Sunday, January 3, 2010

Maybe the surrealists were right:

Jacob Russell sez (h/t):
Play is not recreation... it is re-creation. We cannot magically wish away the symbolic configurations of our received world, stripping away the names with which we dress our perceptions. But we can play with them, and in play, serious or whimsical, named things regain their plasticity, loosen their attachments to the assigned order. In a sense, what is most fulfilling in any human relationship--friendship, love, the companionship of work--is a kind of play, unfixing the other from the conditioned; if there is any meaning to 'freedom,' it would be this. In language, too--we can either rehab the old structures, repairing and rebuilding--or make new. And yes, we can 'make new,' by unfixing the parts, razing the building, turning bricks to clay and glass to sand and fire. When poets pry loose the joints of syntax, and novelists refuse to follow the established maps of narrative--this too, is play, play that makes us free, and while poets cannot themselves remake a better world, they can make it easier to imagine how it might be done by unlocking our vision from the received conditions of the terrible hologram, this script we've been following to our untimely end. I see this as an endorsement of both the surrealist project(s) of the last century, though not neccesarily of (their take on them) the psychoanalytic theories they used to defend it), and of poetic movements like LangPo and Flarf--and of the least entertainment driven Rapp and Performance poets (Ursula Rucker) "I didn't come here to make you feel good... "). Less than that--and we, as poets and artists, will again and again find ourselves, against every intention, having our work, at best, serve to comfort and reinforce believers in the Hologram... and at worst, transformed into propaganda to fuel the endless cycle of war and economic exploitation.
Speaking of Ursula Rucker, here she is with The Roots from a live gig this past October.

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