I Am Sitting in a Room
The inaugural volume in Cabinet's new 24-Hour Book series, I Am Sitting in a Room - written and designed in one day--explores the scenography and architecture of writing itself. Inspired in part by Georges Perec's short fragment in Species of Spaces on Antonello da Messina's painting of St. Jerome in his study, Dillon's text is both a personal reflection on the theatrics of the study, the library and the office, and a historical consideration of such writerly paraphernalia as Proust's bed, Nabokov's index cards and Philip Roth's moustache. Dillon, who arrived at Cabinet's office without any prepared text, also had to remain open to the contingencies of an unfamiliar writing environment, peculiar and perhaps slightly dodgy take-out food, a makeshift bed, and a capricious heating system, not to mention the obvious pressures of working under extreme time constraints. If that were not enough, this particular scene of writing was a public one, with curious onlookers dropping in during the process to watch the author (and his support staff) "at work." Inspired by literary precedents such as automatic writing, by the resourcefulness of the bricoleur making do with what is at hand and by the openness toward chance that all artistic production under severe constraint must necessarily incorporate, Cabinet's 24-Hour Book series will invite a number of distinguished authors and artists to be incarcerated in its gallery space to complete a project from start to finish within 24 hours.