Do you know the artist Nina Katchadourian? I came across the Sorted Book Project a few years ago and loved it because I used to use a lot of cut up poetry in my early work, rejigging words and sentences to create a new narrative. So I thought this was such a clever idea.
The Sorted Books project began in 1993 years ago and is ongoing. The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections. The process is the same in every case: culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library's focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library's holdings. At present, the Sorted Books project comprises more than 130 book clusters.
I would love to see one of these clusters in situ.
It occurred to me that Tristan Tzara's "To Make a Dadaist Poem" could actually be a great project to do with kids who are at the creative writing age. Here are his words from the Dada Manifesto:
Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.
It's never too early to introduce your children to a bit of Dada ;-)
If you like this Nina Katchadourian project, have a look at Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. So brilliant. I love how she says:
While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror using my cellphone.
...As you do!
Have a great highbrow / lowbrow weekend my lovely bloggies. x