by Andy Martrich
Take pride in your Neanderthal genes, if nothing else, they junk dear to its best form the beak yeasty-smelling privates green and yellow tricorns FILM the monster tho a monster believing shit just shit craps where it can to be part of things.
– Oren Mabb, Double Address to Hoof Sedition College Graduating Caste of 2091, pages 17 and 41
Oren Mabb’s Double Address to Hoof Sedition College Graduating Caste of 2091 is the 116th chapbook published by the LUMA Foundation as part of the 89plus exhibition Poetry will be made by all! The chapbook is variegated with onomatopoeias, filled pauses, interjections, and pro-sentences in the ostensibly concrete displacement of one stumbling through a disembodied graduation speech amidst a grumbling public. The piece consists of two parts: the address, and a compressed double of the address (line breaks removed, content sandwiched together, etc.). It is described at poetrywillbemadebyall.ch as “a constraint-based work composed in a fury after listening to an absurd commencement speech instructing me to happily sell my labor to the lowest bidder for nothing.”
The address, in the sense of a traditional formal rhetoric, breaks from an ecumenical architecture of socially cohesive content-as-evidence, and in turn, opts to re-present itself as its framework. Its presentation solidifies the passive evidence of itself in the manifestation of its doubling, quite literally as the piece consists not of the content of an address, but rather an event in the process of self-archiving. The dislocation of the addresses occurs in the fact that they are parallel in content alone, not in format. The copy appears compressed, 27 pages less than the first address. In the address’s twin, Mabb exposes a double self as naming convention, the entire clone shoved into constriction. For example, the initial address dedicates 6 pages (29-34) to the word “ZOUNDS,” which is also the last word of the address. The same word appears as such in its double, “There is nothing in tomorrow’s garbage you won’t try to eat when you are old. ZOUNDS” -P. 41
Figure 1: Thumbnails of pages 29-34
Figure 2: Thumbnail of the recurrence of “ZOUNDS” on page 41
Self is wedged into descriptor. In turn, the address sacrifices a common classification (an authority control) in lieu of maintaining itself word for word, and in the process expends its identity as something in reaction against its summarization and potential accessibility.
Subsequently, description is assumed inherently suspect, regardless of provenance, as the characterization of the model is broken down in the faulted projection of its clone. However, the whole self, if it can exist, can only exist as an ephemeral inference. The address fails to maintain the ostensible whole as evidence of self, and as a consequence the reader is left with the corruption of the whole, articulated here as compression.
This suspicion and failure rectifies the poetic residual of the Double Address. Corrupt evidence (i.e. the self-archive) may infiltrate, isolate, and nullify surroundings (i.e. its ancestry). Doubling, unable to author anything other than its corruption, precipitates isolation, the place where evidence cannot exist.
But the double also becomes the parody of the thing, the re-creation. The difference being the double is no longer indigenous. The copying of self into non-hierarchical terms becomes the banality in which to provide evidence of self-existence (I come from this place, I work this job, I like this music, I do these things); in this case, the address that repeats in lieu of succinct description exists. As an entity typically self-archives to the vacant descriptor, the archived becomes evidence of the identifier as opposed to the safeguarding of the identified. Regardless of the summary, the archived self is simply a cache of identifiers. Here, legacy is severing, the creative advance is a façade, and all naming is political, as it is revealed that self-archiving is the descent into decay, not preservation.
As the address reflects itself, the content reminisces this particular plight of the archive. Shortly into the address, the reader is exposed to a series of ostensibly disjunctive keywords and phrases, where identifiers appear detached from variables. While some of the identifiers are indicative of a graduation (Pleasant Memories, Free at Last, Face in the Crowd) others appear displaced (Honky Tonk Humor #2, Sugar & Space, Highrise Construction M.T.). However, identifiers demarcate patterns throughout the address, one general instance being the echo of each word in the text.
Figure 3: Appearance of the keyword “contemporary industry” pages 6 and 37
Considering the multiple, perhaps there is no difference between the object and its shadow; however, because the descriptor is variable-less, taken as shape signifier like a recurring pockmark which pocks infinitely, the reader is pulled to consider alterity as opposed to socially practical (logics of an overwhelming consensus) facets of similarity. As a result, it is only possible to self-archive into oblivion. If the name is unable to portend the variable, the intent is severed. What associates with the name is no longer represented or guided by the identifier. It is no longer of itself but (the) part of the self-archive that defines its stuttering, jumpy historicism. For example, the orator delivers:
Say you have the great fire of london, 1666. Go
back a thousand years – 1066 – the year
William the Conqueror landed at Pevensey
and commenced the conquest of England.
Now go ahead eighteen hundred years—
2226 — and you have a year very memorable
for the number of babies born during it who
afterwards became chic Cornstars.
– pages 9 and 38
If authorization is a lie, does infinite refraction ultimately nullify meaning into (via multiplicity) a truth process? Here, authority is delineated temporally. As the role of evidence is situationally-elevated materialism, these events (The Great Fire of London, William the Conqueror at Pevensey) have occurred only as to evidence “babies born during it who afterwards became chic Cornstars” as an actuality of the address’s historicism. Double Address is composed of genealogical pattern spliced with events, the ghosts that once constituted dominant history, as it is in the likeness of its fictions that rolls out of the disembodied indicators like infinite entails. What the reader comes to know as the archive is merely the perpetuation of the act for the sake of the act, i.e. the identity, the authority control of the whole.
The authority control of the whole consists of constant fictional change in order to produce the delusion of the ascension from entanglement-name into process- name– or change in terms of the archive. Change is counterintuitive to the archive, which strives to preserve its material against all change, but fails where preservation ignores distortion and misinterpretation. The repetition of the address connotes the confidence of its assumed normalcy as the familiar evolves into routine, banality— the archive’s primary ammunition. However, it no longer pretends its newness, encouraging the lacunae— where it misses and is no longer missed.
The self-archive, as opposed to an archive of institutional memory, does not rely on material, but rather, a feeling. It deplores its material by insisting on its stagnation in non-hierarchal terms. The capture of a self is procured only from the feeling inferred from those terms, where the embodiment of the feeling deduces a variation of material that merely informs the variant of a former feeling. The self-archive is therefore a repository of feeling as evidence rooted in the ideology of the familiar, however distorted the process. Unfortunately, the familiar (i.e. the evidence) has a lower retention than the repository, although both are refillable/replaceable.
What is interesting to consider is that Double Address may not have a choice but to self-archive in lieu of summary, and in consequence there would be no possible authority control for the reconstruction or re-legitimization of a locus. The variable’s lust for a self-archive is to essentially substitute the description for the material, with the assumption that the description properly identifies and has a longer retention than the variable. However, it is the very archived self that counters this desire (particularly in the wake of its doubles/emptiness) because therein lie the assumptions of itself as evidence of its occurrence, the only facet of itself that presupposes its existence, that it is nominally defined as such, an alternate self. If the variable doubles then it is only a double in the context of the variable. But in the absence of the variable, the double, regardless of its consistency as an authority control, naming convention, whole, etc., is the variable. The self-archive procures its very ephemerality, as the double is always atrophied now, not later. In essence, it is duplicitous, yet thoroughly divided and lonely.
Double Address to Hoof Sedition College Graduating Caste of 2091 is available from the LUMA Foundation
Andy Martrich is the author of Iona (BlazeVox), NJN Transition (Gauss PDF), and Monsanto Ballooning #1, forthcoming from Make Now. He lives in Dakar, Senegal.