Bram Thomas Arnold: Manifesto’s and manifestations.
Special issue of Trail Mix produced in the wake of Footwork III.
Trail Mix is a fortnightly radio show produced for Source FM in Falmouth, Cornwall. This special issue takes the manifesto workshop in Hayle as its starting point. It is a 2 hour journey through a record collection, a library, a gallery, a version of the world and the fog of the Mexico Towans, Hayle, the salt of the air and the mist on the wind.
Includes a reading of The Hayle Manifesto complied by WAN over a weekend in March 2015 and I AM FOR AN ART by Bram Thomas Arnold which has most recently been performed at the Hall For Cornwall in Truro and the Independent School of Art, Falmouth, transcript below.
I am for an art.
Manifesto performance for Where to?
Bram Thomas Arnold. 2015.
I am for an art that is initially perambulatory,
But I am also for sitting down.
And there I am for an art that follows with a pen.
In a hand, whose newly noted existence has become,
A strange new corner of the universe:
Face the horizon, take your first step, towards a sea, that is always leaving,
A horizon, you will never reach.
I am for an art that is an attempt at recall, at contradiction,
in the face of futility, in the face of hope, in the name of whiskey, in the name of dope, in the name of the father, and in the name of the son
And I am for an art that is ecology,
For eco is the greek word for home
And home is where the record player is
So I am for an art that is cut onto vinyl,
And I am for an art that is absolute, and final.
And I am for an art that is mine, and yours, and nobody’s really.
For I am for an art that is brutal, and kind.
I am for whatever promises I promised on the campaign trail
For when you win, I am for an art that is brutal. And kind.
And I am for an art that is leaving you,
I am for the old ways, the old straight track,
The reveries of a solitary walker and the rings of Saturn,
The radicant: the horizon, the ethnographic I, and oblivion.
And I am for using a field guide to getting lost in woodlands
For I am for chasing the deer through the smeuse at dawn, but.
Oh whats the use, I am for the blue of distance
A history of our infinite longing and dusty penguins
Picked off floors, from under cupboards
Where I found these notes, long ago that read:
I am for futility, contradiction and hope,
I am for an art that futilely hopes for contradiction,
That hopefully contradicts futility and
I am for an art that contradicts futile hope,
And I am for an art that is subjective, neglective,
Ambivalent and resilient,
mine and yours,
and nobodys’ really.
And I am for an art that is “coming soon”
And I am for an art that is brutal, and kind.
And I am for an art that is old not young,
And real, not fake, and made of something I can damn well understand
Like paper, and pencils, or maps, or pins,
Of tents, and pegs and rocks and things so here’s a list,
If you ever plan to make art use this:
Apples, ammonites, artefacts from other places, books, bottles, beauty, contradiction, concentration, capitalism, communities, desire, destruction, desecration, and desertion, ethanol, earth, ephemera, and ecologies, fate and futility, grit and determination, hope, always hope, inventories, lists even!, journeys, joyful…c o n s i d e r a t i o n, luck, love, laughter, money, matches, mystery and myth, nothing, make art out of nothing, or other things, people, places, positions and porosity, quarks and quantum physics, reality and ruthlessness, stupidity and simplicity, time and thoughtfulness, ultimatums and unknowns, virtuosity and variables, wit and willing, and walking, and walking, and writing, and talking, Xerox machines Xanax, youth and your own self, and if you’re going to try and sell it, zeros, lots of zeros.
I, am for falling apart, and putting back together again,
I am for pilgrimage, and isolation and
I am for an art that is brutal and kind
And I am for an art that is, no no, wait am I I am am I… I am, am
I am for an art that is brutal and kind
I am for an art that is neglected, for being quiet,
And obscured for being subtle,
And hidden for being found.
I am for myth, and I am for geography,
For footprints in the sand, and time, held in your hand.
For I saw the sign and it opened up my mind,
To brutality and to being kind and
I am for an art that is brutal
Brutal, and kind, and I am for an art
That is brutally kind.