TOPOS: Some ideas for a performance-in-progress about drawing, language, and performing both.
All form is a process of notation. --Dick Higgins
Barriers break down between what is a letter, what is a poem, and I believe what is a visual production on the page. That opens to the deepest mystery of writing, which is, to me, that sound and sight are inextricably bound and that every mark on paper is an acoustic mark. --Susan Howe on Emily Dickinson
I am obsessed with Howe’s thought on Dickinson’s ephemera, but want to push her approach to the relationship between text and sound further. Sound and text are inextricably bound. Language is an ephemeral sonic material held in the body. I am currently developing performance work in this vein, tentatively titled TOPOS. I’m interested in documenting how this performance of ideas develops. So far, I’ve been using a contact microphone on the underside of a surface to record the sound of myself writing and drawing, while an iPhone connected to a laptop connected to a projector displays a livestream via FaceTime. Right now I am interested in breaking down my own handwriting, each individual letter in order to more intimately know its sonic dimensions. Drawings are forthcoming, along with higher quality documentation.
Bibliography (updated 3/25/2019)
Prose Architectures - Renee Gladman
Deep Listening - Pauline Oliveros
Microscripts - Rober Walser
Nilling - Lisa Robertson
Moving Words and The Rhythms of English Poetry - Derek Attridge
The Minor Gesture - Erin Manning
Noise Water Meat - Douglas Kahn
Video documentation by Jonathan Kaiser from April 2018: