Masha Tupitsyn

It’s so thoroughly modern to see people you don’t actually see anymore. So brutally modern that people are everywhere and nowhere in you life, which is a series of online accounts now. It’s hard on the heart, or it’s hard on mine. We’ve gotten so good at not really showing up for anyone anymore. At stalling. At missing our chances. At not actually being anywhere with anyone at any time. In the movies, more than anything, people want to be known. But in real life, people are willing to remain inscrutable.
—  Masha Tupitsyn
True Lovers are as Rare as True Rebels

An Interview with Masha Tupitsyn

I first read Love Dog by Masha Tupitsyn on Tumblr, as it was being written. It was fascinating to watch it unfold, to try to guess where she might go next, waiting for each new post. This was writing (and images and videos) that explored love, but used love as way to interrogate philosophy, politics, and how we live today. A fragmented lens directed at so many of the conflicting aspects of our contemporary world. I had already read her earlier books, and was especially taken by LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film, a text that used the concision of twitter towards critical ends, exploring the ways in which cinema both defines and works against cultural formation, how it is both a symptom and warning for the many ways we’ve collectively gone off the rails.

Reading Love Dog as a book, about one year after I had finished reading it on Tumblr, was like visiting an old friend, seeing how the work had since grown and developed. The internet opens up this space for new modes of critical writing, for a personal and theoretical immediacy that mirrors the experience of being on line, of having one’s words instantly received (and ‘liked’ and shared.) Other recent books also display the potency of this approach, for example: Heroines by Kate Zambreno (which began on her blog Francis Farmer Is My Sister) and 2500 Random Things About Me Too by Matias Viegener (first written on Facebook). It is certain we will be seeing much more of such literature, pages that first came to life on the web, and, with any luck, works by Viegener, Zambreno and Tupitsyn will form some of its seminal texts.

—Jacob Wren

THE BELIEVER: You’ve said that Love Dog is concerned with a radical love ethic and a feminist politics of love. Can you explain a little bit more what you mean by this? 

MASHA TUPITSYN: As James Baldwin wrote, true lovers are as rare as true rebels. This has been a pivotal decree for me, and the quote makes a number of appearances in Love Dog. Baldwin makes an important correlation between love and rebellion. Not only is true love rare and true rebellion rare, real love is itself a radical form of rebellion—engagement, thinking, and being—and therefore happens in the context of a larger project of justice, liberation, and critical thinking. In the book, the stakes of love are co-intricated with the stakes of knowledge. This is why even though Love Dog is a web-based manifesto about love—a kind of digital, feminist follow-up to Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse—it is, like all my work, also a collection of cultural criticism. So it’s no accident that those deliberations run alongside one another in the book.

Having a love ethic, as opposed to simply being in love, or having a lover, means love is the way you actively choose to engage with the world—whether you’re in a relationship or not. It’s not about disappearing into existing structures, norms, and privileges. It’s precisely about breaking with the existing structures, values, and norms that prohibit real love in our culture. Love is an active construction, and choice, not just an encounter that happens by chance. And Love Dog is partly about how it is becoming increasingly difficult to find/maintain that kind of love in a culture of commodification, fear, denial, cynicism, and precarity. 

BLVR: Reading Love Dog, I found myself wondering if, through the process of writing the blog and the book, did your ideas about love change in some way?

MT: Love has been the ontological pattern for me. And also the withholding pattern. I am still on hold with regards to love. And the longer one is on hold, in suspense, on a search, the harder, paradoxically, it is to continue with a search. The search batters but it also emboldens because it becomes both the way one fails and the way one succeeds. That’s of course the test of every search and truth procedure. It’s also how, one becomes a subject. I am as much what I am because of what I still don’t have as I am because of what I have had and what I might still have one day. As much as it is about mourning, Love Dog is equally a meditation on having faith in a world that no longer believes in singular themes, concepts, or narrative arcs. At any moment I could give up, but I haven’t because love for me is an indispensable structure for being. One that has opened up a space of meaning, possibility, feeling, agency, and writing that might otherwise not exist for me. The struggle now—post-Love Dog, if there is a post yet—is whether I still have faith in people. That is getting increasingly harder to maintain. I just don’t see many people today choosing love. I see people passing it up a lot. Foreclosing on it, deferring it, sabotaging, letting go.

