Method No. 15  (July 3, 2002)

Guest: John Solt

The bulletin "Method" is an email bimonthly of free forwarding. The 
purpose is to pursue and exhibit method arts, such as method painting, 
method poem, and method music.  If you have any trouble with receiving, 
please contact us.  We will meet your wishes.
- "Method" members:  
Hideki Nakazawa (artist), Shigeru Matsui (poet), Masahiro Miwa (composer)
- Manifestos of Methodicism
- Japanese translation

Preface  by Shigeru Matsui
Guest's manuscript:
The Method is in the Madness  by John Solt
Guest's work:
untitled  by John Solt
Members' manuscripts:
Methodicism Q & A  by Hideki Nakazawa
To Quantum Poem  by Shigeru Matsui
To Synthesize the Human Constitution  by Masahiro Miwa
Members' works:
Composition table of "353100 yen which consists of 149101 coins (Money 
amount No. 23)"  by Hideki Nakazawa
Quantum Poem  by Shigeru Matsui
TUDA-SHIKI  by Masahiro Miwa
Information, Editor's notes


Method No. 15  Guest: John Solt

by Shigeru Matsui

   This is the third issue of the bulletin "Method" written in English.  
Poetry is different from visual art and music in the respect that it has 
the restriction of using mother tongue, but we dared to have a poet as a 
guest.  He is Mr. John Solt.  He has been acting as a mediator between 
poetical circles of Japan and America since the 1980's.  In Japan 
nowadays, international poetry movement is not so active.  I intended to 
ask him about his current opinion on poetry and poetics.
   Solt is an American poet for 35 years.  He wrote a book about a 
Japanese poet, Katue Kitasono, (1902-1978) titled, "Shredding the 
Tapestry of Meaning."  (Kitasono's "plastic poetry" is the harbinger 
of visual poetry in Japan.)  Solt's poems that are usually "untitled" 
are regularly carried in the Japanese literary magazines "Gui" and 
"Sei'en" (Blue Flame).  He has produced visual poetry and occasionally 
does collaborative pieces with dancers and musicians.
- John Solt

Guest's manuscript & work:

The Method is in the Madness
by John Solt

   I was fortunate to have met poet Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982; see shortly after having begun to write poetry myself.  
The word "guru" was current in the 1960s, but Kenneth vehemently refused 
it in regard to himself.  Now people would say he was a "mentor" to many 
students and friends.  I was one of them, from when I was 18-32 years 
old, and he was 62-76.
   One of the important things Rexroth said to me was, "There are many 
good poets who are shitty people.  It's more important to be a good 
human being."  That was a lesson for life.
   Once Rexroth was reading a poem someone sent him that didn't move him 
and he said, "There's nothing wrong with a bad poem.  After all, it's 
only a poem, not a bomb."
   For me "method" in poetry is not an issue I usually dwell on.  On the 
contrary, I think if I thoroughly understood what my method was, I would 
probably stop writing for lack of interest.  I am curious what 
mysteriously emerges in a poem from my decaying skull.
   Perhaps the reason I don't usually think about "method" is because I 
don't have one.  For me, the muse dissected is by definition unpoetic.
   Inspiration is whatever comes out.  Intuition is effective in shaping 
it later, like planting dead mice in a circle in the garden or tucking 
in a shirttail.
   Thirty years ago an Argentinian novelist, who was a morphine addict, 
said to me, "For your poems, choose words as carefully as if you were 
carving them in stone."  His stone was made of powder.
   I'm more and more amazed that the world is here each morning.  Aren't 
you?  My method aims to stab absurdity in the neck.
   Rivers run incessantly through poems, but how many poets dip their 
poems in rivers?

by John Solt

Members' manuscripts & works:

Methodicism Q & A
by Hideki Nakazawa

[Q1] What is individuality for method artists?
A: Individuality is not requested, because method should be universal.  
Method painter A's works and method painter B's works are not 
necessarily to be distinguished from each other.  This is similar to the 
works by Picasso and Braque during the period of analytical cubism.
[Q2] What is beauty in method art?
A: Art has been separated from beauty since the era of Courbet.  
Methodicism refers to authority, but not to beauty.  Therefore, method 
art has no connection with either formalistic or algorismic beauty.
[Q3] Can method art touch humans' heart?
A: I do not know, because it does not intend to appeal to humans' 
feelings.  Rather, apathy or apatheia, or Stoicism, is close to 
methodicism.  Still more, it does not intend to be mysterious.  Simple 
arithmetic is sufficient to make method art come into effect.
[Q4] Method art seems to be closed to ordinary audience, doesn't it?
A: I am sorry, but method art is made for logic like mathematics, not 
for audience like entertainment.
[Q5] Methodicism has no destination, does it?
A: No.  The reason is that methodicism itself is the destination, and 
that method itself is the goal.  "The next" does not exist.  Or, if ever 
"the next" exists, I would have already done it.
[Q6] Methodicism cannot surmount modernism, can it?
A: Methodicism is a form of modernism.  So methodicism "does not" 
surmount modernism, not "cannot."  In this connection, methodicism is 
against postmodernism.  Methodicism is also against the moratorium that 
refuses to accept either postmodernism or modernism.
[Q7] Methodicism is merely the adaptation of the early twentieth 
century's avantgarde, isn't it?
A: Yes.  Methodicism has an aspect of neoclassicism, if you call the 
avantgarde classics.  We do not want to add anything new to art history 
in this meaning.  We just want to keep looking at the tautology in which 
modernism has resulted.
[Q8] Methodicism has still room for selecting methods by each author's 
taste, doesn't it?
A: Maybe yes when you consider methodicism a necessary condition.  This 
case is similar to Berg's dodecaphony, in which his taste is evident.  
However, methodicism has little room for selecting methods by each 
author's taste when you consider it a necessary sufficient condition.  
This case is similar to Webern's dodecaphony, in which dodecaphony 
itself is evident rather than his taste.  I have the same opinion with 
the latter case.
(The above Q & A were exchanged mainly in the class "Methodicism 
Manifesto" at Bigakko.)

To Quantum Poem
by Shigeru Matsui

   In the first half of the twentieth century, revolution broke out in 
the classical mechanics, which was the first time after Newton's one.  
Quantum mechanics became reality.  It changed a view of the world.  Art 
and science adapted to the method that referred to quantum mechanics.  
Quantum computation, which was published by David Deutsch in 1985, was 
one of the examples.
   In the art world, Yutaka Matsuzawa made a work named "Quantum Art 
Manifesto" in 1988.  Matsuzawa said that, "This is art whose concept is 
approximated to the quantum mechanics."  By the way, his atelier is 
called "psi."  "Psi" means the wave function in quantum mechanics and, 
in the meantime, this side of the end.  "Psi" is an important term for 
Matsuzawa's thoughts in art.
   Poems are the mirror of the world view of the same age.  Quantum Poem 
should be a concept.  It was delayed for twenty years though.
   Keisuke Mitsuhashi is a music critic.  He and I had published an 
email magazine called "Every five days to be announced on the 
performance day" since March 11 until June 14, 2002.  We sent 20 email 
magazines for a hundred days.  The following is the text I continued to 
write in that magazine.
"March 6, 2002, Tokyo.  Today's Weather Forecast from THE MAINICHI 
NEWSPAPERS.  Highs and lows.  8 degrees centigrade and 20 today.  7 and 
13 tomorrow.  4 and 13 the day after tomorrow.  6 and 16 two days after 
tomorrow.  I wrote 2 lines for "Pure Poem" today.  I renewed my Website.  
March 7, 2002, Tokyo.  Today's Weather Forecast from THE MAINICHI 
NEWSPAPERS.  Highs and lows.  5 degrees centigrade and 15 today.  4 and 
12 tomorrow.  6 and 17 the day after tomorrow.  9 and 17 two days after 
tomorrow.  I wrote 1 line for "Pure Poem" today. (Same as above)"
   This text is based on "Quantum Poem."  This poem presents "Many-
Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" by presenting documented 
weather forecast.  Also ancient poems were prophecy, and they were 
concerned with the future.  I attempt to remake the ancient poems by 
using the modern method.
   I don't wish a dramatic event.  I need to present a phenomenon itself.  
Who needs the figuration of arranged past?  I would like to document all 
phenomena, but we do not have to understand phenomena.
   I call my works "Quantum Poem" which should have been written in the 
twentieth century.

To Synthesize the Human Constitution
by Masahiro Miwa

(For more information about "Matarisama" please see the previous 
presentation of my work.)
   If I were to say "Take eight elementary school students and train 
them thoroughly for two years, and eventually you will end up with a 
perfect 'Matarisama' ensemble that exceeds all expectations," most 
people would simply say that I was dreaming.  However, such training is 
no different from what is happening at elementary schools and the 
various musical lessons and rehearsals that take place every day.  
Learning that is the result of this kind of training or education, 
regulates the formation of the human constitution and is a mainstay of 
our culture.  Is there any difference between "a human constitution that 
can perform a fast matarisama" and "a constitution that can swim 
breaststroke, or a constitution that can perform calculations on an 
abacus" in the reason for the existence?   It goes without saying that 
the ability to walk on two legs and the ability to speak languages are 
the result of extraordinary training.  However, we tend to be more aware 
of humans with a constitution capable of special skills that not 
necessarily all people are able to perform.  Through the ages, music 
itself has been performed by people who posses constitutions that have 
been subject to special training, and will continue to be so in the 
   Therefore, when we consider the potential for the evolution of music 
in the future, maybe it is necessary to question the silent 
understanding that music will continue to be produced in the same 
customary ways, with the same human constitutions as it has until now.  
Even when a Japanese person has a constitution that is capable of 
performing the etudes of Chopin, and moreover, how refined his/her 
constitution is, the constitution is not something that has evolved from 
Japanese tradition.  When you imagine a vision of a new human 
constitution, that is essentially the same as imagining new music or 
culture.  When someone comes up with a new idea for jamming records on a 
turntable, somebody else refines this with astonishig accuracy and 
eventually creates a new way of performance.  I believe that the new 
human constitutions will be created more and more in the future, 
unexpectedly and arbitrarily like this, and yet always according to the 
needs of the current era.

