continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.
Issue 3.2 / 2013: 70-87

The Garage (Take One)

Sean Smith

This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent., was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013.

This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention. The editors recommend that to experience the drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN SPACE & PLACE thread:

April Vannini, Those Between the Common * Laura Dean & Jesse McClelland, Ballard: A Portrait of Placemaking * Amara Hark Weber, Crossroad * Isaac Linder & Berit Soli-Holt, The Call of the Wild: Terro(i)r Modulations * Ashley D. Hairston, Momma taught us to keep a clean house * Sean Smith, The Garage (Take One)

* * * *

Preface: Variations of Archiving the Anarchive Through Editorial Witnessing
by April Vannini


“a diagram is a map, or rather several superimposed maps.”1


What do we do with essays, art, artefacts, and practices that go against, resist, challenge and reject archival capture or documentation since they do not fit within the screen or manage to move beyond conventional scales? What do we do with an essay or artefact that is the event of the event becoming-event itself, or how do we move from volumetric space to two-dimensional space? How do editors, curators, participants, etc. become witness to an anarchive? And most importantly, what are the potential and unanticipated ways in which a volumetric submission can be diagrammed within a two- dimensional space? In short, how do we archive the anarchive? These are questions that have emerged and have been consciously and purposely activated by Sean Smith’s thinkpiece for this issue, The Garage (Take One).

Sean, as part of his contribution to the special issue of drift within the thread in between space and place, created an artefact that emerged out of an event held during May 2013, titled Cottage University: Topology and Immanence. The visual documentation of The Garage (Take One) is not an archive but an anarchive due to its multimodal form, non-representational diagramming, and its reactivation of non-representational folding which animates its non-representational or more-than -representational condition. In short, The Garage (Take One) stymies attempts to be translated into digital text, representationally.

As a reader of Sean’s submission you will only have access to a portion of the original submitted contribution (see “Take One”). At this time, I remain the only witness of The Garage (Take One) in its entirety: I was present at the original event, Cottage University: Topology and Immanence, and I was the sole receiver of the original package because of my role as editor for the thread, in between space and place. However, I would like to stress that I was unaware of what Sean would submit as his contribution to the special issue. What is presented here is an emergent rippling of the event that was not predetermined or arranged in advance ... a drifting of sorts!

As for now, the artefact sits here on my desk next to a pile of books—folded, creased and somewhat lost in its translation into digital form. Questions of transcribing, translating and converting volumetric space to two-dimensional space have been considered throughout this process. And more importantly this artefact and its processes raise the issue of not what has been saved and included but what has been left out in each conversion of the original into the academic publication. What follows this preface are various “cuts” or “takes” from The Garage: Take One. Each take or cut is merely an interpretive and representational rendering of the original volumetric submission. Although with that said I would like to propose they are more than just representations or interpretations: each take or cut works as rippling variations of the event itself. It is important to acknowledge that much has been lost in the creases and much still lingers which will never be archived within an academic journal. Hence, a discussion of how to archive the anarchive is so crucial to para-academic “scholarship”. I will sum up the process that has emerged from The Garage (Take One) with a final word from Brian Massumi, written in his foreword to Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus:

Each 'plateau' is an orchestration of crashing bricks extracted from a variety of disciplinary edifices. They carry traces of their former emplacement, which give them a spin defining the arc of their vector. The vectors are meant to converge at a volatile juncture, but one that is sustained, as an open equilibrium of moving parts each with its own trajectory. The word 'plateau' comes from an essay by Gregory Bateson on Balinese culture, in which he found a libidinal economy quite different from the West's orgasmic orientation. In Deleuze and Guattari, a plateau is reached when circumstances combine to bring an activity to a pitch of intensity that is not automatically dissipated in a climax. The heightening of energies is sustained long enough to leave a kind of afterimage of its dynamism that can be reactivated or injected into other activities, creating a fabric of intensive states between which any number of connecting routes could exist.2

The Garage (Take One)

6 Sean Smith (Take 1) Photo 1

6 Sean Smith (Take 1) Photo 4

6 Sean Smith (Take 1) Photo 5

6 Sean Smith (Take 1) Photo 6

6 Sean Smith (take 1) Photo 7

Double Take

Sean Smith
You there? I just wanted to emphasize a couple of things about the process of the submission:

April Warn-Vannini
Yes, listening.

Sean Smith
1.When you describe feeding forward from the CU (Cottage University) event, it is a WALKING ACTIVITY that reinvests/reactivates the intensive energies of the event. that is what my photos are in Take connects the intensive state of CU to my "one-take" writing on construction paper experience. i'm not sure if i adequately conveyed that or not, or if you did, or how important that is.
2. In doing so, it ruptures open the "space" and "place" of material practice ...and how these may enter into the mediated production of academic journal work...and its flattened two-dimensional experience.
3. the abstract machines of CU (i.e.coming out of silence) are invested with a new diagramming practice (the photo walk) to produce a new text that is neither-nor: "spaced" as a content of that walk (garages), but "placed" as a technical question (coming out of silence to language).
4. the new text is precisely diagrammatic, non-representational, anarchival. ....multimodal. ok, that's all that comes to mind right now. appreciating your efforts.
5. oh, finally, i think you might need a better definition of "anarchive" here.....
it was hard to pin them down in montreal on what this is, so you wouldn't be wrong, per se, but more require a working definition for the reader.
obviously, as you say, without getting too academic/citations, etc. know what i am saying?

April Warn-Vannini
1. Totally got it but I think I did because of our many past conversations about how to archive the event
2. Yes this is what I love about this. And I think you speak to this very carefully in your writing on the Garage. Now whether others pick up on this I don't know. This is why I wanted to see what it would look like if I flattened it (take 3).
5. I agree that a better definition is needed. This is where I've been stumbling because I have not found anything that clearly defines what is meant by anarchive.

Sean Smith
"with take one being the only remainder of the original submission left to reveal...." precisely because of its digitality!!!
yeah, i would probably just append an edited version of what we are saying here, as if the editing process was still a ripple of the event. me "adding" new text later i think defeats the purpose, but if you were to take snippets of this dialogue as part of the anarachive/

April Warn-Vannini

Sean Smith and just *use them*, i think that\'s fair game. that way i won't be crafting my words with intent. you can even use this profile pic.

April Warn-Vannini
Okay perfect. With that said, do you think I should just discuss your process further in the preface or include an introduction that would be in take one?

Sean Smith could it be Take Two in its own right, like an atemporal ripple that coexists with the others and bumps them to Three, Four and Five? Or could it be called "Double Take" and leave the others as Two, Three, Four?

April Warn-Vannini
Perfect. I like double take

Sean Smith and it's us hashing through this discussion

April Warn-Vannini
Double take will follow take one. i like this.

The Garage (Take Two)

Folded, taped (scotch and duct), folded

recycled chart paper

previous emergent thoughts: performed, inscribed and made anew

Red jiffy, black jiffy, blue ink pen

cursive writing/block writing

diagramming amplification dilated

» » » » directional arrows « « « «

Moistened, torn, crinkled


Anarchive of thought events

Deciphering language/writing

Exchanged as a volumetrics of new spaces

Performing tactics of “writing off the page” on the page







The Garage (Take Three)

6 Sean Smith video from April Vannini on Vimeo.





The Garage (Take Four)






The Garage (Take Five)

6 Sean Smith (Take 5) scan 1

6 Sean Smith (Take 5) scan 2

6 Sean Smith (Take 5) scan 3

6 sean smith (Take 5) Scan 4

6 Sean Smith (Take 5) Scan 5