Honored to be a part of this… as slides of poetry of mine made in collaboration with photographs by Jennifer Koe (http://jenniferkoephotography.com/bio).
My Wichita residency wrap-up notes.
WHAT: I just completed a 2.5-week residency at Harvester Arts in Wichita, KS.
Harvester is a two-year-old arts organization whose residency program encourages artists to experiment and share their process with the community. The results are exhibited, and then two local artists create and present work in response.
All the Steps in the Process installation view at Harvester Arts, Wichita, KS, 2015. Drawings and furniture by Christine Wong Yap. Zine edited and designed by Yap. Contributions from artist-collaborators screening on video.
I came up with All the Steps in the Process: a research project on collaboration. I did six interviews with eight artists from the SF Bay Area, New York, and Wichita: Kevin B. Chen, Amanda Curreri, Leeza Meksin and Eleana Anagnos, Armando Minjarez, Elizabeth Travelslight, and Linnebur & Miller. Quotes from these interviews are realized in a series of…
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From one of my favorite working, thinking librarians out there
Right now my tenure dossier is being circulated among various and sundry provosts, chancellors, and other administrative types. If you’ve been through the process, you’re probably already aware that these dossiers often have strict requirements pertaining to what needs to be included, what counts as evidence, formatting, section titles, and so on. So, I suppose it really wasn’t a surprise to find that my one-and-a-half page philosophy of librarianship statement would have to be trimmed down to no more than one page before being passed to the next reader. I’ll write a new statement later today but, in the meantime, I thought I’d post the original here.
Philosophy of Librarianship
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
T.S. Eliot, “The Rock”
“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”
David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
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What an incredible journey this photograph is on and is creating…!
Nerve impulses running down the spinal cord, triggering muscle cells – mitochondria pumping protons and electrons to provide the energy to move a muscle. The muscle contracts and the fingertip touches the release button, triggering a cascade of electronic signals, calculations, movements of electromechanical parts, chemical reactions inside a battery, a shutter opening, photons flashing inside and triggering chemical changes in the particles of the film. A myriad of smallest and shortest events and processes combine to produce that short “click” that indicates that a picture has been taken. The photographer looks away and her mind and eye turn on something else.
A short moment in her life. The moment she pressed the trigger of her camera. Clouds, trees or bushes, houses, the horizon, the sun. Motion blur. Lens Flair.
The photograph was shot while in motion, maybe from a train or a car. The hexagonal spots of lens flair…
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Today, I was browsing the shelves of the library at which I work, looking for books most precious to me to “represent” me as a person – a librarian, human, father, partner, son, life-trajectory, organism, friend – in honor of (yet another inexplicable almost insane “let’s-find-a-reason-for-celebration-instead-of-accepting-reality” National arbitration of “National Library Week” among perhaps many other things we are trying to laud ourselves for being every day/week/month/year). And I stumbled across a title related to a hero of mine I had never seen – combining both the delights of the personage & thought I associate with him, and a favorite thing to ponder – communication or discourse:
From that point on, it has been what Eugene Gendlin might label felt experiencing: the occasional yet over-powering moments in life where we feel all-in, fully alive, in the flow, MET… RESONANT… acknowledged and identified.
The book opens with a prefatory essay by one of Wittgenstein’s students, literary executors, and, quite clearly, astute thinker in himself, Rush Rhees.
I include it here because it evinced that moment of relief, exhaustion, affirmation, Okay-ness, that comes from Emily-Dickinson-like “What – you too?” moments in our strange, convoluted, web-networked, chaotic and most-often-indecipherable human Who-Am-I existences…
All to say I read this brief and delightful (to me) report of a fellow human and thought: Okay, I let down, I collapse, I am guilty of what you describe… and elated to find I am not alone.
For what it’s worth… this seems to “get me” :
He is breaking it down, they say, breaking both the mind and the meaning (was that ‘minding?’, ‘minding matter(s)?’).
– But is it undoing? someone asks, breaking down towards what’s beneath (or behind or before)? One might ask.
In other words, do we detect a purpose, an intention to his breaking? Is he listening? Does one see him look?
And what is his name? That is, what does it ‘stand for’? He once said “for the entirety.” At which point (as in moment, context, hic et nunc) it was assumed or inferred (interpreted, understood?) he meant. Meant, with those particular terms, within that saying (that action, movement, that changing of things), meant: every form and scale, layer and convergence of space and time, world and universe ever nexused, woven, tangled with this organism labeled thus. What was his name?
A beginning, like reality, reduced. Already begun when started, thereby limited by selection and activity. The sentence finds its way via the words and marks that follow, and while variation is potentially endless, it is not infinite. As this genetic package and all its cellular, processual interactions are inexhaustible and basely finite. And so on.
The breaking down reaches far and travels everywhere but won’t arrive, that is arrest, accomplish fullness. Breaking or building is ever partial. The sum never equaling parts.
