properties of transmission and deflection.
the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public.
"the issue itself is secondary"
Garrett Tiedemann: The last Avid Consultant came a year ago. I trust in the lapse of time solidifies. This one is her reliance. The last traces of recumbent hesitance. The directions in this issue of Avid Consultant have been gathering in my car, in my mind, for an unknown amount of time.
Garrett (on phone): The sensations influence aesthetic choices and creativity. They all, at least for me, they all elicit an idea. Whether it be audio or visual that starts to frame your understanding of the moment that is much more nostalgic and poetic than maybe it actually was. But, it doesn't negate what it actually was. It's just that it's there's so many things constructed into the recollection.
Tania Ketenjian: To why did I want to be part of it was because I thought OK. I mean, I've told Julie this story several times. One day I was actually for Weekend America, way back when like 12 years ago, I was gathering vox in front of this cafe here in San Francisco. And I I start talking to someone and they were like oh do you know do you know do you know Julie, she's in radio? And I was like, yeah I do. He said, YOU KNOW HERE? OH MY GOD SHE'S AMAZING. I LOVE HERE. And he was just crazy about her.
And I remember, and he's this guy named Chicken John and he wanted to be a mayor of San Francisco, he's a real character. And it made me realize wow, I mean like the circle that Julie runs in like the various circles that she runs and are fascinating. And I want to be part of that. And I think you know I think that sometimes we, you know we do all these different things to befriend or even deepen a friendship or even any sort of connection that's there. And you know, Julie I may not talk at all unless we see each other at a conference. We may not know about each other's lives necessarily, but we are connected in a way and I value that connection and an opportunity to deepen that, even if it's just by sending in a Shel Silverstein poem is exciting to me.
Garrett: The dictionary at my elbow, a different sort of weapon consulted regularly, confirms the suspicion regarding a slow leak in spelling skills, which has led to a fascination with words misspelled versus words miss typed versus words misbolded.
Is atrophy audible?
Let's try that again.
Miyuki Jokiranta: I'm apparently in a soundproof booth Garrett, but there are people outside and I fear you might get some bleed so. I'm sorry if that's the case. OK.
Julie Shapiro: I think I would sit down and kind of you know start very very in the moment and spiral out from there when I was writing so I can imagine things like well it's 2:00 a.m. in the morning I'm trying to finish this up and so this you know excuse this intro for whatever reasons. And that might just have been an anchor anchoring me into a mindset for writing more about things. I mean a lot of those early issues are also, that's all handwritten. So, it might have just been stream of conscious in the moment you know not really pre-written and edited and reshaped and reformatted just a total brain dump in the moment and that's probably when I would be most susceptible to describing what I was doing and where I was and why. Why the circumstances,if I was on the road like the New Zealand. Now switching to Avid Consultant, the New Zealand issue was really circumstantial. It was, to a play on words would be, it was it was quite the Anodyne to my situation, which was I had developed a stress fracture while backpacking around New Zealand and needed a project to keep me occupied and so I did an issue of Avid Consultant. You know that sort of got it started while I was laid up on somebody's couch in Dunedin and then you know sort of brought that process as closely as I could to my New Zealand experience, which involved being in the Wellington public library. I remember that the kind of trope for that whole issue was washing, putting clothes out on a clothes line and washing things because I found a kind of funny manual on that that visually was you know kind of stimulated some ideas about, to play with I guess. But yes, that was very circumstantial and I think you get a lot of that like what was going on and the mechanics of how that one came together actually in the text.
Garrett (on phone): Yeah, I'm holding that edition.
Garrett: Two pieces of advice. Never make any big life decisions in your 20s that concern another person. You can't hold the baby too much.
Garrett (on phone): Is there a gap between Anodyne and Avid Consultant or did you just kind of change gears?
Julie: They overlap and I think I just, you know after 10 or 11 issues I was ready for something a little different.
Garrett: Samples from Avid Consultant. Do you know how to find your way?
Six. So the search continues. Direction is always sought even as we stand still, content. How to get there, the destination itself is barely relevant. A travel partner must want to play travel games and like to hear women singing the blues and Sonic Youth.
