Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dillon Westbrook Listens to Kenny G

Following Kenneth Goldsmith's reading at Mills College, Dillon Westbrook posted the following entry: [partial excerpt]: "If I'm only managing information when I "write" and don't know it, and you're [Goldsmith] managing information when you "write" and do know it, what difference is there in the literature we produce? It's probably the case that a google search could find every word I used in this post printed in newspapers printed today, but that knowledge isn't part of my writing practice. Could the difference between what I do and what Kenneth does really consist only in that notion being in ,or not being in, either of our heads? If so, I think Kenny G alone has resurrected the importance of intentionality from the jaws of modernism (I really hope that sentence actually exists, verbatim, somewhere in today's papers)."

And now I'm stuck on the same question(s). Could it simply be a matter of why he manages information vs. why we manage information? In this case, is that the point, to convey the virtual and real-time overlap of modern communication/ meaning? Though it could be considered part of the same question, a second factor could be what or which information he chooses to manage, vs. the general indiscretion of a public, our misapprehension where clear decisions are concerned. 


Dillon Westbrook said...

I asked him that question: "Don't you want to leave anything out?", because I figured that could be the only possible difference between, say, my practice and his. He said no, I want it all. I want that abundance. It was hilariously sexual in a pink tie.

Jeremy James Thompson said...

But he's still managing the writing he writes. He's still selecting the "writing," whereas all the other signifiers of communication are omitted, even though he has access to them. Examples: the design elements of the NY Times, the potential for including visual or aural elements in his phenomenological documentation.

Is to 'want it all' to desire the objective? Is there a value (or management choice) in deciding to behave as a writer: using only words? Is Goldsmith taking pictures with his words, or is that too dissimilar, as a photograph requires a (relative) focus? But could his relative focus be what he chooses to document, and for how long, and at what point in time?

For me, what he is doing is already especially valuable, in that these questions have stuck with me, causing me to dig, not further into 'poetry' per se, but into the newspaper, into the movements of my body, the sounds in my mouth.

Einst├╝rzende Neubauten sings "silence is sexy," and now Kenneth Smith sings Boredom/ being boring is sexy.

william said...

kgs magnificent work may highlight an exhaustive tradition similar in music, to composers such as, in the simplest sense, bach/schumann, i.e. taking a particular system in use however not "used" and perfecting it for "the arts." AKA idealizing a dilated ideal.

I think the most interesting aspect of kgs work is that it is so specifically temporally located that it is at once historical and at once ridiculous. This is a difficult achievement, and a goal many overlook in their writing.

The now and the who so consume the world at times that the now and the who find themselves in fierce battle with each other, which at all times is endless and propagates lesser work in response to the singular rather than the plural.

That's not to say poetry as function is inherent with failure, just that a failed idea is a launching point for a new culture of anything - AKA tradition.

Jeremy James Thompson said...

"That's not to say poetry as function is inherent with failure, just that a failed idea is a launching point for a new culture of anything - AKA tradition."

I'm reminded of your wanting to attempt "quitting," halting mid-thought or mid-project. I went on to consider to realize myself mid-quit, and I now recognize this happening constantly within my own work. As I finish a line, or a paragraph, I 'quit' it, moving on, creating sequence. The finished thought or piece has been quit to the point of disinterest, exhaustion, or because of a desire to begin something else, the overlap at a single point in time being impossible.

William, are you using a blog? Your name link won't take me there. Autographed by William Moor will soon be published on the internet.


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