Anna Gibbs Seminar 2012

'Writing's New Materialisms, or, (Post)conceptual Writing as Material Thinking: an essay on practice'

Anna Gibbs Presenting Seminar Paper 

Abstract: To work with my hands by cutting up and pasting together text photocopied from books seemed to act as a material (rather than a formal) constraint which liberated me from a certain sort of psychic work, so that I was free both to follow my (doubtless overdetermined) impulses, and to perform a more conscious work on language by a process of ventriloquism in which the origins of meaning were neither in me nor in the texts I chose to work with, but somewhere in the in-between. I was starting in the middle, a place recommended equally by Deleuze and by writer Valère Novarina for whom speech is not a message, something that assumes that what is to be said is known in advance: rather, speech, like writing, is a passage – a way through from the known to the as yet unknown.

This paper, in the genre Americans call 'poetics', contextualises aspects of a cut up practice in the contexts of what has been called the 'new materialism', and current – mostly feminist - debates over conceptual writing. 

Bio: Anna Gibbs is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, UWS and is a member of the Writing & Society Research Centre. Anna Gibbs has published across the genres of fiction, poetry, and fictocriticism, as well as critical and theoretical writing in textual, cultural and feminist studies. She has co-edited two collections of Australian writing, and her current research interests include affect theory, public emotion, embodiment and corporeality, psychoanalysis, and media (including writing for new media). She is currently working on an ARC-funded research project 'Creative Nation: Writers and Writing in the New Media Culture', with Dr. Maria Angel and Professor Joseph Tabbi, that studies the impact of the culture of new media on literary writing.

Audio: Listen to Anna's paper (right click and "save link as" to download)

^ Back To Top