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NEW PUBLICATION: MENTAL FURNITURE by CLAIRE POTTER

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

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VerySmallKitchen is delighted to announce that MENTAL FURNITURE by Claire Potter is now available.
 
The book is £8 plus £2 UK P&P.
 
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To order outside the UK see here.
 
Read a sample PDF of the opening pages here.
 
The following Q&A about the book took place by email in October 2014.
 
 
 
 
 
 
VSK: My first experience of Mental Furniture was as a series of pages produced on a typewriter (and of a single section you read for a Maintenant Camarade event at the Arnolfini). How did those original pages come into being and was the idea of a whole book there from the beginning?
 
 
 
 
CP: The project began as three fragments: a Brendan Brady text, one about hitting the curb and I think the third one was about mother. The project began with thinking about the typewriter in relation to word processing: it’s forward motion and evidencing of mistakes. Writing with that apparatus produced texts that incorporated failures into the body of the work and allowed a kind of story telling ad lib.
 
If I was unhappy with what I had written, I would just break onto the next line and write it out again, if I misspelled a word I either moved on or rewrote it but I never crossed anything out. I wanted it all in. I was interested in the performance of writing and the text being a document of that. The book was there from the beginning in the sense that I knew there would need to be a fair few for the texts to set their own context.
 
 
 
 
VSK: We decided early on not to make a facsimile of the typed pages but to produce a manuscript that in some ways translated those pages into Garamond and the sense we had of how the (print on demand) paperback would look.
 
But in those typed pages the practicalities and stylistic features of the typewriter are deeply connected to the rhythm of your thought, the act of writing, the use of constraints and technology that enable some kind of channelling by and of an author. What do you feel happens in the shift from typed page to this sort of printed book?
 
 
 
 
CP: All I can say about the typewriter is that it is non-qwerty and prone to jamming (it has finally completely broken down this afternoon actually), which slows everything down and makes the transfer of information jerky and impactive, literally. The typewriter traces the body, the performance of writing, on the page: full of attempts.
 
Nietzsche used a ball mechanism typewriter towards the end of his life due mainly I think to failing eyesight but he considered there to be a connection between the rhythm of thought and the typewriter, bound together with the aphoristic form. I was interested in using the typewriter as a way of building resistance to, or pressure on the ability and desire to articulate.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
As I say, the manuscript was a first draft if you like. The only changes made to the text was in handing it over to you for the production of the book. Generally I wasn’t concerned about the trace of the author, though I was interested in the text being a document of the writing performance. I came to see the standardising for print – the digitising and printing – as an exciting extension of the work in that it was a homogenisation or institutionalisation that could be seen as an attempt to silence the protagonist; another form of resistance (along with apparatus) placed on the ability to articulate.
 
With the author’s hand removed I could shift the ‘performance’ of the text from being a historical moment, to the performance of reading in the present moment. I consider writing to be a performance in the sense that it is a navigation in and around objects; linguistic, symbolic and ritual objects. Writing is a movement through something. Reading seems to be the mirror image of that, a synthesised performance. By the nature of how we come to be linguistic beings, we have a capability to internalise voices in texts.
 
In reading fiction there is perhaps a tendency towards unification with the protagonist (or the singularity of information, given to be a speaker) – more so with first person narrative. I hoped that the awkward mess of the text in my book would make that less smooth, and draw attention to the assumption.
 
 
 
 
VSK: Since finishing the book you’ve made a further translation into the series of sound recordings [the EP Mother to No Swimming Laughing Child, made in collaboration with Bridget Hayden]. They foreground the emotional, visceral difference between a book and a performance.
 
At least this is what I first think, but actually then I think that I find the book powerful in those ways too. But I guess it is always my personal inflection of it, and my constructing it to a degree in my own rhythm, whereas the sound recording is much more insistent, much more taking control of those things. How do you experience the difference?
 
 
 
 
CP: Mental Furniture and Mother To No Swimming Laughing Child are different works in my mind, with separate concerns and methodologies – though both are concerned with performance and they share content.
 
