Friday, August 28, 2009

Performance Writing

If you have read my book META/DATA, you know that I float the concept "pseudo-autobiography" to try and locate that blur-line of writing / performance where the autohallucinatory "I" remixes personal narrative with fiction with memoir or what I sometimes refer to as "meme-moi(r)"...

Without mentioning any precursors such as David Antin, Spaulding Grey, or Eric Bogosian, a recent article in the Times focuses on live storytelling performances "where participants tell stories about their lives, are loose and spontaneous, and the emphasis is on authenticity." Authentic in what sense, though? Authentic in the sense of being closer to the truth? The article suggests that these storytelling performers from the Nuyorican Cafe are parlaying their "authenticity" into six-figure book contracts, movie deals, and the commercial good life.

But what does it mean to commodify the authenticity of our experience?

Perhaps we need to remove ourselves from this need to "perform authenticity" per se and take up the creative act of subjectively aiming our remixological practice at the source material that we navigate through / immerse ourselves in / carry with us from past experience at every moment of creative discovery where becoming a postproduction medium is the principle of novelty.

But do you have it in you to perform this way?

If we are all born-remixers, then in a way, you could say we really have no choice in the matter. We must perform this way in order to fuel our creative trajectory through various (given) life processes.

Yet according to the Times, the notion of "authenticity" is somehow equated with the private and personal narrative circumstances of the performative players themselves.

"The private is now public,” the article quotes an art director as saying: “And great source material."

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