Tan Lin’s Introduction for Peripheral Writing in EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts

“This issue looks at how and in what spaces writing takes place, i.e. the ambient environment of reading as well as the ecology of writing practices. If the amount of text being generated today is voluminous and threatens to transform a once-visual era into one structured by data and various communications protocols, the site specificity of the EOAGH cluster is distributive and ethnographic, like a reblog. What would an ethnography of writing look like? In an environment of re-circulated PDFs, scripting languages, the built environment, e-commerce, photo sharing as a discursive practice, network architectures, and the social more generally conceived, forms of non-writing comprise a re-distribution within the sphere formerly known as poetry. From this generic standpoint, the spaces poetry is said to occupy, or drift in create shared or communal references and appropriations. A few authors are a few allusions. Although individual authors are listed, a page functions best without them.

Tim had initially inquired about an issue of ambience, as a literary idea, and this section of EOAGH tries to site ambience, where ambience is understood as a medium rather than a genre. Non-writing is one of the forms such a medium might take.

For this particular issue I asked individuals to: send anything that is PERIPHERAL to their current writing (these could be actual words) or current writing practice (more generally), i.e. not immediately sensitive to a desire to do writing or intended to “be” writing. It can be an image, a text you’ve read and not really thought about, a thought about something that you didn’t write about etc etc etc. It can be a series of linked items or it can be a single item, anything really but unconstrained by a desire to make it into something that it is not. It should not have much to do with you, at least textually speaking.

I’m hoping this project might continue beyond the strict bounds of the invitation, with further entries submitted post February 1.”