- Why has YHCHI deliberately chosen to make their work non-interactive? Or, are they trying to get us to think more expansively about what interactivity is and whether it is as necessarily “good” as we might tend to believe?
- Why have they deliberately chosen a clean, even bland and uniform aesthetic for their works? Is there some connection between the content (or the story you watched unfold in “Dakota”) and the form of their work?
You’ll each be assigned one page or one poem so that the class will cumulatively give a reading of the whole book over the course of an hour. Even so, work with a partner on your poem so you can generate as many ideas as possible.
Keeping in mind that this is another experiment with what writing or poetry could look like if it exploits the capabilities of the digital, take a handful of minutes to think over:
- Why is this book titled “Between Page and Screen”?
- Go to the Oxford English Dictionary; make a list of some etymologies of the words “page” and “screen”. Now read/interpret your assigned page or poem a) in relation to the title and b) in relation to the two etymologies.
With your group, 1) carefully and methodically work through the meaning of your assigned quote (from “Notes on Conceptualisms”) and then 2) apply it either to ANY of the works of conceptual writing we’ve looked at in class (in other words, try to use the quote to explain someone’s work).
Group 1: Conceptual writing is allegorical–it is “a writing of its time, saying slant what cannot be said directly, usually because of overtly repressive political regimes or the sacred nature of the message. In this sense the allegory is dependent on its reader for completion…” (13)
Group 2: “Allegorical writing (particularly in the form of appropriated conceptual writing) does not aim to critique the culture industry from afar, but to mirror it directly. To do so, it uses the materials of the culture industry directly. This is akin to how readymade artworks critique high culture and obliterate the museum-made boundary between Art and Life. The critique is in the reframing. The critique of the critique is in the echoing.” (20)
Group 3: “Pure conceptualism negates the need for reading in the traditional textual sense–one does not need to “read” the work so much as think about the idea of the work. In this sense, pure conceptualisms’s readymade properties mirror the easy consumption/generation of text and the devaluation of reading in the larger culture.” (25)
Group 4: “Radical mimesis is radical artifice: there is nothing so artificial as an absolutely faithful realism.” (28)
“But what would a non-expressive poetry look like? A poetry of intellect rather than emotion? One in which the substitutions at the heart of metaphor and image were replaced by the direct presentation of language itself, with “spontaneous overflow” supplanted by meticulous procedure and exhaustively logical process? In which the self-regard of the poet’s ego were turned back onto the self-reflexive language of the poem itself? So that the test of poetry were no longer whether it could have been done better (the question of the workshop), but whether it could conceivably have been done otherwise.”
“The conceptual writing collected here is not so much writing in which the idea is more important than anything else as a writing in which the idea cannot be separated from the writing itself: in which the instance of writing is inextricably intertwined with the idea of Writing: the material practice of écriture.”
Can you string your assigned four pages together with a close-reading based on the text/images? Can you give us an interpretation of your four pages by drawing on ALL elements: text, visuals, page-design (breaking into the margin? text somehow uniquely broken up into, say, panes? or cartoon panels? significance of this?)? And, finally, what is Philips able to do in your assigned four pages by drawing over/painting over/treating and erasing a source-text rather than writing an original work?
Group 1: pages 1-4
Group 2: pages 6-10
Group 3: pages 11-14
Group 4: pages 15-19
Group 5: pages 20-24
If you’d like to follow along and see which particular images from The Humument Matt discusses today in his presentation, here is the document he will be working through.
A fellow poet has written of Finlay’s works on paper the following: “The point is to give the reader a shock not of recognition but of cognition, which is much harder and much more valuable.” With this in mind, please work with your group members to come up with a careful analysis of what your assigned poem is about and/or what’s at stake in your assigned poem. Consider what sorts of conventions of poetry Finlay is trying to disrupt and consider how he is trying to expand our sense of what poetry is or what poetry could be.
GROUP 1: Wave/rock (check out some different iterations of the poem using Google images)
GROUP 2: Fisherman’s cross
GROUP 3: A Patch for a RipTide: Sail
GROUP 4: Sales/Waves
GROUP 5: Star/Steer