Wednesday 5 June 2013

The verbs

A while ago I stumbled upon this lovely piece by Tont Coles, a paon to moulded plastic and fine, grimy detail.

Scrolling through his post titles, I was struck by his categories:

Obsessive stuff
Smelling stuff
Reading stuff
Writing stuff
Visiting stuff

It made me wonder what the verbs of my own life might be. I concluded that I spend a lot of time

Reading stuff
Pondering stuff
Writing stuff
Sharing stuff
Discussing stuff

Most of these things happen on my computer, but also with people. Part of the reason that writing feels like such a companionable act for me is that the same device upon which I write offers at least three separate channels for me to be talking to people with. I have almost forgotten how to work alone.

Then there is

Listening to stuff
Seeing stuff
Visiting stuff

Listening and seeing are becoming interestingly intertwined. I often listen to music when visiting exhibitions now, for example, and the songs become intertwined with the art. (Bill Henson's photos at the Adam, for example, will now forever be associated with The National's High Violet inside my head.)

When I think about work though, the verbs becomes very colourless very quickly

Checking stuff
Signing stuff
Meeting stuff
Managing stuff

That's the glass-half-empty way of looking at a work day, of course. And if I was less coy, or more confident, I might opt for

Enabling stuff
Making stuff

Leading stuff
Inspiring stuff

Michael Lascarides said at the NDF conference a few years ago that we should "get better problems". I'm now thinking about getting better verbs.

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