Allen Fisher Resources

Intercapillary Space,” a blog animated (as the French would say) by a number of contributors, with Edmund Hardy as coordinator, is turning into one of the absolute musts of poetry-related blogs. I am especially happy for the Allen Fisher site they created, a info-base that gathers more than 40 linkages — by far the most exhaustive place to get information on AF & his work. This is especially important right now, as we finally have three large books of Fisher’s available (I taught his _Gravity_ last year and my students & I would have been most happy to have this info source available at that time.) The importance of Fisher’s work is hard to underestimate & I certainly think of it as one of the major oeuvres of English-language poetry of the last fifty years. Here is what I say about it in A Nomad Poetics:

We will take the whole of the new century to finally read Allen Fisher’s vast investigation into all our knowledges, the great serial constructive dérive he calls Gravity as a consequence of shape. From his Introduction of Brixton Fractals: “Imagination and action. My knowledge of the world exists validly only in the moment when I am transforming it. In this moment, in action, the imagination functions, unblocks passivity, refuses an overview. Discontinuities, wave breaks, cell divisions, collapsed structures, boundaries between tissue kinds: where inner workings are unknown, the only reliable participations are imaginative. The complex of state and control variables. The number of configurations depends on the latter: properties typical of cusp catastrophes: sudden jumps; hysteresis; divergence; inaccessibility. Boiling water’s phase change where the potential is the same as condensing steam. Random motion of particles in phase space allows a process to find a minimum potential. What is this all about? It’s a matter of rage and fear, where the moving grass or built suburbia frontier is a wave prison; where depth perception reverses; caged flight. With ambiguous vases it’s as if part of the brain is unable to reach a firm conclusion and passes alternatives along for a decision on other grounds. The goblet-and-face contour moves as it forms in your seeing.”
The result of which is a poetry of use, though the uses be not your usual aesthetic jouissance and/or socio-political alibis: “Brixton Fractals provides a technique of memory and perception analysis. It can be used to sharpen out-of-focus photographs; to make maps of the radio sky; to generate images from human energy; to calculate spectra; to reconstruct densities; to provide probability factors from local depression climates. It becomes applicable to reading; to estimate a vector of survival from seriously incomplete or hidden data, and select the different structures needed. It can provide a participatory invention different from that which most persists.”

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1 Response

  1. loveandrage says:

    hey Pierre, big-ups on ya

    was wondering where the “community at large” was at on this one…been catching up on this baby alll week

    tis, indeed, a fuckair


    well, i guess there is nothing one can do cvept shout it out on the ol’ blog 🙂

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