Spy Vs. Spy

I was in the Canal Zone because my parents worked for the OSS. The OSS would soon turn into the CIA. My parents were spooks. My mother told me she used to hide in people's closets. I always thought she was messing with me. Pulling my leg. I could never decide what to believe. Was she joking? (My parents kept me in a closet. For the first fifteen years of my life I thought I was a suit). Right from the beginning it was always hard to tell the truth.

From Russia With Love

I remember a house on stilts. A sidewalk. Really stiff grass. (It hurt when I crawled on it). And bugs. Big bugs. If one got in a shoe, the shoe would move across the room. There's not much else unless I watch the home movies my father use to shoot. I'm not sure if you can remember anything before you're five. Maybe even six. I know I don't. If I didn't have those home movies I wouldn't believe I was from Panama. In one of the movies there's a guy called Uncle Ian. He's holding a long silver stem with a cigarette attached to the end. Turns out that Uncle Ian was Ian Fleming. The creator of James Bond. My mother says she knew him from her time working for Joseph Kennedy in London just after World War Two. They reconnected in Jamaica where Fleming owned a large property called Golden Eye. I was at the "Eye" when I was four.

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Anyone Who is Anyone

Unbelievable and believable have become the same thing. Any view point
is as good as any other. They used to call it relativity and now they call it
the closest thing to the real thing. For one year he rented movies - VCR
videos - and watched them on a twenty-five inch color Sony monitor at her

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I Second That Emotion 1977-78

- As a mode of production, rephotography can reproduce or "manage" an already
existing photograph or picture effortlessly.

- You take a camera, load it with film, put the camera on a tripod, put any
picture in front of the camera, light the picture with an ordinary light bulb,
look through the viewfinder, make the proper setting and snap the shutter.

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Like A beautiful Scar On Your Head

"For our SPECIAL AMERICAN ISSUE, we invited Richard prince to curate an
on-the-page installation. Best known for his photographs and his joke paintings,
Prince reveals in his email responses to MODERN PAINTERS' questions that while
his sources are multifarious, by no means anything goes".

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-The original material comes mostly from advertising sections of contemporary
mass market magazines.

-Some of the material comes from travel brochures or newspaper sections
advertising travel. Also sections advertising liquor, cigarette, perfume and other accessories.

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Portraits 1982

I have a distinct individual personality. When I look at the pictures I take
I never think about myself.
I take portraits of people. When I take these portraits I'm not interested
in who the people are as much as I am in who they might be when they are in a
photograph. (in a picture of themselves)...

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Practicing Without A License 1977

Rephotography is a technique for stealing (pirating) already existing images,
simulating rather than copying them, "managing" rather than quoting
them, re-producing their effect and look as naturally as they had been produced when they first appeared.

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Prior Availability

The material I appropriate is available to anyone who cares to use it. The
fact that the material has possibly been observed or unconsciously collected by
person's other than myself, in effect defines its desires and threats. It's
this 'prior availability' that verifies the fictional transformation and helps
cool down any reference to an observable reality.

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The Counterfeit Memory 1981

Today was Memorial Day, a Monday, and he had to work a twelve hour shift
starting at six p.m.
He usually takes about a two hour break, and when he got to the building
he decided to take the break right away. (Since this was a holiday, he knew
later it would be slow, so he could take another couple of hours without being

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Why I go to the Movies Alone Pg 3-6

A lot of people wish they were someone else. And some of us would like
to exchange parts with other people, keeping what we already like and
jettisoning the things we can't stand. Some people would like to try to change places, just for a day, with maybe someone they admired or even envied, to see what it would be like, to see if it would be what they'd always heard it would be. There are those too, that are quite satisfied with themselves and never think
about such things as another person's blessings, and it seemed appropriate to
someone like him, that these satisfied ones were the ones that he most wanted
to be like and exchange with and try to take the place of.

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Decorating My Walls 1980

Since I can't size myself up, I might as well size someone else up. I've
said this, but I don't really believe it.
I finally decided to put something up on one of the walls in my room. I
decided to put up a picture of Steve McQueen. One of those big black and
white personality posters. This will be the second time I would be putting up a
poster of Steve McQueen on a wall in a room where I've lived.

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Bringing It All Back Home

Today I reread the first part of The White Album by Joan Didion. I put an
acetate protector around the dust jacket of a first edition of Susan Sontag's On
Photography, and I read parts of it again before putting it back on the
shelf. I read what Sontag had to say about how art and politics can and should
mix. Maybe they already do mix, but she says this as if any question about their separation could only occur to the Man from Mars. I also thought about how she thinks that when you photograph someone it's like "sublimated, or 'soft' murder". "Soft murder" sounded pretty catchy, like cartoon language. It
reminded me of Didion's remark that Jim Morrison, the fourth Door, had thought of himself as "an erotic politician".

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Bird Talk

Some people see leaves falling from a tree and see it as, leaves falling from
a tree.
Others see it as an inexhaustible mystery of the signified from the mundane
closed-off simulation of a world sign.

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The 8-Track Photograph 1977-78 West 11th St. NYC

1. original copy
2. re-photographed copy
3. angled copy
4. cropped copy
5. focused copy
6. out-of-focused copy
7. black and white copy
8. color copy

Each track (or reproduction), is a program. Each program is a code. These
codes can be produced with commercially available materials from commercially available sources. The display of any program or combination of programs can be selected quickly because of availability. This availability always exists due to each program's independence from other programs. It is never a question of addition or subtraction, since each track is an independent component to the program. The primary advantage is that the components of the picture exist on bankable tracks. Whatever state the picture finally exists in, the states that helped to make the photograph exist, continue to exist until called for again.