Language as blueprint, diagram, instruction, provides directives for navigating specific systems. Technical writing is discipline, context, audience-specific detailing what, when, where, how. Why the proliferation of guide-books, manuals, indices, pathfinders since the Industrial Revolution? Symptomatic of epistemological, pedagogical, phenomenological, or practical concerns? Amidst a billion specialized fields of knowledge, modern life needs guidebooks.
A Brief Statement on the Artists Versuz Series by the series curators, Heather Hart & Jina Valentine:
“This summer, we were watching Jill Scott vs Erykah Badu on Verzuz, dancing, finding a recipe and cooking, each in our respective cities, and we felt a soothing of our souls. We felt broken from staying inside and embattled by the news. But this moment was a salve: these are musicians who have been, and remain seminal for us, they transport us, spark a soundtrack to memory. Seeing them empathize with us and with each other as we sheltered in place, they reached through digital space to create something together, and it felt like a moment we will log in our collective archive. They connected us, through our phones, tablets, laptops, desktops. All over the world, for one evening, they connected us. Folks in all of the places felt this love, mutual respect, and community despite all odds.
Prompted by this series, we considered the outer limits of what is considered a book, or specifically an artist book. Artist + book. Artist = book. And we determined that books contain language in many forms and invite a corporeal experience of media and speech acts. We considered the book as it is constitutive of the archive and as it is representative of the body (body of knowledge, extension of body).
From these considerations, we determined abstract themes for our four part series: Coded Language, Technical Writing, The Corpus (body as archive), Multivocality and Self-authorship. These categories have guided our conversations around and planning for this series. Our work as Black Lunch Table involves intentional convening of voices and care in orchestrating conversations amongst communities’ constituents. We imagine the pairings we’ve proposed for Toward Liberation (a.k.a. our Visual Artist Versuz) series will inspire new connective threads, fibers, tissues, language, volumes, binding connection.”