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                  or AN INCOMPLETE
                  A to Z FOR ART & POETRY 

Matthew STUART 

                    Alongside Kate BRIGGS;
                    Quinn LATIMER;
                    Ashanti HARRIS;
                    Alex BALGIU;
                    Naomi PEARCE;
                    Johann DRUCKER;
                    Helen MARTIN;
                    Karen Di FRANCO;
                    Kevin LOTERY;
                    Sophie COLLINS;
                    Holly PESTER;
                    Louis LÜTHI;
                    Sophie SEITA;
                    Joyce DIXON;
                    Daisy LAFARGE;
                    Rebecca MAY JOHNSON;
                    SLAVS & TATARS;
                    Phil BABER;
                    Caroline BERGVALL;
                    Ursula K. Le GUINN;
                    Catalina BARROSO-LUQUE;
                    & C.K. OGDEN ...


BRICKS FROM THE KILN is a semi-yearly journal and multifarious publishing platform that we edit/run together. It was established in mid-2015 to support critically minded and explorative writing on and around art, design and literature. We’ll be reading fragments from/across/through BFTK#4 and #5, our latest releases. As a continually shifting platform that draws together and speaks through so many different writers, contributors and collaborators, it felt only right to offer something intertextual and multi-mouthed.”

(Mahler & LeWitt, London)

         Order a copy direct
         from the publisher
         here ...




I want to claim that translation is this: a form of again-writing. A distinct form of again-writing. Taking its position among many promising, many vital and various forms of again-writing.


So, with a bold swing of my arm, I call all writings that work with and within this constraint (again-writing with a significant fabric switch) translation.

—from Kate BRIGGS,‘Translation and a Lipogram:
Or, On Forms of Again-Writing and No- (or Not That-)Writing,’
              BFTK#4, pp. 23 & 25.


            Book as Object / Statue

As soon as I read the written word, an in-animate object—statue or book—becomes a thinking being. Such speaking objects seem to be given (or loaned) internal life (even if it is borrowed, from the writer or the reader).

—from Quinn LATIMER,‘Signs Sounds, Metals, Fires,
or An Economy of Her Reader,’
              BFTK#5, p. 105.


            A Call and Response

But what words are really mine in this tumultuous cacophony of polyphonic noise, screaming, crying, laughing, articulating. A sonority of contrapuntal voices. An overwhelming rabble of ranting, chanting, singing, whistling, hissing and whispering. The connections are infinite, whirling into what feels like an eternity ...

—from Ashanti HARRIS, ‘A Séance: A Call and Response,’
              BFTK#5, p. 139.



Gedankenstrich? A gesture—speaks (it’s an em, the language of breathing—writes (it’s the language of moving)—connects (it’s the language of joyning)—lives dashlingly! Lives.

Alex BALGIU’s accompanying text to Astrid SEME,
‘Baroness Elsa’s Em Dashes,’
              BFTK#5, throughout.


            Every Contact Leaves a Trace

From this slither of space, a cavity between the exterior wall of the building and the partition wall of the gallery, I read my writing aloud. A head mic carries my voice along cables, through a hole and into the white cube where a papier-mache model of an enlarged otic capsule (a bone found in the inner ear) transmits my voice into the otherwise empty room. The gallery becomes a skull, I speak from the cavity as though directly into its ear.


Reading aloud in this way is to imagine publishing as a live encounter, challenging the permanence of printed text.

—from Naomi PEARCE, ‘Every Contact Leaves a Trace: transcribing OSTEON,’ 
              BFTK#4, p. 167.



At large scales, they can look like hairballs coughed up by some monster who has swallowed half the world, so clotted with tangled threads as to be illegible.

—from Johanna DRUCKER, ‘Networks are not Diagrams:
Aetheric Theories and Social Phsyics,’
              BFTK#5, p. 47.


            Green, Greening, Ghosts

A hybrid shade that saturates every atom of plant life, yet remains itself the non-primary spawn of yellow and blue.


Just as there are several kinds of ocean—from rotted British brown to Caribbean cerulean—green too exists in perpetual unrest, in extension and retreat. Acid apple, traffic light, viridian, Amsterdam, pistachio, chartreuse, marrow, grape, Hooker’s, hunter, cinnabar, sludge. Green is hormonal, edible, unwell.

