net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Jiji and J.R.

JijiJRTwo books of two friends, female friends, friendins, friendxx …
I present both books together, because, the authors could be interested to meet the book of the other.

Both books make you read differently.

Once upon a [‘high’, ‘spring’, ‘slack’, ‘neap’] tide we
[‘drifted’, ‘coasted’, ‘slid’, ‘slipped’, ‘tacked’] past a [‘bay’,
‘beach’, ‘cape’, ‘cove’, ‘dune’, ‘lagoon’,]

An Ocean of Static by J.R. Carpenter, Penned in the Margins, 2018.

Crahsh. L∅j drpp∅d ah mirrr pahinting n th∅ jjr. AH shrn ahbiss wh∅r∅ th∅r∅ hahd b∅∅n nji sahnd. AH hj∅ in th∅ b∅ahch. Jiji jah∩gh∅d.

Jiji by Lily Robert Foley, Omnia Vanitas Review, Sept. 2016.

On page 4, all o’s are removed.
On page 17, all j’s and l’s are exchanged.
On page 22, h is added to a’s (ah).
On page 94, y is replaced with i.
On page 100, u is replaced with ∩.
On page 123, e is replaced with ∅.

Jiji has its own rules which are transforming the book into a reading machine. The “code” is given from the start.
When I first leafed through the book I was skeptic “It looked impossible to read”. But it wasn’t, my brain adapted and became entangled with the lovers in this “roman à clef”. Incredibly how plastic our brain is, how much of reading is convention, incredible how fast you can learn a new code. I preferred the tragic story, its content mirrored through its form, to the machinic end. Not brave enough. I don’t regret. Jiji stays with me.

J.R. Carpenter also clears the coast at the start in her note to the reader.
This book is made of other books. The poems in this book are composed of facts, fictions, fragments, and codes collected from accounts of voyages undertaken over the past 2,340 years or so, into the North Atlantic, in search of the Northwest Passage, and beyond, into territories purely imaginary. These poems are intended to be read on the page and to serve as scripts for the live performance of a body of web-based works. They retain traces of the syntax and grammar of code language the dense, fragmented archive of the North Atlantic into an astonishing sea of fresh new text.

In An Ocean of Static form and content are also intimately linked. I was again initially skeptic; the book looked so austere.
I like to “play” between choosing an argument and comparing them among themselves. J.R.’s variable texts read as code, as poetry, as a game, and they are deeply strangely personal. They leave me space to be in/with the ocean of noise, hearing faint voices and splinters, that sometimes I recognize as from the past, however are always first-most hers. This is what we are made of. This is what we are. This is how we can speak without ignoring what was. This is how we are entangled with machines.

In this constantly shifting sea of variable
texts a reader will never wash ashore on the same island
twice… and by islands, I really do mean paragraphs.

Et puis : Un poème d’un autre amie: Camille Bloomfield.

Be brave! Other recommended Summer reading : Allison Parrish and Gabriele d’Annunzio.

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Filed under: Of interest, , , , , , , ,

Not Texts.

earthquake

The Age of Earthquakes – A guide to the Extreme Present by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist “imitates” McLuhan’s approach in The Medium is the Massage and was much criticized because precisely it is a book, that looks back instead of forward – David L. Ulin L.A.Times, and because it’s not serious writing. M.H. Miller goes as far as saying that the authors have no actual skills in his Artnews article called Disaster Writing: New Book By Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist Wreaks Havoc on Original Thought. This resonates with a lot of reactions to my online collaborative writing experiments started in 1999. “The results are not texts.” people said and still say.

Shame.

I started working online in 1996 because I thought that by using hypertext I could come closer to showing something about what was going on in my brain than by using anything else. My brain isn’t functioning in a linear way, if I don’t constrain it to do so. I loved the concept of the network, of the simultaneously existing parts, the multiple pathways inside, the way I could simulate and imagine a thought hopping through it without controlling where it went. This was new at the time, but we quickly grew accustomed to using the internet in our daily internet lives and aren’t even aware anymore of it’s original power. But in the mean time I saw the appreciation of the lingering mind changing and this book is a voice for its complex character.

But why do I like it as a book? It historizes what otherwise would stay ephemeral – a profile through a possible multiple voice. And of course it remembers me of my own book from estranger to e-stranger – living in between languages, that is constructed in a similar way.

To better understand what the resulting texts of my collaborative online writing experiments “do” I started reading them aloud and using them in performances. Maybe, Martina and I, we could use The Age of Earthquakes as the basic text for one of our upcoming besides, performances.

Filed under: Collective writing, , , , ,

Upcoming

  • 2/12-8/12 Alchorisma, Z33, House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt. Session de travail avec Constant.
  • 23, 25, 26 oct 2018, 7-9, 15-17 jan 2019. Constallations, 3G(enerations) avec Pascale Barret et Alix Desaubliaux. Soutenu par OUDEIS.

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Annie Abrahams
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