Angeline Gragásin: I mean I think what. What was engaging was the fact that it's a game and I have you know I haven't played a game like this since I was a kid. I haven't done a chain letter or I mean I barely send things through the mail anymore. Well, actually I think I started sending postcards again maybe around the time that I...I think that's true. I think that may be true.
Garrett (on phone): That's interesting.
Angeline: Yeah, because I was like oh that's pretty easy. That was pretty easy I could just buy a whole box of postcards. Yeah, I actually I think, you know what, I think that might have been what inspired me to start doing that. Yeah.
Garrett (on phone): And then are you keeping them strictly like, what's done of the postcard gets mailed and you're not taking an image to remember it or post it anywhere? Is it really sort of kept to the material thing?
Angeline: Yeah. I'm not documenting it and I'm not, there's no project dimension. It's not a project it's actually just thank you letters to friends.
Allyson McCabe: But, I think that's probably a generational perspective to some extent to feel that anything that's physical feels a little bit more real a little less ephemeral.
Julie: And I felt like that Avid Consultant was going to be more of a writing project and I wanted to simplify actually. I remember thinking like this one will be simpler, it won't rely on other people's input because you know I'd always have to wait for these signs to come back. Which wasn't a bad thing, it just created its own rhythm, that I was dependent on other people to finish an issue and get it out with Anodyne. And Avid Consultant was just just my stuff. Possibly to a problematic extent, but who knows.
In reading back through I sort of had this horrifying conclusion like oh my god I was kind of writing poetry and it's really...horrifying is the wrong word. But I never thought of it as like, you know, a poetry project at all, but I could see that I was grasping to have some formality and metaphor and rhythm in a way that wasn't just like you know a journal spill. It was like a very distilled sense of what the journal spill would have been in a much more, presented in a much more sort of fake, casual, formal sense to some degree.
Allyson: But, you know, zines in general they were meant to be ephemeral. Now we have zine libraries, there's many different archives for zines. Some are online but some of them are physical, attached to libraries like for example Washington D.C. has a whole the whole punk archive to itself as part of the Washington DC library. Others are attached to universities like Barnard has one. I believe University of Maryland has one. I'm sure there are many many others, but they weren't intended to be kept forever. They ended up being kept forever because people started to see the value in them. I think more than maybe some of the makers did at the time when they were first distributed.
Unknown Woman (archive tape): Those of us interested in innovated forms of zine archiving must find a way around the limited to digitize or not to digitize argument that to me seems to dominate many conversations of digital zine preservation. We need interactive ways to display interface with zines that offer new engagements with their multiple materialities and contested histories. Fortunately sub-cultural archival practices already exist that can tell us what zinesters want for and from their archives. Practices that in theory can also benefit the zine researchers and librarians who are interested in the thriving social worlds that cluster around these vibrant, queer little booklets and this notion of a perverse materiality that was brought up is really interesting there. So to take advantage of such culturally saturated technologies., however, we need to are fully reckon with why zines matter and the particular ways that they do.
Garrett: Agitate. Briar patch.
While slipping into a nap the other day it occurred to me that this experience has wandered into a prickly layer of grammatical metaphor. Just at dusk. Can't shake the notion now and I'm suffering from constant realizations confirming the theory. The initial diagnosis was an army of commas, forcing an inescapable pause in travel, announcing contingency from every angle commencing the duel between patients and restlessness.
Julie: And that also reminds me about sticker packs; for a while I was making these sticker packs and sending those around. I think just the packaging, I was thinking of like I bought this like huge bulk you know package of clear envelopes that you could stick things into and would make a really cheap crappy stickers at Kinko's on sticker paper and they were like totally ironic and one was like Terry Bradshaw, is that his name? They were so not stickers you'd want to put anywhere. And that was kind of the point I guess. But that felt really important. And then I made like the sticker, I had a sticker and went on a rampage around Portland putting stickers that said too many stickers on all the cars that were covered with political, you know feel good...that was even Boulder too actually when this all started in Boulder. You know when there's so much PC, that pageantry of like how many bumper stickers can you get on your car. So I thought it was really clever to put on a sticker that said too many stickers on those cars.
