200avoid, which tunnel is undergoing roadwork, and which bridge is blocked byan overturned vehicle.
is the second volume of Kenneth Goldsmith’s
: the first,
(2005) transcribes a year’s worth of daily weather reports for theTri-State Area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) from the New York radiostation WINS (1010 AM); the second, (2007), records a twenty-four hourperiod of WINS “Panasonic Jam Cam [Camera]” New York traffic reports atten-minute intervals on the first day of a holiday weekend; the third,
(2008), contains a complete broadcast transcription of an entire (five-hour)baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox inAugust 2006, as reported by the well-known Yankees commentators JohnSterling and Suzyn Waldman.Transcribing weather forecasts, traffic reports, play-by-play YankeeStadium broadcasts: what could be more pointless than such neo-Dadagames? Goldsmith himself has added fuel to the critical fire by insisting thathis “conceptual” pieces are “boring,” “unreadable,” and “uncreative.” In awidely disseminated manifesto, published on the website of the augustPoetry Foundation of America, for example, he declares:Conceptual writing or uncreative writing is a poetics of the moment,fusing the avant-garde impulses of the last century with thetechnologies of the present, one that proposes an expanded field for21st century poetry. . . . Conceptual writing obstinately makes noclaims on originality. On the contrary, it employs intentionally self andego effacing tactics using uncreativity, unoriginality, illegibility,appropriation, plagiarism, fraud, theft, and falsification as its precepts;information management, word processing, databasing, and extremeprocess as its methodologies; and boredom . . . as its ethos
Language as junk, language as detritus. . . .
,everyday speech, illegibility, unreadability, machinistic repetition.