Signifying Writing, Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map
Figure 1

Opicinus De Canistris World Map


The map began as a scribble, a doodle.  Begins as a failure to write, to “compose.”

In lieu of a word there’s a wiggle of pen wandering aimless in search.  Cartography-graphology-psychology – a loitering for logos.

Begins this way – in hope of words, a sort of squiggle.  A body desiring a mind.  To show up, to take over, provoke or convince – to appear, make a meaning, disclose – to figure toward sign.  Some unconcealing.

The signal’s not there, so it moves: the hand, the instrument, the breath and the heart – are they tools?  And for what?  A cartographer’s dream.  Of no training, no knowledge, even reason is lacking.

A pen making marks on a page, mapping none.  Tracing nonsense.  It begins in this way, and it leads, so he hopes (it hopes, is hope, is desire).

The scrawl travels over the page – given borders and boundaries, arbitrary and set – 6”x9” and lined with a soft viscous grey.  He (it) slows down.  Just a hand and an arm and a shoulder – in motion – holding a technical device filled with fluid – black, yes, like bile, but less tacky, diluted – it flows, threading lines – it’s con-fusion – yet taking, biting, inscribed.  Something happens.  Drawings are locked to a medium stock.  Incomprehensibles stained on a page.

It crawls on.


This mapping begins in a loss.  He is lost.  It is lost.  Doesn’t “know.”  Just beginning, because – with desire.  It is driven, compelled, WRITER WANTS (for to write) with “nothing to write, and no means to write it” yet constrained to keep writing, to expunge merely SOMEthing, some THING.  Which is NO thing, no THING, but to mark.  It goes on.

Makes a map, a map-ping, tangled series of lines meaning nothing, no THING, but creating TO-WARD.  Ward off absence, off void, ward off death, this is to – .

It (he) is tired.  Is forlorn.  Is an absence and loss, a re-mission, re-cursion, re-morse.  And not even that clear.

Scribbles on.  NOT a map.  NOT directions.  For NO where to go – NOW here, now HERE, no-where.  Which begins all the longing, for “he’s” heard it said, found it written – in signs, in-scribed, sign-i-fied: but NOT HERE.  Not in him or this body.  NOT THIS.  No sense.  Non-sense.  “It’s” not “working.”

Trail dwindles along cross the page.  It’s a map.  Just of being.  NOW here.  Now.  HERE.  Looks like this – some electrocardiomusculoskeletalpsycognilinguadigital-gram.  From this angle, this tool, these techniques.  As a Ouija.  No meaning.  Saussurating.  Arbitrary.  Mediate.  Only markings.

It falters.

And so it begins – as a failure to write – as a scribble – an assay – a tribute to write – that cannot, that will not, that does not…quite occur.


“To touch in the between of words”

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 2.48.04 AM


Fiery, Luminous, Scary – Erin Manning

The above is a snapshot from a participatory art project entitled “Folds to Infinity” – you can further investigate here.  The verbal link is to an article by Erin Manning that reflects on some possible interactions and responses participatory art and movement enable or frustrate.  As I read this article, with its focus on space-time relations such as event-spaces, materials, sound, rooms, fields etc., I could not help but be curious about the shared space-time relational field of texts, pages, pixels, blogsites and wonder about the more-than that authors/designers/readers/viewers compose – co-create – in these pages we invent each day.  The will toward participation that affects any work’s unfolding.  The design of our syntax and placement of images, types of terms and content of pictures all go toward constraining our viewer/reader participations towards meanings prefigured in our compositions.  And yet, I would wager that the majority of us hope for our creations to be participated-with, engaged, even co-created with the sensing minds of those these spaces open up.  “Spacetimes of relation are never neutral.  They are fiery, luminous, scary.”  I am hoping for ways and words and ways with words that allow, perhaps even create, spacetimes of relation that facilitate the more-than possibilities each engagement with them have potential of.

erin and others certainly activate the seeming “folds to infinity” of the matter in my cranium.


Aspects of Writing: The Beginnings – Conception. Inception.


The Beginnings: Conception, Inception

To be thinking about thinking about thinking the origins, the inception, where/when/how the movement-act, a specific verbal urge – that is, to write – conceives.

“To form or develop in the mind.”  “To become pregnant (with child); to grasp seed.”  No when, no how.  No description.  What? – it is a verb, it is verbal.  Con– implying, for inference, a with-ness.  Form requires relation in order to.  Something grasped, taking shape, coming to be.  Wombed – a gathering and a nurturing growth.  Where? – the mind, the gut – of imagination and body.

Inception, then, a beginning, a change, necessarily requiring an other, an outside – entity or energy, movement/matter, to be taken, grasped, to form and develop.   WITH.

Lodged “under the skin,” catching “in the throat,”  sticking “in the mind.”  Festers and swells.  Obstructs and impedes.  Reminds and welcomes or avoids.  Alters, morphs, catalyzing change in and with the host.

Conception: to take with, grasp with, grow and develop with.  To begin is to become.

Alter your position, feel what meets your body, even if only air.  Step forward or back, turn – ceiling, sky.  Nuzzle your nose inside of your neckline – inhale.  Be with all that you are with.  Take it in, work to grasp it, and let it grow and develop, in and with you.  Change.  Begin.  Become.


Otherwise inception, impossible.

 other Aspects of Writing