Steven Soderbergh’s Unstarted Symphony No. 1 offers us a conundrum: how do we discuss something that does not exist and--according to its author--will never exist? Is it appropriate to speculate about the author’s intention in announcing he would not be starting a symphony, when we have no result to react to? Can we address the former while acknowledging there is no latter? Should we? Descartes would say yes, since any stated intention, whether it describes a possible action or a refusal to act, must be ultimately reconciled by the affected (defined in this case as those who will never hear the symphony, which is all of us). Bear in mind this non-existing symphony is not a non-symphony, but the absence of a symphony; there is a blank space where the symphony might have been, which gives us plausible access to subjects like expectations—for example, can I describe the hole left by the knowledge I will never hear Steven Soderbergh’s Unstarted Symphony No. 1? No, of course not. Not in words. But it did inspire me to create, and I hope the attached video will give you a sense of the size of my hole.
Zubly Rainstrop, D.D.S.
RESPONSE TO U.S. NO.1