Notes on Notes on the Index

(from some offline correspondence that sent me back to Rosalind Krauss' "Notes on the Index: Part 1")

What stuck out for me was where she talks about the importance of naming.
She notices that Duchamp is talking about his readymades in the language of photography ("rapid exposure" etc) and from there equates the readymade and the index (a "trace" that has a dynamic relationship to the object, such as a barometer or sundial, often used to describe photographs).
But she says the index (whether readymade or photo) becomes a blank empty sign unless you say what it is.
That's the paradox: the index is supposedly superior to a(n arbitrary) symbol because it's an imprint of the thing itself.
But we're still unsure what it is, without some description.
She talks about how important Duchamp's notes to the Large Glass are to understanding it--to knowing whether he intended an appropriation as a joke or what kind of joke.

(which leads us to VVork)

hardly anyone treats those posts as possible fictions. The documentation is treated as the index of the work and the caption definitively "nails" the interpretation

(which leads us to twitter/vvork)

it's counterdocumentation that rides on top of the official version and usurps the power to name. it doesn't lie or spin counter-fictions but it editorializes, through word choice. "Supposedly" is used whenever the photo isn't enough proof and we're "supposed" to accept the artist's statement of behind-the-scenes fact (e.g. "the keys on this ring open every door in this building"--who sez?)