Composition table of "353100 yen which consists of 149101 coins (Money 
amount No. 23)"  by Hideki Nakazawa
I gathered Japanese coins using a certain simple rule, which generated 
353100 yen which consists of 149101 coins.  This composition table tells 
the rule: every means should be taken to indicate each sum from 1 yen by 
one 1-yen coin to 100 yen by one 100-yen coin.  For example, 5 yen is 
indicated by one 5-yen coin, or, by five 1-yen coins.

Quantum Poem
by Shigeru Matsui
See the above manuscript.

by Masahiro Miwa
The original idea of this work, "reverse simulation music," was 
developed by Ms. Tsuda during a workshop held at The Tokyo National 
University of Fine Arts.  Two groups of people communicate numbers to 
each other using hand positions and footsteps, and move around according 
to algorithms.  No sound is used.  Although the text on website is in 
Japanese, you can see the motion image of this work.


from John Solt
- I have a website business which loses money and is almost unvisited:  For more on me, please search the internet via "John Solt," but there are three glaring errors: a 
Christian missionary slyly goes by my name, my book of Kitasono Katue 
translations, "Glass Beret," is listed as "Green Beret," and, under, my book "Shredding the Tapestry of Meaning: The Poetry 
and Poetics of Kitasono Katue" (Harvard Asia Center, 1999) has the 
subject matter ludicrously including "feminist theology." It's okay 
that the unseen cyber wolves tear at my identity, because any self-
construction is ultimately illusionary.

from Hideki Nakazawa
- Group show "ignition" at Roentgenwerke (Kichijoji) until July 6.
- Collaboration "Method Cocktail" by Nakazawa and Matsui and Adachi will 
be realized again at the last class of "Methodicist Manifesto" on July 
24 at Bigakko (1500 yen).
- Lithographs "209 same characters No. 1 - No. 5" will be published from 
Printhouse OM in July.  Text by Shigeo Chiba.
- Workshop "Making and Performing of Hiragana Melodies (Japanese 
syllabic monophonies)" at Hakodate Museum for Art, Hokkaido, on August 1.
- One day event "WINDS CAFE" at Winds Gallery (Kichijoji) in September.
- Solo show at SAI Gallery (Osaka) in October.
- Further and other info on my webpage at

from Shigeru Matsui
- "Quantum Poem?" Contributed to "suigyu"
- Perfomance "marathon READING" July 6 (Tokyo)

from Masahiro Miwa
- July 21 Presentation and Premier of "SendMail v3 for trumpet and piano" 
at ICC (NTT InterCommunication Center)
- August 2-5 World Premier of "MATARISAMA-CPU for mixed Choir" at Oki 
Music Seminar in Ama (Okinoshima-Island)
- August 21-25 Appearance (only) at DSP Summer School 2002
- August 25 Performance of "SendMail v3 for trumpet and piano" at Media 
Art Festival 2002

from "Method"
- Essays on methodicism and the Method Art Festival by Motoaki Shinohara 
on the evening of April 27 issue of the Sankei-Newspaper and on the June 
issue of the Gendaishi-Techo.
- Back numbers
Guests up to the issue No. 14: Motoaki Shinohara, Toshiaki Furuya, 
Masahiro Miwa, Akira Tatehata, Kenjiro Okazaki, Haruyuki Suzuki, 
Tatsuhiko Ishii, Yutaka Matsuzawa, Yuji Takahashi, Shin Tanabe, 
Shigeyuki Toshima, Yasunao Tone, Yasuko Toyoshima, Clarence Barlow.
- Those who want to subscribe for this bulletin, contact the members.
- Volunteer assistants wanted for the activities of "Method."

Editor's notes:
Poetry is a bomb.  Poetry has to be terrorism which harms your life.  I 
would like to announce what I have been thinking for a long time.  In 
view of the present international poetry movement, poetry should not be
the notation to pursue one's pleasure, because if so, there will be no 
future for poetry.  We have to find the strictly adhering notation for 
poetry.  There are still many things that a method poet has to work on. 


Bimonthly Bulletin "Method"  No. 15  published on July 3, 2002
Publisher: Hideki Nakazawa, Shigeru Matsui, Masahiro Miwa

Although you can send on this bulletin freely, each writer still holds 
the copyright.  Corruption and appropriation are prohibited.  Your sound 
judgement is required in forwarding this bulletin to others.