Interview: Gary Morehead on Lee Lozano
interviewer: Alan W. Moore
transcribed by Richard Singer in February of 2005
(the interview took place a year or so earlier… I need to go back to the tape, listen and correct this draft, and put in that interview date – this is totally raw now 4/08 but it's important, since significant misinformation is floating around about Lee Lozano, esp. that she left NYC in the early '70s and did not return.)

G: I have an idea where we want to start… 1972… Steve Kausenbaum(?), conceptual artist in New York in the ‘60s, was teaching as a visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin, and they brought a whole bunch of students, graduate students, to New York, different artists – Gary Power and John Toriano, and Lee Lozano, and a bunch of other people… And she had a studio visit, and I went into her studio and she showed work, and that was in 1972. And she had an amazing presence. I was smitten with her intelligence immediately. So, we maintained a long-distance relationship, I went to Halifax and would visit the city to see her and we corresponded. I had the first exhibition I ever had in Lee Lozano’s loft.

A: Where was that?

G: On Grand Street, just off of West Broadway. And she had just stopped working[?] with paintings… The last series, the Wave series, that I’ve spoken about, they were beautiful paintings, and they were in energy waves, light waves. So they replicated… So they were concerned with energy waves.

A: And they were ------ paints or…?

G: Shiva[??] oil colors – Shiva[?] being the choice, according to her, because of all of its metallic content and the way it caught light. It used[?] a monotone with the colors that were assigned to the frequency of wave patterns and energy patterns, they vertically came down in a monotone, only the brush stroke carrying the light, they were very beautiful paintings, and she used this off brand of Shiva color because of the metallic content of the painting, and the coarseness of it, probably. -------------, otherwise it would be rambling all over the place. So she had these paintings set up, she had a couple of other situations set up in the studio, situations that were a powerful [substitute on the floor][?] The white powder substance, was a sugar substance with flour, was a large area that was covered in white sand[?], and she would write words, in response to conversations, with people’s names, and that would be therefore a duration, or not[?], where she would write them out….

A: -------- substitute[?]

G: She would write the names in the sand area, which was quite on the large on the floor, makes some words from conversations, maybe write tentatively[?] a name, in the same proximity, she might write them out, within the course of conversation that took on loaded conversation…

A: This is all just… She’s not photographing this, or documenting this?

G: There’s no documentation. Because at this point, she’s moving from having done the last paintings to moving toward experiments with communication. There’s a word, it’s like a catchword she uses, and more concerned with energy. Energy would be the overriding principle; communication would be the subset of that. And that’s early on, like ’72, ’75… Early on, from when I knew her, and she’d do these kinds of things. But if someone’s there and has their name crossed out, and is there in person, right, that would carry/bury[?] the conversation, so it’s not an assault on someone, but there were certainly aggressive attitudes about notation and the elimination of the notation, longevity, and what time would it be there, what are the things that would accumulate, sometimes there would be enough[?] sand castles with religious[?] indentations, different kinds of things…

A: Can you give me an example?

G: Like… Only insofar as… Someone was in conversation, and I can’t recall the words, but there were a number of words that were interesting, and then there, like, a thaw in conversation, and she immediately eliminated that person’s name and everything that had been going into it, so it was a repudiation of that. And… She characterized as “haptically,” her actions were “haptic” and “haptically,” and…you should look that word up. And it’s a reaction in a limited time frame, and is almost a catalytic(?) as if energy in conversation were chemical, and of a catalytic nature.

I think one of the things that impressed me most about her, initially, in the --------- as long as I had a relationship with her was how clean her thought process was, how direct she was in her methodology. There was no romanticism about the event, it was just very blunt and very, very straight forward. You get a -------- romantic ambience, and all kinds of very sensual, sexual overtones, but the vehicle for inducing all this was always straight forward and very clearly thought out and done with the kind of dedication and consistency that at the time I had not associated with art in general. There/I[?] was a type to oftentimes envelope it in a kind of gobbledygook or this or that, and there was always just none of that. I remember going back to the first meeting in my journal and saying, it was all about the cleanliness of thought. This was, like, a very clean approach.

