hiiii!!!! i’m guest-editing for a very special issue of @Big_Lucks!!!! http://t.co/q3boCeKBOQ
I am feeling better than I had, catching up to a routine. I want the skill to vanish, to DO things like fondle type to become a Vandercook to make a book to throw a party to invite my friends to feel it with me.
“Chief!” was the winning manuscript for Ink Press Productions’ microchap contest and we were thrilled to be able to publish west coast writer, Lisa Ciccarello. We are also so grateful for the amazing response to our mission. We received over 80 submissions. It thrilled us to see so many artists interested in the micro-chap form, a form largely defined by its ‘micro’ size and words but truly characterized by its precise, definite throb. The microchap, unlike other forms of writing, has a willingness to be of itself in a space between visual art and literature, crowd and personal experience.
[Am I a microchap?]
I thought to have this contest for an opportunity to work with a new text in this form. Before Joe picked the winner, Tracy and I had no idea what variety of book we’d make, had no concept of its shape or color or texture or secrets. Even after “Chief!” was chosen, we had no set idea of how we would embody the work.
I read the words again and again, “All chief wants is to go swimming, / drive around town” //// “She acts surprised / but its everyday now.”
It wasn’t long until I fell in love with “Chief!”, all her lovely, subtle layers. I thought, how could I give my art to this book? How will I let it wear me?
The idea came while reading the words: maybe I could let the printing lead on this one: maybe I could type-set the entire book with leaden letters.
Soon I decided, what else is there? I’m eager for challenges and I like the fear of what I don’t know, how it might take the best of me and I like to prove that it won’t.
I thought that this task might killed me since type-setting is not easy or affordable to accomplish in one design much less an entire book! I thought, this is just what I need to prove that I’m real.
I began excited and remembered that I can’t press command I and get the italics I needed: this process might kill me. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I was getting into: there are limitations to this form of printing that make an someone like me, an artist that feels strain in a productive way, want to push.
Art that pushes to hear a hum that calls to our human intention that makes us feel our body that makes us scared and hopeful that makes us look at art: this is where our beauty incubates.
I see this stack of prints or poems and paper and ink and I think about my process, how my body fell ill in the middle of it but I was dedicated, how I did not always answer my emails but I have this stack. And I have the best experience with “Chief!” that I could create, how I got to spend time holding each word, aligning each line, cutting each page, and the ink was mixed by my hands. But I don’t do it for my satisfaction. I do it for the thing. I did it for you! and for “Chief!” and for Lisa and for Ink Press and for other art and for art as an idea.
Now it is the beginning of September but it is hot like July in Baltimore. Summer is winding down but we all get to work like it isn’t sunny and that we don’t want to go swimming. There will always be work so we must be what our work is, I think.
OR we are something else. I have worked to print the pages of “Chief!” and a group of us will work to sew the paper and dress them into books. But that is another essay. I have worked to print these words but I am not a word or a printed page.
[I am Amanda.]