The poet and artist Madeline Gins just passed away. Here’s a link an obit by Charles Bernstein. Below is a short piece I read at an event celebrating her work with her longtime collaborator Arakawa at the Guggenheim a few years ago:
Approximately Arakawa and Gins
Or, G+A blew me away.
1. Not the least merit of this is that here writing resists the weapons of capture of other writing. This can’t be tackled with paraphrases, categories, or comparisons. There’s nothing here interested or interesting in being like something else.
2. This occupies a region of writings where nothing is in common. Let’s say: ‘low theory.’ High theory is institutional. Its language divides and covers fields. Its texts are authorized. Low theories outside of all that. Low theories common language, re-describing the world singularly.
3. There is still theory there, in the sense of describing other-than things. There are describing relations. Or not relations, processes; or perhaps not processes, textures.
4. Low theories practice inventings. This practice has no object. Its not a practice of something (practice of art, of architecture, of politics, or other fields). Here practice practices.
5. Practice, properly practiced, can strand into language, common language, unspooling textures in language not usually for feeling.
6. “Epistemology is punctuation.” (Bateson) Practice dissolving points into vectors.
7. Or, same thing: “God is dead.” (Nietzsche) Recursive reduction: Erasing God then erases is. Erasing is then erases dying. Language unmooring from all points.
8. Language outside all points does not willy-nilly. Practice describing unfixity with a reduced set of shifters. Shifters not made of I, you, they, me, it (etc). Texture describings.
9. In describings are comings and goings, precisely. Ever beginnings. There are nothing ends, not endings.
10. In describings, there are scales, but only because comings and goings are precisely. Redescribe boundaries as scale-changes.
11. And so to building, building so that the textures common language, describing textures common practicing. Precisely indescribable.
12. That’s all, really.
Originally published in Inflexions No. 6, a Special Issue on Arakawa and Gins.