Sunday, 28 June 2009

Economic Outlay for the Limited Energies of Olchar E. Lindsann, LLC

i.e., ongoing projects in the works. Putting one of these together every month or two is intended to cut down on the time needed to reiterate the same information infinite times in private correspondence, to keep the latter from utterly overwhelming my productive capacity. Since I've been largely out-of-touch with a number of people over the last year, this one will be pretty long:

Two essays are forthcoming in the next couple months:
  • An essay On Fun in the journal Transmission, published by the SPART Action Group in Northern Ireland, along with stuff by Vittore Baroni, Istvan Cantor, Mark Greenwood, editor Justin McKeown , and a few others.
  • A critical introduction for the revised edition of Jim Leftwich's monumental aleatoric theoro-alchemical poetic opus Doubt, along with other splendid commentaries & tributes by Thomas L. Taylor, John M. Bennett, John Crouse, Scott MacLeod, Sheila E. Murphy, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, and Michael Peters. Doubt was first published by the indubitable Potes & Poets Press in 2000, and the new edition purged of a number of typographic errors is being put out by Peter Ganick's Blue Lion Press.
  • Also knocking into shape an old manuscript essay for the forthcoming Synapse: 'Creative Sociality and the Traditions of Dissent: Toward a Radical Historiography' and beginning work on two possible essays for a John M. Bennett anthology being assembled by Pudding House Press; one prying apart the experience (in the word's various senses) of reading Bennett's writing, the other interweaving the way that his work is circulated with a notion of a memetic macro-poetics of dissemination.

Also in the works: a slowly-but-surely-though-slowly progressing Sketch Comedy Show with Warren Fry and others. A pilot set of seven or eight sketches (one written by David Beris Edwards) exists in various stages of completion.

On September 11 of this year, the Washington Post-Neo group brings the heat with an apocalypse-themed performance event co-ordinated with us here in the Jersey group, at an exhibition by Bradley Chriss of the same theme, for which he is eminantly qualified to be sure. Believe it or not this date for the show's opening was a coincidence (as far as I know). Brad, Megan Blafas, and Tim Campbell came up to Jersey over the 4th of July.

And on the note of visits, Aaron Andrews, ex-Rape Van (RIP) bassist, printmaker, and Post-Neo co-founder, recently came out to visit us here in New Jersey as well, where the three solid weeks of rain, New Jersey, had us all in rather numb spirits. Nonetheless:
  • Aaron slaughtered us with his newly-invented mixed-drink concoction 'The KGB', which tastes like chocolate milk but is pure liquor and takes no prisoners. The next morning I felt like a journalist three days after criticizing Putin.
  • I finally got my theramin into working order (for all intents and purposes). It is housed inside a rubber chicken.
  • I spent far too much on books in Princeton, but have acquired a First (American) edition of Ambrose Bierce's Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. (I believe a British edition had been published several years earlier under the title 'Can Such Things Be'.) This book was the main impetus behind my beginning to write fiction when I was 16 or so, and Bierce was my main literary model for a couple years. Brilliant.
There is a rumour that bela b Grimm might make it out this summer too, possibly presaging a follow-up to The Myopic Death-Ray...

Another short-ish term goal is to continue the meticulous process of filing and cataloging the Post-Neo Archive at a rate to allow me to start posting the catalog online as it progresses. Currently there are hundreds of items filed and many hundreds more awaiting filing; but only A-F of the individual artist files have been numberd and cataloged.

mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press & Publishing
I've been very busy re-structuring the way that mOnocle-Lash is run--even with only one person cordinating everything, a bureauocracy is still necessary--in order to be more efficient both fiscally and in terms of time. The fruits of this reorganisation will hopefully begin to reveal themselves over the course of next year.
  • We are finally able to serve as a distro for European staple-bound publications, having found a source for UK paper sizes, and are beginning to reprint and distribute a number of titles from the UK Post-Neo Mouse Milk Press, and soon copies of Northern Ireland's Transmission. (Probably a few Luna Bisonte TLPs as well).
  • The long-long-long-awaited Synapse 4 will hopefully be completed by the end of the Summer. It will be disseminated over the course of the autumn in a packet along with a Sound Supplement on disc with cover by Aaron Andrews, a newly-inaugurated line of little TLPs inspired by Luna Bisonte Prods, and other goodies.
  • Also by the end of the summer, mOnocle-Lash should have a simple but functional website, as well as an associated blog that can function both to communicate what is being published and potentially to host a discussion of what the communit/ies associated with mOnocle-Lash would like to see us do. If anyone uses it.

For A.Da. 94 (2010), partial plans involve:
  • A line of free .pdf books
  • The inauguration of a line of translations of 19th and early 20th Century avant-garde groups previously unavailable in English (beginning with the Paris Bouzingos group of the 1830s--other eventual groups under discusion include Croatian Dada and the Incoherents group of the 1890s.).
  • The inauguration of a mOnocle-Lash RPG imprint under the supervision of Warren Fry.
  • Several anthologizing and historicizing projects destined for perfect-bound print-on-demand editions.
  • Increased interaction with 'Zine and Anarchist micropress communities via conventions, distro, etc. in addition to our focus on avant-garde communities.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

It was Jack who built this shitty house.