Mother To No Swimming Laughing Child is the product of an afternoon spent with Bridget trying to resist the text, or rather my familiarity with it. I’ve given performance readings from the manuscript so many times that a rhythm emerged and the text felt more and more like a score, generating remembrance of all past soundings. We worked to dislodge that by using redacted text, multiple digital and analogue channels, reverb and delaying effects, recording through the body of a piano even – anything that we could figure in a noise against this safe, recognisably spoken-word poetry vocal style. My familiarity with reading from the text was producing a secondary rhythm, a crappy musicality, where previously there has been a jerky tempo that was punctured and stalling.
 
The work is something I separate out from the form of the book or the recording. These are two particular end points that demonstrate a research concern: the performance of writing – of articulating; attempting (to speak) and everything that comes with that – mistakes, misspellings, misprouncements.
 
 
 
 
VSK: Both the book and the sound recordings feel very complete to me. I don’t really experience the typescript as error, mistake, mispro[no?]uncement because of how all these are intrinsic to the affect and message – the affective message? – of the book.
 
Maybe all these techniques are what in another sort of book would be description and character. It’s interesting to imagine someone picking up the book and complaining about typos and other mistakes because that would be to deny any sense that spelling and grammar are mutable to the rhythms of our bodyminds.
 
 
 
 
CP: Sometimes it is very useful to conceive of another book and I think here you mean in another discipline. I come at writing from a particular background in contemporary art. I am interested in where art, writing and performance meet and I began this project as I was researching the difficulty of articulating trauma, and how that might be understood in form. Of course it is very true that the reading of the book give you a sense of cohesion as you read generally with the assumption that you are dealing with a final article, that there is meaning behind textual, graphic, linguistic elements that are taken as decisions.
 
In some sense those elements in the published book are decisions. I wanted us to remain faithful to the typescript when we were making our type and spacing decisions for example. But I can tell you from writing it, the whole book is mistake after mistake after mistake, and in that way the material leads the way. As a cluster of examples, a certain style or sensibility emerges that matches up with the content. The content is then framed by a context. As a reader that’s the bit you have access to. For me the work is elsewhere, is not the book.
 
I’m not sure that’s interesting even; it’s so obvious to me. I never tried to write a book. I don’t know how you would write a book, or what one is in that sense either. A book, Mental Furniture, is a quantitative thing to my mind. The back cover appears at a certain point. Closure, resolve, etc. weren’t part of my considerations of articulation and trauma due to the nature of trauma. So how do you end the project? I just stopped. I suppose this means that I could carry on at some other point too. We could issue rogue chapters.
 
But to talk about the book and its relation to the recording with Bridget: in both renderings of the work I was interested in emotion and affect. Mental Furniture as a book does that by activating the material reading process in the body of the reader, and as a recording, Mother To No Swimming Laughing Child is about my voice as produced by my body under particular technical circumstance.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
VSK: Can you say some more about the importance of voice for you, of what the voice reveals, of how your speaking voice, the voice of the text, your everyday voice(s)relate to one another?
 
I remember your reading at the Evergreen event at X Marks the Bökship for its assumption that a voice is an accent, that a text is a chorus of placed, inflected voices. An assumption that is also an assertion when it enters an event and a location where, although all voices are marked and accented, it often seems and feels more singular and standardised.
 
 
 
 
CP: I’ve come a long way in three years! I used to work a lot with accents. I grew up around lots of fine vocal boundaries in the north west, which had the consequences of total ridicule or suspicion based on where and to whom you were speaking. I can’t say I was fully conscious of why I used accents in writing other than this repetition of difference, except that I thought it was magic that a voice which I could not fully internalise – was not my voice – could be produced textually.
 
I don’t know what voice is necessarily. It’s not just language that separates it from animals’ noises. But that’s asking what it is to be human. In terms of pragmatics, voice certainly isn’t about linguistic information and it isn’t just about the production of voice, but also how it is received.
 
For example writing this interview is totally difficult. I don’t know how to balance how I speak with the text. I find essay writing particularly difficult too. I think it’s something to do with statements and accountability. I feel defensive and write flippant things and then edit them out and write them back in. It’s enjoyable to call form into account as effecting content like when an actor looks into the camera. I’m waffling. But I’m going to leave it actually.
 
