A thematic project by Natasha Sobroomanien and Luke Williams (March-May 2012)
Build your own machine for writing!
Your beautiful and original writing machine will comprise a set of strategies and techniques for generating texts. Texts we might call conceptual writing, or art writing or creative writing or writing-as-art or words-to-be-looked-at or outsider writing or experimental writing or, as Kenneth Goldsmith might term it, uncreative writing. Texts we might call literature. Or even art. But does it matter how we term these texts?
We’ll begin by considering this question in the light of political and aesthetic movements from 1900 to the present, focusing on the moments where art and literature and the practice of these intersect, cross-fertilize or merge. We’ll go on to look closely at writers who have occupied this liminal space: famous examples such as Gertrude Stein and Georges Perec, and others such as Lyn Hejinian and David Markson – examining the concepts underpinning their work and exploring their techniques through a series of lectures and workshops.
Then, during a four-day build we’ll assemble our machines using the components gathered during the previous session, fashioning new elements as they are needed. The project will culminate in a production phase where we will generate texts using our machines.
We plan to publish an anthology of these texts, ‘A Machine For Writing’ following the end of the project, after which time you may dismantle your machine, or continue to operate it.