While studying Duchamp's With Hidden Noise, the idea arrose of assembling a re-creation of the original piece. It didn't have to be IDENTITICAL with the original; but the term "copy" in the West, for the fine arts, has acquired a certain disrepute, although plainly there was no intent to deceive anyone into thinking this was a Duchamp "original," by some illegal ruse, say, as by forging his signature. Anyway, a tradition of producing Duchampoid "re-creations" among the artist's many admirers, supported, or tolerated, at least, by Duchamp during his lifetime. Here was the opportunity to work a problem all the way through: while producing a piece of writing ABOUT Duchamp's art, to extend the creative act, at the same time paying sincere tribute to the spirit of the artist. Also, it might be inspiring to have a re-created exemplar sitting on the desk, available for immediate iconic reference.

In this task, the principal labors were expended by a former graduate student in art history--by now a fully--fledged colleague in the study of Duchampiana--Ms. Tamara Blanken. The story itself is really hers to tell, but the general circumstances were as follows: when she had the opportunity to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tamara contacted Anne d'Harnoncourt, under whose direction Marge Klein (with kind help from Ann Schuster) arranged for an examination of the Duchamp sculpture in the Conservation Laboratory. Once there, Melissa Meighan- - after donning elbow-length white cotton gloves--performed the requisite rotations of the piece and Tamara was able to gather certain mildly astonishing objective information while making the world's first known tape recording of the "hidden noise" in the piece's title.

Following our plan to assemble a re-creation of With Hidden Noise, we thought it might be an easy matter to stop by a hardware store and pick up a couple of brass plaques, some nuts and bolts, and a ball of twine. Think again! For instance, the vagaries of the quest led us to conclude that Duchamp had probably visited a ship chandlery in New York, possibly alluded to by the word LONGSEA of the ciphered inscription. The kind of bolt Duchamp used in 1916 is now a special order item; and most twine is now packaged around cardboard cylinders. The hardware world is very different today from what it was in 1916!

This experience generated within us a newfound respect for Ulf Linde, Arturo Schwarz and others who have worked on regeneration--or, re- creation--projects related to Duchamp's art. Although the process of mimesis is not an approach to wisdom that appeals to everyone, there is little question such efforts can be intensely instructive. As with the dying practice of copying old masters in a museum, in order to make a replica, copy or re-creation, it is imperative to LOOK very carefully at the subject. Of course, scrutiny of the objective evidence is a modus operandi honored by the scientific method, as it is in courtroom procedure; in study of the fine arts this function is an important part of "connoisseurship." Such a practice, together with the connoisseur's perceptive and discretionary frame of mind, are essential to good scholarship, and they also underlie sound art criticism, intelligent aesthetics, and high quality curatorship. Ezra Pound began his engrossing little book, ABC of Reading with a lesson on "the proper METHOD for studying...that is, careful first-hand examination of the matter, and continual COMPARISON," to wit:

No man is equipped for modern thinking until he has understood the anecdote of Agassiz and the fish:

A post- graduate student equipped with honours and diplomas went to Agassiz to receive the final and finishing touches. The great man offered him a small fish and told him to describe it.

Post- Graduate Student: "That's only a sunfish."

Agassiz: "I know that. Write a description of it."

After a few minutes the student returned with the description of the Ichthus Heliodiplodokus, or whatever term is used to conceal the common sunfish from vulgar knowledge, family of Heliichtherinkus, etc., as found in textbooks of the subject.

Agassiz again told the student to describe the fish. The student produced a four-page essay. Agassiz then told him to look at the fish. At the end of three weeks the fish was in an advanced stage of decomposition, but the student knew something about it. By this method modern science has arisen, not on the narrow ledge of medieval logic suspended in a vacuum.

[Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading, Faber, London (n.d.), p. 17 f. ]

Louis Agassiz (1807-73) was a renowned Swiss-American zoologist and geologist, a life-long friend of Alexander von Humboldt, and in large part responsible for founding the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He is said to have given a tremendous impetus in America to the study of science direct fom nature, and trained a generation of American scientists. Yet, having formulated the theory of Ice Ages did not keep Agassiz from opposing Darwin and believing that new species could arise only through the intervention of God.

[ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press, Morningside Heights, New York (Second edition 1952), p. 25. ]

While Marcel Duchamp was in New York during the Spring of 1916, an international group of wild and crazy guys invaded one of the cleanest, neatest, richest and most up-tight cities on the planet, Zurich, Switzerland, where they inaugurated the primiere radical art movement of all time: Dada. One of the charter celebrants was Richard Huelsenbeck, who later carried the reins of the inspired neo-shamanic, Dada hobbyhorse with him to New York, where for years he maintained a successful professional practice of psychiatry as Dr. Charles Hulbeck. In his Memoirs of a Dada Drummer, the mad-artist/sane Doctor Huelsenbeck/Hulbeck offered this reverie about the spirit of Dada:

We killed a quarter of a century, we killed several centuries for the sake of what is to come. You can call it what you like: surgery, kleptomania, calligraphy; for all we can say is: We are, we have worked some- - revolution, reaction, extra! extra! we are--we are--Dada first and foremost--first and foremost a word, whose fantasticness is incomprehensible.

[ Richard Huelsenbeck, Memoirs of a Dada Drummer, edited, with and Introduction, Notes, and Bibliography by Hans J. Kleinschmidt, translated by Joachim Neugroschel, University of California Press, Berkeley (1991). ]

The good Dr. Hulbeck once aspired--then writing as Huelsenbeck, in En avant dada (1920)--"to make literature with a gun in my pocket." Years later, he composed a short piece about Marcel Duchamp on the occasion of the Cordier & Ekstrom exhibition, Not seen and/or Less seen in 1965; he reported discovering in Duchamp a combination of intellectual traditions most unusual for a visual artist, in which the style of the Western scientific attitude was conjoined with a frame of mind quite like that of Zen...or what is known, paradoxically, in the proverbial Mystic East itself (following the teachings of the venerable Tibetan Lama, Chgöyam Trungpa, Rimpoche) as "Crazy Wisdom":

Duchamp has a mathematical mentality--he was, incidentally, one of the best chess players of his time, already studying the possibilities of a new physics....Duchamp is possibly more of a scientist than a painter, his enormous importance rests on the fact that he struck a blow against the nave approach to the object....Duchamp has always denied being an anti-artist, his judgment relies on neither philosophical, sociological, nor other external knowledge....Just as, almost in accordance with Zen philosophy (which he is quite familiar with), he wishes to nonact, nonsee, and nonpaint, he loves to be "crude"; that is to say, not rude or vulgar, he simply doesn't care to live with people who make him sick with their ambition and their false sense of importance.

[ Huelsenbeck, pp. 113- 115. See also, Chögyam Trungpa, Rimpoche, Crazy Wisdom, edited by Sherab Chödzin {Dharma Ocean Series}, Shambhala, Boston and London (1991). ]

In pursuit of this scientific theme, and the better that we might take account of what science has to do with the grander issues either proceeding from or otherwise impinging upon our present undertaking, let us focus on the issue of NUMBER and on certain dilemmas it seems to have generated for established science. Plainly, it should prove helpful to identify what are thought to be the essential constituents of science proper, or of "true" scientific thought, and how we may to recognize honest scientific practice: as guides for scholarly method.

We have been informed about this subject by recent United States Supreme Court cases involving contradictions between Creationist doc- trines and the theory of evolution; the opinions of the Immortal Nine draw distinctions between the propagation of veiled religious beliefs and inculcating the favored revelations of science. As we examine successive strata of belief and inference, approaching philosophical bedrock, we see that the basic criteria of science may involve art quite as much as religion. In a recent PBS TV program (The Creation of the Universe), Leo Lederer, a Nobel Laureate scientist, said he thought the fundamental flaw of all grand unification theories was aesthetic. While the goal of science is a desire to understand every-thing, from the atom to the cosmos, these theories fail because they are not simple, elegant or beautiful enough. Yet by pressing a criterion of rigor in the pursuit of scientific, objective truth, we often produce very inelegant, hence aesthetically unappealing, formulations.

For theoretical physics as for the discipline of mathematics- - the foundation upon which physics and the other sciences are constructed- - "elegance" may emerge as the more attractive, hence more influential, or "powerful" criterion. A counter-choice--though not any more closely derived from necessity--might favor the criterion of "rigor." Yet, favoring EITHER of these qualities boils down to what is largely a matter of an aesthetic choice. The aesthetics of elegance surely had a different meaning for the Greek atomists, say, than for the Japanese samurai. In modern America, the National Academy of Sciences, attempting to define its own true path, seems to favor criteria based on number as the most practical (magical?) keys to what remain the fundamentally aesthetic virtues of "clarity and `elegance.'"