I christen this blog with one of the first cut-up (or proto-cutup to be fair) poems I ever read--a sonnet pieced together by Samuel Taylor Coleridge entirely from snippets and phrases from other poems throughout his ouvre, and published under his satirical pseudonym Nehemiah Higginbottom in The Monthly Magazine in 1796 (later reprinted in a footnote to Coleridge's Biographia Literaria, on which I first weaned my Philosophic teeth). The poem was intended as a commentary on form divorced from conceptual neccessity, and employs the common 19th Century satirical device of the House that Jack Built--with Jack literally mooning us bare-arsed at the end.

Don't ever say I don't repay my poetic debts, Mr. Coleridge, you turn-coat Tory Monarchist bastard.

Lamented Jack! and here his malt he pil'd,
Cautious in vain! these rats, that squeak so wild,
Squeak not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did he not see her gleaming thro' the glade!
Belike 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What tho' she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray'd:
And aye, beside her stalks her amorous knight!
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn,
His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white.
Ah! thus thro' broken clouds at night's high noon
Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest moon!


Saturday, 6 June 2009

An old letter

The following letter was affixed to my (as yet unpublished) essay Toward A Nagean Pataphysics in late A.Da. 89 (2005), when it was submitted for marking at Dartington College of Arts (R.I.P.). The essay (according to base Bourgeois standards of mathematics) was nearly 60% over the maximum allowed word-count of 5000 words. This note was determined to prove that the word-count was, when looked at in the proper 'Pataphysical light, in fact nearly perfect. To his credit (I think), Mark Leahy approved of the calculations--one more bit of proof as to Dartington's pedagogical value before it had its throat cut by its own treacherous administration.

The essay itself will be published in the course of time; the context of that publication is still being decided upon.

To whom it may concern:

I am attaching this prefacexplanationlettermissiveappendix to the body of my essay, Toward (and away from) A (potential) Nagean Pataphysics for two main purposes (in addition to a few supplementary ones). One is to introduce some critical background to the piece itself, for Pataphysics (as you will find) is by its nature fiercely inward-turning, potentially hermetic, patantially occult; and for those not familiar with certain terms, sources, and areas of Pataphysical concern, these carefully constructed Anti-symmetries and Anti-logical arguments might appear as meaningless chaos, rather than meaningless structure.

1.} This essay contains a number of references to various definitions of the Anti-discipline known as Pataphysics, given by Alfred Jarry, its (Anti-)founder. Many of these (taken from Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician) are so thoroughly ingrained in its practitioners as to be commonly invoked in their texts merely by a single word or phrase without being made explicit. I have appended a list of these canonical definitions; pay particular attention to the wording and metaphorical themes themselves. Some additional definitions will come into play in the piece itself.

2.} Two terms have come to be traditionally invoked in Pataphysical discourse in a particular way: the clinamen as a swerve, on some register, that disrupts a given order or circuit of transmission; and the syzygy as a coming together, or superinduction, of two disparate elements.

3.} Most engagements with Pataphysics have involved as their principle (though not exclusive) strategy the bringing together in some way of a literary/poetic/imaginative model with either a mathematical model (Oulipo), or a scientific model (Canadian “Pataphysics).

The second (main) goal of this letter (which, might I stress, is to be regarded simply as a helpful supplement of the piece itself) is to explain, in the most straightforward way possible, the number of words contained in this essay, both the apparent number and the actual.

According to Microsoft Word, this piece of criticism includes exactly 8,375 words. However, I must stress that (Microsoft Word being, when approached as a word-counting tool, nearer to the metaphor of a club than that of a stiletto) this is merely the apparent number of words; but after a short explanation of several factors involved in this revelation, I shall proceed systematically to demonstrate that I have, in fact, when looked at in a more judicious light, approached the paradigmatic goal of 5,000 quite closely.

First, let me point out that if we designate the ideal number of words in the essay as x, and the ideal amount of intellectual capital, or “meaning” as y, the equation that most perfectly expresses the ideal state of the projected essay is:

x = y.

However, upon closer inspection, we realize that y is not in fact a number, and that in the present situation (i.e. algebraic rather than phonetic) it can in fact signify any number- for instance 6, or 5000, or 93, or 385,430 –6.
x however, has been fixed in its signification, thus:

5,000 = y

It has, however, been conclusively shown, in different ways, that x (the word) can never be charged with a strict one-to-one (or x to x, or y to y) correspondence with intellectual capital, i.e. “meaning.” (see McCaffery, “Writing as a General Economy” [McCaffery 2000, pp 201-221 or Derrida, “Speech and Phenomenon.” [Derrida 1991, pp 6-30.]) As a result, if 5,000 is taken as a constant, then y, which we now realize can never equal x, must always have a certain amount of “capital” or “meaning” either added to or subtracted from it in order to restore an equilibrium. This can be expressed mathematically in one of two ways, depending on the value of y relative to x:

y = y - z
y = y + z

Therefore, in order to equate y with x, we are always faced with one of two equations (or, potentially, a point of tangency between them which is nonetheless not a mere neutrality). Thus:

5,000 = y – z
5,000 = y + z

The former might represent Lautreamont, Derrida, Jarry, or Stein; the latter Hemingway or Kostelanetz. In my case, the former is most certainly the case, since the very confusion bred by syntactic complexity, and the added subtlety for grammatical and semantic manipulation that it allows, is vital to the working of any potential Nagean Pataphysics, which must operate as much on the level of literary technique, rhetoric, and structure as on argumentation. Thus I am faced with one of two possibilities:

5,000 = y – z
5,000 < z =" 5,000" 000 =" y" z =" 5,000" z =" 5,000" 5 =" 4,989.5" y =" 4,989.5">