Quiz #2 1) Is a dactyl a brick or a gargoyle? Justify. I like this question; very funny! It is essentially written in anapests (anapest being the inverse of a dactyl), which of course adds to the playful tone. Also, there is a very odd mix of ‘materials’, dactyls and gargoyles (?!). A dactyl, as I remember, is more frequently used in Latin versification, though Byron used it effectively; a gargoyle is more of a medieval feature, but again these too have more ancient roots. What can we make of such an admixture? Really, the question appears to be asking whether meter is a building material or a grotesque ornament. So why questions about poetic architecture would be concerned with meter of all things is the greater puzzle. In the discussion over at Kasey’s blog on the Line in Space, there was a sense from certain individuals that meter could be considered the architecture of the poem, as if, indeed, meter were a brick (or probably the structural foundations). In fact, there is no reason why we can’t consider poetry in these terms, but if we do go that route we have to come up with some serious justifications for the transposition. I could discuss the furniture of a poem; however the vocabulary we have on place should suffice. My take is that a dactyl is neither a brick nor a gargoyle – it is a dactyl! On this count, I agree with Christian Bok, recently, and John Cage, historically (see below): if we are trying for an interdisciplinary art, the mere appropriation of specialized vocabularies is wholly inappropriate for the late 20th and now 21st century (I’m coming back to this). 2) What is the relationship of engineering to poetic architecture? Is the architect-poet responsible for designing a structure that can actually be built? If so, why? Questions getting noticeably tougher.. cough. Poetic architecture may have a similar relationship to engineering as poetry has to poetics, viz: engineering tells us in practical terms what can be done (without causing injury and collapse), poetic architecture speculates as to what might be done or even exists on its own as a kind of speculative non-fiction (I do not have a dim view of poetics, incidentally)… My slight problem with the first question is that there is a lot of architecture one could call poetic. Of recent architects, Daniel Liebeskind’s architecture is often a series of phrases and repetitions, echoings and views that I would call poetic, or resembling the structure of a poem (I will resist discussing Arakawa and Gins’ work in this context). Of course, the relationship of engineering to this sort of poetic architecture is not at all like the poetry/poetics relationship above. Engineering certainly dictates what is possible and will partially limit the structure of an architectural formation according to the specificity of the site. Thus the architect cannot even begin designing until she understands the intricacies of the site (from soil content to faults and municipal works). (!!) Look where this question has taken us! We’re back with site specificity. Perhaps there is a lot an engineer can teach a poet about location: not to describe it in technical terms, but how to build on it.. Well, is an architect-poet responsible for designing a structure that can be built? In part, yes, she is. If she did not, we may be tempted to say that she did not understand the site or architecture in the first place… We could go into noetic models of built/not built… This architect poet is also not responsible for designing architecture that can be built if his/her designs are the construction themselves (then the question is are they or are they not built). Poetics (theories of construction) should be viewed as constructions themselves. Tzara’s poetry rarely lived up to the odd acrobatics of his poetics, but perhaps his failing can be viewed as a new(ish) art. One of the great things about people like Kenneth Goldsmith is that his art (like Day, or even his radio show Anal Magic) is the theory, in a way, of a non-event. It’s a kind of poetry without poems.. {next two questions later}

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