4) The architects who talk about chaos, absence, fragmentation, and indeterminacy usually work hard to assure that you know that a design is theirs by using signature shapes and colors. Arguments about the impossibility of 'the total image' are employed in fact to produce precisely such an image-- a signed image that fosters brand loyalty. Clearly, the dream of the total work of art did not fade in modernism's wake. On the contrary, all of the issues raised by architects and theorists of recent generations that seem, at first, to signal the end of the idea of the total work of art turn out to be, on closer look, red herrings that thinly disguise the traditional totalizing ambitions of the architect. Relate this quote (5 extra points if you can identify its source) to Michael Palmer, Susan Howe, Jorie Graham, and J.H. Prynne. After doing so, briefly discuss the meaning of the Signature and its role as limen within Poetry's institutional architecture. I will go further than identify Mr. Wigley as the source for the quotation, I will link readers to the article: click here. The totalizing ambitions of the architect are characteristic of the explosive and implosive school, though perhaps more ‘total’ in the explosive school because of their worldly scheme of things… I fail on the next part of the quiz because I have only ever read Prynne of the poets listed, and was rather underwhelmed – and now can’t remember a thing about him. Nevertheless, it should be said that of course, the dream of a total work of art hasn’t faded, but one rarely finds the dream in the type of poetry espoused by the above poets. A total work of art, to my understanding, would be multi-disciplinary and the arts’ structure would operate at a ‘local’ and ‘global’ level. The message of some writing certainly inspires, incites, or changes the ways in which readers view or interact in the ‘world’. However, this is not a avant-garde idea! A total work of art in poetry leaves the page, denies reading, moves, as I feel like I keep saying, into the realm of perception itself. Poetry is at an advantage to other arts, including architecture, because it has always been so close to NOT communicating a concept. If the question is inviting me to comment on the cult of certain personalities, I’d ask who? I have but a handful of poet’s signatures, and even the cover on Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Works – the inside sleeve of which contains his signatory flowers etc – is beginning to crumble.

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