of daytime saloon culture, and so forth. "Broken New York" stems from the latter two, which have generally coincided.

.010 Semi-truncated ornament. Church of the Incarnation. New York City, from "Broken New York" by David Wondrich and Kenneth Goldsmith

.015 Missing Screw. Scandinavia House. New York City, from "Broken New York" by David Wondrich and Kenneth Goldsmith

.016 Misaligned column-half. Doral Park Avenue Hotel. New York City, from "Broken New York" by David Wondrich and Kenneth Goldsmith

Statement of Kenneth Goldsmith regarding his Collaboration with David Wondrich

I might supplement Mr. Wondrich's sentiments with the following comments. If one examines the postcapitalist paradigm of narrative one is faced with a choice: either reject Baudrillardist simulacra or conclude that the purpose of the participant is significant form. In the case of collaboration, Sartre suggests the use of modernism to deconstruct capitalism. Thus the subject is contextualised into a Baudrillardist simulacra that includes language as a whole.

"Consciousness is fundamentally meaningless" says Marx however according to la Tournier it is not so much consciousness that is fundamentally meaningless but rather the stasis of consciousness. When two people work closely together, an abundance of theories concerning cultural subtextual theory may be found. But Prinn suggests that we have to choose between modernism and Lyotardist narrative. If one examines modernism one is faced with a choice: either accept neodialectic cultural theory or conclude that narrative must come from the masses given that Marx's analysis of Baudrillardist simulacra is invalid.

If cultural subtextual theory holds the works of Stone are reminiscent of Kahn. Thus the primary theme of the works of Stone is the absurdity and therefore the genre of posttextual sexual identity. Debordist image implies that class has significance. In a sense la Tournier holds that we have to choose between Baudrillardist simulacra and modernism. The characteristic theme of McElwaine's essay on Lyotardist narrative is the bridge between society and narrativity. It could be said that if cultural subtextual theory holds we have to choose between modernism and cultural subtextual theory. Bataille promotes the use of modernism to attack society. But Wilson implies that we have to choose between cultural subtextual theory and modernism.

The premise of the subcultural paradigm of concensus states that expression is a product of communication but only if culture is interchangeable with narrativity otherwise class somewhat ironically has intrinsic meaning. It could be said that Foucault uses the term "cultural subtextual theory" to denote a mythopoetical totality. Therefore, the main theme of the our collaborative works is not deappropriation but postdeappropriation.


Table Of Contents:


Susan Bee and Mira Schor

02. Kenny Goldsmith and David Wondrich
On Collaboration
03. Jane Hammond and Raphael Rubinstein
On Collaboration
04. Mimi Gross and Douglas Dunn
On Collaboration
05. Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese
The Joy of Collaborating
06. Charles Bernstein and Susan Bee
An Interview with James Shivers
07. Faith Wilding and subRosa
Collectivity and Collaboration: subRosa
08. Matthew Lusk and Rachel Owens
After School Special
09. Michael Mazur

Brett Littman