BLVR: How do you think cinematic culture today views the topic of love? Do you think this has changed significantly over the last, let’s say, fifty years?

MT: Both cinematic culture and the culture at large have changed profoundly. We’re now in post-cinematic digital culture, and the internet has obviously usurped movies, which are no longer central to our lives, at least not as a collective spectator experience. We don’t experience things collectively or cathartically anymore. Viewing has become an intensely private, fetishistic, compulsive process that happens separately from others, and that reflects not only our relation to cinema as a space of possibility, belief, and imagination. But more generally, of what could be, of readiness, which is what the movies have historically been about—the ability to act on things and change. As well as a belief in love. However flawed those constructions of love have been, the temporal trajectory of love, and how one develops over and in time, is what movies show us.

BLVR: There are so many amazing quotations in the book. How do you see your use of citation? What do these quotations mean for you in the context of the larger work?

MT: I’m a discursive thinker, so quotation has played an active role in the structure and content of my books from the beginning. Quotes are like prompts. A way of searching, connecting the dots. Other people’s thinking has always—both positively and negatively—jumpstarted my thinking. Quotes are also a way of acting out not just a text, and not just thinking, but the making of a text. The construction of thinking. The quotes are part of those constructions and reflections. Thinking through quotes, which to say scouring a range of texts for insight, is one way to outline the process of thinking/feeling through a subject. In the case of love, I was wading through and grappling with our received notions and often burdensome perceptions on love, pooling together a kind of inventory while trying to generate my own narrative about it. To do that, you have to display your sources, so to speak. You have to lay them out on the table and go through them one by one, creating a kind of marginalia. Notations are part of Love Dog. Part of writing in general. For me the quotes set up an interlocution—this is what others think, this is what I think. 

BLVR: As I was reading I was also looking at the YouTube links provided, wondering in thirty years, or in one hundred, how these YouTube links might be seen. If the technology would still exist in the same way. How do you see the URL links?

MT: The digital age is for me in many ways about temporal wounding. It’s really messed up our ontological clocks. Things disappear and that’s part of what Love Dog is about. How to deal with the constant disappearing acts, both culturally and personally, of the digital age, where nothing is built to last. And that includes relationships. So writing on the internet is a big part of engaging with and capitulating to that. How do we write about and inside of a precarious structure in order to make something last while acknowledging that parts of it will not last? Love Dog tries to look at an entire culture—age—of loss, not just personal losses.

The URL links that comprise the book will certainly change or disappear, and many have already become defunct, and that is inevitable for a web-based, post-confessional book about love, mourning, and loss. How does anyone hold on to anything (ideas, feelings, people, love) in the age of precarity and immateriality? In the digital economy, everything is archived, catalogued, readily available, and yet nothing really endures. In some ways, Love Dog is a screenshot of a text. The links are digital encryptions that can and won’t be located. That will have to be reassembled over time. It won’t be exactly what it was. There will be some slightly altered version. So the book is both an immaterial and material artifact. 

BLVR: You’ve now written one book that was composed on Twitter, LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film, the first book in your digital trilogy of work, and Love Dog on Tumblr, the second. Has using the web to write on and about the web given you insights as to how the internet relates to a larger sense of literature and theory?

MT: One of the liberating things about having a blog is the total vision it allows. I think Love Dog is a textual and emotional space more than a book in the strict sense. You can move around in it in a lot of ways. You can listen to it, you can read it, you can watch it. It operates on multiple levels and temporalities. I was never really satisfied with writing only text or with the way my texts looked when they were published. Most online journals have a pretty lame sense of typography—bad font, counter-intuitive margins and line spacing—that it makes me sour on my writing. For me, the eye and the word go together. Even when I was working in word documents, I was always obsessed with fonts, size, margins—the look of words on a page. The way something looks or sounds is also what it means. Words as visual and aural phenomena, which mainly poets, not critics and prose writers, tend to be obsessed with. I think maybe I’m more of a curator than I am a writer in the strict sense because I am interested in how everything on the page, in a space, works together. This would make sense as my mother is a curator.

