My very first assignment when I joined the PennSound team was to segment a recent reading by Christian Bök at the Kelly Writers House. It seems only fitting to start my “Notes from PennSound” commentary by returning to audio file that I cut my teeth on as I learned the ins and outs of PennSound's infrastructure, and to an author that has been unavoidable in discussions concerning performance, sound, experimentation, technology, word play, computational composition, 'pataphysics, unintentionality, intentionality, and semi-intentionality.
“Proxy” — someone authorized to act on behalf of another; an authority or power to act for another; a document giving such authority. Those are the defining terms with which most of us first learned the word, though we now live in a universe of proxy servers.
A proxy is a sort of trope. All metaphors, composed of vehicle and tenor, are proxy enactments. A persona is a proxy. Ralph Ellison told us that there was no more powerful metaphor for the human condition than race in America.