The Art of Finding | Academy of American Poets

From Linda Gregg‘s essay (2006) :

There are two elements in “finding” a poem: discovering the subject matter and locating the concrete details and images out of which the poems are built. In this instance, I do not mean the subject matter to be the ideas or subjects for poems. Instead, I am referring to finding the resonant sources deep inside you that empower those subjects and ideas when they are put in poems. For example, I am made of the landscape in northern California where I grew up, made of my father’s uninhabited mountain where my twin sister and I spent most of our time as small children with the live oak trees, the stillness, the tall grass, the dry smell of the hot summer air where the red-tailed hawks turned slowly up high, where the two of us alone at ten did the spring roundup of my father’s twenty-six winter-shaggy horses. Down below there were salmon in the stream that ran by our house, the life of that stream and the sound of it as we lay in our bunks at night, our goat and the deer standing silently outside in the mist so many mornings when we awoke. The elements of that bright world are in my poetry now when I write about love or Nicaragua or the old gods in the rocky earth of Greece, just as the Greek islands where I lived for almost five years resonate in the poems I write now about the shelter for abused women in Manhattan or how a marriage failed in New England—but not directly. They are present as essences. They operate invisibly as energy, equivalents, touchstones, amulets, buried seed, repositories, and catalysts. They function at the generating level of the poems to impregnate and pollinate the present—provoking, instigating, germinating, irradiating—in the way the lake high up in the Sierra mountains waters the roses in far away San Francisco.

Immanuel Kant: Aesthetics

Douglas Burnham elucidates Kant’s Critique of Judgment. Kant discussed aesthetic judgement, taste, beauty, claims leading to formalism, aesthetic ideas (leading to conceptualism and to formlessness), aesthetic experience, the sublime, genius and fine art. Also, Kant bridged aesthetics to ethics.

A refresher and/or necessary reading in relation to Duchamp’s Fountain. NSU Art Museum celebrates the centenary of Fountain. Fountain and the stories told about it seem to dramatize Critique of Judgment.

I would separate the valorization of Duchamp from the mythologizing of Fountain.

100.51 B61 no.2

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven might need to be acknowledged.

Related – Burnham answers questions via AskPhilosophers.

Julia Kristeva


Thoughts on humanism as an ongoing project questioning the nature of god and of humans, through poetry and science.


On poetic language.


On love generated from maternal space.

More videos and text.

Via Perverts at Cell Projects.

cell project space

John Akomfrah – an interview

Negarra A. Kudumu interviewed John Akomfrah for Art Radar Journal. (29 March 2016)

I’m interested in the fossils, fragments, debris from the past for two reasons: one, the interest is to do with the question of context. These are contested legacies in which the fragment in question has usually been used to speak a certain absolutist truth. “This is England”, for instance, “and England was always white”. Or “This is England and England is mono-cultural” or “This is England and it was a great power, which civilised savages.” You’re aware that when you enter into the debate with the historical record there are, in other words, a set of contested narratives that you’re confronted by. So part of the project is simply to take seriously this question of context, to see in what ways fragments from the past can be commandeered to speak more ambivalently about the present and about how the present became if you like.

But there’s a sort of, for me, a more pressing, personal question because I think generally when you are a figure of a diaspora what that says is that you are in a space in which very few of the monuments that write that place into being acknowledge your presence. There’s no Trafalgar Square for people of colour in this country. The historic fragment in its archival variety becomes paradoxically one’s inheritance, one’s heritage. It’s one of the few spaces where you find things that attest to your presence. So if you look at 17th century England generally the things that attest to there being an African presence in this country at the time will be books or paintings or, very rarely, buildings or towns. So it becomes imperative for the artist, or for the figure who enters into the archive to be aware of the Janus faced nature of the archival past, the residues of the archival past, because they both speak an official memory.

Shakespeare is the English language’s greatest poet but Shakespeare is also, in the Tempest, one of the few texts from that period that hints at this sense that what we understand to be England may well have been forged by an encounter with the Caribbean. Both are important, in a way, to the practice. It’s not that I want to suggest that Shakespeare is just a great white male and he isn’t any good for me, or that he needs to be replaced by something I like. I think he’s that too but there’s other stuff there that one could work with.

So that is generally my interest in the archive. It’s about looking, using it to look at spaces or contexts, using it to look at ways in which one might reinsert a black subject into a narrative in which he or she is assumed to be absent from. And those come with ethical implications. It’s like when you try to put people in something – nations, groups, identities – the question of why you do it is important. And those ethical questions are as important for me as the aesthetic ones.

…another Akomfrah interview, BFI (8 June 2015).

Arnolfini, Bristol.

…of note : Emmanuel Lubezki, cinemaphotographer.

for purposes of aggression as well as for defense

We wear the mask for purposes of aggression as well as for defense, when we are projecting the future and preserving the past. In short, the motives hidden behind the mask are as numerous as the ambiguities the mask conceals.
Ralph Ellison, from “Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke”; 1958.

Between politics and aesthetics

…I blame writers and artists for some of the success of this kind of “public relations” and the resultant degradation of the language… Via Scribd

Author(s): David Levi Strauss and Hakim Bey
Source: BOMB, No. 89 (Fall, 2004), pp. 74-80

HB+DLS6-704a3b99f1

Read the article for the context.