VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Practice Under the Influence

The following text and image pieces were made by the class, as part of a cross-genre conversation with writer Lydia Davis and artist Steve Roden.

This was an improvisational project where we broke the class up into small production groups and gave them one hour to produce a piece that explored systems and/or locations.

Group 1 - location: Library Computer Lab


Group 2 - location: back patio, School of Intercultural Studies

Group 3 - location: sampling text from 5 different buildings, 15 mins. each
performing the constructed text.
"What's going on for class?
Oh buddy. Did I tell you this story?
This is a good analogy
Go in there and count all the lights that are off. Start calling.
Is there anything I can help you with?
does she give you good feedback?
Yes it is sufficient.
When it comes to making decisions, they such at it.
Neuro virtues. I didn't mean to sign up.
It wa an accident.
So now I learned something
Remember this is a restatement
I'm excited to see what you turn out.
     Rose grief lacked silence
     Walk jails corrections
     Cancelled neuro virtues
     Passport closed ongoing too
     early future contestants enter
     Start calling."

Group 4 - location: University Medical Center

Group 5 - "SYSTEMS"

I belong to a system of romantic entanglement wherein two individuals previously embedded within the system of dating—a form of courtship consisting of activities which allow two individuals to assess their compatibility—choose to proclaim their commitment to further entangle their lives at a ceremony comprised of various rituals—rituals established for religious, superstitious, and somewhat arbitrary reasons—including bridesmaids who wear similar dresses to scare away evil spirits—which symbolize their unique love for each other and their desire to see each other every day for the rest of their lives. This system does not necessitate but requests the involvement of family and friends, whose presence acts as a sign of affirmation of the couple's decision to involve themselves with each other and be submitted to the institution of marriage. This invitation places an expectation upon myself to assert my desire to witness an event that requires its own website, blog, stationary and instagram hashtag, and also perpetuates the system of romantically pairing off with other individuals by indicating that two seats have been reserved in my honor. [Becca Johnson]


This message affirms, via its format, that I am Chris Davidson [the “To:” line excised in this image]. It came to me via the system of e-mail hosted by Yahoo, transmitted through a system of servers running off a grid of electricity powered by a series of plants that run on coal (derived from a series of mines), water (a series of dams), sun (a series of panels), or fusion (series of reactors), all derived from the system of earth. It came from Luke Laubhan, whom I know via the system of friendship, which means I’m interested in his life and he’s interested in mine and we express this interest by communicating to each other in various forms, in this case, e-mail. I met this person when he came to Biola to study systematic theology at Talbot, because his life working in church systems suggested to him an aptitude and interest in the work that, in order to advance in that system, demanded further study and degree status. Because he had been certified with a degree in English, having finishing a four-year stint in the system of the University of Oklahoma, and in order to help complete his advanced degree, payment for which was required by Biola's payment office before he could be gain access to the system of class registration, he took a job at the Writing Center after passing through a system of application and interviewing and hiring, the consequence being that the university paid him a wage so that he could pay the university for taking classes that would allow him to get a job that would pay him. While at Talbot, he found that the study of systematic theology—in its system or in its content, it’s hard to tell—suggested he didn’t, in fact, have aptitude and interest in working in the church. (He wanted to write, instead, so he applied to an MFA program in creative writing. I was then entangled in the system of recommendation writing such a system requires for admission. He would later move through the system in two years, receiving a degree that affirms his completion of the title “Master.”) He met and married a woman from Biola whom he wouldn’t have met had he not embarked on the aforementioned system-led journey from Oklahoma to California (which travel required the negotiation of several systems). Codified in a ritual called a wedding, he entered the system called marriage, resulting in his case, via biology—sex, sperm, egg, pregnancy, labor, delivery—in Lyla, whose existence demands he provide, through the erratic system of capitalism—goods and services exchanged for payment—for her and his wife, who, ensconced in the system of motherhood, is opting to stay home for a few months of nurture. He will next move, with his wife and daughter, into a home owned by a middle-aged couple. This is ok. They belong to the system called “family.” To review, I belong to the system of friendship that avails me knowledge of these systems. Now we friends have a mutual system: married fathers who play basketball, a game that requires a system of lines, rules, baskets, a ball, players. We pay the LAUSD a fee every three months to rent the gym to play the game in. We also pay for insurance. I play because I was invited by someone whom I went to grad school with, when I got my MFA. I receive an e-mail every week to check if I’ll come play. My wife knows that Thursday nights are off limits for planning events with the family or anything else. I’m telling you this b/c of Dan Callis. [Chris Davidson]

I am part of a system which holds to certain rituals, where you are forced to make a choice pertaining to the attendance of this ritual, and the choice made, may or may not be frowned upon depending on what is acceptable according to the system by which your social group abides. Therefore, the response to your inquiry of my attendance is dependent upon your response to said systems. [Sydnee Shurbet]

I am part of a system that requires an intense emotional response to previously known information concerning the state of orthodontia, or lack thereof, within the oral cavity of a female person with whom I possess shared experiences and similar DNA. I receive this acknowledgement through a previously established form of communication that is tied directly to my person, which re-enforces the requirement to participate in the aforementioned system. The correct response, "Yay!" was returned. [Aubrey Stevens]

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