writing proceeds on three levels

a page from Proust’s manuscript of Le temps retrouvé
Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.
—Walter Benjamin


projector or screen

attribution unknown but possibly «Fotograf i model'» by Aleksey Andreyev
Human consciousness: is it the projector
or the screen?
—Dean Young, from "I Am But A Traveler in This Land & Know Little of Its Ways"


what is not there

Belma Arslan - Afoot
Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room;

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore benefit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there.
—Lao Tzu, from Tao Te Ching, Chapter 11


how delicate

Polaroid collage, artist unknown
how delicate,
this holding of certain words in the mouth
—Carl Phillips, from “Stray”


nothing, really, dies

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. - from the series
 The Temptation of Saint Anthony, 1990
In college I had a physics professor who wrote the date and time in red marker on a sheet of white paper and then lit the paper on fire and placed it on a metallic mesh basket on the lab table where it burned to ashes. He asked us whether or not the information on the paper was destroyed and not recoverable, and of course we were wrong, because physics tells us that information is never lost, not even in a black hole, and that what is seemingly destroyed is, in fact, retrievable. In that burning paper the markings of ink on the page are preserved in the way the flame flickers and the smoke curls. Wildly distorted to the point of chaos, the information is nonetheless not dead. Nothing, really, dies. Nothing dies. Nothing dies.
—Nicholas Rombes, from The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing


perception of an object

Jakob Mohr - Beweisse (Proofs), ca 1910
from "Traces upon the Wonderblock,"
a collection of drawings and books made by
psychiatric patients btw 1890 and 1920
More information here
Perception of an object costs
Precise the Object’s loss—
—Emily Dickinson


to gain your own voice

Friederike Pezold - Mundwerk, 1974-1975
To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.
—attributed all over the internet to Allen Ginsberg, original context unclear, possibly a BBC interview


the progression toward writing

Antonio Tapies - Gran X, 1988
Literature is concerned with plot and character. Its intention is to be “well-written” and “comprehensible.” It’s a very commonplace activity. Then there is the progression towards writing … writing as writing … I mean simple textual writing.… It is that desire to do something new which compels one to move from literature to writing and from writing to matière écrite … brutal matter … no wasted words or wasted time. I also colored in the poem … the manuscript itself is a piece of visual art … There is an oral aspect to it, as well as a visual and a musical architectural aspect … This is no longer “writing,” it’s the process of working with a material that is common to all art. An artist who reaches this point – like Beethoven in music or Cézanne in painting – no longer knows, in the final count, how he does what he does. I am convinced of this. I call this a state of wisdom.
—Pierre Guyotat