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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Almost Any Shit Will Do
by Spero, Emji, M.F.A., Mills College, 2014, 27; 1557506
Abstract (Summary)

This statement attempts to document, contextualize, and critically ground the thesis work that Emji Spero completed as part of the Mills College MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing degree. The work, Almost Any Shit Will Do, exists at the intersection between writing, book art, installation, and performance. The magnitude of this project necessitated the collaborative effort of many bodies, and as such, is best articulated in the collective wall text, written by Jess Marks Gale and Emji Spero, that accompanied their exhibition, This Body Public: this work was "an attempt to map intangible sites of intersection, the boundaries of porous bodies in the moment of encounter, and this space that betweens us."

ALMOST ANY SHIT WILL DO This thesis project included: (1) The writing of a book-length work of poetry, titled almost any shit will do. (2) The digital typesetting, design, and material production of two editions of almost any shit will do: a gate fold artist's book, and a soft cover trade book with letterpressed covers. Both editions were released through Timeless, Infinite Light. (3) An installation of embroidered panels featuring text from almost any shit will do. This text was connected with thread across the space of the gallery as part of This Body Public at Johansson Projects, alongside Jess Marks Gale's installation, Stay, from 21 March to 11 April 2014. (4) A performance of the work in which Emji Spero attempted to read excerpts from almost any shit will do; this reading was continually interrupted by the body of the artist collapsing to the ground.

CRITICAL THESIS This document includes: (a) An preface that hopes to ground the work, documenting the process of writing almost any shit will do, and providing a critical framework that serves to contextualize the writing; (b) A brief description of the work and the introduction "On the Process," excerpted from the book; (c) The text of almost any shit will do (see: additional materials); (d) Documentation and production notes on the creation of both editions of the text: the gate fold artist's book and the soft cover trade book; (e) Some critical reflections and documentation of the installation for This Body Public at Johansson Projects; (f) Description and documentation of the performance of almost any shit will do by Emji Spero at Johansson Projects on 11 April 2014; (g) A somatic transcription of the performance, written by Ivy Johnson; (h) Video of the audience during the performance, shot by Otis Pig and subtitled with Johnson's somatic transcription of the performance (see: additional materials)

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chen, Julie, Tran, Truong
School: Mills College
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Fine arts, American literature, Performing Arts, Creative writing
Keywords: Event, Horizontalism, Mycelium, Original writing, Poetry, Rhizome, Riot
Publication Number: 1557506
ISBN: 978-1-303-94966-1
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