Fryup Publications wishes to print and promote what it considers to be ‘mega-subjective’ works. Mega-subjectivity is resistant to tight definition, but fundamentally entails the exploitation of self to the point at which subjectivity, as a whole, may be viewed objectively. It’s the polar opposite of conceptualist attempts to achieve objectivity by purging all traces of creator-ship. Instead, it seeks to spread the subjective tropes so thickly that those authorial judgements become impossible to individually discern. A perfect example of a ‘mega-subjective’ work is Emma Kay’s Worldview, in which the artist wrote a history of the world entirely from memory: the result, though in essence intensely personal, is nevertheless read less as a reflection of Kay’s knowledge and/or prejudices, more a deeply paratextual work which impels deep investigation into each of our own.
Mega-subjectivity loves maximalism, in scope and/or in execution: every word in the New York Times (or Razzle); Georges Perec’s Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and the Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by me in the Course of the Year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four. Impossible histories, like Kay’s. It loves collectivism: Robert Fitterman’s notion of ‘collective subjectivity’ – also perfectly encapsulated in Ara Shirinyan’s Your Country is Great – enables the heaping-on of subjective elements whose (multiple) purveyors remain anonymous.
Mega-subjectivity does not seek to hold itself up as anything especially radical. Like most art – and without wishing to sound all ‘self-help’ here – it wishes to engage and empower the reader/viewer into plundering their own creative minds by way of achieving some degree of personal fulfilment. It simply proposes what it believes to be the most potent way of doing so. This entails ramping up the evocative aspects (read: accessible, ubiquitous) to the max. To quote the eminent Fluxusian Dick Higgins, whose movement, in its resolutely democratic and non-hierarchical practises, provides an ideal kicking-off point, it is about finding and pulling the reader’s ‘meta-realistic trigger’. Hence, a rejection of the poseur/profit world of the arts-and-books establishment in favour of a common focus on the apparatus of the everyday, and the kind of subject matter that best assails the senses – a sort of neo-Rabelaisian mix of sex, food and/or fairgrounds.
A mega-subjective work might give nostalgia a great big, unashamed bear-hug: It will burst with spontaneity, possibly prurience; it will find a home for your long-forgotten juvenalia. It will be inconsistent and contradictory. It will reveal the tribulations of its journey to fruition, to the extent that it will effectively exist as a paratext – its actual entity rendered secondary to the audacity of the process of having realised the initial idea. It is unlikely to be read conventionally: perhaps, in a page-by-page sense, not at all. It might be rescued from the bowels of a hard-drive, or a Deleted Items folder: note Ubuweb’s Unpublishable section – as its editor Kenneth Goldsmith says, ‘what we once considered to be our trash may, after all, turn out to be our greatest treasure’. Note Harmony Korine’s Mistakist Declaration. Watch Lars Von Trier’s The Idiots (or any other Dogme movies, come to that). Note Keith Haring’s experiments in transcending self by exploiting it. Admire the intrepidity of Madonna’s Sex book. Covet the inconsequential. Revel in irrelevance. Render the impermanent for posterity.
Contact: staniforthmark @ hotmail . co . uk and/or @fryup74