Amusements & Useful Devices from K. A. Wisniewski
I am fan of the work of Punctum Books and the journal postmedieval and, to some extent, those theorists investigating Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO). I am especially interested in the ways in which scholars like Eileen Joy, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, and others in the Babel Working Group have given new life to studies in medievalism by interrogating the ways in which the period has been constructed or invented by post-medieval writers and scholars, by opening new threads of dialogue by applying new theoretical strands into their analyses, and by offering new discussions that highlight how elements of medieval culture that have been marginalized or silenced might transform or modulate the contemporary. In other words, they’ve made the medieval relevant again.
This is where I’m coming from as I study both digital publishing and the long eighteenth-century. How we breathe new life into the seemingly static eighteenth century? My dissertation (in-progress) begins to answer these questions by studying hoax-literature, comedy, and other publishing experiments. In this case, getting the joke is part of literacy! To highlight this, one of my many projects is to recreate some of these printing experiments.
Yesterday I shared a broadside print of one of my poems, “For the Crows”, and thought it would be fun to share my own parodies of this most serious poem with a few readings: a parody of what one might expect from a poetry reading and a remix version, inspired in part by Thomas Swiss’ Blind Side of a Secret, that is read through a Dunlop (not Dunlap, the eighteenth-century printer!) Wah pedal and layered with a drum machine, an electronic piano sample, and other digital effects imposed on clips from the original reading. The scratches and “chirps”–I thought they were amusingly over-the-top or fitting for the topic–is my wink to d.j. readies, a.k.a. Craig Saper, and his audio contribution to Mark Amerika’s remixthebook and his performance at the 2011 Miami Poetry Festival: “Send a Postcard to Yourself from the Future”.
As always, readers are encouraged to download, share, sample or remix, and send me their own versions! Enjoy!