Mann, Chris - Words and Classes - On Having Words

Regular price $250.00

Chris Mann. 
Words & Classes. 

Melbourne, Australia: Outback Press, 1978.
Unbound folded newsprint sheet in folder. 

Very good. 
Creasing as issued.
Couple instances of tears at fold. 
Minor edgewear. 

Folder has light edgewear. 

Chris Mann's first published work.

Scarce multi-faceted prose, etc work spanning a double-sided sheet of newsprint measuring 40 1/2" x 57 3/4" unfolded. 

Spare Room 33: a small gallery in Canberra, Australia has written

"This epic work of literature is Chris Mann's Words & Classes - On Having Words, published by Outback Press in 1978. Within its covers (1-2) is a single large sheet, folded like a road map, which when unfolded measures 1.01 x 1.47 metres (3) and is covered on both sides by Mann's writings: poetry, stream-of-consciousness prose, commentaries, dialogues, even a small play. I eventually found that the best way to approach it is to unfold the whole thing on the floor and physically explore it.
Mann's texts are experimental and complex; a number were composed for performance and are best read out loud, especially to appreciate the sound value of the numerous made-up words. Other pieces reflect his interest in and study of linguistics. Then there are the words and phrases abbreviated to capture the character of Australian vernacular speech.

Chris Mann (1949-2018) was the son of German Jewish refugees, Ruth and Peter Mann, who settled in Melbourne and founded the Score record label and the Discurio music store. He was a one person avant-garde, working between music and language experimenting with form, performance (10 is his hand-cranked Word Machine, from 1974), and with recordings, and therefore operating outside the normal critical pigeon-holes. Inevitably, he was more appreciated overseas than here - John Cage composed two works based on Mann's texts, having heard him read in New York in 1981. And New York was where he ended up living, teaching at The New School there. Mann has a chapter in John Jenkins' book 22 Contemporary Australian Composers (NMA, 1988). There's also a nice article on him by Oscar Schwartz in the Cordite Poetry Review, published in 2013."

"Chris Mann (March 9, 1949 Australia–September 12, 2018 New York NY) was an Australian composer, poet and performer specializing in the emerging field of compositional linguistics, coined by Kenneth Gaburo and described by Mann as "the mechanism whereby you understand what I'm saying better than I do". He was, in the last 2 decades of his life, based in New York City.

Mann studied Chinese and linguistics at the University of Melbourne, and his interest in language, systems, and philosophy is evident in his work. Mann founded the New Music Centre in 1972 and taught at the State College of Victoria in the mid-1970s. He then left teaching to work on research projects involving cultural ideas of information theory and has been recognized by UNESCO for his work in that field.

Mann moved to New York in the 1980s and was an associate of American composers John Cage and Kenneth Gaburo. He performed text in collaboration with artists such as Thomas Buckner, David Dunn, Annea Lockwood, Larry Polansky, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Mann recorded with the ensemble Machine For Making Sense with Amanda Stewart, Rik Rue and others, Chris Mann and the Impediments (with two backup singers and Mann reading a text simultaneously while only being able to hear one another), and Chris Mann and The Use. His piece The Plato Songs, a collaboration with Holland Hopson and R. Luke DuBois, features realtime spectral analysis and parsing of the voice into multiple channels based on phonemes. Mann has also participated in the 60x60 project.

Mann taught in the Media Studies Graduate program at The New School. He died in September 2018 after a recurrence of cancer. He is survived by his wife and two children."

- Wikipedia