The Written Word


I am attempting to write an essay.

The deadline for submission into the Hannah Arendt Prize is coming up and I am determined to have at least entered. The theme is Art and Disobedience, which I feel that I can relate to since the act of making often seems like a disobedience of its own. Of course, right now my brain is disobeying and wants nothing more than to check out of the task at hand and wander in the long grass outside my door. I want to write this essay though. It feels important to have written something solid outside of the academic landscape.

It has always taken me a little time to get started. The work will get done but it will be done when the pressure is on. Sometimes it will even be more successful this way, or at least less overworked. Writing this blog has kept me keen and, I think, more capable of working past the anxiety. You know, that moment of “but I have nothing to say”! The words are in there, I just need to organize them for someone else to be able to relate to them.

This process of writing about art is almost the antithesis of the work I am doing right now. I have been researching String Figures, those string forms I have been talking about, and I am looking into their role as a form of non-verbal communication. They seem to be of particular cultural value in those places that had no formal, written system of communication. Perhaps they are a kind of spatial text. I think that in their making there are a limited number of movements but in their reading there are almost endless meanings. That sounds like writing to me.

Okay well back to the notebook. I have to write everything by hand to get my brain working. I have bought a fresh, new notebook to slip inside my bright pink cover. Let’s hope the clean sheets will soon be filled with words as well as scribbles.


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