 
 
 
VSK: I interrupted. You were talking about how you felt about these different incarnations of Mental Furniture.
 
 
 
 
CP: No it’s fine, I was basically saying something rubbishy like, they are the same but different. They are iterations. Siblings with the same blood but with different identities – both interested in the production of affect and the demonstration of articulation (the evidencing of the self) but using different methods.
 
 
 
 
VSK: But is there not a specific experience, place, idea that underpins all these versions, which the book, for example, is a token of, a container, maybe even a mnemonic for?
 
 
 
 
CP: I guess it is a conception or rather experience of the self as a shifting site. But that isn’t an object or thing or meaning to begin with in order for it to be translated from one system to the next. The project is tied up with the present, or the just-passing moment and the relentless, the forward procession. It’s about moments, performed moments, textually performed moments or aurally performed moments and how that sits with self, what it means in terms of fiction and writing.
 
 
 
 
VSK: These different versions also connect for me to Brecht’s alienation effect, where the performer is both fulfilling the role and commenting upon it, a doubleness that in theory prevents the actor and audience from being uncritically absorbed in the emotions of an action.
 
 
 
 
CP: I can’t comment directly on Brecht, but I think this dichotomy of emotional/critical can be misleading in the least and overtly oppressive in its worst activation. It also brings to mind the opposition of meaning and knowledge, the linguistic and the gestural, (writing and performance) and I guess ultimately pathos and logos. All I really care about is making spaces where they mingle and make monsters.
 
In Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, Jennifer Doyle makes a necessary case for the benching of an art-historical critical distance when assessing the reach and implications of works, particularly works of performance, that are considered emotionally ‘difficult’ or ‘affecting’.
 
In a Frieze interview with Erik Morse, Doyle was asked how artists might renegotiate their relationship to what he called ‘the ‘heart’’, to which she cited Audre Lorde’s essay Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, to emphasise the nondivision between love and labour in the art works that her books are concerned with.
 
Using ‘the ‘heart’’ even in quotation marks is really funny in the context of Doyle’s book. It maintains the division and inferior positioning of something undefinable (and therefore useless) to that which has linguistic power. Naming is powerful because if you name it you can subjugate it and separate it off from other things.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
If by ‘the ‘heart’’ Morse was referring to something which is not produced in the analytical mode then that’s not to say that it is abstract and esoteric, something to be grasped and guessed at. Audre Lorde uses ‘the erotic’ to describe the embodied non-analytic mode of knowledge. I’m thinking now of the somatic, the production of bodily knowledge and how Lorde’s concept of the erotic might relate to trauma.
 
 
 
 
VSK: And character? I also see Mental Furniture as a dramatic monologue, relating to what the narrator of Edna O’Brien’s Night calls “my winding dirging effluvias.”
 
Both O’Brien’s novel and your own text makes me think about the tangle of illusions and techniques that go into making and reading a text as “spontaneous,” “life like,” and “stream of consciousness.” Once you showed me a series of charts you were using to shape the book manuscript of Mental Furniture. Perhaps as a way to control all this?
 
 
 
 
CP: I have to laugh at my charts. On the one hand there was performance but I guess with the charts there was choreography too. I was trying to find a tragic form for the book, and much like composition aimed to lull and fracture the reading experience through both form and content, or ‘characters’ like you say: if Brendan Brady is here, then I need something about water here, if mother is here then dirty rabbit is here.
 
It’s musical in those terms. In Jacques Attali’s Noise: the political economy of music, music is described in relation to freedom, control and marginality. Attali frames music as a mechanism that controls the affect of noise. For example, the structure of a pop song introduces enough dissonance to set the conditions for its restoration to unity. That’s my understanding of it anyway.
 
Margeurite Duras’ The Lover was one book that showed me how the things I was interested in might be demonstrated in a book form or extended text: the dissolution and multiplication of the self, like waves.
 
