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Jim Rosenberg


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The Inframergence

The Inframergence - Screen Shot
Screen shot from The Inframergence

The Inframergence is a large poem written from approximately 2007 through 2013. The original event that was the motivation for this work came as a kind of vision in 1994. Sitting in the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris a feeling came over me that if I sat there long enough, I was about to get an idea — of what kind, I didn't know. Monet was the first “modern artist” I learned to really look at as a teenager; I spent hours in front of the two Monets in the Denver Art Museum, just looking, entering that state of mind that I came to know so well as the word trance, the state from which poems emerge. So I had a powerful emotional relationship with Monet, and sitting there at the Marmottan it was an enormous experience, with tears streaming down my face. So I sat, waiting “for word”. What came was a powerful visual image, which I could not comprehend, but knew I would have to write one day. What I saw was a kind of braided vortex made of colored glass strands. What was this. I didn’t know. Eventually, the braided vortex became the spiral that is the outer interface of The Inframergence.

So: the outer interface of The Inframergence is a spiral of buttons, each of which leads to a screen. Although the screens may be read in any order, the buttons are arranged chronologically in the order written, from the outside in. On the outside of the spiral, the buttons launch screens that are polylinear: skeins that stretch across the space. But stretch within a space; as the cursor moves off of the skein, the skein recedes to the back, its pair-mate comes to the front, reading in the opposite direction: boustrophedon of resonance, linear by internal sequence but travel inverted, the eye thus moving but at place. Travel but non-travel. Linear for resonancefall but not navigation.

As you move to the inside of the spiral, the screens become less and less linear. The skein parts coalesce. Then become word clusters, of a kind I have used many times. Then structure begins to emerge: a structure of simple dominance / receding, mediation through. This structure is a form of protosyntax; in a way The Inframergence is a kind of “prequel” to the diagram notation used in much of my work. At the screens that launch from the innermost buttons of the spiral, larger spaces collapse to icons, which are buttons which expand to the “open” state; this collapsing and opening preserves spatial relationships, making a kind of “spatial stretchtext”.

The spiral is thus a kind of evolution-in, structure and structure evasion together, in close confines, interoperating. The oscillation. Not a contradiction, but scaffold and chorus-brushed flock, granular, together but separate, intact but chorded.

Infrawhere.