On April 1, the APG participated in the Bruce Andrews 25-Hour Twitter Project, an interactive performance piece that stretched across an entire day and included as many participants and media formats as America's favorite social media platform could support. Described by its curator, Maria Chavez, as a "sculptural documentation" and a "real-time archive of Bruce Andrews' current poetic writing and the responses it elicits in real time", the enterprise was irresistible to us for many reasons. Many of us have been either fans or even full-fledged students of Andrews' work for many years, and of course we found ourselves more than simpatico with the intermedial thrust of the piece, its radical openness, and its emphasis on collaboration and group composition. Also, April 1 seemed like a fittingly foolish day for the APG to release its first Twitter pigeon, so there ya go.
The project's Twitter account quickly became a site of reflection, refashioning, remixing and re-imagining of Bruce's 300-part poem "Improper" as its staccato bursts of 140-characters-or-less passed through various hands. Tweets were usually accompanied with links to the project's SoundCloud page where you could hear Andrews read the material. Once we were underway, I mainly just contented myself with riffing on Bruce's tweets as I reposted them, responding to, say, Andrews' "one beast cross-tool in full queer. Reading it made us all less incompetent" with "Reading it made us all less incompetent. Midwife as voyeur to beast? Apes in parallel, or stereo-perp a hot mess", etc. Or else I dropped slaphappy one-liners that echoed bits of Bruce like "my swastika nacho drips with porn" as I got drenched in the wave of socio-politically pointed mutations-of-utterance that "Improper" seemed design to release. Lots of other folks did similarly snarky, off-the-cuff things, and many were cogent and artful, but it was especially cool when a few participants got a little more ambitious with the pictures they posted and the recordings they uploaded. Along those lines, there was a widespread and enthusiastic reaction to the manner in which my fellow apgista James Sanders chose to respond.
|Iteration #9 of the "Epiimproper" series|
|Iteration #10 of "Epiimproper"|
In any case, what's motivated this post--just as much as our post-game enthusiasm and gratitude about getting to play productively with Bruce and his fellow travelers--has been the opportunity to make public some of the recordings the group has done in bringing the "Epiimproper" series from the mute page into vocal performance. I've provided several recordings below, paired with the pages of James' work they bring into sonic action. The ones I did are fairly straight-ahead, hewing pretty closely to the formal line of the epiphyte since I generally wait for Andrews' voice (lifted from SoundCloud) to "activate" my reading and send me spinning around the lattice. But they're conservative next to Austin-area performance artist/poet and APG alumnus Jeff Dahlgren's takes on the material, which incorporate a lot of digital effects and get especially awesome when other Austin-based performers sit in with him. I don't know who these other guys are, but, hey, that's what blog comments are for, I guess. Anyway, it's been absolutely fun remixing Bruce with this crew. Hope you enjoy listening!
|Epiimproper # 8|
jselv's reading: "privately pink post-talk" (sans Bruce)