 
 
 
VSK: Joanna Walsh wrote recently about how for Duras The Lover was “the third time she’d tried to trace this particular story on paper.” After an autobiography, a film script and a novel, in her late sixties, Walsh says, “she was still searching, still turning over the same material to see what was, what could be, there.”
 
I guess this puts on the scale of a lifetime – and an emotional or psychic life – what is involved in that shift from a book to a recording to another book.
 
 
 
 
CP: Duras is totally brilliant. I think the over identification with a fictional character – an other, a passed self, an ‘I’ – is a powerful thing to explore philosophically and in terms of performance, reading and writing. In Mental Furniture I found this happening in the Brendan Brady situation for the book’s narrator, in the authorial situation for myself and I believe it happens in the reading of the book too.
 
A hall of mirrors. Endless fun. One thing that scares me however, sort of immobilises me, is that there is an actor that plays Brendan Brady. I think that’s where thing start to become sticky in ways I can’t fully work out yet, where the author-me merges with the book’s narrator, where I imagine the reader might merge with the author.
 
On the one hand it’s funny because we’re talking about a character from Hollyoaks but on the other hand it’s really dark because all of these characters both exist and don’t exist, and may have actors that play them, and accessing them is ritualistic and therefore well, violent. A grim end note for you there…lol. 
 
 
 
 
// 
 
 
More about Claire’s work is here.
 
Claire will be reading from Mental Furniture at The Other Room in Manchester on November 27th.
 
Mother To No Laughing Swimming Child is produced by Bridget Hayden.
 
It will distributed by Fort Evil Fruit later in the year.
 
 
 
 
 
MENTAL FURNITURE
 
by Claire Potter
Published by VerySmallKitchen, Hastings, 2014.
60pp
ISBN 978-1-909925-04-5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEW PUBLICATION: 2 BLUE CUPS ON TWO DIFFERENT CORNERS OF THE TABLE by OHAD BEN SHIMON

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

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The latest VerySmallKitchen paperback is 2 blue cups on two different corners of the table, by Ohad Ben Shimon. It is available for £6 (plus £1 P&P) here.
 
In a dialogue on the book, in June 2013, VerySmallKitchen asked: where does a book begin and where does it end? Ohad replied:
 
 
 
i think a book begins at the point when all other plans don’t seem to work out.. funny as it is, the strongest form of self expression is actually the last one we think of…perhaps we don’t allow ourselves that freedom. once we feel entitled we create a title. a ‘book’. it ends when someone forces you to end it. and that brings on a new restriction to once again search for that freedom, perhaps in the form of a new book.
 
 
 
Read that dialogue here, and see the posts by Ohad Ben Shimon as part of his VSK Residency. Here is 2 blue cups in the process of being written:
 
 
 
 
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For this online launch, here is a sketch of SWISS read by Mercedes Azpilicueta.
 
 

 
 
And here is a set of 5 readings by Ohad Ben Shimon, recorded at home in Rotterdam:
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
EXTRACT
 
 
28.11.12
 
 
 
 
the sun
the coffee
a banana
a milk carton
things on the table
stuff
kitchen towels
a poster in arabic saying ‘a thousand and one nights’
the sound of the fridge
plants
me?
i’m putting sugar in the coffee
i’m drinking the coffee
sitting
a red chair
a beautiful autumn day
a few emails are awaiting
actually just one
i can’t open it yet
in the meantime i write
writing is a diversion
a detour
passing by something
writing hints about a situation
the contours of a reality
its shape
a substitute
me?
i’m a substitute teacher
i teach how to substitute this with that
them with us
me with you
 
 
 
 
//
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Purchase the book for £6 plus £1 P&P here:
 
 
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More about Ohad’s work is here.
 
 
 
 
//
 
 
Ohad Ben Shimon
2 blue cups on two different corners of the table
VerySmallKitchen 2013
ISBN 978-1-909925-01-4
80pp
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEW VSK PUBLICATION: THE LITTLE SHED OF VARIOUS LAMPS by NIKOLAI DUFFY

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

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The latest VerySmallKitchen publication is THE LITTLE SHED OF VARIOUS LAMPS by Nikolai Duffy. It begins:
duffy lamps 7
It is available £8 plus £3 P&P here. For orders outside the UK go here.
 
