Thursday, January 27, 2011

sh|t mOUth

Mm mm mm mm

Me mouth |+’s full

|+’s full |+’s full

|+’s full of me e|es

e|e’s full of the mouth

e|e’s full of the-m-Outhers

e|e’s full

full full

mmmm mmm mmm mmmmm

e|e’s full of the-mmmmmm

e|e’s full of the mouth

e|e’s full of the-m-Outhers

the mmmmmm- m-Others

the Mothers themOUthers Out-there


Out here Out there

Out here!

mmmOUTtth mmmOUTtth mmmOUTtth


E|e’s Out!



E|e shit


Shit |t Out

‘S hit!

Mmm mmm mm

me|e MOUTHhhhhh!

me|e MOUTHhhhhh!

Get them OUT of

me|e MOUTHhhhhh!


theMOthers and the|r’Sones- work-in-progress

theMOthers and the|r’Sones


The ‘society for Cum|’n linguistics, aka ‘sCUm, studies the life of those infested with an English tongue.

It does so by selecting words and phrases that embody key concepts in the English language and examining carefully what is produced when one plays (with) the multiple variations in the arrangements of their letters.

Concepts such as: time, space, me, |, the son, the One, the Many, the Mothers, them any Others, the Other, the voice, the voids, sounds, wounds, here, not here, there, he, her, an Other, a not her, Not, etc.

Such a practice has been employed by many investigators of language in the past, of which perhaps the most well-known are Lucretius who worked in Latin, and Jean-Pierre Brissett who worked in French.

Some other thinkers have labeled such practices “folk etymology,” for this class of methods stands outside the cannons of modern (academic) linguistics.

Nevertheless, they have been practiced across the ages and tongues, and have produced remarkable results, often very similar to those produced by the more officially recognized methods, (cf- Brissett’s conclusion that language is essentially a response to the emergence of sexuality and desire).

Whatever its history, this is the method adopted here. And here it is called Litteral Poetics.


‘sCUm’s first report +|’me’S-pace,” concluded with the hypothesis that there are only two familiar pro-positions to which those infested with an English tongue may be subject-ifi-ed.

the pro-postion of the|’Sone


the pro-position of


These (pro)-positions apply not only to the kinship structures and organizations of gender and generation in societies infested with an English tongue.

They also apply to organizations of class, i.e., the relations of economic and political power that determine each beings place in the international labor and commodities chains.


In fact, +|’me’S-pace concluded that there are four possible pro-positions into which those infested with an English tongue may be subjectified.

the|’sone the –un-|

= theMOthers

the Not-| the Not-un-|

= the Other a | which is not apart from the-Many-Others

but rather a part of the-Many-Others

(NOTE- you can draw in a square here with arrowed lines pointing from the|’Sone to the other three corners. I can’t do it in the new version of word.)

These four are related by the linguistic negations “Not” and “UN.” (The question of whether they constitute a formal mathematical group is outside ‘sCUm’s purview.)

Whilst there are four possible familiar pro-positions into which those infested with English may be subject-ifi-ed, the two lower cases are not familiar in such societies. That is to say, they are not widely held as subject pro-positions, even if they are often aspired to as utopian ideals.

In the view developed by Litteral Poetics, the (pro)-position of the Not-| is the (pro)-position of God and dog(s), (and possibly what some call the Father function?. That is to say, no |, no-bodily-|, occupies this pro-position as a subject, even if they may sometimes perform it is a function for others.** see Note below on “sexual difference.”)

The pro-position of the Not-un-| is, in this view, the pro-position of proper adulthood for those living amongst peers in a community.

The proposition of the|’Sone, is essentially the pro-position of a baby, whatever the age or other experience of the | thus subjectified.

The pro-position of theMOthers is essentially the pro-position of those who care for “babies,” whatever their age and experience, and however apparently distanced these may be from the|’Sones for whom they are caring.

Any subject may occupy any of the four pro-positions, and many probably do occupy different pro-positions in different aspects of their lives. For instance | might play the part of the|’Sone in relation to soMe particular other or others, and play the part of theMOthers for a different other/s. (The term “other” here is not to be taken as synonymous with any conception of The Other, including the one stated above.)

