UNDEFINED 2: the unclassifiable event is back!

L'Avant-Garde_Front copy

UNDEFINED 2 

May 21, 2015

at VIDEOFAG

(187 Augusta Avenue, Toronto)

7pm-10pm

UNDEFINED is a night with unfixed limits in art: language, music, and visual. Bringing the conceptual and experimental in poetry, film, performance, art, and music that fits nowhere and everywhere.

******SUPER SPECIAL SECRET LINE UP TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON SO KEEP IT ON YOUR CALENDARS TORONTO!*********

There will be creative and uncreative writing workshops tied into this event. More info soon.

**This was last year’s: https://www.facebook.com/events/669043146488107/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
Photos: https://www.facebook.com/lttlredcorvette/media_set?set=a.10154081541220343&type=1 ***

Some random thoughts after Avant-Canada 2014.

Radicals-of-Retro-futurism-1989-is-here-300x199
http://animalnewyork.com/2014/future-shock/

We use the term Conceptual Writing in the broadest sense, so that it intersects other terms such as: allegory, appropriation, piracy, flarf, identity theft, sampling, constraint and others. Conceptual Writing, in fact, might be best defined not by the strategies used but by the expectations of the readership or thinkership.” – Place, Vanessa, and Robert Fitterman. Notes on Conceptualisms. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse ;, 2009. Foreword..

I should really entitle this “After Avant-Canada 2014 and finally watching Jorodowsky’s Dune.” I’m a little discombobulated after watching the film. The overall theme of it being of opening the mind, but most of all, an artist’s passion for bringing their vision to fruition. Therefore, if I am set apart like puzzle pieces at the moment, like puzzle pieces this piece will be. This is also my blog and thus I can write in whatever form I want within whatever structures I chose. I am free to say anything, even if it comes across as nothing. It is the concept that matters and the lack of delineation that defines me as whatever it is that I am in what I do. Honestly, I don’t know what I do, but more on that later.

************************

My starting point is taken from Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman’s book, Notes on Conceptualisms. The book, blue and pocket-sized, reads like a manifesto manufactured from a conversation which metamorphosed stream of consciousness.  It’s a manifesto of nothing and everything in what is popularly termed as “avant-garde” writing.

Ideas stem from various seeds labelled archetypes, experience, DNA, nature, nurture, and all the things that make up a sentient being. The seeds are dominoes set up to fall forward, eventually gaining momentum in their falls until the last domino releases an energy spark in its culmination, setting a toy rocket free in the end. The toy rocket is the idea in its full form. The idea/toy rocket also goes through a similar sequence of events that are less theoretical and are more material based. The reason for this is that the person who has the idea must realize it in order to give justice to the idea’s formation. The seed must flower to pollinate in other minds.This last part, the materialization of the idea, is not as important as the processes by which the idea is first formed and is not as imperative as the idea itself. The idea is all.

***************

Last month, I was invited by Gregory Betts to chair the panel entitled, “The Thinkership of Conceptual Literature.” I immediately (albeit very enthusiastically) accepted. Those on the panel:

Christian Bök (Calgary)—“To Ward Off a Diabolical Poetry.”
Darren Wershler (Concordia)—“Everyday Conceptualism.”
Derek Beaulieu (Alberta College of Art and Design)—“Words to be looked at but not read / Music to be heard but not listened to.”
Helen Hajnozky (Independent Poet)—“Lyric Conceptual Writing: A Study of Contemporary Canadian Women Poets.”
Natalie Simpson (Independent Poet)—“ TAKE WHAT YOU CAN AND LEAVE THE REST: Women Writers and Conceptualism.”

I introduced them as a coterie of scientists, thinkers, poets, writers, and artists. I would say that all of the panels and attendees could be defined as such. To me, it was an important event in a critical time where many seek out definition where there might not be one to be found yet. At least, I don’t believe it’s something available to us or are we given that power to label it at this conjecture. Definition is valuable mostly for the purpose of constraint. Nevertheless, in order speak about the experimental we must give it a name.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a kid, and conceptualism didn’t really enter the fray in my writing until I was in my thirties. However, conceptualism and the avant-garde has always been a big influence. My appropriation, remixing, and re-writing projects were influenced by the bellicose writing movements of my time. Uncreative writing and conceptual writing is nothing new. In fact, the quality that drives me to these movements isn’t their rebellious textures, but its their nature, that which is closest the “idea;” the word “idea,” the thought “idea,” “idea,” fascinates me.