Since my background is in aesthetics and film, and I was trained as a classical musician, I wanted to compose a total arrangement with Love Dog—textual spaces, not just texts. I wanted to put everything together myself and often hated handing over pieces of writing and seeing the way a magazine presented it. You have to have an eye and a feeling for where things go. Writing visually, writing textually, writing sonically. Text is visual for me and images are textual. There is power in the way ideas are arranged, not just developed rhetorically. Form is everything. So I am interested in how something—thoughts, feelings, desires—makes its way through a medium. According to the theorist and multimedia artist, Trinh T. Minha, the digital artwork is characterized not by the technology which delivers it, but by the “passage” itself. In Trinh’s book D-PASSAGE: The Digital Way, she considers new technology less as a medium but more as a “way.” 

In discussions of Love Dog, some people have missed the mark on that. They don’t seem to see/hear the book—they’re just reading it as if it is a conventional book operating on conventional terms, or as if reading only concerns words. That blind spot in reading and thinking—and loving!—is a real problem, I think. We don’t know how to read interventions because often we don’t even see them when they’re happening. 

See more about Love Dog. 

See Masha Tupitsyn’s Tumblr.

Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed and the upcoming novel Polyamorous Love Song, a finalist for the 2013 Fence Modern Prize in Prose. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it’s easy to criticize, the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including Individualism Was A Mistake and The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and their current project Every Song I’ve Ever Written. He travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art.


Personally I think it very important to look to movies for love, for a thinking of love, in fact if it is not immediately within the family where else will you look towards, what will you listen to? In the age of the search bar (which obviously I am not against at the level of knowledge), it is nice to listen to this, since the word love need not appear for what we listen to to be about love - the results of the search are immediately present in the act of listening: to immediately listen for, and with, love, to prepare the organ of the ear to listen for it. We can say that the we exists without having to at first make the distinction between two bodies, but maybe we can say there are two voices in the sounds we are hearing. What is important is that there are no bodies in front of us when listening to this. I listened through headphones, and was reminded of talking on the phone with someone you want to be with, that you are not within your body when you do so. To generate new organs to listen with. Two quotes from Marx: “If you love without evoking love in return” + “Just as music alone awakens in man the sense of music, and just as the most beautiful music has no sense for the unmusical ear” - the preparation of new organs to be able to be able to hear - retroactively and in the process of determination, there are no boundaries, no inherent limitations to the organs we can create to be able to continue, ears without bodies, the infinite production of new organs without bodies - that the sexual disjunction of the two in love is this difference: the difference in two (sexual) organs is clearer in thinking the two attempting to create infinitely new organs to interact, and they are different infinities so it is tough to assign measure, or rather, exchange- it is not reducible simply to exchange and use, we are attempting to invent a new world of appearances with our new organs, thus not in the non-world of market. In listening I wonder about the spaces that this will play. Listening to it I am reminded of Wallace Stevens’ ‘description without place’ since this is the question, how to describe new organs that cannot be placed in the space of exchange, that is the struggle at least as I understand it: how to create spaces to be in love, it is a very concrete struggle as it leads to the question, can you only love if you can afford a space, afford some property to be with your lover when jobs are disappearing and, barring UBI, is love only for the rich, who can afford a space? Who do you listen to? At one point does the family, the friends, the state, etc become some-one to listen to that can interrupt the immanent two you are attempting to create? When can you start listening? I think the scandal of Freud is also: children understand what love is - I mean ask any child of divorce and at 4 years old they know absolutely what has happened (and this question of age in relation to truth, there are geniuses of math who are young, those playing violin at 2 years old, etc.) The movement here: falling in love - in love - fights - break-ups - reunions - i love you - doubts - betrayal - loss (and here I am assuming that this is at the level of being, at the level of appearing there can be different orders) - this movement requires (the creation of) spaces to be able to do this. You cannot fight and break up and i love you and doubt and reunite in front of everyone (since every-one is not and cannot be totalized). If we had worlds enough, and time - there is no immanent end to the organs we can create and the new worlds of appearances that come with it, there is no capital R reason why love needs to end, we just exhaust the worlds - so it is good to listen to some sayings subtracted from the worlds they appear, and know they are true, because we need to start with some philosophical forcing, in anticipation of the loves to come from without and within since in love there is the moment of opening and closing where it is difficult to see which is which so you have to listen, and also speak, so maybe you can still create new worlds, to house the silences as well. Two voices, two silences, and the names are only known by the lovers themselves.


