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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Lois Clapham’

SOB BASIC WIRTTEN ON A WOODEN LAPTOP (REPRISE)

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

 

 

1. A WRITING STATION

 

RACHEL LOIS CLAPHAM writes: A Writing Station is used to produce short texts live and in public. The WRITING STATION includes: Two typewriters, pebbles, white A4 80gsm and black carbon copy paper (it generally keeps things close to the ground).

The invitation is to type, punch-in and publish. There and then. The texts act variously as gift, context, conversation slip or document/ation at the discretion of the typist.

 

 

VSK: Can you say more about “close-to-the-ground”…

RLC: Close to the ground- for me, this is non networked, literally buried in its moment, in the soil. Also, with regards to the materials present- metal, ink, paper, carbon paper. There is something quite rooted about these materials coming from the ground. Save for the plastic covers on the machines that is!

 

 

2. WRITING SOUND

 

TEXT:  By Rachel Lois Clapham. “For Charles Olson” and “For Alan Turing” from an email exchange with Alex Eisenberg.

 

 

3. PRIOR

 

 

Marianne Holm Hansen, For the Record, ongoing

 

A.

Type (typos) was recognized as individual. (Some of us sixties poets were trying to find our own voices as opposed, that is, to what seemed an expected and traditional meditational and cryptic “English” inner voice.) That sense of the individual imprint, outside of tradition, outside of an inherited world of form, became immediate.

We used the Gestetner, the letterpress, the typewriter. Type became letter as literal and letter as object.

 

B.

Elisabeth Mann Borgese… had trained a dog in the 1940s to type answers to questions on a special machine that fitted its paws. The success of this undertaking is still dubious in scientific circles, but the spectacle it made at the keyboard of its machine stuck in Joseph Cornell’s mind as one of the events of the century, and he supposed that all well-informed people were familiar with it. La Borgese’s accomplished beast’s habit of typing BAD DOG when it had flubbed a right answer had brought tears to his eyes. He… had no qualms about dismissing people tediously ignorant of such wonderful things.

 

//

 

For Open Dialogues, SOB BASIC  is part of NOTA: NOTES, which they describe as:

 

NOTA: NOT, NOTES, NOTER (NOTA), NOT/A, pressing on the time, place and quality of notes in relation to performance…. towards a sometime set of performance writing tools.

 

As part of our collaboration in Leeds, a gathering of materials on typewriter as art-writing practice by VerySmallKitchen can be seen here

 

Rachel Lois Clapham and typewriter at InXclusion, Leeds, 2012

 

 

… whilst a conversation on the typewriter with artist Marianne Holm Hansen in a coffee shop on Brick Lane became TYPE TYING TYPINGS TYPIST TYBE.

 

 

4. DURING

 

 

TEXTS: Collected from Writing Station at the conclusion of InXclusion, East Street  Arts, Leeds,  6pm 24th March to 6pm 25 March 2012.

 

 

5. ADDENDUM

 

 

The Olympia 66 splendid typewriter

 

 

VerySmallKitchen writes: …DocU, morphing into SOB BASIC after a deliberately erratum transcription of a skype conversation…  different aspects of the typewriter and how it might bbbbbe…  gathering sources from various histories and art and poetry, colleagues and contemporaries, towards new acts of individual imprint..

… actually, this dominates over any desire to actually type myself!… Where do I put the paper? people (under, say, 25) asked in Leeds. Can I do capital letters?…

 

 

(1)Simon Cutts’ poem “An ode for the recovery of an olympia splendid 66 typewriter originally designed by max bill in 1939….”  This is in Jerome Rothenberg’s A Book of the Book anthology and Cutts’ own A Smell of Printing: Poems 1988-1998. Just the title for now.

 

(2)The projects on Colin Sackett’s website under the heading Typewriting. As well as the specifics of each project, the suggestion of “Typewriting” as a distinct writing category, transferring and multiplying agency, breaking away from the machine itself, whilst confirming its materiality and history, ghosting into laptop and InDesign…

 

 

Colin Sackett, ‘A Sort of a Song’, 2011

 

 

(3)

 

KNEAD the linguistic material; this is what justifies the label concrete.

Don’t just manipulate the whole structure; begin rather with the smallest elements—letters, words.  Recast the letters as anagrams.  Repeat letters within words; throw in alien words, peavroog-se do; interpose letters that don’t belong, aacatioaanniya for action; explore children’s secret code languages and other private languages; vocal glides gliaouedly.  And, of course, newly coined lettristic words.

