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y separately published work icon Axon : Creative Explorations periodical issue  
Alternative title: Materiality, Creativity, Material Poetics
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... vol. 8 no. 1 May 2018 of Axon : Creative Explorations est. 2011 Axon : Creative Explorations
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries between creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality — once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft — to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.

'Writers such as Kristen Kreider (Poetics and Place: The Architecture of Sign, Subject and Site, 2014), Lyn Hejinian (The Language of Inquiry), James Stuart (The Material Poem), Astrid Lorange (On Language as Material), and others deal with language, its material properties, its affinitive qualities. Where creative practitioners in general work with physical, tangible materials – everything from paper and paint through to the body – writers typically have nothing but language as their material. However, words, phrases, sentences and lines have their own tactility and affordances, and this is explored in the special section in this issue – ‘The Poetic Line’, edited by Owen Bullock. His introduction provides a context to the line, its property and its potential; and the contributions to that section, as well as contributions by poets Geoff Page and Jackson to the main section, exemplify the material practices of poets.'  (Editorial introduction)

Notes

  • Only literary material by Australian authors and within AustLit's scope, individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    Individuality & Yet Another Book : Artists Books by Ulrike Stoltz.

    'Inside a Radio : A Stop Motion Animation (Video) by Nicci Haynes.

    Where do Pearls Come From? by Marian Crawford

    Read to Me by Sarah Bodman

    Dancing Duppy by Vahni Capildeo

    Soft Text and the Open Line by Lisa Samuels

    'Like a Japanese Christmas Card' Line in Poetry and Art by Jack Ross

    Three Poems by Mara Adamitz Scrupe

    The White Devil by Alistair Paterson

Contents

* Contents derived from the 2018 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Caren Florance , Jen Webb , Jordan Williams , single work

'Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries of creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality — once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft — to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.' (Introduction)

Axonalogue, Caren Florance , single work criticism

'5 years of experiential materiality.

'For five years, colleagues from the University of Canberra’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research have held an annual letterpress workshop, to which they bring their own writing to set and print. Initial expectations about ideal presentation shifted ground when faced with the intricacies and possibilities of the process. This is an account of their experiences that combines insights from participants with framing observations from my own experience with letterpress, typographic layout and its relationship with creative writing.'  (Publication abstract)

Altered Books : Materiality and Poetics, Barbel Ullrich , single work criticism

'The artists book is inventive, and part of a ‘diverse, tactile area of contemporary printmaking’ (Selenitsch 2008: 3). Although it is difficult to define an artists book because of variability in the use and combination of papers and materials, display, unorthodox shape and fragility, a general definition could be: ‘An artists book is a book made by an artist, and is meant as an artwork’ (Selenitsch 2008: 5).  It can also be categorised as an independent art form and part of a ‘living, changing discipline’ (Selenitsch 2008: 5), where a more specific definition would appear to be impossible.'  (Introduction)

Given in the Flesh : A Phenomenology of Handedness through Erika Mordek’s Bookwork, Monica Carroll , single work criticism

'Bookbinders’ hands know things that other hands do not know. Familiar phrases such as ‘embodied cognition’, ‘muscle memory’ and ‘felt knowing’ attempt to express the exceptional qualities of people who hold knowledge in their body, the binder’s hands being one such example. This paper uses experimental writing to locate embodied knowledge in a material world through phenomenological structures of the given world.'  (Publication abstract)

Natural Selection : A Translation-in-Progress of Bestiario (2014) by Beatriz Restrepo, Kay Are , single work criticism

'This work uses translation and diagramming as devices in offering an interpretation of Colombian poet Beatriz Restrepo’s 2014 collection Bestiario. The collection indexes sixty animals in sixty poems (a translation of ten poems taken from the collection’s first section are given here), in reference to the medieval Bestiarium Vocabularium, a formative element in the encyclopaedic tradition that permeates the natural sciences. My translation also uses the affordances of visual metaphor to convey my reading of Restrepo’s ‘Bestiary’ as concerned with the mutual nesting of human and non-human animal worlds — with beasts as human inventions, and with human invention as critically shaping animal worlds. Each poem frames a species either in terms of its implication in a human social practice or in terms of its presence in a cultural imaginary — not bees, for instance, but the bees of the novel Pedro Páramo; not albatrosses, but Baudelaire’s ‘Albatross’. Not least among such social practices is the domesticating technology of alphabetisation in the cataloguing of the more-than-human. I have re-ordered Restrepo’s poems to stress this.' (Introduction)

