12/17/06

Pre-Flarficated


Before the internet, writers interested in weird, amateurish or specialized lingos had to scrounge for them in used book stores and porn shops. There was no Google to barf verbiage onto your lap. I used to spend hundreds on magazines with names like Over Fifty and Fabulous, KO, Soldiers of Fortune, Flying Saucer Digest and Teen. Bad, bumbling English is always a happenin' planet, stretching your horizon, dude. In the visual arts, one artist in particular, Jim Shaw, alerted us all to the weird, goofy world of amateur creativity. He collected thrift store paintings and arranged them in installations. His 1991 show at Metro Pictures, NYC, was declared by critic Jerry Saltz as "one of the most important shows of the decade [...] it brimmed with dementedly entertaining art [and] unlocked the doors to scores of dead, forgotten, or otherwise devalued painting genres. It was a gold mine of overlooked pictorial information, a mother lode of untapped graphic imagination and pictorial possibility." Sounds like flarf to me. It was flarf, flarf, flarf, before there was flarf.

5 comments:

Murat said...

Linh,

It is like flarf, except for one important difference. The effort and energy necessary to go through different magazines, used book stores and porn shops (or to eavesdrop on conversations) are greater and represent a more intense involvement and obsession than doing the same thing through blogging. I think the difference shows in the final work.

In your poetry, as far as I can see, you have consistently used the phrases, the tonalities of subcultures, almost as personae. Are you now suggesting that you are now accessing similar material through the web, specifically through blogging? If so, do you think there is a difference, that it makes a difference what you write?

Ciao,

Murat

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat,

I no longer go to used book stores and porn shops because all the bad, weird, wonderful English I need is onlìne. I also comb through blogs instead of spending hours in bars, eavesdropping. It's my liver, Murat, I can't take the boozing anymore. It's also better for my slim wallet.

Cheers!

Linh

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat,

I think you're using "blogging" when you mean "googling." It's hard to keep all these new words straight, I know. When in doubt, google!

Cheers!

Linh

Patrick Herron said...

I love all of your posts, Linh. Hey, what's this, a dialogue between two of my favorite people in the whole world? Hi Murat!

The precedents of snarkiness and kultchurkitch have their own precedents and so on and so forth. Hell, I just heard someone ran a sub-4 minute mile in the 17th century. Self-appointed committes are what differentiate the Official Innovations from the innovations. Of course such committees must participate in the process of historical revision and erasure.

Now that I am getting back to a normal life I'd like to catch back up with you, especially now you're back in Philly, yes?

Linh Dinh said...

Yo Patrick,

How are ya? Look me up the next time you in Philly, eh. I'm in the Eyetalian Market, three blocks from "Oider in English oh beat it" Geno Steaks.

Linh