 

(4)

 

To bring down a military plane over Afghanistan. To welcome the sun. To water the plants. To roll back the hose. To unroll it again. To go on watering. To place the hose next to the wall. To displace shadows while displacing oneself. To go back to the typewriter. To worry about the ribbon, to wonder if it needs to be replaced by a new one. To control the desire for sherbets. To breathe painfully. To keep one’s anger low key, sweep away one’s worries. To take off the shoes and wear other ones, and enjoy the result. To see what time it is. To uncork the inkpots. To read “Mont Blanc” on the label. To glance at the watch and realize that it’s time  for the (bad) news. To put up with it.

 

(5)

 

A scaphocephalic X-ray: top-heavy. The bloodshot reels are tin eyes. Pince-nez of ribbon, legion of dishonour. Rictal mouth in mash of metallic teeth, German dentistry. Or: stand the thing on its head and the keys become strokes of electrified hair. Shock therapy. One scarlet lip, bitten and bloody. And the other? Black as human ignorance. Bridled, the scold who has swallowed her own children. The typewriter, long out of service, dictates the screenplay: Bring Me the Head of Emanuel Swedenborg. Stripped of flesh, this instrument is our first skull. It vibrates like a skin drum. An empty cranium filled with wormcasts. It writes the long house into being, as a form of apology; architect of its own ruin. Fingered to erotic frenzy, it talks code. The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word… are found in dump receptacles.

 

Provenance unknown. Thought to be in use for matters of business until the coming of the word-processor. In essence a memory-device waiting to be activated; to reveal, without human intervention, all the secrets of its infinite interior.

 

(6)

 

The other night out at the bars, I learned that Nietzsche wrote on a typewriter. It is unbelievable to me, and I no longer feel that his philosophy has the same validity or aura of truth that it formerly did. No other detail of his life situating him so squarely in the modern age could have affected me as much as learning this. He typed Zarathustra? Goddamnit, the man had no more connection to the truth than a stenographer!

 

//

 

 

 

 

6. A LONELY PERFORMANCE ARTIST

 

 

 

//

 

NOTES: A & B (above) are from (A) Fred Wah, Faking It: Poetics & Hybridity Critical Writing 1984-1999 (NeWest Press, 2000) 246 and  (B) Guy Davenport,  Every Force Evolves A Form (North Point Press, 1987), 146.

(3) Oyvind Fahlstrom  Hipy Papy Bthuthdth Thuthda Bthuthdy: Manifesto for Concrete Poetry (1953) in Antonio Sergio Bessa ed. Mary Ellen Solt: Toward a Theory of Concrete Poetry, OEI No.51/ 2010, 257-260;  (4) Etel Adnan,  In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country (City Lights Books, 2005), 104; (5) Iain Sinclair, from “Commentaries: The Typewriter”  in Sinclair and Brian Catling, Several Clouds Colliding (Bookworks, 2012),  15; (6) Sheila Heti, How Should A Person Be? (Henry Holt & Co., 2012).

 

 

NOTA was recently part of SHOWTIME. More about that is here.

 

 

 

 

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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.

ART WRITING FIELD NOTES (2): RACHEL LOIS CLAPHAM

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 11:37 am

This is the second in  a series of notes surrounding the ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds on Mar 27 2010. As I wrote in an introduction for the previous posting by Mary Paterson – which can be read here –  I am fascinated by the form of the “note” that emerges in these writings: 

The notes are not what precedes the event, nor are they what comes during or afterwards, be that a written document, a sound recording, an oral tale or private memory. Rather, the notes are writings that, taking place at a fixed moment in the process they are part of, evidence all others. 

More about Rachel Lois’ work can be seen here.

Her VSK Project THE FINGER can be seen here

An instructional score for the NOTES for the ART WRITING FIELD STATION is here.

NOTES ON NOTES (FOR ART WRITING FIELD STATION) 

Here are some typed, online notes that mark my thinking for NOTES at ART WRITING FEILD STATION LEEDS, or NOTES ON NOTES.

Initially, in preparing for NOTES, I started reading David Berridge’s via Clayton Eshleman’s gloss on ‘Plan for Curriculum of the Soul’ a double page text work by Charles Olson, printed in 1968 (1). This lead me somewhat indirectly – by way of another commission I was writing at the same time (2) to Olson’s longer, more oratorical, ‘Projective Verse’ from 1950. (3).

