Essay, Music

the daylight density of a living ghost


I am a living ghost. I go into the shop, Ooga Booga, and a store employee does not look up from his computer. Maybe he sees me. Maybe he doesn’t.

I continue haunting, exiting the retail area, going into the warehouse. In the first room is a long table with a mailing list, exhibition literature, and binders of art, because this is a joint operation between the store and 356 Mission—a space for art, music, and cultural events. A man stands over the table and does not look up from what he is reading. Maybe he sees me. Maybe he doesn’t.

I am still a phantom. I go into the main area of the warehouse. Ted Byrnes and Corey Fogel are preparing equipment for their one-hour percussion performance. They do not look up. Maybe they see me. Maybe they don’t. A videographer sets up his cameras, and a young woman walks around with her camera, snapping stills. The videographer notices me, but the woman does not meet my eyes. Maybe she sees me. Maybe she doesn’t.




I return to the first room of the warehouse and eat pretzels from the snack and beverage station. A tall girl stops at the table. She has a shaved head and she is wearing sunglasses but she sees me. I say hello and she says hello. She removes her sunglasses. I see she is half-Asian and half-Caucasian.

During the percussion performance, I wander the perimeter and use my point-and-shoot camera. If you look over my photographs below, maybe you can imagine what it all sounds like—two drum kits and materials to make noise, scattered throughout the warehouse—maybe you can understand what is happening without being there, like a ghost, like you’re there but not really there. Or maybe you can’t.

— Tommy Tung






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