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Saturday, May 15, 2010

micro cosmos note I

now that the first 2 sequences of the micro cosmos launched, some notes i wanted to add, plus some links and quotes:

the cover image -
is a story in itself. the image was induced by the previous issue of blueprintreview, (dis)comfort zones. after the issue was complete, an exhibition opened not far from here, titled: "Man Son - on the distress of the situation". it was the dis-theme that made me go there. one of the exhibition items was a pyramid, bleak on the outside. the inside consisted of angled mirrors.
i stepped inside that pyramid. the exhibition guide closed the door behind me. a sound generator kicked in. and i was there. inside this mirror sculpture that looks different for everyone, as your own reflection influences what you perceive. which actually is only enhancing the truth that all our impressions are filtered by our mind. we live in a personal micro cosmos of this world, each of us.
following that, later, was this thought: the stories we write and read - they are like pyramids of words, and we send them out, and receive them, and can step inside someone else's micro cosmos while we read them. but again, our take on the story is influenced by our perception. and even the same story can feel different when read on a later point, as it always includes our own reflection, too.
that's one of the thoughts that shaped out during the editing of the micro cosmos issue. while there, in the pyramid, i only wanted to take 1 picture as memory, and only later realized how fitting that picture might be as micro cosmos cover. the full story of the dis-day, and the full picture, is up here: virtual notes: into the dark.

three, and 2, 4, 5, 6 -
the previous (dis)comfort zones issue also brought the shift from launch-all-pages-at-once to launch-the-issue-in-sequences. for the micro cosmos issue, there will be 6 sequences, most of them are 'launch groups' of 3 pages. 3 is a number you will find a couple of times in the issue: Finnegan Flawnt sent 3 connected flash stories, The Writer - The Fool - The Families. later in the issue, there will be a 3-Way-Mirror appearing, and a story consisting of 3 sub-stories. but 3 is not the only number: there are the twins of Africa in Place de la Revolution. the two collages in Butterflies of Night. a story named four radius. and 2 (completely unrelated) stories, each composed of 5 sub-stories.
all those component structures made me think of molecules, and the different ways the same elements can be structured - it almost feels like all those figures form a second, unplanned, underlying layer of this issue. and whenever i see the image "Hard at Work" that combines with "The Writer", it feels like a geometric reflection of this layer.

thematic connections -
the main idea of launching the issue is sequences is: to give the single pieces more space. a side effect of the 'launch groups' is that they enhance the thematic / formal connections and counterparts between the group pieces that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.
for example, the countryside setting that is an element of all 3 new stories. Butterflies of Night takes the reader right into the micro cosmos of a farm, to caterpillars and bugs. in Imaginary Birds, the countryside is almost iconized: the story is set inside a clapboard house. and The Math retreats even further: in it, the characters move in a train that crosses through fields and fields of sunflowers and lavender.

parallel to that, the sequences provide more space to follow external links, sometimes with surprise discoveries: if you visit The Next Naked Alien, and then follow Michael Brandonisio's link to Counterexample, you arrive at TRANS - a space poem. here a line:

colonize Venus, colonize Mars
-----------------embodiments interstellar take shape
caste anew

and some feedback and a first issue reflection:

story + image: The Math / 'tracks'
one of the concepts of BluePrintReview is that the included texts and images are usually from unrelated places, to add an additional, unplanned dimension both to the text and the image.
for Daniela Elza's story "The Math", i tried a number of images. non really clicked. there were 2 other text that were still without matching image, too, so i wrote to 3 photo contributors of previous issues and included 3 key words. the next day, i received 'tracks' from Karyn Eisler. now that the page went live, i received notes from both, i wanted to share them:

"I think the photo seems very appropriate and even more meaningful when I think that both Karyn and myself are from Vancouver. I love it. all those different tracks one can travel, or branch out on. perfect." - Daniela Elza (+ to follow an.other word track, try this: Poemeleon)

"so exciting to see my train tracks with Daniela's words, live, just now, after dinner, in Heviz, Hungary, with my blog post notes at home, taped to my stone wall behind my computer, waiting to be typed out, with a screen shot yet to be made ...." - Karyn Eisler

the new issue / directions / comparisons / story south
and here, a first reflection on the whole issue:
"This is so good, to see Butterflies of Night as part of the new sequence, along with such good pieces! Karyn's tracks especially knock me out today!
And I had this thought about the new issue: it follows after (dis)comfort zones, the most intense issue ever, an issue that went in a new direction. I think this new issue might seem a little mild by comparison, so far. But it is good in the way that the BluePrint Review always was good, in a quieter, more thoughtful, usually overlooked way that made you so glad that you were reminded. And now also you might be wishing every piece could be as exceptional as the nominated piece. My thought is that it is a very good issue. "
- Steve Wing

and then there is .. a tablecloth surprise
this is just a detail, kind of irrelevant. i first had included it under "thematic connections". then removed it. and then thought: most things of the everyday are actually just irrelevant details. but without them, the everday would be missing so much. and added to that, i received Steve's line on things that are usually overlooked. so here it is. the table cloth surprise.

yesterday, after the new sequence went live, i revisited all 3 pages. and then noticed this word crossing: in all 3 new stories, there is the word "tablecloth" included in the first paragraph, almost like a hidden code word for this sequence:
"On the red-checked tablecloth in a clapboard house somewhere in the middle of your country .." (Imaginary Birds)
"She spread an old tablecloth on the ground between two rows of soybean plants. It was May, .." (Butterflies of Night )
• "I f.eared the look on his face, the same look he gave me when I was four or so and tried to se.cure a drumstick on my plate with a fork and knife. Instead, it flew a.cross the .." - (The Math

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