In my writing, I invite the reader into the reality of the textual landscapes I create, challenging her to draw her own conclusions about the meaning of the work and the function of the language in building it. To build these “realities,” I often work with fragments — collecting words and phrases from materials ranging from emails and news articles to nonfiction books and other sources, to create work that requires a willingness to navigate a fragmented world of actual events, found language, and personal narrative. I am deeply interested in the intersection of words and other media, visual art, music, and technology. As a result, I have worked with other writers to create works ranging from cowritten texts related to the art of origami flower-folding and the development of the Apollo spacesuit; to collaborations with visual artists on artist books, broadsides, and potentially sound and video projects. In recent work, I examine the human body in unconventional ways — focusing on aspects that are disturbing rather than easy or pleasant to observe. I am interested in the imperfections of bodies rather than the obviously beautiful, a commonality I have discovered in the work of Jennifer Yorke, with whom I have been collaborating on artist books based on my manuscript, Flood Diary. Based on our experience working together and our shared artistic interests, we were eager to continue our work on this manuscript while also considering other potential projects, including working audio-visually. Working in close proximity together at LPP, rather than from our homes — Chicago and San Francisco — enabled us to fully explore this opportunity.
Valerie Witte laportepeinte