a writing and architecture workshop
I Am Sitting in a Room is book written by Brian Dillon over a 24 hour period. Placed under intense restrictions interms of space and time, Dillon muses on the relationship of the writer to his surroundings, critically noting that any act of writing must take place within a physical space. He makes reference to the practice of visually depicting (and defining) writers at their desks. Beginning with Antonello da Messina’s Renaissance painting Saint Jerome in his Study and finishing in the 20th century with Jill Krementz series of photographs of famous writes, Dillon astutely notes the perceived connection between the image of the writer (as a writer), the method of writing and the space in which writing takes place.
The following is a quotation taken from the book:
“Writing, when it happens – it’s not always cleat that it will happen – happens in a space, among objects and arrangements of things and time that are at one absolutely necessary and dangerously distracting, perhaps ruinous to the whole writing enterprise.
I am sitting in a room, and I am trying to recall and to explore these spaces, these structures, these artefacts. There are the beds, of course, and the bedside consoles of which more below. And the studies, the offices, the huts and sheds, the basement retreats. The tables, desks, antique bureaus, and plain boards placed upon the lap, the portable escritoires and stand-up lecterns for those with the stamina. The café tables, the floors of packed commuter trains, the domestic staircases and jealously guarded portions of kitchens and parlours, these last either permanently set up for writing or understood to be so set aside for a portion of the day… Writing happens in space – it happens to a body, which is in touch with time and things, and which tries to enclose itself and connect itslef to real and fantastical outsides, to make itself at home and fling itself abroad in a mobile analogue of home. The question, I suppose, is what is going on in there?”
An extract from the book can also be viewed here: http://www.princeton.edu/ihum/events/the-24-hour-book/I-Am-Sitting-excerpts.pdf