The conceptual writer writes out of the formation of a concept. A conference like Avant-Canada is a world plenteous of idea manufacturers whose experiments and alternative perspectives are birthed in the universe of ideas. We’re like Dr. Frankenstein’s creating gallimaufries of monsters because we can. We live in a world of “we can.” The internet and social media has given us that freedom and we must frequently stop and ask ourselves, “What are we doing here?”

Taking the analogy of the dominoes, are we the person setting up the dominoes? Are we the dominoes? Are we the spark, or are we the rocket? Looking beyond that, are we gear or cod in that machinery, or, when it is set in motion, are we even part of it at all?

These are all thoughts and questions that come to my mind after a conference like this. As I was watching Jorodowsky elucidate his vision for Dune, his passion for the project was so palpable that it became all encompassing. For a few moments, he becomes so expressive that his eyes take over the screen and I wondered if Herbert’s Dune was even a part of that vision, or if the vision itself was bigger than the director himself (I believe it was, considering the amount of everything the director had envisioned for it). In various parts of the film, his Dune is termed as “ahead of its time.”

If you look back at the films, books, and art of the seventies and eighties, a lot of what was predicted aesthetically and artistically, never came to be. There are no polygon hats at art shows, flying cars, teleportation devices…ok, I could go on. Also, these things might exist, but they’re not in the form that we predicted them to be. This has led to a surge of retro-futuristic art (8 bit, and Killian Eng comes to mind), music (Lazerhawk, and Drive soundtrack), and in a small way film (Beyond The Black Rainbow – but also this viewed from that film’s aesthetics and soundtrack, of which similar can be seen in Under The Skin, as well.). I believe popular culture aims to recapture the aesthetics of seventies and eighties futurism because it is still trying to catch up with the overwhelming amount of quick technological growth it has put itself through. In many ways, conceptual writing is trying to catch up with the amount of growth or overwhelming output its manufactured with the ease because of technology. We find ourselves trying to argue against or in favour of conceptual writing’s existence because we can’t stop to define it. The assembly line or idea factory is just too fast. When we attempt to define it, we stagnate, the assembly line slows down. Don’t let it slow down! It’s not in our natures! Like Frankenstein’s monster there are so many components we don’t know what to do next.

“Conceptual Writing, in fact, might be best defined not by the strategies used but by the expectations of the readership or thinkership.” 

While a person appreciates art, the art piece is taken from the artist and becomes an entirely new piece in the viewer’s mind.  The reader owns the text after it is written and it becomes a new piece in the reader’s mind. By viewing, appreciating, and listening, we are stealing. Never mind that the artist has gifted us their materialization of an idea, we are stealing for a universal comprehension through interpretation. Retro futurism, a taking of old ideas and making them new for now, is a symptom of schema created for the modern thinker’s survival. We own ideas, but no idea is original. Yet, the process by which the idea is formed is unique to its owner. Beyond that, it’s interpretation and reformation.

****************************************

I met many women on this trip to St. Catharines. Within in the conceptual writing movement, within poetry, there’s a very powerful undercurrent of female poets with activist voices. I mean, by being anything female these days, we are speaking out against thousands of years of ingrained oppression. It was a heavy week of being reminded we are women writers within Can-Lit. So it was healing and rejuvenating to converse and exchange thoughts with these women.

“Radical mimesis is original sin.” – Place, Vanessa, and Robert Fitterman. Notes on Conceptualisms. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse ;, 2009. 20.

I experiment with words. I remix, remodel, rewrite, and reform what already exists. My basis point has always been from a lyrical point, a creative view because this my nature. However, even when I assemble a work in an “uncreative” place in my mind, the end result reads as an innovation for myself. The only way I can classify that work as is from a poetic mind, thus the label “poet.” But even that label carries connotations with it that do not define most of my work. It’s kind of like I’ve rode with my processes and didn’t stop to think, “What am I doing?”

