Saturday, August 29, 2009

Notes for The Hole

Over the past two and a half years I have been composing a manuscript called The Hole (formerly titled "Nonsite Poems"). Now I am trying to write an essay about it, particularly the mode(s) of subjectivity it may be embodying. Here are some notes so far:

"Words like moving dirt to where we/it was not before could be called “development” if it is for profit or a process by which “I” is discovered in relation to we, a relationship by which I and we coappear complicitous with one another.

In moving dirt—like moving word-like bodies or bodies like words because we feel something for them—the whole landscape changes, all the points in space shift as if one could ever draw an accurate map of the multitude—always occurring.

I have wanted the feeling for that moment—when an entire terrain both somatic and psychic and social—seems to slide beneath a reader's feet, no constellation, no conveying but where here is.

This manuscript would present movement —the moving of lines in a lineated, enjambed poem for instance—as a means of discovering what remains of “I” subtracted from social relations, public identities, participation in a community—the nearly total mediation of the subject in contemporary experience. After these processes follows a formal feeling that I is substantiated by loss—the loss implied by all holes but also by movements which will not develop."

Usufruct V

beginning with a phrase by Rob Halpern...

Value sings inside
The dead
Sings its heart out

There is no laboring
Here just us human
Animals with heads

For holes the whole
Asshole unquieted
Into spring

Where it burgeons
We were purlieus
Pleading multitude

We are not The People
Included yet enclosed.

Rachel Zolf's The Tolerance Project

I am happy to be a part of Rachel Zolf's The Tolerance Project, a welcome deterritorialization of the MFA.

"Each poetic trace donated to The Tolerance Project has been assigned its own barcode. Each poem written for the MFA will employ traces from the donated traces. The MFA poems will be restricted to The Tolerance Project archive (which also includes the Office of Institutional Research and the Department of Communications and External Affairs) for their content.

MFA poems written for class will be posted on this blog, along with workshop feedback received. The online public is welcome to add its own feedback in the comments section to the blog. Based on cumulative feedback, the MFA poems will be scrupulously revised toward the creation of The Writing Thesis.

Barcodes for the traces used will appear at the end of each MFA poem post, so that donors can monitor when their trace has been activated. Barcode identities will be revealed at the end of The Tolerance Project, by which time an aspect of each piece of donated poetic DNA will have been happily redeployed."
--Rachel Zolf, on The Tolerance Project

Friday, August 28, 2009

For a remarkable critique of Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics

click here:

"In this sense I think we can bridge the gap between Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics and his later book, *Postproduction*. [Nicolas Bourriaud, *Postproduction. Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World*. trans. Jeanine Herman (New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2002)] Are not the key concepts of this book, the *use *of cultural artefacts, from toasting to recycling, cutting, playlisting, do-it-yourselfing, colliding and mashing, etc, not the same modalities as those that are applied to people in relational works? In this sense the micro-utopias that are envisioned are indeed utopian projections that are experienced not relationally, as in real life, with all of its traumatic contingencies and unexpected encounters, but at a meta level that is detached. As in a Tiravanija encounter, we observe ourselves being convivial, as if from the outside. Like ravers on ecstasy what we want is not connection but managed disconnection with the right kind of crowd, the right kind of music, disconnected from ourselves and our cares. Isn’t this an indication not that “art is definitely developing a political project” [RA 16] but rather a sign of dysfunction, a kind of sophisticated micro-political version of Celebration, Florida? Or, to put it more directly, a kind of gated interactionism that is fully complicit with behavioural science despite the fact that the scientists have all gone home?"
--from Marc Leger's "Queer Relational"

ON Contemporary Practice 1 PDF

For a downloadable version of ON Contemporary Practice 1 link here.

"In the dirt of the line": on Bhanu Kapil's intense autobiography

Here is a sneak peak at an essay I have been composing on Bhanu Kapil for ON Contemporary Practice 2--due out in early October:

To mark such a space Kapil “put[s] [her] knib on the page” (Humanimal, 38) to “let motion wreck the line” (38) producing written “arrhythmias” as “record[s] of travel.” (38) Through an arrhythmic writing—a writing paced by quickened heart rates—Kapil’s own body leaves the traces of its lines of flight through writing. The form of the writing—the sentences which stutter with commas, hyphens, and periods; the syllogistic/constellative movements of the sentences and paragraphs—chart intensities rather than represent where Kapil has ‘been’. Here, form becomes an extension of physical travel in space intermittent with writing as a form of travel—the “crossing of thresholds,” a “flight of intensities” —without moving. Making the body in-transit a site of autobiography (a la Thoreau’s “Walking” or Kerouac’s On the Road), Kapil’s body also extends writing as a means of mourning, where mourning is successfully negotiated through itinerancy. “In the quick, black take of a body’s flight, a body’s eviction or sudden loss of place, the memory of descent functions as a subliminal flash.” (Humanimal, 26) Although travel and motion result in perpetual loss, in Kapil’s work they also accomplish an unforeclosed work of healing.

Usufruct (IV)

Where the sky is not one and
The earth is not one no totality
Locks us into place like the same
Product existing everywhere
Ubiquity of property ubiquity
Of territory does not become
A proper name or pronouns soaked
In blood the blood of soil blood
Of family for the abstract love
Of this family we call nation
A name can fail us in this outside.

Whatever genes have their way
(And they do have their way)
However we grasp essences
(And we can't help grasping)
Other echoes inhabit what
We would call the self seeking
Its mobile edge call it a marsh
For what we would have
Wanted to have been a mirror
Where I can't see my reflection
Staring at me where the tain
Was the case of everything.

A risk worth taking
Not up into the wild
Blue yonder Western move-
ment of all things history
So far as a kind of
Deathwish but what if we
All kept moving the
Boundaries and survived by
These land grabs only
These lands which grab
Us where I patiently waits
To be you there would be
The faintest distance of
Caring there.

For the people who seem
Ungeheuer we are not The
People the multitude blows
Through a thousand holes
In the wind whistles where
A polis isn't those common
Places and place holders
Their bodies were the case
For everything which persists
Like a kind of remnant the
World before the world was
The world what people would
Only seem to be missing.

For Joan Retallack

Needless to say
Everything is changed
By saying

Needless to say every
Letter is a loss
Accumulated on the page

Needless to say
We are scared and yet
Complicitous yet porous
To the wishes
Of the world

Needless to say
Everything moves
All things move
And in their separate
There is care.

Wheelhouse Magazine #8

Thanks to David Wolach and designers for including my work in the latest issue of Wheelhouse.

Wheelhouse Magazine Issue 8 features work by Zachary Buscher, Joel Chace, Cecilia Chapman, K.R. Copeland, Ryan Daley, Thom Donovan, Emily Kendal Frey & Zachary Schomburg, Garth Graeper, Marja Hagborg, Summer Block Kumar, Dorothee Lang & Jeff Crouch, Travis Macdonald, Karen Neuberg, Deborah Poe, Nicole Steinberg, Edith SĖ†dergran, English translation by Christian Ward, John Moore Williams, and Changming Yuan.