10.29.2005

didn't make the grant deadline, or, rather, decided not to try to pull an all nighter Thursday and work all day Friday on it, since I wouldn't do that for poetry itself

thus, did work on poetry Thurs., yesterday and last night instead. And instead of all the other chores that have to be done in this dogpile

here are some items that I gave to Bruna Mori's wonderful studetns at Sci Arc:


Some Thoughts on Form for Discussion


Is the tension between form and content an interesting tension, one which leads to a fruitful dialectic?

What are other “easy dualisms” that lead to similarly productive conversations?

What types of forms, in your experience, are most likely to yield results which have a ramification on content? Here “form” and “content” can be writ large – form or format or formula, content or presentation or flow –

What ideas or theories would you like to test by introducing them into such a conversation? Do you hope to achieve anything thereby? Any expectations? Any other ways to devise a test?

If not seeking to manufacture a device or test or experiment on ideas or language, what forms can you discover or find? Are these wedded to content? Can they be applied to different content, or can the same content be usefully put in a different form?

How can you best apply a given content, a given form, a given device, discovery, or finding? How can you best move from idea to art? Is that movement shaped by the idea, or should the movement / process shape the idea? How does this interplay “go”?

old talk from synthink I also handed out


Realism? Romance? Querying Chaos and Constraint

I want to informally introduce some of my thinking around this project and suggest some things for you to try or "test out" in this arena.

"Oos" serves as a transition between projects of mine. One of my larger projects takes public domain materials -- most online -- in the "literary canon" from Piers Plowman to Leaves of Grass and beyond and "reads" them, finds poetry in them ("found poetry"), translates them -- increasingly unreliably. Essentially what I have been doing is superimposing 20th Century literary history on texts -- artifacts of literary history. Another project reworks, with increasing levels of intention, medieval, renaissance, and early modern women's writing, which is, by and large, religious in nature.

The poems I'm about to read are written from anonymously-written prayers. They are merely ascribed to St. Bridget. The title of the prayers -- Oos -- obviously inspired my constraint -- each begins with the poetic "o" -- as did the typical female gender / vowel binary, and some nice puns, avowal, vow --

These particular prayers are interesting: the include the questions Jesus asks during the passion AND unlike many prayers, they are less questions in and of themselves -- they are commands -- that God remember. In a certain sense, then, the original prayers AND my constraints AND the final result -- are like queries. Queries in Stored Query Language or even those you enter into search engines online are both commands and questions. These prayers are my text bed or data; the constraints, my queries. As I read and reread the result, the poems, I marvel at the way the language use -- the mix of imperative and interrogative -- remains through my cutting and rearranging and rewording.

In Buddhism, all schools, there is quite a focus on asking the right questions and arriving at the answers which are there all along -- the questions change the questioner and the system being queried.


If all of you take the same source as I did and impose the same constraints that I did, you will end up with different answers. If you take the same source and design your own constraints, you will design different constraints. If you were to choose a version of the source -- this exists in several different versions of LATIN and of English -- some of it older English -- you might use Quick Latin to do a machine translation -- you would end up with a different result.

In a certain sense, how different is this from taking the same zen koan -- what is the sound of one hand clapping or some such -- and meditating on it?

Back to my title, this type of poetry writing is generally viewed as anti-romantic, but the lack of control over the result, the movement from the known into the unknown -- is essentially romantic WHILE the way language operations are depicted is more realistic than anything else -- the poems display their machinery or theory in a way -- you can see what the constraints and procedure for writing them was by reading them.

10.25.2005

Why do you like to make art?
What subjects do you prefer? Why?
What processes and techniques do you use? Why?
How is your work different from others?
What do you see in your artwork?
What do other people say they see?
What are your goals and aspirations as an artist?
Who or what inspires you?


I tend to distrust writing advice that includes "don't edit" "don't analyse" but then I guess that's what makes writing these things so hard. I think I'm going to write a mission statement instead. While those are too vague and obviously committee-written, they aren't so new agey.

this sample written by the writer of the above:

http://www.nitaleland.com/bio.htm#statement

The changing light of day and the moods it creates are the foundations of my watercolors. My paintings usually start with a color idea, then evolve into compositions in which color is the primary subject. To me, art is a synthesis of my personal feelings, the subject or colors that inspire me and my materials and techniques. Serenity and simplicity are my primary goals.

although I often used weather as a trope for emotion in my earlier poems....
the artist statement is an introduction to you, and most viewers rely on you as a way into your art

* Be brief. Two or three paragraphs of no more than three sentences each is a good length for an introductory statement.

