American (post) began with a question about “America” and “Americanness” and a trip to Havana, Cuba in May 2010.
I wanted to crack open binary oppositions like us/them, north/south, black/white, good/bad, and right/wrong to illuminate the whole system that creates and perpetuates the opposition. The exercise generated a formal experiment in poetry, which I’m calling “plane-poems.” In turn, the plane-poems generated a translation experiment, which I’m calling “translation-objects.”
By writing these poems and subsequently translating them into objects, I am exploring how “America” and “Americanness” are experienced, understood, and mediated in the United States and beyond. My journey is not, however, an objective one. Rather, it is personal and subjective, and any intellectual activity is intended to serve visceral experience and awareness. I hope that readers and viewers will access and experience the work on a heart/gut level.
I begin with the following hypothesis:
If two points make a line (or a binary) and three create a plane (& a conversation), and a plane can be manipulated through Euclidean and non-Euclidean notions of space, then plane-poems can explore and interrogate space, time, and experiences in dimensions beyond four.
They can also be experienced (read & viewed) like a painting or an object, from any angle and in pieces or whole.
As such, plane-poems have democratic potential.
To follow the progress of this experiment, check out American (post) in the Multimedia section of Projects and watch the play-by-play as it unfolds below.