Sunday, May 1, 2011

Selavy Oh's construct: a dream dialogue

day 75
Mab explores day 75 in Selavy Oh's construct

Mab: Selavy Oh's construct is like a beehive. A dynamo hum. No, not that, but a honeycomb. No, it's exactly like seashells. No, it's more like crystallization.

Mab: (upon reflection) It's orthogonal geometry but it's not geometry, it's scaffolding in search of form…..

Mab: (still pondering) It is a mysterious continuous formation, a gathering emergence……

Mab: (back again after a break) It has the appearance of chaotic spontaneity but was built up methodically over the extended time period (and fleeting passage) of 75 days

Mab: (counting on fingers) Its inhabitants are time and events and us, to do with scripted striations, fractures, mirrors, miniatures, concurrences, confluences, whisperings, forces, pleatings, colors, flips ,and systolic soundwaves

(Mab falls asleep and dreams she is joined by others who continue the revery)

Morton Feldman: …we don't know where the passage begins, and where it ends; we don't know we are in a passage… The overall experience of the whole composition becomes the passage.

Mab: If you zoom out, Morton, you can see that the passages interchange

Robert Irwin: It's a psychic build-up, but it's also a pure energy build-up.

Mab: and a day build-up too

Robert Henri: ...not only in the pleasure it inspires, but in the comprehension of the new order of construction used in its making.

Evelyn Underhill: is not strange that certain maps, artistic representations or symbolic schemes, should have come into being which describe or suggest the special experiences of the mystical consciousness…

Mab: I'm pretty sure that Selavy Oh would not say that about this construct

Carolyn Forché: ...language breaks, becomes tentative, interrogational, kaleidoscopic. The form of this language bears the trace of extremity, and may be composed of fragments: questions, aphorisms, broken passages of lyric prose or poetry, quotations, dialogue, brief and lucid passages that may or may not resemble what previously had been written.

Mab: That's more like it

Emmanuel Levinas: It is of the essence of art to signify only between the lines–in the intervals of time, between times–like a footprint that would precede the step, or an echo preceding the sound of a voice.

Frank O'Hara: I assume you speak of the age in which great forms
appear, only to be taken apart ten years later…

Mab: Well that was a long time ago, Frank, relatively speaking. And backwards.

(Mab doesn't know of what she speaks, but this is her dream)

Odilon Redon: Each man should be the historian of his own heart.

Paul Valéry: the mollusk exudes its shell

Mab (nods at Odilon and Paul)

Paul Eluard: Quand les cimes de notre ciel se rejoindront
Ma maison aura un toit.

(When the peaks of our sky come together
My house will have a roof.)



Orthogonal geometry


Systolic geometry

Morton Feldman "After Modernism" Art in America 1971

Robert Irwin, quoted in Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, by Lawrence Weschler 1982

Robert Henri The Art Spirit 1923

Evelyn Underhill Mysticism 1911

Carolyn Forché "Reading the Living Archives: The Witness of Literary Art" Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature 2011

Emmanuel Levinas Ethics and Inifinity 1985

Frank O'Hara, "About Courbet" Art News 1958

Odilon Redon To Myself: Notes on Life, Art, and Artists 1916

Paul Valéry Les Merveilles De La Mer. Les coquillages 1936

Paul Eluard Dignes de vivre 1944


More construct dialogue in the dreamer-sphere:

Oberon Onmura's great writeup of construct on New World Notes


See all Soup Blog posts on construct

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