* Tell why you create your art and what it means to you.

* Appeal to the emotions. Convey feeling about your art.

Those gosh darn emotions again

* Avoid complex explanations, obscure references, and artspeak.

* Try not to catagorize your work or compare yourself to others.

* Use language that everyone can understand.
organic:

am making my own non organic non free range chix broth today, after my dismay at the 99 cents store low sodium broth, which I turn to in times of need, containing YEAST

so, the bacteria test (lactulose breath test) being in the normal range, we've still got

no dairy (well, I just got some of that milk with the enzyme in it)
no fructose / corn syrup / fruit as is contained in non dairy creamer I'd been making ice cream out of & I think in rice dream -- got to check, except I'm out of rice dream
no wheat
careful with rye, any high - fiber anything
no raw nuts except pine nuts, macadamias
no peas, beans, peanuts
no soy
no caffeine
no avocados, cucumbers
low fat
low carbs (watch corn, rice, etc. very carefully)

what about tomatoes? the question of the day
more about artist statements -- oh joy

* Artists are artists, not writers, so think seriously about hiring a professional writer or editor, preferably one with an art background, to help you convey what you want your statement to convey in language that people can understand.

also:

* Connect what your art expresses with the medium that you're expressing it in. For example, if your art is about world peace, and it consists of twigs protruding from pieces of clay, explain the connection. Arbitrarily stating that twig/clay protrusions represent world peace leaves people wondering. If, of course, the object of your art or your statement is to leave people wondering, then that's O.K. In art, everything is O.K., but in order to succeed as an artist, someone beside yourself generally has to get the point of what you're doing.

one of the things I realized in the shower was that my fantasy of content being dissolved in the perfect form/at is nealy identical to the way that anne carson phrases the goal of her spiritual journey based on eros -- YUCK!!!!

so, obviously, that was not the answer I was seeking to deliver.

[break while I water the herbs with *miracle gro* my lawn certainly not organic]
[break while I learn my parents suffered only minor damage from Wilma]
[break while my husband points out that lower left quadrant of the garage door is slightly less greeny oriental ginger than the reamining quadrants]
this reply from greenlagirl:

I don't support farm subsidies either, but I totally disagree with the "right wing" notion that fair trade is a handout. I think it's a choice on the part of the consumer to opt to pay the social and environmental costs of coffee.

I totally agree that there's a huge coffee glut right now -- But I think the fair trade movement works to remedy that. To qualify for fair trade certification, coffee co-ops have to work to 1. diversify their crops, and 2. improve their coffee quality. They're also strongly encouraged to cultivate organic, shade-grown coffee -- all efforts that'll reduce the coffee glut and produce better-tasting, more environmentally friendly coffee.

Unfortunately, as of now, people associate fair trade coffee with just higher prices (handouts) paid to farmers -- A very incomplete view of fair trade efforts...

Still, how can you drink the 7-11 stuff? That shit's truly heinous -- and I'm thinking about taste here, not socio-environmental kindness --

Anyway, we can talk about this more the next time we see each other ;) Hey, what's happened to all your curating activities?

And about wine -- Have you tried the Finca Solano tempranillo Crianza? The stuff's truly yummy -- and cheap, via Trader Joe's! The owner even wrote me after I wrote about it:
http://greenlagirl.blogspot.com/2005/09/6-bucks-and-eco-friendly-drinking.html

I also recommend Some of the stuff from Wally's Wine in Westwood:
http://greenlagirl.blogspot.com/2005/10/green-wine-adventures.html

and the organic Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages – avaliable at Bristol Farm's.

Seriously, the stuff's improved :)

I'll be looking out for the Hello Kitty work!

10.24.2005

from a post to greenlagirl -- obviously I am not a green!

