Sunday, October 18, 2009

Specific Information

My adventures in MFAland continue to be interesting--I've posted the last two sequences of things that I workshopped in Rae Armatrout's class to my poetry drafts blog, See it Everywhere. I've been doing some visual stuff, but I'll need to noodle with that a bit longer before I post it anywhere.

In Rae's class we're reading Claudia Rankine's, Don’t let me be lonely and John Ashbery, Robert Hass, Jorie Graham, Donald Revell, & Lyn Hejinian from the Hybrid anthology. And then also Hejinian's Against Closure essay. Predictably, I deeply dislike the Revell. I've heard Claudia Rankine read from Don't let me be lonely at least once. The doodle above is from when she read at UCSD on January 25, 2006--that must have been one of the first readings I went to after moving here. That book is, among other things, a devastating examination of American loneliness, and so a good introduction to living in the San Diego suburbs.

This week is Futurism and Dada week in the Modern Art Movements and Aesthetics with Michael Davidson. We're reading some of Peter Bürger's Theory of the avant-garde; The argument of this book is incredibly familiar to me at this point, but it's good, I suppose, to be actually reading it. We're also looking at Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto, Loy's Feminist Manifesto, and several pieces by Schwitters, Huelsenbeck, Tzara, Khlebnikof, Ball, etc.

In Movement for Theater we continue to focus on honing "neutral" movement. We've also started working on some basic tumbling and acrobatics--somersaults, standing on each others' shoulders, and some basic flying techniques that resemble what I've practiced in acro yoga. And handstands, which I'm always glad to do. All of this is incredibly fun and stimulating, but I'm not yet seeing a path towards how I'm going to use it in my own work. Thus far, my attempts at movement in performance feel muddy and confusing.

Research into my family history has yielded interesting information: 1) Comanche great grandmother 2) Dutch ancestors, in addition to the Scottish ones that I already knew about--they all came through New York 3) A lot of my ancestors on both sides of the family lived in and around Tippah, Mississippi. The ones that didn't stay in New York went south, typically. 4) References to marriages in Jamaica--but no specific information.

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