Confronting Form + Structure
“Allow me to edit Jean-Paul’s press conference to smithereens because, while its gist does need to fortify your intake, this story will be headier if it leapfrogs this peculiar episode. Plus, I need to start herding this section back to Paris.”
–The Marbled Swarm, Dennis Cooper
In this brief, Brechtian moment, Cooper – via his narrator – reassures his reader that his/her uncertainty in navigating the hazy narrative is not only acceptable, but intended. Slyly permissive, this passage instantly alters the experience from uncomfortable/unfamiliar to intriguingly mysterious/freeing.
From Measuring Irregular Volumes: Study III, Performed on Sept. 28, 2012
Coming out from under an art history rock/Fodder for Meat Game III?
The Couple, 2007
The Good Mother, 2007
The Good Mother, 2007
The Rivals, 2007
Notes from a one-week composition workshop with Tere O’Connor, July 23-27, 2012.
- Vacillate between intuition and objectivity.
- Ask yourself: How am I defining relatedness?
- Practice wide listening – more observation than action.
- Consider the temporal delivery system of surface images/references/readable symbols.
- What does “development” mean, in a non-academic way?
- Work with range. Even if you’re only working from 0-15 (on a 0-100 scale), create your own 0-100 within 0-15.
- Grammar eats the noun. The delivery system (temporal) makes a statement about the symbol.
- What is the structural voice for your material?
- Some examples of structure: sequence, blueprint, spacial/geometric, organization/disorganization, parts of a whole, frame, rules, skeleton, zoom-in/zoom-out.
- Structure structure.
- Potential structures can be inferred from actual structures.
- Thing to thing. Everything that happens relates to the thing that happened before it and that happens after it.
- What kind of hallway do you use to throw someone out in a giant field?
- Cross-fade moments –> read what a moment gives off.
- Merge abstractions to further the material.
- Unravel thought: what you feel about your material is not always what the material is.
- What kind of system is emerging?
- There is no such thing as a transition, there is just a hierarchy of things.
- You have to make the paint, and then you have to paint with it.
- Create “potential futures” for your work.
- Find betweenness.
- There are always many structures interacting with each other. Multiple structures/braided chronologies break assumptions and re-identify what the thing is.
- When making formal choices, ask: Why? Does it have a social resonance?
- Can you translate social or thematic questions into formal questions?
- How do you finish your work? Finishing is a different state than cultivating.
- Ethics of editing: What are the politics of what gets chosen for the final version?
- It’s unhelpful to work as if there’s a mistake that needs fixing.
- Structure: manipulate and allow.