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September 23, 2006

Trepan 6 Call for Work

Mindlessfullness | Trepan 6 (

According to linguistics, language is material. Words are things made of sound and a poem is a machine made out of words. To write is to knead language into a shape, much like laying out dough and waiting for it to rise. These poems, these machines are not necessarily made to spit out ideas and meaning simply because someone's eye is running across a page or a screen. And would it be so bad to remark after having read something, "This object was not made by an artist, but by a machine, by a process"?

This is a call to open the cultural database, let everyone use the technology of textual production to its maximum potential, whether it be the technology inscribed on silicon or the kind that can be implemented on paper, or whether the results are intended for the age-old tecnology of the printed page or for the somehwat newer, screen. Rather than being led by sequences of signs, instead drift through them. This is the project of unchaining the codes—not the subject anymore—so that something will burst out, will escape; words beneath words. Another kind of word is born and the language you are breathing becomes the language you think… these are not mere metaphors but a call for new procedures of writing.

This writing turns in on itself, sacrifices itself, in order to establish a space of possibility beyond itself, to make as visible as possible the limits & norms & operations of the machinery, to appropriate the machinery of discourse in order to put it to other as yet forbidden or unimagined uses, and in the end hopefully to show the possibilities of sense & meaning being constructed; to foreground the limits of the possible—& our possible lives; to create impossibility.

After Trepan's last issue, "Monstrous." we turn to investigate the life of the mind in Trepan 6, "Mindlessfullness." The processes we create, the tools we use and their products have the ability to express the predilection for the mind in art, possibly more perfectly than writing that comes straight from inspiration, straight from the mind to the page. Language itself is surely a technology insofar as it is a tool made by people; our tools and technologies are not dumb and lifeless externalities that we pick up at need to do a job; instead, they often are truly extensions of ourselves: extensions of our minds and feelings and imaginations.

Mindlessfullness will exhibit the writer in repose. After creating an unspeakably complex or diabolically simple process the writer has the ability to release his/her mind and allow their machine to work like a trepan burrowing into our brains to see what we have there. Just as this call for work is itself a machinic work of plaigiarism.

Trepan cultivates mutation in forms and styles of reading and writing, discarding traditional barriers between genres and forms, seeking out unexpected openings, and creating them where necessary.

Trepan was founded and edited by the MFA students of the CalArts Writing Program, who published the first four volumes. Trepan is now produced by Superbunker ( as an independent journal focusing on experimental and hybrid arts. Each volume will have a unique theme and editorial staff, managed by series editor Jason Brown, Trepan 5 and Trepan 6 guest edited by Mathew Timmons. Send submissions by Jan 1, 2007 to

trepan, n.1
1. An instrument for cutting out small pieces of bone, especially from the skull.
2. A military engine formerly used for boring holes in walls.
3. An instrument for sinking shafts.
4. A hole made in a bone by a trepan

trepan, v.1
a. To saw through a bone of the skull with a trepan.
b. In brush-making: see trepanning
c. To cut a hole in something, with the core removed as a solid piece.

trepan, trapan, n.2
[A word of obscure and low origin, prob. originally a term of thieves' or rogues' slang.]
1. A person who entraps or decoys others.
2. A stratagem, trick, trap or snare.

trepan, trapan, v.2
a. To entrap, ensnare, beguile.
b. To lure, inveigle.
c. To do by craft or guile; to cheat or beguile out of; to swindle.


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