“dogs antibiotics night ART bOOK FAIr? saturday plans? probably ‘should’ go penny bringing pie dough”
In 2012 Petra Cortright was preparing a talk about her e-book HELL_TREE on the occasion of the NY Art Book Fair. With her voice augmented and distorted by Arca, she performed the impossible task of speaking out that which has no true verbal register: the back annals of the internet, where raw text and scratchy bytes draw an epical, even Dantean, poem from the depths of the infobahn. Cortright’s translations have been numerous—open tabs on a computer screen to e-book to newsprint to handwriting to slideshow to speech.
Speech Notes is the Earth’s only trace of Petra Cortright’s penmanship. Now the hand responsible for the digital Acheiropoieton that is the seminal HELL_TREE is visible. The jumbled letters and numbers chaotically gather on the stationery of London’s Portobello Hotel, hard now with the stains of coffee and ink. Cortright has lived these notes; they come from her human person. Speech Notes, in this way, is a flood of diaristic self language. As with Carolee Schneemann’s Interior Scroll, the inevitabilities of an entire universe evaginate onto a page.