After watching Jorodowsky’s visions I can only assume that he didn’t care what he was doing. He tried to do it, failed to make it so, but in the end, the world of film ended up making many versions of his idea. His creation. His monster. His concept. His idea.

What did he do? He watched the dominoes fall.

********************

P.S. I will always regret not being able to dance with Fraggles on the last day of the conference.

Also, no one told me Magma was going to be in Dune.

*************************

You can find more structured thoughts over at EDITING MODERNISM- http://editingmodernism.ca/community/

All the processes and thoughts afterward give great pause for the experiences there. I particularily enjoyed: “EVERYTHINGS TOO FUCKD UP TODAY” & THE REVOLUTION CANNOT WAIT: A BRIEF REFLECTION ON THE POLITICAL AT AVANT-CANADA by Eric Schmaltz

THE SHINING script excerpt. Reworked with a woman

http://www.minimalist-approa.ch/great-minimalist-movie-poster-concepts
http://www.minimalist-approa.ch/great-minimalist-movie-poster-concepts

THE SHINING based on a novel by Stephen King. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson. Reworked with a woman by Jacqueline Valencia

*************************************************************

INT. HOTEL LOUNGE – M.L.S.

BOB, carrying baseball bat, walks away into Lounge. As

he goes, he turns and looks about him – CAMERA TRACKS

after him.

BOB

Jackie…?

He looks about and then moves L-R past table, with his

typewriter on it. He walks L-R behind pillar and appears

again on the other side. CAMERA TRACKS with him.

BOB

Jackie…?

BOB stops and looks about.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. BOB, holding bat, in f.g. He turns and walks away

to JACKIE’s typewriter on table in b.g.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – JACKIE’s typewriter in f.g. BOB moves

forward into shot. He looks down at sheet of paper in

typewriter.

CUT TO:

M.C.S. Sheet of paper in typewriter with repetition of line

on it, reading: “ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.”

108.

Sheet of paper is turned up, showing repetition of line.

Again sheet of paper is turned up showing repetition of line.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – BOB looking down at sheet of paper in

typewriter. He looks cam.R – then moves to cam.R.

CUT TO:

M.S. Sheets of paper, filling cardboard box. CAMERA TRACKS

IN on top sheet, showing repetition of the line “ALL WORK

AND NO PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.” filling sheet.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB looking down at box of paper in f.g.

He holds up top sheet and looks at it – then puts it down

in box.

CUT TO:

M.C.S. Sheets of paper filling box. BOB’s hand enters

cam.L.f.g. He flicks through sheets of paper and sees they

are all filled with repetition of line: “ALL WORK AND NO

PLAY MAKES JACKIE A DULL GIRL.”

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle – BOB flicking through sheets of paper in

box.

CUT TO:

M.S. Pillar. CAMERA TRACKS R-L revealing BOB, back to

camera, looking through sheets of paper in box on table in

M.L.S. JACKIE enters cam.R.f.g.

JACKIE

How do you like it?

BOB SCREAMS and turns round to face JACKIE.

BOB

Jackie!

JACKIE

How do you like it?

JACKIE moves away towards table. BOB walks R-L along table.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

109.

JACKIE

What are you doing down here?

She stops by chair and puts her hand on back of it.

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

I just eh… wanted…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE – hand on back of chair.

BOB (OFF)

…to talk to you.

JACKIE moves R-L to table. CAMERA TRACKS BACK.

JACKIE

Okay. Let’s talk.

JACKIE flicks through sheets of paper in box – then looks

towards BOB.

JACKIE

What do you want to talk about?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

I…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

BOB (OFF)

I can’t really remember.

JACKIE

You can’t remember.

JACKIE moves forward L-R. CAMERA PANS with her.

BOB (OFF)

No, I can’t.

CUT TO:

110.

M.S. BOB, holding bat, moves L-R. CAMERA PANS with him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – JACKIE’S APARTMENT – M.S.

DANNY sitting at table. CAMERA TRACKS IN on him.

JACKIE (OFF)

Maybe it was about Danny. Maybe it

was about him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOBBY – M.S.

Blood clear from camera lens revealing furniture floating

about on river of blood.

JACKIE (OFF)

I think we should discuss Danny.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR – M.S.

Low Angle Door with word “MURDER” scrawled in reverse on door.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOBBY – M.S.