'Paint Her to Your Own Mind : Re-inflecting Laurence Sterne’s 18th-century Gesture, Paul Munden , Paul Hetherington , single work criticism

'In Volume VI of The Life and Adventures of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Laurence Sterne leaves page 147 entirely blank, in order that readers should create for themselves an image in their minds: ‘as like your mistress as you can——as unlike your wife as your conscience will let you’. In 2016, the Laurence Sterne Trust commissioned 147 writers and artists to put their imaginings onto the page, in whatever material form they might choose. The resulting works were exhibited at Shandy Hall, toured to further venues, and auctioned online. In this paper, two of the writers involved consider the importance of Sterne’s original gesture and its ongoing relevance in a digital age, with its emphasis on interactivity. The paper explores how various artists grappled with the complex issues of making manifest their reactions to Sterne’s invitation. It builds on papers relating to two previous Shandy Hall projects interpreting Sterne’s visual gestures within his text: ‘The Black Page’ and ‘Emblem of My Work’.'  (Introduction)

Loose Threads : Materialising the Poetics of Celebrity Death, Discarded Flannel and Art Making as Memento Mori, Ursula K Frederick , single work criticism

'I once read that after Kurt Cobain died Courtney Love gave all his clothes to the Goodwill. Their daughter didn’t need a pile of baggy sweaters or torn jeans to remember him by, or something like that, it said. This anecdote has hung in my mind like one of those ill-fitting sweaters ever since. What has captivated me most about this story is the prospect of random people walking around in Kurt Cobain’s clothing, masquerading as rock stars, without knowing it.

'This paper offers an exegetical account of my efforts to materialise the poetics of Kurt’s missing shirts and the contingencies that inevitably arise when attempting to creatively work through tragic circumstances. I outline my creative response to Courtney Love’s ‘throw away’ line and the image it produces of celebrity fashion cut loose. I discuss the experimental practice emerging from my engagement with the fabric of memory and flannel and how corresponds to my broader interests in photography, musical cultures, melancholy and commemorative gestures.'  (Introduction)

‘Violence Covers Them as a Garment’ (Psalm 73), Ross Gibson , single work criticism

'The brutality of the colonial frontier in Australia is often denied by those who prefer not to see it; or the violence assumes an invisibility-via-banality for those who have seen too much of it and thus become numb to its force. In the mode of creative-practice-led scholarly research, ‘Violence Covers Them as a Garment’ investigates how and to what effect one might redact and redeploy ‘prosaic’ artefacts from the public record in order to establish the veracity and persistence of the violence while also activating emotions of engagement and custodianship to counteract the inaction that so often settles around the aftermaths of settler violence. To this end, the public record is subjected to historical ‘fair review’ as the author brings evidence and agitates against apathy by drawing on texts from historical government archives and from everyday, contemporary photographs of Indigenous country such as they are recorded and requisitioned by companies like Google and other digital mapping agencies.' (Introduction)

Pause Poemi"here", Peter Anderson , single work poetry
Phillips Fox : A Pair of Paintingsi"Thirty five in 1900,", Geoff Page , single work poetry
Thirteen Meditations on the Untranslatablei"Open the manuscript to a parable", Angela Gardner , single work poetry art work
Words for Climbing Landscapes, Bridget Hillebrand , single work essay

