14 Feb 2008

re. Chapbook idea....

All of this sounds great to me. I like your idea Kek. I made a contribution to a chapbook project recently; and have stuff submitted for consideration for another by the same smallpress ... Bloodpudding, if anyone is interested, operated by Juliet Cook, in USA. These are labours of love, of course. They remind me of the zines etc. I made and contributed to during my days in Mail Art. Juliet selects the work. So there's an editorial process; which is, in my view, somewhat less radical and interesting than the completely open processes of Mail Art. I'd be more interested in a 'here comes everybody' approach. But then I'm a steaming Communist - and that's not everyone's art cup of tea. Wheat from chaff, though, always looks a tad mainstream in my view. One reason I think D4 is easily the best version of Discharge is that not only is the standard fantastically high and consistently so, but CJ's genius has been in letting the people he has invited just get on with it. He invited great people and knows enough to be part of the fray, rather than attempting to control or editorise. The combination is frankly very effective - and the site deserves to be recognised as a really worthy piece of collaborative art, made in a true spirit of friendship and fun. I have huge respect and admiration for everyone here. I've been involved in art at asupposedly serious level since the late 80s, and I can say that I seldom seen things as thought-provoking and original as some of the stuff posted here. But - better, I think - is that, to me, Dischage is one thing. Taken in that fashion, it really is a contender. It should be considered for The Turner Prize. The only reason it won't be is that we are just not in that world. That world is, in my view, backwardly commercial, tribal, and thinly-vieled capitalism. D4 is exactly opposite to that. That's the seat of my own interest. Applying that to the chapbook/CDR deal would draw me in for sure. Best wishes, Anthony

15 comments:

Robert said...

also being a total anarcho-commie, ive taken a similar approach with The StarFish, although there IS an editorial process in that because it is a surrealist journal, i dont accept submissions that dont fall within that arena...i mean, i had some perfectly good mainstream poems submitted and had to reject them :(

so it isnt as radical at The StarFish...but ive basically opened the doors to anybody who saw themselves as doing surrealism, rather than, as the old editors did, rejecting people based on consideratios of whether or not what they submitted was genuinely "art" or not (puke)

and ive transformed the joint from what was once a stodgy, insular hang-out for lit phds and mfa grad students into what i think is a much more vital surrealist hub

that here comes everybody approach is pretty sweeeet, if you ask me...kudos to CJ for his anarchic genius

and yeah, a chapbook sounds awesome...let's talk more!

maybe we could all chip in some cash and self-publish it??

if we do that, do we attempt to recuperate some of our money and sell it, or do we just give it away?

murmurists said...

'Money ruins everything' etc. lol In my view, Robert, I'd sooner do this kind of thing on a pure punk footing. But, of course, stuff cost money. So there's the reality of it. Typing here, now, into cyber, costs nothing but time - as my broadband is on anyway. Making books etc., being material, is going to incur cost, yes; and then the issue is whether we try to, asyou say, recoup some or all of that by selling the thing. Who would be our audience? Do we have one? Or are the contributors the only ones who look at D4? All I know is, hardly anyone looks at my blogger! So, for me, blogger is not a shopwindow. Myspace is better in that respect. But in my view there's work to do to connect these two D4s, so asto make sense of their connection. I've given this thought. But answers have eluded me! One further complication... I've done some voluntary work in my time ... free work. I've found, no-one respects you as they should when you are free. Same with gigs. Free gigs ... chatting throughout. Make 'em pay ... not as a means to take their cash, but, more, as a means of communication in a hideous capitalist world! Few understand anything else, in my experience. To square the circle, the fee could be nominal, and frame as nominal.

Forrest Armstrong said...

Here's a rough plan I came up with:

The printing company Jase and I used for This City is Alive was great, easy to work with, and cheap. Good quality product, too. I think we could make really great little chapbooks with this press for very little money, and they wouldn't come across as completely homemade. Here's an example: you could put together a book, 4.5 x 7, black and white cover, perfect binding, plain black and white interior; it would be $122 for 100 copies. That's at 24 pages but you can add a considerable amount of pages before the venture gets expensive at all (it doesn't crack $200 until you put in more than about 65 pages).

What if we each put out our own chapbook - one by CJ, one by kek, one by jaie one by robert etc etc etc - we print up a hundred of each and all send each other a couple. Put 'em out as the "Discharge Series" or something. They would all be pointing to each other - like I said before under a different post, if you find out you dig the shit one of us writes, you'd immediately be directed to a bunch of other like-minded artists. Just a thought... let me know what you think. The reason for exchanging a few copies of each others books is so we can try and spread each other's shit around too. Obviously if it was gonna be something organized like this we'd need to be in it together - and I think it would be a pretty fucking amazing thing if we all were.

Let me know what you guys think!

kek-w said...

Interesting points both of you made there...when I made the suggestion the other night (and twas only a random throw-in-the-air suggestion; cos I totally respekt the kollektive approach here w/ group decisions, etc, so always happy bow to the majority on anything...) I walked away and temporarily forgot about it - so was v. interested by the reaction/enthusiasm for the idea...but some stuff soon started percolating thru my mind...not negative stuff, but more on the practical side of how it would work if we did decide to do it....sounds like you've been thinking along similar lines...

Yeah, for starters, soon as money comes into any equation, the dynamic immediately changes....the chapbook thing sprang to mind cos it was the cheapest option, was a kinda old school, lo-fi approach, etc...but nevertheless it would still cost some money to produce...plus, someone or other would be having to some work in terms of organising a printer, collating it, doing mail-outs...so plenty of stuff to think about there if we did do it...

Not to mention what are our goals, aims, etc in doing this beyond the act of creation - who is our audience, is it meant to achieve anything conceptually, philosophically, etc...or do we even care about any of the above lol!

Forrest suggested focusing on individual writers/artists, which is something that hadn't even occured to me...tho my gut instinct is that Discharge is a collective and what I love about it (as Doc A says) is that Discharge itself is the piece of art...so I guess Discharge4 (or subsections thereof) is the piece and the individual contributions are the equivalent I guess of a 'detail' of a painting...so, in that spirit, any chapbook we produce maybe ought to be a similar 'totality' of Discharge's membership, but a physical object rather than bandwidth and bytes...

Any thoughts on this from y'all are welcome....but if the majority of folks think we should stick to the blog and/or MySpace format then that's equally cool with me, 'cos that's what Discharge is all about.

cocaine jesus said...

obviously i am missing something here. kek has given forward the idea of a chapbook?
where?
not here on D4 surely?
maybe over on reverse metal?
on his site?
i have been trawling through the various options and the only thing this rather dim lad can think of is that we might be talking at cross purposes.
now forgive me if i seem to be acting pedantic but is this not david setchell's idea over on reverse metal and not kek's or am i getting the wrong end of the stick altogether?

also, on the link up of the two D4 sites (blog and myspace) i am very much for that and have actively tried to promote that idea but, just like M, have drawn a complete blank. also, also, also, with david setchell's help perhaps we could build a regular web site that can somehow link them together although that does feel a bit like over kill doesn't it?

i have been pretty much absent of late due to two reasons.
1. D4 works perfectly well with or without me.
2. i am trying to get The Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry published and that is taking a lot of effort and time.
i have been working on a couple of film projects with my daughter that will end up on D4 soon.
all of which has no bearing whatsoever on what is being discussed here. however, it would do my heart good to see anyone of the talented people here 'make it'. money is not my god, not anymore for sure but it can be utilised to act as a catlyst at times so if it can help promote D4 which in turn cab aid M and Kek/Cloudboy and any other of you misfits then that is fine by me just as long as we do not lose sight (as so often happens) of our hearts goals. art by the people for the people via the free medium of the net.

kek-w said...

LOL - Forrest jumped in with a post there, just as I pressed 'post' myself... ;-)

Cheers for that, F - I had no idea what sort of costs we would even be looking at....I'm wondering if there's an even more lo-fi 'punk' approach as Dr. A would say....using recycled/reclaimed materials and photocopiers/scanners...just throwing that in as another option, not cos I'm against using professional printers or anything lol...

cocaine jesus said...

ps.forget my last comment thing. i am a slow typist and by the time i had writen my comment, two others appeared and one by kek that expalined everything.

going to bed now as it is 23.37 and i get up at 6am.
x

cocaine jesus said...

pps. as for lo-fi punk, please bear in mind that i work within the printing industry and there is a small possibility that i could get books printed for next to nothing. stickleback2 is also a studio techy so again it is poss that he could do the pagination.

Robert said...

id love to contribute to a chapbook

but only a collective project

i already have one coming out soonish

and another one pending when that is done

plus, i still want to contribute here...i like it here very much

i simply dont have enough material to do another individual chapbook

i know youre new here, Forrest...but there have been many fine contributors to Discharge..we should probably try to include something from everyone if that is ok by them and possible in 24 pages

Forrest Armstrong said...

Yeah, definitely. Just throwing it out there. What I suggested was meant in no way to detract from what's already going on in Discharge - the format of posting whatever you want and discussing it and reading a lot of other people's wonderful work is great. No matter what, I wouldn't want to change that.

The individual chapbook idea isn't money inspired but more inspired by awareness - simply because I think that having all these different artists pointing to each other would be a very positive thing. So would, of course, any sort of book, collective or not. I kind of envisioned it as like a Discharge swarm, all chapbooks coming out at once, nah mean? Hey, just writing the ideas as I get 'em.

Do I sound stupid talking like this? I know I'm not one of the core people on this blog, I've just been so inspired by all the great work and I always think that community is important, so this Discharge series thing got me lit.