But she was already dickering with paintings… Collectors and people that ------- to let her get too close to it. Because… Ever since there was a large painting that had gotten close to her either on a loan or one that she owned as well, and she had started to take fingernail-sized lozenges out of the painting, cut with an exacto knife. And then remove them from the painting. And she could carry these, like she could sap these, or she could accumulate these in different configurations in different places. And she was seemingly just focusing on extracting energy from the paintings, venting(?) the system, and re-articulating possible matters of things that she talked about. When she approached paintings, where many people would be esoteric about their intentions, or romantic notions around the paintings, she was very much working with matter and wherever it intersected between intention and manipulation… but essentially, it was working with matter, and it gave rise to these other things. So, when she finally came to work with energy and communication, it was to her mind a very clear outgrowth of the experiments with matter and the things that they had given rise to. It was as if it were as concrete as any block that Andre(?) moved around the floor, that this is what’s going on, that this intersect…matter gives rise to energy, gives rise to the possibility of communication. So, by the early 80s, she had given up all attachments to matter, and she was quite clear about it when approached to document this: I don’t want to shuffle paper, when you approach (?) the documentation, I stopped working with matter, I’m more concerned with energy… and she would redirect it away from the theoretical right back to the communication that was between you, and that was where she continually wanted to put her emphasis.

A: How about video?

G: She was an observer on some things that Scott Billingsley did, ------ films, and she was a cheerleader/supporter, but she was not all that interested in television or other video…

A: Or performance, for an audience…

G: Stefan Eins had the 3 Mercer store, and when I first came here, you know, performance was really three to four nights a week. And I remember going to a lot of performances with her… Diego Cortez did a really great thing at Artists’ Space that we went together to, and he did a firefly thing on her during the whole…the lights were out and he did a firefly/flashlight thing with her, and she almost became part of the performance that Diego -------- But only in a peripheral sense would she undermine or complement that; she was really periphery to that. And she was… If you were to extend the idea that what she was doing was a performance, she seemed uncomfortable about that. And I don’t think she ever said, “I’m living a life” for something, but the attitude was quite clear that it was work, and her work was what she was doing. At any given moment, she was quite clear about it. There wasn’t any pretense to it, she was very clear about it in terms of how she spent her time, how she ate, preparing food, the food that was going into her, all of this with a great deal of attention to how it would affect the body, and she acknowledged that [noise] theories about holistic health and all this kind of thing, she was knowledgeable about all this… The amount of protein or just whatever balance… She approached it the way she approached the construction of her paintings – the way she dealt with her body, the way she dealt with her health… So, she was on all the time. It was work all the time.

A: She wasn’t exhibiting ------, right?

G: She had… She wasn’t exhibiting at all. She was asked by Documenta…(?)
A: ----------------

G: Probably… I don’t know which Documenta it would have been. It was between ‘75 and ’78, somewhere in there, she got this letter, and it was a German Documenta, and they were asking her to exhibit in the Documenta. And I remember that it went on for three weeks, this debate, I tried to give her some encouragement, maybe you should do this, maybe you should do something, and it went on for about a month, and it finally got down to, she edited this thing down to a really terse statement… The first or second sentence alluded to the fact that she was now interested in energy and communication. And she was no longer working with matter, and that she wondered, I think was the word, she wondered what benefit it would be to her to be in this exhibition. And she was clearly looking for an exchange – how could it benefit her position, her life, her work, to be in this show?

A: Do you remember what year it was? ’78, or…

G: I think it was after ’75, because…it was probably ’76, somewhere in ’76, that she got this letter. Because, we were living together on Stanton Street, right in her loft, and she maintained an outside place, at 14th Street and Second Avenue. She had a room in a hotel, which she maintained forever, even though she might be at my place for a while, she might be at someone else’s. We started going to jazz clubs, and I started tending bar at CBGBs, and she would go up there, and we met a lot of people. And she was good friends with, of all people, Joey Ramone. She liked Joey’s attitude.

A: -------------------------?

G: I don’t remember her.

A: -----------, the designer? She was ------ James Chance---------?

G: She was around with James and all that stuff going on. We saw all that stuff together. She was interested in that. From the energy…thing… I should probably note this thing about not talking to women.
[noise]… All the female graduate were incredibly pissed off --------- and the way Lee performed, and --------. They hated her. She wouldn’t speak to them, ----------- She was really angry at the talk about her even bringing them there… [voices drowned out by clanking dishes] It was very confusing. I came to have a bit more understanding about Lee wanting to do work that was not gender bound, and in a bizarre kind of way, that an extreme feminist position in that she thought that gender-bound work was a mistake, and a devaluation of it. And when she looked at most females, she was very critical of their abdicating their full responsibility and their rights to do something on their own. And so, in ------ to what she thought was this kind of abdicating their personal responsibility, she chose not to speak to them at all. Needless to say, over the time that we spent together, this would present incredibly tense situations socially. We’d have to neogitate, we’d have to order, we’d have to pretend that the other side was…the man that was with her was the only man in the world, too (?) And she was all alone. And it was a very curious kind of social problem that would happen when we were out in public, because there was this understanding ----------- that she was forced into a corner where she might have to speak to someone, and she would not. Whether it amounted to her being ----------. The first show I did was an artists’ space, and she was helping me install it, when Elaine Pointer(?) came in. And we ended up on the fire escape. We would not come down until Elaine left the primsesis. You can understand…that put me in a rather difficult situation. There were other times like that. And the thing that I came to understand was that it wasn’t with malice, it was kind of a rareified position.

A: Also, it generates energy…

G: It generates a kind of social energy, which she found very interesting. She found all the responses interesting. But it was not [banging, noise, etc.] I took a lot of shit from female friends about conciliatory toward this position, that I know…ultimately, I always had a kind of respect toward it.

Of course, social gestures like this, as we moved into the ‘80s, the late ‘70s and ‘80s, became more problemmatic. Because she was regarded, indeed, as someone who’d lost it, as a crazy person. And, I was really surprised by this. Because, it was oftentimes, people you’d expect to be more generous and tolerant in their viewpoint. But… There would be certain social rituals with her itinerary, like… She’d go to Mickey Ruskin’s place… She was always welcome at Mickey Ruskin’s social club, Chinese Chance(?), and she’d call him Mickey at Max’s and all this… I remember Leaping(?) in the Village, whenever she got to the bar, there would be white wine slipper(?) at the bar waiting for her… There were certain kinds of public events that were important to her, because they symbolized a kind of respect for this non-communicative thing that she was becoming interested in. I don’t know how useful this is to you right now…

So, in response to the ------------… At that period, in the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s, she was becoming more and more interested, as I said, with communication and energy. And to this end, she had an unabridged dictionary that was probably all of 30 pounds and a good 10 or 12 inches thick that she would… As if I were going to the studio(?), she would go to this book and flip it karate style and read words in sequences…flipping it open to what word she sees, to another word…this is what she characterizes as “haptic.” And that led into a period where she had, she had taken as her own, all adjectives because of their similarity to her name. So, if you talked about “swiftly, it was a…a world that was revolving around her… [Note, that would not be “adjectives,” it would be adverbs – Richard] It began to either describe where she was at the moment, or would continue to offer a possibility where she might be a the next moment. And the words that she flipping in the dictionary, she would refer to this as “haptically.” She’d get odd coincidences, from one word to another, and it’s kind of like, kind of not dissimilar to certain Beat poets, like Burroughs, and that kind of thing. And I made a chest-high stand so that she could approach this but not in a sitting position, then the work became almost like a dance. There would be a lot of pacing to this station, looking at the book, laughter, crying – it would happen sometimes – and a retreat from the book and a kind of pacing and dancing around it and then she would attack it again, and this went on for a long time. And this was the only… There was an overlap to this work, and the Documenta invitation, and there was discussion as to whether these words might be recorded, and whether she might be -------- to this. To my knowledge, this never happened. There were drafts, and I don’t think they survived.