'Rock climbers attribute qualities to a landscape, and claim ownership of their climbs by writing about their experiences. Climbing discourses mediate the exploration of the landscape and its written and pictorial representation. This paper examines how I as a climber know and experience landscape through the verbal and written word. As British academic Robert Macfarlane suggests, I began to learn to read and interpret the surface of the rock face before me through the shared cultural memory of a climber. Words render the formerly invisible nuances of a rock face, visible and real, and present the promise of an unexplored climbing route. The language of climbing associated with Mt Arapiles in Western Victoria informs both my studio practice and my engagement with a specific place. My art practice researches specific texts, guide books, climbing magazines, and club newsletters that reference the language, systems and structures through which the climbing fraternity constructs its vernacular landscape. These materials provide evidence that climbers share a common understanding and a particular reading of the landscape. Rock climbing publications affirm and reaffirm what climbers know and experience and will experience in the landscape. They demonstrate how language can create landscapes that suit a specific purpose and in turn influence our subjective experience of it.' (Introduction)

What Rubbish, A. Frances Johnson , single work criticism

'As Australian poet John Kinsella has observed, ‘There is plenty of room for misunderstanding forms’. Alongside Kinsella, and sounding deceptively like a modern poetry critic rather than a vital materialist philosopher, Jane Bennett considers forms of nature, ethics and human affect to propose that we ‘turn the figures of “life” and “matter” around and around, worrying them until they start to seem strange, in something like the way a common word when repeated can become foreign nonsense sound’.'  (Introduction)

Skywriting, Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax , single work prose

'In his 1971 essay ‘Field’, writer and artist John Berger suggests the diagram as an alternative approach when personal encounters with landscape exceed the conscious lexicon of language. Situated between writing and drawing, diagrams offer a way to investigate patterns and processes within the complex physical world. ‘Skywriting’ applies Berger’s theory to a case study site in Canberra, using the conventions of the routing diagram to chart seasonal flight paths of birds and insects in a small suburban park. As a linear form of flow diagram, this schematic approach accumulates subjective, sensory experience into a spatial arrangement of data that reveals ecological and biographical relationships formed between place and inhabitants.' (Introduction)

Vocal Womb and the Ekphrasis Machine (We Die), Virginia Barratt , Quinn Eades , Eve Klein (composer), single work prose

'The following text was written as a collaboration between Virginia Barratt and Quinn Eades, as an experimental work of ekphrastic ‘writing with’ or ‘writing to’ (Gale & Wyatt 2018), taking as its subject an operatic performance entitled ‘Vocal Womb’ by Eve Klein, a music technologist, popular music scholar and an operatic mezzo soprano and composer.

'The operatic work, ‘Vocal Womb’, comprised two arias, based on poems written by Quinn Eades and Virginia Barratt, arranged in a ‘post-operatic’ mode, to use a term proposed by Jelena Novak to speak about theorising a body-voice relationship in contemporary, post-dramatic and media-augmented operatic works, ‘where interventions upon the body-voice relation open possibilities not only for expanding the borders of the opera world further, but also for what is considered body and voice in opera’ (Novak 2015).

'The original poems engaged with notions of affectivity, the phenomenology of panic, birthing, the post-linguistic and its role in writing trauma and the body, and écriture matière (Eades 2015), which is writing matter/the material. The poem/arias were arranged within a composition of samples, electronic noise, Eve’s own body sounds amplified by stethoscopes, and live sound and video feeds. The original poems, already products of ‘the remainder’ (Lecercle 1990), were thus further de/composed with the result that the affective ‘noise’ of the texts was amplified.

'The text ’Vocal Womb’ and the ekphrasis machine (we die) was the result of Barratt and Eades writing with and to the live arias in a constraint-based processual performance. In a dialogic relationship to the poem/arias, we were sensing the vitalities of the iterative always-becoming text, and coaxing out the new emergent poetics, feeding back in a spiralling exchange with our poems, and mining the remainder for the refrain.' (Introduction)

Skinvisiblei"i this", 'Jackson' , single work poetry
Turningsi"not enough windows — electric light at noon", 'Jackson' , single work poetry
Across Speak And/or Waywardness, Martina Copley , Francesca Rendle-Short , single work prose

'DRAMATIS PERSONAE: YOU AND I

'CHORUS: all singing, all dancing

'forays into the world and back again; 1stly, a single gesture opens up the space of commentary inviting the incidental live onstage. Two. a drafterly undercurrent streams thought to words and 3, well 3 is a dark work in the wings, lightningscript and love at first sight.'  (Introduction)

