The solution to this theoretical impasse—between modernists and communitarians, Eurocentrists and Africanists—does not lie in choosing a side and defending an entrenched position. Because both sides to the debate highlight different aspects of the same African dilemma, I will suggest that the way forward lies in sublating both, through a double move that simultaneously critiques and affirms. To arrive at a creative synthesis transcending both positions, one needs to problematize each.
Trying to construct ideas and images afresh, by staying close to concrete experience, for the purpose of alleviating a common reality that is felt to be intolerable—this seems to me fair work for the imagination.
Even when I know something to be true as bone I fear the knowledge will dissolve, will not, despite my writing it, stay real. I’m breaking us apart again so that I might carry us somewhere else—where, exactly, I’m not sure.
it is not
it is not
it is not enough
to be pause, to be hole
to be void, to be silent
to be semicolon, to be semicolony;
What is cobbled together, we recall, is not simply the apparatus of a machine but a fiction of that machine. [Martin] Venezky ascribes the development and appearance of his compositions to a “machine-like logic,” but this is not the steely logic idealized by modernists—nor for that matter is it a conceptualist’s procedural logic. … These less reducible forms grow out of a quasi-organic process that is anything but economic or efficient. Indeed, Venezky credits the slowness of this process as affording the space necessary for the autonomy of each piece to develop. And this evolution moves in psychological and poetic as well as physical and aesthetic ways.