by Nicolás Gerardi Rousset
Its father the Sun,
the wind carried it in its belly.
Its mother the Moon,
on Earth she based her empire.
Inside it resides work and enjoyment,
the origin of all images.
It teaches to separate the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross.
To rise and receive the sadiciousness of the trade.
Power of all power
which vanquishes the ineffable
and penetrates the solid.
So was the world created, working for a moan.
Complete is what I know about the operation of pleasure.
The previous extract is a resema: a resemantization of another poem. In this case, we depart from the ancient Hermetic text the Emerald Tablet, in order to compose a brief reflection about the operation of pleasure on the surface of the earth (and, maybe, also in the depths, who knows).
My creative and work practices have always been related to the idea of the remix or mash-up. Specifically, regenerative mash-ups. My brother Augusto shared some years ago a text by Eduardo Navas titled Remix Theory, which explained through a structuralist analysis the different intentions or purposes of creating a remix. He identifies two great potentials: a regenerative one and a regressive one — the former adding meaning, the latter stimulating reminiscence, looking to pass through the heart again, to swim in the warm rivers of memory.
From my first experiences doing curatorships and as a VJ, I discovered the possibility of combining and creating signs to generate new meanings. For example, the word “sadiciousness”, created during a WhatsApp conversation, shows that shared territory between sadism and deliciousness. For this collaboration, we could invent the word “pleacreation”, a noun derived from Vulgar Latin pleacreatio: ‘the act and effects of creating with pleasure or to enjoy pleacreating’.
Getting back to the point, the resemas or the regenerative composition method consists in adapting the production methods of VJs to writing. In other words, to write as a visualist, guiding the readers through the sexibility of the rhythm, with own and borrowed compositions; as if you had to liven up with music and images that other party at the centre of the void.
The essential element to create a resema: fun. You can’t viBEERfy a party without wanting to have some special time in the intimacy of your notebook. (Yes, when I write for fun I do it old school, with pencil and paper; ideally, close to the Caribbean Sea, hearing the cadence of the waves, breathing hard after swimming in the reef for a while.) To make a resema, you need to forget the encyclopedic writer and the inspired modern one up in his ivory tower: Coconut water with it. You better go to your library, grab the Divine Comedy, the tragedies of Euripides, look for the Heptamerón or some book of Borges; it can even be the lyrics of a song that you have stuck in mind at the moment if you like. Transcribe one fragment or the whole text and give it an exegetic reading. (You must transpose Dante’s signs to your current symbolic universe.)
An operation I did for a while was creating resemas off the poems of Marx. I read them and I thought: What other absurd thing have I seen any of the ten million Marxists supporters of the criminal organization called Chavismo do or say? I remembered a specific scene: It was a group of sociology students from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, after emptying a Cocacola on the floor at a McDonald’s just to show the security guard that he was alienated for not lending them the toilets, one of them told him: “Ooh, ooh, ooh! Now what?!” The childish onomatopoeia ‘ooh, ooh, ooh’ seemed perfect to summarize the essence of a Marxist — in fact, the person who emptied the soda in the security guard’s face was a young man from the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences called Marx. Reality is unstoppable. I chose the poem “To Jenny” because of its corniness and its arrogant tone, and I combined some verses of Marx with the phrase of this other sociologist Marx and it turned out as a funny resema, if you ask me. (Jenny was Karl Marx’s wife, a victim of his cranky moods and transcriber of a large part of The Capital.)
Text: To Jenny II [Karl Marx]
See! I could a thousand volumes fill
writing only «Ooh, ooh, ooh» in each line.
Ooh, ooh, ooh.
Still they would a world of thought conceal.
Class struggle is the engine of history, I affirmed
Ooh, ooh, ooh.
Sweet verses, to some still sweet.
all the glow and all the being’s shine,
all of life and knowledge that is mine
I can read it in the stars refulgent
from Cuba that returns to me
to the being of the wild waves’ thunder.
Truly, I would write it down as a refrain,
for the coming centuries to see:
Ooh, ooh, ooh.
The field of action of the resemas is not focused on writing, nor is it a current trend. Duchamp’s urinal is a resema. Muu Blanco’s artworks are largely resemas, the works of Luis Molina-Pantin, Javier Téllez, or Yucef Merhi’s perfect writings, are resemas. We could say that all abstract art is a resema because it recreates the panchronic aspect of pure forms. All performance art is also a resema because it expands the verge of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships of the images it uses in its craft. The only thing that is not a resema is a poem. The poem is painful labour, the resema is a C-section (perhaps with some good anaesthetic, pharmakon).
Armando Reverón is the poet of light, Cruz Diez and Soto would be the ones in charge of making resemas. The first one creates meaning, the others regenerate forgotten connections, disconnected bridges of information. Reverón was an aliterate — opposed to reading — channelling his own ritual language. The kinetic artists revitalized the issue of light through optics, not through intuition or raw desire, like Reverón.
A resema is not a whim, it is a seditious and exciting complicity weaved on the field of cultural references and life experiences. You know the reference, you understand the spin of sense and you connect it with a stitch of your personal history. The resema belongs more to the field of affinities and stimuli than to the academies and lettered dogmas.
A resema could begin from scratch and return to that without stopping to be a resema. We could write a beatus ille, recognizing it consciously makes it a resema, even if it completely lacks the classical structure.
Rafael Cadenas is a poet, Claudio Perna is a regenerator. The first one creates meaning from his inner life to the world, the second one expands the meaning of the world. The former uses the traditional writing method — quiet, paused, intimate, neat. The latter requires analogue images, to reuse, to process. The former is recognized as a poet, but nobody knows for sure if the latter was a professor, an artist, a junkie or a visionary (and forefather of memes in Venezuela). Such is the awkward position of the resemas, a mutating river that changes, unpredictable and prophetic.
The poem emanates from the insides of language to the universe, the resema expands the limits of the universe. The first one produces knowledge, the second one seeks to know. A poem is a blind date, a resema is a known and trusted intimacy partner.
For five years, I have been trying different types of resemas with moving and static images, with books, using Burroughs’ cut-up technique, the Dadaist exercises, etc. — everything with the purpose of playing and revitalizing old files in the process.
Thanks to newly acquired knowledge, I was able to diagram and self-edit a first, modest compilation of resemas — Uy, uy, uy, ur, ur, ur — that I am sharing in the framework of this collaboration. I hope you can enjoy this PDF and that you could be encouraged to introduce the regenerative composition system to your daily creative practices. Exploring other writing systems could transform the way we learn, create, share, and enjoy literature in the 21st century.
Download the bilingual ebook «Uy, uy, uy, ur, ur, ur», previously unreleased resemas by Nicolás Gerardi Rousset.
Nicolás Gerardi Rousset (Caracas, 1989) is an independent researcher and VJ focused on regenerating files in order to promote collective sedition. He is currently based in Tulum, Mexico, from where he operates the editorial lab Limo (@limosedice) and is one of the co-founders of the photography collective @luminariaproject.