“Hello,” said Marcel Duchamp, who had just traveled through time from the early 1920’s.
“Marcel Duchamp!” said jonCates. “You look like you just traveled through time from the early 1920’s!”
“Indeed I have,” replied the attractive french artist. “I was working on The Large Glass and it’s artistic awesomeness was so profound it caused an explosion in the space-time continuum that propelled me here. What is that?” he asked, gesturing at jonCates’ open laptop. The browser on the screen was open to a page titled MARCEL DUCHAMP WHAT A SEXY GUY OMG.
“It is definitely not a fansite where I was uploading explicit self-insert fanfic about myself and you set in an alternte universe based on the hit musical The Phantom of the Opera,” said jonCates, as he hastily typed in the URL for his tumblr. The sound of a midi version of “Love Never Dies” was abruptly cut off as his tumblr page loaded and pictures of naked ladies, lolcat gifs, and neon blinking skulls filled the page. *Awwsum*, he thought. *This is way more normal.*
*Shit I hope I saved the edits to that last chapter,* his thoughts continued. *Jake Elliott’s suggestions really made it waaaay more romantikk. :)*
“jonCates,” said Marcel Duchamp, interrupting his impressive feat of thinking in emoticons. “Don’t you understand I was drawn through time to here for a reason?”
“…” said jonCates.
“For serious,” replied Marcel Duchamp. “Only the magic of avant garde artspeak will be able to send me back to my proper time period. If I can’t get back, then I won’t be able to complete my mission to make the artworld question what art really is or whether anyone should even care about it while cracking myself up with hilarious puns that museums will later enshrine under high security lasers -”
“- And then the movements which I pay homage to in my lolcat gifs will never have happened, causing a Conceptual Paradox!” cried jonCates. “Nooooes!!” he was forced to say himself, because he still hadn’t installed the Darth Vader NOOOOOO app onto his iphone.
“It will be a tragedy!” said Marcel Duchamp. “Or, well, not really, I’m pretty indifferent to art history. It’s just I that I had an appointment with Man Ray to do some Rrose Sélavy photos and I bought a new hat for them and everything. It’s very pretty.”
“I’m sure it is SUPER PRETTY,” cried jonCates with passion. “And I am going to get you back to your rightful cross-dressing time, and not just because otherwise it would ruin my rrose_selavy photos folder that I secretly loaded onto every thumb drive that I own!”
Soon jonCates had formed his Magick Circle out of seventeen different laptops, three beige PCs, seven Apple II’s, two Commodore64’s, one Vectrex, four old iMacs, and one V-Tech Socrates hooked up to an appropriately cathode ray-filled television (complete with blown-out speakers and a weird purple ring that glowed around everything it displayed on its screen). They all displayed flickering images of skulls, glitches, or adorable kittens, except one of the Apple II’s, which was set to a demo of computer chess. And one of the PC’s, which was playing the original DOS version of Eye of the Beholder, “because Xanathar looks really cool.”
jonCates and Marcel Duchamp held hands in the middle of the Circle. It was a little homoerotic. jonCates thought about how he was totally going to use this in a future chapter of ‘Readymade For My Soul’.
“Are you ready?” he asked Marcel Duchamp.
“Sure,” Marcel Duchamp replied.
“OK.” jonCates took a deep breath. “What we are looking at is rilly a hybridization, a self-reflexive x-breeding of interfaces ++ connected threadz that becomes a social .doc in itself.” Marcel Duchamp’s hair and jonCates’ beard started to flutter in an Avante Garde Breeze. jonCates’s capital letters began to disappear as the Spell became stronger. “the majicks unfolding around us takes teh form of models for mediated x-change that transcend the historikally accepted receiver/transmitter structures. they 01: point out the otherwise invisible ++ normalised natur of that structure 02: question that strukture as the 1 + only method in which the individual [or group] can participate as owner/controller/master vs purchaser/cunsumer/slave 03: explore possibilities/alternatives within/without this strukture, opening up nu universes of artistic engagement ++ agency ++ community.”
The Avante Garde Breeze had now matured to a Serious Fucking Artistic Vortex. Bookshelves and skateboards shook along the walls while crumpled Cosi receipts were swirling through the air. The complete works of Deleuze and Guattari fell onto the floor with the force of this shit, that’s how seriously fucking artistic it was.
“jonCates!” cried Marcel Duchamp. “You have done it! There is only one more thing that must be done!”
“What is it, Marcel Duchamp?” asked jonCates, his eyes shining.
“We must seal the spell… with a kiss.”
“We don’t have to Make Love?” asked jonCates.
“No, a kiss will be enough to complete the process.”
“Are you sure?” insisted jonCates. “I mean, I would totally be OK with that if we had to do it. For… art.”
“Shut up and kiss me, jonCates!” Marcel Duchamp shouted. “I seriously have some cross-dressing I need to get to!”
“Wait, how can you be late for something if you’re travelling back in time to it –” but jonCates’s sensible theories on temporal mechanics were cut off as Marcel Duchamp pressed his sexy french lips against his own.
It was Awesum.
“Good-bye, jonCates!” called Marcel Duchamp as he was drawn into the vortex to his rightful place in art history and also his date with Man Ray. “Keep up the luls!”
“I will, Marcel Duchamp!” cried jonCates, as the vortex closed behind him. “I will.”
jonCates looked at the mess that had been his living room with a heavy heart. As he leaned down to turn off the Socrates, he noticed a small picture laying on top of the small mountain of Cosi receipts. He picked it up.
It was a portrait of jonCates, with a moustache and goatee drawn over his own moustache and beard. On it was scrawled, “L.H.O.O.Q”.
“'He Has a Hot Ass’!” jonCates exclaimed, his heart brimming with emotion. “He DID care!”
He looked down at the picture again.
“I am TOTES posting this on tumblr.”