Friday, February 15, 2008

Sigh Twombly

"Artists in a variety of media have been talking about a “New Sincerity.” In poetry, Andrew Mister, Joseph Massey, and Anthony Robinson have written manifestos. Drawing is the new old thing in visual art; in their use of the long take, among other stylistic devices, Wes Anderson and a few other young filmmakers (maybe quoting Dogme, Expressionism or Neo-Realism), nod toward the medium’s first promise — to be an “honest” representation of reality. In pop music, folk is making a resurgence. Performers like Will Oldham, Cat Power, Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom play with a kind of lo-fi, scaled-back immediacy which has been widely welcomed by audiences and critics alike. The Believer (whose name itself denotes a wide-eyed credulity) is among America’s best and most widely circulated literary magazines; its credo in large part defines it as against the ironic, the cynical, etc. (The Doubter?). And yet all of these seem to be immanent critiques of irony: if irony is the black, rich bed of dirt out of which these movements blossom, to what degree does the sincerity they anticipate remain within its magnetic poles? To what extent are these artists anticipating a telos of irony, even while operating within its present field of influence and drawing on its (bottomless) history? . . ."

Read the rest of Jason Morris's essay on New Sincerity at Jacket

CA Conrad Somatic Exercise No. 2 "In your home alone. Take a bucket or basin of room-temperature water to your front door and strip naked. Put a piece of paper or thin notepad under the bucket and lay a pen nearby. Stand in the water. Get used to being naked while standing in water at the front door. Look through the peep hole. Look for a long time at the world out there. Then look above you, and at the door, the walls, and make note of something you hadn't seen before--maybe a cobweb or crack in the paint. Every once in a while stretch your arms over your head stretch as high as you can stretch stretch stretch then relax in your bucket. If someone knocks or rings the bell it's your good fortune! Look at them through the peep hole while saying nothing. Maybe have a friend come over at a certain time to knock and say, "Are you naked in your bucket of water?" Don't answer, you're a poet, this isn't time for idle chit chat, besides that you can warn them ahead of time that you won't be answering them. Stretch, and be quiet. Step out of the bucket and sit your poet ass on the floor, get the paper from under the bucket and whistle short, loud bursts of whistle four times. Then write. When you feel the need for more whistles, pause, whistle, then write some more."

Cystic Fibrosis Fact: In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

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