Over the course of the previous weeks I have also been talking about other (related) work with a small group of collaborators David Berridge, Emma Cocker, Mary Paterson and Alex Eisenberg (4). Many of whom will be presenting at ART WRITING FIELD STATION and in proximity to NOTES on the day I perform it.

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 (5). 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 (5b).

I have devised a very loose index.

* Things more clearly related to the idea of FIELD – geographic (and soil based), conceptual and/or systemic (technologic))

** Things that may be me citing something in a text by Olson, or perhaps picked up in conversation with Berridge, Cocker, Eisenberg or Paterson. (6)

*** Things that are my idea but can be tangentially related to the conversations or texts stated above.(7)
////

Grid Lexicon

I really liked geography classes at school. Visits to rundown inner city council estates in Warrington to look at bad examples of social housing (ill advised field trips), never once looking at a map of the world (or of any country) and using wooden set squares to collect data – for example, the number of daisy’s, types of grasses, certain insects – in a meter sq of field. It was usually a scraggy school field or fell bit of land that may or may not have magic mushrooms growing in it. We would later return and analyse these field findings back in the classroom. This is the only thing I remember from High School. That and arm wrestling boys (and often winning) which does not have anything to do with the idea of a field, grid or NOTES. Until now. * I remember thinking the method of the set sq seemed a brilliantly simple and cool (impartial) way to find, gather and sort things out. As a constraint the grid made sense, it imposed order. I remember thinking at the time that this all seemed very neutral and fair. Whatever grew or fell by chance into the set square as it was lay down was given attention, pored over.

 

In a way that says it all, or at least enough….

But I also want to transpose some other fragments/scribblings as they appear in my notes on NOTES:

Grid form as a field of composition * / **, as something worked by infamous mid Twentieth Century American minimalists, which leads me to Micheal Fried and his equally infamous essay on theatricality and ‘literal art’ (7b) – art which radically (and for Fried pejoratively) effected a drama(tization) of its object-hood and so implicated the viewer bodily in its completion. The notes go from the body, on to site specificity, through theatricality and neatly into performance. (This journey from grid to critical writing to performance does not look so neat in my handwritten notes.)

Mathematics *. X and Y axis *. Grid as productive constraint, grid as writing technology *, working with a different syntax *.

Grid as an unnatural way of working (my notebooks speak for the fact I don’t work like this), a constraint for the notes to push through.

The syllable rules and holds together lines **
Breaking writing down into component parts.
A serial(ization) of writing. *

Expanding the constraints of the page * where all marks, left hand/right hand, beginning and endings, are distributed with equal weight. They can only be pointed to or reinforced as different by the addition of more(equal) marks on the page; such as under linings, CAPS, exclamation marks. (Thinking of Olsons ‘Plan for Curriculum of the Soul’)

Form is never more than an extension of content * / **
(A wonderfully rich, aphoristic note/NOTE) (8)

/////

Field *

A writer in the open * / ***

Writing as +1 to the field * – as +1 to writing *, +1 to the event *

FIELD COMPOSITION/COMPOSITION OF FIELD in which movement from one perception to another….. **Writing that sticks close to its generative moment of perception/cognition. **

Page * as generative space, not receptacle for finished ideas.

Materials that are handled in a series of objects in a field in such a way that a sense of tensions are made to hold, and to hold exactly inside the content and context of the poem which has formed itself, through the poet, and then into being **/ *

///

Then there are some bits that relate more explicitly to the body in relation to FIELD, which features quite highly Olson’s thinking on the ROOM * / ** / *** of writing in both Plan for Curriculum of the Soul and Projective Verse. Also a strong fascination for me, if the notes in my folders can be judged qualitatively/quantifiably:

Percussive writing **

A physical composition **

Writing openly, presently, simultaneously

Moving index(ically)

A writing that maps lines walked * / **

One of the pressures of writing is bodily.

The FINGER and hands and pointing – diagramming physically

The breath of the author punctuating NOTES ** / ***

Breath is the speech force of language, writing is an object that the body has an impact upon. **

Amidst this I think about notes in the pejorative (8b) :

How writing notes always makes you look away from an event, the event- toward your notes/notebook (unless you write notes without looking at your page?)

Notes as unfaithful, unserious, un thought-ful.

Notes as a crutch to performance, to memory, to a practice.

Notes as unfinished, unimportant, unprepared, uncritical, un-publishable, work in progress, as private.

Notes as a learning device for a novice or anorak (Train Spotter) as opposed to notes of a scientist (an expert) – still unpublishable in a scientific / expert context?