A PDF sampler is available here.
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Here is the Nikolai reading from The Little Shed at The Other Room:
 
 
 


 
 
 

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Nikolai is also editor of the wondrous Like This Press. His Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop was published by Shearsman Books earlier this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nikolai Duffy
the little shed of various lamps
Published by VerySmallKitchen 2013
150pp.
ISBN 978-1-909925-00-7
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEW VSK PAPERBACK: THEATRE OF OBJECTS by SEEKERS OF LICE

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm
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Theatre of Objects by seekers of lice (VerySmallKitchen, 2012) front cover.

 

 

The first in a new series of VSK Paperbacks is THEATRE OF OBJECTS by seekers of lice, collecting texts from 2008-2012, including LOUSE FACTORY, dumb show, and The Bride of L’Amor-mor-l’amor.

As seekers of lice observes in a recent dialogue with VerySmallKitchen:
 
 

seekers of lice isn’t a pseudonym, it’s a space to inhabit with its own separate existence.

There was a manifesto for objects, demanding the space to speak. So Theatre of Objects was an imagined theatre not of seekers of lice but of the objects themselves. Benjamin Buchloh writes about the “object theater of fluxus”. I wondered what an object theatre was.

I see the scripts as different to other forms: scripts as dialogues, the spoken word interacting between separate characters, consecutive speeches are read as responses in some form to the previous speech. They point to an existence beyond the writer.

 
 

THEATRE OF OBJECTS by seekers of lice, 102pp, VerySmallKitchen 2012. Available for £7 + £2 UK P&P.  Please inquire for postage to other countries.

 

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Act 3 The Shine on The Nose by seekers of lice

 

 

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THEATRE OF OBJECTS was launched at X Marks the Bokship on December 11th 2012. Ladies of the Press, Becky Cremin and Ryan Ormonde, and David Kelly (performed by Eleanor Brown) were invited to interpret texts in the book.

 

1. Becky Cremin and Ryan Ormonde
 

 

2. Ladies of the Press
 

 

3. David Kelly (performed by Eleanor Brown)
 

 

 

//

 

 

 

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manifesto for a new ab-ab-ab-ab surdism by seekers of lice. Invitation to read aloud accompanied by David Kelly’s MANIFESTO AT NORTH POLE ROAD.

 

 

 

//

 

See also by seekers of lice on VerySmallKitchen the e-chapbook LILMP and the installation creamy language.

 

Purchase a copy of THEATRE OF OBJECTS for £7 plus £2 UK P&P here.

 

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NEW VSK PUBLICATION: THE LAST WARD by STEPHEN EMMERSON

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
Stephen Emmerson writes: The Last Ward is a series of 6 A3 posters and a 6 track CD. Each track title corresponds with one of the visual poem titles. They should be considered part of the same poem, working symbiotically rather than responding to one another.

      1. polygun
      2. speech is written in capitals
      3. time runs backwards as well as forwards and will one day meet
      4. pylons
      5. voices in radiator falling through sink
      6. you are not a concept i am familiar with

 

 
 
 
AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN EMMERSON
 
 
 
1.

I think instructed reading, or innovative reading, is an interesting way to frame a work that may otherwise have been freed from authorial control. i.e. the audiovisual pieces are in one way open and abstract because they do not utilise a regular written language, however, by giving an instruction or guideline on how to read the work it becomes more definite.
 
 
2.

The choreography of the reading came about as an attempt to examine the notion of reading as creativity. I am also interested in obstructing the reading of any given work, and I think it’s interesting to see how closely someone might follow any given set of essentially arbitrary rules.

The interest in sound and visual comes from reading as well. I mean when we read a text we are taking visual cues and transforming them into sound, and I see the audio aspect of this work as being a way to cue up the visuals and hopefully open up the possibility of a different way of reading.
 
 
3.

The starting point for The Last Ward came from a quote by Trotsky. He said: ‘England is the last ward of the European madhouse’. I began this work during the riots last year.
 
 
4.

