Subscribers are asked to submit documentation of their process and materials when they submit a deformation. A few submitted processes are below. The online Galerie functions as a democratic space where all deformations (sublime to ridiculous) are included. Working within the tradition of museums and galleries, a later offshoot of the project is planned with a formal catalogue, curating the most engaged deformations into a published collection. Deformations in this catalogue will be accompanied by artist statements, materials, and related documentation.
HOW TO MAKE FICTION PULP
by Amy Greene
Crafting your own fiction pulp is a great way to recycle those doozies that you wish you never spent fifteen dollars on at Amazon and shipped for an extra five. It’s great release for that anger you still feel about Mrs. Bromley, who gave you a D in 9th grade English. It’s also a less time-consuming way to practice deconstructionist literature, creating your own distinctive, Lacanian masterpiece.
Things You’ll Need
- Fiction, printed on paper
- Stainless steel bowl
- Dish rags
1. Prepare your area. Making fiction pulp can be quite messy, so cover your workplace with a cloth to protect your furniture. Have rags on hand to clean up any spills.
Making fiction pulp can also cause offense, perhaps outraged delirium to some writers, professors, librarians, booksellers, book distributers, students, book distributers, typeface developers, journalists, editors, agents, teachers, moms, and cats, who appreciate the traditional use of the book format – a cup of tea, a cozy chair, a warm lap…You must take care to make your pulp fiction in private. Lock your doors. Turn on your music to drown the sounds of the words screaming, as the blender chops them into fragments, then letters, pixels, fiber, clay, CaCO3, Talc, TiO. Go to church. Do penance. Pray.
2. Choose fiction to use for the project. You can use any type of fiction you wish. Hated The Scarlett Letter in high school? You can add a red dye as a tint. The Elegance of the Hedgehog also works well, as does The Turn of the Screw. Though Moby Dick and In Search of Lost Time may prove too hefty for the common household blender.
If a friend gives you carte blanche to deconstruct her writing, by all means take the opportunity. Relish in guilt-free destruction and disregard the final advice in step one. If you can find fiction on colored paper, all the better.
3. Tear paper scraps into 1 inch squares. Alternatively cut clean lines with a scissors, then try to re-create paragraphs from memory. Find subversive meanings. Get bored. Turn on something more subversive on television, like Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Throw your words into a stainless steel bowl.
Soak the words in warm water for 2 hours. Step back. They’ll turn soggy and purpley in a few minutes. Read Hemingway to recover. Strain.
4. Put more warm water in the blender, filling it half full. Smile!
Add the limp language, and blend on medium speed. You want to have a pulp with a consistency like soup. If words persist, push “purée.” Blend it long enough that you can no longer see any individual words. Eventually, all things merge into one.
 Maclean, N. (1976). A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pg. 238.
MUSICAL DEFORMATION: “Exhibit I or U?” (or “Eb” for short)
by A. Rose
Process: In this deformation, I translated the first paragraph on page 148 of Galerie de Difformité into a musical composition using Finale Music Composing & Notation Software. I circled the letters A-G within the paragraph, corresponding each to a musical note in the piece. The duration of the notes was dependent on the space between the letters within the paragraph. The general formula I used for this is as follows:
0 letters apart: notes play at the same time (thus forming chords)
1 letter apart: 16th notes
2 letters apart: 8th notes
3 letters apart: quarter notes
4 letters apart: dotted quarter notes
5 letters apart: half notes
6 letters apart: dotted half notes
7 letters apart: whole notes
7+ letters apart: a whole note plus whichever duration from the above formula that must be added to equal the total number of letters–for instance, 9 letters apart would be a whole note (7) plus an 8th note (2)
*Note: Spaces between the words do not factor into the duration of the notes.
In addition, punctuation was marked by rests, which followed a pattern similar to that above:
Commas: 16th rests
Periods/ Colons: 8th rests
Dashes: quarter rests
Ellipsis: half rests
*Note: Any letters that were not A-G that followed the punctuation were factored into the duration of the rest.
The time signature of the piece was 14/8, in correspondence with the page number from which it was taken. The dynamic of the piece was mezzo forte, with the exception of the section in parenthesis, which was pianissimo. Each sentence was a phrase. Capital letters were accented. Italics signaled a ritardando.
NOTES TOWARD DEFORMATION THROUGH CROSS-POLLINATION
by Jason Bennett
The bees are members of the Screen Actors Guild for the Order of Hymenoptera so no filming during inclement weather, including temperatures below 55F, rain or wind. Otherwise, April should be fine. The males are, by the terms of their contracts, ejected in the fall. That along with normal winter attrition means the hive is smaller in Spring but on an upswing by April and probably sufficient for your purposes. Their color doesn’t vary much through the year, though my particular variety (Carniolan) might not be the most golden. Their mood is definitely improved on sunny spring days when things are beginning to bloom. I don’t know what kind of range your camera has but anything closer than 15-20′ would require a bee suit unless you’re exceptionally unperturbed by bees and are certain that you aren’t allergic to bee stings.
BEAUTY WOVEN IN SHADOWS
by Trudy McBride Otis
When I cleaned off my desk so I’d have a place to work, the only old magazine I found on it was the Summer 1991 issue of Fiberarts Magazine which was devoted to “Text and Textiles.” I knew right then that I was destined to do this project. Never, that I can remember, have I done a piece that included letters woven into fabric. After discarding thoughts of inkle bands, pick up and magic markers, I plugged in my 32 shaft Megado which hadn’t felt a surge in several years. I started relearning the mechanics of the loom and also the weaving program that runs it.
I began writing text in the Fiberworks PCW program. I spent many hours tweaking only one word – Beauty. I carefully added and deleted dots in the liftplan to make my word readable, paying special attention to length of floats in warp and weft. The lines had so many possibilities – swirly and pretty, straight and intense, or shadowy. For warp I chose yarns a dark variegated tencel that I thought would provide the shadows and for weft a multi-colored grey-blue-brown weft that I hoped would provide enough contrast. The yarns seemed to let me know that they were the right choice. I wound a narrow warp and threaded my loom to a point twill.
Finally, late one night and with much trepidation, I transferred the lift plan pattern from my laptop to my loom’s computer and held my breath. I started to weave a sample using a white weft to contrast the shadowy warp, just to get the idea of how it would look. I called a friend and told her it was too small, too white, and I was discouraged. Then I took some tension off the warp and snuck a peek at the reverse side of the woven piece. My breath stopped. There on the under side was the Beauty that I had been waiting for. After many weeks of planning, I was almost too excited to sleep that night. The following day I tried my weft of choice but it proved too variegated and dark to show the text. The warp was also calling for a touch of yellow to represent inconsistent candlelight flames, present in dark rooms of earlier times. I made more changes …
More tasks to figure out before I could actually weave the final piece. I found bendable wire to insert in the tubular hems and chose silver grey tencel for weft.
My Beauty measures a mere 5 inches, but represents a process spanning many hours … The best photo has bright spots and shadows coming from the left edge into the light, giving it dimension, space and good composition, lending just the right touch to its deformity. This small piece was dwarfed by a very large loom, bent and deformed, moved from candlelight to sunlight so it could reveal its true self … in shadows.
(excerpted from an article in Complex Weavers)
This is a small sampling of “Documentations.” Future plans include exhibiting submissions with their deformation/artist’s statements, list of materials, etc. Please think about the form and content of your “Documentation” and submit it with your represented deformation. How did you participate in deforming? What questions and materials, content and form, did you investigate? What drew you to participate in the project, and why? For different kinds of “Found Artifacts,” click here.