In a FaceBook post today, Bay Area artist Scott MacLeod began a thread that concerns me directly and which I will paste here, along with an explanation and answer to his query:
Scott MacLeod: Complete the following: “Displaced agency in social space becomes nearly filmic in its sutured continuity—and the meaning of this temporal autonomy of signification is _____________.” [Barrett Watten]
“Plasma,” the lead poem in Plasma/Paralleles/”X” (Tuumba, 1979), has been translated into Italian by Gherardo Bortolotti in the online journal G A M M M (joining previous translations into French, Dutch, and site-specific sculpture). The text and link are provided below. The next thing for me to do, clearly, is to attempt a homophonic translation!
Un paradosso è mangiato dallo spazio che gli sta attorno.
Ripeterò ciò che ho detto.
Far diventare una città una stagione è come indossare occhiali da sole dentro un vulcano.
In 2007 or thereabouts, I ran into Detroit poet Chris Tysh on W. 26th Street in Chelsea. It must have been Saturday. Simultaneously, we were hailed (as it were) by the poet George Quasha, who invited us in to the White Box Gallery to take part in a video project he was making. In another version of this story, I must have been contacted by Quasha, who invited me to the gallery, and I arrived at the same time as Chris Tysh. In a third version of the story, Carla Harryman was also present, to be hailed or invited by George Quasha.
In any case, Quasha asked me to compose myself, face a video camera and speak in whatever manner I chose, at whatever length I might, to the topic “Poetry is . . . .” After giving it some thought I did so. Carla Harryman likewise spoke to the question. Chris Tysh composed herself and spoke, while I remained at a respectful distance, not wanting to interfere. Kristin Prevallet may also have been there, composed herself, and likewise spoke.
Later, I wrote George Quasha about whether the project had come to fruition. He answered in inspecific terms. From that time forward I heard nothing more until, clicking on a Google link to an rss feed site called Tumblr, I came across evidence that the work existed and that I was in it, along with almost anyone else who might have an answer to that question. The resulting video is a compilation of some interest that just might speak to what “poetry is . . . .”
The video has been out for about one week. My segment can be found at 34:45.
Mark(s), the Detroit-based, multigenre, poetry/art webzine, has concluded its ten-year run by putting up a remediated archive of the work it curated and published: www.markszine.net. Mark(s) was notable for developing a transformative digital aesthetics that worked between word and image, always attentive to the ways the developing display, linking, and animation possibilities of the medium could reinterpret the work. Designer Deb King accomplished this spectacularly in one of my own contributions, “Question of Interpretation”:
The work was a series of twelve four-line serial poems, each highly subjective in their content and interpretation, introduced by a “Rorschach” inkblot image made by the author about age 12. I had preserved these icons only to discover them, and their proper use, decades later. … More
From Stephen Cope at Essay Press: Carla Harryman discusses Adorno’s Noise and more in an interview recently published in [Inter]sections—the American Studies journal from the University of Bucharest, Romania: http://www.americanstudies.ro/?article=55
This, the literary magazine I co-edited with Robert Grenier from 1971–74 and continued to edit and publish until 1982, now has a Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Press. This is how the entry currently reads:
This is a poetry journal associated with what would later be called Language poetry.
First three issues edited by Robert Grenier and Barrett Watten (1971-1973); subsequent nine issues edited by Watten (1973-1982) who also published monographs under the imprint This Press (1974?-1986?).