Mary Paterson’s WORK IN PROGRESS is the third chapbook to emerge from the ART WRITING FIELD STATION. It is available for online consumption and PDF download here.
As Mary explains in her introduction:
This text is written by Mary Paterson, with memories by Simon Zimmerman. The text is a work in progress for Mary Paterson’s writing residency at the Live Art Development Agency. It was read aloud by Simon Zimmerman at Art Writing Field Station, curated by VerySmallKitchen, at East Street Arts, Leeds on Saturday 27th April 2010. During the speech, Simon was invited to insert his own memories into the text, and they appear hear as verbatim transcriptions of the words he spoke on that day.
A description of the Art Writing Field Station in Leeds can be seen here. Mary’s own notes on the project can be seen here. Another text by Mary, comprising “a field analysis of Art Writing Field Station according to Instruction, Memory, Performance, Quotation and Time” – and written within the time constraint of the train journey from Leeds back to London – can be seen here.
Mary’s text reveals what can be at stake in the notion of WORK IN PROGRESS: the texts, books, writings such WORK-PROGRESS is constituted by, and the libraries, book cases, and archives that they become part of; the relation of material objects to memory; written and oral; private thought and event; transformations wrought when one process, person, media makes space for and invites another into its own WORK-unfolding. Other PROGRESS-ions, too, for the reader to decide.
RECALL: At the ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds, Simon reads Mary’s text aloud. He stops at moments where the text asks him to choose his own memory. He pauses, decides what to tell and speaks on. The result is a shift to a different kind of language, presence and concentration in both reader and listener. He returns to reading the text before him, but it seems somehow different, trajectories scrambled and multiplied…
Now another set of transformations occur as both Mary’s script and Simon’s memories take the form of an online chapbook. For this reader, the text is more continuous, more a whole WORK-between Mary’s voice and Simon’s, combined in a shared written script, separated only by font shift….
But, as the title tells us, it’s only one moment in an ongoing PROGRESS, and the continuity of words on the page offers uniform foil to the transformations of each reader and each act of reading, the potential up-rising of our own memory interjections…