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  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bravado, empathy and tolerance, formal alarm, life for life’s sake, , the new   

    Manifestos-R-Us: The Possibility of Possibility


    Gene Tanta, Vanessa Place, Snežana Žabić, Amy King, Tasha Marren

    I hope my event will change some minds and hearts about the received categories through which we usually experience the new. This event will challenge readers and listeners to reconsider received ideas about our association of the new as the good. Out of this discomfort, I hope empathy and tolerance grow since these practices have never been more needed than now, which of course is forever and in the future. 

The manifesto moment came and went in a blinding flash of bravado just about a century ago. Much given to mimesis, the manifesto wanted to show that not only art for art’s sake was possible, but that life for life’s sake was also possible. Why divide art from life? Who benefits by these divisions of labor? A little later, Walter Benjamin wondered: what is the new without the question of freedom but mere fashion? What kinds of writing become possible after we stop trying to “make it the new”? How do you imagine your freedom?

I want to invite participants to use the has-been manifesto form to tell/show/perform the has-been idea of “make it new”? These brief statements of formal alarm will guide, convince, and convert us to the possibility of possibility in writing today. How can we imagine an affirmative postmodernism in the literary arts? What is your vision for the poetic future or for the future of poetry? How does the tone of the manifesto itself (us versus them) speak to the perpetual crises of form sparked by the death of the agent?

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corporate imagination, dreaming, moral progress, , the possible   

    We is a word that gives you meaning

    Is the possible even still possible today? I don’t even know what you mean! Not as dream, but as practice. To demonstrate the contradictions of Liberal Democratic capitalism, we occupy space and serve as an amplification organ. The beautiful social mess of the People’s Mic permits individual voices to heckle the authority of self expression. We call and respond to the future. We are a high school clique following our leader because she knows how to butter our bread. We are here because we want new words that will set us free from the limits set upon us by corporate imaginations. We is a word that gives our identity a filigree border, without which we don’t even know what you mean. I don’t even know what you mean! We is a word that gives you meaning. Americans with “fuck you” money live in their “fuck you” houses up on the “fuck you” hill. Nonetheless, we may be the most utopian category of all. A blind faith in moral progress is the elephant in every stanza you enter. We question our fashionable obsession with the new because it distracts us from our role in alms-justice. Community is not something you can opt in or out of like some wise barbarian. The commons is inside of you expressing itself through every choice you make or refuse to make. We will not go primitive nor fall through the trapdoor of dreaming. We demand the possible, now!

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commons, Conceptual writing, distraction, fun appropriation techniques   

    I recognize the need for distraction during wartime and Ihope this helps.

    22. Conceptual writing is a distraction.
    1. Fame is a clown.
    19. It is good to be a clown, unless it is bad to be a clown.
    5. We delete the individual.
    19. We need a commons of selves.
    7. You are being distracted from what you are. Stop it.
    5. You must have reliable internet service to be a conceptual poet.
    16. Bluster is not a good solution.
    4. Don’t get hysterical.
    26. Get hysterical.
    3. Do you know of any fun appropriation techniques?
    8. Patriarchy is not a good solution.
    17. Your tone is precision guided expression.
    3. Flatness is the new agency.
    3. This time, it’s personal.
    3. This is a distraction, by any means necessary.

    • Snezana 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Sweet. That does help. Send me your manifesto from the panel when you get a chance.

    • jamespate 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Why is conceptual writing a “distraction”? The implication is that there are types of writing that are not a “distraction.” If so, why is conceptual writing different from these other forms of writing?

      Or are you arguing all types of writing are just a “distraction”? And if so, why read or write at all? “Distraction” itself suggests such things take our attention away from “important” issues…

      To play the devil’s advocate, are your own poems a “distraction”? Why or why not?

      Maybe you should make a list of poems that are a “distraction” and a list of poems that are not, to help clarify what you’re attempting to get at here…

    • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, James, thanks for the questions. I’m happy to respond. Conceptual writing is more of a distraction than say traditional lyrical writing because it is the hot new thing. Conceptual writing thinks it has escaped the self (and the tradition of expression) by employing fun appropriation techniques.

      Your second question is harder to field but I’ll try. Aesthetics CAN be a distraction, when it (its maker, reader, critical reception, etc.) assumes it is outside of political space. This is a complex claim because whether a thing is art or propaganda depends on multiple factors such as authorial intentionality, the cultural object in-and-of-itself (however frail such an essential ontology may be), the intention of the reader, the social construction of the moment, the institutional mediation of the moment, the geist or fashion of the moment, and so on and so on. For instance, a painter like Picasso or Bacon may intend to shock his viewer into becoming modern by shattering the figure but instead his viewer may take only aesthetic pleasure in the experience of viewing the artwork.

