Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cut and Paste

I. "Windows Open on a Terrace; A Book by Francesca, 1987"

All the pages in this post are from one of my first artist's books. I made it, including the paper, when I was living in Chicago.
It's an autobiographical scrapbook of sorts: papers and oddments from various places I've lived--some of them referring to the name Rose, which I went by in my early twenties.

(Looking at it now, I'm stuck by how tidy it is, as if I was lining up the mess of my life into neat rows.)

II. Playing with Chaos

There is no object, person, or event that is not part of the interconnected whole, and therefore important, even if we can't see how, even if it's a nobody tossing a cigarette package into the gutter.
I love art and artists that reflect that.
Like Kurt Schwitters, a cut-and-paster, who put together stuff he found on the streets of Hanover, Germany.

His collages pick up on the way things blow around and bump into each other, seemingly randomly--and the way we ascribe meaning to the resulting intersections and patterns.

Filtered through the artist and therefore highly personal, there's no way this art can be purely random, of course, but it plays with the chaotic nature of reality.
I like that a lot. I didn't discover Schwitters until after I'd started making my own collages, but I see his work among the cheerleaders on the sidelines of my life.

III. The First-Line-of-Blog-Posts Meme

Blogs are often a kind of cut-and-paste art (more high-falutingly known as assemblage and collage)--or quilts, if you prefer: bloggers offer up bits and pieces of whatever they come across (in our minds or in the street), and it's only as the posts pile up that a pattern starts to from.

There's a meme that cuts-and-pastes bits of one's own blog: the "first-line" meme.
The instructions go something like this:
Choose a day of the month. Say, the day you published your blog's first post. Gather together the first line of every post you've written on that day (or the day closest to it) every month.

So, here's the first line of every post on or around the 7th of each month, since my first post on October 7, 2007. What surprised me most was how few of them (5 out of 26) are from posts about Star Trek!

10-7-07: One of the things I have missed most about blogging (it's been two years) is having a place to keep found words--things I overhear, for instance, or bits and pieces of writing--like a nest where magpies keep objects that catch their fancy.

11-15-07: I'm on sabbatical.

12-7-07: Having a female body is a complex and contradictory issue in my life and the lives of most women I know.

1-7-08: I just had lunch with Sally, author of this blog:
Already Pretty.

2-7-08: I often wonder what I'm missing when people get all charged up about some fiendishly clever plan that seems like guaranteed disaster to me.

3-7-08: Inspired by Thinkery's "50 Things Before 50" list, I am starting my own, this birthday week.

4-7-08: I wrote [2 posts below] that some of us may grow, psychologically, like corkscrews.

5-7-08: In mainstream films, sex between two characters who are attracted to each other is almost always easy, once it occurs: everything gets hot and steamy and it's instant orgasms for all.

6-7-08: We've been having smashing weather lately: crackling flashing blow-down stuff.

7-7-08: Cheese cows are the tops!

8-7-08: My camera was set wrong for the low light, unintentionally showing that This Hotel Is Not in Real Time.

9-7-08: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

10-7-08: My brain is free!

11-7-08: As I did with Gemini, I'm going to let some people born under the sign of Scorpio speak for themselves (mostly).

12-6-08: Jen left a comment on "Writing about Writing" a few posts back that got me thinking:
What does it mean to say, "I write for myself"?

1-7-09: Embedding this video has been disabled on youTube, but watch this: the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" sung by the Young @ Heart chorus, whose average member's age is over 80.

2-7-09: My iTunes informs me that I listened to "Nessun Dorma" so many times in the last three days that it has made it onto my "Top 25 Most Played" list.

3-7-09: "Let's start at the very beginning..."

4-7-09: This is the first Fly Off the Wall production to be released!

5-7-09: 11 p.m. Just got home from the new Star Trek movie.

6-6-09: Can you think of a movie that is a visual poem of London, the city, the way Manhattan is of New York, or Diva of Paris--or Blade Runner, Los Angeles in 2019 (above), for that matter?

7-7-09: I was so zonked yesterday from staying up till 4 a.m. to finish subtitling my vid in Russian, I took a long nap.

8-7-09: Annika e-mailed and asked me if I've always been interested in religion.

9-7-09: Bill is smokin'.

10-7-09: I'd forgotten there's a Finn Style store on the second-story skyway downtown.

11-7-09: Now that I've sent the Finland manuscript off, I can give some love to Fly Off the Wall's next movie.

I never tag people with memes, but if any of you want to do this, I'd love to read your first lines.


Anonymous said...

Hey Fresca,

Ah your artist books..another passion of mine stashed away in a tower of lastic boxes, behind the can of beans, and covered in fluff.

momo said...

OK, I'm going to post mine, but it will not be accompanied by origial collage art books.

Fresca said...

GRRL: Yep, I had to dust this one off too!

MOMO: I loved reading your first lines!

momo said...

I forgot to say that your books and illustrations look intriguing and beautiful, and I am tempted to take that box of stuff I have been saving from my voyages to make something like them...after the semester is over!