Sunday 11 October 2009

book of motion

Today at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, my friends in the group propeller - Pete Harrison, Augusto Corrieri, Tim Vize-Martin, Emma Bush, Neil Callaghan - are launching the publication of their collaboratively written book, Five Rooms (Acts of Language).

Here is a pre-publ
ication response I wrote for them. For the propellers have indeed made a beautiful book. I wish I could be there to celebrate it with them.


These collaboratively authored texts constitute a book of motion: of fallings and flyings and journeys of many kinds. Materials here are in perpetual flux. Matter circulates at differing speeds and transforms, as do spaces, times, images, narratives, selves. Identities and their constituent elements migrate in a dynamic unfolding/infolding of translations of things, people, stories. The authors trace the mortality of forms, and the trajectories and contours of time’s metamorphoses and of matter’s becomings: its dynamic ‘fidelities’ and ‘infidelities’.

For everything here is on the move, in transit: information (genetic, viral, sonic, electronic, visual, semiotic, ideological), people young and old, past and present, and events. Here events are protean in their meanings, and promiscuous in their proliferative ripples and dispersed echoes. A meteorite falls, and elsew/here so does a leaf, a seal in snow, light, rain, ‘Andrew’. Moments of shock, tiny or momentous, recur - eruptive occurrences when the doors of perception are cleansed, or at least re-written, by a sudden transformative ‘appearance’, a visitation, as untimely and unforeseen as that of an angel.

A catalogue of epiphanies and revelations in the everyday, some of them read as portents, symptoms, coded messages. Others trigger memory or breed confusion in this exquisite cartography of a politics of wonder, belonging, displacement and connectivity. At such moments – carefully distilled invitations to attend, imagine and connect - an infinite web of perceptions and circuits are activated, and the shape of time, memory, history and geography morphs, stretches, tears, and pulses.

This is also a book of passages, mapping a weave of interconnecting territories and the mysterious wormholes that both link and separate them. Here the world is re-membered as ‘something slippery, elusive, open’. Trace elements of lives – extinguished, sputtering or aglow - are continuously unmade, re-routed and refashioned. Within these pages coexist gods and dogs, dream and fear, love and loss, the exhaustion and hope of flesh and stone. And as readers, we are invited to inhabit the spaces between fragility and persistence, chance and fate, regimes of order and the apparent formlessness of a deeper grammar of complexity.

Five Rooms costs £10.00, and can be purchased online through Acts of Language here

For other responses to Five Rooms, by Cathy Turner, Tracey Warr and Wallace Heim, see here

For the propeller website, see here

For information about Acts of Language and its other publications, see here

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