Friday, April 17, 2009
Friday April 17th, 2009.
Portuguese Park @ Marie Anne & St. Laurent (across from Leonard Cohen's house)
Four residencies were had today. 16 pages total. Forty sore fingers.
Anna J. McIntyre
It was a beautiful day to sit in the park and run the first day of residencies.
Everyone did a great job of delving into their own words and immersing themselves in public while the clack of the typewriter competed with sirens and construction. Pigeons and pedestrians posed gawking obstacles but everyone seemed very pleased to watch me push someone in a wheel chair typing to their hearts content. At times it felt as though we entered a bubble that excluded all that whirled around us.
Writers had the option of remaining stationary in the park or going for an assisted stroll. The stationary spectacle in the park allowed bypassers to observe the writer's habits and patterns. Pushing the cart proved to be an interesting psychological experiment. Writing has become such a non-physical venture nowadays. What with computers we try to tell stories by hitting the same button over and over again. I'll always thought it was fascinating that writing by hand with a pen built muscle memory that triggered creative brain patterns. The digital realm provides mostly visual and auditory distraction, none of the texture of real writing. Using a typewriter though is also an odd action as it demands a considerable physical output to write. It becomes very methodical. The typewriter coupled with being pushed around on a wheelchair proves to create an wonderful rhythm as the typing sound clacks against brick and the wheels dip and drop in each sidewalk split.
Speaking with Kim Fu this afternoon we discussed how she was able to focus her attention even when rolling thorugh the intersection of Mont-Royal and St. Laurent. It seems that the Nomadesk creates a pretty strong physical experience. Motion -in the Futurist sense- is constantly felt. The filling of peripheral vision. Fingers pushing keys. The changing smells of streets - burning meat, garbage, spring dirt, coffee, dog poo, the buds of plants. The rumbling beneath your bum, the bounce of the wheels. It all adds up to be a strong sensory load, and yet each author did a stellar job of staying focused and productive in their environment.
Tomorrow is another day. Four more residents are slotted in at the CCA and the FOFA and there are two more open spaces. Five more residents on Sunday in Parc Lafontaine.