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Restivo Watch Day 1096: Farther Off, Still Flaming

February 4, 2014

You see, one Tuesday — this was back in the fall, after he broke the first crockpot but before he broke the second crockpot — we were all sitting around the bread at the Bridge, talking the business, when somehow Anthony gets this idea. And maybe it seemed like just a joke, of the kind customary around the bread. But he says to Greg, hey Greg, can I do this thing at the Bridge, and Greg said yes, because God made Greg so that people could take advantage of his kindness, but then the Devil put a killer inside him, so you have to be careful. And that is how it all got started, but I never thought it would ever happen, because I had forgotten life and its power. But then Anthony Restivo and his crazy lame-ass great big wonderful idea came around to remind me. Why I got started in this business.

–from “Restivo Watch: Day 0” (2/4/11)


It has been three years, to the day, since Anthony Restivo entered The Bridge gallery to begin a three week stay for his art project Far Off and All Aflame. Three years, to the day, since I started Restivo Watch, a daily chronicle and reflective consideration of his project, its ramifications, resonances, and whatever came to mind. It was one of the major events in the history of Subverbo, the big finale to the emails, after which there was no place to go but a blog, just as for figure skaters the Ice Capades are the inevitable consequent to the Olympics, and linebackers move on to car dealerships, Presidents to painting and furniture-making. As it happens, and purely by coincidence, Anthony is commemorating this anniversary by getting the hell out of Charlottesville, and moving on to his further adventures on the global stage. I thought I would also commemorate it, in a manner more intentional and less fun, here on the blog. How? I don’t know, I never saw the Ice Capades, but maybe something like that, or Mozart’s Requiem; a potlatch, a wake, a really big show; or the Renaissance. Stay tuned and see.

Update: Maybe not so much like one of those things as like what I did the first time: one post every day, through the 26th of February. Each post could pair with its equivalent email, creating some kind of stereoptic effect, bringing out undreamt of depths in the original material, revealing its final form at last, a whole where only half was before. A New Testament, secret teachings now laid bare, true names finally told, et cetera. Or maybe something easier, like a daily James Henry poem juxtaposed with a picture of a cat. Maybe a cat with a mustache. Still working on it.

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