Amusements & Useful Devices from K. A. Wisniewski
[NOTEBOOK/FRAGMENTS . . .]
The book imitates the world as art imitates nature.
~Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari
For Deleuze & Guattari, the tree serves as an image or metaphor for the model of systems of thought. Underneath the tree–the root, the rhizomatic labyrinth, that presents an alternative model.
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For the few weeks, I’ve been working with Craig Saper on the next publication of Roving Eye Press, Bob Brown’s 1450-1950, and thinking a lot about how the calligram connects problems and practices of writers, typographers, graphic designers, and artists. Here, Guillaume Apollinaire’s philosophy that the practice of modern poetry should involve the same experimentation of modern science ties into my research on electracy and, specifically, Textshop Experiments.
In his recent seminars, Ulmer asks students to remake a literary work as a “blox,” a digital work modeled after both Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes and assemblages and the practice of film adaptation. Here, students are essentially asked to tease out the mysteries–those magical qualities–of science and technology, transforming them into poetry.
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I am thinking about Stan Brakhage’s short, silent film Wonder Ring (1955) (made for Joseph Cornell) portraying the Third Avenue El before its demolition.
Having just returned from London, I am thinking about the networks of train lines as poetry.
[Missed connection. . .]
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On the return home from England, I watched the film Interstellar and am fascinated with the way in which time is visually, and physically, represented when Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, enters via a black hole. This five-dimensional space, compressed into three dimensions, allows Cooper to see into his daughter’s room (and physically manipulate physical objects to communicate with her) throughout infinite moments from behind her bookshelves. Ulmer often alludes to James Cameron’s Avatar as a starting point to highlight the invention of, what he refers to as, “flash reason,” but these scenes within the black hole might also serve as another beginning to understand this concept, as they remediate tensions between religion (the ghosts or poltergeists that haunted the room) and the science (the mathematics behind gravity, the binaries, the Morse codes used to communicate).
This space might serve as a model for chorographic writing: not a linear space or unit, but a complex and unexpected network of relationships, experiences, and meanings–past, present, and future–where multiple selves exist, interact, and create.
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Thinking a lot this month about how Textshop Experiments might be organized, I immediately knew I wanted wanted an entire section offering a number of entry points into the electrate. [Reviewing my notebooks.] One to frame the textshop models is to create graphic visualizations to highlight each chapter or experiment. After playing with a number of online tools, I settled on Textexture, largely because I was able to remove the displays of the words being represented and for the appealing spacey white-on-black graphics. Without knowing what words or concepts are being represented here, readers become explorers, following new, uncharted constellations. Each word, a galaxy.
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