      This question bedevils formal purists (who demand that writers be allowed “to just make art without thinking about history”) and moralists (who demand “to hold cultural producers responsible through a kind of censorship by ethical consensus”). The best response would have to take into account the various radical horizons in directions such as authorial intentionality, the cultural object in-and-of-itself, the readers’ intentionality, the social, the institutional, and the fashion of the moment, among any other directions one might be able to imagine.

      Whether my work (the imagist ghost sonnets in Unusual Woods or the minimalist sound poems in the abecedarian Pastoral Emergency or my prose poem collection which attempts to resist the use to which the absurd (evacuated of the grotesque and the political) as been put to by fashionable surrealist writers)) is a distraction from what I am or a didactic attempt to draw a line between the wrong and the right side of history must be left up to the say so of the reader.

      As anthology editor, I plan to include work that is both formally innovative and conscious of its ethical position in the moment. I have begun editing two poetry anthologies. Immigrant Poetry: Biography and Innovation gathers the work of first-generation American immigrant poets. Biography After the Fall: Romanian Poetry After 1989 is a bilingual anthology of contemporary Romanian poetry carrying forward my scholarship on the Romanian moment in the European Avant-garde.

      Thanks for your collegial questions. I hope I wasn’t too long-winded.

      • Snezana 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

        I assumed (and, as my fave corny saying goes, assuming makes an ass out of you and me) that conceptual writing is a literary application of conceptual art (visual) and plunderphonics going back to the 20th century (60s, 70s, 80s…), so not new, though possibly hot. I gotta hit some books.

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Poetry Itentity Form Trouple Reception National Excess Immigrant Aesthetics   

    ImmigrantPoetics: National Excess Theater, Atkinson Hall *SAT. 11:30 AM-12:45 PM

    GeneTanta, Radu Dicher, Chris Tanasescu, Raluca Tanasescu, Larissa (Lars) Heinrich

    This reading event will challengeattendees and participants to move back and forth between the usualpoetry-world binaries of form and identity.

    Radu Dicher studied Physics (BA) and Comparative European Studies (MA) atBabes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, then moved to Budapest for anMA in History at Central European University.

    Gene Tanta (Unusual Woods: BlazeVOX, 2010) lives in Chicago from where hespreads the microbe of the identity crisis called poetry.

    Chris Tanasescu is a Romanian poet, author of four poetry collections andrecipient of the International Library of Poetry Award (2001), and the RonaldGasparic Poetry Prize (1996) among other distinctions.

    Raluca Tanasescu is a Romanian assistantprofessor of English at Tan Tao University (Vietnam) and a translator offiction and poetry from and into English, whose main research interest istravel writing and media.

    Larissa(Lars) Heinrich teaches Chinese Literature and Culture Studies at UCSD, and hasjust completed a translation of an important experimental memoir by the Taiwaneseauthor Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995).

    The program is now up and availableto download on the website at http://andnowfestival.com/program/.

    I hope my event will change someminds and hearts about the received categories through which we usuallyexperience poetry. Poetry experienced between formal innovation andbiographical politics invites its readers and listeners to live in thatuncomfortable liminal space by feeling empathy with and tolerance for theother. This reading event will challenge readers and participants to interactbetween the usual poetry-world binaries of form and identity. Out of thisdiscomfort, I hope empathy and tolerance grow since these practices have neverbeen more needed than now, which of course is forever in thefuture.

    This poetry reading will offer avenue for immigrant poets (however defined) to read their poems and thenbriefly summarize what poetry means to their status as national excess. Usingtolerance as a shock tactic, I want to frame this occasion as a discussionabout both innovative form and about the everyday living that immigrants dobetween languages. On the one hand, my frame assumes that formalexperimentation in/with language does not take place outside of place, history,or the fabric of social interaction. On the other hand, this event will notserve as platform for unchallenged claims to sincere stereotypes and essences.By introducing each reader and allowing for a generous amount of time for discussionafter the readings, I plan to spotlight the space between formal innovation andbiographical politics. How do first-generation hyphenated Americans play withtheir use of the English language in light of their bifurcated identities? Howdo immigrant writers experiment with the English language? Do elements such assound, idioms, and habits of syntax differ for non-native Englishexperimenters? How might those differences be both aesthetical andpolitical?

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