Ordinary Coordinates

Parking lot, radio, the top ten songs on the billboard in August 2014, and car stereos

I took the top ten songs of the month and created a 24 minute dialogue. The track was played by the local public radio station. I organized cars to drive into a parking lot near the only taco stand in Chapel Hill, NC, with all their radios tuned into the same station at the same time. Observers and the public walked around viewing the cars and listening to the track.

Cars always seem to do things separately but together, like cinderblock center divider lines, like caravanning or carpooling to family vacations where the Colorado River hurt the Grand Canyon and the original “La Quinta” wept into the Salton Sea. Thinking about locative and locomotive based media where the cars continue a common commute, and the radio program plays the top ten dialogue and finally loosens the satellite’s grip.

Overhead lights and headlights highlighting the other people in their car from your car like searchlights and flashlights, spotlights and floodlights, stage lighting relationships inside their little stadium of hot pipes and fluid caps.

 

Underneath the tire’s tread you still see Abraham Lincoln’s head and the tire pressure where your father said never be helpless, handing you knives on strings and compasses on rings.

 

That uninterrupted private space where dads talk until you fall asleep sometimes waking up with enough time that they don’t notice, repeating, and still talking about their dreams of dreaming about you dreaming of what you want to do, love me for who I could be one day, dreaming dreaming. Lifting you up from that back car seat, pretending to be asleep. A smile on your face, they must have known you were awake. Waking, almost like crashing out of that top bunk after dreaming of flying.  

 

The Inland Empire’s alphabetical eyewitness just said that some of Mexico split so when you leave you feel a sense of abandonment for leaving such a place, maybe wanting to help, maybe wanting to want to help, but really when you’re here all you want to do is leave, feeling relieved that you can leave the streets. After the flat on Baseline and having to recline that front seat pretending not to be, closing eyes, and feeling cars rock by, until the UPS man, a nearby father’s friend, at one a.m., with headlights comes, and helps retrieve you from the nothing exits of Baseline Street.