The research for this project constitutes the form of the project itself. In other words, the project will create itself through its research. The very process of reading and writing will be a form of autopoeisis[i].
Taking as its model the recursive writings of Robert Duncan, in particular, a book of essays titled Fictive Certainties[ii] and The H.D. Book[iii], the author will undertake a major writing project that writes itself in loops around a central core. That core is the central question: Is poetics a relevant term for current art making, and if so how?
No question is posed without the desire for an answer, even if the answer itself is not yet known or proven. The author suspects that Poetics is indeed a necessary term for the advancement of art. Aristotle’s book Poetics[iv] studied the ways ritual, dance and music were combined with lyric or epic poetry. This interdisciplinary approach will be the starting point for the author's investigation. Aristotle's overarching analysis concerns the interrelatedness of disciplines and the coherence (or incoherence) of their combinations to produce varying aesthetic effects. We will follow the history of Poetics as a concept over many centuries through and up to contemporary theories, including the genealogy of the concept in many cultures.
Adjacent to the core problem of Poetics, the research agenda includes the equally compelling problem of propriety concerning ownership and possession of cultures, particularly literary texts. Recognizing that the identity politics of the past twenty years, and the great legacy of post-colonial theory have both reached internal (structural) limits—without entirely rejecting the project of self-determination—this project enlists the welcome complexities brought about by transgender theories and affect theories to re-imagine how the migration of cultures in a networked world can be positively and progressively imagined without giving over to the logic of market driven modes of production and profit driven cultural expropriations.
[i] “Literally, self-production. The property of systems whose components (1) participate recursively in the same network of productions that produced them, and (2) realize the network of productions as a unity in the space in which the components exist (after Varela) (see recursion). Autopoiesis is a process whereby a system produces its own organization and maintains and constitutes itself in a space. E.g., a biological cell, a living organism and to some extend a corporation and a society as a whole. (krippendorff)” see: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/AUTOPOIESIS.html
last accessed Monday, March 3, 2014
[ii] Robert Duncan, Fictive Certainties, Essays by Robert Duncan, New Directions, New York, 1985.
[iii] Robert Duncan, The H.D. Book, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 2011.
[iv] Aristotle, Poetics, translated with and introduction and notes by Malcolm Heath, Penguin Books, London, 1996.