Yes – all of these images began as writing, if you look closely you can see letters and parts of letters, fragments of typewriter keys, and pen strokes. Yet in these images there are repetitions of glyphs and patterns within those repetitions that to me at least makes this something very close to writing.

I think you give up a certain amount of specificity of meaning when you begin creating something like this – to some extent that’s the point, but at the same time I’m creating a frame to read or examine these works within, and knowing when and why they were written makes them much more specific to a certain time and place, and even pushes it towards certain critical boundaries. But the reader will know more about that than me.
 
 

5.

There was a lot of editing, I mean I think it took the best part of a year to create the images and the audio. There were lots of different versions. It’s funny that you talk about endless new touches of paint, because sometimes that happened and pieces were ruined and I had to start the whole process over again. I think the details are very important, just like in any other kind of writing, the whole is nothing without them.

With the audio it was much the same, some of it was recorded live, but it might have taken many takes to get just right, some of the other pieces were more programmed, and that’s a totally different way of working.
 
 
6.

The collaboration with Lucy Harvest Clarke is a work that does reveal the process to some extent. We started by taking a notebook page and folding it down the middle. Lucy wrote half a line, (3 – 6 words) and then turned the page over so that I couldn’t see what she’d written, and then I’d finish the line. It’s kind of like an exquisite corpse.

The first part of that work, which was published on VSK, was mostly written on train journeys so there’s loads of repeated imagery and words like ‘window’ and ‘pylon’ that keep cropping up. I think we were both shocked at just how complete those pieces turned out, being that we couldn’t see what the other was writing.

Having the hand written versions alongside the printed text brings a visual aspect to the work where the urgency of the writing is revealed. It also lets the reader into our state of mind at the time of writing whilst allowing the same words to be revealed as a different version of the same poem.
 
 

7.

Even if I’m creating audiovisual work its still centred around language, so I feel it’s more centred around poetry than visual art per se.

For instance – in August I’m exhibiting a William Blake poem-installation in Camberwell that includes audiovisual work centred around a large pentagram with a typewriter at each point.
 
 

Stephen Emmerson, Albion, 2012


 
 
People coming to see the work will be invited to sit inside the pentagram and channel Blake whilst using the typewriters to create a text. Aside from channeling Blake, which is a reference to his paranormal conversations, this method can also be seen as a way of translating audiovisual work into text, the fact that I won’t be creating any of the text doesn’t necessarily mean that I am not the author, nor does it mean that I am more interested in the audiovisual than the text, it simply means I’m more interested in how people read, because again, this work is about reading, and about translating, and I think if you’re interested in that as an author then you are better off staying away from text.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

THE LAST WARD by Stephen Emmerson is available for £6 (plus £1.50 UK P&P). Please email verysmallkitchen@gmail.com for postage details if ordering from outside the UK.

 
 
More about Stephen’s work is here.

 
 
 
 
 
 

JUST PUBLISHED: NEW VSK CHAPBOOK: BULLETINS by Mary Yacoob

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

VerySmallKitchen announce the publication of BULLETINS by Mary Yacoob. This latest VSK chapbook is now available, for online consumption and PDF download here.

BULLETINS collects 19 individual bulletins that were Mary’s contribution to VerySmallKitchen’s long distance residency at the AC Institute, New York City, in September-October 2010.

Bulletins were sent each week from London to New York, where they were printed out and displayed as part of the DEPARTMENT OF MICRO-POETICS.

The project continued an ongoing strand of Mary’s practice, and several previous collaboration with VerySmallKitchen.  Two other drawings from the project were included as part of The Department of Micro-Poetics exhibition, and a wall drawing was enacted for Writing/ Exhibition/ Publication at The Pigeon Wing.

Mary provided the following statement about this project:

Mary Yacoob’s work centers on drawing and visual languages. Her works are systemic in nature, using rotation, repetition, line and geometry as triggers for ideas. Listening to the radio as she works on her ‘doodle’ drawings, Yacoob draws a letter of the alphabet or number repeatedly until a structure or city emerges. She invents a set of rules to determine the size of the unit drawn and its color (when the verse changes, the size changes, when someone on the radio speaks, the color changes).

These works are related to another project in which she extrapolates a logic from within a photograph of a building and extends it through systemic drawing, creating a proposal for alternative realities. In other works, she appropriates diagrammatic to notate overlooked traces of everyday life, such as bumps in the carpet, or house sounds.


BULLETINS begins with an index, a listing of times and places these drawings took place, a record of trusting the moment, the form, the line, and the emergent structure.

Find out more about Mary’s work here. The template for the bulletins was designed by Marit Muenzberg. For a full list of VerySmallKitchen publications see here.

JUST PUBLISHED: NEW VSK CHAPBOOK lilmp by seekers of lice

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

VerySmallKitchen announce the publication of lilmp by seekers of lice. This e-book is available for online consumption and PDF download here.

Some reading notes 06/01/11:

lilmp unfolds a poetics entwined in the materiality and soundscapes of its (own) language.  Try saying the title aloud. Not unpronounceable, but hard for the mouth and tongue to negotiate between that second “l” and “m.” Maybe this is a palindrome, but the way back poses even severer problems!

lilmp is improvisatory, diaristic, re-searching, close to home as it heads out, scouring through windows and along streets and riverbanks, adrift in its vocabularies…

… words break into pieces, warp and move under the pressure and impetus of their own morphemes…

The first word of most pages of lilmp is underlined. It makes a title, but not fully. A kind of emphasis. A line. A place to start, maybe retrospectively.

Lewdness. Vice money. Are the “titles” found texts?  Wormwound. Where would you find that? Found as made. Made as finding.

How do we relate word and image? Boundaries of play and pressure. What exactly is the mood and psychodynamics when language is worked in this granular way, shaped and edited with an awareness of its feel in the mouth, where it might also become stuck feathered flipping polyphemous calm don’t (say the title again).

lilmp language is often addressed to someone, sometimes quite directly, words forming, breaking and shaped by that unseen other:

have I turned you?

a thorn in yr side.
sharpness of the razor blade withering .
stupidity and dejection   .
lowering the bar   .
raised platform balance hake and oak   .

Those extra spaces before full stops (but not before the question mark).  Like words, punctuation, underlinings, scoring an emotion, making sure time is here, making everything sculptural, the other entering, although they only speak here on the texts own terms…

Why do I keep skimming over The Guardian photo of the boxers pinned to the wall, thinking it’s Joseph Beuys? It’s not. It is.

Sometimes – Pulled   out   &    washing    the     weeds –  is a distinct action described, but that is not principally the function of writing. Such acts become absorbed into an act of attentiveness, mattering in language, i-pod and hairy mac

If each page-theatre has its own autonomy it also knows/ senses the book/ poem it becomes part of, as tales, fickle perceived remedies/ puzzled sacrificed anxiety as in

clamour
pig’s snout glamour
grunt a
vocal-
isation      Who’ll call

senses of measuring, pairs, weight, caught out, compound

how things move, oozing, utter, vocabularies. Both paper towel dispenser and telemachus, search engine and sheenlack

Compare lilmp with the recent bookwork/poem notes/ohms.  Most seekers of lice books I’ve seen have several fragments to a page, run across pages, foreground a messy and potentially delirious act of reading over a quiet contemplation of white space and type

The same is true here: words fill the pages, but the format of these pages, like postcards, enables a focusing of attention, an isolation. If there is two words, they are printed large but is still two words proposed for out attention, underlining now close to the fractions dividing line:

ajar
flystyle

lilmp focus on the figure the ground takes care of itself is figure

lilmp isn’t the first seekers of lice work published by others – see The Bride of L’Amor-mor-l’amor in oneedit.  seekers (other) books have a distinct aesthetic of paper (often tracing paper), binding, shape, a degree of standardised format within which each writing/ project  terrapin   . harpoon. can perform…

What’s the e-book equivalent of tracing paper? Of  – as in  notes/ohms – painting over tracing paper, blocking its blurred transparency, and/or letting the layers of text bleed through?  If I think of lilmp as a vertical book-stack, it’s white card, transparency transferred into time, body, memory, heat sun-neck

A line flows on, but by the time you’ve made your way back to the left margin, so much has changed, or maybe not.

