Regarding “Not (Necessarily) a Cosmic Convergence: Rhetorics, Poetics, Performance, and the Web “

Listening to something aloud can often have a huge influence on both the reader/listener’s understanding of a respective work, but also has the potential to influence their overarching view of that work. In the case of Not Necessarily a Cosmic Convergence the author(s)’ intention was for the work to be “performed,” that is, to be read aloud. That said, the written form of the work (2-dimensional, to-be-read version) serves as the “origin” or the “master blueprint” of the entire operation. In a sense, the piece was written down only to be be further impacted by the dilution that accompanies reading something aloud.  

One must consider the fact that whomever is doing the reading is bound to read with their own flair. All individuals have a respective dialect, and an accompanying perspective regarding meter/gait, speed of reading, and the like. All of these things can have an effect on the overall appeal of the work. This, I think, is what the whole piece is trying to emphasize. There is most always some variety in written works regardless of the genre/type. Not (Necessarily) a Cosmic Convergence seems to take the variety that exists within writing (the various textures at play) and highlight them. 

Hearing the text read aloud by the various people made the written text’s variety all the clearer. The performance was not unlike antiphonal singing from medieval times. Responsorial Gregorian Chants would be sung by two separate choirs on opposing sides of a church to create a call and answer effect. In Not a Cosmic Convergence there was a similar effect-almost as if the listener was observing the goings on in a public space and by coincidence everything coalesced.

This “coincidental coalescence” became most apparent upon hearing the work read aloud and underscored the often forgotten fact that writing and art are artificial. There are boundaries in writing. While nothing may be “writ in stone” once something has been inked on the page there is an authority to it–the words on the page speak for themselves. In the case of this particular work it is akin to organized chaos (i.e. the Pollock works included in the visual cues). There is the appearance of happenstance, but in reality everything has been purposefully crafted with the intention of making the listener/reader question what constitutes “writing.”

Writing is more choosy than speech, as a result it is more limited in terms of outcome (as once it is written it is set), but more far-reaching in terms of potential to promote critical thought. Writing is rhetoric because writing requires authorship and authors are never without an agenda or an opinion or a perspective.


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