One more thing - no need to fit it all in 24 pages, it would be tough to give anyone much of an idea for what we're about in that short of a package - I'm thinking 60 would be better, and only like 70 more $.

Keep talkin...

Aaron Held said...

I agree that it should be a collective group project, with whatever we decide to do.

and finding an alternative to show discharge is a good idea, because to me it seems like people on my space just don't really care there are some but not many, and blogspot as much as i love it doesn't seem to catch much viewers, though i still have fun here no matter who sees it.

and no Forrest you don't sound stupid, i have been inspired by the people on this site ever since I've joined. it's a great feeling.

murmurists said...

Brilliant. I'm glad I posted this comment as a post. Thanks everyone.

A couple of related asides first:

It's great to see so much writing posted lately. For a while there, D4 was image-dominated - which is fine & lovely. But I think the writing slows things down in a good way, and one has to work harder to appreciate such things. I simply cannot praise you people enough.

I think the greater realisation of D4 as an entity and the wanting to do something with that stems from a number of things: Its evident quality, its longevity - and the feeling thereby of wanting to progress, and the way we all feel like a group of friends. There's a circularity to such things, I would say, and it's only human to want to recognise this and to spin a few things out from that orbit. The chapbook is a great possible physicalisation of this, and I am for the idea.

I came into this chat late maybe. Thought it was kek's idea. Apologies to anyone who mentioned it before that! To me, however, the more mixed-up and non-individuated D4 is the better. I personally couldn't care less about retaining my supposed individuality here. Some of you know me as Doc A, etc., but I never promote my individuality, preferring to subsume this (if you will) within murmurists. So, it is easy for me to go for the D4 as collective idea. For others there will be other issues, and I respect that.

Forrest, please do not in any way consider yourself 'non-core', or that there is a heirarchy here. I was invited onto the original Discharge by CJ way back when, but the very nature of blogging means, in some sense, that one is only as present as one's most recent postings ... that notion of 'present', I think, is key. Me, though, I'd rather the postings tumbled in as 'posted by discharge', rather than by CJ, Inc, Aaron, Robert, David, etc.

To points properly:

I favour the collective. I can fully see Forrest's idea of individual books 'pointing' at one another ... and that's a nice phrase and a nice conceptualisation, too. Robert raises a practical point for himself ... having enough material for such a thing. I'm sure I'm not alone is saying I have various irons in various fires. Being creatively OCD, I could fill my own chapbook. But, again, I'd much prefer to contribute collectively. An example: I make music/film, so do others. I'd like to collaborate on this, credit the end-result as D4, rather than individually.

I used to be involved in zine culture and Mail Art, as I said. I got the doctorate in this, in fact. There were some amazing self-publishing operations in there. One interesting phenomenon was the so-called 'add-to-and-return'. In its descriptiveness, this is self-explanatory - but it basically invloves one person sending something to another, that person altered the thing, sent to another, endless ... the original person might request the object back, but it was more usual not to. This is radical stuff: a form of gift-giving. So, these things would flop onto the mat at various stages, and one would send them on, or retain them. It was a completely open, dematerialist process. I know CJ (I think it was) tried to kick off something like that here on the blog.

Anyway, lengthy comment...!

Basically, I'm for the chaos and frustration of collectivism, as, for me, it is the most intellectually and socially interesting option.

One last point: I'm in the throes of starting a netlabel: Classwar Karaoke ... nothing to see as yet at its myspace location. But my main page is here: www.myspace.com/esoterian24skidoo Anyone interested in being part of that etc., please get in touch. Should the chapbook arise, I'd be more than happy to combine the two as a D4 iteration.

Best wishes

cocaine jesus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cocaine jesus said...

i'm all for lenghty comments. i think that they add to the overall feel of this site.
i don't think though that we should dismiss sites due to lack of comments. i visit most peoples sites but very rarely leave a comment. i don't think that any real form of yard stick can be drawn against blogger to myspace although i agree with M (Doc A)that myspace pulls the 'crowds' which is why i thought that having the two was a good idea.

as for collective v individual. i would prefer a collective, nameless, apart from the DISCHARGE moniker, entity that posts its art in a constant, ever mutating, evolving format. DISCHARGE is the art and not the individual. whenever i post bulletins on myspace, out of common courtesy, i always put the author's name up but i would prefer not to.
still, unlike big M, i am less a commie and more an anarchist. no rules here. no dictates. we are all grown ups apart from Robert who still wears diapers! ;)so let the vote count us and go with the majority.

jaan said...

{as in germAN|archy say: "to add my mustard":}

_collection_
is a piece of perfection_
_collective_
is perspective to peace of pieces
that create satisfaction_

{so for me:}
_discharge_
all on one march to strain "nasty past" down the drain_

great discussion_[CALLerection_]
yes Collection will call above_