Bibliophilia in Technophobia: A Dream Come True
Mara Goldwyn on the recent resurgence in art- and self-publishing in the art world
Let me tell you about a dream I had.
It was a working-through, partially, of an 80’s era Twilight Zone I probably saw for the first time late at night on a television where there were still two knobs for UHF and VHF, re-ran on YouTube this past year. In the episode, words began to lose their meaning. The word “lunch,” for example, became “dinosaur,” and by the end of the day, there was simply no way to communicate. Sign and signified completely shifted; language was suddenly unintelligible.
In my dream, something similar happened. The buttons I pressed on my phone produced all the wrong numbers, and the messages I typed to friends were all gobbledy-gook. I tried to communicate my way to the hospital, but no one could understand me. The dream ended with a pair of twenty-somethings with knit caps, close-fitting jeans and smartphones in the hallway outside my flat in Kreuzberg, cruelly cackling at me as I begged them in a garbled tongue to help me lock my door on the way out. They finally assented, but to my horror, walked off, laughing, with my keys. I woke up terrified, picked up a pen and notebook that I usually keep next to the bed, and wrote it down.
Now, this record of a dream in my scrawled hand – this text on paper – exists, unmediated, in the world. Nothing, except perhaps basic earthly elements, like fire, air or water, can “corrupt” it. When I die, I fantasize that it will become part of the “Goldwyn papers” neatly catalogued by an earnest intern in a series of semi-matte black cardboard boxes – alongside my book, magazine, pamphlet, postcard, and random-slips-of-paper collections – in an institute founded posthumously in my name; my legacy as a twenty-first century (female) Aby Warburg...