Thylias Moss’s Comments

“Bubble Me” and “Bubble Carver” are part of a poam system that includes a quilt still in the construction phase, and video pieces such as “Bubbling” which may be viewed at YouTube, where there are other video poams on the forkergirl YouTube channel. In the “Bubbling” series, I wanted to explore expansion from centers. There is something there pushing these sides apart; something is growing within, and text forms a frame (or fortress) for this growth. The text on four sides helps define a growing place.

The print poams (an acronym for products of acts of making) are in a visually static mode. To interact with them, as through reading, is to activate systems of content in “Bubble Me,” in “Bubble Carver,” and in the reader, but these systems of activated content are experienced, perceived; they exist in realities of perception instead of in three-dimensional realities. As text, the content itself does not move—though in some realities it can, and does; in some, it can yet doesn’t. Some of what interests me as thought experiments within Limited Fork Theory is how far apart the sides of the frame might move before the sides lose sight (and site) of each other, until an intimacy of relationship is overcome by a more generalized locating of these elements in some universe in which the moving population is words—insects and molecules of that universe.

I am also interested in the shape of the growing places in the centers, and I am making print poams that could visibly occupy these locations which are not empty. There is gestation of some sort going on. Content is growing, and has not yet become visually perceptible. Any content growing in the centers is too white to command presence in environments as white. A means of translation or transformation into requirements for visibility in the Bubbling universe has not yet emerged, OR a means of translation or transformation into requirements for visibility in the Bubbling universe has been overcome; this content means to be more concealed though presence itself is not being hidden. The content could be more atmospheric than solid or visually perceptible (on a human scale of visual perception).

Perhaps there is some resistance by the visible text which could be pushing back against emerging central content. Or visible text could be midwifing the centers; helping to pull births of content into the Bubbling Universe.

These print poams are two outcomes of my ongoing investigation of centers. Denials also of central emptiness. Belief in active cores, belief that cores can emerge anywhere at any time—within these emerging cores, more cores could emerge—the systems actively bubble, boil, expand.

I think that a bubble occurred to me for this investigation because of the thinness and transparency of most soap bubble films, and ways in which bubbles may be interacted with, how they can encase—in transparent globes on one day of this thinking while my son attempted to find the joy of washing dishes:


Bubble Kitchen Sequence 1


Bubble Kitchen Sequence 2


Bubble Kitchen Sequence 3


Bubble Kitchen Sequence 4

In “Cogs in the Glass Machine,” the bubble scale is so enlarged that a specific area of the bubble spherical reality may be considered and may be experienced as flat. This transparent flatness functions very much like a window. In this enlargement, I became interested in the bubble’s surface as a reflective object and as a transparent object, especially during those situations of illumination that supported both functions, the capturing of reflections and the exposing of interiors, so on this surface, what is on both sides of the bubble have opportunities to interact and intersect. The interior and exterior content intersecting on the bubble collaborate in forming a single 2D landscape of the interactions, an active landscape as interior elements and exterior elements shift, some elements moving out of the bubble’s frame altogether. The interactions are transient and fleeting, though there are means of capturing a particular moment of interaction.

This print poam responds to that merger of interior and exterior on the windows of an art gallery in Detroit. The text was actually stenciled on the windows of the gallery, transparent surfaces shared with painted images by Jim Cogswell.

Transient interactions of painted images, stenciled text, and other relatively static and active interior and exterior elements were captured in a series of still photographs (which can be viewed as a slideshow movie here).

These comments refer to some of what transpired in order for these poams to be made; responses to them, now that they have existence, is no longer dependent on acts of making, is wide open; the poams are extended, remade; versions and iterations come into being as someone interacts with them and locates possibilities and connections I didn’t know to explore—so, my collaborators, take these poams wherever you can. In this way, marvelous kaleidoscopic symmetries of interaction grow and response unfolds. And these symmetries, as connections and interactions continue, have a potential of encountering versions of everything, versions possible through the sets of interactions that connect with the forms of the elements that populate those versions.

So there are galleries of realities, an idea that is further explored in my recent video poam “Wannabe Hoochie Mama GALLERY OF REALITIES Red Dress Code,” which may be seen here, where the video poam is part of YouTube’s gallery of realities on the forkergirl channel) and many other channels.

Interactions and collaborations are (forms of) limited fork tines.

You can experience more about Limited Fork Theory in a blog maintained this semester for one of my classes (and for anyone who interacts with this public blog) at the University of Michigan where in addition to my role as Professor of English, I am, as of this academic year, Professor of Art & Design. This link is to a slideshow version of “Mother’s Day,” the graphic prose poam that was part of the Place.Mark show at the Work Gallery in Ann Arbor during March 2008.

The graphic (prose/verse) poam is a form I plan to explore further. I am also considering producing the eight panels of “Mother’s Day” as a set of notecards.

Tokyo Butter is my most recent book publication.

Limited Fork Theory video poams, sonic poams, and some text pieces may be experienced and/or downloaded for free from my three public podcasts:
Limited Fork
Limited Fork Music
Limited Fork Video Anthology (work by students of Limited Fork Poetics)

More student work and the Limited Fork active learning space may be experienced in "Future Classroom," a video poam on the forkergirl YouTube channel.


Return to Archive