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An Art of Getting Lost: Mapping Patrick Clancy's Photoscroll 365/360
Online publication date: 20 January 2011
To cite this Article Kaplan, Louis(2011) 'An Art of Getting Lost: Mapping Patrick Clancy's Photoscroll 365/360', History of
Photography, 35: 1, 6 — 14 To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2010.496201 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03087298.2010.496201
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Mina Loy. 365/360 also indexes the five days of excess and festival at the end of the solar cycle in the sacred Aztec calendar in Mexico (which serves as a key location in the photoscroll’s plots). the US multimedia artist and theorist Patrick Clancy completed the first version of his photoscroll 365/360. This image/text installation comprised horizontal strips in six tiers (five rows with sixty-one stills and one row with sixty stills) measuring five feet in height and stretching approximately thirty-seven feet in length (figure 1). In this way. and. 365/360 takes up the question of the moving still in a variety of ways that involve formal and technical considerations as well as in relation to its oblique content. functions as a photographic frieze/freeze.
Keywords: Patrick Clancy (1941–). The Aztec calendar consists of 18 x 20 day months to which are added five empty days
History of Photography. The photoscroll itself. Volume 35. and Marcel Duchamp during the First World War. Such a vision in motion follows a much more human and irregular pacing in contrast to the mechanised feeding of film through a cinematic apparatus. These are oblique avant-garde narratives that revolve around questions of travel (what produces images in motion) and that engage ‘the art of getting lost’. in this way. cataloguer of (photographic) grain. February 2011 ISSN 0308-7298 # 2011 Taylor & Francis
. however. Mina Loy (1882–1966). The article maps the key figures of the winged hermetic. around which the work turns with its evocation of the yearly cycle of calendar time in western culture. two registers of text. Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968).An Art of Getting Lost: Mapping Patrick Clancy’s Photoscroll 365/360
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This article analyses Patrick Clancy’s photoscroll 365/360 (1985) as an important postmodern image/text investigation into the problematic of the moving still that plays between photography and film and challenges the medium specificity of the Modernist paradigm. reflecting back on the viewer’s own precarious situation at the borders of (non)sense and (dis)orientation when viewing/experiencing this complex work. Focusing for the moment on its fractional title. moving beyond the conventions of still photography in order to engage cinematic processes and time-based arts. moving stills. chronophotography
I extend my heartfelt thanks to Patrick Clancy and Gwen Widmer for the stimulating discussions that we have had about 365/360 over the past two decades and for generously allowing me to reproduce these images. and nomadic browser embedded in 365/360. and the spaces opened up between them.
In 1985. The micro-narratives principally involve the dispersed journeys of artists Arthur Cravan. 365/360 addresses the question of the moving still along and between both temporal (365 days) and spatial axes (360 degrees). photoscroll. This installation requires a vision in motion on the part of the participant-observer in order to browse and engage with the photoscroll. Arthur Cravan (1887–1918?). 365/360 consists of a number of interweaving and open-ended micro-narratives conveyed (and interrupted) through six rows of images. linearises and arrests these cyclical movements. The spatial dimension is juxtaposed with the temporal axis. Number 1. micro-narratives. Clancy’s dynamic photoscroll sets a sequence of images into motion.
. The Accursed Share: Consumption. the ideas of mosaic and panorama. image/text photoscroll installation. Courtesy of the artist. In her recent essay ‘Moving ¨ Stills: Images that are No Longer Immobile’. 45–62. paradigmatic for photography. Rochester. the underlying reproduction process of both photographic forms.Mapping Patrick Clancy’s Photoscroll 365/360
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Figure 1. ‘Moving Stills – Images that are No Longer Immobile’. paradigmatic for film [. 1. Robert Hurley.mexconnect. 102. As Edward Bryant puts it: ‘By using strategies similar to cinematic codes. heterogeneity. 1 – For a further discussion of these festive days of potlatch and of empty time. trans. New York: Zone Books 1988. com/articles/199-mysteries-of-the-fifth-sunthe-aztec-calendar. 3:1 (Spring 2010).
I too would argue that the photoscroll installation (not unlike projection) provides us with another way to sever photography from the individual print and to apprehend its commonalities with film. Ingrid Holzl discusses how projected photographic images offer a way to decouple photography from the print and the recording medium. It makes us see photography and film as communicating vessels rather than rival entities staking out or defending defined territories and borders. printed and projected. see Dale Hoyt Palfrey. 1992. and general economy (without reserve) owes much to the thinking of Georges Bataille’s writings on the Aztecs and sacrifice.
(nemotemi) that exceed any form of restricted economy. Visual Studies Workshop. The projected photographic image appears to stand between the print. See Georges Bataille. One could argue that 365/360 inhabits and thrives in the ‘no-man’s-land’ opened between film and photography. thereby challenging the idea of medium-specificity and highlighting what photography shares with film.
Projection is.]. as well as of space and time. . Photographies. http://www.2
¨ 2 – Ingrid Holzl. NY. The photographic image is in this way loosened from its coupling on the recording medium of photography and open for all kinds of ‘playbacks’: static and dynamic. [Clancy’s] photoscrolls place the photographic still 7
. Patrick Clancy. Clancy’s avowedly postmodernist project plays between photography and film. however. In taking up the photoscroll as his medium. and the projection of moving images. Rejecting the medium-specificity of the work of art in the modernist paradigm.1 It is also possible to think about the remainder (restance) opened up between 365 and 360 as what makes it impossible to reach stasis and as what sets these images into motion. the artist has produced a hybrid and marginal work that privileges peripheral vision at the outset and throughout its many twists and turns. vol. ‘Mysteries of the Fifth Sun: The Aztec Calendar’. the still image and the moving image. 365/360 (The Plowed Field). This framing of time of 365/360 in relation to excess.
g. thereby reflecting back on the viewer’s own precarious 8
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6 – Bryant. ‘365/360: A Brief Summary’. Raymond Roussel’s Nouvelles Impressions d’ Afrique. Art Space: Southwestern Contemporary Arts Quarterly. it does so in a way that moves beyond the Gutenberg galaxy and its inherent logo-centrism. Clancy’s marginal work has been called both ‘a photographic mosaic-panorama in the tradition of cycloramic history painting’ and ‘a proto-cinematic film viewed as a sequence of still frames’. Mina Loy and Marcel Duchamp. anthropological problems in local cultural interpretation and a variety of contextualizing historical references. 1985. One register is to be read moving forward from left to right. Gwen Widmer. Instead 365/360 consists of a number of interweaving and open-ended micro-narratives that are conveyed and interrupted through its images.
The narratives principally involve dispersed journeys of the avant-garde artists Arthur Cravan. Parallel themes and subtopics include E. making us think about each photograph in the photoscroll as a pictogram that maintains linkages with others in the work to be activated by the viewer. For instance. While 365/360 includes these verbal scripts.6
3 – Edward Bryant. See Raymond Roussel.4 Such collisions put 365/360 at the crossroads of media. and this leads to a further complex set of relationships that make for a reading and viewing experience bursting with meaning. texts and the spaces between them. 7 – Patrick Clancy. 2. But one of the most obvious features of the photoscroll is the impossibility of grasping any totalising narrative amid its photo/cinematic montage logic. ‘365/360: A Brief Summary (Material. Mayan. from verbal to visual registers) that become the engine for the plot. As Bryant has commented:
the stills in Clancy’s photoscrolls are conceived as a barrage of dynamically interrelating cells functioning like cinematic montage. 10:2 (Spring 1986). 365/360 (The Plowed Field). 5 – The first multi-media performance with Patrick Clancy. It is also important to note that Roussel’s poems in Nouvelles Impressions revolve around various sites in Africa that reflect upon his travels there. during the First World War. As part of the performance. With its complex use of puns and its narration interrupted by multiple sets of parentheses. 365/360 maintains a partially hermetic aspect that demands interpretation on the part of the viewer. archival documents and staged re-enactments.3 On the one hand. the discrete frames or individual cells of the photoscroll resist the flow of continuity and partake of an aesthetic foregrounding each fragment. This parallels the ways in which Clancy’s micro-narratives are (interrupted) reconstructions of the voyages and adventures of Cravan and Duchamp (who was an artist also influenced by Roussel).Louis Kaplan within the same interrelated conditions as film and video in order to achieve compound works of a new contextual continuity resonant with meaning’. Zuni Indian Mudhead (‘Sacred Clown’ ritual). Their energetic outpouring of heterogeneous images in successive impacts creates rather than relates events in a vital way parallel to Sergei Eisenstein’s ‘collision of ideas’ and Lev Kuleshov’s ‘creative geography’. London: Atlas Press 2004. ‘The Recent Photoscrolls of Patrick Clancy’. All further references to its text are to be found in the body of the essay in parentheses. 11. Matthew Sommerville and Michael Cummings took place at the Diverse Works in Houston. On the other hand. The reference to Roussel needs further explication. the final book of Raymond Roussel published in 1932 offers definite comparisons with 365/360 in its material structure. 8 – Burnett.g. Egyptian and Chinese). and so it is not surprising to learn that the performance version of the work was subtitled The Crossroads. image/text photoscroll installation. generate MICRONARRATIVES’. TX on 13 December 1986. situations and geographies of Central and South America in fragmentary reconstructions of historical photographs. the filmic strips of the sequential photoscroll spread out to offer a viewing experience that requires movement on the part of the viewer in the exhibition space. 18 September–13 November 1992. and the other in reverse as a mirrored text with the aid of a handheld mirror. Clancy stresses that the micro-narratives constituting 365/360 arise by rubbing up photographs (‘grains’) against each other and in relation to the atopic (or that which evades territorial borders).
The script for the third row of text contains the following polyvalent phrasing: ‘atopic grains dispell. ‘Recent Photoscrolls of Patrick Clancy’. Clancy’s compositional strategy relies at times on the transposition of puns (e. the photoscroll was presented in the form of a slide projection and thereby further unhinged from the recording medium. Marey’s chronophotographic experiments. Visual Studies Workshop Exhibition. New Impressions of Africa. Their fictional and non-fictional accounts take us to scenes. 11. NY. connectagitate. since it is always poised on the verge of concealment or obscurity. Clancy’s photoscroll maintains implicit connections with a number of non-western systems of picture writing (e. Relevance)’.5 The work also juxtaposes these six rows of images with two rows of texts (or scripts) beneath each one of them.
4 – See Christopher Burnett.8
These are challenging and somewhat cryptic avant-garde narratives that often revolve around issues related to travel (what produces images in motion) and that verge on ‘an art of getting lost’. Mixtec. The micro-narratives of 365/ 360 feature three principal personages culled from the annals of avant-garde art history. J. In this postmodernist vein.7 Here. Thus. Clancy’s own travel in Mexico. Rochester.
‘Marey runner learns to take images with entire body (GEE-YAW-ROLL)’. Marey’s motion studies. that were directly influenced by Futurism. The runner is also referenced at the conclusion of the first line of text as follows: ‘RELAYREALLY an image each time the runner’s foot hits the ground. They represent attitudes or strategies through which one might encounter the excesses and losses opened up by 365/360. The Winged Hermetic: Updating the Marey Runner One way in which Clancy offers a self-reflection upon the media archaeology of the moving still occurs by putting himself into dialogue with the experiments of the French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey in the 1880s. In jamming together relay and really. Wired from head to foot. a panoramic photograph of the champs d’experiences where Marey conducted his experiments in chronophotography begins both the first and the fourth visual registers.Mapping Patrick Clancy’s Photoscroll 365/360
9 – Ibid. Marcel Duchamp. now appearing in the figure of the photographer. he has now been outfitted in a tracksuit with a pocket camera and boxing gloves. but from slightly different perspectives on account of Clancy’s rephotographic cropping. Clancy also alludes here to Duchamp’s paintings. the cataloguer of grain and the nomadic browser – that reflect upon the motif of the moving still between photography and cinema and that play between the recovery of meaning and the art of getting lost. ‘It’s about moving through time and space . 365/ 360 recalls here the indexical theory of photography in which the figure of the footprint in the sand is often used to exemplify the photograph as a physical trace of the referent. I will now focus on three sustained metaphors in 365/360 – the winged hermetic. . who holds a camera that is wired to his footwear so that his every step is recorded (figure 2). The main protagonist of the work is the Dada poet-boxer Arthur Cravan. such as Nude Descending a Staircase. Clancy marks the mediation of the photographic camera in step with and productive of the reality effect in the age of technical reproducibility. The contemporary Marey runner in 365/360 takes on mythological proportions when one envisions him/her as a latter-day Hermes (the Greek messenger god). also looms large in the dynamics of the work. 365/360 also demonstrates how the footsteps traced by the dynamics of the photography of movement do not proceed along a continuous or successive path. . In this voyage afoot. as well as for his mysterious disappearance off the Pacific coast of Mexico at the end of 1918. is also a key player along the ‘multiple lines of graphic narrative’9 that constitutes 365/360. While this god is still a messenger. and photo-dynamism. 365/360 enters the champs d’experiences as the field of experiments where Marey’s marathon runner grows Hermes’s wings on his soles. The figure returns again in the fourth textual register. when he was presumably lost at sea. the fourth register also states. The photoscroll begins with a poetic text that alludes to the blurred plates of chronophotography. Finally. who was Cravan’s life partner at the time of his disappearance. ‘Dawn: a runner enters the Champs d’ experiences a voyage a foot alone a blur’. The Modernist poet and bohemian Mina Loy. In addition to referencing moving stills. Finally. One of the characters in the photoscroll is a latter-day Marey runner (played by Clancy himself). this helmeted runner embodies a virtual reality agent hooked up to a simulation apparatus and moving through (cyber)space and time. as if referring to itself. more radical than the usual Futurist endeavor’. In framing these photo-messages 9
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. followed by a reference to nautical dynamics that puts Marey into dialogue with Cravan’s mythical voyage by sailboat from Mexico to Buenos Aires. who was notorious for his prankster antics and his picaresque travels around the world. snapshots – twining and untwining our bodies’. It also signals that the experience of the multi-media photoscroll engages more space–time than these earlier painterly or chronophotographic representations of a vision in motion.
situation at the borders of (non)sense and (dis)orientation when viewing/experiencing the photoscroll and when seeking to decipher and decode its meanings. In tandem with these textual appearances. along with his readymade art strategies and meta-ironic sensibility.
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Figure 4. Patrick Clancy. stills from 365/360 (The Plowed Field). Courtesy of the artist. Patrick Clancy. Patrick Clancy. image/text photoscroll. Courtesy of the artist. stills from 365/360 (The Plowed Field).
Figure 3. image/text photoscroll. Courtesy of the artist. 1985. 1985. 1985. image/text photoscroll. stills from 365/360 (The Plowed Field).
10 For the purposes of 365/360. This refers to the time when this photographic figure becomes the wings for whatever ‘they’ will have flown or transported into his sights/sites. Cambridge. one sees this envisioned as an allegory of the photographic act. sand. 365/360 works ‘this wild time gone to seed’. . just at the point when he is ready to introduce the procedures for the construction of readymades. photographs) visually and verbally. caught in the act of shooting and framing this scene. Atopia: No Man’s Land. the gaps and discontinuities that are purveyed by the winged hermetic record risks for the strict accounting of history. Here one must recall Hermes as a duplicitous god. A final aspect of the winged hermetic has to do with the delivery of the messages of 365/360. thereby recalling Duchamp’s snapshot effect. In The Green Box. such a minute). In his essay ‘Inconclusions for Patrick Clancy’. If one looks at the visual text of 365/360 at this particular juncture. In order to discuss the chance meetings staged by the readymade. MA: MIT 2009. Even though 365/360 provides a set series of frames. one sees an overexposed foot hitting the ground next to a different foot implanted in the next frame. This metaphor also introduces the photographic means of transportation for 365/360 and its images in motion. Through the staging of these ‘polyrhythmicspacetimefictions’. On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton. Instead. But this is just the beginning in getting at the agricultural register that preoccupies 365/360 as we encounter its crops and its fields of grain (wheat. with the help of a hand mirror to assist in the reading of its boustrophedon writing. ‘to inscribe a readymade’ . There is even the chance that this is a fly-by-night operation and that the original photographic message will never arrive at its destination. This quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendentalist hymn ‘Brahma’ has an intellectual history in taking up the work of the author of 365/360. 365/360 is marked in this way as a para-biographical recounting of the exploits of its three main avant-garde characters. and cites Emerson’s text. The important
. . it projects itself into the future – seeding and disseminating itself. one envisions this first-person narrator as the photographer who speaks as the winged hermetic and with the tricks of his assisting trade. the flashes of the winged hermetic cut and splice ruptures and discontinuities into the photo-historical materials. offering that which ex-ceeds (X seeds) itself. such a date.Mapping Patrick Clancy’s Photoscroll 365/360
10 – Hollis Frampton. In the frame on the left-hand side. with a camera held at eye level. It has been reprinted recently in Bruce Jenkins. The camera operates according to this ‘wild time’ because it cannot be contained in or to the present alone. one sees the photographer (the Marey runner). ‘When me they fly I am the wings’. Duchamp (as the so-called ‘apprentice in the sun’) turns to the practice of photography to assist him.
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as subject to the logic of montage and juxtaposition. Frampton turns to another photoscroll. In thinking about the Marey runner as a winged Hermes. ‘Inconclusions for Patrick Clancy’ was printed on the occasion of Clancy’s exhibition Marginal Works: Atopia – No Man’s Land from 27 March to 11 April 1980 at Utica College of Syracuse University. it is well to turn to a textual homage by Clancy’s compatriot and sometime collaborator. This bears a direct connection to its being composed as a bi-directional text and to the way in which the viewer reads and relates to the images and the scripts – moving forward from left to right and then in reverse for the second scripts. The Cataloguer of Grain: Farming and Framing ‘The Plowed Field’ The Plowed Field denotes the subtitle of the photoscroll. Hollis Frampton. In other words. In each scenario. Duchamp introduces and inscribes the snapshot effect:
Specifications for ‘Readymades’. by planning for a moment to come (on such a day. There is the chance that the message has been altered on account of the reiterations of Clancy’s re-photography that offers new close-ups of the photographic grain. it is the double strategy of the winged hermetic in 365/360 to work between the instantaneous (or instamatic) delivery of the photographic message and the potential of sealing (or stealing) it away. There is the chance that this messenger has hidden something away or sealed up a portion of the message at some point in the process of delivery. thereby invoking the hidden meaning of the hermetic. 292–5. One recalls that boustrophedon refers in the original Greek to oxen drawing a plough across a field and then turning at the end of each row to return in the opposite direction. The word ‘seed’ is placed diagonally opposite the word ‘CLICK’ in a field of black.
Stanford. to the cross-eyed wisdom of the fifth textual register. According to 365/360. London: Thames and Hudson 1975.Louis Kaplan
thing then is just this matter of timing. One turns. The visuals include profile portraits of Mina Loy and Gwen Widmer. The Spanish text marks both a question and an exclamation mark in a foreign tongue (‘How not?’ and ‘Of course!’).
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12 – The use of the term ‘exscription’ is derived from Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay on Georges Bataille. The Soil refers to the title of one of the wartime magazines in which Arthur Cravan’s writings made their initial appearance. one encounters the excess of meaning. Duchamp writes: ‘Agricultural machine – (a world in yellow) – preferably in the text?’. The structure of this sentence attends to the spanning of 365/360. who doubles her and functions as her twin (figure 3). Michel Sanouillet and Elmer Peterson. minutes or hours. Larger than either life or death. it does not matter whether the calendar measures days.. he refers to his delay in glass in the most general terms as an agricultural machine and an instrument for farming. The Nomadic Browser The production of moving stills and images in motion relies upon travel as well as upon travelling shots. Even. this functions as a mode of ‘re-creation’. The snapshot effect has the vertiginous power to make the real into a simulacrum of itself. The readymade gesture of the snapshot effect also opens the site where chance and necessity meet and exchange places. It will also be viewed as productive of granular forces that send the historical object reeling. In the same way that it is located at the crossroads between sense and nonsense. The following account might be read as an introductory description for the image/text photoscroll. The reading/ writing of this oblong text might then be likened to the ploughing of a field that the cataloguer of grain (as the figure of dissemination) is charged with interpreting. As the protagonist of 365/360. It is a kind of rendezvous.12 The camera will not only be viewed as a truthful renderer and recorder of the events of history. This rendezvous with destiny (or accident) is the meeting ground that engages 365/360. ‘The Green Box’.
. The subsequent snapshots of the photographer–boxer–runner facing left and right literally inscribe these quotation marks of time. As a man from some lost patrol is bending over with his head in the sand. for instance. (Or. When Duchamp writes in the marginal notes of The Green Box about The Bride Stripped bare by Her Bachelors. As Duchamp indicates. and it makes us consider the camera as a machine designed for travelling. thereby exposing the materiality of photographic inscription (or the exscription of photographic meaning). there are ‘snapshots – twining and untwining our bodies’. ed. It interrupts the sentence and inserts rotations and explosions.
13 – Ibid. 32. The cataloguer of grain becomes the agricultural librarian engaged in keeping and losing track of this ceaseless passage. 365/360 follows Duchamp’s snapshot effect that transforms the arbitrariness of chance into photographic significance.) One encounters the moment (really) as an effect of its framing (relay). Fabian Lloyd (aka Arthur Cravan) stars as 12
11 – Marcel Duchamp. I transpose Nancy’s discussion from the question of writing to that of photography (or light writing). to the strategy of ploughing that drives a cut through the (textual) field.11
It is as if time could be put into quotation marks in order to be offered up as a photographic double of itself. this cutting edge leaves the rotating clock time of the biographical narrative to one side and an explosive/ecstatic time to the other. The operations of the ploughed field spread out to the artistic practices of Duchamp and Cravan too. the text records ‘a plowed field larger than the span of our attention large enough to work in ¿Como no? Rotations Explosions’. Again. in Salt-Seller: The Essential Writings of Marcel Duchamp. The important point is rather this ‘matter of timing’ – the material inscription and production of an effect of meeting. See Jean-Luc Nancy. ‘Exscription’. this snapshot effect. ‘RELAYREALLY’. in The Birth To Presence.13 The same goes for the one who is referred to in 365/360 as the ‘fabulous wanderer who loosens the soil’. 44. At the end of the first register of 365/360. 338. 365/360 recounts fortuitous meetings in the biographical writings that make them rub up against the grain. Contrary to Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’. CA: Stanford University Press 1993. as 365/360 puts it and as already indicated. For Nancy. like a speech delivered on no matter what occasion but at such and such an hour. which reproduces a significant moment in time. Exscription marks the outside of meaning but from ‘within the text’. 365/360 (The Plowed Field). exscription points to the ‘infinite withdrawal of meaning by which each existence exists’. 365/360’s atopic vision signals the point at which meaningful images are about to turn over into grain.
The concluding passage of the reversed script also can be read as an exacting summary of the position of the browser. 200–21. in Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the AvantGarde. but also reads as a parable for the photoscroll itself. or as ‘anartist without affiliations’ (Register 3). and difference’. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi 2006. The ‘anartist’ offers a sly allusion to Duchamp’s anaesthetic. 96. Mina Loy’s beautiful passage not only mourns Cravan’s absence articulating the loss of her beloved. but I have selected a more physical realm. Mille Plateaux: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Some of these travels (and travails) were in direct response to the Great War and the provocative poet-boxer’s desire to stand clear of any patriotic type of fighting. One rolls (with) the scroll with the aid of ‘incandescent memory’. . it becomes difficult to find an observation post from which to view things in their proper perspective. 365/360 also quotes a poetic passage from Mina Loy’s elegy entitled ‘The Widow’s Jazz’. 365/360 delivers photographic images that rely upon absence. rolling waves. There is again the language of the meeting place. open sea. see Dafydd Jones. ed. as ‘navigating by mirages’ (Register 2). the wheat fields. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1987. and possibly the consequences are more exacting. surface. . This offers a poetic way to think about these souvenirs generated by light writing. Perhaps he was lost at sea when sailing to meet Mina Loy and Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires. 15 – In its resistance to Euclidian perspective. of an encounter at the point where people and signs begin to figure and where they begin to slip away:
The many signs and people I encounter as well as my prolonged disorientation. Roger L. increase my ability to pay attention without being mystified. Perhaps he was shanghaied north of the American border to Alberta’s wheat fields to become a harvester of grain in Canada (figure 4).) In constructing The Lost Notebooks as a fictional piece of biographical writing on Cravan’s part. See The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy. the emphasis is again on loss in response to the browser’s relation to the surplus of photographic meaning. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux 1996.15 The language of the nomad in motion crossing borders without a passport adheres to Cravan in this poetic text that reads like a travel narrative. Maybe he got lost in the desert. 365/360 couples the word ‘browser’ with an illegible blow-up of an image stamped with the word in capitals ‘OVERFLOW’. In 365/360. Cravan is figured as the nomadic browser in his prolific life. its disjointed 13
.’16 This text is juxtaposed with images of sailboats. Dafydd Jones. who signified distances among shapes by intervals in width and height and never by the diminution of perspective in an imaginary third dimension. My attitude is not unlike his indifference. . Nonetheless. and of a diver climbing a ladder as if after having failed to retrieve Cravan. The snapshot effect that guides Duchamp’s readymade gestures depends upon and demands the aesthetics of indifference. there is a conjectural mapping through smooth spaces (the desert. ‘To Be or Not to Be . ed.
14 – This reading relies on the distinction between smooth and striated space and the construct of the micro-narrative as articulated in Gilles Deleuze. The reversed script of 365/360 concludes with a barely veiled reference to Duchamp’s infamous aesthetics of indifference (or an-aesthetics).14 In each of these nomadic adventures. In each of these possible scenarios. the sea) where one can hardly keep one’s bearings. Cravan’s text foregrounds the art of getting lost and offers a final point of comparison between Duchamp’s strategies and his own. 16 – Clancy leaves out ‘the substitute dark’ (another photographic darkroom reference) after ‘colossal absentee’ in the original verse of ‘The Widow’s Jazz’. Conover. This conjectural text gives Cravan the chance to speculate about his own itinerant status as well as that of his artistic compatriot Marcel Duchamp’s move (and dodge) to the neutral Buenos Aires in 1918. For a recent Deleuzian reading of Arthur Cravan as a multiple subject subverting identity. 365/360 takes its cue from the artistic practices of both the Egyptians and Aztecs. ‘Cravan/colossal absentee/rolls to the incandescent memory . It was as if the world was not large enough to contain his excessive actions and movements.Mapping Patrick Clancy’s Photoscroll 365/360 the itinerant artist par excellence as he traverses Europe and North and South America and wreaks havoc in the span of the decade between 1909 and 1918. In words and images. the two Dadaists share the same anarchistic approach to aesthetic judgment and value. . The six registers of the reversed written script of 365/360 consist of a series of excerpts from The Lost Notebooks of Arthur Cravan. The text is also self-reflexive in suggesting to us the mind set and attitude proper to the active viewing experience of 365/360 with its non-hierarchical spaces. as well as in his mysterious and unresolved death. (‘Marcel had gone underground and could barely speak the lan’uage’.
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The passage compares the more physical Cravan with the more cerebral Duchamp – the poet-boxer and the conceptual artist. 365/360 poses the pseudonymous ends of Arthur Cravan in a parodic fashioning of its own teleology. Arthur Cravan: subject. 365/360 refers to Cravan at different points as that ‘fabulous wanderer’ (Register 5).
As marginal work and as anarchic space. Without the possibility of a grand narrative. Conclusion: A Small Model of Chaos This review and analysis of Patrick Clancy’s 365/360 has situated it as an important postmodern investigation into the problematic of the moving still that takes up an alternative history and a playful archaeology of hybrid media at the crossroads of photography and cinema. The nomadic browser of 365/360 traces a trailblazer’s course between recovering meaning and losing the way. 365/360 unhinges the modernist doxology of medium-specificity and. The lateral connections instituted by the browser function at the meeting point of the arbitrary and significant. a totalising history. 365/360 offers a window onto a ‘small model of chaos’ where ‘I am in a different place’. 365/360 affirms these uncharted waters because they offer to us the chance to ‘accelerate the process of meaning construction’ (Register 6) and/or ‘generate texts which explode into infinite meanings’ (Register 3). or an overarching account. para-biography. in this way. Following Cravan’s and Duchamp’s lead. Mina Loy and Arthur Cravan using rephotography. the nomadic browser comes under the threat of the ruin of meaning. there is the chance of being swept away or overtaken by false leads that re-cover one’s tracks. and the vision in motion of its images and scripts. or even of finding roads that lead nowhere. and quotation in order to entertain the micro-narratives and the avant-garde strategies that showcase the margin between the construction of meaning and the art of getting lost. the photoscroll insists upon difference as its engine and its modus operandi. 365/ 360 counters any fears of this postmodernist stance with the suggestion that the observer enter into a state of demystified attentiveness that does not discriminate in order to hold all things in the physical realm as equally interesting (or not). The nomadic browser of 365/360 organises time and perceives experience in terms of chance meetings and lateral connections that question the linearity of historical causality. one proceeds with the generation of micro-narratives for the temporary construction of meaning. re-enactment. its moving stills disrupt and disenable the very possibility of stasis. But in the very act of advancing upon these more complex and ephemeral trails. The figure of the browser replaces the gaze of the observer with grazing. Rather than fearing that such disorientation will drive one to confusion or distraction.
. Clancy turns to the medium of the photoscroll and to the lives. times. and ideas of Marcel Duchamp. Whether one focuses on the characters in or the viewers of the photoscroll.Louis Kaplan
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micro-narratives. The micro-narratives of 365/360 affirm a multiplicity of viewpoints and operate by means of step-by-step procedures of local or hyper linkages and with multiple changes in orientation and direction.