oversion’s numbering and archiving

(response to a query)

feels good to be asked this. It’s amazing how the internet, (a tiny thing like that) has changed the parameters of necessity around photocopy inexpensivelymailable poetryproductions.

I like the idea, but there is a difficulty quotient on it that sails high over head. I have a fair bit of stuff in storage out of town, and whats here at home is in tenuous old boxes. All that keeps them holding together is their never moving and the neighbour boxes never moving. I live in a tiny cheap rectangle.

it goes: boxes//desk//tvstereobookcase//bed
then turns down a narrow strip to the door and that strip is filled with boxes and at the not that far end, junk

pretty challenging to find the complete of anything without moving to a larger house and spreading everything out.

and then there’s the elliptical overlapping sequence of issues. have we gone over it before? The very first oversion wasn’t quite oversion 1. Several mishaps resulted in just one of the original 100 print run leaving my person, into the hands of the observant Bill Kennedy. Thereupon within that day I was off to the photocopy shop to radically fix 2 or 3 pages and add an errata page, and the remaining 99 copies were officially 1.1. I played on this by making the next issue not Oversion 2, but Oversion 2.0. You could feel the sweat coming off the brow in that numering. As material came in, but with 2.0 still on the flow, I made 2.5, condensing 2.0 a little and tightening it to admit the new material. It was with the apparent fun success of these early steps that I fully took up the challenge of the system, and the next issue out was 3.1 The double decimalization both forecast the future and recaptured the present. Indeed there would be a 3.9. Elements of all previous issues played roles in subsequent issues, enlarged or shrunk or discussed. By 5.2.7 the system was supple, able to contend with time as few magazines had ever needed to. In many ways Oversion 9, The Classic Oversion, was the culmination or real First Oversion. 9.2 and 9.5 were like child’s play by that point. Oversion 0 (completing the real numbers of the world, 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0, out of which all other numbers are made, and representing the circularity of being and non being, of the chicken or egg question, was a meta oversion, composed entirely of shrinkings and enlargings of previous issues, with fragments of new material almost lots in the explosion, sung its song in a stack of 100 at the 1995 spring fair. It was followed quite a time later by Final Oversion, a massive repost filled with onerous intensities.
It was followed eventually by an issue which made no mention of its name in any sense. There were then specialty issues “The Peterborough Issue” and the like, as a bracing absence of structure and antigravitational emphasis transformed my world. During a philosophical time when I was consumed with visitting my ailing father, new special issues were made, but now with whole new magazine names, though they so resembled oversions.

So I would think it necessary to be elliptical with any answering result to your query, putting together some kind of combination of things, rather than be attempting to mount the entire history.

It’d be useful to know how many of the magazines you have in hand, and if determinable, which ones they were. That would be a starting point to making the project manageable. Bill Kennedy and Nick Drumbolis probably have the most complete sets outside of my own. I’ve presently forgotten the name of archivist who collected a kind of a complete set for the NA. (That was a rough experience, as they wished it donated – but seemed to intend to be generous in return. I agreed on condition of being able to use their photocopiers to make copies of the entire donation. However some hours into my being allowed to do so, an air of impatience was growing strong with my difficult task, and at end, their generosity was a single book, bound, of the photocopy collection of some important art guy, giving the unmistakeable impression that one messy and not that interesting bound set of substantially meaningless photocopies …by an important artist… was worth the massive collection I’d gone to considerable labour to present. So I quite regretted going to the trouble as well as depleting my own supplies, and the whole effort, and it was one of countless times the classism of officialdom taught me to avoid it completely. Not that I took it personally, viz the people involved, as they seemed to have no idea.

Perfectly, the next time I visitted there for an event, an important artist had carefully scultped pieces of shit and had them encased in glass around their setting. Irony is fun, if you invvest nothing in it. Which I learned to do.


And not that any other fate or result could really be imagined. However the ecstatic joy of it will never not have been sublime. Beyond the speed of light the photocopier’s transformations, the excitement of collage, and the gems of reality deposited there in.

1 Comment »

  1. end result:

    ubu idea. ive decided i’m not into it though. as i was saying, every time i do anything official i wind up feeling irritated variously by the result. In this case, it’d be a lot of work and concern and someone would have to part with their copies and there’d be all the crap of delays and getting the stuff returned and how it was presented and all this, in return for basically nothing, labour and materielle. and i’m not even an ubu user. not putting myself up for the experience again. nor do i want it using up others time, including yours, nor removing the collections of those that have them. the ubuization of poetry didn’t really fly with me. and oversion was deliberately low tech and the way it was, outside the important business of poetry in our era. I choose to keep it that way. Thanks for the invitation and making me wonder about it though. ~ John

    Comment by oversion — July 28, 2011 @ 3:02 am

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