I think fair trade as a concept is seriously flawed, although I realize that in reality there is no free trade; my background in fair trade is mostly from oddly right wing trade unionism in Illinois

there is a worldwide coffee glut (also a wine glut, but no complaints from me about that), and since coffee growing depletes the soil so much that it has exacerbated worldwide deforestation, having more small farmers try to support themselves growing a product it doesn’t pay to grow – in other words, I don’t support any farm subsidies or price supports, including those in the US to support “the American way of life – farming”, and think many many coffee growers ought to go out of business and do something else instead; I don’t know that pressuring corporate resellers to pay more for their raw materials works

on the other hand, while I don’t like what Monsanto is doing, what the US government is paying for them to do, and what the US government is pressing some Latin American countries to allow Monsanto to do to their farming industries, I don’t think banning technology (like GMOs) per se ever works, only boycotting or refusing to allow certain corrupt financial practices, subsidies, etc. So if I were motivated, I would be motivated to lobby to discontinue state & federal funding and subsidies of agribusiness, not motivated to pressure starbucks or whole foods or whatever. I shop cheap.

I’m not supposed to have milk or caffeine or sugar any more, so that put the kibosh on my occasional Starbucks splurge – always an occasional splurge – I’ve almost always bought coffee from 7-11 or AM/PM where it is cheaper or made it at home and brought it in, or drunk it at work if it is free, and I don’t like soy (grew up in the “soybean capitol of the world” where our air & water is so poisoned by runoff and processing that most every woman eventually gets some form of cancer! and the water is now undrinkable! soy & corn sweetener agribusiness is not morally superior to steak…)

Now, why organic? See above, naturally, but... eh.... Although admittedly now there is some decent organic wine, while when I was in grad school, organic wine was truly foul.

you should mention the 7 free trees from the city & how the city free tree list is a good list of native trees / trees that grow well here in LA where people seem for some odd reason to hate trees; some woman in Venice did a really stupid LA Times article about how she wanted to hire a Mexican from Home Depot to dig the hole for her free tree (she could only find a place for one) because it was so hard to dig it
I'm not going to write a lot about CONFITEOR for the grant application, but I promised something for Robert Archambeau about DaDaDa, and I'm presenting to Bruna Mori's class Thursday (probably OuLiPo and beyond), so it makes sense to do this now.

-- a brief break during which I believe my parents house may have lost a window or two to Wilma --

CONFITEOR consists of four volumes, three trilogies, DaDaDa, OOD: Object-Oriented Design, Dea, and a fourth volume, Addendum.

DaDaDa consists of three book-legth sections, Reading Fundamentals, Heresy, and Legendary. OOD has three sections; right now these are Eidolon, obj. x ("objective x" or "objects") and Cosmology (also, in various versions, Singularity). Dea has an untitled, unwritten section with all K/Cath e/a r y/i n/e s a la bp nichol perhaps a bit, a section called Reformation which may work itself into OOD since no one's committed to publish that yet. Other works keep moving out of the project (Hello Phantasm / Mime, maybe "obj. x", Phylum (to go to blue lion), Cookery, Paper Craft (currently being read by Bill Allegrezza I hope), etc.

Thus, DaDaDa starts with reading, specifically selective reading, reading as a creative act. The etymological device used mostly in Heresy is introduced in the Oos poems in R.F., because those poems are the transition to the middle volume. I've mentioned previously one of the ideas behind Heresy is that literary criticism, specifically interpretive readings based on techniques for reading classical (greek and roman) texts, was considered heresy when applied to reading the (catholic) bible.

[a later development of this was an issue during the reformation -- roman catholics not moving to vernacular mass until the 1960s and not condoning (and even prosectuing) widespread distribution of any but especially vernacular bibles -- in order to prevent independent reading / thinking about "the text", and this will be in the reformation book]

the legendary comes from a project that never really panned out (maybe it will, who knows) of doing a The Golden Legend for contemporary "celebrity" culture -- the poem that was the first of these is the Lana Turner poem, complete with false etymology (lana - laine - wool, "sweater girl"). The Golden Legend was of course particularly made fun of during the reformation. The legendary became one for mostly female mostly craftspeople. The legendary is not about identity. The names, and the source(s) of heresy is not about identity or even the content of what the original female writers wrote about; neither are the works in reading fundamentals.
First paragraph. Begin with a simple statement of why you do the work you do. Support that statement, telling the reader more about your goals and aspirations.


content - form

Since I am largely a poet as part of my "being in the world" to be existentialist about it, or to be humanist about it, since I am a poet with authority limited by reality, the content of my work is basic and localized, in that it is what I am thinking, experiencing, learning at the time of its writing. It answers the five w and one h question. The form of my work is various and derived from the content and the writing process, rather than enforced from outside the content, yet this form is generally in service of assembling a work, and sometimes the driving idea behind a work is a formal one.

subject - object

universal - specific

i don't know if I want to structure this opening para. off a duality tho

Second paragraph. Tell the reader how you make decisions in the course of your work. How and why do you select materials, techniques, themes? Keep it simple and tell the truth.