The crux of the issue is, simply, the difficulty of determining what constitutes "true" scientific research. An operational definition is essential for those who concern themselves with making judgments about research quality--judgments which are the basis of approving (or, more frequently, denying) grants, awards or memberships in august bodies such as the National Academy of Sciences. Increasingly since the 1950s, quantifi- cation, or the use of numerical techniques to articulate and solve problems, has been the sine qua non for determining what qualifies as scientific research. The more clarity and "elegance" in the mathematical model, the greater likelihood we're in the presence of "true" science. This practice grew out of the historical use of math in the basic sciences such as astronomy and physics. The tradition has gained adherents in the computer age as a result of the ever-increasing speed with which complex calculations may be performed, the scholarly use worldwide of the language of mathematics and the vested interest so many researchers now have in quantitative methods.

[The self- definition of style and purpose was occasioned when]: the National Academy of Sciences recently denied membership to Samuel P. Huntington, current president of the American Political Science Association and one of the leading scholars of our time. Huntington's rejection provides more than just another example of the bitter politics of academia. It points out a dilemma inherent to the Western conception of science.

[ James Robert Forcier, "Just What Is A 'True' Science?," Forum, San Francisco Chronicle (May 30, 1987). ]

The misapplication of such quantitative methods has led otherwise distinguished minds to rationalize a priori conclusions under the guise of science. In some instances we clearly recognize the bald projection of opinion and prejudice, but in others it is a subtler matter of tinting or shading objectivity, by one's choice of which statistics to use, how they might be "re-defined," and so forth. A critical approach to the problems of number in science is offered by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in his cautionary account of:

the allure of numbers, the faith that rigorous measurement could guarantee irrefutable precision, and might mark the transition between subjective speculation and a true science as worthy as Newtonian physics. Science is rooted in creative interpretation. Numbers suggest, constrain, and refute; they do not, by them-selves, specify the content of scientific theories. Theories are built upon the interpretation of numbers, and interpreters are often trapped by their own rhetoric. They believe in their own objectivity, and fail to discern the prejudice that leads them to one interpretation among many consistent with their numbers.

[ Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, Norton, New York (1981), p. 74. Yet, author Gould confirms that evolution happened. It is a fact; species do diversify, whatever Professor Agassiz believed.]


All science is based upon drawing distinctions, and very early in the game these acts turn into counting operations which underlie most of the typical subsequent functions of measurement and comparison. Therefore, we shall take the idea of number as our guide, by which we may perform an anatomy of With Hidden Noise. In so doing, we need assume nothing about Duchamp's own motives or intentions, per se.

We may simply take as given (Etant donnés) what is presented by the objective work of art. By inspection of this primary sensory data--just as in "true" science--the various qualities (or quantities) of number may be applied duly (set in a one--to--one correspondence) with minimal temptations to employ the covert appeals of opinion or belief.

Associating art with number points toward the formation of an objective aesthetics: a study global in scope, hoping to minimize chronological or sentimental biases reflecting the predisposition for belief in some kind of abstract principle of would-be "progress," stylistic "evolution," or cultural "development," and hoping to tran-scend dialectical traps of gender, yet with standards of objectivity that seek to temper the naïve biases of ethnocentricity commonly evidenced by contemporary patterns in education. Generous expansion of context also serves to remind us about the divine principle of Unity operative in both individual and collective human consciousness; this, in turn, can only lead to a greater respect for the arts of all peoples, nurturing real wisdom and a universal sense of compassion.

As a boon to our sense of humor, numbers can elicit the spirit of play. The numbers--whether on the players' backs, on the scoreboard, or in the record books--help to provide a context of objectivity that supports the spirit of play, and without which games today would be very different. In earlier days, for example, baseball uniforms did not sport numbers--which is why, beneath the names of the old-timers Mathewson and McGraw, among the honored Giants and who have had their numbers "retired," only "NY" (for New York) is painted on the fence at San Francisco's Candlestick Park but no numbers; they didn't have any. Our "by-the-numbers" approach does not necessarily constitute a new idea, yet it might have pleased Duchamp that our present attempt to decipher and interpret the inner qualifications of his art should assume the character of a game. In that spirit, we accept the gambit offered by With Hidden Noise, with respect for the clarity, elegance, objectivity and precision of true science, with the capacity--such as it may be--to discover great pleasure and delight in the magic of art.

