Karla Black, Compact Mirror, 2021, dimensions variable


In a binary market, to become the night is to prepare for it, by displacing the desire for appearances and experiences onto products, rituals, and one’s own face. Either you’re in or you’re out.

The thing is that every Friday night, anything can happen to you, or nothing.

You know what happens during the day. Every day, the day comes to you on an assembly line. Every day is the same – mechanized time, ritualized time, unavailable time.

The night is still young. A dark, empty space – a sudden rush of air, a choice –


There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet

– T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915)

To leave; to leave yourself, the familiar contours, the cloisters and coffers; to leave it up to chance. To prepare a face to meet some face, some person or possibility; to aim yourself in the direction of discrete or interlocking ends. To end up on a bathroom floor, in the hospital, in love. To want it; to approach it; to make the attempt.

To show your face. To wash your face. To feel it in your hands; to feel that beauty is the catalyst for desire (reactions can occur in the absence of catalysts, but are far less efficient); to feel that beauty is an equation, a practice, a sacrifice; to choose; to do the math, the difference between observable time (a few milliseconds) and millions of years; to desire a reaction, to get one; to make it happen now; to bet on the night like a spectator, a speculator; to bet your stock goes up; to bet tonight is worth it.

To believe in yourself ...


– This text appears in full in Spike #78 – The Night. You can order your copy in our online shop