I select materials and techniques because they seem likely to yield the results I am seeking. I select materials and techniques according to my concept; then, in the end, in commenting, it is difficult for me to get beyond the materials and techniques I used to explain why I used them, because by that time it seems blatantly obvious. An example of this would be my cooking poems; it seems obvious to want to use -- to bring forward as an important source -- women's writing in cookbooks, because this is a practically untouched area of women's craft and thinking to be dealing with -- and to apply techniques from cooking to the poems also seems obvious to me, not only because they are the perhaps female source of techniques now branded "oulipo" such as "larding" -- oh dear, I have drifted from the artistic statement. To use materials and techniques which have meaning to produce a result which has the same meaning is to seek a unity of content and form which makes the opposition or duality of such a formulation fall away and the poem / point shine.

Third paragraph. Tell the reader a little more about your current work. How it is grew out of prior work or life experiences. What are you exploring, attempting, challenging by doing this work.

how would current work not grow out of past work

my current work continues to press my assumptions about poetry, writing poetry, and the world to see what gives

for example, writing two nights ago -- working from notes for the reformation book -- the idea that the reFORMation is about giving the opportunity to establish authority back to the individual is obviously having as much an effect on this statement writing as the conference panel proposal

Good for the Imperial Highway project!

from dirt

1) between minimalism and politics? What are its applications in

my politics isn't minimalist, I would think libertarianism is minimalist; the only aspect could be 'keep national politics out of religious politics' and 'keep public politics out of private politics' except that I favor public funding for medical

2) is more important: minimal length or minimal substance?

is is more important to be clear and concise than to be minimal

3) minimalism in the real world. Cite specific examples or
4) the animal kingdom, what would it
5) in the year 2100.

is minimalism futuristic? maybe
is it essentialism? no

6) say about our culture? Is the form reactionary or progressive; is it

more likely to be reactionary or progressive; minimalism is not the status quo

7) subversive?
five true sentences about my work:

1. I wrote it.

More controversial than it might seem to those unfamiliar w/ Barthes, i.e. http://faculty.smu.edu/dfoster/theory/Barthes.htm Especially since the project I am proposing involves "insetting" found poems from Imperial Highway and probably the other highways running east - west through LA, on a backbone of what some might consider to the the poem part, a la the Vauxhall poems

2. when I work with "findings" I am currently reminded of a thing I blabbed out without really evaluating if I believe it or not on the Radio Star conference panel proposal,

Catherine Daly argues with the notion that poetry is a "product of
>identity." Poetry, she claims, is better thought of as a result of a
>network-a dialog in text between a sensing being and the world that she
>is appropriating. There is no "I" writing a poem about "something": a
>poem constructs an absence of the world, and not the presence of a
>self.


3. I begin a piece with the idea for it

4. I know a piece is done when I -- have to stop working on it. I usually revise extensively but i TRY TO QUIT WHEN IT GETS TO THE POINT i HAVE NO NEW APPROACHES / CONCEPTS / LEARNINGS FROM THE PROCESS TO REVISE TOWARD oop - you can tell the parrot chewed my shift key -- when revising is no longer making changes I think are significant

5. When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of "my work going well." Duh.

other sentence completion:
When people see my work, I'd like them to "read it and respond."
one one side of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, provide a brief artist statement (what your work is about & how you make it), describe your artisitic development, and discuss the nature of some recent work in detail

80 points are awarded for "excellence" so this is what somehow shows that

so this will not include anything that falls under the confiteor project; it should be a discussion of the dystopia poems (of course, calling Los angeles dystopia -- ah well) and the vauxhall poems, as well as the place poems

My work is about "calling it as I see it." In other words, it is my way of delivering my thoughts or philosophy....

a background search on "how to write an artist statement" reveals:

http://www.mollygordon.com/resources/marketingresources/artstatemt/index.html#writing

1. What are your favorite things about your work? Jot down short phrases that capture your thoughts. Don't worry about making sense or connections. The more you stir up at this point, the richer the stew.

