We live in a volatile era where traditional modes of expression do not suit the times; words or appearances cannot be taken at face value since “the time is out of joint”.1 20th century poet Ezra Pound emphasized self-education or the ABC’s of reading; he coined the word ‘paideuma’ to express the gristly roots of ideas that are in action. The Ouxpo Project encourages contributors to re-formulate their art-making approach, even developing Ouxpian designs from materials sometimes ignored or muted—similar to daily events or recent catastrophes. Submitted works should illustrate a new end via the means of constraint. Form can follow function, where the function is to progress—not just in terms of creating any said beauty where inherited aesthetics are regressive. The Ouxpo Project is not to be conflated with adopted ideologies or universal values.
Ouxpo offers ways to find untapped inspiration and methodologies for precise execution within works, for results that have the capacity to alter perception, the validity of meaning, and in turn: the future. This forthcoming valeveil collection is nostalgic for the future.2 Exactitude is an exercise in power and control—areas that affect not only the sphere of art but society and culture. If we do not experiment with theories, stratagem, hypotheses, rules, and regulations, it may be impossible to reduce error. Change begins at the gristly roots and with art’s ability to be more than it is—or currently appears to be.
Background: valeveil‘s Ouxpian designs are influenced by Oulipian axioms a.k.a. Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Workshop for Potential Literature). This project attempts to add a strand to the Oulipian legacy—or more precisely, to an evolved (N)oulipo. By definition, constraint is the basic element in Oulipian practice, where artists adhere to a strict and clearly definable rule, method, procedure, or structure that generates every work.3 The constraint is not an imposition, but rather: a support, an aid to invention, an enjoyment of form (and art is a question of form) and liberation from the tyranny of the message. The Ouxpian ambition: to increase the range of what is available for the artist in way of materials, as well as surfaces, techniques, procedures, subjects, viewpoints, and theories. Oulipian co-founder Raymond Queneau stated that Oulipians are rats who construct the labyrinth from which they plan to escape. What can be said of Ouxpians?
valeveil is currently accepting submissions for this project.
1. William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 5.
2. Jalal Toufic, Undying Love or Love Dies (Sausalito, CA : The Post-Apollo Press, 2002), 21.
3. Eds. Mathews & Brotchie, Oulipo Compendium (Los Angeles, CA : Make Now Press, 2005), 277 & 286.