—from Helen MARTEN, ‘Greening,’
              BFTK#4, front & back cover flaps.


            How does a work end?

Performance seeks vaudeville—Composition as investigations—Collage is a false democracy—Spelling’s choices—Line defined by its closure: the function is nostalgic—Nothing without necessity—By hand—Individuals do not exist—Keep mind from sliding—structure is metaphor, content permission, syntax force—Don’t imitate yourself—We learned the language—Aesthetic consistency = voice—How does a work end?

—Extended title for Karen Di FRANCO, ‘How does a work end?’
              BFTK#4, p. 173.



How am I to treat a source with such an unruly provenance: as a primary source to buttress my own research? As an artwork or manifesto to be submitted to visual or literary analysis? Or as a semi-reliable fantasy filtered through the voice of this invented, ghostly “spectre”?

—from Kevin  LOTERY, ‘Richard Hamilton: Introspectre,’
              BFTK#5, p. 165.


             Joy (in / of Translation)

‘Erasing the signs of labour under the sign of happiness’: this perfect phrase of [SaraAHMED’s encapsulates what I’m trying to express, namely that the joy of translation is troubling not because I have an issue with its fundamental proposition, i.e. that translation is or can be joyful, but that the common application of this phrase reduces the emotion to a sign, one that only contributes to the ongoing misrecognition of the translator and her role.

—from Sophie COLLINS, ‘Joy & Happiness, Fidelity & Intimacy in Translation,’
              BFTK#4, p. 7.


             King Mob

‘Regardless of the weather, TOMORROW—Tuesday 27th June at 1.15pm there will be performed in the Car Park and King’s Walk (opposite the Union) THE BIG ROAR. We need 3000 people. Can we count on your voice to...’

—from a KING MOB flyer, quoted in Holly PESTER, ‘The Big ROAR,’
              BFTK#5, p. 69.


             First Lines Only

The spring sky was the colour of the Blue Screen of Death.

—from Louis LÜTHI, ‘Anything but Begin,’
Original title, ‘First Lines Only.’  
              BFTK#5, p. 5.


             A Manifesto for Reading

When I translate, I keep everything in play. Or at bay? Sound play, like any good tutor, imparts knowledge by osmosis. Translation is a deeply pedagogical form. Because it teaches you to read.

—from Sophie SEITA, ‘Let it Percolate: A Manifesto for Reading,’
              BFTK#4, p. 276.      
                                                        (see here)


            Nomenclature of Colours

...inside its ink-frame, Snow White, whitest of whites, is now a mottled grey. On the page the pigment has turned, decayed by exposure to light, or moisture, or time itself—grey spots and feathery plumes bloom across its surface.


When colour fades, it falls on language to assume semiotic responsibility; to accurately translate the experience of the eye.

—from Joyce DIXON, (on Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours),
in ‘Snow White and the White of the Human Eyeballs,’
               BFTK#4, p. 59.


            O.J. Simpson

...the infamous size 12 Bruno Magli Lorenzo boots with their brick-like sole pattern lef a perfect chequered footprint with a staggering inverse similarity to the rivers of blood on the tiled floor, two turbulences of savage fluidity overflowing space.The borders of solid and liquid merge together in a ceaseless division of matter and corresponding incident, swirls within swirls, figure on top of texture on top of speculation.

—from Helen MARTEN, ‘Snow and Blood: A Diptych Picturesque,’
               BFTK#5, p. 36.


            Parasites / Parasitism

Parasitism is often understood as a hierarchy [...] in which the smallest, most pernicious organisms are seen as the most “successful” and in turn are impervious to being parasited themselves. But the hierarchy model doesn’t quite scan with the ubiquity of parasitic relations. My ecology textbook informs me that more than half of the earth’s individual organisms are themselves parasites, and, as Carl ZIMMER writes,‘every living thing has at least one parasite that lives inside or on it.’ To varying extents, we are all born under the sign of parasitism.

—from Daisy LAFARGE, ‘I Lose My Head’
              BFTK#5, pp. 61-63.



diagram of quincunx grid after Thomas BROWNE, The Garden of Cyrus, or The Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, Naturally, Artificially, Mystically Considered, 1658.

—from BFTK#5, back cover, p. 62.,
grid & insert.


