Ruptures and Sutures of the Everyday
Each of these writers unveils different experiential moments of being or objects that are more than or other to what they appear to be. A quilt made by slave holders, the modest cookbook, internet addictions, disability and the performance of language, all speak in very different ways to the ways in which the everyday is both sutured and ruptured in both texts and objects.
Cole Cohen, “To Suffer a Sea Change”: Performative Writing on Disability (talk/presentation)
Performative writing, critical writing relying on descriptive utterance to challenge a given social reality, is the native language of writing on disability because it is inherently the language of reframing and rearranging. In order to express a rupture in both physicality and mind set it is essential to draw from academic writing that lives somewhere between inquiry and incantation. In this talk, I will draw from the work of Peggy Phalen and Virginia Woolf and Anne Sexton’s responses the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm as examples of writing that enacts a body restructured and thus reclassified. My intention is to examine how these writers use performative language to reshuffle assumptions of the work that writing can do in staking claim to narratives of illness and disability.
Robin Myrick, “Prizewinners” (reading & visual art)
The modest cookbook, and the humble recipe, have long been agents of propaganda and hyperbole, transmitting a variety of cultural assumptions and attitudes about those who might put them to use. The rhetoric of consumerism, in the guise of helpful advice and careful direction, so infuses the aspirational element of food preparation that decisions about what we eat and how we prepare it are often the source from which conversations about gender, culture, identity, economy, public policy, and other issues arise. Similarly, cooking demonstrations and simulations -- those frothy, empowerment-tinged segments, programs, and informercials that teach us to "do it ourselves" -- reflect not just the prevailing messages and aesthetics of their makers and their era, but the desire for self-sufficiency and expertise in the viewer, and the promise of tele-osmosis, that we can become better just by watching. Prizewinners is a hybrid poetry/photography/video piece that uses the visual and textual rhetoric of recipes and cooking simulations as a means to read equivalent "everyday" acts encompassing duty, desire, performance, and expertise. In addition to cookbooks, this project writes through and considers a variety of recipe/simulation materials and contexts, from early and mid-20th-century product advertisements, lifestyle guides, government pamphlets, magazine copy, circulars and sitcoms, to modern foodie television, maker movements, YouTube tutorials, films, virtual environments, and "skinemax." The presentation of the work will be a reading accompanied by photo/video projections.