Furniture floating on river of blood towards camera.

JACKIE (OFF)

I think… we should discuss what

should be done with him.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL – LOUNGE – M.S.

JACKIE moves forward.

JACKIE

What should be done with him?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat gives nervous laugh.

CUT TO:

111.

M.S. JACKIE moves forward R-L – CAMERA PANS & TRACKS BACK with

him.

BOB (OFF)

I don’t know.

JACKIE

I don’t think that’s true. I think

you have some very definite ideas

about what should be done with

Danny… and I’d like to know what

they are.

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back R-L. CAMERA PANS with him.

He weeps.

BOB

Well I… I think maybe he should

be taken to a doctor.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

You think maybe he should be taken

to a doctor?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB

BOB

Yes…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

When do you think maybe he should

be taken to a doctor?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

As soon as possible?

CUT

112.

M.S. JACKIE

JACKIE

As soon as possible.

BOB (OFF)

Jackie…

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat.

BOB

…please…

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward – CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

You believe his health might be at

stake?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back.

BOB

Ye…yes.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

And you are concerned about him?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves back.

BOB

Yes.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE points to herself as she moves forward.

JACKIE

And are you concerned about me?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards.

113.

BOB

Of course I am.

JACKIE (OFF)

Of course you are.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward. CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her. She

points to herself and gestures.

JACKIE

Have you ever thought about my

responsibilities?

BOB (OFF)

Oh Jackie, what are you talking about?

JACKIE

Have you ever had a single moment’s

thought about my responsibilities?

Have you ever thought for a single

solitary moment about my

responsibilities to my employers?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards.

CUT TO:

M.S. JACKIE moves forward – CAMERA TRACKS BACK before her.

JACKIE

Has it ever occurred to you that I

have agreed to look after the

Overlook Hotel until May the first?

Does it matter to you at all that

the owners have placed their

complete confidence and trust in

me, and that I have signed a letter

of agreement, a contract, in which

I have accepted that responsibility?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat moves backwards L-R to foot of stairs.

CAMERA PANS with her. She moves onto first step.

JACKIE (OFF)

Do you have the slightest idea what

a moral and ethical principal is?

Do you?

CUT TO:

114.

M.S. JACKIE moves forward L-R. CAMERA PANS with her.

JACKIE

Has it ever occurred to you what

would happen to my future, if I

were to fail to live up to my

responsibilities?

CUT TO:

M.S. BOB holding bat backs up stairs.

JACKIE (OFF)

Has it ever occurred to you?

JACKIE moves in cam.R.f.g.

JACKIE

Has it?

BOB swinging bat before him backs up stairs. JACKIE moves

after him. CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD after them.

BOB

Stay away from me!

JACKIE

Why?

BOB

I just want to go back to my room.

JACKIE

Why?

BOB sobs.

BOB

Well… I’m very confused, and I

just need a chance to think things

over.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. She moves forward up stairs.

She backs away. CAMERA TRACKS BACK and UP before them.

JACKIE

You’ve had your whole fucking life

to think things over – what’s good

a few minutes more going to do you

now?

115.

BOB

Jackie… stay away from me… please.

JACKIE reaches up to him.

BOB

Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!

JACKIE

I’m not going to hurt you.

BOB swings bat in front of him as he backs up stairs.

BOB

Stay away from me,

JACKIE

Bob!

BOB

Stay away…!

JACKIE

Darling, light of my life, I’m not

going to hurt you. You didn’t let

me finish my sentence. I said ‘I’m

not going to hurt you… I’m just

going to bash your brains in!’ I’m

going to bash them right the fuck in.

BOB waves bat in front of him. JACKIE laughs.

BOB

Stay away from me!

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB swinging bat in front of him, backs up

stairs. JACKIE follows him – CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD after them.

BOB

Stay away from me!

JACKIE

I’m not going to hurt you.

BOB

Stay away from me!

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. He swings bat in front of

her, as he backs away and she follows him.

116.

BOB

Stay away from me! Please…

JACKIE

Stop swinging the bat.

BOB

Stay away from me.

JACKIE

Put the bat down, Bob.

BOB

Stop it!

JACKIE

Bob give me the bat.

