Structured around a series of formative, formidable coincidences in Dodge’s life, My Meteorite journeys from Barthes to Blade Runner, from punk to Pale Fire. Blending the personal and the philosophical, the raw and the surreal, the transgressive and the heartbreaking, Harry Dodge revitalizes our world, illuminating the magic just under the surface of daily life.
The book is a brain! A peripheral brain that wonders about machine intelligence, consciousness, and itself. My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing sifts through a relentless stream of inputs, nestling experiences and ideas to discover what might magnetize what. Roaring with thinking, the text might like to rise up and reassemble itself into animate form ... Organized in loosely connected passages that skitter nonlinearly across Dodge’s life, My Meteorite, the artist’s first book, is webby and reliably weird ... The degree of pleasure one takes in this experiment will likely correspond to the degree of giddy thrill one finds in synchronicity ... He incites us to wonder when and how patterns become meaningful ... All this is, to some extent, a ruse, a device to make a pattern out of Dodge’s ruminations. It might get trying if the writing weren’t so viciously, animatedly good ...There’s a restless feeling throughout, as though the text wants to stretch beyond the obligations of cohesion ... I can’t say I followed all its threads, but Dodge’s mystical intimacy quest feeds back steadily and sustains.
Dodge loves to futz with language. He can marshal it beautifully ...he has an impish tendency to send readers scrambling to the dictionary ... If you’re looking for a blow-by-blow account of Dodge’s artistic career — from the Sundance-selected By Hook or by Crook (2002) to his more recent video and sculptural works exhibited in group shows — that’s only here in fits and starts ... [Dodge] is as reluctant to write about his own work as he claims to be, these days, about making the scene.
... bounces with disconcerting lightness from his father’s death to a fateful childhood encounter with a mysterious art object to a climactic 2016 visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, all the while quoting sources ranging from Blade Runner 2049 to the French theorist Gilles Deleuze. We see Dodge on hikes with his son, Lenny, meeting with strangers for public sex in his youth and holding forth with fellow artists, all of it chronologically scrambled and refracted through his motormouth prose to demonstrate the uselessness of linear narrative for describing a life ... It’s a shame that the book’s arc doesn’t reflect more of the randomness Dodge reveres. He fits every facet of his life into a larger pattern, each incident becoming an occasion for thinking about interconnectedness. My Meteorite sometimes seems like a catalog of coincidences, none of which are too minor to merit rumination. One evening Dodge and Nelson, on opposite sides of the country, both use the word 'voluble' in writing for the first time, and the moment takes on the charge of revelation. In passages like this, My Meteorite smothers with overinterpretation the epiphanic randomness that it means to instantiate.