Location: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85004
As part of our commitment to sponsor performances that feature outstanding, artistic talent, Maricopa Community Colleges presents its second Annual Elemental Cultural Arts Festival on April 4, 2019. This unique event invites a diverse group of artists within our student body, faculty, and community to come together and culturally express themselves through art.
Join us to watch these artists showcase their talent in the areas of sound, movement, vision, and expression – i.e. DJing, dance, street art, spoken word, and storytelling. The art exhibition and reception will take place from 5 to 5:30 p.m., and performances from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The event will be held at the Phoenix Art Museum at 1625 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Your attendance is greatly appreciated by the art community and the fine arts students at Maricopa Community Colleges.
For more information about the festival, please contact Kara Thomson at 480-731-8630 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dr. Rob Morales at 480-731-8302 or email@example.com.
No generation in history has experienced the kind of cultural and societal shift that millennials have, no period so tumultuous, so fervid, so unapologetically modern. But while science and technology have been so effectively forged in this smithy of currentness, the arts have seemed to lapse into the foreground, antagonistic and outdated towards this age of information. But it is in the arts where millennial identity is made, where an antidote to the vacuousness of 21st century can be found.
Every generation has been defined by its literature and arts; the 20’s were encapsulated by Fitzgerald and Hemingway, who defended their Lost generation, showing them still wayward, but not broken, not defeated. What better statement can be found about the state of America (or even the world) in the 50’s than Kerouac’s On the Road or the poetry of Ginsberg, or about the drugs, vapidity, and alienation felt in the bright lights of the big city in the 80’s than in works by McInerney or Bret Easton Ellis? These writers are so essential to their times it would be nonsensical and impossible to understand those times had they not existed, but the beauty of their works is that they are both grounded in and informative of their own times but also transcendent, applicable to our own and the lives of human beings ever after.
This trend of writers and artists dictating the importance of their time is apparent throughout human history, before the novel, before the poem, before the canvas, in oral traditions, cave painting, and song. But this worryingly drops off around the time millennials started appearing. Some are only on the cusp of adulthood, but many have already grown. But there is no millennial novel that we can pick out like we can The Sun Also Rises. It seems millennials may not even have a place in the arts like their forefathers, and perhaps more importantly, they might not care. But while this seems to be the case, it is not and is complicated by significant factors. The STEM trend has long been a worrying one, with jobs in the humanities becoming scarcer and the cost of living for an artist becoming astronomical. This is not to discount the value of work being done in STEM fields, rather it should not be the only mode of existence; “Go into STEM” should not be the prescriptive catch-all it’s becoming. In the midst of our technological living, we are quick to forget that humans are essentially story animals, and storytelling thus the most human action.
Millennials do have a place in art and literature, any generation does as long as they are human, but they are slower to. They find themselves straddling a not-so-distant past and a rapidly approaching future, born at the death of one century and the explosive birth of the next. Millennials therefore, instead of having nothing to say or caring to, have the potential to say so much more than any generation before them. The Lost had a great war, and we had a great war too, a great many on battlefields, on computer screens, in classrooms. Society is a battle zone. Millennials occupy the most fertile ground to draw on for artistic expression, and there too is meaning and significance found. Artists before needed voices to give a voice to the voiceless, now all that’s needed in this sea of noise, where anyone with a keyboard has a say, are voices to unite us, to inspire us, to define us.
There is a pervasive view in many humanities departments. In most instances, it goes unspoken: a common understanding of the timeless relevance of language. Language is the base, the supposition goes, if not at least the most immanent, collective construction of the world.
If the Lacanian psychoanalysts are correct, for example, than the moment that we, as children, begin speaking and collecting meaning from a system of signifiers, is also the moment when the impossibility of impossible categories (the impossibility of a mother, for example, being wholly Mother) begin to fully impress themselves upon our psyche.
This is only one permutation of this assumption. To put the question simply: of all the signifying operations—consider even the multiplicity of signifying operations that exist within only “the arts”—why should language be considered more (or less) expressive, affective, or relevant than any other?
