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Redux is Latin for return, and to be Redux is to believe in the mythos of return within the scope of the materials at hand: repetition, obsessive motion, the turning of wheels (but always with a slightly different wobble), the loss that is in–not of– the loss in things.

There can be no “loss” of materials. All materials are permanent within the laws of transformation of matter into energy and back again, and yet all materiality carries loss within it, is made ontologically relevant, becomes a form of being via the loss that inspirits it–through the stop action of decay, through the incremental, minute changes of a thing as it is exists within the realm of the visible, the auditory, the tactile, the olfactory, and the seeming “stability” of its structures and mechanisms.

Redux advocates the intrinsic need to work with one’s stupidity as well as intelligence when concerning the realm of art–one must be stupid with awe, with wonder, with intent, with bafflement. One must be “Stupere”–knocked out of one’s senses.

All things, especially the smallest details, the fractional and fractal banalities of form must be perceived as a blooming forth of the stupendous, a word directly related to stupidity.

Redux is about being amazed and uncool, a fucking ontological cheerleader, but not in the tawdry sense of positive thinking. Rather, one is cheering on decay as well as health. One is saying yes to the maw of the ugly as well as the beautiful. Paint on boards, and if there are nails in the boards, leave them in. Invite the asymmetrical, not as a binary to the symmetrical, but as a possibility of releasing vital energies.

Redux believes above all in pont-consciousness, the leaping between disparate things, ideas, sensory moments so that new arcs and dynamics of relationship (and disrelationship) may form.

Above all, Redux encourages art dynamics that “almost” cohere–close to unity, but not exactly, a craftiness that just resists craft, a knowing that dissipates.

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Joe Weil is a lecturer at SUNY Binghamton and has several collections of poetry out there, A Portable Winter (with an introduction by Harvey Pekar), The Pursuit of Happiness, What Remains, Painting the Christmas Trees, and, most recently, The Plumber's Apprentice, published by New York Quarterly Press. He makes his home in Vestal, New York.

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  • lewis levenberg June 6, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Fair enough. I’d hoped this would catch your eye… I’ve been thinking about the points of contact between stupefaction and labor: I think it comes down not necessarily to sacrifice of what one has, but to a willingness to suffer…

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