Like a tattoo or decal.

by Bob Gelsthorpe

Like a tat-too or de-cal


Like a tattoo or decal.

t-t-t-t-t-t-t c-c-c-c-c-c-c

Like a tat-too or de-cal.



During this point of James & Steve's video, I draw so much on the diction of what I think is Steve's voice that I focus on the syllables during the word tattoo, in particularly the last syllable -too and with decal, the same, -cal.

repeat the word until it ceases to make sense, practice the clicking of the bridge between syllables. I do not feel the click on the roof of my mouth as I have dentures. I feel it against the hard pink plastic of the denture, and sometimes imagine what my mouth would feel like with all the extra room. My tongue has had its home annexed.

Perfect diction throughout a narration implies multiple takes. Imagine all the sound files that have not been used throughout this section of the video. Imagine that data, that almost identical data, sitting in a hard drive or a cloud file somewhere, annexed from Logic, Protools and Premiere. Like a tongue in the body of a comatose patient, it sits, waits, until it can possibly be revived.

I have a conversation about James' work with a friendly young man, he talks of his adoration of the work, I ask if he has seen any of his work before, he hasn't. He asks about his exhibitions in London, I mention the ICA, Cabinet and Rodeo exhibitions, he says that he will look out for him in the future, and by showing him through the Requests and Antisongs catalogue he is excited. I feel as if I have made a successful advocate for the cause.

Mosquitos are eating me alive. I counted 28 bites this morning, each redder, more swollen and agitating than the last. They favour my back, and the soft flesh of my triceps. I am curious about when I will build up a tolerance, and the little bastards will be quenched of tourist blood.

Tourist Blood.

Mine was sniffed out when talking to the printing workshop opposite. While taking a break in the shade, Roman, Constantin and a woman who's name I could not pronounce have invented their own type of print, involving a telephone. They said that I could take part in a one hour class, and print three or four of my own pictures. The cost is ninety Euro. "See you later, maybe", "OK, ill have a think and see you later maybe" What a caveat "maybe" is.


Speaking to a man in his 50's or 60's outside the venue, he is asking "how the gales exhibition is going", "very well", I reply, "over 100 people today already", "jhames ree-chards? what do you think of these new artists?", he asks with a small smile, "I think they're great, very interesting, what do you think?", "oh me?!" as if no one has asked him his opinion today, "I love it, is brilliant". He gives me a friendly touch on my shoulder, and says something in italian that Elin translates as "it touches me". He says goodbye and continues a slow walk up to Via Garibaldi.