solomons seal hyperrhiz logomash notes

Mash Notes: an un-session
Curators: Helen J Burgess and Craig Saper
Babel Toronto 2015

Website: mash notes live

Session description

We have long participated in signed or anonymous declarations of love and desire. Even in our neoliberal institutions, peculiarly bloodless forms remain: the corporate pitch meeting, the grant proposal warped by our understanding of what the other (funding agencies) "wants." Screw that. As Roland Barthes declares, "What love lays bare in me is energy." This will be an online/offline un-session conducted in a physical installation space, featuring participants entering into the lover’s discourse, with documents both electrical and tactile.

Un-session Un-organizers

Helen J Burgess, NC State University, hjburges@ncsu.edu
Craig Saper, University of Maryland Baltimore County, csaper@umbc.edu

The Mashers

Helen J Burgess, NC State University, hjburges@ncsu.edu
Craig Saper, University of Maryland Baltimore County, csaper@umbc.edu
Haylie Swenson, George Washington University, haylie@gwmail.gwu.edu
Leslie King, Radford University, lking6@radford.edu
The Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Serjeant-At-Law Norman Hogg, Concordia University and Keeper of the Wardrobe Neil Mulholland, University of Edinburgh), neoflagellants@gmail.com

Presentation Titles

Craig Saper, “TENT–a–tive Vision(s) for an Electric [Kool-Aid Acid] Press.” A manifesto.
Haylie Swenson, “Philia.” A radio podcast.
Leslie King, “Erased – Memories of a Forgotten Daughter.” A handmade book and digital counterpart.
The Confraternity of Neoflagellants, “Thekarites (2014).” A slideshow.
Helen J Burgess, "MashBOT." A twitterbot. With printer.

Full Descriptions

"TENT–a–tive Vision(s) for an Electric [Kool-Aid Acid] Press"
Craig Saper . UMBC . csaper@umbc.edu
There is already a consensus in academia of the main values founding our Electric Press project in collaboration with Punctum. The scholarly (or creative) value is not determined by mode: printed on paper no longer the privileged mode of delivery. Major scholarly organizations and associations have constructed guidelines for peer-review and legitimacy of electronic and multimodal publications. Multimodal projects can also make available new tools, perspectives, and types of knowledge. Multimodal book-equivalents are still part of the history of the book and printing. Once we agree on these foundational values, then the next question is what specifically do we intend to publish. This paper will spend the majority of its time establishing the aspects of The Electric Press’ focus. In general, that tentative focus of The Electric Press has two general criteria. The works published will: engage in experimental research methods; explore the shift from print-literacy to electronic/Electracy rather than remediating the advantages of the printed-on-paper book in a pdf or other form that mimics and expands the book. The ethos of The Electric Press can be summarized by the revised slogan from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (“Drop Out & Turn On”): “Drop In & Boot Up” . . . and to do so, you’ll need a TENT-a-tive vision.

Haylie Swenson . GWU . haylie@gwmail.gwu.edu
I propose, as a labor of love, presenting my “paper” in podcast form. My dissertation considers the intimacies that arise at the intersection of human and animal death across pre-modern and contemporary literature. My podcast will tell the story behind the story, as it were; it will describe the emotional and tactile encounters I have had with animal vulnerability that underlie this project (an invasive insect I saved from being squished on the Metro; a fox that surprised me in a moment of contemplating my father’s illness; a baby mouse that died in my hand). Using the intimate medium of radio, I will tell these stories as a way of considering the fine line that divides the personal and the scholarly. A love letter to both radio storytelling and scholarship, my podcast will explore one possible, underutilized outlet for telling the stories—the sorrows and passions, the serendipitous encounters—that fuel our academic work.

"Erased – Memories of a Forgotten Daughter"
Leslie King . Radford University . lking6@radford.edu
The memories come and go. Sometimes they manifest in a distorted form. To deal with her mother’s memory loss and how their relationship is changing because of this, Leslie King combines the creation of a handmade book and a digital publication that deconstructs it. The three-dimensional book represents tangible memory. The book is formatted as an origami blizzard book, which holds in its pockets King’s miniature drypoint etchings, words, and event proof in the form of photographs, receipts, and other odds and ends. In the book’s two-dimensional digital representation, the subject becomes distorted through its flattened nature and eventual pixilation loss, like memory, as time goes by.

"Thekarites (2014)"
Serjeant-At-Law Norman Hogg . Concordia University
Keeper of the Wardrobe Professor Neil Mulholland . U of Edinburgh
The Confraternity of Neoflagellants . neoflagellants@gmail.com
Thekarites is a theory-fictional account of the life and death of the artist Paul Thek and his ‘Technological Reliquaries’. In this re-telling, Thek continues to confound the contemporary art scene after his death. Though his processual rituals Thek enacts a dismantling, relic-ing and radical redistribution of the self that floods the sensual hyper-economy with tiny Thekarites—clusters of affective agency or desire. Thek’s radical little ‘me-machines’ then lead a revolution from within the ‘internet of things’ pathing the way for the West’s ecstatic embrace of an animist future. The work takes the form of a narrated PowerPoint-style presentation and can be displayed on a laptop or a DVD player with monitor within the Mash Notes installation. For an example of an earlier version of this work please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OHiUaqRxNM The Confraternity of Neoflagellants was founded in 2009 by Serjeant-At-Law Norman Hogg and joined by Keeper of the Wardrobe Neil Mulholland. It is a secular and equal opportunities confraternity bound by choreograph dedicated to investigating premodern futures™.

Helen J Burgess . NC State . hjburges@ncsu.edu
What would a bot do if it could write a mash note? Let’s ask it. This project will craft some handmade lovebots on Twitter, and pair them with a small thermal printer.


Send inquiries to Helen J Burgess (hjburges@ncsu.edu) or Craig Saper (csaper@umbc.edu).