Influenced by copy art and zine making, my work uses the copier or scanner as a means of drawing, often adapting, or ‘quoting,’ a source of conceptual significance. In this, a nostalgic practice of the hand is allied to the borrowed rhythms of an all-but-outmoded means of mechanical reproduction. Excerpted here are two suites of elaboration and compression respectively, entitled Spools and Burrs. These derive from the 1966 diamond-shaped poems of Clark Coolidge, which serve as source and epigram.
Bill Berkson seized upon the sound-image of the spool in an essay on Coolidge’s poetry, citing a 1972 interview in which Coolidge remarks upon Beckett’s pronunciation in Krapp’s Last Tape: “he takes the spool of tape and he says “spoooooool” and he says it over and over again, so it’s like an incantation.” This incantatory power consists as much in repetition as in the “pure voice” of the elongating vowel, a drone prior to articulation. The visually mellifluous unspooling of this tributary sequel contrasts the calligrammatical regularity of Coolidge’s original series, hard-edged as their eponym suggests, as an interpretation of the poet’s ambient vocabularies. Otherwise, the Burrs present as discrete poems or stanzas, flashes of pre-verbal feeling corresponding to what Berkson elsewhere calls the “cyclotron” of language.