Olivia Dunbar

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Revision as of 15:54, 18 October 2012 by Olivia (talk | contribs)

Go fuck yourself

To cause to stand

Set forth as things (or persons) or the world.

The world means the age of man, whereas the cosmos means the delicate arrangement of making order out of chaos.

Chaotic man moves earth and dirt

Moves history



And heavenly bodies are not the earth

Are not in contact with what is.

Immoveable mighty chains are cast

Without beginning and without end

Are passing far

The self-same place

(Abiding in what is).

Habitually resistant habits wait, they fall behind

We fall behind resistant parts are static states

Ecstatic states

When time is slower still.

Snakes-on-a-Plane---NO-REGRETS 080522 ssv.jpg


Kathy Acker - The Language of the Body; Blood and Guts in High School, Etel Adnan - The Arab Apocalypse, Giorgio Agamben - The Coming Community; Means Without Ends; Infancy and History; The Open, Georges Bataille - Visions of Excess, Walter Benjamin - Critique of Violence, Hakim Bey - T.A.Z., Jean Genet - Un Chant d'Amour, Lucretius - De Rerum Natura, Laura Riding Jackson - Anarchism is Not Enough, Lisa Robertson - Magenta Soul Whip, Cecilia Sjöholm - The Antigone Complex: Ethics and the Invention of Feminine Desire, Sophocles - Antigone, Tiqqun - Jeune Fille; Sonogram of a Potential, Slavoj Zizek - Language, Violence and Non-Violence

Some things that I can think of:

Fruit Loops are called Tootie Fruities. Are colourful cereals sweet and dusty that are used to trace circles in black paint on the glass that frames a drawing of a hand holding darkness and a knife. Corn pops in an ashtray that are shades of yellow becoming slowly beige. The sugar seals them together, a mass of crusty cracks cigarette butts line the rim to form a crown stuck with peanut butter and below the ashtray is a garbage can.

It’s black with white and blue writing - “SUPER IN GENERAL” - a poem that goes like “Super in general, being gets desirable.” Peanut butter spread down from the top, dirt caked up from the bottom. It gets sticky when you heat it. Even body heat can start it melting I’ve tried.

Thinking about attitudes, ways that I can perform myself as an artist, or ways that my self becomes a performer. Or ways that the performance of the self becomes the performance of an art practice. Or I guess how do you do identify that you’re practicing or doing practice because what if the moment of identifying stops it all. Like this is naming. But maybe names produce sensation.

On the glass is painted “AIMLESS,” spelled out of cheerio shapes there are no centres only outlines. A second drawing can go with this, “BEYOND BEING.” I wonder what gets beyond being desirable. Or what can I mean without desire, or without having the desire to confirm my being. I want to be being beyond being being. Some kind of life force. Or maybe this is life. No everyday life, only intense life. Emile Benveniste contends that prose is secondary, poetry primary to language. Laura Riding Jackson makes a similar claim. So then I might desire to be. Maybe being is beyond being. Like poetry is beyond being language as poetry.


A second set of drawings, “BELONGING TO ONESELF / DIVINE LAW OR THE LAW OF MAN” is a text work with three sections of drawn images - three tongues touching, a coiled snake and a log. BELONGING TO ONSELF is drawn in pink highlighter, with the letter ‘B’ ‘E’ ‘N’ ‘T’ outlined in blue. Belonging to oneself could be being bent, like twisted screwed or the mental condition of being deflected or turned. Altered from an originally straight or even condition. Disposition is a tendency of mind, an arrangement or an order. From the astrological usage “position of the planet as a determining influence.” So how to be disposed to unevenness. I wonder how these conditions are set up or actually how to sustain them in the context of The World. What are the conditions under which I might become a planet.

I’m listening to music on Youtube that my father used to play on vinyl in our living room. It’s really bad 90s music, but also classics from The Doors and The Beach Boys. I think Jim Morrison was his favorite musician. I felt like we were floating when my father used to play these songs. Turned up so loud I was afraid of the force coming from the speakers I would talk to him but he couldn’t hear me. Dicere is to tell digitus is finger dico is the root which means “I say I speak I talk.” Talking through your finger there are a few buttons you could press. Loudness informs my practice because I want things to happen in my body, and sound you can feel pretty easily. Like you can feel fingers.

Other sculptures are groups, like teams. A plastic woven bag says “SEE THE WORLD” and I made a painting of it with a cigarette eye above the text. It’s a vertical combination. The bag sits on top of a Styrofoam plinth that says “SUCK A DICK” which together establishes another sensibility or attitude – “SEE THE WORLD (SUCK A DICK).” Which might describe the desire to be a productive member of society. How can I contribute? The plinth is on the floor which is actually as a carpet cut out of a faux-tiled vinyl sheet sort of like an island with a tree branch sculpture taken from outside that has a plush burger toy instead of leaves. The burger has a smiley face and leopard print filing (this could be the patty). “CAN BE REDUCED” is painted in pink acrylic paint across its forehead - sort of hovers on the subtle fuzziness of the burger’s bun fabric. Then there is a jade stone, a drawing of BRUNO the dog a deflated volley ball a bottle sculpture some shiny paper and a peanut-butter/muesli painting with duct tape on cardboard. This is all leading to a large painting/wall “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID” spelled with aerosol in green and red on a white background, sort of like a sideways gravestone painted on a sheet of composite board. On the other side “FORGET ABOUT IT” goes in black. The two sides know about each other but they’re on opposite teams but I don’t know what the game is yet.

