I Am A Medium: Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle on Place and Fitterman

by on Dec.30, 2012

I Am A Medium
By Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

Robert Fitterman & Vanessa Place real live at Ugly Duckling Cellar Series, 12/15/12,NYC.podcast (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ugly-duckling-presse/id467482083)


Recently crowned the “Harbinger of death for the poetic art” Vanessa Place evanesced w/Robert Fitterman on the occasion of Ugly Duckling’s 2nd printing of their Notes on Conceptualisms (2009. Sold out!), reading from that, and from new work, at UDP’s Fort Apache, the Old American Can Co. in bruiser Brooklyn’s wastes.

Place, meticulous mistreated hair, replete with eyebrow (f)iercings, wore one form-fitting ashen shroud. RF clad in a cotton suit elected leather sneaks. She, theatrically subdued, he “naturalistic.” This was staging with a passion, killer conscious, well contained.

Boss showmanship embraced both humanity and laffs. See Q&A where VP wheedles like one Wicked Witch, “Here kitty, kitty”, relentlessly pursuing pleasure till all pleasure is gone.

Conceptual writing as a field shakes out in regrettable blots, Pointillisme, counting precious few true finds. [Spoiler Warning: This report may prove lop-sided but hey! I am the jury. Thank you Mr. Spillane.] Among which Vanessa Place shines.

Provocation: RF read excerpts from Notes on Conceptualisms. Fleshing out its concept with a re-up that delights, VP followed strictly with the same. *

“Radical mimesis is original sin.”

“Failure is the goal of conceptual writing.”

Evocation/Invocation: Next each read new work, for which I commend all to the Podcast. But as what might not be discernible from that Podcast alone is the anti-nature of VP’s “channeling” apparatus, explication fuels my drive.

Throughput. Place read a number of poems by celebrated poets, some of whom she (voice) impersonated. As she stood, typed pages fell like winter leaves. She also wore a headset. She heard the poets read to her as she read “them” to us. Merrill, Sexton, Plath. We heard only Place, her rigor such that I caught the stage direction “cough” typed on one floor bound page.

Chilling. I was wowed. Legerdemain.

So I do not obtrude myself too much upon myself, or on you mon semblable, I often attend poetry events w/ the unexposed. Thus to get a clean take: their personally objective opinion. I withhold tonight’s companion’s name for reasons that stand clear. Qualifications? She had never been to any poetry reading. Though we all know her work. She designed New York’s yellow cabs.

With her, Fitterman’s theory got no traction yet she liked his poem. While, having just caught her now ex boyfriend cheating then punched him so hard she herself required a doctor, my friend’s response to Vanessa was ineffable.

* Including his misspeaks.

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

    Soon, Goon: The podcast link I provided may not yet access this Fitterman/Place event. It will. And it will take you today to the entire rich & rewarding UDP live Cellar Series podcast archive. Wow.

  2. Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

    “You don’t turn over your lover at midnight, then call your friends to tell them about it after.” (Jean Luc Godard)

    “Conceptual writing, an emergent early 21st century literary movement.” (Kenneth Goldsmith)

    —Which backdates to Socrates . . .

    I replay here a comment I placed earlier—for two good reasons. At that time Montevidayo was under hack attack and its Comments box blacked out. But my primary directive is to erase any trace of racism.

    When I Hear It’s Project Based I Reach for My Revolver

    Conceptualism is that dog so ugly they shave its ass then make it walk backwards.

    Fart before the horse.

    It’s not the product; it’s the story about the product. (Merchandising mantra)

    When poets wish to distance themselves from college they dumb down. Baby talk. Mud pies. Alphabet soup. Why don’t any of em go get smarter than college?

    Flarf set out to make bad art. They’ve accomplished their goals for the day.

    I don’t reply to critics. Why? I don’t even read ‘em. I won’t write looking over my shoulder. But any whiff or whisper of racism must be eradicated. So, I clear the air. My use of the term “goldsmith” in a recent comment was not meant to represent more than one man.

    The Reduction of Warhol to “Warhol.”

    Let us not dwell on the obvious: Donkey Konk Konkeptualism constrains Warhol to his prints. They are copy-able. Duh. Prints are multiples, by design.

    The practice of numbering editions dates from lithographs. As stone erodes during the printing process each print gradually becomes less exact. It’s no more than a gimmick now, to number digital prints.

    Cribbing Douglas Huebler Kenneth Goldsmith whines, “The world is full of texts, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” O but he has. More of the same. *

    I’ll spell this out in English: Warhol INVENTED repetition . . .

    Where theory heavy Think Tank poetry’s facile infantilizations sink in cheap redundancy, what soars is Warhol’s film. An unreachable originator Andy Warhol created or deployed for the first time in an art context five devices still crucial in cinema today: Real time, Repetition, Fixed camera, Split screen, Looping.

    Painting? We haven’t even glimpsed his late one off ‘s with Basquiat.

    How sway conscienceless economies by writing left handed or talking backwards?

    You won’t make 50 grand selling conceptual writing book by book. Juries will damn sure dole out 50 grand grants for selling the IDEA of conceptual writing . . .

    Meaningless lexies or less. Fratboy sexist Google Dada. Middle management NPO artlit foundations popping up minutes after any sheep post-parts college, pull quote/ grant proposal/already been done sales rep D-CON septic system Ineptualism is wearing offal thin.

    Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

    ** Of course there’s A, Warhol’s novel, now “framed” as Soliloquy . ..

    Shot from Guns

    At 24 dollars a fool Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing blares basic big ass typos, some or more per every page, copy edits any unpaid intern would catch sleeping. Torpedoing old lows for poxed “professionalism” cartel Columbia U couldn’t pump it through production fast enuff.

    User-friendly Ken conducts a full semester class on Second Life.

    Yet forty-one U.S. states no longer require students to learn handwriting. If the power blows bebé futuroids won’t be able to scrawl Help!

    Do you remember when film had grain?

    [This is a tease, as I can’t find links to the complete article. Artforum # 49 Vol. 7]

    “”Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures”” by Taubin, Amy – Artforum – Questia


    Plato/Socrates already had it all: (See above) Daemonolgy, dis-possession, Differance at origin, the precession of Ideas, collaboration, appropriation, transcription, death & dismemberment of the author(s) . . .

    “With the rise of the Web writing has met its photography. By that I mean that writing has encountered a situation similar to that of painting on the invention of photography, a technology so much better at doing what the art form had been trying to do that, to survive, the field had to alter its course radically. If photography was striving for sharp focus, painting was forced to go soft, hence impressionism.”

    (Kenny Goo Goo)

    Baby talk. Given photographic emulsion and the retina, both photography and impressionism preoccupied themselves with the same thing: the effect of light on surfaces.

    We have however cast our unwelcome concepts back 100 years. Duchamp’s Fountain was an insult. Stop there.

    (As for Conceptual Art, the one salvageable thing that Sol LeWitt ever did was sponsor Kathy Acker.)

    G C-H