Fortuitously, Duchamp's intriguing, baffling, mysterious piece of sculpture, lends itself superbly to being described in an accurate and orderly way, by the numbers. Suppose we begin quite simply and straightforwardly by counting the number of material elements from which the Readymade was assembled:

ONE ball of twine (plus one secret object)

TWO brass plaques (with scratched lines and inscriptions)

THREE lines of painted letters on each plate

(and three sculptures, which comprised the edition)

FOUR bolts (and four nuts).

While such a foursquare material reckoning may be correct so far as it goes, it fails to take account of the "zero space" inside the ball of twine. Whatever Duchamp's original intentions might have been, we must count the space within--that all-important idea of an internal, hidden space, like the Void--as one of the essential components of the piece. We can read in his notes from The Green Box:

Piggy Bank (or canned goods)

Make a readymade with a box containing something unrecognizable by its sound and solder the box

already done in the semi Readymade of copper plates and a ball of twine

[ Sanouillet, Salt Seller, p. 32. ]

Orthographic inconsistencies relating to the term (which we spell: "Readymade") are frequent in Duchamp's own notes. Other conven-tions use a lower-case "r," or capitalize the "M," or hyphenate the words. Our rationale is to retain capital "R" when referring to the "limited" number of Readymades recognized as being from Duchamp's own hand (and/or mind) and which have been admitted into the oeuvre as represented by the catalogs and chronicles of standard critical and art historical references, such as the studies of Sanouillet, Schwarz, D'Harnoncourt and McShine. The term "readymade" (with lower- case "r") may then distinguish works by other artists, as inspired by Duchamp or as based on extensions of the idea, which has become generic. The use of a hyphen then indicates something that is simply "made already," without implying a relationship to the "Readymade" in modern art.

One of the aphorisms coined by Duchamp's irrepressible colleague Francis Picabia seems applicable to the Readymade With Hidden Noise. The idea of a piggy bank has become a safdeposit box enclosing a space symbolic of the Void, potentially housing a spirit, as Duchamp's sculpture was animated by the addition of Arensberg's secret object.

Tables turn, thanks to the spirit; pictures and other works of art might be called safe- depositables: the spirit is inside and becomes increasingly inspired as the auction prices mount.

[ Marcel Jean, editor, The Autobiography of Surrealism: Documents of 20th- Century Art, Viking Press, New York, 1980, p. 67.]

It is perhaps too much to force the application of Picabia's sardonic notions onto Duchamp, beyond recognizing the suggestion of an obvious, if coincidental, structure: there is a "spirit" inside With Hidden Noise, tokened by the sound: something has been put inside the piece, transforming it into a "spirit bank" of aesthetic and psychic energy. Yet, we must play fair with regard to Duchamp's uncommon sense of what George Gurdjieff called "the material question": the issues of price, value, and money. As Marcel's friend H. P. Roch noted,

Duchamp never tried to put a value on his paintings [or, for that matter, on his other works of art]....The reduction of needs to a minimum, the possession of as little as possible so as to remain truly free- - such are his Diogenic principles.

[ H. P. Roch, "Souvenirs of Marcel Duchamp," (translated by William N. Copley) in Lebel, Marcel Duchamp, pp. 86 and 85.]


Although the outward appearance of With Hidden Noise in no representational way resembles the human figure, we should be cautious about dismissing all corporeal associations out of hand. The idea that the physical body is a container of the soul or of some spiritus is, of course, very ancient and widespread. The discovery of flower pollen at a Neanderthal cave burial site (Shanidar IV, in Iran) is thought by some anthropologists to attest the venerable notion that there was then believed to be, dwelling in the human body (and perhaps in all that lives), an essential though ineffable entity we conventionally call the soul or spirit. Despite many attempts by philosophy and religion to identify, define, and analyze this soul, the scientific quest for practical confirmation of whether that or any similar entity might be discovered within the confines of our physical bodies began to make some real progress only with public anatomical investigations during the Renaissance. As Professor William S. Heckscher points out,

Anatomy became a scientific discipline with the publication in 1543 of Andreas Vesalius' Fabrica.

[ William S. Heckscher, Rembrandt's "Anatomy of Dr. Nicolaas Tulp": An Iconological Study, New York University Press (1958), p. 52. ]

Thus, anatomy also became the foundation for modern medical training, even if a well-instructed chiropractor or Esalen-trained massage therapist today probably knows that limited subject better--in a practical sense--than the ordinary physician. Even Vesalius perpetuated some of the errors of Galen, who was the leading medical authority of antiquity--but who never actually performed an "anatomy," or dissection of a human cadaver. Galen seems to have based some of his ancient misconceptions on a supposed analogy between the internal organization of apes and homo sapiens.

[F]or example, he stated that the appendix is not found in adults (which holds true of apes)...he described and depicted the branching of the aortic arch in terms of simian rather than human anatomy...he described the purely fictitious rete mirabile, a kind of alchemical furnace where, according to Galen and his medieval disciples, "vital spirit" issuing from the heart was transmuted into "animal spirit."

[ Heckscher, Rembrandt's "Anatomy", p. 55. ]

In the early years of modern medicine, the empirical knowledge gained from performing anatomies was indispensible; but it had to be distilled into a coherent theoretical body of information that could be transmitted to others in order to build up a solid data base. (Ars sine scientia nihil est.) The new capacities of printing were crucial, not only for the distribution of the printed word, but as well for the necessary diagrams and correctly- proportioned illustrations.

Here the artists came in; for almost inevitably, by choice, by tradition, and by necessity, they were at home in more than one of the mechanical fields outside their own craft, and in the sixteenth century they had succeeded, above and beyond any of the other mechanics, in placing their own work on the pedestal of mathematics (i.e. perspective and proportion), thus making painting and sculpture part of the liberal arts. Fields such as anatomy, now halfway between the mechanical and the liberal arts, they cultivated by practicing anatomy themselves, by illustrating anatomical atlases, or by representing the surface anatomy of the human body so admirably in their free creations that a work of art could at times inspire the medical scholars as much as nature itself. "Small wonder then, that painters rushed in where doctors feared to tread" (Panofsky). Leonardo da Vinci could proudly refer to himself as "pittore anatomista."

[ Heckscher, Rembrandt's "Anatomy", p. 60. ]

Marcel Duchamp, whom we may recall was trained in the craft of printing early in his career, went on to perfect the print shop skills of precision, order, balance and fine measure- - which were, in general, stylistically out of favor with most artists of the time. In this way he comes, historically, very near the end of some four centuries when citizens of the Republic of Letters, as a matter of common experience "spent considerable time in printers' workshops." Duchamp still shared the sensibilities of refined perception developed in an age when authors "`composed' their work with a composing stick in hand," and therefore learned the value of precise measurements and careful align- ments. These qualities can be appreciated in Duchamp's perspective drawings for elements of La Marie mise à nu par ses célibatiares, même , or, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915-1923). Art critics and analysts of this work cannot but see in the process of "stripping bare" an obvious and literal analogue to the flayed human bodies posed in the illustrative plates of anatomical textbooks.

[ See, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press (1983), pp. 101, and 21- 25; Andreas Vesalius, De Humani corporis fabrica, Liber II, folio 224- 5. ]

Let us summarize our intentions in an orderly manner, consistent with the tradition of the Anatomy, followed by what contemporaries of Vesalius would have called an "epitome," as clear cut and readily apparent as though it were etched on the surface of the piece itself. BY THE NUMBERS we hope to reveal the unique formal properties of With Hidden Noise, and in so doing, to illustrate the concept of number as expressed by the work's structure and composition. Since the idea of natural numbers implies a relationship of lineal order, from no matter where one begins the reckoning, a question of directionality arises. While our counting could be done in either direction, in the present analysis we propose to view the elements as we might approach the piece naturally, in conventionally real space/time, proceeding from the outside, and progressing toward the mystery-embracing void within:

A PIECE OF SCULPTURE (assembled from various materials)

Taking our cue then, from the Renaissance anatomy: with focussed objectivity and with a respect for precision (developed during our own training in the printer's craft) we propose to dissect and analyze the structure and form of With Hidden Noise...not only providing a worked example of applied art history (offering this text as a contribution to the the discipline's bibliography), but also revealing in the process both the answer of the riddle (the name called), and how we managed to "figure out" the secret nature of object mysteriously rattling around inside the piece of sculpture (the calling of the name). In this endeavor, we are mindful of Man Ray's advice:

et AVIS AUX EXHIBITIONISTES: If you cannot show us your anatomy, it is of no avail to show us that you know anatomy.

