Dinner with Rob Wittig, compiler of a book documenting the Seattle performance group from the eighties, IN.S.OMNIA. "Compiler," not "author." These days, designing web pages on a freelance basis and editing Tank20,Rob ceases even to speak of a text as writing. He prefers the technical term, copy.
Rob's recently back from a trip to North Carolina. There he met Anne Burdick, who, like Daniel, has collaborated with me at various times on the visual design of the electronic book review. Rob's impressed by how she's organized her professional life: 1/3 design, 1/3 teaching, 1/3 lecturing and writing. The simplicity. Like so many artists nowadays, Anne gets by, but only by turning every element of her life into a business. All of her correspondence originates from "The Offices of Anne Burdick," for example. I mention Daniel and his division of the year between Germany and the U.S., freelance corporate design and tape art.
Daniel has kept his daily life unadministered, even at Leitner, Inc. Between countries, between activities. He doesn't "balance" roles, he tries to fall between administrative cracks. How much longer this can last, Rob, himself a resident traveler in France and Germany, is unsure.
For a long time Rob has wanted to establish more embodied ways of writing about literature and art. Picking up on an idea in Georges Perec, he's interested particularly in creating a phenomenology of reading. Not the content – the physical act of reading a book. Rob wonders why literary criticism never asks about people's postures when reading; about the parts they skip; where they go to read, or what sounds they hear in the background.
The idea emerges of an unadorned chronicle, a week in the life of the artist. That's less structure than Daniel and I had initially supposed, with our "metalogue" composed via email exchange during his stay in Germany. But I'll take the idea to him and see what he thinks.