Notes made from a performance that make a work mobile and divorce it from its site.

NOTES as pick-up sticks ** / *** ‘grabs’ from a practice – shallow grabs from something else, something deeper, something more sustained. NOTES as tips of icebergs (rather than the icebergs themselves?). (9)

Aspects of NOTES that I am currently experimenting with.

Scale- How important is it for the individual diagrams/gestures to be seen as such (by others should they wish in the moment of writing/performing?). What is the difference in scale between 3 x 3 yellow lined post its, 5 x 7 white fiches and 12 x 12 large pieces of white card? Could the elements be big things- like tablets or objects?

One element is fixed never moves – it is returned to (and marked over continually like a lexicon of the grid activity, a margin, a note of the NOTES). This could be groundwork *

Timings- I am drawn to regular moments over the course of NOTES by an external device. These moments are prompts. The prompts may or may not be marked as such in NOTES.

The hand of the author, pointing and the FINGER how it can diagram physically within the composition.

In what different ways one element that is continually returned to as blank.

How hesitancy or doubt might show itself in NOTES

How NOTES are unfathomable, and no-one can read them whole. They are fictional, unfaithful (to themselves and to the event). How they might be moved away from the event?

How the space outside the grid is important (Nb. 7b)

Underlining as pointing (Nb. FINGER)

Sound of NOTES being made (Nb. Percussive writing **)

How certain gestures will pre-scribe or anticipate the event/the conversation – and others will come during, or after. Others will not be related to the event. How to NOTE these differences.

///

Notes on NOTES (on NOTES)

(1) Taken from here.  

(2) (W)reading Performance Writing. A Live art Development Agency study guide. Downloadable at www.thisisliveart from April 2010. A brief introduction here.

(3) Available in full online  here.     

(4) ROOT with Mary Paterson and Re- with Emma Cocker as part of the RITE publication launch 2010 (RITE contributors are David Berridge, Alex Eisenberg, Mary Paterson, Emma Cocker, amongst others, but not Charles Olson), Writers House on the invitation of David Berridge and Pippa Koszerek (Hard copy notes only about this project at present. Dates May 29-31st ), Question Time with David Berridge, Alex Eisenberg, Mary Paterson as Open Dialogues. Nb. Pippa Koszerek is another collaborator of mine, our having worked on FREE PRESS together (with David Berridge, Karen Di Franco, Matthew MacKisack, Sophie Mellor and Ashkan Sepahvand).

(5) A modular system it could itself be a rumination on notes (although not necessarily the work NOTES I speak of here). It is a system regularly subject to change by the author, and under constant scrutiny as to regulate cost versus my needs in terms of flexibility, provisional dimensions, page capacity, efficiency of storage and ultimate archival (endpoint) quality. A5 black plain page moleskin notebooks are the most expensive experimented with so far at 13GBP for one hardback notebook. Lovely though these are they seem to be the notebook of choice amongst many of my peers. It can get confusing at meetings and seminars. An extra identical moleskin for the table, Sir? ** Cost also prohibitive for someone with potential compulsive note writing disorder. Also not flexible enough (removing pages seems wrong). Standard A4 paper in plastic wallets with homemade ‘titles’ is very flexible- notes changing sets (and so projects) on a regular basis – and is the cheapest by far (circa 1GBP per wallet note-set) but this is not very aesthetically satisfactory. Too redolent of pillaged communal stationary cupboards and WORK (not the good kind). Absolutely no precious archival qualities. The large white plain (I might go back to gridded soon)Fiches index cards I am currently using – 3.99GBP for 100 – seem to combine the optimum blend at present. Cheap, totally singular, as in modular, and pleasant to have/hold. Plenty apt for little diagrams. I wrote in them from a recent talk entitled ‘What is conversation for’ – an evening of conversation with the art writer Yve Lomax (in conversation with herself). Looking back on my Ficheborne note-cards, have a nice speculative (light) circular feel that would not have felt appropriate in any of the other note technologies discussed here.

(5b) I’ve done this in an altogether non Harvard style, in fact in a way much more akin to an exercise in which I randomly look out of my window with a pair of cheap binoculours and try really hard to ‘accurately’ chart the stars *.

(6) Do we use last names in notes?

