Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Reading-Writing Thing

Finding time to write is never an easy thing to do, and most artists and students I know, have some kind of aversion to it. They will even make excuses to justify not writing, saying things like "I hate to explain my work" (this is usually artspeak for "I am illiterate"). But in blog space (aka as the "compositional playing field"), the fluidity of the textual sphere as a supplemental space to launch ones extratext in, challenges contemporary artists to get the words out of their system, to take advantage of the endless openings the space provides.

The difficult part is in trusting yourself and accepting what you can and cannot perform, think, invent, or otherwise poeticize/theorize on the fly (or even with constant revision). My sense is that writing is not a priority for those in the so-called visual arts because they like to think of themselves as "making things" - as if hacking into this empty canvas that I am typing these words into right now is not making something. The ability to include video, mobile phone pix, sound, and the like, make the space ideally situated for a new or multimedia artist looking to connect with an audience outside the commercial gallery system.

Fear not, Artist, maker of things. The Author may not be in you, but then again, as Foucault once asked, "What is an Author?"
I think that, as our society changes, at the very moment when it is in the process of changing, the author-function will disappear, and in such a manner that fiction and its polysemic texts will once again function according to another mode, but still with a system of constraint—once which will no longer be the author, but which will have to be determined or, perhaps, experienced.

A question we are asking in the Graduate seminar this semester is "can we write ourselves into the script as performative extratexts, and will the polysemic resonance of our leaking personas help us tell the tale of our making things up as we go along?"

But then there is the question of editing, of manipulating the data as a ____ effect.

What kind of effect?

Special effect?

What makes it so special?

How about special affect?

The art world is full of special affect. Now if only artists could write about it.

UPDATE: When I say "[t]he art world is full of special affect. Now if only artists could write about it," I am once again applying my very loose and expanded concept of writing to the action I propose, that is, one can write with pen or pencil, computer keyboard, stereo mike, HDV camera, or even using a visual dictionary like the one enacted here.

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