Electronic Center of Arts

Direttore: Emilio Piccolo

Sans passion il n'y a pas d'art


A cura di Giuliana Lucchini

Juliana Spahr

Testimony (I)
Testimony (II)
Testimony (III)
Testimony (IV)
Testimony (V)

Testimony (I)

it often begins with a warning:

     The information in these papers should not
be accepted in and of itself. You must seek out
confirmation for yourself. The credibility of these
papers does not depend on its author, but rather
on what you discover from your study and investi-
gation of the material presented.


this is about the role of testimony
the claims of truth in the age of cover-up and misinformation

Testimony (II)

people claim to have been abducted
claim to have been undressed and examined
poked and prodded
claim that there are complex reproductive enterprises involving conception and gesta-
     tion or incubation of mixed beings
claim they are caught up in these procedures
captured against their will
they claim mechanisms of ingestion and expulsion are examined over and over
claim endless rounds of gynecological, rectal, and urological procedures
and authorities report, a physiological exploitation accompanies these claims
or reason that because of the emphasis on reproduction women seem to have a larger
     number of complex experiences
or calculate that as many as one in ten Americans have implants as a result of these
while others claim that electromagnetic symbols are used to control or trace people
     with implants
in the narrative she finds herself floating up and out of bed
                                            through the window or screen or wall
she finds herself drawn towards the light and enveloped by it
                                            she finds herself floating towards the light
in a preliminary investigation
they take a sharp instrument and scrape it down her soles, causing her feet to curl in
they touch her ankles and twist her foot from side to side
they push and press against her calf muscles
they squeeze hard and painfully between the bone and calf muscle
they look closely at her knee and bend her leg a few times
but this is just the beginning and what follows this prodding remains difficult
twisted in its possible truth
mutilated claims
fetuses or the organs of elimination are missing
a woman who is carrying twins, for instance, might have one removed so only a single
     twin remains
or a fetus removed from a body by a sucking machine
or the rectal area perfectly cored out of a body found on the side of the road
or puncture wounds due to needles and probes on the head, the fingers, the leg
at other times instead of removal insertion, multiplication
one half being, one half human children
other reports vary
are disputed by the community of believers
a humanoid might have been housed at Los Alamos until its death in the early 1950s
a speech device which enabled the speaking of English might have been implanted in
     a throat
this being might have been named ebe
a man devises a paranoid interpretation of what he thought he was seeing and bearing
     and begins to build a pyramid from his sources
his sources emphasize
a visiting being farms another being for organs, cats a being's flesh
photographs of sightings from afar often appear in grainy detail
the UFO matter might have literally brought about the establishment of direct
     communication between the East and West in 1962
whispers resonate-the church might refuse to take a stand because it would have to
 imagine God having a relationship with someone other than ourselves
in the midst of myth or belief
claims of an archetypal contact through symbology that begins fifty to one hundred
     years ago
the stories gain fluency, even as they present questions
there might be a book called the Bible which contains all these reports
the scrolls might be at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia
but even the beings themselves deflect the subject's questions with palliatives and do
not give substantive answers
in answer to the relentless question of "why?"
often they communicate only, "you know what you are doing"
or "you are very special to us"
or "this is very important and you are helping us"
at other times they give visualizations of planetary destruction and say "we will help
    you prevent this"
attempts at comfort from, those without the vocabulary of comfort

Testimony (III)