I started writing poetry when I was in college, and it was bad and my friends told me to take a class. I wanted to be a writer, not a poet. Novelist. At some point I decided to put everything into poetry. I think was because I wanted to go to grad school (I was working as a writer and living at home, and didn't see many other money/career options that didn't involve grad school; because I'd lost my religion major -- my thesis advisor went on sabbatical, her replacement didn't support my idea, and by the time Ron Keiner offered his support, it was Spring Break, I wanted to go home with my friends, and I didn't want to stay on campus for the rest of senior year grokking a thesis I hadn't gotten beyond outline and research due to lack of faculty support -- this left me with an English / Literary Writing major with poetry as my only viable sample (i.e., not fiction or nonfiction, though I had campus paper columns and some stories -- these weren't particularly well published -- or written!)).

when it is going well, ideas come quickly, and the poem seems to write itself; recently, I start from notes -- these may be research notes, those peculiar things I call "poem notes" or a general concept that's not even written down -- a sort of "someday I want to try this" mental note. From these I tend to improvise, often with the help of information found online or in books, or just from my personal associations with words, ideas, people, places....

my favorite thing about my work is that I feel it sort of sparkles where it is really good, whether "musical, pleasurable, fun & funny," or dark and glistening, or pointed and on target.

2. I'm skipping making a list of descriptive words, because I will choose odd words like "sparkly" and I think this should be very seriously and professionally written.

3. I don't have a favorite tool but I love to use tools, apply them to poetry, and to make this use as new/specific to me as I can.
My favorite material is information, because I think it is better to start with an idea, a "take" on the world, a "finding" which seems to be "out there" but is actually perceived because it is "in here" than to start with blabbing around in general like I'm doing here -- this is my problem with writing bios, artistic statements, and resumes (my resume is always *awful*). And journals.
I like to think that my work at its best is unique, that something has turned out well when I think it would give pleasure to a reader to encounter several times, when I have a grasp on a lot of what it is doing as a piece of writing / an idea.

What patterns emerge in your work? Is there a pattern in the way you select materials? In the way you use color, texture or light?

For the past few years, I thought of my work as proceeding in five different modes; Rachel Loden pointed out to me that to her, they converged, and I am coming back to that convergence of modes. The common pattern is one of assembly, which may seem odd since a lot of the work seems deconstructed, taken apart, exploded, fragmentary, but I see it as the result of a diligently applied, smoothed, process -- grown from seeds?

I do everything differently from the way I was taught. I see myself as proceeding in order to teach myself, in order for me to learn more about poetry / philosophy, to gain knowledge and experience. Why. How differently. I was taught mostly in two fairly straightforward creative writing programs which emphasized confessional free verse narratives. I came out of those programs writing lyric poems -- which I would distinguish from confessional free verse narrative! so I was schooled by my reading / what I thought about what I read, rather than "instruction." So I guess, what I learned was that I read for pleasure and ideas and information, not for another point of view, an identity I will never inhabit, to be schooled in an experience I will not have, to share a little human moment?

I used to tell my students you have to find the way that works for you -- when you find it, you untap something very rich and productive.

I don't have a favorite color. I like warm and vibrant colors more than cool ones, but fairly clear and crisp rather than muddy. I like poems that "dance" and dazzle, that are clear and crisp and vibrant, too.

the next steps are etymological, dealing with the word list I didn't make -- oh no!!!

6. Write five sentences that tell the truth about your connection to your work. If you are stuck, start by filling in the blanks below.

When I work with__________ I am reminded that___________.

I begin a piece by______________.

I know a piece is done when__________________.

When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of _____________.

When people see my work, I'd like them to ________________.

[brief break wherein I dig up a grape vine, clean up a tiny squirrel literally cut in half by some mysterious force, then put at the end of the driveway of the abadoned house next door, and edge a planting bed with bricks]
am downloading ipodder lemon, applying for COLA grant; figure I'll post the stuff I write for the grant here -- this is a brief description of my poetry:

while I view myself as a well-rounded poet because my work appeals to the eye and ear as well as the brain, my work is judged more experimental that not

this means my work is documentary while being personal
researched while improvised
open to reader interpretation while conveying specific meanings

while consisting largely of words on a page, my work embraces new media and the other arts

I make a special effort to make works that reveal their facets differently in performance, on screen, and on the page