In the Litteral Poetic view, communally-minded adults aim most of the time, (i.e., except in relation to children and the infirm), to play the part of the Not-un-|, i.e., the role of a | which is a part of the Many-Other -|s. However, this is not the norm in current English-infested society, where the majority of subjects for the majority of their time adopt the roles of either the|’Sone or of theMOthers.

It is therefore incumbent on us to study these two pro-positions, and the relations coming between them, carefully.

This is the object of ‘sCUm’s second report, a work-in-progress, provisionally titled theMOthers and the|r’Sones.


** Note On the (pro)-position of the Not-|


“Sexual Difference”

At the moment I have little to say about this pro-position. I have not studied it at all.

However, in so far as I have a view on it for now, I believe that it is the (pro)-position of God and dog(s). That is to say, no |, or no bodily-|, occupies this pro-position as a subject, even if they may sometimes perform it is a function for others.

I believe that it may possibly also be the equivalent, in my schema, to what Lacan calls the Father function. (……It is very interesting to me that Lacan calls the Father a function, not a subject position. I think that is true. )

That is to say, if we are making a comparison between my schema and Lacan’s thoughts, which is not impossible I think, then my pro-positions of the|’Sone and theMOthers correspond to Lacan’s masculine and feminine subject positions.

My general deviations from his perspective as I understand it are that:

1)- these two are not the only subject pro-positions universally available. There is at least one more, the pro-position of the|’Sone, or rather a | which is a part of theManyOther-|s, not a part from them, (what I can the adult-peer pro-position),

2)- in so far as most people currently occupy one or other of these two, (the pro-positions of the|’Sone and theMOthers), they are not mutually exclusive in that any given individual can occupy one position in relation to some particular other/s and the other position in relation to different other/s. Thus many people are probably occupying both pro-positions a great deal of the time, albeit in different relationships. For instance, I may be a | of theManyOthers in my work-relationships, including being part of the literary “scene.” But in relation to those who are providing most of my material goods, (food, clothes, toasters, tv, Computers, etc.) I am most certainly in the position of the|’Sone. What I am in erotic relationships is something for others to determine, if they are that way inclined.

3)- the criteria that determine which pro-position any | is in with respect to their erotic relations may well be the difference between whether they view desire (both their own for others, and that of others for them) as:

a) (always) imminently about to fade (masculinity)

b)- (always) already faded (femininity)

However, this choice with respect to desire is only one aspect of subjectivity. And I would argue that in the 21st century English-speaking world it is fast slipping as the dominant aspect of subjection, whether it was before or not.

(As a last little point, I would like to say something on my work on Joyce, i.e, Finnegans Wake, which I have been increasingly about in the past couple of years, as opposed to Watt, which I thought for the previous 20 years. It is my view now that both the “subjects” whose voice is articulated in these two books represent different pro-positions with respect to desire.

a)- the subject of Finnegans Wake, Shem the Penman, in view, may be characterized by the proposition “theMothers’ desire never fades.” It may ebb and flow, and even reduce to a trickle, but it never completely fades. (This may well be equivalent to what some people would label psychotic, but nevertheless it is pro-position to which an | may become subjectified with respect to its relation to desire.

b)- the subject of Watt, i.e., Watt, may also be characterized by the same pro-position. However, the never-fading desire here is the paradoxical desire for desire to cease, which of course, it never does.

Finally, a last small difference I have with Lacan is that I not only don’t think the penis is necessarily the organ take as the bodily representative of desire. I don’t think it even is for many people in the English-speaking world, especially those who come from a culture where English is an imposed tongue, such as are, for example, the Irish. In many such cultures, one’s tongue/s is experienced as a very powerful organ. And I believe that for many such people, including those articulated in the works of Joyce and Beckett, subjectification to the pro-postion of the|’Sone or theMOthers is predominantly determined by their perception of their relationship with the English tongue. That is to say, they identify with the pro-position of the|’Sone if they feel that they identify with the English tongue, and they identify with the pro-position of theMOthers if they feel that this tongue is lacking in them, that it is a foreign body to them. (See also M. NouBese Philips and Teresa Cha=[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Dictee.)


theMOthers and the|r’Sones.