It was vandalism actually although they were so crappy I'm sure they wiped off with like the first drizzle. So, I hope. Yeah that was my activism back in the day, stickering cars with too many stickers.
Miyuki: I didn't have any hesitation at the time in contributing; when I knew of the project, when I was invited to participate. It was kind of a no brainer. But I had a lot of hesitation around what I would actually write in that blank square, in that blank rectangle, held up by those two people, very earnest, very committed people holding this sign, ready to kind of present your words. And so what I ended up writing was stop and listen.
And then listen deeper.
And why did I write that? Because I tried writing a bunch of other things about the state of politics, about personal revelations, about you know grand poetry. And I just came back to a trope of mine which is to keep your ears open and to navigate the world through your ears. And to wake the ears as much as you do any other sense.
Julie: I had this amazing sociology teacher in seventh grade Mr. Rasashi and his mantra was be observant. It was like above the door you know. Now I think about that a lot. I think all of zine making is being observant and inviting other people to be observant. And not only be observant, but you know kind of share your observations or express them in some ways. So I didn't kind of act on making Anodyne into anything. But a lot of the stories I've happened to have the opportunity and great fortune to make could easily have been Anodyne articles I guess you could say you know competitive model horse collecting or a love letter to a racehorse or you know a soundscape from Africa. Like the audio pieces I've really love or that piece I shared with you about memory and watching the day after, like that felt like an audio version of Anodyne to me.
Garrett: Consider what you need. It's a ward. Rains a gonna fall.
Whitney Henry-Lester: I feel like. Like I have no capacity to put a pin in my own curiosity and my own curiosity for information so the Internet is actually really bad for me and I know this is true for a lot of people but this is how I feel it for me. I can just be on the Internet trying to find information for a long time and then forget I'm doing it hours later. And so. And that's true with story telling like I'm obsessed with storytelling so I'm constantly listening or looking or reading or on Transom or trying to find out what people are saying about it or just looking and listening to other people's work. I love doing that. But at some point you have to stop doing that. And I have to be intentional about stopping doing that. So I have to sort of give myself parameters like, this week I'm going to make rather than listen or...Just sort of setting like specific timeframes for doing specific things and making time for making work rather than listening or being a part of the conversation because you can be a part of that all the time but for me it's less about balance and more about like; or less about constant 24 hour balance, but more about like day to day I need to break it up that way. If that makes sense.
Unknown Male (archive tape): By means of printing the fund of knowledge accumulated through the ages is available to everyone great and poor alike.
Julie: I don't have access; Kinko's is different, I don't know people at Kinkos. I think it would actually be hard to put the magazine together or the zine together without putting a lot more time into it.
Garrett (on phone): Well yeah, because so many, I mean Kinkos don't even really exist anymore do they?
Julie: No, it's like FedEx Kinko's and you have to pre-pay everything so you can't get anything for free. God damn it. And like people they just don't seem as nice. I mean this whole culture of like punks working at Kinko's, I just don't think it happens anymore. For whatever reason.
Garrett (on phone): Well that's interesting because then it becomes a lot more people kind of working alone in the room right.
Julie: Yeah yeah.
Garrett (on phone): Which, part of this whole was the community building even if it was just the community building with the person helping you print it.
Julie: Yeah, totally. Yeah that kind of late night/early morning feel to the air you know that whole thing of being out in the world at that time and under fluorescent lights for too long and taking a break in the parking lot and definitely having snacks or beers or whatever. It was a thing, it was a whole process. Again it was process, you know, it was like how it got made.
Garrett: Line drying. Made in New Zealand. Avid Consultant the circumstantial issue has taken shape 18 hours ahead of most of you under the influence of mediocre painkillers and some realizations maybe better left unrealized.
Hanging out is easier if clothes basket is at waist level.
Footnote. The unexpected interruption in my trip, didn't even hear the bone crack, renders the crystal ball hanging from my backpack more useless than usual. As cloudy as the skies hanging over Dunedin these past few weeks.