            Readers / Reading

Let’s consider the figure of the reader as one forever manifold; there is the reader who vocalises aloud, the silent reader, and the reader—a book—that you (another reader) are likely silently reading now.Who is the reader, then, shattered into so many surfaces? What is her voice?

—from Quin LATIMER, ‘Signs, Sounds, Metals, Fires, or an Economy’
              BFTK#5, p. 105.



The recipe is a text that can produce spattering because it was spattering before it was language. It was spattering and it will become spattering again.


When I try to comply with the single voice of an instructive text other voices appear—instantly!—they send me off course and again there is spattering. The spattering is the difficulty that threatens the possibility of applying the text, and also, the difficulty that is essential to its application.


Spattering is the shadow text, it is the underside of the recipe, of historical narrative, or: how to avoid food made from stone and old bones.

—from Rebecca MAY JOHNSON, ‘The Recipe for Blue was Red / Splattering,
Shadow Texts, the Application of Internal Contradiction’
              BFTK#5, p. 39.


            Tranliteration & Teeth

Languages are filled with the testimony to the grasping, devouring power and precision of teeth.That the power of letters as agents of aggressive order and precision should be expressed as extensions of the dragon’s teeth, is natural and fitting. Letters are not only like teeth visually, but their power to put teeth into the business of empire building is manifest in our Western history.

Marshall McLUHAN, quoted in SLAVS & TATARS’ ‘Transliterative Tease,’
              BFTK#5, p. 132.


            Unhoming (in four parts)

line breaks—are they breaking points? Do they offset the possibility of syntactical logic, and therefore a logical, ordered self of genteel expression? Line breaks create intonation in delivery where there might be fluency, smuggling in mutable conclusions and questions and other lyric selves where there was fluent sovereignty.

Holly PESTER, quoted in Phil BABER’s ‘Unhoming,’
              BFTK#4, p. 161.



here are ways of acknowledging influence and models, by ingestion, by assimilation, by one’s total absorption in the material.To come to an understanding of it by standing in it, by becoming it. Very gradually, this transforms a shoe into a foot, extends copyism into writing, and perhaps writing into being.

from Caroline BERGVALL, ‘VIA: 48 Dante Variations (2000-2020)—A New Inferno,’
              BFTK#4, p. 285.


            Virginia WOOLF

We have one tiny BBC recording: about ninety seconds of Virginia WOOLF’s voice reading a little essay. But in it you hear an invaluable hint of rhythm that she said was where all the words began for her, the mysterious rhythm of her own voice.

from Ursula K. Le GUIN, ‘Off the Page: Loud Cows, a Talk and a Poem About Reading Aloud,’
              BFTK#5, p. 84.



How do you map an interminable sadness? Wake up and stare at the beautiful light. It is white and yellow and green.

from Catalina BARROSO-LUQUE, ‘Xaxalpa,’
              BFTK#5, p. 139.


            Yellow, Yellowing

Gamboge yellow

from Joyce DIXON, ‘Snow White and the White of the Human Eyeballs,’
              BFTK#4, p. 53.                     


light reds, light oranges, light yellows, light greens, and the rest of the seven the rain gives.

from C.K. OGDEN, quoted in Matthew STUART,
‘Every telling has a tailing / Every story has an ending’
              BFTK#4, p. 233.


            Ziegeln aus dem Brenn-Ofen

For us, ‘Bricks from the Kiln’ implies something in flux and liable to crack. A piece of a larger structure. A part of a sum.


tentative, incomplete and inconsistent.

from ‘Asides to Our Time and to Our Contemporaries (An Afterword from the Editors)’
              BFTK#1inside cover folds

Featuring Louis LÜTHI;
Ursula K. Le GUIN
Ashanti HARRIS
Bronac FERRAN 

with Greg THOMAS;
Astrid SEME

with Alex BALGIU ...

Edited by Matthew STUART

Order here ...

A PDF copy of this ‘Index’ is available here.

This index was written for (and recited at) the closing event for AN INCOMPLETE A to Z FOR ART & POETRY (Mahler & LeWitt, London), an exhibition curated by Rachael ALLEN and Guy ROBERTSON, that explored the creative and collaborative potentialities between visual art and poetry.

See here.


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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. 

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