Nonetheless, this writing is conceptual in the sense that other, more traditional forms of writing, are not.Kenneth Goldsmith offers an interesting essay at the start, comparing photography and painting with the internet and writing.The internet, with its textual basis (but also mixed media) releases writing from its traditional prison of realism — of trying to be a representation of the world just as photography released painting from its post-renaissance vanishing point perspective prison...and since the internet is laid over the real world, writing as a whole, with its books and non-specific ties to the planet becomes dated.
So in this sense, the title could have been called as much "against expression" just as the Abstract Expressionist painters were expressing much.The difference, of course, is that in this impressive volume, the writing is centered on writing as a concept, rather than writing as an invisible craft to create coherency, realism and so on as a deferral to another dimension.
In this sense, while much of the writing in this volume seems unanchored from the real world, at its root is always an angular concept that ties it back to how this writing is generated, as the writing itself is the item of interest.
What's interesting is that even without the intention of creating immersive worlds, automatic writing, writing that highlights only "foot prints" of other forces in the real world, such as word choice, events like 9/11, or various other assorted, curated arrangements, we the reader still persist in creating worlds in which we meander.Traditional immersive writing ecologies, such as narrative-time-space are eshewed for the inner voices of language, the collective roar of a non-singular plurality that does not intend as much as it unconsciously desires...and in that desire creates great social distortion — of facts, relationships, defiguring much of what we do as humans on a daily basis.Much of the writing here, while unreadable, acts as a record of our own distortion... sometimes playful, sometimes sad, sometimes anything you want, this text, devoid of much intent of narrative or morality allows us a partial 3rd point of view on ourselves, so that we can see in our shadow most of all, what we are obsessed in seeing.
It's funny that often the introduction to the piece grounds the conceptual writing as being meaningful only because it is linked in reference to an hereto unseen axis outside writing.Nonetheless, I still find problematic the title; is this expression or is it against expression?What is expressed; writing always has with it, a pre-linguistic figural meaning that is included in the act of registering language.
All in all, an inspiring collection.
eBook Against Expression