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Monuments to Information

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Jeff Clapp

on 12 June 2015

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Transcript of Monuments to Information

Monuments to Information
Kenneth Goldsmith and Maya Lin
by Jeff Clapp, HKIEd
...it is not at all clear that [conceptual art] leads either to the sensation or the concept, because the plane of composition tends to become "informative."

-Deleuze and Guattari
The world is filled with objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.
-Douglas Huebler
You don't really need to read my books to get the idea of what they're like; you just need to know the general concept.
-Kenneth Goldsmith
...not so much writing in which the idea is more important than anything else, as a writing in which the idea cannot be separated from the writing itself; in which the instance of writing is inextricably intertwined with the idea of Writing.

-Craig Dworkin
The artist creates blocs of percepts and affects, but the only law of creation is that the compound must stand up on its own....Standing up alone does not mean having a top or bottom or being upright...it is only the act by which the compound of created sensation is preserved in itself--a monument, but one that may be contained in a few marks or a few lines, like a poem by Emily Dickinson.

-Deleuze and Guattari
Maya Lin
Lin, Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
Vietnam Veterans' Memorial
Lin's memorial lies elsewhere in an unrecognizable and indeterminate block of sensation....The Deleuzian monument, or what we will call the minor memorial, denotes the creation of a zone of indetermination, [what Deleuze and Guattari term] "otherness caught in a matter of expression."
-Adrian Parr
Lin preferred to overturn the symbolic vocabulary common to most war memorials and monuments constructed until then...The minimalist visual vocabulary she uses resists a monumental language that inevitably commemorates rather than conserves the affective dimension of violence and trauma.

-Adrian Parr
Walking into this grassy site contained by the walls of the memorial we can barely make out the carved names upon the memorial's walls. These names, seemingly infinite in number, convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole.
-Maya Lin
I began transcribing these tapes [of broadcasts]--hours and hours of them--attempting to bring these remarkable performances to the page.
The World Trade Center, the longest piece in the book, is from several sources--talk radio, news radio, color commentary--stitched together into a multichapter epic, thus mirroring the gargantuan scale of the event.

-Kenneth Goldsmith
...conceptual writing can be evaluated by an "aesthetic of sufficiency." In order to succeed, a book must simply fulfill its requirements--no more, no less. If I set out to, say, retype an issue of The New York Times, and I actually do just that, then the book is a success. But if I begin to get "creative" with the text, and I overdo it, the book fails.

-Kenneth Goldsmith
[Question:] Is language torn in Goldsmith' work?

Kenneth Goldsmith: "I don't see so much the tear as a I do, as I do, the build-up. I think that, that language has been torn enough and ruptured enough. I think the entire twentieth century, um, was based around, around the rip....So, it's a different means of getting a disjunction through wholeness. Um and to me, it's very fascinating. I'm interested in things remaining as they are [pause] and not tearing them.
Memory plays a small part in art...It is true that every work of art is a monument, but here the monument is not something commemorating a past, it is a bloc of present sensations that owe their preservation only to the themselves and that provide the event with the compound that celebrates it. The monument's action is not memory but fabulation.

-Deleuze and Guattari
A monument...confides to the ear of the future the persistent sensations that embody the event: the constantly renewed suffering of men and women, their recreated protestations, their constantly resumed struggle.

-Deleuze and Guattari
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