A(n) (always provisional partial) Glossary of/for Dissemination

“It is not enough to install plurivocity within thematics in order to recover the interminable motion of writing. Writing does not simply weave several threads into a single term in such a way that one might end up unravelling all the contents just by pulling a few strings”. (Derrida, Dissemination, 350)

Anglophoben. One in a condition of necessary avoidance of monolingualism, and who adopts a position of transliteracy, operating across modes, beyond, or in addition to linguistic codes. c.f. Macaronic.

Blandnessadj. A state sometimes to be sought after, though if achieved by design it is less satisfying than as a result of laziness. c.f. Lugubrious.

Blitheadj. (1) Facile in/of movement, yet retaining some stickiness; a mode of sliding between concepts and contexts. (2) The composite movement of the swarm. c.f. Chairmen.

Cartsn. plu. Some postulates to navigate by, they may be articulated in a variety of manners, and resist origination.

Categorizingv. One of a number of actions or processes that may be implemented provisionally, and alterations to which or interventions into which must be accepted with grace. c.f. Codified.

Caterplann. A state of overdevelopment in a project, where an excess of discussion or debate has led to stagnation, so there is no longer progress, but there continues a circling or looping or recurrence. c.f. Rebirthing, Resuming.

Chairmenn. plu. Those who facilitate a mediating web that holds tentatively (in tension) for a particular context, allowing for the enfleshing of ideas as gunk builds in a plughole. (The fact that this term is gendered male is noted but passed over for now).

Codifiedv., adj. One of a number of states in which materials or data may be provisionally ordered or gathered by actions or processes, alterations to which or interventions into which must be accepted with grace. c.f. Categorizing; Stacking.

Crawlsv., n. plu. One of a number of actions that may be represented physically, verbally, or in code, and indicating in this case a possibility of reversion to earlier locomotive modes. c.f. Rebirthing; Resuming.

Crooningv. Dismissed by Adorno as a popular singing style that was particularly odious in its aim to lull the masses into soporific dullness, it may be used as an aid to achieving a non-productive state, perhaps as an accompaniment to an act of potlatch. c.f. Crosby, Bing; Adorno, Theodor.

Dollarn. A useful unit of measurement, as it can be applied to all forms or modes, and all other quantifying systems may be expressed in or translated to this base. c.f. Translation.

Duck-rabbitn. The both/and either/or and/or bistable figure described by Wittgenstein. Not to be confused (or may be usefully distinguished from) the ‘Modernist Duck’. A flickering state of continuous undecidability. c.f. Monoliths; Werschler-Henry, Darren, The Tapeworm Foundry.

Ethicaladj. All actions may be judged to be or not to be thus. That said, it is worthless as a measure of anything.

Fingeringv., n. (1) Self-pleasuring or pleasuring that is not product directed. (2) The action of playing the machine or instrument of processual operation; may be developed as a skill. c.f. Onanism.

Ghostn. Revenant, an eternal returning of the spectral. c.f. Rebirthing; Resuming.

Helmsmann. One who guides in and when they have the wheel. This can go in any direction, and direction can be taken from or passed to another at any moment. (The fact that this term is gendered male is noted but passed over for now).

Hi-fin. An indication of an attempt at the impossibility of exact or true translation (without loss or error). An example of a rebirthed term, it may be used for retro effect. c.f. Rebirthing.

Lugubriousadj. The term used to describe a positive or active laziness, though with an acknowledgement of the danger of too much effort being put into its display. c.f. Blandness.

Monolithsn. plu. Such as the Modernist Duck. Without the ability to be read otherwise, having a single authorised meaning or interpretation which is given down from above. .c.f. Van der Rohe, Mies, The Siemens Building; Clarke, Arthur C., 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Nupen. The germ of an idea or atom of process, the clumping or flocking of which is to be facilitated. c.f. Brownian motion; Leibniz, Gottfried.

Onanismn. Dissemination without demand for profit or return, an action referring to itself, or referring to the process without goal (non-teleological). (Be aware also of false or erroneous associations, e.g. ‘The Parable of the Sower’, Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20; Lk 8:4-15.) c.f. Fingering.

Onanisticadj. A state of excess generation, without object (except within the process itself). “We always want to be sure of the uselessness or ruinousness of our extravagance. We want to feel as remote from the world where thrift is the rule as we can.” Bataille c.f. Bataille, Georges; Dali, Salvador; Hugnet, Georges.

One-trace n. A contradictory concept as trace and singularity are incompatible, intended to indicate a heretical or archaic position. c.f. Monoliths; Textile.

Petitn. A touching or overlapping or intersecting of fingertips, of minds, of edges. c.f. Ecotone; Edge-effect; Fingering.

Plain-clothesadj. Always to be noted as a failed disguise. In seeking to be unremarkable the mark generates effect, as an attempt to manufacture the unmarked the subject becomes noticeable. Authority in kicking its traces looks to pass as subject to itself, and destabilises its own order. c.f. Passing; Queer.

Rebirthingn., v. A state of continuous renewal, the web reweaves itself, the network renodes. c.f. Ghost; Hi-fi; Resuming.

Resumingv. A constant state of deferral, or of non-closure. This can allow for the re-deployment of the Avant-Garde c.f. Ghost; Rebirthing.

Samsonn. A hero and riddler. Sighted he scattered and shed, in blindness he pulled down the hegemonic structure.

Shimmeringadj. The state or perception of the flock or swarm when active. c.f. Blithe.

Sirenn. One who lures participants into danger, or provokes them into risk, risk being a prerequisite for making.

Stackingv. One of a number of actions or processes that may provisionally order or gather materials or data, alterations to which or interventions into which must be accepted with grace. c.f. categorising; codified.

Tautadj. The condition of the threads holding in suspense. c.f. Ecotone.

Vestigialadj. The trace of the trace. c.f. Derrida, Jacques.

Walshnessadj. A hybrid term, with an origin in Wales or a perception of Wales as marginal, as hybrid, and as subaltern, and of a sense of possibility of misappropriation, misapprehension and the generative possibility of error. c.f. Anglophobe; Macaronic.

[This text originated in a round table conversation on ‘dissemination’ that took place at L’Animal a l’Esquena, near Girona, Catalunya, Spain on 11th February 2008. The conversation was part of the first Gathering of the MA Contemporary Arts Practice and Dissemination, and brought together students and staff from Dartington College of Arts, L’Animal a l’Esquena, and observers from Berlin, London, and Girona. I developed this glossary in response to some words, phrases, concerns, questions, and ideas that arose in this conversation. The text then formed the basis for a performance lecture on 13th February at L’Animal. The lecture sought to tease out some aspects of ‘dissemination’ as a mode of making and doing contemporary arts. The text owes a debt to Jacques Derrida, and accepts that the fixing of terms in a glossary is incompatible with dissemination as modelled by Derrida. It was published in POST Journal, No. 3, pp 98-99, University College Falmouth, June 2008.]


Mark Leahy