Friday, October 17, 2008

Experimental writing is only private action.

This title sums up a mainstremist (?) prejudice and shallow attitude toward writing that interrogates the formal arrangement of language. I speak to this as not a new phenomenon or attitude but as an observation directly relating to my own current practice as a young writer.

I recently developed a piece of writing that experimented with sentence formation for Sam Rountree-Williams solo exhibition currently showing at Newcall Gallery. I had expressed doing writing for the studio-based collective as I saw them in keeping with some of the things I am doing in my own practice. Sam approached me to write for the show, and I feel our pairing worked really well in terms of the proximity of some of our ideas and ideas for articulating them (in paint and in writing). My piece specifically emerged from a series of discussions with Sam as well as the writing/language studies I am currently undertaking and poets I am reading. (I would undoubtedly cite Leslie Scalapino as my main influence - spurring these thoughts and how I could consider writing them - but there are so many others).

The writing was described by one funded art blogger as "waffly" and "impenetrable." I differentiate Hurrell's blog from his other writing because I am not familiar with it and assume there is a difference in terms of critical content and form. While I understand that my writing is difficult to "digest wholly" (assuming that's what readerly penetration does and highlighting that in fact my piece purposely resists that), he offered no commentary on why he thought this - as if it explained itself. I am interested in what constitutes as "waffly" and what the referent is precisely in my piece - he does not talk either of these things.

It's not that I expect I won't receive remarks like this, but want to point out the way in which his comment denigrates and voids my writing as a valid interpretation and experience of Sam' work. It also blatantly assumes clarity is both always being "self evident" and that isn't something we should be interrogating.

Hurrell finds my writing frustrating in its refusal to offer a singular meaning for a reader(?) It slides deliberately to configure multiple meanings and senses of Sam's work (as in I could not write that in a straight forward way because I wanted the reader to actually experience that in the writing - so it had to be distinct from the normative way of communicating with people). This textual openness I agree is so unlike the majority of art writing that legitimises an art experience via one's ability to categorically situate the work or connect it to "movements" and other practitioners (describing the viewer's experience to them?)

It surprises me also because I am directly speaking about an idea that has been articulated by so many (phenomenologists, quantum physics, Zen, Cage...) and I focus on that particular thing throughout the piece - it is not divergent in that sense I am talking about many different things. So I am both sustaining attention and versioning the same points (so in a way what I say does not change, but also changes) allowing the reader "to get a hold of" what I am saying without tying them down per se.

Sam's show runs from 15 October - 1 November. Copies of my piece are available from Newcall Gallery and on their website.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lounge 4 Reading ...

... was great!

These lovely people read their poetry:

Sarah Broom
Jay Granger
Tony Green
Pip Howells
Ted Jenner
Olivia Macassey
Lydia May
Sam Sampson
Lisa Samuels
Michael Steven

In case you missed it - it's happening again in a month's time

Old Government House (University of Auckland)
Princes Street & Waterloo Quadrant
5.30-7 PM
Wednesday 29 October

With readings from:

Jen Crawford
Kartika Ditirta
Shardae Grenfell
Mike Johnson
Karishma Kripalani
Andrew Pasley
Emily Perkins
Emma Phillipps
Gareth van Sambeek
Richard von Sturmer


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Each other, floating & glancing - writing about writing

Chap*books features a review of Winterling Series One (my two self-published chaps) - in the chapbooks 26 post. This wonderful blog is dedicated to chapbooks - a really important form of publication for emerging writers. The author of the blog (Steven) writes entries tracking his thoughts about chapbooks he collects (or is given). I happily facilitated a great chapbook swap with Steven - the observations of my writing are interesting and of course, I appreciate the encouraging, supportive comments. Thank you! xE

Friday, September 19, 2008

let thermal expression be syntactical. The natural is what

Two committal - bore, and

"held there"


There was him, as if in front - not unlike sensed

small spots, more blotchy (that is like spiky-edged)
across the way
assigned - overlaying them

small triangular - like motions,

of one (them?) stepping forth / from out
or underneath it.

Covering placing - there is - range.

Friday, September 12, 2008

while staying reticent, unspoken

This is all,

as occurring, alongside the expansion of:

figures in brief

to pupate periphrasis

relationally slept on

intended, generative

a drift stooped
birth heard aging

torn pages, rewritten face, (a face is interesting).