these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Oct 3, 2011

chip away



Roz Ito said...

The other day I read an interview of Foucault where he talks about a certain ethical ideal in ancient Greek culture which he thinks is missing from modern Western culture-- the ideal of living a beautiful existence, of improving oneself constantly and treating one's own life as a work of art. And how the written notebook (which was a new piece of technology at the time, people debated whether it was a good or bad thing to have the written word replace the practice of memory) was integral to the pursuit of this ideal of the beautiful existence as work of art. I immediately thought of your writings here. I'm paraphrasing it all a bit clumsy here, with I had the interview in front of me. I'll try to type in some passages when I get back to the book. Hope you are well!

Roz Ito said...

wish I had the interview...!

(am lisping in type today)

angela simione said...

roz! thank you so much for this! yes, type as many excerpts here as you want! i'd love to read his interview! i am taking a heavy turn toward philosophy right now (mostly sartre. he suits my life at present. and also Germaine Greer) so it would be wonderful to read. the idea of this - the notebook as integral to the pursuit of such a beautiful ideal - makes me blush and encourages me at the same time. diarykeeping has become integral to my life as a whole. i cannot imagine my life without it. in fact, a life without writng would not be my life at all. on my drive to work today i was thinking how necessary language has been to my life. words. words have absolutely made my world. they are the things through which i learn, know, see, and experience. all my greatest ecstacies are experienced through language... the sounds of words, the rumble of voices. and the beauty of script has begun to achieve the same elevated importance.

i was reading your Philospher's Head last night. i will finish it tonight. maybe your AV could have a healthy career as a written of high-brow erotica? :) i'm enjoying it all very much! so good to see you back in action!!!

angela simione said...

writeR of erotica. i am a lispy typist too! ha!

Roz Ito said...

Hi Angela… hey, Blackland has a new look! I like this courier font in the comments. So I finally have a bit of time to sit in front of the monitor with that Foucault interview and will type a few selected passages to paste into your commentbox. I have to say, I like your description of my story as highbrow erotica! I’m writing that one down in my notebook…

Anyway, the Foucault… these are selections from an interview he did with Paul Rabinow and Hubert Dreyfus in 1983… turns out the notebook part is more about copying/transcribing than exploratory writing, but the two modes seem complementary to one another, both are about the notebook being a guide. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do:

“What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?”

“What interest me in the Hellenistic culture, in the Greco-Roman culture, starting from about the third century B.C. and continuing until the second or third century after Christ, is a precept for which the Greeks had a specific word, epimeleia heautou, which means taking care of one’s self. It does not mean simply being interested in oneself, nor does it mean having a certain tendency to self-attachment or self-fascination. Epimeleia heautou is a very powerful word in Greek which means working on or being concerned with something. For example, Xenophon used the word epimeleia heautou to describe agricultural management. The responsibility of a monarch for his fellow citizens was also epimeleia heautou. That which a doctor does in the course of caring for a patient is epimeleia heautou. It is therefore a very powerful word; it describes a sort of work, an activity; it implies attention, knowledge, technique.”

“We have hardly any remnant of the idea in our society, that the principal work of art which one has to take care of, the main area to which one must apply aesthetic values, is oneself, one’s life, one’s existence. We find this in the Renaissance, but in a slightly academic form, and yet again in nineteenth-century dandyism, but those were only episodes.”

“Current interpreters see in the critique of the hypomnemata in the Phaedrus a critique of writing as a material support for memory. Now, in fact, hypomnemata has a very precise meaning. It is a copybook, a notebook. Precisely this type of notebook was coming into vogue in Plato’s time for personal and administrative use. This new technology was as disrupting as the introduction of computer into private life today.”

“In the technical sense, the hypomnemata could be account books, public registers, individual notebooks serving as memoranda. Their use as books of life, guides for conduct, seems to have become a current thing among a whole cultivated public. Into them one entered quotations, fragments of works, examples, and actions to which one had been witness or of which one had read the account, reflections or reasonings which one had heard or which had come to mind. They constituted a material memory of things read, heard, or thought, thus offering these as an accumulated treasure for rereading and later meditation.”

angela simione said...

roz!!! thank you!!!! this is so amazing of you! you have warmed my heart and given me a wealth of steam for the fight, for making, for striving. onward! always! i will be thinking of these quotes so much from here on out. i love this idea of building one's own life in the same spirit as one makes a piece of art. an artful, poetic approach to living. to self-creation. and so... the quest for self-knowledge/self-realization is an artful one? i love that. i will say more about this soon. and linked to that:

yes, it was time for a make-over. the personality of this place needed to be updated. more changes are on the way, i'm sure, but for now the new look pleases me. glad you like the new direction. :)