These are the significant catalysts for total change in thought that I can locate. It is amazing to reflect on these things and feel the potential for even more limitless extension. It drops off around the time I went to art school, which is just a rapid series of catalysts. The unifying factor of the catalysts preceding art school is, however, the coincidental and random circumstances that brought me towards them or them towards me.


Vanilla Tapes - For absolutely no reason I stole a double disc 25th anniversary edition of London Calling by the Clash from walmart, not caring much for the first cd, eventually getting around to the second disc, “the vanilla tapes”- all of their demos for the album, totally low fidelity tape recordings, being entirely blown away, loading it on whatever like 200mb, playing card sized mp3 player i had, falling asleep every night with headphones in my bed in the dark listening to it and listening to the sounds of the room that were totally audible within the track and transported me to this fantasy of these british blokes singing about Jimmy Jazz and Big Black Cadillacs and Cocaine Coca Cola,, like a play in my head, probably entirely inaccurate images of it but just total mental fascination and fantasy that I previously had only gotten from books.
Whats seminal about that was the device of listening for physical movement in music. Some slanted perspective. I see it as a mental catalyst to seeing everything else different. It happens that way. I find myself now, 15 years later, hearing the world around me as i walk down the street, mapping it out like some sonar whale in my mind, flattening it out in the inkjet printer of my mind, holding it up to the eyes in my mind, changing it around,doing some smudging and stuff i dont know. Then putting words to it. Too much going on to do much else. Can’t walk down the street anymore. Listen to the ocean swag marathon.


Kooyanisquatsi - Started renting DVD's from the library. Saw this movie.

Jonestown - I had a root canal done by a dentist with the last name Love. Doctor Love. My mother had gotten work done there and I heard her talk about it to tohers, how it was amazing cause he just played a movie for you while he did his work. I heard Doctor Love was amazing. He was, I didn't feel a thing. Only I was painfully anxious to say anything when they left the History Channel on instead of a luxury dvd. The program on was about the Jonestown Massacre. Being strapped down with peoples utensils.


Hipinion Forum


Kropotkin - I had a seat next to a bookcase at the back of a classroom that, uncharacteristic to my high school, had a teachers personal library upon it. It wasn't any teacher I knew, our class happened to take place in their room. I picked a random book and took it home with me and it was the Essentials of Kropotkin. Not only was I enthralled by the content, totally new to me, but I was also delighted at the blind chance, as it was wedged between fantasy fiction volumes on the bookshelf.
In Watermelon Sugar - A creative writing teacher who was Canadian and rode a motorcycle introduces me to Richard Brautigan.

Hipinion music forum - I started mainlining the deepest obscurities of music from the internet I could find. I happened upon this forum, an endless stream of .rar and .zip links to now defunct file sharing sites. To this day it holds so many dead links, I love it though. I have a weird guilt for having, as a child, lurked one specific person I came to know through their incredible taste and similarly incredible will to divulge their life on a public forum, who died over the course of my real time lurking. I felt like they were a friend. Their links are dead and they are dead. .
Obsessive torrenting and random indulgent blogspot raking came hand in hand. A weird attitude of totally insular pretension regarding the knowledge of the history of underground music came as well. I would guard it and hold it to be holy. Not until my late teenage years would I find anyone to share the shit with. This behavior persists. Obsessive and rewarding and private and sacred.
Tempo House


Mrs. Bullpit - My uncle was Mary Bullpit's accountant. You can and should read about her life here. She died in 2000 and in 2010 my uncle gave me a car she had left him in her will. It was a cadillac deville. This changed my life in many ways- I learned about her own life, which was inspiring and instilled possibility within me. I also then had a car which enabled me to move out and leave home immediately at 16.
Work Ethic - This was a book loaned to me by a friend. It is what reconciled my ill will towards the possibility of meaningful work. I read this and realized there were so many ways of seeing things that I hadn't considered.
(The Clash Vanilla Tapes), Temp House - The Fall, Kooyanisquatsi, Work Ethic book, hipinion music forums, 7up doc, Juan Atkins comp,, jonestown doc during root canal,


7-up Documentary Series - Another random library DVD rental. Changed my scope of understanding of life.


Saw a Carillion - I went upstate to Sleepy Hollow Cemetary a few days before Halloween with my friend Andrew and saw a Carillion, a multi-ton piano hooked up to giant brass bells. It was on the back of a semi-truck with a flat bed, enshrouded in clear plastic walls. I came to find there were only a few in the world. I was fascinated and think of it every single day.

Philosophy & Theory - I always read a lot of junk but in college it began to effect my ego. I would be so interested in someone's ideas I would reliably get obsessed and read as much as I could about their non-academic lives. I guess it was because I felt so at odds with my own life and felt it wasn't conducive to fostering such genius or clarity. I felt assured enough that I was capable and young enough that I could still take part in shaping my influence, possibly orient myself in the way these authors and thinkers had. But reading about the daily lives of poets and philosophers only depressed me more at the time. It was illustrated each time as a clear path to madness because there is so little space in this world for such devotions. Across the board was struggle. I got no answers or help in my biographical excursions but perhaps it prepared me for further struggle- further committed me to the great inherited trust. Instilled faith and pride in the sense of progresslessness in devoting yourself to the inane and useless task.

2013- aaron schwartz wake