Monday, February 28, 2011

Joyelle McSweeney, On Reading

"Art lays its eggs in its own eyes.

If you want to be an Artist, let Art lay its eggs in your eyes and change your vision; and make you into a Seer; and make you shed a swarm of winged, infectious, dirty Art, equipped with wiggy egg sacs and further compound eyes. You can’t treat reading like some plastic bottled water you have shipped in from Fiji to refresh you as you lay by the pool, a resource you quaff and utilize. You have to pour Art’s acid on your face and let it eat your face and make you a new face, and you have to be looking into a mirror the whole time, and the mirror has to be made of some molten registering substance that records the whole event in a kind of distended smeary disingenuous film. A damage film. If your eyes melt, you know you are doing something right. That’s the Art coming out of your skull. How refreshing!

Some artists whose written, visual, and multimedia work has caused me this kind of permanent damage include Jack Smith; Andy Warhol; Nick Demske; Kim Hyesoon; Fi Jae Lee; Artaud; the critics Mark Seltzer, David Gissen and Achille Mbembe; Deleuze and Guattari; Harryette Mullen; Alice Notley; Cesar Aira; Aime Cesaire; Kara Walker; Bylex Puma; and Raul Zurita. Also the Internet, Slavoj Zizek, my grad students, WikiLeaks and AlJazeera English. Also, Johannes Göransson’s new book, entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate from Christian Peet’s dynamite Tarpaulin Sky Press."

{Joyelle McSweeney is the author of the hybrid novels Flet (Fence Books) and Nylund, the Sarcographer (Tarpaulin Sky Press), as well as two books of poetry from Fence. She edits Action Books and contributes to the collective blog, montevidayo. Please check it out! She also teaches in the MFA Program at Notre Dame.}

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