Author Archives: obi tau

Dizzie Gillespie on “appropriation”

“You can’t steal a gift […] If you can hear it you can have it.” – Gillespie’s ornituary in the Economist (February 7, 2002)


Theorizing Improvisation, Week 1

Professor started class by asking everyone to approach the board to write three words that they freely associate with the word “improvisation.” One by one, each of us wrote in turn, and we ended up with this:

improvisation day oneIn the context of the syllabus, a discussion then followed about themes, outliers, and omissions from the board.

What’s missing from this picture? What do you associate with the word, “improvisation”?

Samuel Delaney on Seeing

“Most people go blind in blackness. I have a fire in my eyes. I have that whole collapsing sun in my head, my visual tectum shorted wide open, jumping, leaping, sparking. It’s as though the light lashed the rods and cones of my retina to constant stimulation, balled up a rainbow and stuffed each socket full. That’s what I’m seeing now. Then you, outlined here, highlighted there, a solarized ghost across hell from me.” – Nova (1968)