Week 5: abstraction, emergence

I just wrote a thank note to Davin for orchestrating epoetica – I haven’t had many opportunities lately to have FUN with thinking, reading, writing but this really has been a pleasure! And I’m completely grateful to those who have taken the time and car to read and respond to posts. If I had any suggestions for future epoeticas, I’d ask: can we do this again?? and perhaps invite more and/or other people to contribute? And of course, it’s also clear that we need to engage with each other more – a strange side-effect of virtual communication is either abundant, easy e-conversations or, as the poetics listserv can sometimes illustrate, a series of individuals talking to themselves, airing their own theories. Epoetica has abundant possibilities for collaboration and conversation and we really have yet to make the most of this forum.

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Week 5

The final assignment is relatively easy.  Answer the following questions:

  • What insights (both practical and theoretical) have you gained into the poem/poems that you have studied?
  • What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about hypermedia?
  • What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about your own work (creative and critical)?
  • What have you learned (both practically and theoretically) about your colleagues and their work?
  • What about epoetica worked well?  What didn’t?  How would you improve this process?


ah } kiss Tecate tutto –otica


Route       y        If a review appears in Serbian

Makarasana       of

terremotosLhasa             : : Lakshmi


(Loss Pequeno Glazier, “Io Sono At Swoons”)

Interested in breaking down with traditional syntax and in abandoning punctuation and linear arrangement of words, in “A Throw of the Dice” Mallarme invites the reader to follow the poetic text in a nonconventional format, which, at first sight, reveals itself as being devised under the sign of chance or random because words are left free on the page, verbs and adverbs, nouns and articles are no longer bound to each other, capital letters follow no orthographic rules, punctuation marks are almost absent, and sentences can be barely read and identified. The feeling of incidental organization is caused by the very first visual impact of each page that Mallarme had skillfully manipulated in an attempt to escape “the four extremities of the page by jumping the boundary of the spine to tie two conventional pages into one,” as Dorothy M. Betz beautifully describes the poet’s intention and writing strategy. In Betz’s opinion, “the generally-falling movement of the text across each page depicts the fall of the dice; the ship on page three, the hat on page six, and the constellation on page eleven depict objects named at those points” whereas the arbitrary position of the words translates the poet’s playfulness and intent to mock the limits of the book and to express his frustration in writing.   Continue reading Chance=Random

Week 4: Responding to Lori and Zephyr

I was planning to respond to the assignment for week 4, focusing on the ideas that I had been developing over the last several weeks.  I found postings by Lori and Zephyr, and my path, quite appropriately, forked away from what I had intended to write about to something new.

Reading Lori’s entry on Karpinski and Howe’s open.ended,  which  ties previous discussions about three-dimensionality to the current one about chance, I was reminded of a work which I had forgotten about, but which I want to share: Brooke M. Campbell’s Choose Your Own Sexuality from Rhizomes 8.  Campbell’s piece combines poetry, biography, and history under the familiar form of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel to create a queer biography of Emily Dickinson.  Campbell’s piece takes seriously the implications of queer scholarship, shedding light on the general import of such work:  The author is often just as much what he or she is as what he or she isn’t and that creative works reflect this similar tension.  Decision-making is not simply the rational evaluation of two choices, rather they are heavily laden with cultural expectations, social frameworks, habits, law, and deep desires.  Though Campbell’s piece uses the familiar framework of binary choices, the fact that Campbell’s piece is based on actual historical events loads the choices up with the questions: “What happened?” and “What do we want to happen?”  The effect is not to simply fork the work, but to play in the imaginative spaces between the choices, to speculate about possibility.

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week 4.1: chance timing (atmospheric context)

the first video work i made, i made from footage of kelsey’s funeral set to a soundtrack of billy idol.

My mom comes and brings a vhs recorded with Kelsey’s memorial service. Why do we call it hers? Ours, about Kels (’over my dead body’). None of us have ever watched it. I take it to school, turn off the monitor and dub it to DVD. Then watch it one night in my basement studio, lights off, lying on the futon, blanket on.

i didn’t know – and couldn’t be bothered to learn – how to rip right from the DVD. so i filmed it again on my (cracked) computer screen, mini dv camera balanced on a beer bottle and a stack of books – as am, often, i. an aesthetic was born: lo-fi, rascuache and hand-made-for-youtube style.

Editing. The more I clip and playback the further the distance between the white-faced 23 year old with the hollow eyes and skeletal shadows and the me that’s like, ‘hey Chris can you do me a favor? Film me dancing around and singing to billy idol? It’s kinda weird but it’s to edit over the film from the funeral… you know, ‘hey little sister, what have you done?’

i’m into all the the youtube tropes – the music videos, the narcissistic (self-conscious) metubes, the i.movie edits, the bedroom girls – and i can claim my interest’s academic (it is – somewhat – so i do) but the youtube context (which is a separate theatre from the one i set to screen these works in) also works to disable any academic reading (comments & responses).

Continue reading week 4.1: chance timing (atmospheric context)