Another is


And that’s pink aerosol italic upper case on a found door. In an ideal scenario it would have been a nice new sheet of thick wood but this is all I could arrange at the time.

I am wondering about attentiveness, how to attend to systems. The body, power. Violence as an ecstatic display of systems. Systemic sensation that could produce the failure of the body - death and other subjects - as a kind of sympathy.


Dear Olivia,

Thank you for the wave, in coming closer.

My last email did not necessarily provide the best grounds to meet on. Mass e-mails are an auto-hysterical form. And I as a person, whatever this means, do not yet have the authority of my work (I have not yet fully committed to it, though I am closer), in presenting an alternative to what I see as the triviality of the art and writing that is happening now. So I would do better to pass over it in silence. I would like to write to you about the recurring themes in your poems. That would be sweetest. This is personal in a way that makes talking more desireable. So I will write more formal thoughts.

"Or what can I mean without desire, or without having the desire to confirm my being. I want to be being beyond being being. Some kind of life force. Or maybe this is life. No everyday life, only intense life... So then I might desire to be. Maybe being is beyond being. Like poetry is beyond being language as poetry".

Yes, my love, if it were, poetry is beyond being language as poetry.


if it is anything it is life.

These questions are urgent to ask in and as our lives. In our relationship to being in action. A poetry is a search for the context to speak. A mature poetry allows your thought to be the hinge of the phenomenology of this context, as though it were concrete. It makes objective questions in and of consciousness of where you continue, so that it lets you be that which it questions as itself, as though you were concrete.

My bet is that you will not find this at your school, or in contemporary art context, or contemporary poetics context as it "stands". I do not see it being possible here to reveal the shadow of a polemic of experimental academics. A poetry as open-ended research at the expense of becoming open-ended education. A new context is needed, and one's stand must be for this context.

Out of respect and common sense, I cannot pretend much more than this to present my challenge to you over email. I have only these maxims. That if a poem does not transcend the conventions of its being made public so thoroughly that it becomes those conventions unbounded from ideology, concretizing metaphysics as the 'normal' and dispensing with it, I do not think it can be a focus of the communities necessary to form. Even if this form is arbitrary, it is our arbitrariness, which is the politics of excess? The process of this poem must be the process of the impossibility of its deferral. This is where I will come to have an authority in my extremely comic search have those questions be grounded in the cognition of 'my life'. For the narrative in and of the poem to be the narratives of its production. I am aware that these narratives do not exist by themselves, that history needs action. But also that culture is the anticipation of this action, through the conventions by which it is made public. And that it is possible for, 'where one is performing' to be the impossibility of a submersion of poetry in this production.

I see your poem as not presenting a challenge to the conventions that determine your publicness in society. I get the 'Olivia Dunbar' // go fuck yourself. And I know you can do this as well, and for the last few months where I have been struggling, probably better than I have been able. But in your poem, that is just the problem, I 'get it'. (And with you, where you are living, I can't get it). I understand it, and then I can place it, in a way that doesn't challenge my placing it.

Love, Harlan

Harlan Shore

2:04 AM (11 hours ago)

Simplified, my response is:

"I want to be being beyond being being".

An acting teacher would say, "I doubt it". "I think what you want has to do with your father and those records". Not that desire is fixed to a thing, but that it does present images we know ourselves in action in relation to. And in our life, its those images where we have to understand our excess.

How can the process of your desiring be one in which you're consciousness in relation to it can recognize itself in a way that is a being beyond being being? For the process to be intransitive, so that the 'object petite a' that leads you in process then becomes the object which is produced as product, in such a manner that this process of desiring becomes the sublime void that the object of desire is image of and also screens out. That the process of screening the sublime becomes the sublime.

I'd like to save $1000. We could buy a 30 day greyhound ticket each: $300 US, and roam on your iPhone.

I saw that picture of your dick. It’s pink and hard and absolutely I don’t skateboard fuck fixie bikes I’ll attach a picture that my girlfriend took just because it’s beautiful. And I’m making a painting of it (gossipy small town bullshit painting of Christina Ricci). I feel close.


Dear Brad.

I think I am addicted to sex.

I’m trying a little girl facing left she has short dirty blond hair that covers most of that side of her face. Must be her stomach protrudes slightly like the way kids’ stomachs tend to do, no fat only muscles that go slack and taught all at once. Her right hand sticks out slightly, fingers like a dick. It’s trippy at first. But then it’s just her hand. Flesh is pale white-ish except for her legs which got some sun shoulders straight and back. No sign of breasts but that stomach sure does stick out behind her two big balloons – one orange, one white, like wobbly inflatable cocks and I guess that’s the point. The unconscious, the backside, what only we can see. I don’t feel like a voyeur but I keep seeing her little fingers, they really form this dick shape. Phantasm. Fuck that. The chairs are orange, they’re old she’s young but someone’s been sitting. She’s only about a foot and a half taller than the chairs’ tops and this orange balloon hovers behind the chair, it’s smaller than the white one. A scuff of old paint peeks through the new stuff right along the baseboard. So much for white.

Franz Gertsch:

Barbara und gaby.jpg

Boris Mikhailov: