Notes on writing reading and face to facEBook performance part two
& parts one, three, four, five, six
Collectable chapbooks weren't an aim of Michael John Weller's Home'Baked Books. Keeping titles in printable revision were.
Home'Baked Books, from April 2005's Madeline My Love In Death And Fancy (a reprinted 2001 Visual Associations title) to March 2011's edition of & Holly Pester Does It Better completes present writer's current self-publishing endeavour in print using domestic desk-top printer. Whether print kit is replaced or not needs consideration as contemporary artists and poets publish free-to-view pdfs and performance videos.
Attempted to argue in 'Notes on old new little presses' that reading from screen and negotiating print through writing, reading, performing, or as bookworked reader/hearer/viewer, are different. Not only as forms. Process alters content.
Obtaining a Lexmark All-In-One X6100 series printer in 2005 was personal/artistic/technical liberation from handing completed hard copy over to professional printers. Although still agreeable in continuing purchase out-of-house print for home'baked perfect-bounds - completing bookworks in-house does encourage extended process and performance. Performance not finished until collation, stapling or enveloping and exhibitive display as exchange value commodity in pub-function room, market stall, exhibition stand, or bookshop. This lesson learned under Bob Cobbing's '90ies New River Project tutelage.
For the present writer full public performance requires feeds of objects, loose paper, zines, dry books, fresh books warm from oven. Selling titles as commodity source of exchange value.
In October 2011 Mike attempted to reprint Stem Harvest as A5 chapbook on domestic kit. Bastard refused to feed paper. Mike hears Cobbing's voice shout with glee, The machine doesn't like it! The machine is knackered, Bob.
I'd agreed to read at Herbarium-inspired Royal Horticultural Show's 'harvest hangout' organized by Helen Babbs in association with RHS. Professionally organized - opportunity to sell Stem Harvest.
Domestic printer had displayed ominous message HARDWARE ERROR 502 since beginning of year. Needed outside print to home'bake Stem Harvest in new edition. Difference between buying print and having direct access to printer is that instantaneous changes to copy decided through machine intervention/chance/error are abandoned when commercial printer receives folder definitively marked ready for print. It's an order. Cobbing's New River Project basement printshop is now 20th century history. Commercial printers and poets still call engineers in when machines withdraw means. But copy delivered to Bob for a job could hardly be designated ready for print. Not even after copies were printed!
Buying print leaves no space/time for random interventions. Feels like transaction of capital expenditure in social relation of production. Commercial printers view job as start-to-finish contract. When completed, printed edition returned to buyer with originals.
No process. No performance to speak of except as anecdote.