What is a Motoco?

What is a motoco? No! What is a motocose? The next time a railroad train is seen going its way along the track, look quickly at the side of the boxcars because a motocose may be there. Whether the train is standing still or speeding past you might see a motocose. Don’t try to catch up with it but have your camera ready to snap its picture. It likes those moments – being inside the box. A motocose is not only seen on railroad trains. It may appear in your daily newspaper. Get it out! Save It! Destroy this. Paste the ashes on the side of your automobile and if anyone asks you why you have ashes pasted on the side of your car tell them. Not so many people will wonder what it means. There will be no questions because there is no need for answers. Have you seen a motocose lately? You have. They are everywhere. As I write this I wish someone here to point one out to me, because I know they exist. Ray Johnson, 2 Dover Street, New York City

However it is spelt or pronounced, Ray Johnson’s motoco is undoubtedly the most inspiring, quicksilver form of inspiration – a fleeting impression, a typo in a magazine, an erratum in a library book, screwed up candy-wrappers blowing on the sidewalk, the frozen breath of two strangers caught in the sunlight, tiny gestures, impressions and coincidences nestling in the everyday occurrence, a conflation of object, image, sound, sensation that provokes wonderment and curiosity. If attentive and receptive we can consider such phenomena to reside at the core of influence. We can become attuned to the inexplicable, and the encounters gradually grow less infrequent. In recognizing the collaged moments the world yields up from chance and chaos, our fascination creates a movement of thought. As the improbable reveals itself we are given an inchoate form, a situation, a sign that we have to follow. It is by this agency and none other that real enquiry begins.