Wednesday, November 14, 2007

that eminently human technology, language

The Sackner Archive (of Miami) and UbuWeb. Two treasures in the world of concrete, sound, and visual poetries. They've come together now, as Matthew Abess has curated an anthology of sound recordings from Ruth and Marvin Sackner's collection and Kenny Goldsmith at Ubu has made digital space for them and added the list to Ubu's site. It's all semi-rare to rare, great and strange stuff. Have a listen.

In his liner notes, Matt Abess writes (in part):

The work presented here comprises a portion of the Sackner's tremendous compendium of sonic works. The range of geographic origins runs the circumference of the globe. The time span is nearly a century. It witnesses histories: of poetry, literature, music, visual art, technology, politics, religion, theoretical contentions and practical abstention. It indicates and permits divergent lines of flight. It is an ensemble of dramatic personalities and the social narratives that they informed. It chronicles and enacts the persistent deformation and reformation of the flow of language, intending the same towards the order of things in the world.

It is the story of a charming pair - Ruth and Marvin Sackner - whose permissive attitude invites us to navigate the wordy, worldy present; to co-operatively investigate that eminently human technology, language. The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry is a tactile space of verbal, vocal and visual collision. As each deflection inflects, so collisions coalesce: the Archive makes spaces where the interface of body and language might take place on planes patterned by our movement across them. The works here evidence the enormous range of possible iterations. Ruth and Marvin Sackner invite us to join in the play.

As a Penn guy, I'm especially proud of this. The Sackners are both alumni, Matt is our student and close affiliate of Writers House and CPCW, and Kenny teaches "Uncreative Writing" and his CPCW/ICA seminar here.