(7) This charting* itself of course being endemic to noting, or having a certain note like quality to it, in terms of indexing, condensing or documenting. It’s a self conscious exercise transposing these much more scrappy notes into this clean blogpost. The reasons for it are multi-fold. For the before of NOTES = a making sense in advance, an anticipatory staking out the territory*, a speculative mapping* of the area for this work to come. For the after of NOTES = for the fact that you put work out there and it rarely ever comes back ** Notes then, by way of something to come back to. Being something like the splash-back (however unfaithful, unreadable or unlikely it might be) from the act of just throwing something out there *** or pissing in the wind ** that can be the experience of making work. (Although having nothing left is better than something sometimes, especially something like inane notes.). Coming back to the BEFORE for a minute, it feels like there is something at stake in making public the BEFORE (BEFORE NOTES) given the constellation* of ideas/texts here, also because this BEFORE is the crux of my note-taking, where I think my notes might matter most. (It makes me wonder in what way the notes I make are not usually public or published?) I also just made a note on my current Fiche(the one that I always have on the go entitled GENERAL – ie not project/commission specific- that this is the most speculative text I have written for this blog in some time.

(7b) Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood, Artforum 5(10) (1967): 12-23

(8) By now I have reconciled the salient difference between notes and NOTES. There is a difference. But it is constantly on the move.

(8b) I find there’s a lot in the pejorative.

(9) A question of quantity/quality. Is this weight issue, this mobility – if this is what the issue is, which is not to simplify it at all, if it is even an issue in the proper sense – endemic to all words/writing?

ART WRITING FIELD STATION: NOTES ON WRITING LIVE

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm


The above text is Rachel Lois Clapham’s score for her project of writing live throughout  ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds on March 27 2010 (see a set of preparatory notes by RL on this project here  and a report after the event here).

Marianne Holm Hansen, Pneumatic Poem (thoughts on Art Writing Field Station), 2010

 

A DESCRIPTION: During presentations by myself, Mary Paterson (performed and interpreted by Simon Zimmerman) and Emma Cocker, Rachel Lois wrote in black marker pen on square pieces of paper, constructing a 3 x 3 grid of these squares. Sometimes new blank squares were placed on top of old, or squares were removed, placed on the floor, and replaced.  

As the last presentation ended, RL removed her last piece of paper from the wall, as if our discussion had returned us to a white wall from which we began, and announced she had finished.

A CONTEXT: This was the second attempt to write live during an ART WRITING FIELD STATION, following on from Marianne Holm Hansen’s work in London. Like Marianne’s project – more information about which is here – the actual act of writing live is a performance both visible and invisible.

Absorbed in discussions, I looked up every so often to see what was happening (as well as the activity on the wall, the grid was filmed and projected). Whilst all of Marianne’s writing figured on a single sheet of piece of paper that was on the wall throughout, RL’s adding and removal of sheets made the whole more illusive. I only ever got a snapshot at different times of what was an ongoing flow, and the processes of editing and decision making remained inaccessible to my piecemeal attention.

Also unlike Marianne’s, RL’s work was principally non-verbal – her grid of squares contained a series of graphic, gestural markings, and if there was an alphabet or lexicon it was one of signs, boxes, brackets, and lines, with arrows indicating movement into and out of both drawn spaces and those of paper, wall and room.

Talks and discussions at the table – one end of which openned onto to RL’s workspace – were being translated into markings, both representing it and working it into something else, accepting its informational quality and its opacity.  When I looked across, the process seemed to be a thoughtful, meditative one, rather than a Jackson Pollock like storm of marker pen scratchings. A lot of time, too, of looking and considering, of (re-)moving the paper, and these as much part of the writing as the writing. 

A PROBLEM OF DEFINITION: As with Marianne’s work, the question of what to call this activity was  problematic. Because of RL’s previous work, I tended to settle on the phrase “writing live.” Because of the gestural quality, I was less prone to use the  phrase “minute taking” – “emotional minute taking” in Marianne’s phrase. 

The frame of camera and careful choreography suggested it was a “performance” but this was definition was slightly challenged by the private nature of the work. Maybe it was better to think of this – to pick up on some topics in Emma Cocker’s presentation – as a “writer’s studio” negotiating a new position of exposure.

Both images: Art Writing Field Station, Patrick Lane Studio's, Leeds, 27 March 2010. Photo: Emma Cocker

 

CONCERNING AFTER (TEXT &) IMAGE:  My own understanding of what it meant to have someone writing live throughout the ART WRITING FIELD STATION events was originally that  it would offer a summation of each field station as a whole.

Whilst discussions would focus on a series of individual presentations, the live writing would capture a version of what emerged from all those discussions. A field recording. How did this relate to what has actually happened? 

