The Art of Compression

Check out this nifty new journal, as well as its
accompanying press, Matter Press:
photo: Diem Chau
In my graduate fiction workshop, we've been talking
about the power of hybrid work to encompass
the best traits of each genre. I like the phrase
"compressed creative arts" so much; finally
an aesthetic I can call my own! Not fiction, not nonfiction,
not poetry -- just tiny things. And when I google
"tiny things" I come up with this fabulous blog:
and from there to Diem Chau's art:
photo: Diem Chau

and now I'm back to dolls and miniatures,
the subject of my forthcoming book Doll Studies:
Forensics. My grad class is also exploring dance
as a trigger for writing, so I've been reflecting on
ways my background in dance (ballet) might have
influenced me as a writer. I know that compression
is absolutely central to my aesthetic, and that I actually
feel it in my body when I write. Pulling in and up,
like dancing on pointe. Maybe if I were a marathon
runner I'd be writing long, loopy novels. And of course,
these days I'm not dancing, but I do spend lots of time
in a very hot room, practicing Bikram yoga. Central
to this practice (contrary to popular thought on yoga)
is compression, not stretching. Take rabbit pose:
photo: Bikram Yoga White Rock
or standing head to knee:
photo: Bikram Yoga White Rock
I wonder sometimes, when I'm sweating in hundred degree heat,
how much of an influence a practice based on contraction
and release, based on compressing the body (rather than
stretching) has had on my obsession with prose blocks.
In other news, I recommend livestream Al Jazeera
and Rachel Maddow for updates on the Egyptian revolution:
image: Al Jazeera
Finally, because laughter is the best form of decompression,
here's "Julie & Brandy in your box office." Love them!
photo:Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard


Sara said…
Another tiny ref: