allographic translation


Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, TX November 2017


“I build my language with rocks.”[1]

Durational rock interviews using graphite on rolls of acetate for recording, a collaborative project of Betelhem Makonnen and Adrian Aguilera.
Enchanted Rock, an inselberg (or monadnock) is an isolated hill, knob, ridge, outcrop, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. A granite formation from the Precambrian age, it’s the state’s largest mountain made of a single rock, and it is among the oldest exposed rocks in North America. Enchanted Rock is also known as “Spirit Song Rock” in indigenous legends. Revered as a holy portal to other worlds, it is said that anyone spending the night on the rock becomes invisible.
“I catch those enormous expanses of silence in which my history became lost. Time, duration, are for me imperious vitalities.”[2]



How does one create a radical interaction with the past liberated from the limitations of reliving and responding to an account that does not assert one's existence? How does one (re)member one’s experiences and place them as a center, sublimating them into something viable and referential? How does one surmount the limitations of a fixed-perspective History and exercise a trans-temporal agency to become a creator of and actor in new histories that can propose evolved futures?


[H]istory is a highly functional fantasy of the West, originating at precisely the time when it alone ‘made’ the [H]istory of the World.[3]


To navigate one’s stories from the periphery of History to the center, one must “traffic in the kinds of anachronisms that disrupt what might otherwise be a seamless, point by point retelling of the prior text.”[4] History is not an exact record or evidence of a series of past events, for it is fundamentally compromised and manipulated by perspective, context and power relationships. Furthermore, events imply events within events, within events, within events in perpetuum. An assembling of pasts is not called History. Every one has a past. Pasts are a fact, not the official fact, but one of many facts. History depends on officialized facts that are heavily subsidized and disseminated, most often through violence. History is form imposed on a narrative. When History evolves to history(ing), events multiply and “do not add up to anything clearcut or easily perceptible with any certainty. The relinked (relayed), the related, cannot be combined conclusively.”[5]



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[1]Glissant, Édouard, Poetics of Relation, tr. Betsy Wing, (University of Michigan Press, 1997), pg. xxi.
[2]ibid, Poetic Intention,tr. Nathanaël  (Nightboat Books, 2010), pg.32
[3]ibid, Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays, tr. J. Michael Dash, (CARAF Books, the University Press of Virginia, 1989), pg. 64.[4] Freeman, Elizabeth, Count(er)ing Generations, New Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics (Autumn 2000), pg. 734.
[5] Glissant, Édouard, Poetics of Relation, tr. Betsy Wing, (University of Michigan Press, 1997), pg. 173.




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