Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Quick Correction, & A Nice Note & A "Yes" Sensation Reading It

I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing it here from the comments section of the blog, but Andy Gricevich of Cannot Exist, and of many things, not least, "Great Hymn of Thanksgiving," offered up a correction (below) to my post (below) about "Great Hymn."  

I did, in fact, make it sound like Andy alone invented this piece, while it was actually spearheaded (did not know this) by Nonsense Company's Rick Burkhardt, then figured out as an ensemble, i.e., by the three artists.  My apologies.  Hard to keep up with who in Nonsense is spearheading what, as the group works so tightly together.

And Andy, I think, is spot-on regarding Flarf & Nada Gordon's work.  Reason why I (not speaking for Andy here, as I don't know his thoughts on the matter other than the below) don't take up Flarf on this blog is precisely because a lot of it does not interest me (activate me either negatively or positively), and as "movement" "it" seems too contiguous with a lot of ways poets cull, dig up, reshape, and appropriate language in order for me to write more generally to the phenomenon--other than to point out from a distance that some of its parodic-Dada reenactments seem to rub problematically against a sort of false conciousness, yet that there is, as many poets working now will agree, a lot to work with, and a great deal of urgency in examining, webspeak, the google era, from questions about how language has been reshaped to how reliance on corporate platforms might or might not compromise/complicate our ability to communicate with one another.  And yet I have written on Nada Gordon & Kasey Mohammed's work for the same reason (I think) that Andy highlights below: their work, as individual poets and critics, interests me. Not to say they are both all Flarf, either, or to lump them together, but for want of time now: Both have a lot to contribute to poetry & poetics.  In fact, Charles Bernstein said same when we met up here at Evergreen last week, both of us curious as to how, in long run, Kasey's sonnets & Nada's earlier poets theater, will be situated, written on, etc as writers have increasingly focused on identifying them with "Flarf" more than their more diverse bodies of work should probably call for.  I haven't seen any of Nada's work live (the theater pieces, that is, which are several years ago & no longer performed, I think?), but have read Kasey's sonnets, & have dug them since seeing the first couple roll out.  My partner (tho teaching newer stuff on performance & performativity now) is originally--like Kasey--a Shakespeare scholar.  So, we've discussed this work quite a bit, the two of us.  The background, plus a whit & a good ear, mix well here.  So how will these works be positioned in future?  Anyway:

Speaking of good ears, from Andy (wish I could write on the fly like that):


A quick note (I'm at work, which is where I have e-access these days).

Thanks so much for this!

One little correction: I didn't write "Great Hymn;" it's by Rick Burkhardt (though I was intimately involved in the piece's composition as a discoverer of sounds and gleeful guinea pig--and the piece in performance, though exact with regard to the precise instructions of the score, has certainly been shaped by the work the two of us and Ryan Higgins have done as an ensemble--lots of practice in elaborate group speech and instrumental techniques, work on plays that informs the theatrical aspect of the performance, etc.).

Indeed, the link probably doesn't give a great picture of the piece--we've found it maddeningly difficult to record adequately. However, there's a film in the works that's going to look and sound great. Since the piece is in retirement for the moment, that will allow people to see it.

I'd meant to respond at length to Nada's post, and have thought about it regularly since reading it. It's stuck with me precisely because I find her to be the most interesting and thoughtful of Flarfists (most Flarf, I have to admit, fails to excite or even offend me--and I have a particular problem with what I see as uncritical acceptance of irony). If I ever get around to blogging again, I'll write about that.

oof--I wanted to write something about political art here, but have to run back to the circ desk!

all the best,


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