Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pseudo-Autobiographical Animals

Derrida, in "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)," writes:
Autobiography, the writing of the self as living, the trace of the living for itself, being for itself, being for itself, the auto-affection or auto-infection as memory or archive of the living would be an immunizing movement (a movement of safety, of salvage and salvation of the safe, the holy, the immune, the indemnified, of virginal and intact nudity), but an immunizing movement that is always threatened with becoming auto-immunizing, as is every autos, every ipseity, every automatic, automobile, autonomous, auto-referential movement. Nothing risks becoming more poisonous than an autobiography; poisonous for itself in the first place, auto-infectious for the presumed signatory who is so auto-affected.
"... [l]ife itself is a fiction, and biography is something we invent afterwards."
Professor VJ (circa 2006):
My point is: fiction itself is an unstable signifier. For example, what if you were to take "fiction" as your starting point, that is, you are born a blob of nothingness waiting to write yourself into being, which you then construct over the course of your life. In this case, the writer becomes an instrument that creates their own pseudo-autobiographical narrative through the writing process itself. It's pseudo-autobiographical because you make it up as you go along. This is the only way to tap into your unconscious (readiness) potential as you turn to your instincts to perform the narrative momentum you are creating for yourself. In this regard, writing becomes no less than surviving. But even if you get to the point where you are able to succcessfully write your story into being so that you can then simultaneously become what you are writing, who is to say that you yourself are the author? Is it really You? Or is it the "not-you"? My research suspects that it is the "not-you," that is, the Unconscious Player inside you who you have no control over and who you must become in order to write your story. If you are having difficulties tapping into or processing this "not-you" when you write, then you may be having difficulties locating your readiness-potential as an instinctive artist-medium trying to survive as a writer.

But then, if as I suggest above, "you are born a blob of nothingness waiting to write yourself into being," how do you differentiate between fiction and not-fiction, or is it all a big blur? In my experience, it's all about training yourself to play with your unconscious power to create, that is, to locate a space of creative action where you can live up to your potential as an artist-medium capable of using the writing instrument itself to prophesize your future tense.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Begin the Begin (again and again, even and especially in winter, the anti-renewal space of renewal)

"The artist is always beginning," wrote Pound, and the creative process does not "live in a vacuum."

"Any work of art which is not a beginning," wrote Pound, "an invention, a discovery, is of little worth."

As far as I can tell, and tell it I will, the writer as postproduction medium is a novelty-generator, one who operates in auto-affect or auto-remix mode and, as such, is forever role-playing the next version of metamediumistic becoming each new beginning begets. Operating in auto-affect mode means that the artist-as-remixologist is always beginning the begin. The (re)layering and filtering effects one applies to each moment of concrescence is part of an ongoing process of image actualization where each new experiential composition manifests itself as an occasion for discovery.

Since so much of my artwork grows out of a digitally-expanded concept of creative writing, whatever intentions I may have in beginning a new artwork will, out of necessity, take into account the unconscious process of building a receptive audience. This does not mean that the imaginary or potential audience that may eventually receive my work must always be happy with or otherwise enjoy the work, or that I must create work that is less difficult so that I can have a better shot at locating a receptive audience. The idea is not that they will receive the work only if it's something they can relate to or that fulfills their expectations or, even worse, is somehow worth their time and/or money. I've been working against potential audience expectations for as long as I have been making art. But if my artwork grows out of a digitally-expanded concept of creative writing which automatically situates the work in our networked condition, then the idea that each new experiential composition manifests itself as an occasion for discovery means that, for me, this occasion for discovery transforms into an occasion for connectivity via the networked experience. This occasion for connectivity already implies a potential audience is there to experience the artwork.

And yet: if you publish a daily blog post and no one is around to link to it, is it networked?

These blog posts are my postcards (sometimes very long postcards). In the early 90s, pre-blogosphere, it was the Alt-X Floating Theater of the Mind that I utilized for my networked postcard distribution. Back then, when Alt-X was just starting, the Floating Theater of the Mind created an alternative route one could take through the site just by clicking on the images planted inside each fiction, essay, article, etc. We were experimenting with simple things like integrating images and alternative navigation/linking systems into our web page design, and we decided to scan some of our 1980s mail art and resize them to fit into the web pages we were publishing. In those days, screens were small, so we had to adjust our images accordingly.

DeKoonig's Bike
Scanned image of early mail art by Mark Amerika

And yet, Derrida, in The Post Card, writes what we all know, i.e. that the postcard may never arrive at its destination and thus may never be "present."

To mash-up these early morning quotes and thoughts:
The artist is always beginning, a novelty generator in auto-affect mode, and even though the formal traces they leave behind may never be actualized by their intended audience, their having been actualized as part of the artist's own flow of metamediumistic postproduction is worth living for.
Why does that matter? Because none of us really have "followers" per se. I no longer know whom I am writing to when I post a blog, and blog posts are always postcards: "neither legible nor illegible, open and radically unintelligible."

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Architectural Actualization

New digs for Professor VJ and his lab of merry remixologists ...

Images of the new studio coming shortly ...

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