Sirc’s Box Logic

Sirc’s paradigmatic box is The Green Box. He cites Jean Suquet’s take on it to develop his own box logic:

Ninety-four scraps of paper bearing plans, drawings, hastily jotted notes, and freely drawn rough drafts were delivered in bulk. It was up to the reader to shuffle these cards as he or she pleased. There was no author’s name on the cover; the work appeared anonymous and as if offered to the blowing winds. In light of this, I had not the least scruple, when opening it for the first time in 1949 at the request of André Breton, in making it speak (with Marcel Duchamp’s consent) in my own voice; and out of its sparkling randomness, I began fishing words that resonated with something I felt deep inside me, something obscure yet promising illumination. If an interior journey goes deep enough, at some point it arrives where all roads meet. (qtd. 112)

Sirc reads in this an affective encounter with the box, where Duchamp’s experiences and Suquet’s meet, mix, and recombine through the shuffle of the cards—a recurring image of the emergent logic of complexity.

Geoffrey Sirc

Geoffrey Sirc – An Affective Encounter

Box Logic, then, is a “format or method” that offers a “grammar” for transcending essayist prose by creating a space for storing and exhibiting thoughts and passions. The box, for Sirc, is a means to and end—a technology, medium, or method whose affordances create affects, both expressive and conceptual (113). In short, it is both an architecture and an approach to the production of digital texts. Students archive personal collections of texts and images, deriving textual pleasure form their arrangement, juxtaposition, and recombination (113-14).

Sirc’s Eye in a Box

Expanding on this base with a collection of other thinkers who work with the space of a box—Joseph Cornel, Walter Benjamin, George Maciunas—Sirc adds to Duchamp’s logic objects, textiles, music boxes, even sound or noise, built into collages, all arranged into compositional containers via juxtaposition and associational schemes. I’m extending his puncept into more recent digital boxes to develop a stomp box logic.


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