Distribution Automatique

Friday, December 10

Jackson Mac Low: A Few Images

I met Jackson Mac Low in 1967. We both participated
in an anti-war event, blocking the Whitehall Street
Induction Center in November of that year. I found
nyself in a jail cell with Allen Ginsberg, who I had
met a couple of years earlier. I asked Allen if he
knew Jackson Mac Low, whose poetry I had been
avidly reading and researching for the past few months.
As we left jail together, Allen pointed to someone walking
up the street ahead of us. "There he is," Allen said. I
ran up to Jackson and introduced myself. He sent me
a copy of *The Pronouns*, an early, stunningly beautiful serial
poem, written as instructions for dancers, which
has been performed many times, which he had published
himself, in mimeographed form. It has since been republished
a couple of times. By the way, I came back from Berkeley
in late November to attend the trial, only to learn the case was
dismissed, since it was decided we could not really have
been blocking the Center at 7 o'clock in the morning!

Another memory of Jackson is that he was a frequent performer
in Charlotte Moorman's avant-garde festivals in the late 60's
and early 70's.. I and a number of
my friends were also invited to perform in a few of them. An early
one took place on the Staten Island Ferry. I found Jackson in
a corner on the ferry, playing his music on an instrument he
had invented.

Charlotte Moorman {click here}

Jackson Mac Low will surely come to be known as one of the
greatest seminal artists of our era. Due to his convictions about
ego-lessness he was different from the avidly self-promoting artists
and poets of today. His influence is pervasive but as yet remains largely
undocumented and untracked. This is surely one of the reasons for his
constant tendency to carefully date and document his own works,
as perhaps he was conscious of this situation, contributing to his
relative obscurity, which was largely deliberate, and no doubt somewhat frustrating to him.

Despite Jackson's ubiquitous presence throughout his life in
experimental and avant-garde circles (Fluxus, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E,
etc), Jackson's humility, modesty, and unique ideas, kept him
surrounded in mystery; an all the more intriguing figure whose voluminous,
yet consistenty superb work will offer much for critics and art historians to unravel.

I can't recommend too highly, if you are unfamiliar with Jackson's
work, to check out the CD he did with his wife and artistic collaborator,
Anne Tardos titled *Open Secrets*.
Another giant of the New York late 20th Century avant-garde
is Hannah Weiner. Just pubished, Patrick Durgin has created
An Introduction to Hannah Weiner's
Early and Clairvoyant Journals {click here}

Barrett Watten on Jackson Mac Low {click here}
Wood s Lot on Mac Low {click here}
Tim Peterson on Mac Low {click here}