Part of this… She had kept a lot of notebooks, and a lot of writing. And she was involved with writing, but it was miniscule writing, in a very small notebook, not the journal sized books that she had been doing, and to my mind they were torn up when she was done with them. They were plans for the day, for the week, for the this…and there were series of words, sort of a small itenerary of where she would go, what she needed to do. And it might have involved an experiment with animal proteins, and gellatin was a thing that went on for a long time, and…like that.

When she got kicked out of her loft or lost her loft on Grand Street, virtually all the work had gone to this guy at -------------, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, I think, a child psychologist…

A: That’s the landlord(?)…

G: No, I think he bailed her out, I think he had been buying a lot of the work, and he had the work, or was to take care of the work… The gray painting subsequently ended up in the Pitts One(?) shop, sometime in the mid to late ‘80s…some of the mid to late ‘80s, some of the wave paintings were there, and there was a sharp blurb about her. But, pretty much…

A: ------------------(?)

G: Yeah, but she wasn’t directly involved in it. She didn’t come to the show or anything. She had moved out to Houston, I think, by that time. She never spoke of her family…

A: She was Houston orignally?

G: She was from here. And her parents subsequently moved to the Houston area. -------- And… She had Sullewip and Andre(?) and held a number of small Andre works, and every once in a while, either through Paul or through any number of ------s that she knew, she would sell one for money to live on.

From the time that I was with her, from ’75 off and on to ’79, there was no money offered ---------. And the irony is that, she told me, before leaving the city, that she had learned about -------------. She had always traveled with several bags, to her hotel room, or wherever she happened to be, she had a bag, and it usually had about 3 or 4 thousand dollars in it. And… Curious, there were times when 3 or 4 thousand dollars looked like an awful lot of money to notice sitting on the other side of the room, so it was just kind of amazing.

A: I’m stuck with(?)…Joe Rules. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Joe Rules… New Yorker of the early 20s. He was writing an oral history of the world… And, basically, he talks to a lot of famous people. And he would talk and -------- his notebooks…and basically, there were no notebooks, and ------ because his entire essence was… And I think of Lee -----Joe Rules…

G: She was intense. During the ‘70s, we went to all of these parties… The Talking Heads--- and off in China Town, we were going to a party that Dan Graham had…and all these heavy-weight rock stars… And she walked into the room, and it was her show for the first half hour. And she danced, and she was a boxer… And [noise]…I wondered whether New Wave had come from a conversation we had with Taylor and a couple of his late night rock and rollers at CBGBs when she was making a reference to her own work, “I need a new wave, I need an new wave.” And it was very early in the conversation. And who else would have heard that [noise] subsequent New York No Wave and -------- No More Waves. And, she was around for that… One of the few people she made an exception for in terms of women, communications with women, was, she made a lot of room for Patti Smith. And she could get into that music even though it was because of(?) Blondie… So, I don’t where this goes, this conversation… I know that she was supportive of a lot of people, she talked to a tremendous number people…

------- Stafford(?) ------ in New York was an artist’s place, and he had a tableaux(?) of metallic, plastic-covered chairs and velvet ropes and astro-turf, and Lee and I both had coffee in our hands and were standing there and in no time at all were sitting on the other side of the rope, at the table, using and drinking our coffee. And Helene Bryer came in and just freaked. And it wasn’t the day she ended up on the fire escape, but she just freaked. Because of the suggestion that was made later on about utilitarian and public sculpture, and…I think he may have rethought this velvet rope because ------------ and seen us there… I think it definitely went into his thinking. He came in and saw us there and he wasn’t so freaked out, he thought it was very funny. Because it undermined one of the pretensions maybe that he was even courting in the piece, and he had no problem with it. But that’s an example where she was in the thick of someone else’s work.

