More on Flarf

Clips & an answer to the question: WHAT IS AN INTERNET AUTHOR?

Check it out at FLARF - MAINSTREAM Poetry for a MAINSTREAM World >>


Murat said...

The flarf streams reached my computer in bursts, each stream getting interrupted about every ten seconds, resuming after a freeze. Out of frustration, on impulse, I clicked in the next person (many of whom I know and am familiar with their work), assuming the new stream will replace the old one and possibly will not have similar interruptions. Neither of my two expectations occured. Each stream continued running, the problem intact. The result was a revelation.

For the first time, I can say, I enjoyed flarf as a experience. The first reason is quite simple. The sequential structure I inadvertantly started gives the flarf event the structure of a fugue, where the interruptions also gain a specific temporal essence, silence becoming one of the motifs of the fugue.

The second discovery was even more surprising. In many of the videos, one hears the laughter of an “invisible audience” reacting to the words. Experiencing the tracks simulataneously, the laughter becomes detached from, losing its causal link with, the words which produced it, becoming an obstinato, a slightly ironic chorus.

This internet experience revealed something about flarf to me, with which others may agree or disagree: that flarf is at heart a flow of words, interrupted by gaps; part of the promiscuous, eternal struggle of poetry to get words going (in flarf poet Gary Sullivan’s own words, the question in his book title, “How To Proceed in Poetry?”).

The second point has to do with flarf’s associations with dada. Dada, which to me is the nihilist impulse in art, is the reverse of aura, of the cult, of the compartementalized group. The deconstructed reading by chance I fell into subtly undercuts that aspect of the audience in the room –undercutting its laughter- opening it up to, freeing it for a greater “invisibility.”

In that way, it reveals to me a deeper connection with dada.



Samuel Vriezen said...

Whenever I read about Flarf and think about Dada, as well as obvious similarities, one thing strikes me as an important basic difference: when flarf makes use of google, it make use of the internet idea of the link, and so it reproduces (perhaps exaggerates) continuities. But Dada seems to have relied more on basic effects of rupture.

Murat said...


Of course the Flarf poets would claim they are rupturous in an "innovative" way.

I think you are onto something about "continuity" and its opposition to dada. Probably, I was trying to point to something similar when I mentioned the disassociation of laughter from its specific audience.


Nada said...

I think I would rather say I'm RAPTUROUS in an IGNOMINIOUS way.