"Partly inspired by Marclay’s The Clock" - what I remembered most about it, I was in Toronto seeing it with my friend, and it is the same time zone as Montréal where I was living at the time, so it was difficult to say when I leave The Clock, and it reminded me of the myth of the cave, as in, how do I know I am outside the cave? In fact the claim of exteriority is a pure cut. For example, at 3:29pm, we do not simply see one clock at 3:29pm, but at least two. We also do not cut from a 3:29pm to another, but the moment the clock strikes 3:29pm, twice. This is not an isolated incident. At 9:10pm we donʼt even see a clock, instead we see someone counting, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and the phrase “9,10” counts-as-now. In the first case there is the possibility of perhaps for every image that shows 3:29pm, that is, every image belonging to 3:29pm, but this also includes the clock becoming 3:29pm, as well as the possibility of showing the seconds in between, milliseconds, or any distinction whatever. In this way, the set of parts concerning any time whatever exceeds the set itself. Inclusion is in excess to belonging. But by how much? At another point, around 9:15pm, a watch is “regulated” (these are the words of the woman ʻfixingʼ a manʼs watch in the scene to coincide with the time). And at another point in the same hour, there is a close-up of a watch whose hands change by will of the person with the watch. Thus what succeeds a particular time can be absolutely chosen. It is never clear how much the inclusion of all the times that exist within a particular time exceeds the time itself, but it is clear it can be decided, as long as it does indeed succeed the time before. These moments of ʻfixingʼ a clock show that even within the bad infinity of The Clock, it is made clear that time is a purely subjective choice, and at any moment we can break with repetition and enter the domain of succession. I would look at my phone during The Clock, and would only see the time if there were no messages, and seeing the time, I would still be in The Clock. If there was a text message, from someone I loved, and my pocket against my leg as an organ understands a vibration can be a ‘hey this might be a message from someone you love.’ I would no longer be in the cave, I can claim exteriority. To partially quote a friend: from immanence of immanence, to immanence of externality, to externality of immanence, to externality of externality -

To love is to assert the difference within the same which makes me identical to myself, an identity without identity, and it’s what we listen for, and with. After the invention of music, the ear will have been what it will have been through what it enables and what consequences it unfolds, unlawfully. So far in Masha Tupitsyn’s Love Sounds we have about 20 minutes, which will become a day, which brings up the question what is a true day, a day dedicated to thinking a truth in a world, when a day is only a day when we think our new organs in the future anterior, take time to listen and after love we will always have had a loving ear.

In 1989, Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp, a couple, both made public declarations about each other in the press:

Winona Ryder: ‘When I met Johnny, I was pure virgin. He changed that. He was my first everything. My first real kiss. My first real boyfriend. My first fiancé. The first guy I had sex with. So he’ll always be in my heart. Forever. Kind of funny that word.’

Johnny Depp: ‘I’d die for her. I love her so much. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s going through a lot right now. I wish I could just kiss away the pain, make it go away, stop it, kill it! If she, you know, I don’t know what I would do. I’d kill myself. I love that girl. I love her. I love her almost more than I love myself.’

A couple of years later, Ryder and Depp broke up. Even though it didn’t last, and they didn’t die (or who knows, maybe they did. Ryder certainly died in some ways, and Depp did too, in his ways), here they are, two Hollywood stars at the top of their game, saying this about each other in print. Talking about dying when, according to Hollywood, which considers itself reason enough to live, these two have everything—not just each other—to live for. Today public relations would nuke a statement like this. Today no one ever takes old words lost to lost worlds like ‘die’ and ‘forever’ seriously. Nor would anyone even think to publicly state this about someone else, someone they love, let alone an actor in print. Today public relations would tell—or worse, would no longer have to—Ryder and Depp not to talk like that in public because talking like that is morose and alienates fans, especially when the lovers in question are young, famous sex symbols. Can we imagine two actors saying this today, killing their burgeoning careers with melodramatic words like forever and die, when most celebrity couples won’t even discuss their love lives, let alone admit to dying over a breakup? For a while, Gwyneth Paltrow, once good friends with Ryder, talked about her first big love, Brad Pitt, this way. But after they broke up, and she became a seasoned actor both on and off the screen, Paltrow, like Depp and Ryder, stopped talking like that, stopped talking about love period, which means that maybe a part of Paltrow stopped being able to feel that way. After all, how one talks is also how one lives.

By the end of Depp’s public declaration of love for Ryder, however, the promise of forever is shattered. Depp admits that he loves Ryder ‘almost more’ than he loves himself. The admission is a red flag, a glitch in the love story, despite his ‘Winona Forever’ tattoo, which he later edited to ‘Wino Forever’. On the surface—the famous tattoo—Depp is literally able to drop his object of desire and replace it with something else, in this case, addiction. This is hardly surprising given the preemptive mourning Depp does in his account of Ryder, anticipating and engraving loss into his relationship at the very pinnacle of their love. If, as Freud argues in Mourning and Melancholia, melancholy is mourning in advance, the tattoo amendment itself is an affect of grief. Melancholy foreshadows mourning. As Avital Ronell and Jacques Derrida have shown us, inscription and encryption, addiction and dependency, are close relatives and stand-ins for one another. Even before Depp actually lost Winona he was expecting to lose her. Maybe even trying to. In the case of Depp’s tattoo, forever endures as the only constant. It is what comes before and after forever that changes, and it is the addict who gets away with breaking his word. In ‘Wino Forever’, inscription and encryption are updated and reframed more broadly as addiction forever. In Crack Wars, Ronell writes that ‘drugs resist conceptual arrest…Precisely because they are everywhere and can be made to do, or undo, or promise, anything. They participate in the analysis of the broken word.’ In order to break the promise of love—of forever—the addict steps in as the figure of unreliability. Just as melancholy is mourning in advance, the addict is the person you were never meant to depend on or trust; whose promise is broken in advance.

While Depp had to remove traces of his old love object in order to make room for new ones that would undoubtedly disapprove of the tattooed remnant, the Winona/Wino alteration chronicles the continuous loop of mourning and melancholia. Of course Depp chose the word Wino precisely because of its playful, lexical proximity to Winona. By dropping the last two letters from her name, Wino was conveniently piecemealed. And yet, despite the fitting phonetic shorthand, he could have erased the tattoo completely, replacing it with an altogether new engraving. Instead, Depp enacts only a partial (token) erasure, so that something that did not last forever could nevertheless forever remain as a record of what has been lost. It the dialectic between what is preserved and what has been (unsuccessfully) rubbed out that is crucial here. What the corrective Wino masks, or pretends to, is the exteriority of mourning. ‘The stomach became the tomb,’ Avital Ronell writes in Crack Wars. ‘At one point Baudelaire seems to ask: whom are you preserving in alcohol? This logic called for a resurrectionist memory, the supreme lucidity of intoxication, which arises when you have something in you that must be encrypted.’ Wino is a hyper-cathection, which screams, rather than silences, ‘Winona was here!’ Wino wallows—swims—in what is left of Winona. A cheeky ode to alcoholism, Wino is Depp’s recovery from Winona. It is Winona, not alcohol that is the drug. One addiction simply serves as a decoy for another. Rather than erasing her, Wino pushes Winona deeper inside (Derrida: ‘the cinder is not what is. It remains from what is not’)…

…Addiction, a substitute for the love-relation, as Ronell points out, is often one of the forms that mania takes. Mania brings out the dead, the buried, the repressed, by keeping it there. By giving it a tomb.


