December 09, 2008

Islington Mill Art Academy

Back in 1982, I was nearly thrown out of Loughborough College of Art for too persistently challenging the competence of my lecturers. And in 2003 after a brief waste of time at Manchester Metropolitan University's MA, I resigned in disgust at the disorganisation and mediocrity of the poetry lecturers. So I am comfortably in the camp critical of the state of arts education. Higher education has become a business that is less to do with transfer of knowledge or nurturing artists and more to do with administrations that generate fees and 'hit' targets disingenuously pretending that progress is constant. So it was a great pleasure last week to spend some time in conversation with the artists of the Islington Mill Art Academy.

The Academy is a fascinating attempt by a group of young artists to education themselves, to develop their practice autonomously. Choosing their own influences, the artists invite practitioners to talk about their work, respond to the work going on and establish a creative dialogue.

December 07, 2008


Well who would have thought it? It turned out that I could work out how to read the poems after all. It felt like the audience got what I was doing too. Most of it turned on speed and breath I think. I found that I edited really visually or semantically dense passages on the hoof hoping to at least get the flavour of the original. One of the audience said in response to this, that this was surely an argument for editing them out of the originals as extraneous. But I can't accept that; that way lays writing for performance rather than writing to write. The performance was just a snapshot of what the poems might be/were on that particular night. I suppose the contrary revelation for me was that I actually really enjoyed the experience and want to do it again.

The only thing I didnt do was read Calculus - because I forgot - minus the proper layout - because working that out on this page is as difficult as reading it. So here it is:

0. monotonic the fall. In the cot, of equilibria and reducing complexities, the baby recognised my death as our eyes another reason to avoid the butchery of children’s moment Cut, a form of transitivity when the engine stops and you can't go on, but you get out of the car and go on. A prepersonal intensity corresponding to the passage one experiential state of the body to another implying augmentation or diminution in that body's capacity to act She reminded me of what we could have had - and it was remarkably paradisiacal, only less so. The dynamics hovering bird wings, the public are mad those that aren't found in any species in city park ascriptions of method. Two opposing points connected by positive and negative charge tired but it was there, something about never getting there – the slender margin language object – daily routine of back and forth sine wave study to the quaint notions of windswept steppe and desert’s unequal presumption of innocence without fear of retributive access will be the end of memory: 1