Johnson quoted in Brown, 99 But there is more at stake here than the mere recognition of a common architecturality across science and recent avant-garde poetry.
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If these intertwined histories of fabrication and the production of ideology are compelling in their own right, Brown is at his best when he registers the materialities of sound and inscription that are particular to poetry, the better to reveal with due emphasis what the matter of poetry does , over against other forms of materiality. There are times reading this book when the particular curvature and atomicity of poetic materiality is rather lost in the mix, as Brown offers example after example of how one practice — nanotechnology, say — accords with, or helps reorient, our understanding of another — poetry.
Some of these case studies could profitably have been left in the archive. But for all that, Brown is a strikingly inventive reader, and there emerges across his book a powerful, if largely implicit, theory of materialist reading that rivals the accompanying account of materialist poetic and scientific practice. It is rarer still to encounter reading pitched at this level of granularity and sensitivity, impervious to the lures of over-contextualization or the widespread fetish for content over form. From one angle, this is the very question that animates the book, and Brown provides the reader with numerous examples of the transformations of space that the sciences and literature alike are able to induce.
Moreover, the problem has an irreducibly political charge. If, as Joshua Clover has claimed, Language poetry and other recent avant-gardes bought their meticulous attention to the minutiae of language at the expense of thinking the ramifications of political totality  , Brown is concerned to locate a poetics that would be both micro and macro, nano and cosmological.
And yet, the materialities that compose urban geographies, the nanomaterial, poetry, or collectivities of labor, are anything but equivalent. To fully foreground this would be to ponder just how that resistance is overcome; how it is that the very different forms of matter in question resonate upon one other or, just as likely, how they are ultimately fated not to do so. The dialectical peculiarity of this logic should not be lost: the characteristic that unites different manifestations of the material, that of resistance, is also that which singularizes, which precludes the formation in material actuality of the very totality that one is nonetheless rightfully enjoined, in theory, to map.
Leaving aside the post-theistic, ghostly metaphysic that shapes these famous lines, we find a numerical order and a structured kind of spatial disorder in combination here, such that vertical nets and horizontal ladders both enable and disable one another. The nets within which men and angels are caught are immense, and yet somehow limiting; a different order of space, the ladders upon which angels, demons and men ascend, intersects the nets while also being hampered by them. Hindrance and expansiveness; hindrance, perhaps, as expansiveness. Nonetheless, the vaulting ambition that supercharges his historical claims occasionally renders artificially smooth what are, one suspects, rather rougher and more incomplete moments of connection and disconnection between the scientific and the poetic, between the minute and the gargantuan.
Show all posts. What daily life without these two would be I care not to know Another day, another reason to get excited for the holidays, as two more essential items have arrived:. First, the long awaited release of Bruce Baillie's Masterpiece with a capital M the first five minutes will make your head spin Quick Billy. An immense amount of sacrifice and effort went into the creation of this DVD, so sincere gratitude is owed to many especially Baillie himself and John Carlson, who aided with the transfer and color coding.
The beauty of the film is difficult to put into words, but as Bruce Elder says of the film:. Here an attack on the body, a bout with yellow fever, brings Baillie to confront his mortality. Anthology of Concretism. Edited by Eugene Wildman. Chicago, Swallow Press, Archae Editions. By Richard Kostelanetz. By David Mimran. ArtLex's Con Page. By Caterina Davinio. The Art of Kazmier Maslanka.
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