Repetitive or Fragmented Conversation
_a selection from Story about Conversation: Repetitive or Fragmented Conversation
with Jee Young Maeng and Hyungkoo Lee
Returning a Ping Pong Ball
Think of the net as a mirror and coincide
the paddle’s direction of movement against
the opponent’s motion, in reverse.
In front of the mirror, when thrusting my right hand forward
as if stabbing into the air, in the mirror I thrust my left hand forward.
So you can inversely picture the paddle’s angle,
direction of rotation, and progress of motion.
In doing so, you will easily understand how to simultaneously correspond to and reverse the opponent’s movement and swing at the net.
-How to receive a spin serve in ping pong, from Naver Knowledge In
I went out to the riverside every day and tried to document the waves with a pencil on paper. There are more than one hundred sheets of paper filled with pencil lines. In addition, there are piles of latex peels where I tried to record my fingerprint over the last few months. These actions may seem useless; yet sometimes they become a wonderful means of triggering our liberation from a world that always demands a certain reason. In retrospect, the pencil drawings and the piles of my latex fingerprints appear anything but frivolous; though their forms themselves may seem to be rather simple and riddled with imperfections, they can easily belong in a space as if it were a designated destination.
What I have realized is that the value of constantly looking at one’s everyday landscape from a singular location is not determined by private or public experience, but rather by how much one remembers and thinks about that moment.
I hear someone clipping their toenails.
Sometimes the space between tic and tic is shorter or longer.
The time that one stays on the same toe
The time that one moves on to the next toe
The time of control and the moment of clipping
And then a slightly long silence signals the end,
But then again, tic.
I used to record the routes of ships passing by every fifteen minutes. I was completely isolated in a room without any windows. The only thing I could hear was the sound of an electronic web, and connecting me to the outside reality were green dots on the black radar screen. One might have no idea as to what the radar screen is saying when one sees it for the first time. But it gets easier to read as time goes on. Furthermore, you could determine the type of boat by the size of the green dot, and with more training, you could go so far as to tell the weather outside. One day, I recognized an unidentified object, a little larger than regular size, moving slowly on the radar screen. It was the middle of the night and I could not discern what it was with my eyes. So I urgently dispatched the patrol boat. It was difficult to exactly pinpoint it, but after a long search and lengthy communication, what we found was a big log floating around in the ocean.
A friend of mine who is an artist told me of his experience where a piece that he plans to exhibit, which works perfectly fine beforehand, always malfunctions at an opening. I suggested to him that he should test it one hundred times in advance, and he did. And what happened was that he experienced one-hundred-and-first malfunction of the piece at the opening.
I know I am not criminal,
Following after an incident of attempted murder, the investigator who was in charge came to me again. It was after I heard the news that I was one of three suspects. The investigator sounded out the testimony he heard from someone that I had committed the crime. Although I was not a criminal, the whole situation made me nervous, so I pretended to be nonchalant and cool. The same thing happened to the investigator, who also knew I was not the man he was looking for. So, I could tell that he did not have faith in his words, but only acted as if he suspected me. We both did our best in that small room: I, acting the part someone who is not a criminal, and he, and acting the part of an investigator, in what was like a stage set for the two of us to act on.