Into the Third Space : Comics and Creative Writing: Teaching and Researching Graphic Narratives in a Creative Writing Context, Elizabeth MacFarlane , Ronnie Scott , Bernard Caleo , single work criticism

'We are three writers and researchers learning to teach the image. We approach comics from different backgrounds and engage the medium in different ways, but our point of convergence is Graphic Narratives, a fourth-year subject developed by Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane at the University of Melbourne. Liz founded Graphic Narratives in 2011, when it was Australia’s first tertiary-level subject devoted to the study of the comics medium. Each year students create a minicomic which they then have the opportunity to swap or sell at an annual showcase event open to the public. With graphic novelist and academic Dr Pat Grant, Liz co-directs the Comic Art Workshop, Australia’s first artists’ residency dedicated to supporting major comics projects in progress. Bernard Caleo has taught comics making skills as part of Graphic Narratives, and also at primary and secondary schools. He edited and published the giant romance comics anthology Tango from 1997 to 2009, and made the feature documentary Graphic Novels! Melbourne! in 2012 with filmmaker Daniel Hayward. His ongoing project is to investigate possibilities for performing comics. Dr Ronnie Scott guest lectured, then tutored, then coordinated Graphic Narratives in various years and has since integrated comics into his Media & Communication Honours Lab and his undergraduate Nonfiction studios in the Creative Writing program at RMIT University. He has also published comics criticism in national venues and edited comics for international literary magazines, as well as publishing scholarly research on comics.'  (Introduction)

The Possibilities of Water, Lorraine Webb , Jen Webb , single work criticism

'Each new collaboration is a new country: no matter how familiar the partners might be, no matter how literate each is in their own professional area, they enter the zone of the unknown. The processes and patterns of meeting, making, debating, shaping, discussing, disputing and finally realising the project all happen on ground no one in the collaboration has ever before trodden; or, at least, haven’t trodden in quite that way. This paper discusses a collaboration in which the participants decided to take the ‘zone of the unknown’, both by adopting a framework they’d not previously used, and by stepping blindly into possibility, hoping/assuming that a project and a process would reveal themselves.'  (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Poetic Line : Recent Innovations Owen Bullock , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , May vol. 8 no. 1 2018;

'From Stéphane Mallarmé onwards, the parameters of the line have been manipulated in diverse ways by poets from William Carlos Williams to Charles Olson, Susan Howe and Lyn Hejinian to Michele Leggott, Alan Loney and others. Whether concentrating on the concept of the breath as a defining unit, harnessing a particular speech rhythm or responding to visual prompts – some of which reflect the internet age and new media – the poetic line is neither static nor redundant in contemporary practice. An exploration of poetic structure via the line still offers vital alternatives to prose, as well as sometimes being influenced by it. The use of the line is synonymous with the use of page space and this relationship is commented on by our contributors in diverse and individual ways.' (Introduction)

Introduction Caren Florance , Jen Webb , Jordan Williams , 2018 single work
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , May vol. 8 no. 1 2018;

'Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries of creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality — once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft — to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.' (Introduction)

Introduction Caren Florance , Jen Webb , Jordan Williams , 2018 single work
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , May vol. 8 no. 1 2018;

'Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries of creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality — once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft — to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.' (Introduction)

The Poetic Line : Recent Innovations Owen Bullock , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , May vol. 8 no. 1 2018;

'From Stéphane Mallarmé onwards, the parameters of the line have been manipulated in diverse ways by poets from William Carlos Williams to Charles Olson, Susan Howe and Lyn Hejinian to Michele Leggott, Alan Loney and others. Whether concentrating on the concept of the breath as a defining unit, harnessing a particular speech rhythm or responding to visual prompts – some of which reflect the internet age and new media – the poetic line is neither static nor redundant in contemporary practice. An exploration of poetic structure via the line still offers vital alternatives to prose, as well as sometimes being influenced by it. The use of the line is synonymous with the use of page space and this relationship is commented on by our contributors in diverse and individual ways.' (Introduction)

Last amended 22 Jun 2018 12:23:57
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