When we first got together, I was working at ------equence(?) [drowned out by clanging dishes], and I came home one day to find most of the furniture gone and what was left moved around in a configuration that I never would have come up with. There was ------, but… There was like… It wasn’t exclamation, it was more like a definitive analysis that I didn’t need; it wasn’t necessary. And I was pretty generous because I wasn’t in awe of her, but I held her in high regard. And, I, on a month’s notice, realized that she was right, that in terms of the sociability of the place, in terms of ir relating to work that could be done, she ws right – the things were not necessary that had been dispensed with, and the loft was now set up more for, in every sense of the word, getting work done. And…

She’d make these moves. When I first met her, she had this punk motorcycle leather jacket, well before punk, which was in ’76, ’77, so this was a half dozen years ahead of this as a fashion trend, and as it peaked, I remember, just before Christmas, in possibly ‘77/’78, the motorcycle jacket went out the window on a handball court. And half her jacket was on the back ------(?) and she thought this was really cool, $35, -----------, thick pockets, everything she needed to carry. So…

A lot of the moves that she made were really on the street, and the interaction she might have with James Mayers and James Chance and the Talking Heads and Joey Ramone, and all of this kind of milieu, she ------ CBs, she walks in the door there, she walks in the door at the Ocean Club, she walks into all these places, because she has, like a cachet. She had a social cachet because she had a social influence. She was close to Diego and Diego was pulling a lot of strings, and she just knew everybody. She had no clear… You never knew where she would be. You might think she might be someplace, but she didn’t have a set routine, other than getting up very early in the morning, going to bed late, seemingly not needing a lot of sleep. What questions do you have?…

A::--------- (very short comment, interrupted)

G: I know, I mean, it’s hard to get a full enough picture without sounding really redundant or superficial about this. She was one of the strongest people I’ve ever met and I’ve known people, I think, that are smart, that are intense, but her intelligence and her dedication to her vision was unparalleled to anyone I’ve ever met, and I still hold her in really high regard. I think that she never exhibited a kind of petty narrowness that has been ascribed to her, and I think that she was extremely difficult for the art world that I came to know in the ‘70s when I came here. She was extremely difficult to fit in. It wasn’t exactly the kind of conceptual art that could be documented or sold as pieces, and proclamations or experiments with smoking grass or experiments with substances… There was a period that I was with her that she was experimenting with nitrous oxide. She had gone the dentist, where she would go once a week, and I don’t think there was dental work involved at all, I think it was purely an experiment with nitrous oxide, and the percentage – it’s in the 80s, it’s 84 percent or 88 percent – when nitrous oxide mixes with your oxygen at a certain percentage, you pass out. And this threshold was something that she was experimenting with because she was thinking that certain things happen that she was interested in terms thinking – going out and coming in. This went on for a while. And I know that before that there was an exclamation that “All of my work is about grass,” and at one time, it was about grass. I never, ever, heard her talk about getting stoned, ever. She would talk about getting high. And while that seems like a negligible kind of thing, the point is, her semantics, her choice of words, was paramount. And, dissecting was important.

At one time, she let go of the “E” and became “BeepFer”(?), rather than… This had to do with an elemental force and “E” as a note on the scale with a particular resonance and “Fer”being iron and conversations through the history of iron, and beyond that I don’t know, if this was a code word ----- or what. And then, about a year, that was dispensed with, she was back to “Lee.” But…

Then she told me that would off a letter… When she felt that she was getting that closer to death(?) and she would have no name(?)…

But what surprised me, though, is that she at one time did… She was very conscious of the clothing she wore, but not in a traditional sense… In terms of practicality, and she had a color code that was never as pronounced as a color on Monday this or that, but there was a certain grammatic and intensity to it…a red thing, and a down color of a blue or gray… At one time, I remember, she cut off these squares, around the ----- of each breast, not on the nipple, but on the ------- of each breast, they were, like three inch square, and she found this extremely humorous… Whether it was a play on minimalism and the square, or just what it was… But this was a uniform for a month. It garnered lots of attention and no explanation. And it was to…I don’t know.