Would language, on the other hand, be better considered one of many expressivities which populate the human capacity to be affected? “I can only see what I have been trained to see through learning to say,” an adage that belies not merely preference nor belief but a refusal to acknowledge, sense, or experience—in short, be affected by—any expressivity of the world beyond that which finds its way to signify through language.
What does this humble reading of language’s relevance contribute to a creative writer? This is not a call to abandon language for any other signifying practice. Rather, it is a question of whether or not a thorough understanding of a multiplicity of signifying operations can increase the capacities of a creative writer.
We experimental linguists. Neologisms, misappropriated terms, aberrant rhythms, jargons— poetries—populate the landscape of a language affecting and being affected by the signifying expressivity of other communicable forces, repetitions, and patterns.
An active language, if not intentional, unsure feet tripping across slippery rocks; an uneven and unpredictable earth upon which signification is lain; contours emerge mapping novel striations—for a moment, a multiplicity of points wandering the surface connect; an intensity manifests and then scatters, driving new processes of intensification.
Rather than creative “writing” the operation that I am describing is more akin to that of a translator; a translation, however, is no simple event.
To philosopher Gilles Deleuze, a translation is paradoxical insofar as translating from, in our case, one signifying mode to another both passes on something of the original (which relates it back to the original and all other repetitions) while, at the same time, actively manifesting difference from the original and all other repetitions. Deleuze’s point is that Western thought has almost always privileged the same over that which changes. It has always treated evolution as an afterthought, a byproduct.
Deleuze, on the other hand, does not presume that sameness is what necessarily marks a repetition and, instead, proposes to track how repetition, on the contrary, operates as a vehicle for change. Like a phrase passed through children in a game of telephone; it is not a passive process. We do not simply mimic. We screw up. The phrase passes through a number of physiological, psychological, and neurological failures, mutations, mispronunciations, and, after only a few repetitions, the phrase is incomprehensible.
We incomprehensible screw ups. Change is no phenomenon which arises from the ether. It is out of our inability to repeat something exactly as it is, our screw ups, that processes continue and splinter in novel directions. If we no longer screw up, then an equilibrium is reached; an equilibrium which, for any creature, body or system, is synonymous with death.
The creative-writer-as-creative-translator, a linguist who who subjugates language to themselves, to the unimaginable screw ups which fuel processes and, at various speeds, make a phrase, a style, a tradition incomprehensible.
The creative-writer-as-creative-translator, lost in a sea of expressivities and signifying operations, chasing language like a whisper caught in a storm, trusting that the whisper will never stagnate, be found, or effortlessly offer itself to the senses; the writers of the new, of change, subjugating themselves to their screw ups in the hope that something truly relevant might emerge, a pack of dogs chasing off in one general direction and then, slowly, quickly, dissolving into many. We incomprehensible screw ups; we give language speed, the capacity to run, tripping and falling upon new gradations, hoping not to find our way.
New Madrid, journal of contemporary literature, will dedicate its Winter 2013 issue to the theme of winning and losing. Though not limited to basketball or to sports in general in its expression of the theme, this issue will serve as a tribute to the MSU Racer basketball team, which basked in unprecedented national attention in the 2011-12 season due to its status as the last undefeated Division I men’s team, at one point climbing as high as No. 7 in national rankings. The Racers also clinched the Ohio Valley Conference championship and secured their 15th invitation to the NCAA tournament—as a 6th seed, their highest ever. The editors are looking for work in all literary genres that gives evidence of what ABC’s Wide World of Sports used to call “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.” Through the theme, the issue will explore the implications of winning and losing, not just in sports but in many other arenas as well (for example, war, business, marriage, board games, real estate, the stock market). Submissions addressing success, failure, luck, chance, etc., in any aspect of the human condition are welcome. All submissions should be of interest to the general reader. Please do not submit scholarly articles. Submissions will be accepted between August 15 and October 15, 2012. Guidelines: www.newmadridjournal.org.