12.05.2013

APG in Emergency Index

We're excited to be included in this year's Emergency Index 2, an anthology documenting performance art in 2012. Here's the entry for our Walmart Entanglements:


And here's the simple text (the un-EI-edited version anyway):



                Wal-Mart Entanglements— part of our ongoing series of Entanglements— entanglement borrowed loosely from the concept of quantum entanglement— spooky action at a distance— here action = language— entanglement as semi-closed, verbal, coupled system
                we did three one-hour sessions in which we trapped ourselves simultaneously in Wal-Marts (one in ATL, one in OKC)— before each session parameters were for interactions between us and between the person and his Wal-Mart— during the session we communicated by phone, email and text— e.g., each person sent the other an email that named the department the sender was in, a color and a direction (e.g., turn right), and contained additional verbal material for the receiver to use (e.g., “I'm such thumb glitter/ That leather the/ Center at trim music/ Or people at apparel”)— each also made calls to the other which interrupted the other’s activity and provided him additional material to react to and use— not all session parameters were symmetrical, e.g., in the second session, we agreed that Selvidge would record audio monologues and Sanders would compose written pieces, neither of which was to be shared with the other in real time—
                what we want through entanglement is a system of composition that is sited, improvisatory, and transindividual— one that displaces the still all-too-prevalent mode of poetry by the lone, inspired individual, instead using a mode that is quasi-determined (focused) but also complex enough to embrace real-time (a rejection of the algorithmic asceticism of much conceptual poetry)—
                some properties of entanglement discovered them: (1) entanglement as a nonlinear, dynamic feedback loop: not simply dialog or dialectic— (2) entanglement as knotting— connection but also constriction— blockages by sensory overload—miscommunication (dropped calls, mishearing)— (3) entanglement as interpolation, refiguring— here a literalized “allegory” (allo = other) + (agora = marketplace), an alternative to the verbal behavior encouraged by the site— (4) entanglement between process and product— a verbal analog to Smithson’s site-nonsite: sited composition (Wal-Mart doesn’t stock poetry so you have to bring poetry’s “low ghost” to Wal-Mart) and extraction to non-site (remnants of “Wal-Mart language” reassembled and recontextualized)— (5) entanglement as intimacy by distance— not the arm’s length intimacy of consumer exchange that Wal-Mart wants (that conceals the knots of other social relations)— a 90° tilt, an exchange in part produced by the problematics described above
                to modify Hejinian’s exhortation: “entangle with the occasion”

 



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