This book is currently mostly about how the|’Sones feel about theMOthers, with a small portion on how these feelings play out in their behaviour towards theMOthers. My nnnnnn cially permitted to use their frustrations with (them)-others to practically (materially and psychologically) erect limits around them.

The corollary is that those subjectified into the pro-position of theMOthers are those who are socially not permitted to use their frustrations with (them)-others to practically (materially and psychologically) erect limits around them, and also, socially required to submit to the limits erected around them by the|’Sones. An example would be say that theMOthers are |s required to listen and affirm, rather than hold forth and assert in conversations and other forms of discourse, whether public or private. The|’Sones would then be the |s permitted to determine the limits of the discourse, not just its topics, but the quantum and qualities allowed to each participant.

But though the book as currently shaping up is most about the|’Sones….mainly because so much more on this topic is available by

availableit is crucially important.

TheMOthers are those subjected to the pro-position of being the un-|s.

They are |/subjects, because they have been subject-(ifi)ed.

But they are not subjectified to the pro-position of the|’Sone,

QUESTION: What can theseMOthers, as beings subjected to the pro-position of being the un-|s say about themselves?

Friday, May 2, 2008

quoi- Sock Puppet Play

Christine Wertheim brings sock puppets
to The Manual Archives

quoi is a dramatic exploration of the relationship between sound,
body, sense and voice, performed with two sock-puppets, seven jellyfish, one
blasted tree, two space-capsules and a balloon on a stick called
Nigel. May 3rd is its world premiere.

May 3rd
8PM and 9:30PM
Come early or stay late
Please join us for a reception between shows 8:30-9:30
with live music and baked goods

Tickets $8

Buy Tickets for Quoi

The Manual Archives
3320 West Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reefs in NY - Sunday April 6th - May 18

The IFF's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral reef in NY, openning Sunday April 6th - May 18.

The 2 addresses for the reef exhibitions are:-

(wool reefs) Broadway windows at NYU (cnr Broadway + east 10th St)

(plastic reefs) + World Financial center, Winter Garden (220 Veseay Street, Battery Park City)

The openning reception is @ the Winter Garden Sun 3-6pm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Institute For Figuring

Christine also co-directs The Institute For Figuring with her sister Margaret. The IFF organizes presentations and exhibitions on the intersections of art and science.

For the IFF, Christine has curated an exhibition of the work of Shea Zellweger, who has developed an alternative notation for deductive logic. The above picture is on eo the many wooden models Zellweger has made to render his conceptual system in plastic, embodied form. The exhibit is currently on display at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.

Currently The IFF is coordinating a Crochet Coral Reef, created by hundreds of women from around the world. Portions of this ever-evolving natural/cultural hybrid have been exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Chicago Cultural Center. In April it will appear at NYU and the World Trade Building, NY, and in June at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Click here for the IFF.

Sample Poemes

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The noulipian Analects

The noulipian Analects
edited by Christine Wertheim and Matias Viegener, Les Figues Press, 2007.

An anthology of constraint and proceedure-based writing in English, including, Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Johanna Drucker, Paul Fournel, Jen Hofer, Tan Lin, Bernadette Mayer, Ian Monk, Joseph Mosconi, Harryette Mullen, Doug Nufer, Vanessa Place, Janet Sarbanes, Julianna Spahr, Brian Kim Stefans, Rodrigo Toscano, Matias Viegener, Christine Wertheim, Rob Wittig, Stephanie Young.

Praise for The Analects
"An Alpha bestiary of Exogeously Exotic essays and Dazzlingly Delectable Design, Completely Charismatic Constraints and Occasional Oulipian Outrages, Thoughtful theoretical threads and Ludicrously Ludic limits, Gutsy Gender Gaiety and Dantesque Destinies Detourned, Quixotic Queuneau Quests and Cocky Combinatorial Collisions, Real Rubber Roses and Rasiantly Removed R's...What We weary Wanton Woeful Whimsical Wanderers Willingly Want."
Charles Bernstein

Click here to visit the Les Figues website