Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New York, editorial note

Those interested will probably have discovered it by now, but during the last year one of the more prominent resources of information on historical as well as contemporary surrealism online has been Paul McRandle's Surrealist NYC blog. Starting out as a documentation of surrealist activities in New York in the 1940s, it soon broadened into contemporary international surrealist notes, and more importantly, to occasional posts from the editor's own walks, discoveries and reflections through New York (I'm waiting eagerly for more of that kind). That step was absolutely necessary, moving from giving the impression that "Surrealist New York City" is identical with the New York experienced by European refugees in the 40s, to the pertinent questions of what "Surrealist New York City" is on the whole; what aspects of the life and phenomenology of that exceptional city that could be identified as the surrealist city, the ghost structure connecting different neighborhoods, different historical anecdotes, different future anecdotes now perceived merely as distinct impressions of possibilities, according to the psychogeography of poetry rather than of discipline, habit, business, commerce, or tourism...
    The way European surrealists experienced New York in the 40s may provide interesting clues to this city of course, but native surrealists just as much, and certain other currents moving in the environment for the purpose of a nonconformist and poetic sense of experimentation, community and exploration without very strong ties to surrealism historically.
    Surrealist New York City is a city which is distinctly there but which remains to be uncovered. All good luck in this task and others to Paul McRandle and other New York surrealist comrades!

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