Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Drafting, pt. 8

Part of the reason I continue to pursue this conversation with you, pretending that the you exists outside the borders of brain-jail, is because I'm interested in the collaborative and multimedia potential of art. I was a musician before I was a writer* and so I can't help but want be part of something that I don't refer to as My art, and say deplorable things like, "What I try to accomplish in my art..."

So, in an effort to help laterally dislodge the cork in the revision process of the book-in-progress, I'm starting a new, shorter (I think) book that is kind of about my artist friend Grant Hanna, kind of about his obsession with rabbits, kind of about me, and kind of about semiotics.

I want there to be multiple layers involved, culling the text from instant message conversations with Grant that had nothing to do with this book idea, rabbit dissection manuals from the 70s, and my few memories of the one cat my family had for a short time. Of course I can literally write/paste all that in, but I want the layering process to be visible somehow. Something like the centuries old method of encaustic (painting with translucent layers of hot wax) or--despite the grotesque sound of the word--a palimpsest (word origin is "scrape" and "again").

I'll save the definition for palimpsest and let you (me?) and wikipedia hash it out, but the general idea is that the work that is on the top layer is informed, heightened, and contradicted by the still-visible work below it. The act of reading then becomes a multidimensional act of reconstruction on the part of the writer and reader. It is a written work of art, but involves visual and tactile elements one experiences at an art gallery or a concert.

I'm still stabbing blindly with this one, but here are a few projected titles that'll most likely disappear in subsequent drafts, but here, in this electronic palimpsest, this vulnerable part of the creative process will remain intact:

1. The Rabbit Book in Progress
2. Little White Rabbit: An Essay on Progress
3. I Scrape Again

*I speak of levels of awareness. I try to avoid that whole, "I was always a writer because I drew comics in 4th grade about a chemically-mutated dog named Oddball."**
**My mother still has the only copy.

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