Friday, March 02, 2007

Ulmer's Glue (Practice and Stick-to-itiveness)

Tracking theory, a media stylo ...

Web 2.0, gone awry (yet somehow still linear in its thinking) ...

But the fact is, writing in and with new media, is where the most exciting critical media literacy (electracy) projects are developing. Some great experiments in digital critifiction and poetics can be found in older issues of ebr and Beehive.

A collection of innovative writing growing out of the critical theory of Gregory Ulmer will soon be released by Alt-X Press as part of our continuing ebook series. The new anthology of writings, entitled Illogic of Sense: The Gregory Ulmer Remix, will feature an array of avant-post essays that play with the idea of mystory and/or applied grammatology, not so much by reproducing Ulmer's "logic of invention" but by using his theoretical patches as filters to generate other forms of hyperrhetorical drift. The work is edited by Darren Tofts and Lisa Gye and is being designed by artist Joel Swanson.

Read the intro to the Greg Ulmer interview here, and you'll see my homage to both Ulmer (also known as Glue) and the stickiness of intuitive writing (visualized as a series of digital "post-it" notes aka "stickies").

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All Things Being Equal

According to one of my recent formulas in the science of imaginary solutions:

Pataphysics + Psychogeography = Counterintuitive Flow?

(The question mark at the end is intentional, and meant to declare the formula part of an open poetic work. According to Umberto Eco, "these poetic systems recognize 'openness' as the fundamental possibility of the contemporary artist or consumer. The aesthetic theoretician, in his turn, will see a confirmation of his own intuitions in these practical manifestations: they constitute the ultimate realization of a receptive mode which can function at many different levels of intensity.")

This science of imaginary solutions that I am developing in tandem with a hacktivist, nomadic net art practice, has its roots in alchemy. What is Professor VJ, a self-identified remixologist, but an affective alchemist spurring on new compounds of potential meaning?

The OULIPO writer Raymond Queneau has described pataphysics as resting "on the truth of contradictions and exceptions."

Guy Debord, on the other hand, isolates psychogeography as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals."

What does it mean for the contemporary artist-medium, embodying the spirit of a pataphysician hyperimprovisationally remixing the avant-garde lineage their life work springs forth from, to experience a simultaneous and continuous fusion of counterintuitive flows while drifting through the city?

Perhaps it's time to poetically corrupt the idea of taking a random walk?

through textual space
scattering letters
i d
r e a l

<... constellating eureka prisms // poetic tauts //

intuitive impulses //

"demon leakages" ...>
Could this kind of intuitively generated perambulation epitomize what it means to become a discrete form of fractal art in poetic space?

Possibly, but then where is its political consciousness to be found while becoming?

What would its agenda be?

Jacques Roubbaud says "language can be mathematized." Joseph Kosuth says that what art has in common with mathematics is that it is a tautology.

Trying to convert this kind of poetic composition into philosophical codework, though, is no walk in the park.

Raoul Vaneigem, in The Revolution of Everyday Life, suggests that "Pataphsyics [...] leads us with many a twist and turn to the last graveyards."

But in that case, isn't pataphysics just another way of practicing avant-alchemy, one turned on its head and sniffing for more imaginary truffles?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

More Boulder Hype

The New York Times gravitates toward what is becoming an internationally-renowned, slow-food, eco-friendly, haute cuisine scene in Boulder. They call it "Fine Dining With a Hippie Past" and focus on just a few great restaurants, including the hippest one of all and one of my favorites, The Kitchen Cafe.

Of course, the article skips over some of the more reasonably priced, genuine good-eats joints that are still firmly entrenched in the delicious vegan and vegetarian traditions of Boulder's so-callled granola past, places like the Cafe Prasad, Sunflower, and Leaf, not to mention the ethnic joints like Chez Thuy (Vietnamese) and Ras Kassas (Ethiopian).

Given how much I travel, I often get lots of good advice on where to find the kind of food I want to eat everywhere around the world by doing word searches at Technorati, so this is my chance to "give back" to the organic / healthy / slow food movement and point readers to a few excellent places in my own town. Here are few quick comments on the restaurants above:
  • The Kitchen Cafe: great place to meet and cut a business deal while eating local organic vegies with a variety of meat and non-meat options. Check out their website to see how they integrate eco-friendly community businesses into their operation. The Monday night community meal is pricey but totally fun and gastronomically correct. When we were there, the local farmer who grew the vegetables as well as her clan were at the table with us (only 15 of us total).
  • Ras Kassas: excellent vegetarian options and yes, the injera bread is homemade and there are no utensils. Eat with your hands (suck your fingers for all I care).
  • Chez Thuy: delicious and authentic Vietnamese food in a diner style joint that keeps you coming back for more. Great value.
  • Sunflower: competes with the new Leaf as best restaraunt in Boulder. They do amazing things with tempeh and seitan, and their deserts kick ass! Out of town friends like it because they get to try Rocky Mountain game dishes that I would never touch, like grilled elk tenderloin. I'll stick with the tempeh scaloppini, thank you.
  • Cafe Prasad: best organic, vegan grub in town. Daily "raw food" specials are awesome (though small proportions), and the Berry Drunk Monkey is the best smoothie in town (followed by the Enlightened Orangutan).
  • Leaf: newest kid on the block and definitely worth a visit. We tend to go for lunch. It feels like I'm back in California and the variety of choices is super. Shanghai Oolong Noodles is my current favorite and comes with tofu, udon noodles, red bell pepper, carrot, daikon radish, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, fresh cilantro, all in oolong tea broth. Great value as well!
To be honest, I'm surprised it's taken this long for the foodie scene to get as good as it's gotten. You would think it would have happened sooner in America's Smartest City (and yes, it is the source of much of the wild-eyed satire in my upcoming 29 Inches, even though I myself partake in it, perhaps more than average Sean or Chelsea).

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