Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Proof is in the Prodding

Things have been way too busy lately. This is mostly due to the fact I have been proofing my META/DATA book, projected at 520 pages with 18 color illustrations. The book is just a sampling of my experimental artist writings from the early '90s to the present (there are quite a few "theoretical fictions" that have never been published before). It's not easy looking back at work written ten-fifteen years ago and then mashing it all up with the newest of the new writing. Having said that, proofreading this kind of book has not necessarily been "a trip down memory lane" as much as it has been a reminder of how many "mes" one is capable of embodying (a simultaneous and continuous fusion of signature-style events happening in asynchronous realtime). And these "mes" are really all part of the collective "not-me" that generates a multitude of flux personas so fast I don't even know where they are coming from (although the phrase "creative unconscious" comes to mind).

As I say in the "Preface" to META/DATA :
It is also a playful and performative self-appropriation, or, if you prefer, a digital sampling of the writing traces my creative self has left behind over the last 15 years, albeit a creative self that I have come to realize is not really there, that is, a creative self that precedes my own conscious thoughts and is already a manipulated version of itself as something other. At various times throughout the book, I refer to this something other as the "not-me," as when I look at the all of the work I have produced over the last one and half decades and focus on the various media platforms that this work gets distributed through, and think to myself: "That's just not me."

Isn't life funny that way? If it wasn't me, then who was it? And how on earth did I create all of this work when I clearly didn't know what I was doing? [...]
One bit of good news is that my publisher, The MIT Press, has come out with their Spring 2007 catalogue. Check it out here and you'll see that META/DATA is featured on page 3, comfortably situated after Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution and Feedback: Television and Democracy, and right before The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp and The Beautiful Language of My Century (which, according to the catalogue, explores the montage practice developed by Guy Debord and the Situationists, i.e. d├ętournement).

Once I get through this proofreading madness (drone on, Dead Man), I'll convert a short excerpt from my other forthcoming book, 29 Inches: A Long Narrative Poem (Chiasmus Press), into a PDF and link to it from this blog. Comparatively speaking, proofreading 29 Inches should be a breeze.

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