Like his name (what was it?) – the one so applied (and distinctively so) – i.e. different from you and you and you – that name though is shared. He is not the only one, even if we cannot recall what it is.
– The only one of those variations though? you pipe in. Perhaps. He did not know. But not only the one so called.
His name, his form and structure, and many patterns of perception are quite common, however he goes about them. His going-about is even similar, when you think of it, as well he would, and we might, yet also not. Not precisely so, more variantly the same, as it were. Normality with particulars then, or occasional surprises.
Something unexpected then, about this one and his efforts of breaking it down while breaking down? Not exactly surprising, from a general fund, the process has its predecessors and is likely to go on in many person at many times, perhaps even widespread and concurrently – other places at the same time with slight anomalies, or other times in the same place with concordant alterations.
– Not uncommon then? Not uncertain?
Uncertain, sure. No more or less than anything. Uncommon perhaps in extent or intensity. Perhaps not as well, given principles of relativity.
– Relative to the subject/objects situation then? she says in a questioning manner, or in her questioning manner, or a manner of hers I take to be questioning (and so on).
Uncertainty, sure; relative, yes; unique, undoubtedly; repetitive – of course…
…he is breaking it down, breaking mind and meaning, breaking down…
– What is the matter? another inquires.
The matter of his senses, yes, that sounds right, for now, at this moment, where we are. What is the matter of his senses, or his sense of the matter that eventuates as breaking down, breaking it down, getting to the bottom of getting to the bottom?
– I doubt he’ll reach the bottom.
– The bottom quite unreachable then? someone adds.
The bottom has never been found or reached or approached for all we know we don’t know, they say. In fact, many question the use of ‘down’ for a practice of dissection – what is excavated in undoing, piecing apart, isolating aspects or fragments? Where does one get by reducing?
– Or what?
A lot of objects without sense? Locations with no map?
– Or less, meaning-less, she says with intonation generally accepted as interrogative.
Perhaps meaning less than when together as occurring – fitted, reciprocal, converging and emerging, like cells in Petrie dishes versus cells moving in the bloodstream, performing functions – but perhaps wildly possible and free, ready-to-use, available some other way, he doesn’t know, nor do I, nor do we.
Facets, elements, aspects that he cannot quite assemble and yet they already are by virtue of being broken yet held together in his failing efforts at assemblage. Welded in the effort – imagined apart in a situation of thought – thereby joined.
– It’s enchanting, someone speaks.
– And depressing, reports another.
But is it useful?
I find it of interest.
Scope. Amount. Scale. Weight. Quantity. Quality.
Levels. Layers. Planes. Fields.
Genetic. Neuronal. Cellular.
Physio- Bio- Psycho- Logical.
Socio-cultural. Political. National. Natural. Regional. Personal. Familial.
At what, which, and how many – ?
Aesthetic. Philosophical. Anthropological.
Spiritual. Zoological. Hermeneutical. Fantastical. Objective. Subjective.
Ontological. Object-oriented. Linguistic. Super-natural. Semantic.
Accounting. Assessing. Observing. Reflecting.
Positing. Reporting. Reviewing. Corroborating. Demonstrating. Scrutinizing.
to what depth, amount, extent?
Hypothesizing. Evaluating. Theorizing. Validating.
Claiming. Proving. Imagining. Dreaming. Making.
Inventing. Fabricating. Evidencing. Doing.
Acting. Thinking. Being.
Saying. Becoming. Asking.
Subconsciously. Unconsciously. Consciously. Aware. Remembering.
Hoping. Feeling. Sensing. Perceiving. Behaving. Conjuring. Constructing.
Deconstructing. Surmising. Testing. Forgetting. Trying. Grieving. Pretending.
Wanting. Wishing. Loving. Listening. Sounding. Hating. Dwindling.
Archaeological. Historical. Sociological. Epistemological. Scientifically. Religiously. Experientially. Romantically. Poetically. Mathematically. Surreptitiously.
Doubting. Displaying. Marking. Determining. Undermining. Mistaking. Remarking.
Portraying. Representing. Creating. Erasing. Collaborating. Emitting. Evincing.
Eliminating. Describing. Exploring. Inscribing. Translating. Transmitting.
Mending. Lending. Tending.
how many ways on how many levels?
at what scope, scale, quality, quantity
depth, breadth, value, radius, remainder
quotient, sum, absence, addition
Discipline. Field. Behavior. Practice. Activity. Interaction. Stillness. Thoroughness. Modes.
Searching. Re-searching. Troubling. Uncovering. Accessing. De-accessioning. Programming. Deprogramming.
at what point, proof, progress, prospect, projection
is one’s EXPERIENCE VALIDATED
as GENUINE, AUTHENTIC, REAL?
Aware and acknowledged
and to whom? how? why?
unbound incalculable not demonstrable