“looking at the same twenty or so books every day”

Paul stood in the Book Shop facing a shelf of books. He came in every day at the same time, shuffling in his old shoes, and poured through the same score or so of books with his dirty fingers. And despite the complete disreputability of his appearance—the shabby clothing, the matted locks of dark hair protruding over the collar—and his constant smoking that filled the bright little Shop with smoke and its clean floors with cigarette ends, no one seemed to pay any attention to him. His daily visits had by now assumed the character of routine.

One or two of the clerks, however, were wont to comment on his habit of looking at the same twenty or so books every day. Nietzsche’s complete works, a novel by Stendhal, Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, Ulysses, The Oxford Book of English Verse, and many others of this kind, he peered at impatiently each and every day, and always walked away from them with a preoccupied frown on his face.

Kerouac, Jack. Orpheus Emerged. Bk&CD-Rom ed. Akron: I Books, 2002. Print.

The Word Imp

Stanley Cavell’s version of the paragram is the “word imp” recurrently combinative and in the condition of “words, living lives of their own, staring back at us, calling upon one another, giving us away, alarming—because to note them is to see that they live in front of our eyes, within earshot, at every moment.” (Cavell, Stanley. 1988. In Quest of the Ordinary: Lines of Skepticism and Romanticism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)

McCaffery, Steve. 2001. Prior to Meaning. The Protosemantic and Poetics. Northwestern University Press.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object. Details »

collecting piece I

Select a subject.
Write five million pages (single space)
on the subject.

Yoko Ono

the mobius strip, poems for

The Möbius strip has a remarkable characteristic: it has only one side. If a rectangular strip of paper is given a half twist and its ends are then glued, a line drawn along its centre will eventually return without interruption to its starting-point. The twist has made the two ‘sides’ continuous.

The late Luc Étienne used the Möbius Strip to give visible and indeed palpable form to the procedure known in English as the equivoque, a text that can be read in two ways, each having a distinct and contradictory meaning.

Oulipo Compendium, Mathews, Harry and Brotchie, Alastair, eds. p. 197.

the dishonour of the poets

If one looks for the original significance of poetry, today concealed by the thousand flashy rags of society, one ascertains that poetry is the true inspiration of humanity, the source of all knowledge and knowledge itself in its most immaculate aspect. The entire spiritual life of humanity since it began to be aware of itself is condensed in poetry; in it quivers humanity’s highest creations and, land ever fertile, it keeps perpetually in reserve the colourless crystals and harvests of tomorrow. Tutelary god with a thousand faces, it is here called love, there freedom, elsewhere science. It remains omnipotent, bubbling up in the Eskimo’s mythic tale; bursting forth in the love letter; machine-gunning the firing squad that shoots the worker exhaling his last breath of revolution and thus of freedom; gleaming in the scientist’s discovery; faltering, bloodless, as even the stupidest productions draw on it; while its memory, a eulogy that wishes to be funereal, still penetrates the mummified words of the priest, poetry’s assassin, listened to by the faithful as they blindly and dumbly look for it in the tomb of dogma where poetry is no more than delusive dust. Details »

whisper piece

Whisper.

This piece was originally called a telephone piece, and was the starting of the word-of-mouth pieces. It is usually performed by the performer whispering a word or a note into an audience’s ear and asking to have it passed on until it reaches the last person in the audience.

Yoko Ono

Möbius strip

The Möbius strip or Möbius band (pronounced UK: /ˈmɜːbiəs/ or US: /ˈmoʊbiəs/ in English, [ˈmøːbi̯ʊs] in German) (alternatively written Mobius or Moebius in English) is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface. It was discovered independently by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858.[1][2][3]

The shape of the Möbius Strip probably dates to ancient times. An Alexandrian manuscript of early Alchemical diagrams contains an illustration with the visual proportions of the Möbius Strip. This image, on a page titled “The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra”, has the appearance of an Ouroboros, and is referred to as the “One, All”.[4] Details »

Lescurean permutations

Lescurean permutations. In his presentation in Lipo, Jean Lescure remarks that we frequently have the impression that language in itself “has something to say” and that nowhere is this impression more evident than in its possibilities for permutation. They are enough to teach us that to listen we must be silent; enough to transform a well-oiled bicycle into a well-boiled icicle. …

Mathews, Harry, and Alastair Brotchie, editors. Oulipo Compendium. Los Angeles: Make Now Press, 2005. Print. p. 172.

Event Horizon

“In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime, most often an area surrounding a black hole, beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. Light emitted from beyond the horizon can never reach the observer, and any object that approaches the horizon from the observer’s side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon, with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses. The traveling object, however, experiences no strange effects and does, in fact, pass through the horizon in a finite amount of proper time. “