Commentaries

First reading of Sophia Le Fraga's 'W8ING 4' (3)

Alejandro Crawford

It’s probably safe to say that to read about this work online you need to do so in Safari, or you need to download the Chrome extension Chromoji. In Firefox you’ll need to follow these instructions. In terms of this Jacket2 piece (in terms of character support), your browser or operating system or whatever may not display the following character correctly: .

Cecily Nicholson's 'From the Poplars'

The City of New Westminster is one of several cities and municipalities comprising the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), also called Metro Vancouver. Named by Queen Victoria in 1859 after her favourite part of London and hence nicknamed the Royal City, New Westminster was the first Canadian city West of the Great Lakes.

The poetics of a Jamaica Kincaid sentence

On March 20, 2007 I moderated a public conversation with Jamaica Kincaid. Most of the questions I asked her — and my comments about her writing, after I'd read everything she’d written — were about the convergence of a quasi-cubist idea about sentences (almost Steinian in places, although not quite) on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a specifically postmodern postcolonialist conception of her Caribbean origins. A "trying not to get it quite right," as she and I agreed during the discussion.

We have now posted links to: 1) the video recording of the session; 2) the audio recording of the discussion; 3) the audio recording of the reader she had given the night before; and 4) the audio recording of that reading.

Vispoetics

The letter as image, the image as letter

Nico Vassilakis, Letters of Intent (self-published, 2013), 140 pp.—As one of the foremost practitioners of vispo, Vassilakis has been a proficient stylist and spokesman for the “movement.” Nonetheless, this collection of his work raises questions about the interzone occupied by vispo producers. In a recent interview Vassilakis makes it clear that vispo is neither art nor poetry. As a “bastard child” of both, vispo, for Vassilakis, is about the digital manipulation of the letter in order to foreground its visual properties.

Witness Jackson Mac Low and Gerhard Richter

Generating the haphazard

Last week I began with the installed environment, moved on to surfaces (painted or printed), and emerged into “ambiance.” This week I will consider how chance is deployed to install some essential attribute of the outside, inside of a work. Since visual prosody is the theme of these commentaries, “a work” refers equally to a poem or an image. The environment tailored to resemble itself there is given a voice by an artist who avoids using their own. Essential attributes of the artist’s material should reveal its relation to an outside, and a politics of visual or verbal relation beheld there. My examples are the Asymmetries and Forties by poet Jackson Mac Low and two iterations of the Colors series by painter Gerhard Richter. Mac Low and Richter are equally motivated to exhaust the forces named by “chance” and its cognates so as to question received critical values and to essentialize aesthetic values of their media.