A: I’d be a little curious if I understand this person because she sort of advanced, she, like, well, she kind of dissipated, except insofar --------- as a sort of conceptual artist. Her role as a social actor is pretty interesting. It’s, like, incredibly effanescent.

G: I think… Yeah. I think that she did these paintings, the tool paintings, and she did the wave paintings, and the circles, her circle paintings that came at the same time as the wave that were the same kind of monotone, the brush stroke carrying the light. She did these journals that were widely influencial, and Kultenbach(?) and Mauman(?) and all these conceptualists were well aware of these strategies that she used in terms of no sleep and just smoking a massive amount of, consistently, high potency marijuana, or using stimulants or this or that, or whether it was ------- sugar or whether a certain amount of sugar… all these things were using her body as kind of a tool. Her actions got…very personal actions, and very mindset actions, an attitude about an approach, a perception.

A: It seems like, also, her primary audience were other artists.

G: I think it was primarily other artists and a few critics were in the mix. So, when Lucy ------- about the conceptual, Lucy is putting her finger on the fact that other artists knew about her endeavors, and it altered their thinking, or went into their thinking. It’s not a small coincidence that she was close to Andre, De Witt… Dan Graham was very interested in the social artists’ sphere, right, and he would get it from her, because they certainly were involved in a dialogue about public, private… And Dan went his way with it and Lee went another way with it. And she maintained that for as long as I knew her. And other artists could understand it and appreciate it and at the same time, not see a commercial viability to it, because it was very, very ephemeral, there wasn’t a documentation of it, it was an event, it almost became an anecdotal thing that someone could recall or not. And it’s very hard to communicate that. I’m at pains to communicate the intensity, the subtlety, the nuance, the buoyancy of it. It was not all a depressing thing. It was an extremely buoyant, exhausting kind of thing to be around. Aside from the noncommunicate structure with other females, it just was an intense thing, it was laboring, even though enjoyable, it was well beyond any coying in terms of demand attention, and she would demand attention. It was like getting in front of her blocking the door or this or that, like a dancer, and there were times when it was just enough.

And the first time I took a break, I knew that the way to do it was to move a cat in. I got a pair of Abyssians, and it was… Why did you that? How could you do that? That was it, and within three minutes, everything was gathered up and out the door. She was gone.

A: She didn’t like cats.

G: There was a female cat, and that was close enough. Communicating with a female, it was a female, and female cats and male cats are substantially different, and point taken. So, there was a truce that subsequently was drawn with this one, and a kind of affection that was bestowed upon Thub, the male, and the female was…they both understood to stay on each other’s periphery, which they did for about a year and a half. I moved to a couple of different lofts and, at different times, she was there and she discussed certain things.

There was time… There was one very, very difficult, very emotional, two or three day thing that went on, and I’m not sure what prompted it. But, there was a real evasion an overwhelming consuming sadness that resulted in a kind of three day sobbing thing. It was just a lot of holding and sobbing and this and that, and there seemed to about…a kind of overview and evaluation of what happened and ------ to her. It was surprising, and I don’t know it ------------ [noise] about.