[ Man Ray, "Bilingual Biography," in d'Harnoncourt and McShine, Marcel Duchamp, p. 207. ]

With a contraction of reference we gain an expansion of awareness, which can be appreciated when this step-wise anatomy by the numbers is condensed even further, as illustrated by this epitome:


6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, i,


Alternatively, expecting a contraction of awareness (in this instance, leading to a greater focus on details) we may expand the epitomized reference as follows:

A PIECE OF SCULPTURE we take as given: that construction Duchamp and Arensberg assembled in 1916, i.e. the original of which is displayed apparently upside down (as we shall see, in our preferred reading of the piece) on its mirrored pedestal in the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

[ The Philadelphia Museum of Art Accession # (19)50- 134- 71. For illustrations of contraction and expansion of reference expressed as mathematical canons, see G. Spencer Brown, Laws of Form, Chapter 3 "The Conception of Calculation," p. 8, and especially p. 10 ]

Then, the NUMBERS, elaborated through a plaiting of analytical and analogical approaches in the following discussion of the piece, are intended to provide a clue (or clew, as one might read in the "comparative orthography" of Great Britain) by which the nature of the secret object can be figured out by any ordinarily attentive reader, very much as it once was divined by us. The numerical insights and extrapolations are woven together in a grand expansion of the present context in which to consider the piece of sculpture itself, its place in Duchamp's oeuvre, Duchamp's increasing significance in the art history of the present century, and what art may teach the children of the present generation for possible use in the forthcoming millennium.

WITH: the first word of the piece's title implies both the historical, creative collaboration of Arensberg, and the active participation of posterity, our present engagement with the work included. This interaction--as Duchamp so eloquently articulated--must be accomplished by us or by others: we spectators, somehow, through the magic of art, achieving a syzygy with the spirit of the creator. Such an event most directly occurs when a spectator acts upon the indications inscribed by the artist on the brass plaques in injunctive language, taking him literally at his word. At present this is seldom possible, for the conventional custodial prohibitions constrain us from picking up the piece of sculpture. This social and proprietary RULE must here be distinguished from the deeper aesthetic LAWS that would seem to require direct participation in order to bring about the authentic experience from which a true and full artistic appreciation of the piece might ultimately derive. Knowing of these higher laws, the great sculptor Constantin Brancusi, who was ever fondling and carressing his work, gave the instructive title, "Sculpture for the Blind" to one of his famous pieces now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (which institution won't let us touch IT, either).


HIDDEN: the second title word, signals the secret aspect of the piece, and is really at the heart of our present study. For, not only do we intend to reveal the secret of the hidden noise and how its mystery was reasoned or guessed, but also "apocalyptically" to bruit about several other so-called secrets--some of them long-mooted in crepuscular and recondite traditions by obscurantist factions of humanity indulging (for whatever idiosyncratic and bizarre reasons) in practices disturbingly (for art, for science, for scholarship and for all aware citizens who enjoy living in a free country) confounded by governmental and corporate efforts to distort and control information.

NOISE: the third word of the title, indicates the sound, such as that recorded on a cassette tape by Tamara Blanken, who was enabled to perform this archival feat by Anne d'Harnoncourt, Ann Schuster, Marge Klein, Melissa Meighan, the Conservation Department and the curatorial staff at the Philadelphia Museum (September 19, 1986). The tape recording provides evidence that the object makes a little clinking, tinkling sound. The tone--or "musical" note--although it has not as yet been measured electronically, sounds not quite like the "standard" orchestral A-440, but rather more like an A that is a trifle flat to the modern ear, say, around 432 cycles per second.

[ Author's note: Some of the sections that follow are difficult (but possible) to read as they are intended: more or less as texts for the performance of radical comic theater. Yet they must seem comic from certain perspectives. Not wanting the text to become overbearing, the business with numbers and counting and precision and rigor sometimes may become too tedious for the ordinary reader, who can skip over our labors to provide an objective, accurate descriptive analysis of the piece of sculpture. This exposition, if at all witty, may be DRY as the Atacama: from where in Southern Peru, in 1991, came a report of the first measureable rainfall for some two hundred years, by the way. Many people betray a profound aversion to reading numbers, and seem to shy away from attempts at exactitude. For our part, we like to imagine this as polishing the facets of a jewel, or as telling a joke; although at times it may seem to flow like a juggernaut. ]