‘In melancholia, accordingly, countless are carried on over the object, in which hate and love contend with each other; the one seeks to detach the libido from the object, the other the other to maintain this position of the libido against the assault. The location of these separate struggles cannot be assigned to any system but the unconscious the region of the memory-traces of things (as contrasted with word-cathexes).’

Both the body and words, which are co-intricated in Depp and Ryder’s oral love letters, require editing and rephrasing when things—’Winona Forever‘—don’t go as planned and death does not part. In both the press quotes and Depp’s tattoo, words—forever, first, virgin—literally get played out on the body. An inscription appears. An inscription is erased, rewritten, and turned into encryption. What disappears from view (Winona) goes into a vault under the skin. Equally, words go with the body, go where the body goes, goes on with and without other bodies: taking the body out of the world and sinking deeper into the world of the body. Words stitch bodies and lives together; bind them and break binds. The answer to what Depp would do without Winona is provided by the tattoo amendment. Depp finds a way to live with melancholy and the consequent symptoms of mania—addiction (Wino)— not Winona (mourning)—forever, for while mourning is unsustainable (it tells us what we are missing in no uncertain terms), melancholy is (it allows us to live with what we are missing because we don’t know what we’re missing).

Before Johnny, Winona tells us, she was ‘pure virgin’—unmarked, unsigned, no intrusion had been made. A self-proclaimed clean slate, ‘nothing,’ she says, was in her yet. But there is a masculine-feminine polarity to Depp and Ryder’s amorous declarations. For one thing, Winona’s testimony of love is more buoyant than Depp’s. It has a levity that Depp’s melancholy and weighted declaration doesn’t. Yes, Ryder is younger and self-admittedly inexperienced. And yes, she is a woman—a girl then—so her forever is feminized, and thus expected to take a more innocent and receptive form. She thinks forever is ‘kind of a funny’ word because it is her ‘first’ forever. The hierarchical construction to Depp and Ryder’s relation is almost Pygmalion here: he fills her with experience (first kiss, first sexual partner, first marriage engagement—’first everything.’ ‘The living likeness of my ivory girl,’ Ovid). He is teacher and she is student. But how does a woman, even a modern woman like Ryder, gain experience without being ruined? How does an actor of one age survive the failure to endure in an another? In the 1938 film, Pygmalion, based on George Bernard Shaw’s play of the same title, Eliza Doolittle’s repeated insistence, ‘I’m a good girl, I am’ echoes Ryder’s archetypally nineteenth century appeal to sexual and empirical innocence. The 90s can be considered Ryder’s age of innocence (a movie she starred in 1993), for after her arrest and public trial a decade later, Ryder, the virgin, became Ryder, the fallen woman. Like Emma Bovary, no experience turned into too much experience.

"Famous Tombs: Love in the 90s" by Masha Tupitsyn

Let it be known how much I adore _Mourning and Melancholia_, and how much I now want to read Avital Ronell. 

I remember reading all about “Wino Forever” at the time and thinking Depp was a bit of an embittered cad. 

This piece also goes into how Winona Ryder defined the 90s by being incapable of playing anyone but herself. It’s basically essential reading for all 90s kids.


Opening | January 9, 2015, 6pm Exhibition | January 10 – January 24, 2015

Cinema remains the last medium for speaking and performing love culturally. While much emphasis has been placed on the visual iconography of love, with the exception of music very little attention has been given to love as an aural phenomenon since the tradition and practice of amour courtois. Partly inspired by Christian Marclay’s ontology of time in cinema, The Clock, and René Magritte’s word paintings, which textualized the visual tropes of painting with “written” images, Love Sounds, a 24-hour sound poem and montage, dematerializes cinema’s visual legacy and reconstitutes it as an all-tonal history of critical listening.

Love Sounds, an audio history of love in cinema, concludes Tupitsyn’s immaterial trilogy, and will be presented as a 24-hour sound installation, accompanied by a catalogue published by Penny-Ante. In 2011, Masha Tupitsyn commenced her immaterial series with LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film, the first book of film criticism written entirely on Twitter. LACONIA experimented with new modes of writing and criticism, updating traditional literary forms and practices like the aphorism and the fragment. Reimagining the wound-and-quest story, the love narrative, and the female subject in love in the digital age, Love Dog, published in 2013, was the second installment in Masha Tupitsyn’s trilogy of immaterial writing. Written as a multi-media blog and inspired by Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse and Mourning Diary—a couple in Tupitsyn’s mind—Love Dog is an art book that is part love manifesto, part philosophical notebook, part digital liturgy.


