I'm a visual artist and writer in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

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Blog Archives dated October 2012

restlessness


Going through indexical and older photos, finding pairs of photos that work together vertically, then pairing pairs.

“The thing about Rousseau’s Boat is that it came from the entire body of my old notebooks. It’s composed around principles of doing keyword searches on about twenty years’ worth of notebooks. […] all of my work comes out of my notebooks. […] the first long poem called Face, it’s all about these first person sentences. Basically every first person sentence I ever wrote in a notebook. […] Rousseau’s Boat culls from old material systematically, creating frames for sifting through, so every time I write a new poem for that piece I go back and reread… […] That autobiographical gesture […] like there’s one where I form rhyming couplets out of all the negative statements I ever made, everything that’s no and never. And now an index of last lines. […] The great thing about an archive is that an archive is anarchy.”
— Lisa Robertson, interview from Matrix 78 (Fall 2007)

These old beginnings of the universe

“How varied in multitudinous shapes they are –
These old beginnings of the universe;
Not in the sense that only few are furnished
With one like form, but rather not at all
In general have they likeness each with each,
No marvel: since the stock of them’s so great
That there’s no end (as I have taught) nor sum,
They must indeed not one and all be marked
By equal outline and by shape the same.

Wherefore again, again, since seeds of things
Exist by nature, nor were wrought with hands
After a fixed pattern of one other,
They needs must flitter to and fro with shapes
In types dissimilar to one another.”
— Lucretius, from De Rerum Natura

watching the world through glass

More pages for maybe a book project. These are a little tricky to assemble, because the writing is not always my best. I’m tempted to rewrite some of the passages, but a constraint of this project is use my handwriting scanned directly from old notebooks. I often write outdoors, and there’s an immediacy and spontaneity there that I don’t want to lose. So I am only editing the writing by cropping, and occasionally moving bits around. Leaving scratches and scribbles helps convey the idea that the writing is firsthand.

It’s difficult to match ideas in the photo diptychs with ideas in the writing. When the writing is overlaid on the photos, like here, there also has to be a place to fit it without disrupting the composition of the diptychs. I’m realizing this works best with smaller snippets of writing. I like the way the passage above works with the text that is already in the photos. Using full notebook pages seems to be a better way to include longer passages.

The photos above are from Cape Spear, the ones below from Halifax and Pasadena, and they are all from indexical. Four photos on a page sometimes look crowded at this size, but I think it will work better if they are printed larger. Each spread of four photos is meant to be read as two vertical diptychs, which will be more evident if they are printed in book form. I’d also like to keep the handwriting more or less the same size across all the pages, which will require some reworking. These are drafts.

A dead bumblebee / leaving the scaffolding

“Whatever change is looks something like this – a leaning, a consciousness toward, a showing to.”

— Lisa Robertson, from Doubt and the History of Scaffolding

Content ©  2017 Matthew Hollett. RSS