Once again, as soon as the discussions in Leeds finished, RL’s texts demonstrated a tension between their own materiality – a new found set of resonances and associations within the system of these texts as an art work in their own right  – and any relation to the event within which it  had been (was still) occurring.

RL offered spoken commentary on a number of images, connecting back to specific talks and moments, and revealing the close connection of gesture to idea. I wondered how such processes were one way, the resultant markings unlikely to lead back to the original ideas without a guide. 

I also want to think of these live writings as generative, as scripts and scores for future events.  RL’s drawings seemed to function as a series of maps of rooms, conceptual and actual, proposals for actual and ideational movements within those spaces. Sometimes the spaces themselves were defined: four solid black marker pen walls surrounding. Sometime the movement itself had a quality of absorption which meant there was no immediate awareness of frame or container. This could be the starting point for an exhibition or for a kind of art writing field station architecture

A BROADER RESONANCE: The gestural nature of RL’s response suggested several connections. I saw Matt Mullican lecture at the ICA earlier this year. Mullican talked of scrawls and drawings, and how, through meditation techniques, he inhabited and journeyed into his drawings, exploring the landscapes they contained.

Matt Mullican, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerpen, 13 Mar -3 May 2008

 

For Mullican this inhabitation was the only way to understand the true dimensions of what he had drawn – a small dot on the page might  turn out, through imaginative journeying-dreaming, to be a gaping chasm hundreds of miles wide that was the entrance to hell.

Mullican also demonstrated how he had stayed with such images and scrawls over long periods of time, developing them into fleshed out cosmologies, architectural models, and installations. 

WE ARE ALL WRITING LIVE: Of course,it would be wrong to think of RL’s as the only “live writing” going on, in the same way as all texts are “visual” orchestrations, not just those we might choose to label “visual poetry.”

Emma Cocker’s field maps – diagrams on large sheets on graph paper of her writing practice – gave way to a participatory scripting where Simon pointed out particular words, prompting Emma to read particular texts (see Emma’s notes for this project here).

Although Emma read from a set of footnotes devised alongside the diagram, the process revealed how “live footnoting” might work well as a place where different texts were brought alongside the map, with each live reading being a chance to set out a new set of relations of word and map to footnote. 

Mary Paterson’s text – which was read by Simon Zimmerman – explored the workings of memory, particularly as it relates to her work writing about performance (and as writer in residence for the Live Art Development Agency) . Her text left spaces for Simon to introduce his own thought and memories into the text.

This adding of a “live” layer to the text seemed to scramble the text:  upsetting any linear flow and argument. The “live” presence – as  Simon considered what stories to tell when prompted by the script – contrasted with the reflective tone of Mary’s own words, and when Simon went back to the script it was hard to shift back to the argument he had been unfolding before his invited interruption.

This suggested how live writing could involve a number of forms of presence, shifting between and around these different emotional and textual registers in ways both scripted and beyond anticipation.

FIVE WRITE LIVE AT THE PIGEON WING: Finally, I was thinking about all these spaces in regard to The Pigeon Wing space, where VerySmallKitchen will be in residence throughout September. I imagined what it meant for five writers to be writing live, each with their own methods and tools, not in relation to an art work, but as a performance as itself, in relation to the space and each other, as a starting point towards an exhibition.

More on how this particular project unfolds will be on this site in the coming months. For the moment I am imagining how five people could write live here: 

VSK PROJECT (1): RACHEL LOIS CLAPHAM: THE FINGER

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

The above video is FINGER by Rachel Lois Clapham, made for The Diagram at London’s FormContent project space. See  images of the day and the full program  here.  

RL describes THE FINGER as “focussed on non verbal physical gestures as writing… made in response to a continued dialogue with David Berridge and Alex Eisenberg regarding writing on and as performance.”

We discussed the video via SKYPE and the following words and phrases, written in my notebook at the time, are a preliminary frame for thinking through and out and into the ways of The Finger:

How can it mean as writing. Diagrammatic. Doing what we were talking about. Pointing. Connecting. Liveness. Task. It has to respond. Hand work. Lowly. PLOUGHING. Hand. Base. Ground.  Finger. Action/Text. RL’s having fun. Bataille’s BIG toe. 

A summary of my presentation – which this video concluded – is here.

Go here for more on Rachel Lois’ work.  

Her video essay THE SCORE  – part of our Question Time project (also with Mary Paterson and Alex Eisenberg)  here.