"this is a daily dose of pain"
                                                                                                                                      "this is not a dream"
                                                                     "I did not choose to join"
"I do not know why I keep waking"
                                                         "I think I'm floating out a closed window"
"I wake up invaded"
                                               "He puts something inside»
                                                                                                                                  "I'm under something,
                                                                                                                                                      it is a man"
                                                            "and I'm saying ‘this has to stop’ over and over"
"They're pressing and there's snipping."
                                                                         "It is just like Auschwitz, just like Auschwitz"
                                      "I have recurring nuclear war dreams."
                                                                     "Who analyzes like that? It's just something new."
"It is long and points. It is like a needle. It pinches."
                  "They have an agenda to carry out and once it begins nothing can stop it"
                                                                          "It can go on for years"
"I feel like this is psychological torture although I am not afraid for my life"
                                                                                                         "Like possession in a way"
"I can't say this happened to me and expect to be treated in the same way again"
"You have to go where the evidence leads you, even though you may not like going there"
"You can't say this happened to me and expect to be treated the same again"
"It forever changed the way I think about things"
"And I keep saying ‘this has to stop,’ ‘this has to stop’ and then suddenly I feel like
    all will be well"
"You go to where the UFO stories are"
"they close our eye"
"our voices are made silent"
"our ears are made deaf"
"we will never be the same again"
"you will never be the same again"
"the alienness that you feel on your world is a reflection of the alienness you feel
     between each other"
"not alien but external
the boundaries of the world simply expanded"
"nature abhors a vacuum
where a lack of openness
and a penchant for secrecy persists
rumor and rumors of rumor are sure to flourish
even in the middle of the desert
you keep shaking the secrecy tree
hopefully something drops out"

Testimony (IV)

further complicating the flow of information: some documents are impossible to get
others disintegrate with five seconds exposure to air
these might tell of agreements between the U.S. government and beings,
perhaps granting beings permission to conduct animal mutilation
at other times, a man claims to be a source of false information
he might be sent by the government
another states "how do you know that I'm not here to cither give you misinforma-
     tion or to give you information which is part of the programming, knowing you
     are going to go out and spread it around?"
questions of truth are turned around, back to the sleuth in a beat up car who has
     given up his/her job to search for authenticity because this story is so big it will
     change the century
trust no one becomes an advertising slogan for the 90s
as the information here is suspect
a fraud will be enacted to prove other data is fraudulent
these fraudulent practices prove the truth of other data to some minds
(the fraud being evidence of the need to cover the truth)
others only remember the fraud
this creates a nightmare of violence and irrationality
at the end of every narrative are the "official response" and the "critics corner"
or a series of questions for you the reader to answer:
why does s/he claim it was foggy when the weather bureau reported sun?
why are victims of sexual abuse more likely to be abducted than the general population?
why do the most convincing, most tantalizing sightings always have only one person
     to authenticate them?

Testimony (V)

my point here is not the laugh
nor the truth
nor to merely explore truths turns, information's conspiracies
it is:
what do we do?
trust no one?
trust no I?
as we try to look with eyes better then what we've had before
what does it mean to believe oneself as attractive to an alien race?
a life defined by questions
was I abducted?
did I experience that or just remember it?
                                                                                                    never to be answering
                                                                                                    stuttering one's way through the
unreliability of

claim for us it is not the proof but the telling
spots on film,
charred grass,
pieces of metal
all begin to mean in new ways
as there is the possibility that beings might have hired a PR firm which created My
     Favorite Martian, ALF, Star Trek, Star Wars, AlienNation, ET, and other
     shows post the 1950s
all media become evidence or proof
or part of the conspiracy to expose beings
we will become used to visiting beings, welcome them on the basis of this enter-
     tainment exposure
so the boy running off into the field, clouds rolling over head, is called
calling out to us
so the call to phone home
so the force
so the FBI is covering up
so the aliens are the minority
entertainment takes a larger purpose
one ominous or liberating
the breadth of the debate
as we rethink our selves, the political enters
and the issue twists to become about our ability to touch information
to make our own decisions
which has been required of us all along, we've just slacked off
letting the advertisement speak a larger truth
letting others do our thinking and condense it back to us as a series of dialectical issues
our lives were busy, we defend our laziness
filled with the everyday, never out of the ordinary
so what interests in this formula are the questions without answers
which lie to believe
becomes the question
is it the liar or the truth-teller encountered at the crossroads, pointing the direction
the direction amphibious
more than identity our attraction is to puzzle
the lineage of close encounters
anecdotal data, exhaust residue, radiation levels five times the norm