*

lilmp is here. More about seekers of lice here.

NEW VSK CHAPBOOK IS PUBLISHED: WORK IN PROGRESS by MARY PATERSON

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

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…

Mary Paterson’s MEMORY EXCHANGE was recently part of VerySmallKitchen’s FIVE SCORES FOR WANDLE PARK. Read the score for that project here and for more about Mary’s work see here.

JUST PUBLISHED: NOTES: A NEW VSK CHAPBOOK BY RACHEL LOIS CLAPHAM

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

 

Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker, Documentation: Stills from the video from the performance reading Re- (2010).

 

NOTES by Rachel Lois Clapham is the second in a series of chapbooks developed by contributers to the ART WRITING FIELD STATION.  It is available for online consumption and PDF download here

NOTES began with Rachel Lois’ live-writing performance as part of the ART WRITING FIELD STATION event in Leeds on 27th March 2010. 

You can read about that performance here. A set of RL’s notes on the project are here. The original instructional score for the performance is here

NOTES, then, as all this NOTES-activity suggests, are not only before, but after and during; final, continual and provisional; eventual and event-full. 

NOTES, as Rachel Lois wrote in some  other NOTES: 

In the process of coming to NOTES – sporadic (often cursory) reading, collating various bits of online quotes, scraps of articles and materials – I have made copious notes in my usual system. Meanwhile, it has become difficult to delineate which things stem from these starting points; which ideas I encountered in the original texts, and which on various commissions, trips, artworks and conversations with friends. So by way of setting out an ecology for NOTES in the context of ART WRITING FIELD STATION, or delineating a certain ‘field’ for this particular work, I have concerned myself here with what is in these notes on NOTES.

The new chapbook NOTES, then, NOTES-distills a sequence of drawing-writings (NOTES) that evoke sense-making towards calligraphic, asemic, documenting, and (glyphic-) exploratory art writing. 

NOTE: As someone who was in Leeds at the ART WRITING FIELD STATION event  on Mar 27th these markings still bear traces of the presentations during which they were composed, the (spoken) (written) words they were in proximity to and positioned themselves with/against/towards.

Confronted with the new spaces of this PDF publication,  such tracings fade as these markings begin to stake out the complexities of new tonal and gestural economies, informed by the demagoguery of  The Finger.  

More about Rachel Lois’ work can be seen here.

NEW PUBLICATION: TAMARIN NORWOOD’S TEXT AS TOOLKIT: A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

 

Tamarin Norwood, "Genuine Smiles", score photographed at Writing Exhibitions, Stanley Picker Gallery, 30 Nov 2009. Photo:Eliza Tan

 

Tamarin Norwood’s TEXT AS TOOLKIT: A Practical Handbook is the first in a series of e-chapbooks developed from the Art Writing Field Station. 

It is now available for online consumption and PDF download here

Tamarin’s text was first devised as a presentation for the field station event at Five Years Gallery on 7th February 2009.  As Tamarin observes in her introduction:

TEXT AS TOOLKIT proposes a methodology for reading and hence for writing. The purpose of this methodology is to identify and extract from texts certain metatextual tools that might be used to examine the practices and products of writing. Mining texts for their tools is a consciously interventional strategy that considers texts as provisional and active material participants in a cumulative art writing field. 

The seven specific tools in this handbook are offered as means to grip hold of the abstract and often indistinct relationships that exist between reading, writing, reader, writer and text. It is hoped that by offering diverse and generative grips on these relationships – and moreover by offering a methodology to develop other such grips – robust and raucous explorations of the field might be facilitated.

The hope, finally, is that this handbook might function as a tool that renders itself increasingly obsolete. 

Tamarin Norwood, Book Holder Opener: Button Polishing Separator, Weights (100mg - 200g) (2008)

 

Tamarin’s work is also included in VSK’s Writing Exhibitions: An Assembling, and will be part of VerySmallKitchen’s project at The Reading Room in Berlin. 

Find out more about her  work here.