BOB

Stay… stay away!

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE. CAMERA TRACKS FORWARD as

they come up stairs.

BOB

Stay away from me.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Jackie, stay away from me!

JACKIE

Stop swinging the bat.

BOB

Get down.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB. He swings bat in front of

her as they move up stairs. CAMERA TRACKS with them.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Go away from me.

117.

JACKIE

Bob…

BOB

Go away.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

BOB

Go away.

JACKIE

Give me the bat.

JACKIE reaches up with hand. BOB hits her hand with bat.

SHE SCREAMS. SHE YELLS and grabs her wrist.

CUT TO:

M.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE.

JACKIE

Goddamn!

BOB hits JACKIE on head with bat.

CUT TO:

M.S. High Angle JACKIE over BOB – he throws up hand and

leans back.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. Low Angle BOB over JACKIE. She falls backwards down

stairs. CAMERA PANS L-R with her as she somersaults down

stairs, stopping face down on half landing.

CUT TO:

M.L.S. High Angle BOB back to camera at top of stairs.

JACKIE lying facedown on half landing.

BOB

Oh…oh!

I have finished retyping Orwell’s 1984 and The Wall Street Journal

You can find the last entry here with a few thoughts on the project: http://thisisroom101.blogspot.ca/

 

 

 

OrwellBurmaPassport

George Orwell in his Burma passport photo. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell

WALL STREET: my new chapbook

My latest chapbook, “Wall Street” is a compilation of the found poetry poems created when I participated in The Found Poetry Review‘s Oulipost in April. Download it for free at the link below or buy a hardcopy from me via my backpack bookstore.:

 

WALL STREET by Jacqueline Valencia (pdf)

WSJ460

OULIPOST: Day 30 (patchwork quilt)

SONY DSC
Google image search: Patchwork oulipo

Patchwork Oulipo

It’s a real roll of the dice

Picky hippy, zippy piggy hid

The act of coming together, to begin,

When when

Saturday six shouldn’t sign States

Like it or not, fracking will continue.

The figleaf oneship yed old has already seen

a relaxed balladeer

frigid winter’s effects will hit produce aisle

A to

Health and Human

The women’s health-care community got a shock:

The noble Heron

Teenager Ram, Village Delhi Country and Factories For Sale

a new

A link of large

The Ukraine crisis

Are roast wars aware

Of the DNA on dollar bills, New York

Today, a successful single man who falls for a woman

He said, “You don’t get to pick your partners in the world.

“Yes, the country featured some of the cheapest factories in the world

decades drug portfolio acquisitions industry about-face course drug court

Settlement was confirmed

Some surprises have already emerged

Have you heard that we are “using up” the world’s resources

There was no way that we weren’t going to be here

constitutionally

John Kerry has been thinking about

**************************

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-30-patchwork-quilt/

Many thanks to The Found Poetry Review, Jenni Baker, and Beth Ayer for a great month of uncreative creativity with OULIPOST. This has probably been the most fun I’ve had with the concept of poetry month.

OULIPOST: Day 29 (Canada Dry)

int_fukishima_0913
Google image search: Secretary of State Canada Dry

Secretary of State

John Kerry has been thinking about

an interview late Monday

spoke just hours after President Barack Obama

front is done with this latest round, the fourth so far.

*

why the administration continues to punish individual Russians

sanctions are biting at the top end

obviously very personally driven in ways

it appears to be so personal to President Putin

dangerous in this time and place.

******************

* Capital Journal, “Kerry Sees Ukraine Crisis as Uniquely Putin’s,” The Wall Street Journal, 28 April 2014: CAPITAL JOURNAL (online)

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-29-canada-dry/

 

OULIPOST: Day 28 (melting snowball)

activision_next_gen_tech-9
Google image search: outmatched on battlefield

Outmatched on Battlefield

constitutionally

antigovernment

parliamentary

illegitimate

Provisional

leadership

Coalition

generals

bonding

poorly

armed

when

and

an

a

*****************

* Bradley, Matt; Nabhan, Ali A.; “Fledgling Iraqi Military Is Outmatched on Battlefield,” The Wall Street Journal, 27 April 2014: MIDDLE EAST NEWS (online)

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-28-melting-snowball/