“With Love Sounds, Masha Tupitsyn has gone the full otaku, building an enormous 24-hour database of audio clips covering the whole English-speaking history of the talkies, organizing it by relationship categories. Love Sounds is closer to what Hiroki Azuma would call a database than a narrative understanding of media. It’s a sort of epic forensic device for hearing what the whole mythic structure of the cinema era was, but breaking it down into its affective audible granules, and recomposing those granules by type rather than arranging them in narrative sequence. But it is not just a work about cinema. It also an instance of a post-cinematic form. Another media for another life. In the voice, one can hear at one and the same time the possibility of disarmament, of love; but also all the wars, over who owns who; of who is whose property. To listen, rather than look, at cinema, is to hear the struggle over the script itself, over which words are meant to matter, and which are mere convention. It’s a struggle over whether love is real. It’s one continuous dialogue on whether love, like God, is dead, and who killed it.” – McKenzie Wark, “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”, essay from forthcoming Love Sounds catalogue.

“So how do we disappear today? We need to disable multiple online accounts to lose ourselves, and others. We leave behind algorithmic traces we can’t even see, accumulating rather than erasing data and ties. Apps tell people where we are and social media keeps constant track of us like news ticker. In twenty-first century life, driving or walking away (‘dropping out’) would merely be symbolic. All disappearance acts are announced online, and are more often than not, just empty threats. Retreats are narrated as they happen. Everyone expects us back soon. We call our own bluff. We cry wolf. Ironically, when we are everywhere all the time, we are nowhere to be found. I like the 90s because it shows us exactly when we stopped being someone and somewhere. It’s maybe also the last time we honestly cared about being lost and found.”

- Masha Tupitsyn, from “When We Were Here: The 1990s in Film”, published in The White Review 

Love Sounds

Cinema remains the last medium for speaking and performing love culturally. While much emphasis has been placed on the visual iconography of love, with the exception of music very little attention has been given to love as an aural phenomenon since the tradition and practice of amour courtois. Partly inspired by Christian Marclay’s ontology of time in cinema, The Clock, and René Magritte’s word paintings, which textualized the visual tropes of painting with “written” images, Love Sounds, a 24-hour sound poem and montage, dematerializes cinema’s visual legacy and reconstitutes it as an all-tonal history of critical listening.



SAT 9/21 @7: ALIEN RESURRECTION with Chris Kraus, Kylie GilchristVeronica Gonzalez PenaEmily GouldAriana ReinesMasha Tupitsyn, & Kate ZambrenoMcnally-Jackson, 52 Prince Street, NY NY.

SAT 9/21 @9: BURNING BRIDGES with Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Ariana Reines, & Keston Sutherland.  Reena Spaulings, 165 E Broadway, NY NY.


"Red is feeling deeply—deeper—and losing something or someone deeply, too. So red has its violence. Its trauma. Its horror. It explodes and spills. Saturates." - Masha Tupitsyn Love Dog

This Beach Is Me

Hélène Cixous:

I would like to write the rose-colored beach and the pearly ocean. And it is February. Completely impossible. My words can’t tell you the simulateously infinite and yet finite beach rolled out like a[n] immense carpet of rosy sands. My words are colorless. Barely sonorous? What I can tell you, a painter would show you. I would like to break your heart with the magnificent calm of a beach safe from man.


last night

I had drinks and dinner with my dear friend, Masha. We talked a lot about love, writing, and recent experiences. We talked for hours in a backyard patio in Brooklyn. We started in the light and ended into the night. There’s something to be said, to be felt about being here now. Living in this world now, and how we treat other people in this world. I’m not talking about our online personas—what we say on facebook walls, twitter, and blogs. I’m talking about people we have touched and who have touched us. I’m talking about love. I’m talking about what it feels like to be with each other now. Right now.