Siri: Hello. Still enjoying. One thought. You may want to re-track; the proper pronunciation of the city's name is dun-EE-din.
Garrett: Sound. The sound is important because it influences everything. Jingly jangly guitar playing, minimal bass lines, loose strumming, and keyboards. This is a place. The sound of a place that traveled far beyond the confines of its borders to pull people in and influence out.
I'm told it might be six weeks before mending is complete. Regardless of my newly introduced lightning quick recovery program. A stubborn foot remains reluctant to cooperate. Meanwhile I've taken up residence on a very purple couch at the top of a long stairway. My exponentially generous friend lives above a camera shop downtown. When shops close up around 6:00 the rushing around out there relocates quickly.
As if it's a race. The street asserts a determined quiet; placing the day's letters of constant retail drone. My ears cling to the emptiness. Still. Dunedin is a fortunate place to be grounded. All Staples are within hobbling distance and access to books music and caffeine is plentiful. The days pass by hook or crook. Been watching old movies, taking pictures of letter slots, sewing envelopes close and sending them to the other side of the world, spilling guts, concocting, excavating.
Garrett (on phone): So much of this seems to speak to grasping at the ideas in your head with the world as it is, but necessitating new things to become available. So, like, you know in reading something, finding a rhythm and finding a pacing like it starts to speak to the idea of this being more than words on a page for someone else to read, but being something that needs to be presented in a certain way which necessitates a certain recording musicality presentation of it which sort of then sets you on a path of what becomes podcasting where you're able to present the words the way you want them to be presented.
Julie: I think too, Avid moved into a physical space as well, like that issue that you have, one of them has rings, oh it doesn't have rings because I couldn't send them, but it was held together by like little claspy metal rings. So it came off the paper. And there was another issue that really stands on my mind. The theme was bullfighting which seemed very profound at the time and I had some great graphics and you know. But it was, I just remember it being like such a nightmare to package because I decided to put each page on a different shape of construction paper and then I would glue on the words on like a white piece of paper. But some were going horizontally and some were going vertically so it was actually...Avid was also more expensive to make, which makes no sense at all, like you try to get better and more efficient at things. But, because there were always pieces parts to it and then figuring out how to send it, but I didn't send around as many either so it probably all evened out in the wash.
Garrett (on phone): Something that seems so important to the consumption of these as well as to the making, very much seems the tactility of it. So, like, even though it was a pain to start with, how Avid Consultant went, like you still did it. Do you see that? And, like, can you articulate why you think tactility was a focus as part of it?
Julie: I do remember the process and still I think we've talked a little bit about what's brought me back to doing Anodyne again is the processes is like 75 percent of the joy and the reward. And back with Avid it was like the process times 100 because, I wish I could remember how many I would make of each, but it was like kind of a factory assembly line basically you know and I just I loved that process. I mean now I would just be listening to podcasts the whole time, but then it was just like a total music bliss out experience of being productive, feeling like I was getting things done, being very satisfied. I mean I've never been a visual artist in the kind of drawing, painting realm. S,o I think for me feeling like I was succeeding in at least putting something together that I was proud of and ended up the way I wanted it to be was like by figuring out these small constructions and then putting them together and then you know that's the beauty of like having the actual thing in your hand to read. Another thing I miss terribly which is again what's pulling me back to doing it again, but definitely definitely that the object in your hands mattering and sitting out.
Garrett: To always avoid risk is to often miss the point. Codification need not be strictly functional or as formal as we're taught or as innocent. Invention should continue, this molding of language, we are after all somewhat bound by it. So certainly deserves some say in the matter.
By the end of this, I'm running out of clothes pins and have weighed enough decisions and striving for sensibility to bust the scales. But there are times when a bothersome foot injury seems less relevant than other circumstances hovering. Like Plan B. Or that a dog will remember me in a country about to escape war.
Garrett: So, if you'd like to play the kids with sign game. Or already have and would like to play again. Or know someone who you think might like to play. Or need some advice. Or want a Connie Francis tape. Or just feel like ranting about the general chaos that seems imminent. Or perhaps you'd like to rave about it. Please send your comments along with a brief statement to Anodyne.