A: --------------

G: Because this wasn’t a real evaluation; it came to an unhappy conclusion about, maybe there was a mistake that she had made, and that I might make the same one. And maybe I was making the same one already. And we’d be doomed to a situation somewhat analagous to her in terms of being misunderstood and being marginalized. And I think it was simulataneously a gender thing on her part and it was an altogether too personal evaluation that she was doing on herself. It was the only time I ever saw, in all the time I knew her, this ------- , and I’m not sure what sure what preticipated it. And I know that it was subsequently written off by her because there was a medical situation -------- with regard to an IUD that had malfunctioned, and giving her problems, and I remember that the emotional state she was in during this time for a couple of months prior to this discovery ------- knocked her off balance. That’s what it had been about. And there weren’t recriminations, but there was, like, if I’d only been listening to her, I would have known or I should known…

A: There’s a class action suit assigned(?) her…

G: There was, but she…[side one ends, G picks up on side two]…we lost touch, and then she was out of the city and -------. Lee and I lost touch, and then she was out of the city and gone. And, that’d be(?) curious, I don’t know why that happened and how that happened. I know that it was getting increasingly difficult, as the ‘80s were coming along. It was becoming increasingly difficutl to maintain the kind of social structures that she depended on. The kind of mobility… Economics was coming into it. I don’t know whether there was a safety net, I asume there was. And I assume that she probably continue on to some kind of work. And I think that there – at least from this documented thing on – there had always had been the distinct possibility that this stuff wasn’t in any way ------material and didn’t have a material presence. It might. And it might be documented, and it might happen again. And there were even times where she didn’t talk about painting again, but there would be – the possibilities were numerous and many – the possibility as if it would be on a rolodex card(?) would be acknowledged from time to time that there might be a possibility to do something with matter.

The only things I remember were elimination of materials in the loft, manipulation of materials to live with marginally…those kinds of crass improvements that ultimately we meted(?) with. Those were things that were -------- interest and those were the only ones I can remember. I can’t remember her ever making a suggestion about paintings that I did or any of that sound and film that I was working with. She didn’t suggest louder or softer or this or that. So, when she left, I was surprised, because, had she stayed here and had there been more of the support… It’s hard to say. Because there was the support, but she… This is what I want to say: It wasn’t like people didn’t support her that could have supported her as such. The kind of supported that was looking for, she ended up with limited --------- supported her, but that’s still the way she wanted to do it. So, it wasn’t like she was looking for a cushy loft or this or that to go about her business, because her business was what she was taking care of. So, I can’t say that if more supporthad done(?), it would have gone another way or if this or that, because that to have been the case. I believe that it was already there and she made these choices that seemed to be in some ways to making product. There was always a possibility in my mind that at some time these words or this or that might take chart like quality, it might take on some kind of record. The approximater(??) in a convoluted way kind of supported the work that she had done.

A: I wonder if I would have to talked to her as well(?)

G: So, it just bogs out as to what happened to her, and she just left and she wasn’t there and she’s gone. And now this work comes and she’s just this last year passed away, and it’s a real loss. Because it would be hard, you know, it’s a memory in numerous minds as to what she did and other anecdotes, and she’ll never be put back together. So, sadly, all that you have left is these journals which might be dispersed, and then will be undercut -- the meaning of that will be undercut because they’ll be artifacts and pages on a wall outside of the context of the chronology that she did them in… There’ll be paintings, which, even at PS 1, when they showed them, were materially undermined because of the fragility of the nature of the material she worked with. So, conserve(?) it, whatever, that’s what you’re left with.

That is not insubstantial and would not, from an art historical viewpoint, be judged insubstantial in terms of what went into those paintings, but I would say as an iceberg, that’s really the tip of the endeavor. The endeavor was much larger than that.

I haven’t got much more to say about… It’s very hard to grab at, because it was a critical part of my life. When I met her, she was extremely influencial, on my part, on Billings’s part, on Lozano’s or on Levines part, or on all kinds of people… But, that would have not embraced, but an embattled kind of… That was very mindful. And a lot of people who weren’t in her attitude and her act and are not bearing great similarity to it, it went into a component of their thinking that ultimately…it’s a hard thread to follow. Levine was extremely aware of Lozano and her thing, as she was of Dan Graham, or as she was of this, of this… F---- McMahan was aware of Lozano intimately. And she was… I’m just going over it too much again and again…

