This untitled Toggle project plays with the relationship between the internet and reading and writing. Playing with Toggle has confirmed for me that I seem to use the internet primarily alongside book reading in order to look up events, terms, persons, ideas, images, etc. These initial searches then facilitate digressions and discoveries which may circle back to my reading or branch off into other reading or even into writing. I take these to be not entirely un-common ways of using the internet. I’m interested in how Toggle can help me investigate the relationships between necessarily intertwined practices of reading and writing by turning the internet itself directly into a kind of secret public notebook. In the course of this open-ended project this secret/public paradox has become central; it has brought forward for me the possibilities for different kinds of more impersonal/intimate literary sociality that the internet might still have in store for us.
The texts Toggle enables me to superimpose tend to be only tangentially, obliquely or intuitively related to the sites over which they are placed. Sometimes the relationship between the original text reflects the use of the internet while reading; in these cases the site in question is something that the book I was reading somehow instigated me to look up. Other times the fragments of text are laid over sites I felt inspired to lay them down over. As the project progresses I’ve enjoyed the variety of notebook effects Toggle generates as it allows me to collage fragments of texts I’ve been reading directly into the screen and then return to later experience the more unconscious synergies buried there in that palimpsest.
I’m also interested in the way Toggle allows me to socialize with the internet fleetingly and facelessly– through association, inspiration, thought and image, rather than through the laboriously constructed and maintained rigorous (rigor mortis) of the socially networked ego-face-brand. Networked sociality tends to be tremendously ego based as it is primarily interested in the construction of legible and alluring social-professional identities, whereas certain modes of literary sociality tend toward decomposing the social person to allow for more simultaneously distant and intimate constellations of impersonal co-existence to emerge. I’m especially interested in both the intimacy and impersonality of this project; both are key to my work to as a poet.