The situation… I remember a situation, hearing these things about situations… I remember this thing in her loft where she she had acted, you know, we’re here, this group of people’s here for a while, we talked about… And talking about me and another guy and we’re up at Lozano’s(?)… And I had work, and it’s really ballsy and really tense and I’m spreading this work out in front of her and I’m putting my ass on the line in front of someone who I’ve just met who’s, like, this top-notch artist, spreading it out in the loft, really taking a chance…it’s freefall for this grad student(?) ---- artist. And she was blunt. It was favorable, but it was just blunt, and there were negative aspects and they were blunt. And it was about the level of intelligence and expertise. And then we retired to roll out this number and her setups and situations. And she had manipulated this situation so that there was only a two hundred watt bulb on which cast these incredible shadows in places that she already well familiar with in the loft on the painting, in the corner, this and that, and the whole loft became a stage for her manipulation. And she had this person sitting in this chair, the lightbulb’s cord would come straight out of their head in the shadow like an antenna. And if she started batting the lightbulb around, the light in the peripheral area of the studio would give an effect, and the antenna coming out of the person’s would ravel and ----- and that person who was in the chair was now literally or more than in the hot seat. And she could control the body movements and in swinging this lamp, seemingly control all of the ambience(?) of this person and the degree of anxiety or not. And there were situations like that that you would fall into and she would simply point what would happen. That was what was amazing.

I remember going to her studio one day, and she threw the window open quite violently at the end of the loft, and I wondered whether I’d get pushed out the window. When ------ showing something and with the somebody else I didn’t…the intensity of it. I could easily have been pushed out by her in the window because she wanted me to see something. And, first of all, she wanted me to look at her palette that she had gouged and marked and had little stolen thumbnail cuttings from paintings that had been close to her, on the edge of the palette, and she pointed out this thing on the palette and threw open the window. And the point was that three miles away, there was a seemingly identical thing on a building 40 stories high, 20 stories up on the building, an identical shape that had been supposedly, hahazardly noticed in the studio. And there was no communication when she had pointed out…except to throw the thing out, see that I had seen it, and that was it. And what do you make of that, I don’t know, but it was like a lightning bolt, zoom, and she had pointed this out.

And the first kind of haptically choreographed situations were frequent. She was almost was…the communication that subsequently went on between her and other people was often nonverbal, and often as if in the air. And there was a sensuality that I could only allude to that would happen next.

Down the street and around the corner, and just… It was unbelievable sometimes the things that would get communicated over distances and it wouldn’t be first collaborated between you or acknowledged, because she was so in sync with people’s rhythms, and she would… Again, she would refer to this as energy levels. But she was --------… She was so sensitive to the social dimensions of an encouter between people that… A layman(?) would say there was an anticipatory thing and that’s why she wound up here in the conversation or this or that, but she would never have said that. It was never about anticipatory. It was more mathematical certainty, and more likelihood. There was a certain kind of cleanliness when I first met her that was applied to this. It was, like… She was seldom surprised by things. She had a lot of enjoyment, but it didn’t come from being surprised. In some ways it came from being validated in terms of her expectations.

A: I guess what I think about is…during this period in the mid 70s, there was [tape jumps/skips here]

A: Four years…

G: Carlto Bock had done this chart for me, astrological chart, hourly for four years. Can you believe this?

A: He had been doing his own chart every hour?

G: He did one for me.

A: For you, every hour for four years?

G: It was done in the future and he handed it to me and it was the next four years hourly.

A: This is pre-computer. How can that be?

G: Because you can get the name and you can do this. The point is that… Occasionaly, Lee was conversant in this without there being an application(?). She knew it intimately. She didn’t parade it around, but she would be able to talk about a planet being retrograde or this or that and compute it in her head and compute it in her head and compute it. She was aware of it, but tangentially, constantly aware of that. There was just one of so many other systems, like weather and this and that which she was cataloguing, so… That’s all. [end]
Transcribed by Richard Singer in February 2005
Interview took place in 2004 [?].